"Hi, is this Chloe?" I speak unsurely into the phone after selecting the number she had drunkenly entered in when we first met.
"Hello, yes, who's speaking?" Chloe replied on the other end, her voice formal and sweet.
"It's Kasey. Umm- sorry to ring you like this but I need to talk to you."
"Oh! HEY KASEY! What about?" Her voice suddenly became less formal and more excited. I smiled at the thought of seeing that huge sparkling grin on her face.
"Luke." I mumbled and she quickly replied,
"Give me 5. I'm on my way." then hung up the phone.
When Chloe arrived I told her everything. Exactly the same as what I had told the girls. She reacted differently though.
"Kasey, if you want me to be honest. If someone had asked me for my opinion on a relationship with Luke before he met you...I would have laughed in their face. I would have told them they’re crazy, delusional. I’d have tried to persuade them to stay as far away from him as humanly possible." I could suddenly feel my face turn pale, my stomach dropping.
“Kasey…” She continues to speak her warm hands wrapping around mine.
“Lukeis dangerous. You know just as well as me that you will get hurt. He has secrets, more than either of us will ever know and he comes with a whole lot of drama, more than I can even care to explain. But, with you…he’s, he’s different with you. You’ve exposed a part of him that I don’t even think he knew existed. And…if Calum has said he likes you, then, he likes you. Calum knows him better than anyone.” I stare at her confused for a second 1. Because I was unsure whether she was encouraging me to avoid him or the total opposite 2. I thought Luke and Calum didn’t get along? And 3. What the hell was I supposed to do now?
"You know Luke has always been a fighter. Since he was a kid he’sbeen involved with gangs, some of which I’d rather avoid talking about. ‘The Ring’ is sort of like his home away from home, king in his own kingdom.” Chloe began to speak again.
"Luke’s always been a tough guy, always the biggest and always the strongest. No fear, but feared. Intimidating. Unpredictable. He’s not an easy guy to get along with and you really do have to be something special to make it into ‘The Ring’. He met Calum, I’m not too sure where or how. To be honest I don’t think anyone knows except the two of them, but they met and he took him in and treated him like a brother. Introduced him to the guys, trained him to fight. Until one day, apparently Luke walked in on his girlfriend and Calum kissing and he flipped out. He went nuts, dark. Calum insists she went for him but-“
"Do you believe him?" I quickly butted into Chloe’s story and she nodded yes to my answer.
"Luke's girlfriend was not exactly the most faithful person I knew. She would be on any guy she could get her hands on. That’s how Calum got his scars, Luke and broken glass bott-“
"I-I almost kissed Calum." I interrupted what Chloe was saying and her mouth fell open. I didn’t even mean to tell her, it just sort of blurted out.
“Lukewas being…Luke. I wouldn’t usually- Calum was-“I frantically tried to explain myself.
“Being Calum.” She finished my sentence with a smile and I nodded.
"He pulled away right?" I nodded again.
"He doesn't want to lose Luke. They don't have any other family, they were like brothers. If Luke had caught someone else kissing his girlfriend, they would be dead. But, not Calum. Calum probably likes you, he falls easy. That's why you almost kissed but he knows Luke likes you too. If Luke didn’t like you, Calum would have kissed you." There was a moment of silence as I took a second to get my head around what she was trying to say. So Luke and Calum like me? They have no family.
"That's so sad." I said under my breath.
"I know right. You wanted to know if Luke does really like you." I nodded again
"Then that’s the answer. What you do about it is your choice. I’m not going to try and persuade you to stay away from him, but I’m not going to encourage you to see him because you will get hurt. Guaranteed. Luke can be frightening, he can be mean. Kasey, he has a lot of past. A lot of stories. He may just be trying not to hurt you. I’ve seen the way he looks at you, I haven’t seen him look at anyone like that, ever and I’m not just saying what I think you want to hear. I’m being totally honest. Luke may not be afraid of a fight or getting physically hurt. But, falling for you, loving you, hurting you and losing you could terrify him.” The room fell silent. Dead silent. I didn’t know what to say, how to react. I didn’t even know what to think. I just sat there. Staring. Emotionless. Confused. Empty.
"I’m so sorry Hun but I’d best rush off, I have to go and meet Dom from work. But, let me know how things work out yeah? Be careful." Chloe broke the echoes of the room and I nodded in response still frozen as she hugged me, stood and left the house. I was left temporarily deprived of all my senses, my mental abilities, my emotions. I just sat there in some sort of empty trance one sentence repeating in my mind.
“But, falling for you, loving you, hurting you and losing you could terrify him.”