It was Monday night, and after her first day, she was exhausted, still in her business casual clothes. She stirred the pot as Sarah wrinkled her nose in the corner.
"I hate soup," she grumbled.
"I'm sorry," said Lena, too tired to argue.
"It's ok," said Sarah, quietly.
"Can you set the table?"
"Ok," said Sarah. She slid off the bed with a thump. Just then, the doorbell rang.
"That must be Bridget, wondering why you haven't told her about your trip yet!" said Lena, smiling. "Why don't you get the door and I'll set the table instead?" She switched off the heat and carried the pot to the table.
"Hi," said Sarah opening the door. Then Lena heard her say, "I knew you'd come!" and a familiar English-accented voice replied,
"Hullo, love. Is your sister in?"
"Tell him to go away," said Lena. She was not in the mood to talk to him, and she looked
"No," said Sarah, stamping her foot. "You never listen to me, Lena! I would have been fine moving to England. That was a dumb excuse and you know it. You always use me as an excuse instead of dealing with things, like mom and dad. I never saw you cry for them, not once!"
"That's because they were horrible parents!" yelled Lena. "And I did cry, just not in front of you because I was trying to protect you!"
"You don't need to protect me all the time! I knew mom and dad were gonna get divorced. They told me. Yeah it made me really upset, but them dying made me more upset!" argued Sarah. "Stop running away. Just talk to him. You don't need to date him. Just talk to him. I'm gonna go to Bridget's apartment."
Louis stepped in awkwardly and Sarah slipped outside the door.
"Hi," grumbled Sarah, refusing to meet his gaze.
"Hi," said Louis quietly.
"Sorry it's so messy in here," apologized Lena. She was embarrassed. "I never gave you our address. How did you find us?"
"Ah, Sarah gave it to me."
Traitor, thought Lena. Out loud, she said,
"I came to apologize," blurted out Louis, "and explain."
"Alright," said Lena, crossing her arms, trying not to feel the pangs in her chest, urging her to rush into his arms.
"I wasn't trying to move you and Sarah around, or take your career from you."
"No?" asked Lena, bitterly. "Sure sounded like it to me."
"No, listen to me Lena please," begged Louis, "I didn't write the statements. Those weren't my words, they were my managers' for image sake only! We were still going to do what we agreed on. Long distance. You would work, I would work, and we would take it slow. I have crazy fans, Lena, it was simply telling the fans what they wanted to hear. That's literally what the statements are, to appease the press and the fans. In reality, most celebrity relationships are private."
Oh. Shit. She had misinterpreted his words completely. And instead of allowing him to explain, she'd just pushed him away out of instinct, stubborn ass that she was.
"I thought that was literally what we were going to do," she said slowly, crumbling to the floor, face in her hands. She had singlehandedly ruined it. It wasn't all his fault, it was hers too for not talking to him, for not believing that they were a team.
"I am so sorry," she added, trying not to cry. She wasn't going to beg him to take her back though, not when he was probably already done with her.
"Lena," he said gently, "I love you. I can't lose you."
Those words broke the spell on her. She couldn't hold back anymore. She rushed into his arms, crying on his shoulder while he held her.
"I love you too," she whispered into the crook of his neck, smelling his cologne. "I'm sorry I shut you out. I'll never do it again."
"I'm sorry I didn't explain it thoroughly," said Louis. "I didn't prepare you for it, and you were nervous."
"It's ok, it's ok," said Lena, and they were kissing again, on the floor, laughter and still some tears mixed in.
"What do we do now?" she asked breathlessly.
"I've got to get back tomorrow," said Louis, "because I've got work, but what do you say we take it slow? You and Sarah can visit for winter break and spring break, and in a year, maybe you could look for a job in engineering in England and get them to sponsor your visa. I'm sure a company would love to outsource you, smarty pants."
"Sounds good to me," said Lena, smiling. "Let's kiss to seal the deal."