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Together as One - Chapter 9

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*Vanessa's POV*

"Hey Mom!"
"Hi hun." She kisses my forehead. "Where are my grandchildren?"
"Mark took them over to Justin's place. Thought I'd spend some time with you."
She smiles, gesturing for me to follow her into the kitchen.
"Will Mark be coming?"
"Yeah."
"How's the baby, Nessa?"

I smile, remembering the ultrasound this afternoon. "We've got some great news for you!"
"Yes, and what's that?" She looks up, excited.
I shake my head, "Mark needs to be here and so do his parents. Where's Dad?"
"He should be home any minute. I'd asked him to stop by the grocer's and get something." Mom looks at me. "Let me in on the secret. Please?"
Laughing, I shake my head.

*Lucy's POV*

I scan Mom's grocery list and look across at the shelves. The tinned food aisle's next I think. Pushing the trolley full of food, I find the canned corn and put it into my cart. Milk and flavored yogurt. I push the trolley through the store. There's hardly anyone here and that's why I love doing the shopping for Mom on the mornings when I don't have any classes. I get to shop in peace.

As I decide what flavor of yogurt to choose, a guy steps up beside me. I tense up for a second before realizing he's reaching for the caramel flavored yogurt and not trying to get my attention or try anything. The scent of his cologne wafts towards me as he turns away and I inhale the manly scent.

I'm about to turn around and see who he is but my phone rings.
"Hello?" I reach towards the freezer and pick out a pack of twelve cartons and drop it into the cart. "Yes, Mom. I got them. Yup, I remembered. Okay. Bye."
Slipping my phone back into my pocket, I start to push the trolley towards the front of the store to pay for everything.
"Lucy?"
I'm halfway towards the checkout when I hear the voice, I've been dying to and dreading to hear.
I slowly turn around and see Andrew holding a carton of yogurt.
So he was the guy beside me.

"Hi."
"Hey." His eyes scan my face and I feel exposed. I glance around, myself at anything but him. "How are you?"
"Fine. You?"
He nods. "Lucy I came by the other night."
I look up, "Yeah, I was at my brother's place."
"I know." His eyes lock on mine. "I came over to Mark's place to talk to you but it was late and you'd already gone to bed."
I nod slowly. Vanessa never told me anything. I can guess why though.
"I... I wanted to apologize. I -"

I glance behind him at the shop, employee standing right by his shoulder, pretending to adjust things on the shelf.
"Can we do this somewhere else?"
He looks behind him and nods. "Are you done?"
"Yeah." My body tenses up as he approaches me, but a different type of tense. More like the excited kind.

He follows me to the checkout counter and helps me load everything onto it. He then bags everything and piles it back into the cart as I pay.
"I'll take it." He gently takes the cart from me after paying for his carton of yogurt.

I lead the way to my car, my heart pounding. I have a feeling of what he's going to say, but I really don't know how I'm going to respond. He helps me load everything into my trunk, being the perfect gentleman I know he is. Which doesn't really make things easier.

Nor does the fact that every time I look at him, I just want to melt in his arms.
"Thank you." I say quietly when he closes my trunk.
"Lucy?"

My breath catches in my throat at the way he says my name. I gulp, looking up.
"I'm really sorry. I didn't mean to hurt you. I don't normally behave the way I did that night, I just..."

He shakes his head, "I'm just very sorry. I don't want you to be upset with me. We've got along so wonderfully all our lives, I don't want to have ruined that. And I don't want Lily to lose such a great friend. So even if you don't forgive me, please don't avoid her on account of me. I'll stay away from you two if that's what you want. Just don't... avoid Lily because of me."

I bite the inside of my cheek. I knew he regretted it. I just... really, really hoped he wouldn't. Even though I knew it was never going to happen.
I give a shaky nod. "Alright."

He looks at me, his eyes holding something I can't fathom, before he takes a step back.
"Okay. Take care Lucy."
"Thanks for your help."
He shakes his head, "Don't thank me. I'll see later."
Turning around, he walks across the parking lot to his car.

*Andrew's POV*

It takes everything in me not to tell her to give me another chance. I think it's the hardest thing I do, walking away from her. I drive back to work and the day passes, each second dragging after the next.

Do I have to just admit the fact that she isn't interested? That I made a stupid mistake of thinking she'd like me? Have I just deluded myself into thinking that just because she's always been around that she'd just like me?

What made me even think that she'd like me in the first place? When I get home, Lily's sitting in front of the television, a bag of crisps in her hands.

Guess it's her show night.
"Hey."
"Hi." She looks at me and then pats the sofa beside her. "Come here."
"What?"
"Come, sit here."
"Okay." I walk over to the sofa and fall down beside her.
She chuckles. "What's wrong Drew?"
I shake my head, "Nothing."
"Andrew, really. Amuse me."

Letting out a deep breath, I glance at my baby sister. "I was out all morning, so I stopped by the grocer's during lunch. And I bumped into Lucy."
"And?" She moves closer, reaching for the television remote and pressing mute.
"And I talked to her." I tell her the whole conversation, Lucy's face dead center in my mind.

*Lily's POV*

I bite my lip. I can't remember Andrew ever looking so horrible. Sure he's dated, probably thrice. Never someone special, at least not someone I thought worthy of my big brother. He looks terrible!

Lucy ignoring him is getting to him more than he's letting on, it's pretty obvious.
I just really wish I could put the both of them in a room and make them talk.
"Will you mind if I talk to her? I won't say anything. Just see her take on all of this. I'm sure she's misunderstanding something."
"Lily, she's most probably not even interested!"

I slip my hand into his. "That's what you think. I know my best friend better. I have a whole other idea of what's going on in her head."
He stares at me quietly for a few seconds before nodding. "Just don't make things any worse. Please."
I pull him into a hug and he hugs me back tight. When he moves back, he avoids looking at me, instead getting up and heading towards the doorway.
"Have fun."

I glance at Lucy. She's definitely not paying attention to the lecture. She usually writes while the professors talking but today she's hardly filled half of the page. I nudge her with my elbow. She glances at me and I tilt my head, raising an eyebrow. Shaking her head, she turns back to looking at the front of the room.

I haven't been able to bring up Andrew in any conversations the past two days, but today we're heading out for lunch after this class. I need to find out what's going on in her head today.

"So where are we going?" Lucy asks as I link my arm through hers as we head towards our cars.
"I don't know. What do you want to have?"
She shrugs, "You choose."
"Hmmm. Okay I know. Follow me alright?"
"Is it far?"
I shake my head, smiling. "Nope."
Ten minutes later, we're seated in a cafe, Lucy and I discovered on our first week of uni. It serves by far the best sandwiches ever. Once we've ordered our drinks and meals, I turn to my best friend.
"What's wrong Luce?"
She shakes her head. "Nothing."

"Honestly Lucy, you can't expect me to believe that."
"Okay, there's something. But it's no biggie, so whatever. How's everything at home?"
"Like shit."
She stares at me, clearly startled. "What's wrong Lily?"
"What's wrong is that I'm worried about my best friend and she keeps pushing me away." Lucy looks away, a guilty expression on her face. "Andrew told me what happened at the party Lucy."
She looks up at me, her eyes searching my face.
"Why didn't you tell me?" I reach for her hand and squeeze them reassuringly.
"I..."
"He told me how you reacted. Lucy, talk to me"

She looks up at me and blinks back tears. "I kissed him back, Lily. It was until he reached from me when I suddenly realized what I was doing. I was scared."
"I know you Lucy." I pause as our food arrives and move back, letting her hands go. "I know why you reacted that way. But, I know my brother as well. And I know that he'd never just go around kissing girls."

"I know. I know. I'm not blaming Andrew for anything.. I just don't know what to do. And then I saw him the other day and he apologized, said he didn't want to come between us."
I nod, "Okay. So what'd you tell him?"
She gulps. "Nothing."
"Lucy." When she looks up at me, I give her a small smile. "I'm not going to make you do anything alright? But can you answer me truthfully about something?"
She nods.
"Do you like Andrew?"
She nods slowly. "Do you mind?"
"Me? Not at all! Why would I?"
"It's so bloody cliched! The whole best friend's brother thing!"
I shake my head, "I can't think of anyone better for my brother than you. You're like my sister Luce, of course I don't mind. And I know he'd never hurt you."

"What do you mean?"
"It's not like he's interested anymore."
"Why'd you say that?!" I ask, surprised. "He said he was sorry and that..." She stops and just looks at me.
"Lucy. Listen to me very carefully. I want you to look at yourself in a mirror and see how much this whole thing's taken a toll on you and imagine what it's done to my brother. He's in the exactly the same state as you." She opens her mouth and then closes it, her eyes holding complete surprise. "Honestly Lucy. What are you scared of? Other than.."
"I have nothing to give him Lily. Andrew's such a great guy."

"And you're a great girl! What else would he want?" I hold my hand up. "I'm not saying anything. I just want you to know that he's still interested. That you, Lucy, have to make a decision because he may have not said anything directly but, he's still waiting for your answer."

*Mark's POV*

I straighten as I'm hit with a snowball. Turning around, I can clearly see Carly's feet peeking from behind the car.
"Now where did that come from?" I rub my back. "That hurt!"
I hear giggling coming from behind the car and somewhere near me. Turning around, I scan the garden. Where's Craig?
"Now where could that have come from? Snow can't fly, can it?" I slowly approach my car, making a small snowball.
"Hmmm..." Hearing a noise behind me, I whirl around to see Craig trying to sneak up behind me.
"I caught you!"

He backs away, "but you have to catch me!"
As I start chasing him, the front door opens and Vanessa steps out.
"Come on you guys, lunch time!"
"Mom! Daddy didn't catch me yet!" Carly exclaims coming out from behind the car.
As the kids run towards her, I throw a snowball at them.
"Hey!" Carly and Craig scream in unison.
"How are you?" I ask, burying my face in Nessa's neck, my hands trailing down to rest on our baby.
"Fine. You?"
I chuckle. "Wonderful."
Smiling, she turns towards me. "Mark, I really love you."
I smile, moving a strand of her hair from her face. "And I love you more."

**************************************************************************

Comment Replies

Chapter 7

PH - Thank you so much! I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Thank you!
Hajar - hajja hajja hajja...:* yeah I know ryt? I love Carly.
Lucy - I'll glad you found out about yourself. Lol it must be weird reading about yourself! Finding out new things every time! Hope you enjoy!
Priya - Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed!
Mari - Thanks!
Pete - Thanks a lot!
Nicole - Thanks so much!
Tee - Thanks!
Macy - Thank you!
Seri - Aw, thank you so much! Your comment made my day.

Chapter 8

So sorry you guys, there were a few mistakes in this chap.
Lucy - Yeah, I forgot to mention it. Yes, you'll definitely find out more about yourself in the next chap. Thanks!
PH - Thank YOU! Gosh, I was starting to wonder where all your demands were going? I'll try my best, I promise, why do you feel something is going to happen to the baby? Okay I will. Thanks!
Macy - Thanks!
Mari - Thank you!
Priya - Don't worry, things are going to go slowly for Andrew and Lucy. I'm really glad you enjoyed the chapter! Thanks a lot!
Hajar - I know right? Lol and you'll just have to wait and find out what they name their son! Thanks a lot!
Ria - Yeah, I'm sorry I forgot to mention it this chapter. I'm glad you enjoyed it!
Tee - Thanks!
Nicole - Yup they are! Thanks!
Seri - Thank you!
Pete - Thanks!
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Published: 3/16/2012
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