30 Days Of Summer

One year. Twelve months. 365 days to find myself and live on the wild side in Australia. It seemed like a long time at the start. I made friends, learned how to surf, got a nice tan. The usual. Then I met five crazy Australians who changed my life. It wasn’t just the fun, the laughs, the risks, the love. They showed me a part of myself I didn’t even know existed. And suddenly, one year didn’t seem so long anymore. {http://www.wattpad.com/story/11732664-30-days-of-summer}

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6. Chapter 6

{ A/N - Photo of Luke at the side. Vote, comment and enjoy. }

♥ ♥ ♥

The next few days passed in a whirlwind of laughter and pranks. I spent it in the company of Luke and his friends, chatting and laughing and messing around like a bunch of little children. With the ‘Janoskians’, what you see is what you get. They’re a bunch of loud, unorganised, hyper, crazy, hopeful and caring little boys. Yet they are the reason my world suddenly seemed a whole lot brighter.

“It’s crazy,” I told Tiffany, cradling the phone to my ear. I was curled up on the beanbag, gazing out of the window intently. “Despite the fact that I’m leaving in only twenty days and I’ll probably never get to see them again, I don’t regret letting them into my life one bit. In fact, they’re one of the best things that ever happened to me.”

“You have to introduce them to me properly. I want a piece of candy!” Tiffany cooed.

“Oh, shut up,” I dead-panned. “But yeah, you’d love them.”

“And what about Luke?” Tiffany prompted.

“What about Luke?”

“Has a romance ‘sparked’ yet?” she tittered.

“Tiffany,” I warned lowly. “Oh! What about you and Ellis? How was your date?!”

“Don’t try and change the subject,” she scolded, but she couldn’t keep the giggle out of her voice. “It was perfect! He’s such a gentleman. And he finally told me how he feels about me. Goodbye, sleepless nights.”

“Care to expand...?” I implored.

“He took me to this coffee shop out of town. It was really idyllic and sweet and...perfect,” Tiffany sighed dreamily. “We chatted for a bit and it was normal. Then he told me that he’s...liked me for a while. So we’re on. He’s taking me to the cinema next weekend.”

“Tiffany! I’m so glad to hear! I’m so pleased for you both,” I smiled.

“Thanks,” she replied brightly. “Me too. Oh, did I mention? He’s an amazing kisser.”

I giggled. “No, you didn’t.”

I peered out the window, gazing down on the street below. The grass verge was lined with neatly trimmed trees. A huddle of shadows were at the end of the road, their outlines hazy with the distance between us.

“Look, I’ve got to go. Kayla wants to go to the mall. I’ll speak to you soon, yeah?” Tiffany excused.

“See you later, Tiff.”

The line went dead and I dropped the phone onto my lap. I peered out the window, watching as the shadows edged closer. The day was cool and serene; there was no breeze in the air so surfing was out of the option; I would be lucky if I caught some waves big enough to paddle over.

I glanced warily at my phone. I could call the boys...but I didn’t want them thinking I was obsessed with them and they’d get bored or annoyed of me in a few days.

Oh, shut up, Lilly. What happened to ‘living a little?’ I told myself.

I nursed the phone in my hands, still unsure whether or not to call them.

Suddenly the figures walking down the road were outside my house. Five boys I’d recognize in a crowd of a thousand people. James, Beau, Daniel Luke and Jai were waving at me excitedly, brandishing Xbox controllers and grinning up at me.

A smile tugged at my mouth and I jumped up, darting down the corridor like someone had ignited fireworks in my backside. I thrust open the door and my friends bounded in, pushing past me and into the open-plan kitchen-diner and living room.

“Nice apartment!” Daniel complimented. All the boys had already visited Mark’s apartment in the short time I had known them, except Daniel who had been busy when I invited them.

“We brought Fifa,” Jai grinned. “I know how much you love it.”

“You mean you know how much I love it when Luke screams at the TV,” I corrected with a grin. I shuffled over to the kitchen and poured five glasses of coke and a glass of water, handing them out to the boys.

They set to work connecting their controllers to Mark’s Xbox console and inserting the game, groaning impatiently as they waited for it to load. Luke wandered over to me.

“Why were you sitting by the window? Were you expecting someone important?” he wiggled his eyebrows suggestively. I shoved his shoulder lightly.

“No! I was bored and I’d just finished calling Tiffany.”

“If you were bored why didn’t you call us?”

“I didn’t want to intrude or pester you...” I mumbled, staring at the ground.

“That sounds like some sort of apology,” Luke replied solemnly. “Never be afraid to call us. We’ll always be here, whatever you need, whenever you want.”

I won’t always be here for you, I thought sourly. The notion crossed my mind fleetingly, but it was enough to make my blood run cold.

“Thanks,” I smiled gratefully, lying easily. “Likewise.”

“Yes!' Jai yelled at the television, pumping the air with his Xbox controller. “Fifa champion as always! We win again!” He fist bumped James.

“Rematch!” Beau shouted, shooting Jai his puppy eyes.

“You cheated,” Skip added, throwing down in controller in defeat. “Cunts.”

The boys were great company. They provided me with laughter and joy and pranks. But Xbox was never my forte. These past few days, I’d learnt to enjoy watching Jai being victorious whilst the others moan like three year olds. I’d learnt to laugh when Beau screams at the TV. It didn’t take them long to realize I wasn’t going to embarrass myself by losing at Fifa and they never forced me to play, whilst never excluding me either.

Something else I’d learnt about the boys. At first I was scared when Luke lost his first match and went storming around the house, reckoning with a fierce temper. But Beau taught me to laugh and now I am quick to spot when Luke is being provoked and either steer clear, laugh with the other boys or annoy him further.

It sounds cruel, but it’s hilarious.

I looked on, laughing, as my friends pushed and shoved each other around the living room. They wrestled, muscles flexed, as Beau demanded a rematch and Daniel insisted that Jai and James had cheated.

“Hey!” Luke cried over the chaos. “I don’t care who fucking cheated. I think we deserve ago.”
The room jolted to a stand-still and everyone turned their attention to me.

“No way,” I replied, laughing sheepishly. “I’m crap.”

“How do you know?” Beau objected.

“Yeah. You’ve never played,” James agreed.

“There’s nothing to be afraid of,” Skip added.

“I don’t want to embarrass myself in front of Australia’s champion Fifa players,” I said, my tone sarcastic.

“Understandable,” Jai winked at me.

“Come on,” Luke wrestled Beau for a controller and handed it to me. “It’ll be fun.”

I glanced at his hopeful smile. “The things I do for you, Luke Brooks.”

We battled it out; Luke and I on one team, Daniel and Jai on the other; with Beau and James as referees. 

“What button do I press to shoot?” I asked Luke, holding the controller limply in my hands

“Here,” he perched on the sofa behind me and put his hands over mine, pushing buttons and flicking panels. “See?”

“Oi!” Beau pointed at us accusingly. “No cheating!”

“We're on the same team!” I indicated.

“Nope,” James finalized. “The Lovebirds lose.”

I felt my cheeks flush crimson. I glanced up at Luke. “Sorry.”

“Hey.” He shot me an adorable smile. “You’re doing it again. They're just bad losers.”

“Doing what again?” Skip asked curiously.

“It’s our secret tactic,” I smirked. I crept up behind his back and snatched his controller from his hand before he had the chance to score.

“Hey! Give that back! Now you’re definitely cheating,” Daniel cried. I doubled over in laughter as the boys hurdled towards Luke and I, jumping and shouting. I dropped the controller, raising my hands in surrender. Suddenly, I felt two strong arms wrap around my waist. My heart jumped as my feet left the floor and the air around me was clear again.

As I came back in contact with the ground, I spun around. Luke’s arms were still wrapped around me, his face just millimetres from mine. I could see the freckle on the bridge of his nose; his brown eyes were alight.

“Lay off her,” he growled protectively, glancing over his shoulder at the boys. An eerie hush fell across the room and my friends fell silent, their eyes trained on Luke and I. My breath hitched in my throat.

Gently, Luke prised his arms away from mine and stepped back. He grinned. “Play fight over.”

“Okay, Mr Brooks,” Beau mumbled, bowing his eyes like a guilty school boy. His act was convincing until he grinned cheekily and winked at me.

“Mr Brooks yourself,” Luke grumbled. The atmosphere was suddenly tense; the air static like it had been electricity charged.

“Maybe Fifa isn’t working out for us. Let’s do something else tomorrow,” James announced sensibly, breaking the silence.

“No!” Jai protested. “I’m the Fifa champion. It’s fun.”

“Whatever,” Beau brushed his brother away. “Let’s...go shopping!”

“That’s such a girly thing to do, you faggot,” Daniel said lowly.

“No. I like shopping,” Luke agreed. “Lilly?”

I grinned. “I don’t mind. Just as long as we can get milkshakes from Shake Shack. I went there a while back with Tiffany and Ellis. Their milkshakes are to die for.”

“It’s a deal,” James concluded. “We’ll pick you up at ten, Lilly.”

“Ooh, yay! I can get some new Uggs,” Skip said gleefully.

 “Uggs?” I raised an eyebrow. “Aren’t they for girls?”

“They were made in Australia as unisex boots,” Daniel claimed.

“Whatever you say,” I nodded. “I’ll see you tomorrow then.”

I ushered the boys and their doomed controllers out of the door, bidding my farewells with a smile. By that time, dusk was starting to fall on Melbourne and a sharp breeze laced the air. My stomach still felt tense from when Luke had picked me up. I felt like the only remedy was the sea.

I pulled on my bikini under some faded pink cut-offs, a white top and grey hoody. Propping my surfboard under my arm and grabbing my bus card and a towel, I set off towards the beach.

I was consciously aware that my time left in Australia was slipping away like sand in an egg timer. Especially since I’d met my new friends. Time flies when you’re having fun. Yet, tomorrow couldn’t come soon enough.

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