Last week, I shared an added scene to my short story, Mistaken Meeting, as I’m fleshing it out to include in an anthology of my own short stories. This week, I’m working on another of those short stories, Hang On. This is the second scene in it now, one I just added. The original story was only from Aidan’s POV. Now, I’m adding in Ian’s as well.
I didn’t have a clue what was wrong with me. I was never this antsy in Aidan’s presence.
Actually all of that was a lie. A huge, freaking, not an ounce of truth in it lie. I’d gotten really good at telling those, to myself and everyone else. No, I’m not in love with my best friend. No, I don’t want to jump him every time I see him. No, I’m not jealous when he has another partner, no matter their gender.
All lies. Every single one of them.
But, I couldn’t tell him that. I couldn’t tell him anything that would put distance between us. Of course I seemed to be doing that with no words at all. And he just dug further under my skin.
I hadn’t lied about that. He was under my skin. I couldn’t even say how long he’d been there. It was like one day we were just best platonic friends, and the next he’d put every piece of my heart in one of the pockets of his hiking pack.
That was stupid. I knew it. He’d know it if I ever voiced that.
Which is why I just kept it to myself. There was no need to show him how far my oddities could go. Not that it was odd for someone to fall for him. He was perfect.
Okay, that was a lie, too. Aidan had as many flaws as anyone else. Less than me maybe, but that didn’t make them non-existent. I tapped my fingers against the side of the door as I tried to list them out in my head.
1. He didn’t always get my jokes. Of course, he usually laughed anyway.
2. He didn’t have much of a sense of style. But, that meant I got to go shopping with him.
This wasn’t working. I found a counter for every flaw I could list. I had to come up with some other way to remind myself that Aidan and I could never work as a couple. Not and remain the friends we’d always been.
Hell, he’d probably laugh in my face if I ever mentioned us trying for more. Not to be cruel. That had never been one of Aidan’s faults. I was more likely to be cruel than Aidan, and I tried not to be that. But, he would think I was only joking, since that was the way I handled life most of the time.
“You know,” I said, determined to get this day back on the right track, “if those wood nymphs do have you on a hit list, hiking through the woods might not be our best course of action.”
I flicked my gaze to the side and saw him shaking his head. But, his lips were wide with a smile. “Goofball,” I was pretty sure I heard him mutter.
I settled back in the passenger seat and crossed my ankle over my knee. It might take some effort, but I’d make sure things didn’t change between us. I couldn’t lose him, no matter what else it cost me.