The Night We Met

Liv has never felt at home in the Northern seaside town she grew up in. So, she moves to the vibrant city of London to pursue her dream of becoming an artist. Along the way, she encounters a group of fellow colorful misfits and the alluring Lex; a beautiful musician reaching the peak of fame, who lives every day like it's his last. Seeking a quiet life, Liv struggles to accommodate the interesting nature of Lex's career, the lives of the people around her and her own ever-growing anxieties whilst trying to become the version of herself she has always wanted to be...

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4. Four

Naturally, being The Strands fanatic that she was, Parm knew exactly where Lex lived. Apparently, so did half the campus, as there were multiple gifts and fan letters left outside his apartment building in his overflowing mailbox. It wasn't exactly a lavish building; just a standard greystone apartment block, not far from uni, with a doorman who didn't say anything about me sitting outside for a long period of time. In fact, he probably naturally assumed I was waiting on Lex like all of the other super fans who visited on a daily basis. Fortunately, paparazzi were banned from both the university grounds and surrounding areas like Lex's gated apartment complex, so there would be no risk of my Mum seeing a photo of me in the newspaper the next day and wondering what the hell was going on.

 

I walked up the steps leading to the front door of the apartment building and found Lex's name on the listing. I rang his buzzer and hoped he would answer but remembered he had mentioned he didn't spend a lot of time at home as he was in the studio so much. I sighed and sat down on the front steps, cradling my bike helmet in my hands and feeling like a total idiot who should have constructed a better "win Lex back" plan. I hadn't slept for a whole day because I felt so anxious and uncertain and I couldn't pin point why. Regardless, I was sure I'd scare Lex off forever when he saw that the "time" I mentioned I required was a mere day. Way to go! You're really succeeding in not being a flake, Liv.

 

"Well, hello," A voice interrupted my daydream. "This is a nice surprise."

 

There he was; the face of my dreams for the past week. He was wearing the same leather jacket he had worn the last time we met and also in the newspaper photographs that had caused all of my doubts. In his hand was a plastic supermarket bag, which was a fairly un-rockstar thing, yet he still managed to make carrying it look effortlessly cool.
 

"I'd ask how you know where I live but I don't want to know the answer," He observed, amused. We were standing at opposite ends of the street and I could tell he didn't want to approach any closer as I had told him I needed "time". Yet, there I was, standing outside his apartment building; shaking like an absolute lunatic.

 

"I know I said I needed time but I lied," I said. "The truth is...I felt bad. Like I couldn't face you."
"You felt bad?" His eyebrows knitted together. "If anything I should be the one that feels bad after what you had to see the other day. Unfortunately, it is going to happen a lot. I understand if it's not something you want to be around..."
"Shhh! Just be quiet and stop being so nice. Please."

 

He looked surprised at that and quickly, stopped speaking.

 

"I kissed someone else," I exhaled and already felt tons better getting the admission out. "Friday night at Firestorm. I don't know why I did it...I was drunk and I thought...well, actually I don't know what I thought."
"You thought the headlines were true?" Lex replied. 
"Well, yeah," I admitted, embarrassed. "I'm sorry, Lex. Really sorry."
"Sit with me for a minute," He sat down on the front step and patted the concrete space next to him. 

 

Lex always seemed so calm and mature. But I had to remember that he was older than me and I still felt like a child who couldn't make sensible decisions; even though I was legally classified as an adult at eighteen living in a different city to my own. 

 

"Firstly, you can kiss whoever you want," Lex said. "Does it make me jealous? Yes. But can I be annoyed that you kissed someone else when I left you here and went to another city? Then you saw me photographed with another woman? No, I can't. So, there's nothing to feel bad about."
"How can you be so understanding?" I sighed.
"Because there's no issue here. That brain of yours is the one making the problems," He ruffled my hair playfully. "You don't owe me an explanation. I'm not annoyed and I hope you're not annoyed at me either. Like I said, I can confirm the truth about what I did in Manchester if you like..."
"No," I interrupted. "That's not necessary. I believe you."
"I'm glad," He smiled. "I actually thought I'd never see you again after your last text. But I'm certainly happy you showed up on my doorstep today."
"So...coming home early wasn't an accident?"
"No," He smiled. "Definitely not an accident."
"Ok," I replied, my cheeks burning under his gaze. "That's good to know."
"So, can we start over now?"
"I'd like that."
"If you're not busy right now, I've just bought some coffee and am willing to share..."

 

---

 

 

Admittedly, Lex's apartment was a lot more fancy inside. It was basically just one large room; a massive studio apartment decked out with lots of silver, angular furniture and guitars hanging from every wall. It looked like he had been raiding Ikea; everything was minimalist and tucked away in storage units. He seemed to be obsessively tidy since there was no trace of dust on anything and I was glad, yet again, that I hadn't let him into the mess that I shared with Parm.

 

"Make yourself at home and I'll stick the kettle on," He grinned and went to kitchen, which was basically just some countertops in the corner of the room. 

 

I took the opportunity to be nosy and look around, hoping the apartment would give me some insight into Lex's life.However, there was nothing really exciting about his home, I found. It was a pretty simplistic place; everything was white and extraordinarily clean. The room smelled like freshly washed bed sheets and I realized that Lex's expensive aftershave wasn't expensive after all; it was probably just his natural smell from being so bloody clean all the time. I noticed the apartment had two doors that opened onto a balcony which overlooked the wonderful city of London. The only photo in the room could be found on his coffee table. It was a snapshot of Lex with his arm around an older woman who really looked like him.

 

"That's my Mum," Lex appeared, confirming my theory. He had a roasting cup of coffee in his hand and passed it to me. He looked really happy when he talked about her which was incredibly endearing.
"That's sweet," I sipped the coffee and looked inside the mug. He had added milk and sugar for me, further solidifying his status as the coolest and most considerate person alive. I had never mentioned my coffee preference but he had somehow gotten it perfect and read that I wasn't into the same hardcore coffee strength as him.
"I know it makes me sound soft but she's the reason I took the record deal. All of the music is for her."
"I'm sure she's really proud of you."
"Not at first after all the stuff I did. I regret she had to see that and continues to see certain things in the papers. I embarrassed her. Not one of my finest moments. But now I'm trying to make a good living out of this so I can buy her a house. I promised her a mansion, ya see - no pressure."

 

We sat down on the sofa at opposite ends away from each other and Lex didn't force me to sit closer or try to approach me. He knew that there were boundaries and he might have to break them down over time. In a surreal turn of events, I found myself sitting on Lex Langley's sofa, sipping coffee and saying nothing for what felt like hours.

 

"This sounds mad," He turned to me. "But even when I'm sitting with you and we're not talking it feels nice. You're an easy person to be around."
"I was just thinking the same about you," I replied. "I don't usually get comfortable silence with anyone. I always feel the need to fill it."
"Nah, I like silence. It's underrated."
"You're not as rock and roll as I expected. I thought you'd be living out a suitcase, stoned out of your mind everyday. Now, here you are talking about how much you like silence and drinking artisan coffee."
"Don't tell everyone how boring I really am," He joked. "It'll ruin my street cred!"

 

Not for the first time, as I watched him sip his coffee, I wanted to grab his face and kiss him. Ironically, the more "boring" he became the more I liked him; maybe that said a lot about me and my personality. I loved learning that he adored his Mum and felt honoured to see the private part of his life he called home. He already seemed to be doing well for himself; the apartment was well-kept and certainly better than anything I could afford. It made me feel happy for him that he was working his way towards buying his Mum that house she desperately desired and was creating a better lifestyle for them both.

 

"Why are you looking at me like that?" Lex asked, laughing. His eyes crinkled at the corners and it made me swoon.
"No reason," I felt embarrassed that he had caught me staring. 
"You're introverted, aren't you?"
"Just a little."
"I like that. It means you've got a story in there. Just means I'll have to work harder to dig it out."
"I can't make any promises but I am trying to open up more. No one has really stuck around before to dig my story out, as you put it. So this is all new to me."

"That's ok," Lex said. "In all honesty, no girl has done it for me either. All of my relationships have been...short term."

 

I nodded, knowing exactly what he meant after hearing the stories from Milly about the conveyer belt of Freshers from his past. I made a mental note to ask him about it when we got closer but didn't want to offend him. That would have also been a good time to admit how inexperienced and, frankly, intimidated I was but I kept my mouth shut, as to not embarrass myself further.

 

"I've never had a relationship per say," I admitted. "Just dates here and there."
"Well, you're still young," Lex sipped his coffee again. "Plenty of time to find the right person."
"Do you think there's just one person for everyone?"
"I don't really know about that. But I do think that when you do find someone you like you should give it a fair chance. It might last weeks, it might last years...but you'll learn something from them at least."
"That's a good way to see it. I definitely need to learn as much as I can."
"Don't worry, there are a lot of things I can teach you," He replied, nonchalantly. 

 

I blushed heavily at the innuendo; I wasn't sure exactly what kind of "teaching" he was implying but had already decided I wanted to sign up immediately, if I could find the courage to do it.

 

Noticing my reddened face, he added innocently:

"Like maybe guitar playing or something like that."

 

But the funny smile on his face told us both what he really thought of deep down when he saw my face.


 

"Ah, yeah," I tried to look anywhere but directly at him for fear he could read my mind. "Guitar playing. I'd like to give that a go..."
"By the way, I was going to make dinner," He said, casually. "If you wanted to stay?"
"You cook as well?" I said, surprised. "Is there anything you can't do?"
"Well, you know me...I like to try anything once."

 

 

---

 

 

Expecting my usual cuisine of chicken nuggets or pizza for dinner, I was surprised when Lex whipped up a two course meal consisting of an elaborate pasta dish and dessert. He started acting all modest and said he hadn't been expecting company or would have made something better. Eh? I could barely heat up a tin of beans by myself. My student diet was not used to such finery and I struggled not to hoover up every morsel on the plate. 

 

Lex didn't have a dining table so we sat on the floor on some cushions and used the coffee table instead. He lit one single, white candle and placed it in the middle of the table where it proceeded to melt all over the wood. As we started to eat, I realized how much how Lex looked like a real man, not a boy, from across the table and, not for the first time, felt out of my depth. Again, he was wearing one of his trademark shirts, unbuttoned, and he kept nervously running his hand through his hair. Even when it was messy it seemed to arrange itself perfectly and I wanted to tuck it behind his ear just as he had did to me once.

 

"I've never cooked dinner for anyone before," He admitted. It was the first time I thought I saw a trace of a blush on Lex Langley's cheeks. This time, he was closer than we had been on the sofa earlier and every now and then, when his arm or knee would bump into mine, he would apologize respectfully. 
"Well, I think you've done great," I smiled. "This is a first for me too. I don't even know how to make scrambled eggs."
"Neither did I in first year. I was useless at everything and lived on takeaways. Don't worry, I'll teach you!"
"Teaching me how to play guitar and scramble eggs? You're spoiling me!"
"I like to do my bit to serve humanity."

 

There was no sign of alcohol, which was understandable considering his past in rehab. I didn't feel like I needed it but I was determined to kiss him at least once and didn't have any dutch courage. I realized I hadn't been listening to a word he had been saying as I had simply been staring at him and thinking about kissing him.

 

"Are you ok?" He asked.
"Oh...I'm fine," Apparently, he had been asking me a question. "Could you repeat what you said? I was in my own world. Sorry."
"I just asked if you have any brothers or sisters."
"I have one older sister. And you?"
"Nah. I'm an only child. Like I said, I need to do my Mum proud. She's worked hard to bring me up."
"If it's any consolation you can have my sister. She's really annoying sometimes!"
"Ha! I might take you up on that sometime. It's Clackton-Upon-Sea you're from, right?"
"Yeah. I'm surprised you remember that."
"It's actually around the corner from where I grew up."
"That's a weird coincidence! Of course we wouldn't have crossed paths because...I'm me and well...you're you."
"You seem to have this impression I've always been the notorious 'Lex Langley'," He chuckled at that. "Back at home, I'm just Alex. I used to work in a chip shop. Girls never wanted to go out with me and I didn't have any friends. I met the guys in the band when I came to uni and they're the only friends I've ever known. So, trust me, we probably weren't that different growing up."

 

I nodded, feeling bad for making assumptions about him yet again. 

 

"What made you want to move to London?" I asked, trying to elegantly navigate a piece of pasta into my mouth.
"I guess this is where the magic happens regarding music," He shrugged. "It's where the most opportunity can be found anyway. I was actually planning on working in songwriting or production instead but here I am."
"So, being the front man of a super famous band was never on your agenda?"

 

"Not really. I might seem outgoing but I like my own space. Being followed around by middleaged blokes with cameras recording every moment of my day gets a bit tiring eventually. I liked all of this at first because I wasn't used to getting girls or people wanting to be my friend. But then I realized they don't actually want you, they just want the fame."
"I can imagine that gets pretty overwhelming. It's not the life I'd choose."
"I can't make any promises. If this does go further, you should know that there might be an element of that involved. I always try to make people aware. My Mum's not crazy about it either but she's been in the newspaper at least once, by default of hanging around with me. Do you reckon you can deal with that, if the time comes?"

 

"Well, obviously...I would like to see where this could go," I blushed. "But I can't make any promises either. I don't really like being centre of attention so I might struggle. If you give me time I am sure I can work on that fear."
"I appreciate your honesty and I expected you'd feel that way. You're probably the first girl I've met that isn't forcing me to go out to clubs with her so she can get 'accidentally' papped with me."
"Can I ask you something? It's a little personal..."
"Go ahead."
"Did you really go out with Kate Moss?" I whispered. 

 

He laughed for ages then shook his head.

 

"Management made that up to sell our records," He said, genuinely. "I'm not even sure she knows who I am."
"Oh,"I breathed a sigh of relief. "I'm glad I don't have to compete with that."
"Kate Moss is no competition for you!"

"Don't make me laugh. She's only a bloody supermodel, isn't she? I'm just Liv."
"Well, just Liv, I like you. You're real and that's worth a million times more than any supermodel."
"Thankyou. You're not so bad yourself." 
"That's about as much of a compliment I'm going to get from you, isn't it?"
"I'm trying."
"I know," He said, softly. "I understand it must be a bit weird having someone be this forward. I can't tell if it's a good quality or a flaw really. But I think life is short so if you're having dinner with a beautiful girl she should be told."

 

 

I covered my hands with my face, embarrassed, and he laughed again. Clearly, he wasn't used to girls rejecting his compliments; most of them were probably the type that loved attention and being papped, I imagined.

 

 

"Ok, I'll stop now," He said, taking a sip of water. "The rest of the lads are always telling me I'm a soppy git. Maybe they're right. But I guess that's how I write the songs."
"What are your band like?" I asked.
"They're top lads - my best friends, really. We've done everything together; travelled, grown up, almost graduated. My best mate is the bassist, Jonesy. You'd like him."
"They sound really cool..."
"Would you like to meet them? I mean, you don't have to. But if you wanted to some day, I can sort it out."
"I'd really like that," I beamed. 


Did he introduce every girl to his friends? I wondered. It didn't feel like he did but I couldn't be sure.
 

 


"I'll get something arranged when they come back from Manchester."
"Please don't hate me for saying this but...I have never heard any of your band's music before."
"That's ok," He laughed. "It's kind of nice actually -- not having the expectation of someone thinking if I'm like my songs. All of my private thoughts are in those songs, so people often know a lot about me before I know them. I like the fact you've gotten to know me first; not the songs."
"I am definitely curious to hear it though. My music taste is a bit dated - I just listen to whatever my Mum and Dad were listening to."
"Well, I'd be happy to play you something one day. As long as you promise not to record it and sell it to the newspaper."

 

I couldn't tell whether he was joking or not.

 

"I wouldn't do that," I said. "Maybe you could play something for me right now?"
"Put me on the spot, why don't you?" He laughed. 
"You don't have to..."
"Ok, ok, you convinced me," He sighed, getting off the sofa. I noticed his jeans slipping down a little to reveal the bare skin of his back. He was super pale but in a beautiful, ethereal way. "But I don't need much convincing. Any opportunity to play music and I'm there."

 

He grabbed a guitar from the wall and stuck a pick between his teeth as he tuned it. Then he played... and I finally understood what everyone else had meant when they treated Lex as a special, shiny object higher than themselves. Not that he was better than anyone else, but I had to admit...he certainly stuck out from the crowd. In that moment, watching him strum an acoustic guitar over a candelit dinner, I finally knew why a million girls wanted to be with Lex Langley.

 


---

 


"That's just a rough idea," He got a little embarrassed afterwards. But I was not embarrassed; I was fuelled by something else. Desire, maybe. Or just plain disbelief. I had known he would be talented but had really had no idea. "But yeah, now you've heard our sound."

 


Lex was sitting close to me with his knee almost touching mine. His face was illuminated by the light of a single candle. For some strange reason, call it lust or madness, I felt the urge to physically throw myself at him. I intended to kiss him...but instead catapulted onto him with such force that he let out a little scream of pain and almost fell backwards as I heard the crack of his nose bumping off my forehead.

 


"Oh my God," I covered my mouth with my hands, absolutely mortified. "I am so so sorry."
"Ok, that hurt a little," He said but he was laughing alot whilst doing it which made me feel slightly better. "I knew your madness would kill me somehow when I met you. Didn't know it would be this soon."
"You're bleeding..."
"Oh, shit," He looked at the little dribble of blood on his hand. "I'll be back in a second."

 


I watched him disappear into the bathroom and heard the tap running. Quickly, I texted Parm to tell her to prepare my coffin as my life was clearly over.

 


Liv:
Went in for the kiss...

Parm:
AND???

Liv:
I've broken his nose.

Parm:
...

Parm:
:') :') :') :')

Liv:
NOT funny.

Parm:
Bless you, Liv. At least you tried. I thought MY life was mortifying - that's a whole new level.

Liv:
Gee, thanks. So, yeah. Life is categorically over. Was nice knowing you.

Parm:
You too, my friend. Enjoy the rest of your night...and don't do anymore kissing if you can't control yourself!!

 

 

Deciding I couldn't face Lex anymore, I went outside to investigate if it was a possibility to escape from the balcony. The view really was amazing out there, I had to admit. It almost took my mind off what I had (accidentally) done and how had I basically ruined Lex's face, also known as his money maker.

 


"There you are," He finally appeared, smiling and blood-free. "See? No permanent damage."
"I am such an idiot," I said. "I can't apologize enough."
"Relax, it's ok," He laughed. "Although I can't say I have ever been headbutted on a date until now."

 


I considered what Parm had said about not attempting anymore kissing but he did look pretty kissable, even with an inflamed nose (courtesy of me). He looked at me for a little too long and I thought for a second he might try, and succeed, to kiss me that time. 

 


"Great view out here," I changed subject swiftly. 
"Yeah, it is," He leaned over the balcony railings. "I've lived here since I came to London. The only thing that has changed is the interior design...and the person I used to live with."
"For the better?"
"Yeah."
"Was the person...a girl? Sorry if that's a personal question."
"Not at all. Yes, my old flatmate was a girl. My ex-girlfriend, actually."

"Oh," I nodded. "The girl all yours song are about?"
"Yeah. It didn't last long - she was my girlfriend from home and we moved to uni together. But she couldn't stand the pressures of my job, the distance and all that stuff."
"That's a shame. I'm sure the right person could cope with it in the right circumstances."

 


Meeeee, I yelled internally. I could cope with it! Just give me a chance to show you I can.

 


"I'd like to think so," He looked at me, with hope and kindness in his eyes.
"What did she think of the songs?"
"She liked 'em. She still lives on campus actually. Maybe you've bumped into her before."
"It's a possibility."
"We are still good friends."

 


Ok, so Lex is still friends with his probably gorgeous ex-girlfriend who still lives on campus, exceptionally close to him. He probably visits her flat and who knows what else, it dawned on me.

 


"But nothing is going on romantically," He added, for good measure. "We are just friends."
"Oh, that's good to hear," I nodded but felt a little bitter.
"What about you? Any secret boyfriends I should know about?"
"Nope. The selection wasn't exactly great back home."

"Someone like you shouldn't have to move to London to find someone. They should have been fighting for you back home."
"Ha! I wish."
"I'm serious. If we lived in the same town I definitely would have asked you out...and you'd probably have said no."
"Why's that?"
"I just get the impression that you're someone who needs to be convinced and your trust has to be earned. That's a good thing though. It weeds out the people who are the real deal and are gonna put in the time to earn it."
"I agree. Well, you've stuck around this far, even after all of the crazy stuff I've done, so that says a lot about you too."
"I'm glad you think so. You're a bit of a puzzle, Olivia. But I want to stick around and figure you out."

 


I didn't really know what to say to that so I just looked away shyly; my heart pounding in my chest. He faced me now; the backdrop of a London sun setting behind us. I could make out Big Ben in the distance and hear him chiming upon on the hour. 

 


"Now," He said, solemnly. "I have to ask you a very serious question," 
"Ok," I prepared myself. "You have me worried now..."
"Do you always kiss with so much enthusiasm that you almost fracture someone's nose?"
"Not always," I laughed. "I think I have only shown that much enthusiasm for you."
"I see. Well, I have a mad proposition so hear me out first. I would like to try it again...but only if you promise to stand very still this time. I understand it's very exciting but you must control yourself."
"I can't make any promises but I will try."
"Good," He smiled, his face now inches away from my own. "Because I have wanted to do this since the first moment I met you."
"Even though I slagged you off for drinking orange juice?"
"Even though you slagged me off for drinking orange juice," He confirmed, laughing.

 


I was trembling by that point. I'd kissed boys before but it had never really been anyone I liked that much enough to care whether it was good or not. What if I was a terrible kisser? No one had given me any pointers. Lex was probably amazing with all of the experience he had under his belt. Oh, God, I thought, desperately. Concentrate on what is happening - you're living in your head again, Liv. 

 


Ever so slowly, he reached out, his hand sneaking behind my neck. With his other hand he tucked another piece of hair behind my ear then pulled me closer by the waist firmly, but not forcefully. It felt like he was sweeping me off my feet quite literally. We were nose to nose now and I thought I could feel his heartbeat through his shirt.

 


"Ready?" He asked. "Because I don't know...I don't think we have waited long enough for this."
"Oh, shut up and kiss me already!" I threw my hands up in the air.

 


Then, finally, Lex Langley kissed me...and nothing else mattered. Not the terrific view nor anything that had come before or would come after. He wasn't a celebrity and I wasn't "just Liv" anymore. We were simply two people kissing on a balcony, about to step over the edge into the unknown.

 


---

 


In true Lex style, he walked me home that night. We didn't really speak about the kiss but every now and then we would catch each other's eyes and share a self-conscious laugh. 

 


"Well, this is me," I pointed to the flat, as we stopped outside. "Thanks for walking me home...again. This is becoming a recurring theme."
"I like walking you home," He stuck his hands into his pockets. 
"I like you walking me home," I smiled. "Thankyou for dinner...and everything else."
"Anytime. Speak to you tomorrow?"
"Of course. Goodnight."

 


This time we were past handshakes but also the last time Lex kissed me he had asked for permission so there still wasn't safe limits set out for our budding romance. So, we settled for a hug instead. His arms lingered around me for a while and I inhaled the scent of fresh linen that seemed to follow him everywhere he went. He was so tall he could use my head as a little table to rest his chin. Over his shoulder, I could see Parm peeking out the window; elated and waving her arms around madly. I shooed her away and she closed the blinds.

 

"Am I imagining things or is your friend watching us right now?" He whispered into my ear. 
"That's not your imagination," I replied, taking a step back. "She's definitely watching."
"I see. Well, in that case, let's her give her something to really watch."

 


Lex pulled me towards him by the arm and spun me around to face him. Parm was peeking out again. This time when he kissed me, he didn't hold back. I had never been kissed like that before; like a man, essentially. When he finally came up for air, we were leaning against a nearby wall and I was grasping the front of his shirt to steady myself.

 


"Well," I smoothed down my dress. "That was...unexpected." I had never really temporarily lost my head like that and realised when I was kissing Lex it was the first time I wasn't in my own head. It made me stop thinking altogether and, for someone with a manic brain like mine, it felt bloody amazing.
"Better get used to it because it's going to happen alot."  
"Oh, really?" My voice was all high pitched and squeaky now.
"Yes. Like I said, I don't do things by halves. I'll give you my all, no matter where this ends up going. You'll always have my absolute best, that's a promise."

"Thankyou. I appreciate that. I hope I can give you my best too..."
"You already are. Sweet dreams, Olivia."

 

He tenderly smoothed down my hair and gave me the loveliest smile before disappearing into the night. When I finally got upstairs, after struggling with legs that felt non-existent because they were quivering so much, Parm was already waiting with the door unlocked; her arms folded across her chest.

 


"You have a lot of explaining to do," She said, but there was a hint of pride in her voice. "What hour do you call this? Out kissing boys all night whilst I'm in here watching Netflix? The tables have certainly turned."
"What can I say?" I floated past her. "The guy knows how to kiss. He has corrupted me with his lips and his beautiful face and his...everything."
"I can see that. Can I say something to you in a totally non-offensive way?"
"I don't think I could be offended at this point, I am so happy. Do your worst."

"He's bringing out something in you - I can see it. I know that's scary and alarming to hear but you're changing a little at a time everyday. You might not notice it but I do."
"You're right," I agreed. "I do feel different today. Can't explain it."
"Good. I'm not saying you need another person to complete you -- I'm just saying that sometimes it helps to have someone around who brings out certain qualities."
"I didn't think that existed for me."

"Well, congrats -- it's happening. You've only gone and bloody well nabbed Lex Langley. How does it feel?"
"Honestly?" I replied, flopping down onto the sofa with the biggest grin I'd ever had in my life. "For the first time...I have hope."
"I hate to break it to you, Liv," Parm flopped down next to me. "But you're about to fall in love. It's going to be awesome and terrible in the same measure. In other words, you are in some serious, deep shit."

 


We lay there together until Parm fell asleep. I gazed out of the window into the city; the view was not as brilliant as Lex's apartment but it still inspired a lot of self-reflection. Maybe Parm was right - I was falling for Lex and in a significant amount of trouble. But I wasn't going to worry about that for now. All that mattered was that one wonderful night I had spent with Lex Langley that I'd never forget. I closed my eyes and drifted off to sleep; peaceful and trouble-free.

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