Chapter 9.4Mature

When I finished showering and changing I went into the living room. There was a note from William with instructions on reheating the food. Before I could go do that, my phone vibrated on the coffee table. I'd completely forgotten it. There were multiple text and missed calls from Diane. I picked up, wondering what she had heard.

“Hey,” I said, going for casual.

“Hey?” she threw back, her voice quickly turning hysterical. I had a flash of deja vu as I held the phone away from me. “Hey does not cut it! I'm stuck here with Bryan-” I could just imagine how that wording made him feel. “-wondering where the hell you are! Your dad said you were at my house. Unless you're camping in the shed without telling me, that's not true. Now what's going on.” I hesitated, trying to figure out what to say. I figured matching William's story made sense.

“I ran into some trouble. But William turned up and helped,” I added when I heard her draw in a breath. “He paid for a hotel room for me. I just haven't been feeling great so I didn't come into college,” I said, shrugging. That was a understatement. Not because I was ill. I was still trying to work out what I was actually going to do. “I was going to head over to yours and explain everything when I was better. I didn't expect to stay though. I know your mother has enough to deal with,” I finished.

“My mother and the monsters are already out of town,” Diane said. I heard Bryan interrupt that.

“You're leaving too?” he asked. “Thank god.”

“I'm staying,” she finished, ignoring him and the choked sound he made. “And since everyone's so determined to protect me like I'm some helpless girl-”

“You are a helpless girl.” Bryan said that alongside me. He made an 'ow' sound and I had a feeling Diane had just punched him. The sound was more for her pride than any real pain.

“You can stay with me,” she finished. “So get your butt to my house, we'll meet you there.” I hesitated. I had to contact William and let him know what was going on.

“I'll be there as soon as I can,” I sighed. I ended the call and packed my stuff away. William had apparently washed and dried my clothes while I was asleep. That just made it worse somehow. I realised I'd never really wanted to leave. William made me feel good about myself somehow. I sent him a message explaining what was going on and left. He'd left a spare key so I locked up and put it through the letterbox.

It wasn't like they'd be another reason for me to stay. I got on the bus, feeling the dizziness return. I pushed it away and got off at Diane's house. Bryan walked out of the house before I was half-way up the drive. I remembered that I had no clue if he knew, then he hugged me. I thought my back cracked a little with the force of it. Then he patted my back, making sure it was still manly. I cocked an eyebrow when he pulled away, sniffing a little.

“I thought vamps had got you,” he muttered, looking embarrassed now. Well, technically two had, but the second one had done it in a much nicer way. Oh god, was I admitting that? Did William have me now? Well, it wasn't like I'd fight back if he kissed me again. Diane was standing at the doorway, tapping her foot nervously.

The End

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