Georgina opened her eyes and turned over. She couldn’t sleep. All she could think about was how had things gotten so complicated. Noah still slept beside her. She hesitated only a moment before she shifted closer and wrapped her arms around his waist. She felt him shift. "Are you awake?"
There was a moment of silence then she felt him move, "It's five in the morning."
"Are you going on the retreat?" She whispered into his back. She heard him sigh and then silence, "I only ask because it would be strange if you didn’t come."
Noah turned towards her, "And if I bring Francis," he watched as she digested this.
"You would bring Francis after tonight?"
"It depends was tonight just your way of ensuring that I don’t bring anyone?"
"Stop being such a smartass."
He turned back around, "One thing about Francis, she doesn’t wake me up at five in the morning," he groaned as she pressed herself against him. "Can we just agree to disagree? I won't come on the retreat because it’s a waste of my time and I won't watch while you try to get your claws into a married man," Georgina gasped, "It's not as simple as that."
"Isn’t it? Then I must be an idiot," she felt him relax as he drifted back to sleep, "Noah Ryan," she persisted.
"I work really hard," he groaned, "I am always tired. I only get this time. Can I please sleep?"
Georgina grew quiet. She tightened her arms and felt his body relax. When she thought about it she had never been closer to any man than she had been to Noah. He had always been her friend, and over the years he had grown into more than that. She trusted him unconditionally with every aspect of her life and now there was a distance between them that she couldn’t explain. It was strange how she had been out of sorts ever since she had realized that he was deliberately putting distance between them. She wanted to make things right between them and she wanted him to understand where she was coming from. Did she judge herself on how he perceived her, that was something that she wasn’t ready to tackle.
Noah turned back towards her and clasped her face, "Alright, I will give you this opportunity to explain to me what you want to happen and what you expect me to do about it."
Georgina had to ignore the nervous flutter that coursed through her. When Noah touched her she felt something. Overbearing and completely taking over her senses whenever he reached out to her. He was stroking her side now and she closed her eyes against that sensation trying to collect her thoughts.
"I want you to support me in whatever I choose to do. We’re friends. In fact we’re more than friends. I expected you of all people to be here for me, especially when I need you now more than ever," Noah listed to her and although it was difficult he refrained from commenting. "I have always loved Dylan. You know that, you yourself told me to go for it before it is too late, yet the very next moment you are hurling insults at me," she looked at him, "Do you understand how confusing that is?"
"I understand and I promise I will stop my confusing ways and be nothing but supportive from now onwards," he pulled her close and kissed her forehead. "I’m sorry I haven’t been there for you," he grinned, "but you didn’t have to sleep with me to get my support."
She shoved him but laughed, "I wanted to be with you."
"Tonight anyway," he said and turned on his back to stare up at the ceiling. "As much as I hate to say it I think we should stop this."
Georgina laid her chin on his bare chest, "Am I hearing correctly? You want to stop having sex?"
"With you anyway," he teased. He jumped out of bed, "Okay I’m going to have a bath. You can have one in the spare bathroom. Afterwards I know a great place that opens early for breakfast."
Georgina raised the covers to her nose, "Do we really have to get out of bed?"
"That’s your punishment for waking me up," Noah shot at her as he went into the bathroom.
Georgina wrapped her hands round the hot coffee mug and looked about shocked that the restaurant was so busy at 6 in the morning. "This place is great. You always know the best places."
"I do, don’t I?" He grinned across at her. "Now Miss Georgina please tell me you have a plan," she raised a questioning brow, "Come, a POA. How do you plan to get this guy to realize that you are in fact the girl of his dreams and it's been you all this time."
"You make it sound like an insurmountable task," she looked down into her coffee and took a sip. "Well I didn’t really think I would need a plan. I mean if we just spend time together I’m sure…"
"You spent the whole of varsity thinking that way and lo and behold he married someone else," he shook his head, "try again."
She studied him trying not to let his chocolate-brown eyes distract her, "You could help me."
Noah laughed, "No try again. I am not getting involved in this. I have better things to do with my time. No offense."
"There’s that honesty I love so much," she snapped and ran a hand through her long brown hair. "Do I really need a plan? It sounds a bit immature to me."
Noah leaned back in his chair and covered his face with his hands before dropping them. Then he looked past her and stood up. "There he is," he enthused throwing an arm round Gill.
The two men sat back down. Gill grinned at the two of them, "So this is where you were the whole night."
Georgina glared at him. "Who invited him?"
"We always have breakfast here on Thursday’s," Noah explained to her, "It's tradition."
"What are we talking about?" Gill asked after he had ordered.
"How Georgina is going to convince Dylan to leave his wife and child for her." Noah said bluntly.
"I don’t expect him to leave his daughter," Georgina defended, "I would never ask that of him."
"He was kidding," Gill explained shaking his head, "what type of people do you take us for?" He turned it round on her and watched her squirm. "Don’t answer that," he shook his head chuckling to himself.
"Forget him for a moment," Noah held a hand up in front of Gill’s face, "you don’t want to plan this, fine then I propose that you go to the retreat. I will come God help me, and after the weekend if you hadn’t gotten some sort of encouraging sign then you can consider moving on."
"That sounds fair," Gill mused, "what would be an encouraging sign?"
"A kiss," Noah supplies, "a deep private conversation where he admits to having some form of intimate feelings for you."
"Jealousy," Gill suggested.
Georgina watched them banter about how she should live her life and couldn’t help the nervous laughter that erupted. She raised her cup to her lips to stop it.
"You don’t agree?" Gill asked.
"No, I think it’s a good idea, I need to know if there is potential."
"And if there isn’t," Gill prodded, interested in her answer.
"Then I will accept that and move on. Maybe now is not the right time for us."
"That is not accepting it," Noah informed her, "that’s putting your life on hold again if Dylan doesn’t want to be with you."
Georgina grew quiet, that was a harsh realization. "I will cross that bridge when I get there," she stood, "and I change my mind I don’t want your support and I don’t need it," she flounced off leaving them laughing at her outburst.
"The truth hurts."
"Yes, it does," Noah agreed watching her walk outside. "but give me a moment," he stood up and went after her. "Hold on," he caught her arm and turned her back to him, "you really need to stop doing that."
"What sticking up for myself?" She was angry and it was cute.
"No, you need to calm down and take what we are saying as serious concern for this path you have chosen."
"So when you said you would support me that was a lie. You brought me here so you and your sidekick could corner me."
"I’m glad you think I’m not the sidekick," he said, the corners of his mouth twitching as he tried to control himself from laughing. He knew she wouldn’t take lightly to that.
"Oh forget it," she moved to the side of the curb and looked out for an available taxi.
"I am supportive, but don’t expect me to lie down and watch you either make a fool of yourself or get hurt. I’m not signing up for any of that," he paused choosing his words, "to me and to Gill and Scarlet the situation seems a little shaky and sorry to say it high school. We care about you. We always have, we had to watch you cry when he left. We saw how long it took you to move on. So excuse us when we caution you," he looked down at her, "but we will be there for you. I will be there for you, whether it's to celebrate or to wipe away your tears."
She hugged up fiercely, "You need to stop saying the right thing."
"I doubt it will change how you feel," he said gravely, placing his chin on her head.
"What did you mean?"
"Nothing, don’t worry about it," he hailed her a cab and waited till she had driven off before going back inside.