Chapter 6 : Dates, Dresses, and the Confusion of the Male Species
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He had just worked out what he was going to say, and he had to admit, it was one of his better attempts at an apology: Aisley, I apologize. I was out of line, both last night and this morning. I never intended to upset you or hurt you in any way; I was just trying to keep you from getting hurt, which unfortunately hurt you in the process. The doorbell rang, interrupting his thoughts.
"I've got it!" he shouted, just in case someone else was planning on coming down and opening the door. He opened it to find his brother, James, standing on the front porch, flowers in his hand and a huge smirk on his face.
"I just came to pick up..." James trailed off as Aisley descended the staircase.
Cam turned around to see what his brother was gaping at and ended up gaping himself.
"Aisley." both brothers said in unison before turning to look in annoyance at each other.
"You look....wow." James managed. For once, Cam was completely in agreement with his older brother. Aisley looked spectacular. She'd cut her hair, dyed it, and had done some girl thing with her makeup. The bright blue hue of her strapless dress perfectly matched her eyes. Cam almost swallowed his tongue. It didn't help that James, over his annoyance by that point, was watching his brother with a look of utter amusement. Cam narrowed his eyes, and James shrugged before arching a brow in a look that clearly said 'You want her, don't deny it.' Cam just ignored him- it was easier and smarter than fighting.
"Oh." Aisley said coldly towards Cam. "Hello."
Okay, so she obviously didn't like him at that particular moment. Well, dang! How was he supposed to butter her up and get her to accept his apology if she was unwilling to even be in the same room as him? Great. That was just great.
"James!" Aisley said, smiling hesitantly. "It's not too much, is it?" she asked anxiously, going to stand next to her date for the evening.
"No, you look perfect." James replied, leaning down to give Aisley a kiss. "Let's blow this popsicle joint." he said, linking his arm with hers. Cam had to stuff his hands in his pockets to keep from punching his older brother. As they headed towards the door, Cam heard Aisley laugh; she'd always sounded like a twinkling bell when she laughed.
"What?" she asked. "What's a popsicle joint? For that matter, what's a popsicle?"
"Never mind." James replied, laughing. "Later, Cam. Don't wait up for us!"
As Aisley left with his brother, Cam was forced to admit that he was jealous. Actually, just plain 'jealous' wasn't strong enough; he was being consumed by the fire-breathing green-eyed monster of jealousy. Jealous! Life was truly messed up when a guy was jealous that his brother was dating his best friend. He needed to get out and about, do something. There was that new book that he'd been meaning to read- he could finally start it. But he didn't really feel like reading.
Okay. So he could watch a game. Cameron had already headed to the living room when he realized that there were no Quidditch matches on. With nothing better to do, he decided to wait for James and Aisley's return. It couldn't be too much longer, could it? After all, the pair had left about fifteen minutes before. Surely Aisley would come to her senses and leave soon. An hour was too long to spend in James' company. He would know; he'd only lived with his brother for sixteen years. He headed out to sit on the front porch. When Aisley arrived in another, oh, twenty minutes, she would see him there, doing nothing. He could always pretend like he was watching the sun set.
When an hour had passed, Cam figured that Aisley, being the kind person she was, had decided to sit through dinner with James so that he didn't feel quite so bad. Even Cam wouldn't be cruel enough to ditch some girl on a date after half an hour. So, she felt sorry for him. Of course. That HAD to be it. There was no other reason Aisley was still with his brother. She couldn't have actually wanted to go out with James- she just felt sorry for him. Yeah, that was all. She felt sorry for him- nothing else.
Not five minutes after they had left, James and Aisley were in Diagon Alley, on their way to Gringott's.
"Why on Earth do you need to go to Gringott's?" Aisley asked, completely in the dark.
"You'll see." James said mysteriously. "Wait here. I'll be right back." He left Aisley standing outside at the front entrance. When he returned, Aisley was dying from curiousity.
"James! Will you please just tell me what's going on?!?!?" she demanded, slightly impatiently. Instead of paying attention to her, James had pulled out a muggle cell phone and was jabbering on it.
"Yes, we'll be there withing ten minutes. It's ready?" James asked the person on the other line. "Good. Make sure everything's as I asked." When he disconnected, Aisley jabbed him in the side.
"Where are you taking me?" she asked, grinning cheekily at him.
"As I said, we'll be there in ten minutes." was James' maddening reply. "Now grab my arm." Aisley did as he asked, but was about to query "Why?" when James started Apparating. When they ended up somewhere in Paris, she asked irritably: "Why didn't you warn me you were going to Apparate?"
James waved a hand in front of them. "Because that way you would never expect to end up here." he said simply. For the first time, Aisley noticed that they were standing in front of a quaint little cafe, lit by beautiful little lanterns and surrounded by the most beautiful little garden.
"Oh, James." she gushed, melting a bit. "Don't tell me we're eating here."
"We aren't." James said, grinning mischievously.
"But..." Before she had the chance to get out more than that one word, they were somewhere else entirely. Aisley looked at James questioningly, but he shook his head.
"Within two minutes, they were in San Francisco, standing outside one of the city's many seaside restaurants. James pointed.
"That is where we're eating." he said, laughing. "No more Apparating. I promise."
As they entered the small restaurant, James signaled to the head waiter.
"Ah...Mr. Potter?" the waiter asked. James nodded. "Right this way." The two of them were led to the very back of the place. The waiter seated them at the lone table in the room, then handed them their menus.
"For you." James said, holding out a single red rose that had been laying on the table.
"James..." Aisley started, but they were interrupted by the waiter's return to get their drink orders.
"James, this is all so surreal." she said once the waiter had left. "You didn't have to do this."
"But I wanted to." James replied, covering Aisley's hand with one of his own. "Look, my younger brother is an idiot, and neither one of us will deny it. But I also know that the two of you are nuts about each other." When Aisley made a small sound of disbelief, James just ignored her. "But he's taking his sweet time to realize it. Part of the reason we're here is that I wanted you to know that someone cares enough to go to all this trouble. Part of it is because I just love riling Cam up. Part of it is because I wanted you to have fun. And the last part is because I genuinely like you, Aisley, maybe as more than just a friend. I know I enjoyed kissing you, and I'm going to guess that you liked it, too. So let's just eat our dinner and have our fun, and see where we end up, okay?"
"That sounds like a fine plan to me." Aisley replied, blushing just a bit. "But you're wrong about one thing."
"And what's that?"
"Cam doesn't care about me in the way you think." James smiled patronizingly.
"Let's forget about him for a while and enjoy ourselves." he suggested.
"I'm all for that."
At eleven that night, Cam was forced to admit that he was being irrational. Obviously James and Aisley were having a great time, or they'd already be back. What were they doing, anyways? A million scenarios ran through his mind, but Cameron rejected all of them. They were all absurd.
Not only that, but being irrational didn't explain his jealousy of the time Aisley was spending with James, or the fact that he wanted to protect her from his brother. It was ridiculous. Cam was close enough to his older brother to know that James would never intentionally hurt Aisly. So why the sudden urge to hit James? Or stranger still, to take his place?
As Cam's mind led him down a road he didn't particularly want to take, Aisley and James appeared in front of the door.
"Hey, little bro." James said cheerfully enough. Aisley just ignored Cam.
"So...I'll see you Tuesday then, James?" she asked quietly, but not so quietly that Cam didn't hear her.
"Of course." James grinned, deciding it would be worth it to risk his brother's eternal wrath. He kissed Aisley soundly until her arms came around his shoulders.
As James had expected, Cam skulked off into the house, slamming the front door. James broke the kiss, but held Aisley, as she still looked like she was going to tip over.
"Tuesday." he reminded her gently, then pushed her towards the door. "No go inside and ruffle Cam's feathers some more."
"You got it." Aisley said, grinning devilishly. Cameron Potter was in for it now.
A/N: Yeah, so.....MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! Sorry about that. The insanity took over for a minute, but I'm good now. So....yeah. I'm kind of evil. But I like that. Anywho. Review please! Over two hundred reads, but only three reviews so far. I promise e-cookies to anyone who reviews! *all promises are non-binding. If you don't get your cookie, you can't sue me! lol* So yeah.....REVIEW!!!! Gracias!
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