"Hello?" said Nasya on the other end.
"We'll be there," I said.
I could almost hear her smirk. "You don't really have a choice if you want to live. And besides, you might enjoy yourself. Could you imagine that, Ace?"
"Actually, Nasya, I am enjoying myself."
"Would this have anything to do with the half-blood?"
She laughed. "See you Friday night."
"Wait, Nas." I bit my lip, wondering whether I should ask her. "In fact, doesn't matter."
"No, what's up?"
I sighed. "Are you alright about this?"
"I don't know what you're talking about," she said.
"Nas, tell me the truth," I said gently. "Are you okay about it?"
She sighed and didn't answer for a while. "We were never really serious, were we? So yeah, I'm fine. As long as you're happy."
I was going to say something but she hung up. I just looked at my phone for a while before scrolling back through the contacts list. I paused when I reached my dad's number. I wondered if that was still his number. I sighed and ran my fingers through my hair.
Was Nas really okay about me and Zoe? Would she have even told me if she wasn't? I should have thought about that first, really. I loved Zo, but I also loved Nasya - in my own little way. Everyone said she was still in love with me, but I never knew she'd been in love with me in the first place. I mean, yeah, we were lovers for six years but as she'd said, we were never serious. Were we?
Zoe came out of the fitting rooms ahead of me and handed some of the items to the attendant. She grinned when she saw me. She took the basket from me. I hadn't even realised I was still holding it. She dropped some stuff into it and started walking slowly away, looking at me. I followed her, taking her hand.
"So which ones did you choose?" I asked.
"It's a surprise," she said, smirking.
"If you say so," I murmured.
She frowned. "What's wrong? Did you make your calls?"
"It was just the one actually, but yeah."
I sighed. "Doesn't matter."
"Yeah, right," she scoffed. "So, what was so bad about this phone call that you couldn't do while I was there?"
"I just thought you wanted some privacy."
"You're lying, Ace. You can talk to me."
"I was on the phone to Nas."
"'Nas'? Oh, Nasya."
"Yeah," I said.
"Did she say anything interesting that she couldn't say forty-five minutes ago?"
"Well, we were interrupted," I said, looking pointedly at her.
I smiled. "Oh well. We'll see her in a couple of nights anyway at council."
"Okay, there's something I need to ask: did she actually put a snake in her hair or have I just made that up?"
"No, she has a blue krait that practically lives in her hair. She brings it to me whenever it gets ill or injured," I told her.
"Why?" she asked.
"Because I used to have four pythons, three vipers, six garter snakes and a boa constrictor. As well as some ferrets and a bearded dragon but they weren't very interesting."
"Why did you have so many snakes?" she asked, disbelieving.
I shrugged. "I liked snakes."
She thought about it for a while before shaking her head and changing the subject. "Can we get some new shoes as well please?"
She dragged me to the shoes. God, I'd forgotten the horrors of shopping with women...