Chapter 12 : We're Getting Married... Crap
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If there was one day that I really didn’t want to get out of this bed, it was today. I just wanted to stay here with my eyes closed, not having to see or do anything at all.
“Come on Elle, we’re going shopping today.” James’ voice said from above me and I opened my eyes, unfortunately, to see him knelt on the bed fully dressed and towel drying his wet hair.
“Can we not just have a lazy day? I’m tired.” I whined, rolling onto my front and burying my face into the pillow.
“No, we had a lazy day yesterday and I thought you wanted to buy your family some souvenirs.” He pointed out.
“Ugh! Fine. I’m getting up.” I moaned, pushing myself into a sitting position and then flopping over sideways so I was lay down again. I heard James laugh.
“You’re so funny, Elle. Now get up otherwise I will make you get up.” He warned. I grunted, showing him I was annoyed and pushed myself up again, “That wasn’t too hard, was it? Now get your lazy arse out of bed and get ready. Dad’s coming with us as well, just so you know.” He chucked the towel on the floor, using his wand to finish drying the rest of his hair and then sat in front of the mirror and styled it. It made me laugh, “What are you laughing at?”
“Nothing, just the fact you’re actually styling your hair. I don’t think I’ve seen you do it.”
“Just because you haven’t seen it doesn’t mean I don’t.” he scoffed.
“That’s what’s so funny.” I reached my arms over my head and cracked my neck and back.
“Nice underwear.” He smirked and I quickly covered my arse with my shirt, forgetting that I didn’t wear my pyjama pants again last night.
“Shut up.” My face flushed and I stormed into the bathroom, making sure that everything was covered as I turned away from him laughing. I filled the bath with bubbles and foam just to relax me even more and hopefully make James forget about going into town because I had taken so long in the bath. I think maybe half an hour had gone past as I lay, completely covered, in the bath with my dry hair hanging over the edge when James casually walked in.
“JAMES?! GET OUT!” I shrieked, trying to cover myself even though I knew he couldn’t see anything.
“Calm down love, I’ve just come to see what’s taking you so long. Hurry up.” He said before walking back out and shutting the door behind him.
“Stupid James.” I muttered, putting my head back down again and trying to regain my heartbeat back to normal. I nearly had a heart-attack, why did he have to do that? I got out, wrapped a towel round me and let the water drain out. As I was drying my hair in front of the mirror, James walked in again.
“I forgot my brush.” He sneakily reached round me in my towel and grabbed it before winking and leaving again.
“I am going to murder that boy one day.” I hissed to myself, finally pulling a white baggy shirt over my light pink bikini and some more denim shorts on.
“Come on, let’s quickly grab some breakfast and go.” He pulled my arm as I came out and practically dragged me down the stairs and into the kitchen.
“Morning.” Harry greeted us when we walked, sat in our seats and James poured both of us a bowl of cereal.
“Morning Harry, sleep well?” I asked politely, feeling a little rushed off my feet as James was doing everything for me today.
“Yes thank you. You?”
“Yeah, really well as well, thanks.” I smiled at him which he returned, “Where’s everyone else?”
“Ginny and Albus have gone off gallivanting somewhere,” Harry answered, “And Lily’s still asleep, I think.”
“Honestly, am I the only one who gets up early in this family?” James exclaimed and Harry and I scoffed loudly, “What?”
“I’m pretty sure you’ve been getting up around lunch for the past few days.” Harry teased him.
“That’s Elle’s fault!” he protested, not realising how sexual it sounded.
“Nice to know.” Harry smirked, making me blush. James quickly stood up, putting everyone’s bowls in the sink and waving his wand to make them clean themselves.
“What’s got you in such a hurry?” I chuckled, amused that he was getting everyone moving. Usually it was Ginny who did that but today it seemed he’d taken over from his Mum’s role.
“Just want to get everybody ready so we can go.”
“You are so like your Mum.” I laughed and he pouted adorably, making my stomach flip. Ever since I had admitted to myself that I liked James… I’d begun to have these weird heart palpitations, stomach flips and butterflies every time he did something remotely cute or adorable. Or hot. Just had to throw that in there.
“At least he’s not like me. I was terribly unorganised.” Harry smiled between the two of us as we walked out the villa and down the main street, my sandals clip-clopping every time I took a step.
“You still are.” James whispered under his breath but his Dad caught it.
“Hey!” and I ended up laughing as James tried to deny saying anything whilst Harry looked sternly at his son. I grabbed his hand and intertwined our fingers… just because I had admitted I liked him didn’t mean I could suddenly stop pretending for his family. It just made it harder.
“And anyway,” I interrupted the two, “You’re unorganised too.”
“I am not! I’d like to hear proof that I am!” he protested.
“Telling me about this holiday,” I pointed out, “Telling me that you were going back to England for a training day and that the day after that you had a match.” I listed on my fingers.
“Alright, alright. I get it.” He huffed but I smirked at him until he Smiled back.
“I’d have to disagree,” Harry butted in, “He must be very organised to keep this relationship a secret from us for 2 years. As well as the press.” I quickly averted my eyes to floor as James coughed awkwardly, “I mean, keeping it from us is a hard feat but from the press, you’d have to be very sneaky.” I really wished we’d get off the topic of this relationship.
“So, what are you doing today Harry?” I asked politely, changing the topic of conversation. The street around us was busy with tourists that were animatedly snapping pictures of everything that seemed just a little bit foreign, wearing the usual palm tree t-shirts in wacky colours like yellow, blue, orange or red. The locals were pointing at each tourist, making comments in Spanish whilst carrying shopping bags from the direction of the shopping centre we were walking towards. Cars zoomed past us in all different colours whilst the sun reflected off the shiny metal, blinding me for a few seconds each time. I was glad that most people were sweating slightly from the heat because I was pretty sure I was sweating like a sinner in church.
“Just need to pick up a few things.” He tapped his nose secretively. El Centro Comercial was written on the huge sign just outside the glass entrance doors. Harry held the door open for us and we were greeted by a rush of cool air and I nearly just stayed there all day.
“Ooh, that was nice!” I shivered a little, feeling James tug my hand forward to follow them into a small, cute-looking boutique.
“Can’t stay there all day Elle,” James laughed at me, “What are thinking of getting them?”
“I dunno,” I shrugged, “It depends what they have. Maybe some sort of jewellery.” I started searching round the whole store. There were lots of beautiful beaded necklaces in different colours hung up in glass cabinets, some of them even had gorgeous pink or clear crystals welded into the beads. But my eyes were drawn towards a cabinet that had bracelets, particularly 2 that had identical patterns on them, in 2 colours but in different orders. One was blue with white floral designs all around it whilst the other one was white with blue floral designs and I thought it was perfect for Charity and Gabby because they were the same but different. I picked them both up and made my way to the till.
“Can I have these two please?” I placed them on the counter.
“Sí, eso es €2.” He answered and I was pretty sure he was telling me how much it was so I placed 2 euros on the desk, he took them and put the two bracelets in a small bag for me.
“Gracias.” I smiled, picked up the bag and headed to the next store which sold a variety of knickknacks.
“You know I could have paid for you, right?” James said when he was picking up some sort of crab shell, closing one eye and staring inside it.
“No, these are my presents from me to them. So I’ll pay for them.” I replied sternly but turned around and pecked him on the lips quickly, “Thank you for offering though.”
“I’ll offer more if it gets you to kiss me again.” He winked and I rolled my eyes but blushed all the same. It was getting harder to remember that this wasn’t actually real, why did I have to realise that I liked James? Hopefully it wouldn’t develop past this stage into something more because by the end of the month, I was probably not going to see him and his family again.
“I don’t know what to get Darrell. I know he needs some more quills but we can’t exactly buy quills here, can we?” I whispered to James. He had his hands on my waist with his head resting on my shoulder. Harry was just a little further down, picking different objects up and assessing them like James had with the shell before.
“You never know, this shop looks like it’d sell severed heads.” He joked loudly and the store owner glared at us so I slapped him on the arm.
“James, keep your voice down,” I hissed but he just chuckled more, “I don’t wanna get kicked out.”
“We won’t get kicked out, don’t worry.” He whispered in my ear.
“We will if you don’t shut up.” I mumbled, trying to act like he wasn’t affecting me in any way.
“Elle, James, I’m just going into the shop across the way. Just meet me outside this shop when you’re finished.” Harry called from the entrance and we both nodded.
“What about these?” James picked up some peacock feathers on a dresser-type table with a bunch of mismatched trinkets on it, “They could be used as quills if he sharpens the ends?” he suggested as I came to stand by him.
“That’s a good idea actually.” I smiled, took the set of 4 peacock feathers off him and headed to the front desk. Once I’d paid, we walked back to wait for Harry to finish in his shop and meet up with us before we went into a clothes shop. It took a while before I picked up a few small shirts for Ruari, a dress for Gabby and a maxi-dress for Charity because I’d completely forgotten to give her back the one I had borrowed when I met James’ family.
“Are we gonna have lunch now and then go home?” Harry asked.
“Yeah, I think I have everything I need today.” I smiled and we started leaving the shop. When I turned around, my shoulder collided heavily with someone behind me and our bags dropped the floor, “Oh, I’m so sorry. I wasn’t looking where I was going.” I apologised, helping them with their bags before getting a good look at their face.
“Hey Elle.” Travis grinned when we both stood up again.
“Travis, fancy seeing you here.” I said a little awkwardly as James came to stand beside me protectively.
“Travis? Where are you? I told you to stop wandering off!” a shrill voice called and I winced. I really hoped I could go the rest of the holiday without ever seeing Valerie again, “Oh, hello again!” she smiled evilly when she saw who he was stood with.
“Hey Valerie.” I looked down at my feet, scuffing them across the floor.
“What are you doing here?” she asked.
“Just doing some shopping for Elle’s family.” Harry answered, finally appearing from wherever he had disappeared to. It had seemed like he had told James to distract me whilst he did something secretly, it was making me really suspicious.
“Well we’re just about to go for some lunch down in that small restaurant down there, you’re welcome to join us?” she offered. I looked up at James, silently pleading for him to come up with an idea to decline but Harry spoke up before he had the chance.
“Sure, might as well.” He shrugged and we all walked to the restaurant in tense silence. James lightly squeezed my hand and when I looked up at him, he mouthed ‘sorry’ to me.
“It’s okay.” I sighed, sitting down in the seat that he was holding out for me.
“So, what brings you two to the El Centro Comercial?” Harry was the first to start the conversation. There was no way that it was going to be me, I had nothing to say to Valerie or Travis, for that matter. All the friendliness that had happened on Friday was completely gone as I remembered who he was currently going out with.
“Some celebratory spending.” She answered smugly, sending me a quick glance and I refrained from rolling my eyes.
“And what are you celebrating?” James asked, pouring himself a glass of water.
“Can I take your order?” the waiter came and interrupted us before Valerie could answer.
“Can I have a bottle of white wine and a bowl of Caparrones please?” Valerie ordered, handing him back the menu.
“I’ll just have the same.” Travis muttered feebly.
“Erm… two house specialties please?” James looked at me but I just nodded my head in response.
“And I’ll have the Escabeche, thanks.” Harry handed him the menu and smiled back down at us. The waiter bowed, nodded his head and left us to carry on talking, unfortunately.
“What were we saying before?” Valerie started talking straight away, “Oh yeah, I’m celebrating because I just closed a deal with a local resort so it’s now officially mine.” She boasted.
“Congratulations.” James said, just to be nice not out of actually meaning it.
“Thank you. I used to be a waitress up in Scotland for a while,” was she really bringing up the waitress card right now? “But you know, I thought to myself that I could do so much better than that. I mean, Mum always said that I was too ambitious to be working as a waitress and I guess it just paid off.” What. A. Grade A. Bitch. Did she really just imply that I wasn’t ambitious enough? The waiter came back with our food and Valerie continued to boast about her new resort whilst I sat with one hand clenched under the table.
“Excuse me, I’m just nipping to the loo.” I stood up quickly and followed the signs to the women’s toilets.
“So, enjoying your holiday?” Valerie had obviously followed me in.
“Why did you say that in that magazine Valerie?” I sighed, facing her and crossing my arms.
“Say what?” she began washing her hands, looking completely innocently.
“You know what I’m talking about, so why don’t you just admit you said all that to make me look bad?” I glared at her.
“Oh, I never said it to make you look bad,” she gasped as if I had just offended her deeply, “I genuinely care of about you Elle. We wouldn’t want you going back to that now.” She put a hand on my shoulder, “And anyway, you have James now to look after you. It’s strange, isn’t it? You two don’t seem all that comfortable around each other I noticed, is something wrong?” she was smiling smugly and left me in the bathroom when I didn’t say anything, completely shocked and upset. She was toying with me and it was working. I went back to the table to see everyone chipping in for their meals but James had already paid for me.
“James, you didn’t have to pay for me.” I whined when I sat back down.
“I wanted to so don’t protest. We’re gonna be married soon anyway so what’s mine is yours and vice versa.” He Smiled, kissing me on the lips gently in front of everyone before we walked out the restaurant.
“I guess we’ll all see each other soon.” Valerie waved us away and we started walking back through the main street to the villa.
“Elle! Oh good, you’re back! I need your help.” Lily ran forward, grabbed my hand and yanked me into her room without any explanation.
“What? What’s happened?” I instantly started panicking, had something happened to Lily since we’d been gone?
“Don’t worry, it’s nothing bad.” She reassured me, “It’s about Oliver.”
“Oh.” I relaxed and sat cross-legged on her bed, “What’s the matter?”
“I got a text from him when I woke up this morning and I don’t know what to reply…” she handed me her phone and I read through the text;
‘Oliver: What was up with that Domenic guy you were dancing with last night?’
“Lily, I don’t want you to get your hopes up or anything but…” I handed her back her phone, “It, sort of, seems like he’s jealous of Domenic because you danced with him.”
“Really?” her eyes bulged and her face moulded into that one that clearly states she’s about to squeal girlishly, “Oh my God!” and there it was.
“Don’t get too excited Lily,” I warned her, “He might not like you… it just depends on what we text him back.”
“And what should I say?”
“Well, you need to act coy. Say that he’s an old friend.” I told her.
“But… he’s not. I didn’t know him before last night.”
“Yeah but he doesn’t have to know that.” I rolled my eyes, she nodded and sent the text back to him;
‘Lily: Just a good friend I met a while back.’
Almost instantaneously he texted back;
‘Oliver: How do you know him?’
“Okay, it sounds like he is a little bit jealous. He texted back straight away and with a more personal question.” I laughed when Lily squealed again and went to reply but I halted her, “Lily, you can’t say anything personal. You have to be aloof so you don’t come across as available.” She nodded her head and typed out a reply, showing me before she sent it;
‘Lily: We met at a party, got a little drunk and kissed a bit.’
“Good thinking adding the kiss bit.” I giggled.
“Thanks, I feel guilty that I’m lying to him though.” Her smile dropped, “Do you think he noticed that he was gay?”
“Lily, James didn’t know Domenic was gay. I had to tell him straight and I even went through the whole ‘I’m-not-his-type’ routine.” I rolled my eyes and she laughed. Her phone buzzed;
‘Oliver: How much is a bit?’
“That’s a good sign, right? If he’s asking how much I kissed him?” she asked, hope gleaming so brightly in her brown eyes that reminded me of James. For God's sake...
“It’s definitely a good sign. Don’t reply with an answer, question him because then he’ll just get even more jealous.”
‘Lily: Why do you wanna know?’
“Now, it all depends on his answer whether it’ll show if he’s properly jealous.” I smirked.
“How can you tell?” she asked, glancing down at her phone every few seconds.
“Because he’ll reply something like ‘Just curious’ or ‘Just wondering’ and it basically means he is trying to show that he isn’t jealous.” I explained.
“How did you get so good at this stuff?” she smiled at me.
“Charity had to go through all this with Darrell when they first started chatting and she showed me all the ins-and-outs of flirting basically.” I replied.
‘Oliver: I’m just curious.’
“Oh my God! He’s jealous!” she stood up, did a really weird happy dance and squealed even louder, “He likes me! He likes me!”
“Lily! Calm down!” I shouted over her but with a smile on my face, “Just reply with ‘okay’.” I ordered and she did just that.
‘Oliver: So… how much is a bit?’
“He’s just asked me again.” She looked down confused.
“See? He thinks that something must have gone on between the two of you and he wants to know what it is. That’s why he asked you again.”
“What do I reply with now?”
“What?” her eyebrows knitted together as she stared at the message on her screen, “I can’t just not reply.” She scoffed.
“You can and you will. If you don’t reply, it makes you look like you’re busy and don’t have time to answer him.” I took her phone off her and pocketed it.
“Hey!” she protested.
“Just in case you are tempted to reply to him,” I held my hands up, “I’ll give it back to you later and tell you what to say to him.” I was expecting some protesting from her side but she suddenly engulfed me in a tight hug.
“Thank you so much, Elle!” she whispered.
“It’s no problem, I told you that you could come and talk to me about your problems.” I blushed, feeling flustered.
“I know, I’m so glad I don’t have to talk to my Mum about this. It would be too awkward.”
“How did this even start anyway?” I asked curiously.
“I was at one of the after-parties to celebrate them winning a match and I got very drunk. We ended up going back to his and, you know,” she blushed, “When he woke up the next morning, he kept apologising and said he felt guilty because he’d slept with his teammate’s baby sister. And that James would kill him.”
“James hasn’t found out though, has he?”
“No, thank God! Anyway, I told him that it was fine because I wasn’t looking for a relationship,” she shrugged, “Because I wasn’t at the time. Then we kind of started the agreement.”
“Did you have any like rules or anything?”
“Yeah, we weren’t allowed to cuddle or anything, not allowed to spend time together outside of our relationship thing and we had to stop if one of us got into a relationship.” She listed.
“Sounds simple. How did you get feelings for him then?”
“We kind of broke one of the rules. We’d just finished and then we started complaining about how bored we were whilst we were laid in his bed afterwards. Then we just got to talking and I realised we had loads in common and…” She answered.
“And you realised how much you actually liked him?” I finished for her.
“Yeah, basically.” Her cheeks tinged pink, “But I think he’s still scared of what James will say if he ever found out.”
“I doubt James will injure him badly,” I laughed when she looked scared, “Don’t worry, if he does get angry I’ll calm him down.” I reassured her.
“Thanks,” she hugged me again, “For everything.”
“Hey, it’s no problem at all.” I said again, “Anyway, I need to go and put this stuff away so…” I held up the bags from the shopping centre.
“Yeah, yeah of course. I’ll just get dressed.”
“See you.” I exited her room, shutting it behind me and walked into my bedroom. When I managed to manoeuvre the pink suitcase down from on top of the wardrobe, I pulled all their presents out of each bag and began packing them away efficiently so that I wouldn’t forget where they were when it was time to go home. Then I tried, and failed, to put the heavy suitcase back on top of the wardrobe. James came up to see what the noise was when I pushed the vanity chair from the bathroom into the closet so I could actually reach.
“Are you just gonna stand there or are you gonna help?” I huffed when the suitcase dropped again.
“It’s quite funny to watch.” He chuckled.
“I’ll show you funny when I throw this suitcase at your head.” I threatened.
“If you can pick it up.” He retorted.
“I won’t miss though, the size of your head will be an easy enough target.” He stuck his tongue out and I reciprocated.
“I was gonna help you but you just insulted me so now I won’t.” he smirked smugly, crossing his arms and standing in the middle of the room watching me fail helplessly as I tried, again, to put the suitcase back.
“James!” I whined childishly. He rolled his eyes, yanked my suitcase up effortlessly and slid it right on top of the wardrobe, next to his, “That wasn’t hard, was it?” I crossed my arms smugly.
“Shut up.” He stood in front of me as I rested my hands on his shoulders. Without warning, he wrapped his arms around my waist and hoisted me off the chair so my legs automatically wound round his hips.
“Ah!” I squealed and giggled at the same time. He pecked me on the lips before setting me down onto the floor where I pushed the chair back into the bathroom. Elle, stop kissing him when you’re alone!
“Come on, Mum and Al are home so she’s starting dinner.” He grabbed my hand, walking with me down the stairs to the kitchen.
“Hello!” I greeted the two when we entered the room, “How was today?”
“Really fun actually.” Al answered, “Helped Mum with a few things.” He tapped his nose just like Harry had today.
“And I had a completely genius idea but you’ll have to wait until we start eating.” Ginny exclaimed excitedly.
“Should we be worried?” James stared at his Mum anxiously.
“No, it’s exciting.” She shooed us into our seats as she prepared our food.
“I’m actually really worried. Mum’s ideas are never good.” James whispered in my ear.
“Thanks for reassuring me, honey.” I replied sarcastically, rolling my eyes and he smirked.
“No problem, love.”
“Everyone tuck in whilst I explain,” Ginny put everyone’s food in front of them and sat down next to Harry with a massive grin on her face, “Anyway, I know that you two have only just recently become engaged,” she looked between myself and James and my stomach dropped south almost immediately, “Well, it’s just an idea.” She laughed nervously.
“Mum, just spit it out.” James cut across her, earning a small glare.
“Why don’t we have the wedding here? In Spain?” she blurted and I choked on my drink quite loudly.
“What?” James spluttered. I was not expecting that. James obviously wasn’t either because he was just staring at his Mum in unadulterated shock.
“Well, it’ll be so romantic to get married here and I can guarantee I’ll help get everything ready as quickly as possible!” she hurriedly said. James looked down at me and I pleaded with my eyes to disagree or make up some excuse. The deal was to pretend to be engaged! Not get married! I wasn’t sure I had the moral compass to do something like that, it was marriage for Christ’s sake!
“But Elle wants her family there with her!” James said quickly.
“And we don’t want anything big.” I added but that seemed to be the right thing to say because Ginny’s grin grew bigger.
“Exactly! It won’t be big at all, just us a lot and Elle’s family. Maybe a few friends and I promise it won’t be much bigger,” She pleaded, “And we can apparate your family here on the day Elle, it’s no problem at all.” It seemed she had everything already settled so there was no point in disagreeing. Why hadn’t I been worried before about any of this happening? This was one situation that could have possibly happened and I didn’t even consider it… James’ hand was clenching my hand so tightly under the table and everyone was staring at us with hopeful expressions, Lily looked about ready to burst with excitement and that made me feel guilty for agreeing to this whole thing. For the first time ever, I regretted saying ‘yes’ to James properly and I wanted to back out of this deal so much right now.
“Please, please, please can we have the wedding here?” Lily begged, clasping her hands together in a ‘prayer’ form and shaking them slightly, “Oh, it’ll be so cute and adorable and romantic!” she squealed.
My lips moved before I could even full register it, “Why not?” I plastered a fake-smile on my face as both Ginny and Lily simultaneously squealed loudly. My brain had realised before I did that if we said ‘no’ it would too suspicious so the only thing we could do was say ‘yes’.
“Oh this is just fantastic! I have everything all sorted for what we need to do tomorrow!” Ginny jumped up from her chair and put everyone’s dishes in the sink.
“Tomorrow?” my mouth dropped open.
“Yeah, we’ll sort out your dress, the bridesmaid dress, because obviously there’ll only be one if it’s a small gathering, the invitations and the location first so that all the important stuff is out the way,” she planned, “Then on Wednesday we can go and sort out food, music, flowers and all the small minor details.” She looked positively excited whilst I was filled with so much dread. James was still quiet beside me but I didn’t want to look at him.
“Oh… oh, okay.” I stuttered.
“Ginny, honey, calm down.” Harry laughed at his wife, hooking an arm around her waist, “I think we should leave all the talk for tomorrow, okay?”
“Okay, sorry Elle,” she clasped my hands in hers, “Oh, I’ve always wanted to plan my daughter’s wedding but Lily refuses to get into a relationship.” She sent a small glance at Lily, who blushed bright red and I was the only person who knew why.
“I have my reasons Mum.” She moaned, rolling her eyes.
“But you can’t be a spinster for the rest of your life.” Ginny chuckled at her daughter’s outrageous expression.
“I’m not a spinster! I just… I haven’t met the right person yet.” She sent me a small glance and I smiled briefly, “I mean, I am only 22!”
“And your Mum knows that Lily,” Harry sent Ginny a ‘look’ and she shut her mouth, “She’s just excited at the moment.”
“And rightly so.” Al inputted and I glared hard at him.
“Anyway, let’s leave the two of them alone so they can start planning things out.” Ginny started to usher everyone out but my phone buzzed in my pocket.
“Actually, Charity’s calling me. I have to take this.” I held my phone up, answered it and walked onto the beach so I could talk to her privately, “Hey sis.”
“Elle, I’m so sorry about Dad yesterday. If I had known…” she trailed off.
“I know, it’s okay,” I sighed, “I just think, maybe, it’s not a good idea if you get him to talk to me anymore.”
“But Elle!” she protested straight away, “He’s your Dad! He should talk to you, no matter what has happened!”
“Charity, it’s just for the best. If he doesn’t want to speak to me anymore, we shouldn’t force him.” I replied, the lump in my throat growing thicker and thicker.
“I’m sorry Elle, if there was anything I could do to make him change his mind-.”
“Well, there is nothing you can do so we just give up.” I interrupted her.
“I can’t Elle, it’s not fair for him to just suddenly stop talking to you!”
“It’s been 2 years Charity, if he’s still not willing to voluntarily speak to me… it’s a hopeless case.” I sighed, completely and utterly defeated, “At least you tried, for my sake.”
“I really did try. Sorry it didn’t work out. Love you.”
“Yeah, love you too. Bye.”
“Bye.” She hung up and I turned around to head back inside but came up short when James was stood there, hands in his pockets and studying my expression wearily.
“How much did you hear?” I asked, my voice catching in my throat a little.
“Enough.” He replied quietly, still watching my expression.
“Come on.” He suddenly grabbed my hand, pulling me behind him into the library. Once he was sat down, he sat me down beside him and put my legs across his lap, “Read to me.” He passed me The Notebook.
“What? Why?” I grabbed the book, rotating it in my hands and reading the blurb.
“Because you have a good reading-voice and I want to close my eyes for a while.” He answered, leaning his head back and closing his eyes slowly.
“Are you sure?” I opened the book, flipping forward to Chapter 1.
“Just read it Elle, please.”
“Okay…” I took a deep breath and began to read, “Who am I? And how, I wonder, will this story end? The sun has come up and I am sitting by a window that is foggy with the breath of a life gone by.” I got to about Chapter 8 when I finally looked up at James. He had been oddly silent and still but when I saw him, I understood why. He was fast asleep, his mouth hanging open slightly whilst he was softly snoring with his head leaning towards me. It was utterly adorable and I felt myself smiling. My hand reached up and brushed a little bit of hair away from his face, moving down to trail his jawline before my thumb lightly brushed the little scar on his upper lip. He looked so peaceful as he slept and I felt myself falling for him even further. He was just always there for me, I noticed, and he didn’t even need to when we were alone, he could just completely ignore me whilst we were by ourselves and not be nice at all but he was. He was so considerate as well, like just now, he distracted me from that horrible phone call by telling me to read to him. And it worked. It seemed he was doing it to make me happy and I wondered when he suddenly cared about my happiness. My hand dropped from his face and a few seconds later his eyes peeled open.
“Sleepy?” I chuckled quietly when he stretched himself out.
“Yeah, let’s go to sleep.” He took the book out of my other hand, laid it on the coffee table and walked back to the bedroom with me. I quickly got changed in the bathroom before sliding into the bed next to him. Out of all the times we’d been in the same bed together, this was definitely the tensest it had been. We both lay on our backs, staring up at the ceiling without saying anything to each other.
“I’m so sorry Elle,” he suddenly spoke and I twisted my head to face his, “I never thought any of this would happen when I started the deal.” He swallowed thickly, still staring at the ceiling.
“It’s not your fault, you never saw this coming,” I reassured him, “Neither did I, to be honest.”
“I can understand if you want to go home and cancel this whole thing.” He finally looked at me but it was my turn to stare at the ceiling. I stayed silent, searching the roof above me for answers. Could I really just abandon James like this? I had formed some sort of affection towards the Potter’s, especially James, and I don’t think I’d be able to betray them like that… I just couldn’t.
“What?” he asked.
“No, we can’t do that to them James.” I answered difficultly. We faded into silence again, until I whispered in the darkness, “What are we gonna do after?”
“I dunno,” he replied just as quietly, “We could, you know, get a divorce?” my heart jolted, but not in a good way, and I felt disheartened.
“Yeah,” he replied awkwardly, “I mean, we’d have to wait a while for it to be realistic… but we could.”
“That’s a… good idea.” I nodded my head, turning myself over to face him properly, “It won’t be too bad, will it?” I asked, just because I didn’t want to come out of this looking like the bad guy if that was the direction we were going.
“No, we’ll say it was mutual agreement or I’ll take the blame. I’m not bothered.” He shrugged, turning to face me as well.
“I couldn’t let you take the blame for it James, we’ll just say it was a mutual agreement.”
“Okay.” He looked over my shoulder then back into my eyes, “I guess we have to talk about this wedding thing then…”
“I guess we do,” I sighed, “Any particular colour you want?” I asked.
“You’re the bride, you’re supposed to decide what colour you want.” He retorted.
“But you’re the other half of this thing as well. I can’t choose everything myself.”
“I have faith that’ll it look magnificent.” He kissed my forehead, shattering the awkward tension surrounding us. My favourite James was back.
“So you want me to choose everything?” I giggled.
“It’s the least I could do. Go wild, I don’t care about expense. Have anything that your heart desires.” He Smiled widely down at me, making me grin just as widely.
“Tell me about your first party at Hogwarts.”
“Are you sure you wanna know? It’s a pretty wild story,” I nodded my head vigorously and he sighed, “Well, okay then…”
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