17. Somewhere there's a Fire

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Elle pushed the door with her shoulder and entered the office with a box of pizza and a bottle of cola in one hand and a steaming slice in the other. "Any action yet?" she mumbled with a mouthful of food. Bonnie shook her head. "Damn it. Why isn't Chloe picking up her phone?" Bonnie shrugged.

Elle strode to the messy desk and planted the pizza box and cola bottle on the pile. "You've got to clean up this place. We look like a pair of right pigs."

Bonnie cracked a small smile and leaned back in her chair, a pizza slice elegantly held between her long fingers.

"Aren't you excited about Sydney?"Elle asked, digging into her second slice.

Bonnie shrugged yet again, got off the chair and disappeared towards the kitchenette. She appeared again with two rinsed out mugs and passed one to her boss.

Elle poured the cola into the mugs and took a thirsty sip. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing." Bonnie stared hard at the swirling black pool in her mug.

"Are you feeling okay?" Elle continued, taking another careful bite of the slice.

"I'm fine," Bonnie's shoulders drooped.

Elle shoved the rest of her slice into her mouth and chewed, her mind flitting between what was up with Bonnie and why Chloe wasn't contactable. She and Bonnie were going to need a place to stay in Sydney for the week before Jared's wedding and frankly Elle couldn't afford a place for a whole week. Then there was the whole situation with Dean. That kiss in her lounge room hadn't been remotely chaste or demure, or even human. It had been all hands and feet and craving, something she'd never felt before. If Maya hadn't snuck up on them, who knows what Elle would have done. She chuckled at the idea. Thank God for Maya, or else their friendship would have been history, as well as the job.

"I can tell something's eating away at you," Elle said, feeling guilty that she'd been so focused on herself lately. "If Sydney's going to be too much then let me know. I can sort it out."

Bonnie sprang to her feet. "No, I've been looking forward to it for a month. Its jus..." her eyes moistened. "Lochy and I had a fight, and he hasn't talked to me for two whole days."

"I knew there was something."

"Why won't he talk to me, Elle?"

"What did you fight about?" Elle asked straight up. It wasn't like Bonnie and Lachlan to fight. As far as she knew this was the first fight she'd been aware of.

"He wants us to move in together!" she wailed.

"Isn't that a good thing?"

"Do we look like we are ready to settle down?" Bonnie almost snapped.

"Well," Elle shrugged. "You two are more like a married couple than most married couples."

"Elle!" Bonnie cried. "We can't afford it! He's a student and I'm starting college in few months. I'll most likely move to Sydney."

"Oh," Elle clicked her tongue.

"So I told him not for a few years at least, till I finish uni and everything, and he lost it." She sniffled into a tissue. "He thinks I'm going leave him for someone else. Can you believe that? He doesn't trust me. Me? And here I was thinking I want to have his kids one day." Then the sobs came. "I think he's going to dump me."

Elle held Bonnie in a hug. "It'll be all right, Bonnie. You'll see." Elle soothed. "He's probably just scared that the distance thing might be hard, and he just doesn't know how to tell you."

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