(n) the wordless look between two people who both desire something, yet are equally reluctant to initiate
We walked for about half an hour before we got back to my place. I could tell Ella was exhausted and I really did feel sorry for her, but I didn't understand how the way Parker felt towards her could've come as a shock. It was fucking obvious really, but I figured that commenting even more on it would be unnecessary right now.
"You live alone?" she asked as I unlocked the front door. I couldn't help but hesitate, thinking of what to answer. If my dad wasn't home, there was no need to tell her that he lived here as well, but if he was, it would be embarrassing as hell. Bringing her here was quite the gamble.
"Nah, my dad's here every once in a while", I answered and tried to relax a bit, but I must admit that I was feeling tense. Maybe it was a bad idea to take her home. Or, it was a bad idea, no doubt about it, but there was no going back now.
She just nodded and followed me inside. The place was poorly lit up as always, one of the lights in the ceiling flickering, and the walls could use a new coat of paint, but yeah, it was a decent apartment. I still wasn't that proud of it, though, but it wasn't like I had a choice. I'd never had a fucking choice.
"Dad?" I called out, praying that he wasn't home, so I wouldn't have to explain anything to Ella. She always asked a lot of questions, but there was a few ones that I weren't prepared to answer. I didn't know where this thing with her was going, if there was even a thing at all, so there was no need for her to know shit like my dad being an alcoholic twat.
Luckily he didn't answer, and when I peeked my head through the door to the living room, I couldn't see him on his usual sleeping spot on the couch either. I felt relived that he wasn't here, but at the same time a knot of worry formed in my stomach because it meant that he was somewhere out there in the streets, and even though our relationship wasn't that great, there were nights where I was afraid that he wouldn't make it back home.
I led Ella into my own bedroom, and I could see how she studied the place with her eyes as we entered. It was small as every other room in the apartment. The walls were painted in this strange, dark-grey color and it was as messy as you'd probably expect.
"Nice place you've got", she said and I couldn't help but snort.
"Right", I answered and chuckled a bit as I walked to the bed and sat down on the edge of it. "So, you'll sleep on the bed, and I'll figure something out", I told her and shrugged. I didn't know exactly where I would sleep, but we probably had a spare mattress I could put on the floor, something like that.
"No, it's your bed, Calum", she insisted. She just stood there in the middle of the room and looked like she didn't know what to do with herself.
"Then what do you want?" I asked, raising one of my eyebrows as I looked at her. Herr long, dark hair fell around her shoulders, and the grey sweatshirt that I'd given to her was way too big. I'd felt like I had to give it to her since she'd been stupid enough to go out in a tank top and shorts, but I kinda liked that about her. She just did stuff. Sometimes it seemed, well, stupid, but I knew that she only ever had the best of intentions.
"Erhm," she started and I could see her blushing, "I don't know."
"It's not like we haven't shared a bed before either, if that's better", I added, a slight smirk forming on my lips. She was always either such a pain in the ass or shy as hell, there was no in-between. Last night she would've been talking back, giving me a hard time, but now she just stood there and blushed. I really didn't have any nasty intentions with my suggestions, though. Not that I didn't want to, but it felt like bad timing. She just opened her mouth to answer, but nothing came out so she just closed it again.
"I'll find a spare mattress. Get yourself comfortable", I said and stood up once again. Then I left the room and started roaming our apartment, until I finally found one in what was supposed to be an office but had just kind of become the room where we put the shit that didn't belong anywhere else. I carried back into the room, and when I got there, she had crawled under the covers of my bed and had put her hair into a messy bun. I couldn't help but smile a bit.
"Good to see you're settling in", I joked as I placed the mattress on the floor next to the bed. I figured she wouldn't mind me sleeping in the same room as we'd kind of had sex, so there wasn't anything that I hadn't seen before. Besides, it was my fucking room.
I also found a blanket and a pillow, and then I was ready to get to bed as well. I stripped down until I was only wearing my boxer briefs, and when I shot Ella a look, I caught her peaking even though she clearly pretended not to. Then I got into the makeshift bed on the floor and she turned off the lamp on the nightstand.
"Calum?" she mumbled after a while, and it sounded like she was already half asleep.
"Yea?" I answered quietly as I rolled onto my back.
"Sleep with me", she whispered.
"What?" I quickly asked, raising one of my eyebrows in surprise.
"Not like that, you asshole," she sighed, "get up here."
I only hesitated a short second, before getting up. She moved over as I carefully laid down beside her in the bed, and onto my side so I was facing her. The bed was just wide enough for the both of us, but we had to lay pretty close to each other. Not that it bothered me.
"Happy?" I mumbled with a slight smile on my lips.
"Mhm, very", she mumbled and closed her eyes. For a moment I thought that she'd fallen asleep, but then she opened them once again and looked at me. "Thank you, by the way. For everything", she added and shrugged.
"Somebody has to clean up the mess you make, right?" I answered and chuckled a bit.
"I guess. Thank you anyway, though", she whispered and sighed. "I just hope Parker figures it out. I don't want to loose him."
I thought about it for a moment. I'd never understood why they were friends, and it seemed even more strange why they'd moved in together since they never seemed to get along, but it wasn't any of my business, even though I'd kind of been drawn into it at this point.
"That's his problem, isn't it? It's not your job to take care of him when he's being a brat, Ella", I finally said. Best friends or not, their friendship didn't seem healthy, but what did I know about anything. I couldn't tell her to just cut him off.
She nodded after a moment of nothing, and then we just laid there, looking at each other. Somehow there was nothing awkward about the sudden silence. I could feel her eyes examining me, and I let myself look at her once again as well. The small about of light that cam through the cracks in the blinds made her eyes sparkle, and I could feel the heat of her body against my skin. At some points I realized that there was no place that I'd rather have been in that very moment. I just wanted to be here, next to her, and somewhere along the line I felt myself falling just a little bit more.