David didn't notice me descending the staircase or standing in the living room doorway, watching him take deep breaths with his head in his hands. The clock on the wall read two thirty seven AM, and I felt blessed that Aaliyah's dad hadn't woken up. He would beat David's ass if he knew he was here.
"Dave," I said to get his attention, holding back my laughter when he jerked his head up like I just shot a gun. He stood immediately and walked towards me, wrapping me in the tightest hug I had ever received. It felt so surreal to be in his arms again; although we were only separated for three days, I thought he would never talk to me again. This kind of progress was unexpected but beautiful.
Pulling back halfway, he asked, "Can I talk first?"
I nodded, tucking a piece of hair behind my ear and letting him pull me back to the large leather couch he was once seated on. We sat next to each other, his arm wrapped over the top of my shoulders, and he began to speak. "I am so sorry. I should've listened to you in the first place, but I reacted with my heart instead of my head. I have no excuse for what I did, and I'm sorry."
"Okay," I nodded, not really caring about his apology. I understood where he was coming from. Even if his actions were a bit rash, and even though he broke my heart into a million tiny, tiny pieces, hearing that he loved me made me okay. I wasn't so worried about his apology. "Is what you said in the video true?"
There was silence for a few seconds, then David said, "I love you, Sloane."
Just like that, everything was perfect. Three in the morning, in my best friend's dad's house, awkward and quiet and scary as hell and perfect.
"I love you too," I giggled, leaning forward to press my lips against his. "I love you so much it's unreal. And also, I should've told you I was writing the article. That was my mistake. You were just an easy person to dissect."
"So you were using me?" he teased, popping up an eyebrow with a crooked smile on his face.
"If you don't shut up, I'll take it back," I sarcastically smiled at him, ruffling his already messy brown hair. "How did you even know I'd watch the video tonight?"
"I knew you wouldn't," he explained, then laughed, "But I also knew your nosy ass friend couldn't help herself."
"Hey!" Aaliyah gasped from behind the wall, where she had been listening the whole time.
"I knew you were back there, genius," David sassed, sending me a smirk. I playfully rolled my eyes, grabbing him by the collar of his jean jacket and pulling him in for a final kiss.
"You have to go," I instructed, standing up and dusting off my flannel pajamas. "If you want to live, Aaliyah's dad cannot see you here. He thinks of me like a daughter, and let's just say I've not been at my peak the past few days."
David winced, standing up next to me and grabbing my hand, lightly playing with my fingers to avoid eye contact. "I'm sorry," he said. "I was stupid."
"It wasn't the first time, and it definitely won't be the last," I joked, placing one more kiss to his lips, then taking him out of the living room. He said goodbye to Aaliyah, who sarcastically waved him off, and led me out to his Tesla. It was freezing outside. David must've noticed my arms instinctively wrapping around my waist because he quickly shed his jacket and placed it over my shoulders. I giggled, "David, I'm going back inside in ten seconds."
"Bring it to me tomorrow, yeah?" he smugly smiled at me, placing a kiss on my cheek. "You're coming back, right?"
"Hmm, I don't know," I pretended to think for a second, then asked in confusion, "You aren't going to call the cops on me, are you?"