As I absorbed her familiar face, all my nerves ignited. While I had a lot of fanatical and frankly homocidal promises during the Noodle Incident, once the fury had drained from my body I decided to take the option of Avoidance At All Costs. I'd been pretty successful too, since I'd essentially James Bond getaway'd any time we were within hearing distance.
And now she was here, and I cursed the alcohol for interfering with my fabulous avoidance skills. Damn you, vodka!
Melissa didn't look like she was searching for a fight, though. Her dark eyes darted between the two of us and a sheepish smile curved on her face. "Yeah," she cleared her throat. "Can I talk to you for a second? Stella, I mean."
I blinked, gazing up at the girl who was almost swallowed by the soft turquoise windbreaker she wore. Her chestnut brown hair was still pulled into a loose braid that hung almost to her bellybutton, but was a little less murderous this time.
Although looks could be deceiving. There was proof enough in that some people actually thought Reese was human.
Tyler rose to his feet, and I had to restrain myself from pulling him back down and mashing my face against his (a very tempting thought indeed). Instead, I watched with a futile pout and wide, longing eyes as he was off with a wave and a smile, taking along with him all my dashed dreams of hot, drunk make out sessions.
As the door swung closed, my thoughts turned from romance to every Jackie Chan movie I'd ever seen. An intense realization washed over me that Tyler had left me very alone with the girl who only weeks before tried to murder me via sweet and sour sauce drowning.
Melissa took a tentative step forward, and immediately my arms darted out in front of my in an x-formation. "Hands! Show me your hands!" I demanded, warily eyeing the girl.
She lifted her hands in innocence, and with a distrustful eye I watched as she sat down where Tyler had been moments before. Inside I was still grieving the loss of my future husband, and really, I still wasn't convinced she wasn't hiding more noodle in her jacket pockets.
"What?" I asked slowly, eyes narrowed. "I just got the smell of noodle out of my hair, and honestly, I would like to keep it that way."
Melissa chuckled lightly under her breath, nodding her head. "Okay, yes, I admit, I might have overreacted before-"
"Might isn't the word you're looking for, it's definitely. Definitely overreacted."
"And I'm sorry, okay?" she continued, looking up at me through her thick lashes. "I mean it, I'm sorry. I was crazy angry over something else and you were just an easy target."
I fixed her with a dubious look. "Okay," I murmured reluctantly, "I'll take it. But there's a part of me that thinks that you didn't come find me out right here, right now to apologize. Call me crazy."
When I cocked a brow in question, her face betrayed that I wasn't exactly wrong.
Melissa's eyes were dark and large, set in her heart-shaped face and shining underneath the weak, yellow tinge of porch light. I didn't exactly find it surprising that Reese had given her the title of girlfriend before, she was really pretty in that understated, girl-next-door sort of way. When she didn't want to kill you, that is.
She nodded again, sniffing and rubbing her fist underneath her nose. "That's true, actually," she admitted, a half-smile touching her lips. "I just, I saw you with Reese and I-"
I groaned instinctively, finding myself sounding broken-record-like. "Reese and I are not a thing! Opposite of a thing! We don't- okay, I know it looks bad since he drove me here, but trust me, we're not even an inkling of a thing. I don't even think he's okay as a human being, let alone a friend or god, a boyfriend," I insisted with a grimace and a shudder, waving my hands as if to dismiss any other clouds of thought falling in that direction. "Trust me. Exhibit A, I haven't seen him in like an hour or something."
YOU ARE READING
Fraternizing with the EnemyChickLit
(alternatively called: slow burn, second-hand embarrassment, and shenanigans) A girl made up of short fuses, clumsy feet and copious amounts of sarcasm has to team up with her irritatingly obnoxious neighbour in the name of love (also known as ragin...