Unexpected SurpriseMature

I shook my head. Living together? I was getting a bit ahead of myself. Get your life sorted out now, Luke.

Thinking of Ellie made my heart ache. I missed her so much. I’d promised to go to her house tomorrow night. She was six hours ahead of me... I had to keep that in mind. I instinctively checked the clock. Damn, it would be near midnight there. I sighed. Hang on... Zoey and Ben lived in the U.S.

I pulled out my laptop and quickly logged on. I added all of them, double checking the emails scribbled on my scrap piece of paper. Ben was online and we had a brief conversation. To be honest we’d only been separated for a few hours and didn’t have much to talk about other than family reactions. He found my reaction to my family’s responses amusing.

I logged off after him.

A few hours...

It had been a mere few hours since we’d fought the Black Ones together yet it seemed like a lifetime ago. I lay down on my bed staring at the ceiling thinking about all that had happened. How long had I even been gone? A few weeks, maybe? I closed my eyes and sighed. Maybe I’d catch up on some sleep. I’d missed late lie-ins.

“Luke! Dinner’s on the table!” Mother shouted up the stairs. My bedroom was on the third floor but I could hear her crystal clear... trust her to call me just as I was on the brink of sleep.

I groaned and rolled off the bed. I stomped down the stairs and fell into a chair. The three of us were silent and tense throughout the meal.

By the time I actually got to bed it was eleven. I checked my cell and then put it on the bedside table. I made a mental note about getting a job then fell asleep.

I was awoken by the sound of my cell ringing. I squinted at the clock and groaned. Who the bloody hell was calling at five in the morning?! I blindly reached for my cell and answered it.

“Hello?” I said groggily.

“Luke!” Ellie cried into my ear. I was instantly awake (well as awake as I can be at 5 am). “How are you?” she continued.

“Sleepy,” I murmured and she laughed.

“I know you don’t like mornings but it is eleven,” she replied.

“Eleven? Nu-uh, Irish Pixie, do the math. You’re six hours ahead of me, babe. Your call woke me up!”

“Oops,” Ellie laughed, “Sorry, American Boy, I didn’t think of that.”

“No kidding?” I responded sarcastically but smiled, “Ah well. I’m up now. What is it I can do for you?”

“Do you mind going online? Long distance calls cost a lot.”

“No problem. Give me five minutes,” I said as I grabbed my laptop off the floor.

“OK, thanks. Love you,” Ellie said. I could detect her excitement.

“I must love you too if I’m doing this instead of going back to sleep like a good sensible person,” I muttered and she just laughed and hung up.

I signed in and barely a moment later Ellie started a video call. I grinned and accepted.

“Hey, Irish Pixie,” I greeted her.

“Ohmygosh, Luke you won’t believe what Uncle B just gave me!” Ellie squealed then she blinked and chuckled, “Still in bed I see.”

“Yep, I don’t feel up to leaving the warmth quite yet,” I said seriously, “Now tell me what your uncle gave you before I go mad with curiosity.”

“I’m going to hit you with that pillow behind your head when I see you,” Ellie retorted teasingly. I frowned.

“When you see me?”

“God, you are so slow,” Ellie sighed exasperated.

“Hey, I’m tired,” I snapped defensively.

“Fine I’ll tell you! Uncle B gave me plane tickets for my birthday to visit you, sleepy-head!”

“You’re kidding?” I yelled and sat bolt upright. There was banging on my door and Vanessa marched in. Vanessa’s room was directly below mine and Mother’s was down the hall from hers.

“Geez, Luke, you jerk! There are other people living in this house. Keep it down! It’s so not healthy to be awake this early!” Vanessa snapped crossly with her hands on her hips. She dropped her angry expression when she heard Ellie’s giggles through the laptop. “Who’s that?” Vanessa demanded.

“Erm, Vanessa, this is my girlfriend Ellie,” I turned the laptop around and Ellie waved at Vanessa, smiling cheerfully.

“Hi, Vanessa,” Ellie greeted my dumbstruck sister, “Sorry for waking both you and Luke up. I forgot about the time difference.”

“Oh, er, hi,” Vanessa said then raised an eyebrow at me, “Irish huh? Just like you said.” I heard the meaning behind the words.

“Yes, just like I said,” I responded through tight lips, “Do you mind leaving my room now while I talk with my girl? I’ll try to keep my voice down.” Vanessa made an hmph noise and flipped her hair over her shoulder before spinning around and exiting my room. I climbed out of bed and locked the door, muttering under my breath. Ellie was smiling with humor in her eyes.

“I see your personality is a family thing, American Boy,” Ellie teased. I rolled my eyes.

The End

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