Flo: Bursting With PrideMature

I was so proud of my friends.  Ian had slotted himself into our group like he had always been there, chatting and laughing with Harry and Silas while us girls gossiped about our lives.

"You and Ian seem happy," Lou commented as the three of us sat at the bar after dinner.

"He's amazing," I confessed.  "All the way through college he would come and visit me when he had a free weekend and when he got a job in New York a couple of years ago he immediately asked me to move in with him, even though I wasn't earning anything!"

"So he was dating you all the way through college," Aimee questioned, "even though you lived on different sides of the country?"

"I liked the long-distance relationship," I confessed.  "It was hard work but it made the time we had together much more special."  I could feel that I was treading on dangerous ground as I watched Aimee's face grow tense.  "But it's not for everyone," I backtracked, "and Ian is very different from..."

"From Harry?"  Aimee said bluntly.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to bring it up."

"It's not your fault," Aimee said cooly.  "You guys shouldn't have to tiptoe around us just because we broke up.  People break up all the time."

"But they're not normally best friends," I protested.

The truth was that I had been so nervous when I saw Harry and Aimee together.  When she was cold and harsh towards him I thought this was going to be the most awkward reunion in the history of all reunions, but she was beginning to grow less indifferent, actually talking to Harry over dinner without killing him.  I was really proud of her.

"Hello ladies," a guy said, coming up to us with an open smile on his face.  "Could I possibly buy any of you a drink?"

"How are you doing hun?"  Ian asked me, appearing as if by magic at my side, his arm going around my shoulders protectively.  Most of my girlfriends would have thought this behaviour stifling and a bit too much but I quite liked it.

"I'm alright thank you," Louise said tactically, "but I'm sure Aimee would love a drink."

"Aimee," the stranger said.  "What a beautiful name.  I'm Paul."

"It's a pleasure to meet you, Paul," Aimee replied, smiling gleefully at the man as he held out his hand for her to take.

"I think it's time for bed," I said, standing up from my seat and taking Ian's hand.  "Let's go up to our room."

"But the others-"

"We all said we were going to have an early night," I said, trying to hint that we should leave Aimee alone with her new admirer, praying that Ian would get the idea and leave with me.

"Oh yes," he replied, suddenly understanding.  "Very busy day tomorrow."

"I'll see you in the morning Aimee," I said, waving to my friend as we left.  "Good night Louise."

"Are you sure it's a good idea to leave them there?"  Ian said once we were out of earshot.  "Do you trust this guy not to be an axe murderer or a rapist?"

"You have too much imagination," I joked, squeezing Ian's waist as I wrapped my arms around him.

"So are we actually going upstairs or do you want to stay down in the bar for a bit longer?"

"Where are the other guys?"

"Harry went up to his room and Silas just disappeared, that's why I came to find you guys."

"Then maybe we should head up and have an early night," I suggested.

"Sounds like a brilliant idea," he replied, smiling as he leant down to kiss me.

The End

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