Friends . . . Without Benefits?

Niall and Julia have been friend since they were knee high to a grasshopper. They did everything together; including moving to London for college. Julia's feeling for Niall have been developing rapidly but she is afraid that if she acts on them that Niall won't feel the same way and it will wreck their friendship. Niall isn't one to ruin a perfectly good friendship for a relationship, he's been offered the chance before. But, when he makes a suggestion to Julia, only acting in recent events, that she isn't happy with will he make that change or could he live with the guit and regret? (I apologize for my awful blurb, I really can't write them)

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2. Chapter 2

Chapter 2



Julie's P.O.V



'No,' Niall groans as I start to turn up the radio. 

'Woo-hoo!' I cheer, when I hear the song beginning to play on the radio. 

'Oh, no,' Niall groans again, starting to slide downwards in his seat realising the singing comes next, 'Please don't -'

' "I stole a key, took a car down town where the lost boys meet, took a car down town and took what they offered me",' I sing along to the song, much to Niall's disliking. 

'- sing,' Niall sighs. Realising that I wasn't going to stop, he pulls down the window on the passenger side of the car, I assume, hoping the sound of the wind would block out the song that was being played. 

After my "fantastic" singing and attempt at dancing, but it was limited because I was driving after all, Niall pulls the window back up and diverts his attention back to me. I just laugh at his face before speaking. 

'Aww, did Niall have a bad time?' I tease while changing the station and turning the volume down a bit. 

'Yes, a very bad time actually. You know I don't Coldplay,' Niall moans, 'I think you do it just to annoy me,'

I still don't understand why he doesn't like them! After me listening to them for years he doesn't like them. You'd think that he would he just become accustomed to them at this stage, but no. He still hates them as much as he did when I started to listen to them.

'No, I just like them, and because I like them I sing their songs. Whether you like them or not,' I laugh, poking his leg. God, we have a thing for poking today. Don't we?

'Yeah, yeah, whatever,' Niall says, trying to straighten out his beige chinos where I poked them, 'Agh, you messed the pants. That's not good!'

All he gets is a laugh in response. Then, when I finally compose myself, I say, 'you really are a girl, you know that?'

'No, I didn't know that. I always thought I was a guy. Oh well, you learn something new everyday!' Niall answers, as if I made perfect sense. 

'You are crazy!' I giggle, while indicating right to pull into a housing estate just across the road from the college Louis was attending. 

'I kno- WAIT! I AM A GUY! I'VE HA- . . . Eh, yeah, all man here,' Niall exclaims, getting way too into character. 

'I really don't want to know, Niall,' I cringe at the thought of what he was going to say. Wait, that wasn't a hint of . . . Jealousy, was it? No, no, not at all. 

Okay, I know he kissed me but that shouldn't change anything, right? Especially this quickly. I don't know, I've never had any feelings towards Niall, until really recently. Don't get me wrong, he is really hot alright, but we've been friends forever. I've never really thought of him in that way. 

Oh, look, we're here. How do you park without realising it!? 

'Niall! We're here!' I say loudly, shaking his shoulder. 

'Well then, what are we sitting her for!? Let's go party!' Niall laughs, opening his door.

'Lets go then!' I say hopping out of her car and locking the doors when Niall is out and putting my keys and phone into my clutch. 

The two of us bound up the driveway and knock of the door to Louis' house. Outside we could feel the bass of the music pounding through the door. After a minute or two of waiting the door swings open to reveal Louis with a glass of some alcoholic beverage or another in his hand and sounding like he has a few already. 

'Niiiaall! Julieee! How are youuu guys!?' Louis slurs putting his drink on the ground and pulling the two of us into his small and very cramped apartment. He then takes my clutch and throws it on the ground next to his drink, 'You can't dance with that thing!'

'Woah Lou, how many people can you fit in here!?' I laugh, taking in the amount people around me, 'This usually barely fits our crowd!'

'Well, you know, when aaaall' - he signals all around the room, stumbling a bit in doing so - 'the furniture is out of the way, there is pleeenty of room for dancing!' Louis explains, dancing at the end to demonstrate his point. 

'You've gotten the party vibes going alright! I'll see you later Lou!' Niall laughs, shouting slightly over the music and making his way into the kitchen, pulling me behind him and opening the fridge to reveal it stocked with an array of different coloured bottles full of different alcoholic beverages, 'what are you having?'

I take one look into the fridge and laugh, 'Jesus almighty, it's like being behind a bar!'

'Tell me about it! That'll all be gone in a couple of hours though,' Niall replies, still laughing at the sight of the fridge. 

'Wait! He doesn't have . . . He does! He bought cranberry juice!' I shout excitedly, pulling a carton of juice out of the fridge and running off though the crowds of people to find Louis. 

After weaving through all the people I eventually spot Louis in the middle of a crowd of people in the living room attempting to dance, he's not great if I'm honest, so to save him the embarrassment I run up to him and throw my arms around his neck and start to plant kisses all over his face, 'LOU! YOU BOUGHT ME CRANBERRY JUICE! THANK YOU!'

'Yes, I did indeeeed Julie-wulie! Wouldn't want you not drinking, would we? You' - he taps my nose - 'are fun when you're drunk,' He then places his arms on my waist, trying to get me to dance with him but I push them off. 

'Hey! I'm not drunk yet!' I smirk at Louis before taking a step backwards, 'you might be, but I'm not. So I'm going to go and get some drink in me then maybe we'll see about dancing!'

'Drink fast then!' He laughs, twirling me around and pushing me towards the kitchen. 

I walk into the kitchen and scan the room for a cup, after spotting an empty plastic one on the counter I take it and fill it most of the way with cranberry juice then, after pulling a bottle of vodka and a measure out of the cupboard beneath where my cup was, I pour a measure of vodka into the cup and take a drink then set off to find someone, anyone, to talk to. 

Several vodka and cranberries, a half a bottle of WKD and a Jack Daniels and coke later I set off to find Louis once again, this time a dance in mind. 

'Louis! Where are you?' I sing drunkenly. Then stop someone to ask have they seen him, they point to a couple of people standing at the kitchen table and say that that's him there. I skip (well, a version of drunk skipping) over to them and stand in next to Louis and grab his hand and start to pull him towards the living room. 

'So you'll dance now, will you?' Louis asks with a smirk on his face. 

'Obviously!' I giggle, still pulling at his hand like a five year old. 

'Let's go then!' He laughs and pulls me out of the kitchen without as much as a goodbye to the guy he was talking to. 

'Who was that?' I ask, stumbling a bit up to the iPod that controlled the music and fumbling to find a song that we could dance to. 

'Just a guy, you wouldn't know him,' Louis answers, taking the iPod from me and switching the song to "Bounce - Calvin Harris ft. Kelis", 'if I'm not mistaken you like this song don't you?'

'Woo-hoo! Let's go Lou-Lou!' I prise him away from the iPod and pull him into the middle of the room and the two of us start to dance. 

You're probably wondering why the two of us are making such a big deal about dancing together and, you see the thing is, there isn't really an explanation. It just started once at a party about two years ago and ever since then it's like a tradition for us to dance together, but the two of us have to be drunk. It's like an unwritten party rule. Nothing exciting really, we just don't want to break the "tradition" I guess. 

About half way through the song, me and Louis are bopping away making a total fool of ourselves when someone comes up behind me and wraps their arms around my waist. Louis just smiles and nods at them and walks away leaving the two if us together. I just automatically assume it's Niall because, who else would it be? So I spin around, steadying myself when I land by wrapping my arms around their neck to be met by not Niall, but the last face I want to see, Seán's. 

'Long time to see Julie,' He says, smiling a little at me. 

'Seán! Why are you here?' I ask stepping back, stumbling in doing so, as far as I could go without bumping into someone (which wasn't far seeing as there were still loads of people here).

'Little birdie told me that Louis was having a killer party and that you'd be there. So next thing I knew I found myself at the airport in front of the ticket desk,' he laughs a little while taking hold of my hand and attempting to pull me out of the crowds. 

'Where are you taking me?' I ask, planting my feet firmly on the ground, not planning on leaving until he explains. 

'Somewhere a bit quieter. You don't know anywhere like that, do you?' He questions, waiting until I start to walk to walk himself. 

I sigh heavily before giving in and pulling him through the crowds of people, into the kitchen, stopping to get a bottle of WKD on the way because all the alcohol seemed to just rush out of my body when I saw Seán, and out the back door to the garden where is was slightly quieter than inside. 

'It's quiet, what do you want?' I demand turning around to face him and taking a swig from the bottle that was in my hand. 

'To talk. That's all. You don't even have to talk, you just need to listen. Please?' Seán asks, almost pleading. 

'Right, okay, talk away and I'll lend you an ear,' I answer, sitting myself on a step that leads down towards the garden and setting the bottle down next to me. 

'Thats all I want. Actually, all I wanted to say was that I'm sorry. I'm not good with all this expressive stuff so it's just as plain as that,' He says, barely able to look me in the eye. 

That one little word, "sorry", I never knew how much of an effect it could have on people. The sound of the words rolling off his tongue brought a smile to face immediately, it made me stand up walk over to him and hug him. Something that if you even suggested this time yesterday I would have called you an idiot for thinking about. 

'What are you sorry for?' I whisper into his ear while hugging him, just to make sure he wasn't just saying it. 

'I'm sorry for cutting you out, I'm sorry for using you, I'm sorry for not returning your calls, I'm sorry for not replying to your texts, I'm sorry for having to make you keep all this crap from Niall, I-I guess what I'm trying to say is I'm really really sorry for everything that has gone in between us since . . . You know, what happened,' He answers pulling back from me and looking down to the ground. 

Okay, yes, I've been so unspeakably angry at him for the past year. After all the calls, the texts, the conversations, the laughs we had together, he just vanishes, not a word from him. I've told myself, and told myself time and time again that I'm mad at him and that I wouldn't forgive him but I knew, I knew that deep down inside me somewhere there is a part of me that seriously missed him and I knew I would forgive him in a heartbeat. No matter what.  

'Well you seem to know what you've done wrong,' I tease, trying to lighten the situation while picking up my bottle again and taking another drink, 'Why now? Why not yesterday? Why not last week?'

He sighs and runs a hand through his hair, 'I don't know, I . . . I've no idea,'

I think quickly, racking my brains for a comeback; it doesn't even have to be witty, 'So in other words you only grew a pair of balls recently?' 

Yeah, that sounds alright. 

Wait, is that him laughing? Not a light laugh that you do to be polite, but the proper belly laugh that you do when your best friend says something funny. 

And thats exactly why he was laughing. 

'You know I've really missed you, Julie,' He answers, still trying to control his laughter and throwing and arm around my shoulder. 

'Good to know you have, because I've been seriously lost without my bestie!' I say in a falsetto voice while nudging him with my shoulder, causing us to stumble a bit and fall onto a small patch of grass that was luckily there, otherwise it would have hurt so much more, but the whole left side of my top and skirt was now sopping with the remains of my drink. 

The two of us burst into fits of laughter while still lying on the grass, Seán's arm still slung around my shoulders. 

I smack Seán on the chest before rolling into my side and looking at him, 'You made me fall AND spill my drink! I hate you!'

He tries to hold back a smirk while putting his free hand on his heart and pretending to be hurt, 'that cut real deep Julie. I can't believe you said that, after me apologising and everything,'

'Well that's just how I roll, I guess. I thought you'd have figured that out by now,' I smirk at him, prodding him with my index finger on his stomach.  

'Well I clearly haven't,' he retorts joining me by lying on his side also, his eyes quickly darting down my skirt, up to my top and back to my face, 'you know you're all wet?'

I couldn't help but let my dirty mind get the better of me and I couldn't resist the temptation of embarrassing him before he realised what he had actually said, 'How would know you such a fact like that? And just for the record, I am not "all wet" , my clothes are soaked with my drink though,'

Even in the dark I could tell he had turned a deep shade of crimson with sheer and utter embarrassment. He just lay there his mouth opening and closing as if trying to say something but he couldn't get a sound out. When his embarrassment subsides he manages to splutter out a barely coherent sentence.

'I . . . Y-You know I didn't . . . Y'know, mean that,' He sputters, then after a few seconds, starts to laugh, 'you haven't changed a bit!'

I push his shoulder than wasn't on the ground and start to laugh with him, 'I was joking simpleton! I obviously know my clothes are wet, I'm wearing them! Good, I don't want to have changed. I want to stay exactly the way I am,'

He smiles and me, seeming to have ignored everything else I have said, then says, 'Good, because I don't want you to change. You are perfect just the way you are,'

'Shut up,' I say, with a slight smile forming on my lips, 'you think what you want, though,'

'I will, thank you very much,' he smirks and quickly takes the chance to place a quick, but gentle, kiss on my lips. 

Uh-oh. First Niall, now Seán? What kind of a person am I? What kind of a person kisses two people in the space of a few hours? What kind of a person even let's that happen?

My brain is gone a mile a minute with all these thoughts, and a million and one others are running through my head. My chain of thoughts are interrupted by someone clearing their throat. 

Please no, please no, please not . . . 

'Niall!' Sean exclaims, the two of us standing up quickly and brushing ourselves off a bit then Seán walks towards Niall to give him a "man-hug" (it's just a normal hug but they call it that not to hurt their ego).

Much to both mine and Seán's surprise Niall rejects the hug and looks straight over Seán's shoulder at me with a look of hurt and anger in his amazingly blue eyes. 

Oh shit, he saw. 

'I'll see you around. Both of you,' Niall spits, turning quickly and storming off back inside. 

Seán quickly turns to face me, a look of worry painted all over his face, 'you don't he saw?'

'Of course he saw, Niall is never like that!' I all but shout and kick my high-heels off and start to sprint into the house and after Niall. 

When I'm inside the house I hear Seán's voice behind me but I pay no attention to him and keep going. I spot Louis just about to walk up the stairs so I quickly run to him and grab his arm, 

'LOUIS! NIALL? HAVE YOU SEEN HIM?' I shout over the music at him, not letting him past the second last step of the stairs. 

'Julie? I thought you would have went with Niall. He's just after walking out the front door, no idea where he's going without you though,' Louis answers, sound pretty confused but I haven't time to explain so I mutter a thank you and head for the door. 

I swing the door open to reveal Niall and some slut at the end of the driveway breaking apart and whatever that thing was giggling at something he said. I step outside the door and Niall see's me, on the verge of tears, and steps back from the girl and meets my eyes. A tear quickly escapes my eye and I was about to turn around and go back inside when I hear Niall's voice. Sounding a lot more ticked off than I expected. 

'You know how it feels then? It's not nice, right?' Niall shouts down the drive to me. 

'Niall! Just listen to me! You ran off like a little pansy before I got a word in!' I shout back, taking a small step forward. 

'Oh yeah? And what would you have said? "it's not what it looks like"? Right, because I'm an idiot and I don't know a kiss when I see one,' Niall retorts, also stepping forward a bit. 

'That's not it, but you could have at least let me tell you that I didn't initiate anything. I'm not trying to get Seán in trouble but that's what happened,' I answer, lowering my voice a little while closing the gap between us again. 

'I'm supposed to believe that? That's not what it looked like. Just get that image in your head and then maybe you'll understand why that's so hard to believe,' Niall says speaking at normal volume now, the space between us reasonably normal. 

'Try yes? After everything that the two of us have braved together you're just going to let a stupid misunderstood kiss fuck it all up?' I question, anger boiling inside me once again. 

Then he laughs. Yes, laughs. It's not a funny laugh. It's that laugh you do when you get really frustrated and you need something to do, 'Misunderstood? I don't think a kiss can be misunderstood, Julie. And I thought you out of all people would be smart enough to know that,'

'No, it can't be, but someone can misunderstand the circumstances,' I say, throwing my arms up in the air in frustration. 

'It doesn't matter what the circumstances are, you know what happened earlier and doesn't it make you feel the teeny tiniest bit bad?' Niall questions, holding up his index finger and thumb with a very small distance between them. 

'You don't know what happened though Niall! That's the problem! You don't have a clue what happened!' I say, raising my voice once again. 

'Well then please enlighten me, Julie!' Niall sarcastically says, his voice increasing in volume also. 

'You know what, Niall?' I whisper, taking a step backwards from him, 'I couldn't be dealing with this, with YOU, now,'

'I don't particularly want to be doing this either,' He says, his temper reducing slightly. 

'No, I really don't want to be doing this,' I answer, taking another step backwards and holding my hands up defensively, 'I'm done,'

'So that's how it is? You're just going to leave this mess here, not cleaned up? That's not the Julie I know,' Niall says annoyed. 

'The Julie you know left a long time ago, you've just been to naïve to notice it,' I sigh, turning around and running back inside leaving Niall standing there. 

I make it inside the door, just about, my vision blurred with tears when I run into a body. 

'Jules? Julie? Are you all right?' I hear Louis' voice ask me soothingly wrapping his arms around me.

'Not really no. Can I crash here? Please?' I ask, sobbing lightly onto his t-shirt. 

'Ya, of course. But are you going to tell me why you're stood here soaking my t-shirt while your best friend is sitting in the middle of my drive looking totally lost?' Louis quizzes stepping back from me. 

'I don't really want to, maybe tomorrow,' I smile, tears still falling from my eyes so I hide myself in his t-shirt again. 

'No problem, I'll clear everyone who's still here out, go and get Niall and then I'll come up to you,' Louis answers, stepping towards the people who were left attempting to shoo them out. 

'You know Louis, you are the best friend, right?' I laugh slightly walking towards the stairs. 

'No, Julie, I'm not. And you know that,' He sighs as I walk up the stairs. 

As much as I really hate to admit it, Louis was right. Niall was my best friend and nothing would ever change that, but I've a feeling that what went down was going down for a long time. 

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