562 - Emma
I am blisfully unaware of what happened until Lucien marches over to me and tells me we're leaving. After a small toilet break, caused by the strong smell of fried food hitting me in entirely the wrong way, I'm stood talking to Matt. Being completely sober in a group full of intoxicated people has never been my favourite thing to do, especially when I hardly know most of those people.
Matt's been my only rock ever since I lost track of Lucien, and he seems just as confused by Lucien's sudden need to go home.
"What? Why?" His facial expression tells me it isn't just because he's tired, a layer of anger around his eyes and the corners of his mouth dangerously tilted down. "Is everything alright?"
"Gabriel has made it awfully clear he doesn't want us here," he almost spits the name out, which pretty much tells me enough. "And to be quite frank, I don't want to be around him right now."
This must have everything to do with his comment earlier on in the night, and the looks I got from him all throughout the night. He's off his rocker drunk, which makes it a little less bad, but from what I can read off of Lucien's face, more than just a joke happened whilst we were seperated from each other.
Matt seems apologetic, his shoulders sinking as he nods. "He's... well, not dealing with things too well tonight, it seems."
"It's alright," I place a hand on Matt's upper arm, smiling weakly. "He just needs time."
"He's had plenty of time," Lucien grumbles. "I'm going to grab our coats."
As he makes his way through the crowd, Matt clears his throat. "I'm really sorry, Em."
"I know you are, but you shouldn't be. This isn't your fault. It's nobody's fault."
"If we didn't break up..," he starts out, but I shake my head.
"That would have been very unhealthy for the both of you, and besides, no one could have predicted this. We should talk about this some other time, not right now," I go in for a hug. "I hope you can still enjoy your night."
He shrugs. "I'll try."
Lucien comes back with both of our coats, his already on. He hugs Matt, and there's an exchange of words I can't hear because of the loud sounds surrounding us, but they both smile weakly as they let go of one another.
"Happy new year again, guys," Matt tells us, walking to the door with us, "get home safe, yes?"
We don't speak in the car, just listen to the radio playing bad pop songs. Lucien's anger seems to have subsided just a little, though it's quite obvious he still isn't his cheerful self he was before we left for the party.
All around, there's still fireworks going off, and a party is going on in our appartment complex when we take the elevator up, running into nicely dressed people with champagne in their hands.
"I'm running a bath," I propose when lock the door behind us. "It seems we need it."
"It's...," he stares at the clock in the hallway, too stubborn to put on the big light. "Almost three. Shouldn't we just go to bed?"
"As if you're going to go to sleep, du C. You're still almost vibrating with frustration, my love, there's no way in Hell I'm going to let our new year start off like this," I let him know, turning on the little wall light. "Besides, we both smell. A bath will do us good."
And it seemingly does. We're back in the same position we usually are, him in between my legs, that I've skillfully wrapped around him.
We don't talk about tonight for the longest time, until he finally seems to cave as I massage his scalp. "Brie's just..," he mumbles. "So... têtu. Keeps on pretending like he's fine, even when it's obvious he's not. And then he gets drunk tonight, and all of his feelings come floating back up to the surface, and he's upset when I notice! It's almost like he expects me to just be okay with this, with him undressing my girlfriend with his eyes, knowing what he must be thinking when he sees you. I'm just supposed to accept that, simply because he's my best friend?"
"No, you're not," I twirl some of his wet hair around my fingers, "but you're going to have to accept that he needs time, just like he's going to have to accept that maybe, so will you. Let's be real, it's only been two months, and tonight was the first time in ages he's seen me. He was drunk, whatever was left of the feelings he had must have hit him like a truck."
"Still no excuse," he groans. "He knows..."
"Yes, he knows it's wrong," I smile, "but that doesn't mean he'll just be able to get over it just like that. In fact, that might make it even harder. Reminds me a lot," his fingers trail over my calfs, covered in lavender-scented bubbles, "this man I know. He fell madly in love with a woman he shouldn't have fallen for, because they weren't supposed to be together."
He chuckles. "I sure as hell hope this situation won't end the way ours did," he presses a kiss to my arm. "Because I'm not losing you to Brie."
"Oh, baby," I kiss the top of his head. "I'm never going to leave you. Not for Brie, not for anyone."
"Good," he smiles, leaning his head against my chest just a little too roughly, causing not only my chest to ache, but my stomach to turn.
"Except for right now," I manage to tell him, pushing my naked body out of the water. I leave wet footprints all over the floor, almost slipping on the tile, getting to the toilet just in time. The retching sound must have alerted Lucien, as I hear his body leave the water too, and not long after I hear his feet on the floor as well.
"I'm okay," I smile, wiping my mouth with the back of my hand. "Just a little nauseous. I shouldn't have had that one slider at the party, it was... god, that tastes even worse when it comes back up."
Lucien wraps me in a towel like I'm a child, pressing a kiss to my forehead. "Let's get to bed, yeah?"
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