Chapter 22: The Birthday Breakfast

27.4K 869 53

"Happy birthday!" I heard Darian shout from the hallway.

"Dude," I heard Nathan groan. "Shut up, it's not even noon."

I laughed to myself as they began to bicker. Getting out of bed, I started to get dressed. Today was Nathan's birthday, and of course, he's having a party. Part of me doesn't want to go, seeing as we have barely talked since my date with Hayden a couple of days ago, but I knew Darian and Samara would be disappointed in my absence.

Putting on some high waisted skinny jeans and a green off the shoulder sweater, I started to make my way to the kitchen.

Darian was at the counter, beating some eggs and sizzling some bacon. He looked at me and gave me a warning look. "It's Nathan's birthday and I woke him up, so be nice."

I rolled my eyes as I sat at the round kitchen table that was right beside our balcony door. As I looked outside and saw the snow come down on the Toronto skyline, I gave a small smile. "I'll be on my best behaviour."

Right on cue Nathan stumbled into the kitchen, his hair messy, and stubble showing, clearly forgetting to shave the night before. He scratched his head as he looked around the room, when he saw Darian making breakfast he smiled to himself and took a seat across from me.

"Happy birthday," I said as I watched him stare at the bacon longingly.

He looked at me, confused, seeing as it was the first time I spoke to him positively since the date from Hell.

Looking to see if there was any hint of sarcasm on my face and finding none, he nodded his head. "Thanks."

"Do you want some coffee?" I asked, pointing to the coffee maker with my thumb.

"Sure," Nathan said.

I got up from the table and grabbed three mugs from the cupboards, assuming Darian wanted a coffee as well. As I pressed the START button, Darian creeped up behind me. "You guys are being so awkward."

"It's not like I can help it!" I whispered back, flicking him in the shoulder.

Darian rubbed his shoulder and sighed. "Why are you guys mad at each other again?"

His question made me stop. Why was I mad at Nathan? I mean, the horrible date wasn't his fault. But he had been rude to me at the gym and refused to talk to me afterwards. Even the day after the date, I had tried talking to him and he brushed me off.

Darian gave me a look until I'd answer his question. I rolled my eyes and simply said quietly, "Because he sucks."

My roommate rolled his eyes and started bringing the food to the table. "Breakfast is served!"

Grabbing the coffees, I too, made my way to the table.

As we began to eat, Nathan stopped mid bite and smirked. "So Audrey, are you bringing Hayden to the party?"

Darian inhaled tightly and gave his brother a pointed stare. Setting his fork down with a gentle calm, he said, "Audrey and Hayden will not be attending your party together. And since Audrey is too stubborn to admit it, I will."

Nathan placed his half eaten slice of bacon down on his plate and leaned back in his chair, crossing his arms and tilting his head like a curious puppy.

I kicked Darian under the table, but he kicked me back with a smile and returned speaking to his brother. "Hayden asked her to your party yesterday and she declined his invitation."

"Darian!" I whined. "I didn't want you to tell anyone! Samara will be mad at me."

Nathan chuckled and stared at me with a smirk. "Now why would you decline a date with the man you confessed to wanting to date in the first place?"

"I told you I only said Hayden because I knew my sister was never going to let it go!" I hissed, wanting nothing more but to smash my eggs in his stupid pretty face.

Darian put his head in his hands. "Please, can we solve this like mature adults? Yes, Audrey, Samara will be mad that you declined a date with Hayden but that's only because she thinks he's hot. And yes, Nathan, Audrey did say she wanted to date Hayden, but after that date, I wouldn't want to date him either. So can we let this go?"

In sync, Nathan and I crossed our arms and huffed out the word, fine.

We carried on with breakfast, although, it was very awkward. Nathan and Darian carried out most of the conversation, mainly because I didn't want to intrude, but also because I was afraid to say the wrong thing and spark another fight.

After breakfast, Darian left the apartment because he was going to set up Nathan's party at Justin's house, seeing it was the biggest in the friend group. Meanwhile, I stayed behind and cleaned up.

The dishes were done and the leftovers were placed in the fridge, when I got a phone call from Samara.

"YOU SAID NO TO HAYDEN?"

I rolled my eyes and headed towards my room. "It wasn't right, Sam. It didn't feel right."

"Was the date really that bad?" She sighed in defeat.

Closing the door behind me, I sat on my bed and stared on the floor. "He didn't think writing was a real job, I know that's little and stupid, but it's my dream. At least Noah pretended to support me."

"True," she agreed with me, which genuinely took me by surprise. "I'm not mad you know. Darian texted me saying you're worried I would be mad. I just want you to be happy."

I smiled and nodded my head. "I know, but the day will come where I'll find the man for me."

"I know you will," she paused for a moment. "Come to my place to get ready? There was a sale at that boutique you like and I ended up buying two dresses. One for me and one for you."

"Sounds great," I replied. "See you in a few."

The Art of the Bartender's HeartRead this story for FREE!