"Well I wasn't lying when I said I wanna get back to Hadley. Only about the bump." He nods and doesn't seem to get that I just want to go home.
"What about it?"
"Why're you abandoning your poor pregnant boyfriend for a few days to go back there? Real reason or I punch the baby."
"Like I said, family stuff," I sigh, giving up trying to get away.
"I can smell lies, bro."
"Must be the waitress," I smile, "'cause I'm not lying." He sniffs.
"Nope, it's you." Alex looks at me and his eyes are pretty much shouting ‘I'm not letting you go til you spill'. He glances at Caleb and swiftly shoves me down into the nearest free chair, his grip tight on my shoulders. I try to get up, but I can barely even move. Brilliant.
"Now, we can do this the easy way or the hard way," Caleb tells me, wearing a serious face. I don't say anything. "I see you've picked the hard way. A gutsy move, Mr Bond." Oh dear god. I try once more to get up, but Alex holds me down with ease. I'd kinda forgotten how strong he is. Caleb prods my stomach kinda hard. I slap his hand away, getting myself a frown and another prod.
I slap his hand away again.
"Dude, spill or I'll start flicking your balls." I arch an eyebrow. In public? Really? "The real reason you're going to London."
"My mum wants to see me, ‘cause she didn't at Christmas." He slaps my thigh, uncomfortably close to my groin.
"Real reason." That's when I notice, we're attracting a fair bit of attention and I feel my face start to light up. "Dude, c'mon. I swear to God I'll punch your balls."
"I told you the real reason!"
"And I told you I can smell lies," he balls a fist and I cross my legs. Because to be honest, I wouldn't put it past him. He, on the other hand, uncrosses my legs and sort of wedges them open with his knee, before making a fist again. "Real. Reason." I cover my crotch with my hands instead and do my best not to notice the people kind of watching us.
"That was the real reason. Why do you think I'm lying?"
"Because from what Hadley's told me, you can't stand your mom so why would you go see her willingly and without him to nag you, hmm?"
"If I placate her now, I won't have to spend any time with her for the rest of the year," I tell him, but he glares.
"A likely story."
"A true one!"
He keeps glaring. "If it's the real story then stop guarding your balls." Fuck. I sort of hesitate a bit before taking my hands away. He watches me for a couple of seconds and the next thing I know is I'm doubled up, really, really regretting moving my hands.
"Real reason or I'll cause semi-permanent damage," he says, but I'm too busy being in pain to answer. He waits there for me to stop being in pain."I can be a bitch sometimes, get over it," he says in response to the small frown I see flicker across Alex's face as the nausea starts to pass. When I've caught my breath enough to look up, I see a lot of attention is coming our way and I get the feeling we're fairly close to being kicked out. Or at least Caleb and Alex are.
"One more chance, Maxxie."
"Oh my god," I gasp as the pain kinda comes back as I sit up, "why does it matter so much to you?"
"Because I'm a nosy little fucker." I kind of groan and he prods me.
"I wanna buy Hadley something, but I can only get it in London," I mumble, bending over on myself.
"Online shopping not good enough for you, English boy?"
"It's not something I can order online." Well, that's not strictly true. There's an option to buy them online, but I'd rather go and see them in person. It's hard to tell exactly what something's like from a photo.
I shake my head and rest it on my knees. He stands there, perfectly happy to wait for an answer. Tough shit, ginger, you're not getting an answer.
"Maxxie," he gives me a warning tone when I say nothing. It's at this point that I suddenly realise Alex isn't holding me down anymore. I stand up.
"Dude, you suck."
"Yeah, well you'll only tell him, and it's kinda s'posed to be a surprise." Caleb looks like he just realised something to be very happy about and I shrug, "so if I'm not gonna get punched in the balls again, I'm gonna go and stop wasting your time."
"I can punch you again if you want," he says with a slight shrug of his own.
"Nah, you're alright," I mutter, scuttling off before he can change his mind.
Note to self: never try lying to Caleb again. It hurts.