Chapter Twenty-Six

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As if I'm not the teacher but a student, I don't pay attention to class on Monday at all. It's like I fuck up more and more. If I would at least clean one mess up before making another but I just keep adding to the bunch. I need to sort out things with Mason so I can sort out things with Wes, even if it's in a different way. And when that's out of the way, I'll have to figure something out so things with Oli will stop being weird. I wish that we never had kissed so we'd still be normal friends. Except I don't. Kissing him has made me feel a way that friendship doesn't make me feel but that's another mess I can't deal with right now. I need to start figuring things out one by one before messing up more and more.

Feeling myself drown in all those things that shouldn't be there because I'm not supposed to let anything get me down, I get a little mad. And by the end of the day, as I exit the school which is supposed to make me feel happy because work is over, I'm not only a little mad. I'm more than mad and I decide that I'm not gonna let Mason do this to me. He can not stand in the way of my personal happiness, my business that I have built – it's none of his business! So I take the bus to his office, take the elevator up to his floor and try to calm down to the point where he will at least be able to understand me. I take a deep breath and look around in the elevator. The glass walls let me watch everything going on on the other floors and I remember my first time being here, full of hope and anticipation. Never would I have expected then that I would feel like I feel now being here. It's always crazy how things can change without us seeing it coming.

I don't even look at the secretary this time and surprisingly, she doesn't stop me either. Mason is on the phone but as soon as he sees me speeding inside like some sort of angry animal (which is what I must look like) he tells whoever is on the phone that he'll call them back. As if things weren't bad enough, he decides to make it even worse. "Beverly..." I give him a mad glare. "Sit down." "No, I'm not gonna sit down. I'm gonna stand and I'm gonna hover over you like this to make you hopefully feel at least a little bit scared so it's very visible to you that I could crush you" I say, my voice higher and girlier than I expected and intended for it to be and he leans back a little and raises one eyebrow.

"What can I do for you?" "Listen to me very carefully, Mason. I'm not gonna let you do this to me any longer. We want to move forward with the business and we can't do that with you in the picture. And I must be annoying you just as much as you're annoying me." "Compliments don't help you, Beverly." "Shut up, I'm talking. This is the last time I come here but I won't leave without you telling me what you want in exchange for your part in our project. You name your price now, I'm sick and tired of having to deal with this." He smirks. "You offer me something." "Since you apparently cream your pants at the thought of everyone out there thinking you're the most noble person in the world who is also single and very desirable, I'd try and find a way to tell everybody just that. You get me an interview somewhere or something like that and I'm gonna fill my pretty mouth with all those lies about you." "You'd do that? You wouldn't stay true to yourself, Beverly and that does seem like something you feel very strongly about to me." "Anything to get my company back." "Don't forget your little friend." "I'm also doing this for her. She doesn't deserve to be cut up in your bullshit." He smiles fakely, then holds out his hand. "Deal." I raise an eyebrow. "That was easy." "I don't want your pity business, Bev, I just want to mess with you one last time." I roll my eyes and shake his hand without even looking at him. "E-mail me the details."

My heels click on the way up the stairs to our apartment. I fumble for my keys on the last few steps and as I look up to unlock the door, I see Oli hovering over me. "Do we have a date that I forgot about?" I ask, simply because I don't know what else to say even though I am well aware of the fact that we're currently way too awkward with each other to have set a time to meet. "I was actually waiting for Daley but ... you can let me in too and we can hang out." I nod slowly without letting my facial expression change, then unlock the door to avoid looking back at him. He follows me inside and takes off his leather jacket.

"Are you okay?" he asks. I look at him for moment, remembering the last time we were discussing my mood and realise that one of my biggest problems is being solved. My lips curl into a smile and I look up at him with a brighter expression. "Actually, I just made a deal with Mason that will get him off our project" I grin, now really letting it hit me. His face lights up too and he spreads out his arms. "You really did it?" I nod with a huge smile. "That's amazing, Bev!" he says and flings his arms around me and all of the sudden, the awkwardness is gone, we're friends and he's happy for me. What was I thinking, assuming a stupid drunk kiss would destroy that? On the other hand, I don't want to forget about it but how is that possible if only avoiding and ignoring it makes it even possible for us to be the way we are now?

I decide that now that he's here and now that we're okay, at least more okay than before, I should just bring it up. "I just want to ask you something..." I say and hang up my jacket, not looking at him as I continue to speak. "Yeah?" he wonders and sits down on one of the stools at the table in the kitchen. I start making coffee so I can keep my back turned to him. "About that night we got the tattoos..." I start and he chuckles. "Yeah, about that, I wanna talk about that too ... I mean, if that's what you want." I turn around and finally make eye contact with him. "I do." He grins. "What a commitment." I laugh. Even though it was only for a short amount of time, I have missed him and hanging out with him like this because all my issues in the back of my mind are nothing once Oli makes me laugh. Wow, we really need to discuss that kiss.

"Should we just forget about it?" I ask because that doesn't imply any judgement from my side. His eyes widen a little. "Do you want to?" I stare back just as confused. "I don't know, do you?" "Not really." We both smile. "So, that means..." Oli starts but stops as we both hear keys turn in the door. "So I'm thinking Oli and I have a date but then..." Daley starts but as he closes the door, he sees him sitting at the table. "Oh, hey, mate. Did I just lose you to Bev for the afternoon?" I grin and take my coffee. "Don't let me get in your way" I say and make my way into my room, only daring to smile like an idiot once I have turned my back to them again.

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