War Cry

*unbelievably slow updates* One Direction is put onto a three year break. All of the guys have decided what to do with their lives in the meantime. Liam Payne chose to go into the army. He was glad to meet his best friend, she was nice and funny and someone so easily to get along with. She made his army experience a lot more enjoyable. But what if another band member finds her just as enjoyable as he does? Would he be jealous? Or would he be happy for her?

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19. Chapter 18

Chapter 18

 

I spent the better half of the last three days thinking. Just thinking. Thinking about where the hell I’m going to put my new presents. Thinking about how much I’ve actually missed my family. Thinking about how Sam and Marsha were doing (we skype called them the day after Christmas and they were just getting settled in Bath). Thinking about how much I missed everyone else from the army. But most of all, thinking about what I actually felt for Tanya.

I was confused to say the least. One minute, I’m crazy jealous of Niall and I think that Tanya is so beautiful and I wonder what it would be like if she was my girlfriend. In that minute, I’d think about how badly I want to kiss her, how the pink lipstick made her lips even more kissable, how I went spend hours running my hand through her hair, how I want to take her for a weekend and lock up the doors and never leave. But then the next minute, she’s my best friend. She’s the person I stuck by and protected in Kenya and Afghanistan. She’s the person who made my army life enjoyable and exciting. She’s the friend that I’m highly fond of and highly protective of. She’s Tanya The Best Friend.

I don’t want to like Tanya. I don’t want our relationship to be complicated. It’s great as it is. It’s simple. I love her in the most platonic way possible. But I always get those urges. Those urges to grab her face and press my lips to hers, so I can feel the most intimate feature of her face, to taste her. I want to keep it platonic. But sometimes I can’t help but let my imagination run wild.

I ran my hand over my face and sighed before downing my coffee. I walked over to the heat system and turned it up. I lounged on my sofa as I let my apartment heat up. I turned on the TV to stop myself from all the thoughts that invaded my head. I was grateful for the knock on my door. I opened it to find Niall and Tanya beaming.

“What?” I asked them as I looked over their suspiciously happy faces.

Tanya shrugged. “We’re bored and no one’s home except for you so we were wondering if you wanted to come out to lunch with us.”

I stepped back to let them into my apartment. I tried not to let the use of ‘we’ and ‘us’ get into my head otherwise that crazy jealous feeling I’ve been getting since the first time I introduced them would anger me. “Sure, just let me get dressed.” I left them in the living room as I went to put on a pair of black jeans and a white shirt with a black coat. I slipped into a pair of black boots then I left the room. I found them on the couch with my TV on the same channel I left it on. They were sitting close with Niall’s arm on the back of the couch behind her and her hands close to his thigh. I took a deep breath before announcing that I was ready.

They both got off the couch and we were out the door. We walked around the city for a bit, searching for a place we wanted to eat at.

“What about Chinese? You guys up for Chinese?” Niall asked as he gestured to a Chinese restaurant across the street.

“No, I don’t feel like Chinese today,” Tanya replied after looking at the restaurant. We continued to walk.

“Liam?” A voice called out to me. I turned around to see a very familiar face.

“Sophia!” I exclaimed. I walked over to her and gave her a hug. She hugged me back tightly and when we let go, she gave me a big smile. “How are you?”

“I’m really good. It’s been so long. How about you? I heard you went to the army. That was a little surprising, how was it?” She asked.

I shrugged. “I’ve been good. Yeah, I surprised myself with that too,” I chuckled, “it was an amazing experience though.”

“I bet it was. I actually got a little worried for you. You don’t usually associate yourself with violence, you know. So when I heard it on the news, I got a little scared,” she confessed with a sheepish smile.

I laughed. “Of course you would’ve. You worry too much.”

Someone cleared their throat behind me and I turned to find Tanya watching me expectantly. “Oh!” I exclaimed. “Sophia, this is Tanya. We met in the army. Started and finished together. And of course, you know Niall.”

She grinned at the sight of Niall. “Hey, Niall.” She gave him a hug.

“Hey, Sophia. Heard you moved to Nottingham,” he commented.

My eyebrows rose. Sophia’s never talked about moving up north. She nodded her head. “Yeah. I moved there two years ago,” she told him then she turned her attention to Tanya. “Hello.”

“Hi,” Tanya replied almost reluctantly. I almost forgot about her aversion to strangers. She was so open to the boys that I thought she got over it. I guess she hadn’t. She wasn’t doing it but I could tell that she wanted to give Sophia a look over to size her up.

Sophia looked shock for a second at Tanya’s hesitance to reply but she smiled anyway. “So, you went to the army too?  How was it for you?”

Tanya’s eyes narrowed a fraction. It wasn’t obvious but I knew her too well to not have noticed. She shrugged. “It was okay.”

Sophia’s eyes flitted to mine. Sophia had always had a little social anxiety. She wasn’t one to start a conversation or keep it going. She was always frightened to talk to new people but ever since we got together she’s been slowly getting over her anxiety and she’s been talking to new people and starting conversations with them. I guess she never completely got over it. I nodded at her once to encourage her. She bit her lip then spread her lips into a smile. “Just okay? Wasn’t scary or anything? I know I wouldn’t been frightened.”

Tanya shrugged again. I tried to keep the annoyance in me. I placed my hand on Sophia’s shoulder to turn her around. “Hey, want to come eat lunch with us?”

Sophia’s eyes flickered to Tanya’s as if asking permission. Tanya raised her eyebrows slightly but didn’t say anything about my offer. Sophia nodded her head hesitantly. I grinned. “Great, let’s eat at that steak house in the next street over.”

Sophia’s eyes widened. “I love that place!”

I laughed. “I know. Is that alright with you guys?” I asked Tanya and Niall.

Niall nodded happily. He loved that place as much as Sophia did. Tanya shrugged which I took as a yes. I started to walk in the direction as I caught up with Sophia.

It’s been a long time. Sophia and I were together for two years but we broke up six months before I went into the army. It wasn’t a bad breakup. We just drifted apart. I guess towards the end of our relationship, we both fell out of love. It was pretty short but I was on tour for most of it and I didn’t get to see her often.

I’ve known Sophia since we were little. My mother adored her so I guess our relationship was a little inevitable. My mother was crushed when she found out we broke up. It just didn’t work out between the both Sophia and I.

I glanced behind me as I walked to find Tanya scowling to the ground. Niall was silently walking beside her, looking at anything but us. I was starting get irritated with Tanya’s behaviour. I know that she’s not a big fan of meeting new people, but for the love god can she please stop acting so horribly towards Sophia?

The steakhouse wasn’t busy, surprisingly enough, so we were ushered to a table of four towards the back almost as soon as we walked in. We were given menus. It didn’t take long for Sophia and Niall to decide on their meals. Sophia always ordered the same thing: medium steak with gravy and mashed potatoes and a diet coke. Niall ordered pork ribs with extra gravy and some fries with a water. I ordered a BBQ T-bone steak with gravy and a sprite.

“Niall, what’s good here?” Tanya asked. I felt a little hurt she didn’t ask me. I’ve told her about this place before and she knows how I’ve eaten almost everything on the menu.

“Oh, you should ask Liam. He’s eaten almost everything,” Sophia suggested. Tanya looked at her then to me.

“No, it’s okay. I’ll just ask Niall,” she replied. Niall looked at me in disbelief and I could see the question in his eyes. What’s going on?

Excellent question. What was going on?

Sophia’s eyes flitted to mine and she had the same question in her eyes as Niall. I gave her a non-committal shrug. Niall recommended the creamy shrimp alfredo. I almost snorted out loud when I saw Tanya’s eyes widen. Tanya hates seafood. Then, to my surprise, she agreed. I pressed my lips into a thin line. I tried to catch her eye but she seemed to avoid looking straight at me. Her eyes seemed to skim over me as if I was just wallpaper on a wall.

“Hey, Sophia, have you been here lately?” Niall asked as if to divert the attention from the obvious discomfort between Tanya and I. I was grateful for it.

“No, I haven’t. Why?” Sophia asked, focusing her attention on Niall.

“They renovated it last year. You should check out the back,” he replied with half-hearted excitement.

“Really?” She asked.

“Yeah, want me to show you?” Niall offered and Sophia eagerly nodded.

Tanya’s eyes widened as she realised that were going to be left alone. She subtly tugged on Niall’s pants and he looked down at her. I watched their silent exchange until Tanya sighed and dropped back in her seat. I smiled at Sophia as she left with Niall to check out the back. As soon as they were out of earshot, I turned to Tanya who was sporting a scowl on her face.

“What’s wrong, Tan?” I asked her in a defeated tone.

“Nothing,” she mumbled as she picked on the napkin beneath the cutlery.

“Look, I know how you are with meeting new people. I was there when you met Marsha but you weren’t this rude with her. You’re kind of hurting Sophia’s feelings. She’s kind of vulnerable,” I explained. Her eyes reached mine for the first time since she met Sophia. They were livid and irritated. “Please, Tan. Just let up a bit.”

She closed her eyes and took a breath. When she opened them again, she looked a little calmer but she still looked pretty angry. “Fine,” she snapped.

I sighed. “What is it, Tanya? Sophia really isn’t a bad person. You don’t have to be cautious of her.”

“Okay,” she grunted.

I opened my mouth to say something to her but Sophia and Niall came back. Then our food came. We ate a little quietly, as though we were trying to concentrate on our food.

When we were all halfway through our food, Tanya glanced at her phone then announced that she had to go.

“Why? What’s wrong?” I asked her. “You haven’t finished your food yet.”

She just shook her head. “Nothing’s wrong. It’s fine but Cali needs my help with something.”

I pursed my lips, knowing that she was lying. But I nodded. “Alright, bye.”

She looked at me coldly then turned her steady gaze to Sophia. “It was nice meeting you.”

“You too,” Sophia murmured.

Niall, who had finished her food just before she announced that she had to leave, offered to take her to her sister’s. Tanya nodded before she took out her wallet to pay. I shook my head at her. “No, don’t worry. I’ve got it covered.”

She ignored me then took out a twenty-pound note then she was out the door before I could protest again. I half growled as I picked up the note and put it in my pocket. I was going to give it back to her the next time I saw her.

“Sorry about her. She has this thing about meeting new people,” I explained to Sophia, apologetically,

Sophia shook her head. “That was not why she was acting so sullen.”

“Yeah, it is. She did it to this girl we met in the army.”

Sophia laughed humourlessly. “You’re so oblivious, Liam.”

I frowned in confusion. “What?”

“There’s a whole different reason why she was acting like that and it wasn’t towards me. It was towards you.”

“What are you talking about?”

“My, god, Liam! She likes you! She was pissed off that you ignored her that whole time.” She spoke as though she was explaining it to a child.

I shook my head. “No, she doesn’t. She likes Niall. And I wasn’t ignoring her.”

She rolled her eyes. “Likes Niall, my ass. Just admit it, she likes you and you like her right back. And you most definitely were ignore here.”

My eyes widened. “No, I don’t and no, I wasn’t.”

Sophia sighed. “One day, you’ll figure it out.”

Figure what out? I don’t like Tanya. I just have moments. That’s all they were, moments. Moments where I think I like her when I actually don’t. She’s still my best friend and I still love her as a best friend. They were just moments.

And there is absolutely no way Tanya could like me. She likes Niall. I know that for a fact. I saw it with my own two eyes on Christmas Eve where they were making out in Niall’s kitchen. She was just somber because that’s how she is when she meets new people.

That’s all.

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