Trying to regain her composure as he looked at her, Heather raised an eyebrow. “No, I don’t know how long you’ve been waiting and frankly, you’re an idiot.” All her attention that was once directed towards the film was clouded by her annoyance at him. Heather had never realised how clueless Josh was and it irritated her greatly. He had no concern for anyone but…himself. She could feel her heart sink at the realisation of this fact. Josh could have told anyone, Robert was a far better candidate for these types of conversations with him, not Heather. “No, there is nothing boy-related I want to talk to you about.” Her tone sharp and abrupt as she pretended to watch the movie.
Having Heather snap at him caused Joshua to sit a little straighter. “Why am I an idiot?” he asked defensively, trying to crane his neck so that he could see her face. It was not uncommon for Heather to lash out at him for little things, but usually he had an inkling of an idea of why she would be acting that way. Now, he was more confused than ever. He was tempted to pause the movie just so they could have an actual conversation about what was truly on her mind. “Please, do enlighten me.”
Lindsay pulled her towel tightly around her and looked down at her completely soaked shoes, face reddening in embarrassment. She had never expected the night to go this way. At most, she had planned on rebutting Josh’s usual flirtation with her own friendly jabs. But, kissing him was definitely not something she had anticipated. Looking up to see that he still stood in the same spot she had been only moments before, Lindsay sighed and began to walk away, figuring that he would take that as his cue to leave as well.
As they walked back to the dormitory in silence Lindsay felt that she should say something, anything, to ease the tension that had obviously built between them. ”But, say what?” she thought to herself, “Oh, sorry about that Josh. But, I totally regret kissing you back there because I’m not really over this secret relationship I was in. Oh, and you’re my best friend so it makes things awkward.” Rolling her eyes at the craziness of it all, Lindsay decided against speaking and chose to let their wordless return remain just that - wordless.
Reaching the door to her dorm room, Lindsay stopped in front of it and turned to face Josh just as he spoke. Seeing the small smile on his face broke through the tension Lindsay felt and, returning his smile with a bigger one of her own, she stepped closer to him and playfully ruffled his damp hair until it spiked up. “Hmm, that’s a good luck for you, Mitchell,” she said, grinning at him, “Thank you for tonight, it was fun. You have no idea how happy I am that you’re back.” Without thinking, Lindsay gave him a soft peck on the cheek before turning abruptly, entering her room, and shutting the door. Leaning against the door she placed her hands over her face and slid down to the floor before removing them to see Victoria sitting on her bed, staring at her with a confused expression on her face. Sighing, Lindsay shook her head slowly as the events of the night resurfaced. “Just let me shower and change first Vic,” she said, putting up a hand to indicate that Victoria shouldn’t ask questions. Giving her friend a sad smile, Lindsay sighed again before getting up and walking into the bathroom.
Staring at Lindsay’s closed door, Joshua felt his heartbeat return to a normal pace. He had meant to apologize for potentially making their friendship awkward, as that was the last thing he wanted to do, but when she kissed him on the cheek, all of his worries melted away and he did not even mind that he never got a chance to say good night.
He meant what he said when his friends would ask him what his plans were for the year and he would reply that he was not looking for any kind of a relationship or commitment. On the surface, Lindsay well might be just another girl Joshua would share a kiss with and life would move on. Still, he did harbour some feelings for her and the evening’s events only made him appreciate her company even more.
Exhaling slowly, he straightened up his posture and turned to walk towards his room, eager to get out of his damp clothes and dry off. It certainly had been a truly memorable evening.
Natalie laughed a bit and smiled. “It’s sounding like this place was more of a party than a school. I wish I was here to experience it.”
During the break in their conversation, Natalie leaned back against the shelf behind her and watched as a small group of students walked past her and Josh on their way out of the library. She let her mind trail off for a moment before she was pulled back to reality by Josh’s question. She shrugged slightly and smiled. “Sounds like it could be fun. If it livens the place up, count me in.”
Joshua left out loud and quickly peered around to see if the librarian had heard him or not. He nodded towards Natalie and a grin appeared on his face. “That’s the spirit!” he said cheerfully. “Good to see you’ve got the same red hot fire inside and outside.” He cast her a wink and straightened himself out.
"Listen," he began, walking closer to her, "I should get back before Victoria and Rob send out a search committee, but I’ll call you? I got your number from Vic."
Heather knew that her current behaviour was a cause for concern. She was aware that Joshua was confused but Heather knew if she spoke about it, she would surely regret her decision. The reality of the situation was that he was her best friend who had a habit of getting carried away when he was drunk. Heather exhaled loudly in relief as their conversation seemed to change direction.
However, that relief was short lived. Joshua’s revelation was definitely a surprise to Heather and an internal conflict began in her mind. She couldn’t help but feel a little upset but then again, she didn’t have the right to. He was just her friend and she wondered why she always had to convince herself of that fact. Unsure of what to say and realising that she had stiffened, Heather smiled lightly. “That’s great,” she said quietly as her eyes remained on the screen. For once in her life, Heather didn’t want to be around him; it was just too uncomfortable and she was very glad he wasn’t looking at her right now.
Completely oblivious to Heather’s expression, Joshua smiled brightly to himself. “It is great,” he said cheerfully. “Do you know how long I’ve been waiting to do that? She’s great.” He shifted slightly to find a more comfortable position and lifted the arm that was around her to place his hand on top of her head. Gently, he placed a kiss in her hair and leaned forward slightly so that he could catch a glimpse of her face. “I’m so glad I have you to talk to about these things, Heath,” he said. “Is there anything boy-related that you want to talk to me about?”
Lindsay watched as Josh stared back at her, seeming to study her face. Eyebrows furrowing in confusion, she was just about to speak when he suddenly leaned his head down towards her. Lindsay froze, eyes open as he pressed his lips against hers. Tensing up, she considered pushing him away but instead found her hands slowly moving up his chest until she had wound her arms around his neck, pressing herself closer to him and deepening their kiss. She had never considered Josh as anything more than a friend. Standing there with him, locked in an embrace under the pale moonlight made her begin to wonder if there was actually anything more…
Shrugging the thought away Lindsay slowly pulled her head back from Josh’s and looked up at him with a sad smile. “I think we should be headed back now,” she said, placing a hand on his cheek before pulling away from him and taking a couple small steps away. Lindsay had been vulnerable for months now; she knew that. She wasn’t about to let her emotions get the better of her and trick her into feeling something that may not be there.
Joshua watched as she began to walk away and could not believe what had just happened. He seemed rooted to the ground, unable to move on from their moment. When their lips had met, he felt more warmth from her than he had from any other girl. Feeling her pull him deeper into the kiss intensified his feelings for her tenfold, but the look that she wore on her face now told him that, for the first time, he was the one that was going after someone who would never feel the same way about him.
Gingerly, he lifted a hand to touch his cheek where Lindsay’s hand had been and he swallowed a breath before finally lifting his feet to follow her. Regardless of the tension that the kiss had put over them, Joshua could not help but quietly smile to himself as he matched Lindsay’s pace. Truthfully, he had been waiting to kiss her for three years and no matter what happened, she was still one of his best friends. He would not let anything come between them.
They walked back to the dormitories at an arm’s length from each other, the gravel crunching beneath their feet again as they walked up to the main entrance. The elevator ride was a wordless one and they reached Lindsay’s room soon after. “So..” Joshua finally said with a small smile as he slipped his hands into his hip pockets.
How do you not have a choice? What’s the project about? (If I have to work in a group, I just do most of it alone and tell everyone else to fuck off)
When you get older and you’re in a professional setting, you learn that most things are done with other people and you can’t just tell everyone else to fuck off. It’s a big consulting project and we’ve got a report due Monday.
Natalie smiled and shrugged a bit. “I just figured you weren’t one of those guys that spends a lot of time doing school related things and by that I mean the work part.”
She nodded a bit as he talked. She knew that everyone had been commenting on how boring it had gotten around here so she wasn’t sure what she expected as his reply. “Yeah I’ve been hearing a lot of complaints about boredom. School kills entertainment.”
She smiled widely and nodded. “We should. Not that I don’t enjoy randomly meeting up like this but it’d be nice to properly hang out.”
"Ah," Joshua commented, grinning at her. "Yeah, work and I don’t get along. And school definitely kills entertainment. I should think of something fun to get everyone hyped again! It’s never gotten to this point here before."
Joshua had always been notorious for the pranks he pulled at Wolfram & Hart, whether it was putting down cups of water all over Robert’s room sophomore year or an impromptu slip’n’slide down the junior hallway last year. He scratched at his shoulder absent-mindedly and considered the possible options he had. “Maybe you’d like to help me?” he asked hopefully.
Natalie laughed quietly, smiling. “Poor library.” she sat, patting the shelf she was standing nearest. She couldn’t help the desire to laugh but she fought it back. “I’m sure it’s sad that you both don’t get along. Ahh well I was right.” she said, not elaborating.
When he motioned to the book, Natalie looked down at it before shrugging. “Just looking through books. The cover caught my attention.” She put it back on the shelf behind her before turning back towards Josh. “So what have you been up to…besides getting yourself in this predicament.” she asked with a small smile.
At her words, Joshua narrowed his eyes humourously. “Right? Right about what?” He lifted his eyebrows mischievously a few times before chuckling and folding his arms over his chest.
"Honestly?" he asked rhetorically, considering what he had accomplished in the last little while. "Not much, that’s what. My life is boring, Red, I need someone in it to liven me up! Usually that’s Rachel’s job but Vic’s brainwashed her enough that she’s always working to!"
He looked at Natalie for a moment before speaking up again. “We should hang out sometime, for real,” he said, wondering what her response would be. “You and I could hit the town and do something crazy!”
Standing there in Josh’s arms made Lindsay feel safe and secure. He could be a complete goofball sometimes, but Lindsay knew that she could always feel comfortable with him. He was one of her closest friends and she trusted him more than he probably realized. Looking up as he said her name, she closed her eyes as she felt him stroke her cheek. “Yes?” she answered quietly, opening her eyes again and looking at him questioningly.
Seeing her big eyes staring back at him made Joshua’s heart melt slightly. All he ever wanted to do whenever he looked at her was to protect her, in any way possible. Perhaps, it was a werewolf complex, assuming that all other species’ would need somebody to defend them—although, he knew Lindsay was powerful enough to wipe out an entire army—but he cared very deeply for her and he wondered if she knew that.
Wanting more than anything to convey his thoughts to her, Joshua did the one thing that made sense in that moment. He was not sure if she would consent to it or be completely revolted by the idea, but without warning he bent his head down slightly and pressed his lips against hers.
“Well, Simba is cute.” Heather’s voice serious as her eyes never left the television screen. Realising that Joshua did not remember their conversation made Heather nervous and bringing it up was most definitely a big mistake. Unsure if she should tell him and if she even wanted to tell him, Heather bit her lip. She didn’t want it to be awkward between them and if Heather did tell Josh, that was a likely scenario. “Nothing…I mean I was really tired anyway so I barely remember,” Heather said, hoping that she could brush off the conversation. “So…how’s it going?” Heather’s tone light and bubbly as she tried to change the direction of their conversation.
At Heather’s deflection, Joshua furrowed his eyebrows. It was unlike Heather to hold back her thoughts—she certainly was the type of person to make sure her judgements and opinions were always heard. Sidestepping the topic only made Joshua worry even more but he did not want to press her to speak about it unless she truly wanted to. “Okay,” he said simply, his eyes still trained on the television screen.
He thought for a moment about her question and appreciated her attempt at lightening the mood. “How’s it going with me?” he asked, tilting his head to the side. “Well, things have been all right, I suppose! I, uh, I..” Joshua hesitated before he continued his sentence. Surely, whatever Heather had been worried about previously, would have no relevance with what he was about to tell her. He found himself chuckling awkwardly as he spoke again. “I kissed Lindsay the other night. That was fun!”
He needs to get away from all of this.. I think he really just wants to focus on being okay with school and everything without losing his concentration and being on here and Twitter and stuff. Be kind, I know this isn’t easy for him.
Lol. You know, you’d think I would have figured that out since I did see you post about that ad on Ustream. But, I’m sure you’ll be able to bang something great out. You have the determination to get it done. :)
Thanks for the confidence, darling! :) I’ve got an hour now.. Time to hammer it out!
To be quite honest, I’m somewhat relieved since I didn’t feel prepared. It was just A LOT of pressure in a short amount of time. We have a tournament monthly so I’ll just have more time to get ready for the next one.
What’s the project on? And what major are you in?
lol The picture was great though! :D
Glad to hear it, bb! <3
Yeah, I totally understand that. Well, it’s good that they’re monthly! I’m sure you can definitely do very well for the next one. :)
I’m in business at the Richard Ivey School of Business (re: that ad on uStream I found) with a focus on marketing. In our last year, we have this big project called the Ivey Consulting Project where we basically choose a company and write up a business plan for them throughout the year for whatever big issue they have. We have an interim report due Monday that basically outlines what we want to be able to present to them at the end of the year and all of the research we’ve done so far.. It’s not too bad, I suppose, but I don’t exactly have all of the facts for my part of it and I’m just trying to make my sentences flow..