"What do you think?" Gill took the ring from the jeweler for Noah to inspect.
"I think congratulations," he flung his arm around his friend’s shoulder, "it's incredible, she’s going to love it."
"You think so?" A relieved look washed over Gill’s face. Noah had never seen him so nervous.
"Come on this is Scarlet we’re talking about. She’d be happy with a flower taped to her finger. You’ve got an amazing woman who’s actually willing to marry you," he teased. The jeweler smiled at the exchange.
"I worked on this baby for over a year," Gill continued, "Well not me really, this man right here, but I did have some input."
Noah grinned, "Look at you, you’re going to get married."
"Yes well," Gill straightened, "With all this aside, you’re going to be my best man right. I mean please don’t make me ask Dylan."
Noah laughed, "I’ll be there."
"We’ll take it to go," Gill grinned and turned back to the jeweler who went to package everything.
"So this is what you meant by breakfast?" Noah asked as they exited the store with the ring securely in Gill’s inside pocket.
"Yep," he stopped, "wait before we get onto that you were telling me about Georgina pitching at your place. That girl is seriously a contender for the nut house."
"Okay, don’t be too hard on her, I think she’s going through something and I may have made matters worse actually," he frowned.
"What did you do?" Gill asked as they crossed the street to a popular breakfast place. They sat down at a table with lots of sun and Gill pulled out a cigarette.
"I told her she was still my No. 1," Noah confessed.
"Besides the fact that I’m your No. 1, dude you don’t just go around telling women they’re your No. 1. That sort of thing sets them into overdrive. It's like a love potion to them," he shook his head, "no wonder the poor girl is confused."
"So now it’s my fault."
"No, no, she’ll go back to Dylan. She always does. Kind of boring really when you think about," Gill ordered two beers and then turned back to his friend. "So you sent her on her merry way…again," Noah nodded, "I hope you set her right this time because this sort of thing is not healthy for you. I don’t give a fig what those two do, let them find someone else to form a love triangle with."
Noah laughed, "I love you man."
"I know," Gill raised his beer in salute before drinking.
"So when are you thinking of proposing?" Gill explained his elaborate proposal to him.
"Well, it’s about damn time," Noah said sitting back and stretching.
"What about me? I’m taking a break from the whole love scene for a while."
Gill nodded and opened the menu, "I’m starving, how about you?"
They had a nice long and relaxing breakfast and then Noah went back to the flat to catch up on some work. Being away from his permanent base meant there were a lot of things pending, and by the time we walked into work on Monday he wanted everything in order.
It was good actually that he had so much on his plate, otherwise he would spend the whole time thinking about Georgina and how close he had been to getting his way. He could have easily taken advantage of the situation that morning but he cared too much about her. She was in a vulnerable place and she needed a friend more than anything else.
Over the next couple of weeks they didn’t see each other, he met up with Gill and Scarlet outside their apartment and Gill kept him updated on the relationship. He was glad things were going fine, he would have to assume that she was genuinely happy and also realized that even if she wasn’t he couldn’t get involved.
Scarlet of course thought the whole thing was insane, she didn’t understand why Noah couldn’t just admit his feelings and lay it all for Georgina, but then she also didn’t understand why Georgina was being a royal pain.
To Noah, he just wanted to distance himself from the whole thing and preserve some form of his pride and sanity. He didn’t do well with messy and this whole situation screamed messy. He was usually the guy they called in to clean up the mess, not be rescued from it.
"I cannot believe you are getting married," Georgina rolled her eyes as Scarlet held out the ring again for her to inspect.
"Yeah, listen about that…" Scarlet began slowly, Georgina could tell she was struggling with something.
"One step ahead of you, of course I’m going to move out. Dylan and me are thinking of getting a place of our own. He’s tired of staying with his parents and we are pretty serious."
Scarlet’s eyes widened, "Wow, that’s a big step George. Are you sure you want to do that, I mean the guy is technically married."
"Don’t worry, we haven’t had sex, I refuse to commit adultery even if it is with Dylan."
"That’s very moral of you. I’m proud."
"I mean don’t get me wrong, but I figured it will also motivate him to finalize everything."
"Clever," Scarlet seemed doubtful, "I just don’t want you to feel like you have to rush things, I mean you can afford to get your own place."
"I know I can, but why wait."
"Have you told Noah?"
Georgina froze and then forced herself to move, she was thrilled secretly that someone had brought him up because she was dying to know how he was. She had kept her distance as he had asked and it had been difficult. She missed him and she wanted him to be a part of her life, but she still didn’t know in what context and that was why she had to stay away. "I haven’t spoken to Noah in a while, since he came back actually," Scarlet nodded, Georgina could tell that she knew as much, "How is he?"
"You know Noah, he’s fabulous as usual," she laughed as she continued to speak about him and Georgina drank up all the information. Of course, Noah was fine why wouldn’t he be. It was she who had the problem. She was truthfully falling for Noah and the separation only made her feelings stronger. She found that she thought about him constantly even when she was with Dylan. She secretly hoped that he would come over to see Gill, so she could see him. He never came and she knew why. He didn’t want to be involved in the mess that was her life. He liked things to be simple and honest.
"She’s doing what," Noah pulled the phone away from his ear and stared at it in disbelief, then he laughed.
"She’s moving in with Dylan, how many times do I have to tell you," Scarlet all but hollered into the phone, "you have to speak to her Noah, you’re the only one she’ll listen to. I mean even her mother phoned me to try to talk some sense into her but she won’t listen."
"When did she tell you all of this?"
"About a week ago."
"Great thanks for the promptness."
"Hey, I know you didn’t want to be involved and to be honest I thought she would listen to me."
"Okay let me see what I can do," he laughed again, the woman was crazy but still he didn’t think it was a good idea for her to be moving in with a married man.
He picked up his phone again and dialed her number, she answered on the second ring, "Hi, I think we need to talk," he listened, "no now. I’ll meet you at the Metro," he hung up not waiting for her response and turned the car in the direction of the stylish bar.
He arrived before her and he was glad it gave him time to devise a strategy. He knew he had to be rational with her, not let emotions get in the way. Or may he should be emotional, maybe he should tell her that he didn’t want her to move in with the sleaziest guy he knew.
He chose a table in the sun and ordered cocktails to get her in the mood for conversation. She approached the table slowly; she wore big shades so he couldn’t read her expression. He rose and embraced her lightly, he could tell it surprised her. She sat down and eyed the cocktail with suspicion.
"It's not poison, come on its Saturday, live a little," she took a sip and he heard her sigh in appreciation for the fruity drink.
"I’m surprised you called, I thought we were taking a break," she gave a short smile and then busied herself with mixing the drink with her straw.
"I know but I heard some news that made me want to talk to you."
"Let me guess, Scarlet told you about the move."
"Yes, she did," Noah supplied and tried to relax, "George, I don’t think it’s a good idea I mean…"
"You just called me George," she stopped him looking up, "you never call me that?"
"Don’t I," he shrugged, "I hadn’t noticed. Listen I am being serious here."
"So am I, how come you never called me George, or Georgie or anything. You have always been so formal with me."
Noah blew out pent up air and threw his hands up in defeat, "Okay you got me, I never shorthanded your name, so what can we get back to why I called you here."
She sobered, "I actually thought you would want to meet just for the sake of meeting, not because you feel you have to step in and save the day again."
Noah paused for thought, "That is not what I am doing here unless you need saving. Do you need saving?" She didn’t respond, "Look I’m sure Dylan will understand if you change your mind. He cares about you."
"He’s not forcing me to do anything," she defended hotly, Noah held up his hands in mock surrender, "of course. I think your family and friends are just worried that you’re rushing into things. He is still married Georgina."
"So you don’t count yourself as one of my friends. You just said your family and friends as if you don’t consider yourself one of them."
"Is that all you got from what I said," Noah sighed heavily, "maybe this was a bad idea."
"No, don’t leave me," she said thinking he was going to leave. He stopped at that. "I’m sorry okay, it’s been hard without you. You the one person I thought would always be there for me. I remember a couple of months back when I said you were not my best friend but you are. You’re my best friend Noah and I’ve tried to be normal without you. But it's hard okay," she was rambling but he let her finish, trying hard not to laugh at how incredibly insane but cute she sounded. "I don’t make sense without you, I am stupid, and clumsy, and annoying…" she trailed off, "can you please just be my friend again so I can go back to being normal, now I know that sounds self-centered but I don’t care." She was breathing hard and having stopped realized how foolish she must sound to him. He, who looked like he had just walked off a movie set.
"Well honey, why didn’t you just say so," he smiled and she melted, "I will always be there for you Georgina, I’m glad you’ve decided in what context."
She considered this and a voice screamed back that she hadn’t decided yet. "You should really stop that," she said, "being all sexy and you."
"Now let's not go down that road again, I understand I’m irresistible but I hope my looks is not going to complicate matters."
"Stop," she laughed. She had missed him, he was so light and he knew who he was and where he wanted to be. It was refreshing because Dylan was the complete opposite. He was always brooding about the divorce or complaining about having to find work.
"So what are you going to do?"
"I think I always knew I didn’t want to move in with him, I was just afraid of disappointing him."
"If he loves you, he will understand why, you can’t be living with a married man in a romantic capacity. Even if he is separated from his wife."
"Yeah, it's just so heavy, I’m not sure if this is what I signed up for."
"It is a little unfair for your first love," he sympathized, "but you wanted this."
"Is that your version of I told you so," she snapped suddenly angry.
"No, of course not, why are you having second thoughts?" She didn’t answer, "Georgina, it's okay if you have."
"I don’t know okay," she wrung her hands in distress, "I thought I always wanted to be with Dylan but maybe I never knew Dylan or maybe he’s changed. But this Dylan - this lazy, arrogant, selfish man I don’t know." Noah ran a hand through his hair, "I mean why can’t he be like you or Gill."
"Wow you’re comparing, that’s a bad sign," he called for the waiter and ordered another drink.
"He calls me all the time to check where I am, what I’m doing," she shook her head.
"Okay give the guy a break there, he had a wife that cheated on him. He’s probably terrified that the same thing will happen again."
"I understand that, but if I had to tell him I’m with you he would freak, we’d end up having a huge fight."
"Again give the guy a break, he’s not stupid, he knows something happened between us."
"Is it that obvious?"
"Georgina you practically throw yourself at me whenever you see me," she threw her straw wrapper at him and he ducked laughing, "and I encourage it so sue me, we were good together, still are," she looked at him intently, "don’t get any ideas now," and she laughed, he loved seeing her laugh. That was all there was to it, he could simply watch her, be in her presence and that was enough. He was at peace right now here with her.
A special to all my regular readers. Thank you so much for the support. Thank you Anne for the comment and interest.