Today we have an extra special treat, an excerpt from Fall From India Place by Samantha Young.
The weekend after our movie night together, Marco had had plans. However, the following Monday he turned up at my door after work, carrying a bag of groceries and film rentals. He quickly set himself up in my kitchen and I watched in bemusement as he threw together homemade meatballs and spaghetti. I don’t know why I was surprised that he could cook. His uncle owned and ran a restaurant.
We had fun that night, keeping it friendly, although Marco couldn’t help himself—he tried to flirt a little despite my lack of any outward response. He called me on his lunch break that week, he texted me a lot, and tried to tempt me to meet him for drinks on the Friday. It was a busy week, so I told him I had too much work to do. Not to be rebuffed, he asked me what I was doing that weekend and I explained I was going Christmas shopping in Glasgow. I liked to be organized about the whole Christmas presents thing.
To my utter surprise, Marco invited himself along.
That Saturday we met at Edinburgh’s Waverley Station and boarded the train to Glasgow together. For fifty minutes we sat across from one another and barely said a word. Although Marco was definitely more loquacious than he used to be and he wasn’t exactly broody anymore, he was still that guy who was comfortable and happy to sit in silence with me.
He caught me studying him as we passed through Falkirk and he smiled at my scrutiny. “What?”
“You’ve changed, but you haven’t.”
There was recognition, an understanding, in his eyes that told me he knew what I meant. “You too.”
Although I wasn’t willing to admit to my attraction to him, I wanted him to know I still remembered how good our friendship had been and that so far it had been good again. “We always had this, though. Being able to just be quiet and not have it feel awkward. Not needing to feel like we had to fill the silence. I have that with Cole, but . . . I mean, he’s like a brother, so . . . but other guys, we’ve never had . . .” I trailed off, realizing I was perhaps giving him more than I’d meant to.
I looked over at him when he didn’t reply, and tensed at the sudden stillness around him.
He leaned toward me. “I know I asked if there had been anyone special in your life but, honestly, Hannah, I don’t want to hear about other guys.” His jaw hardened and he looked out of the window.
That pissed me off. I was definitely not impressed with his display of alpha man possessiveness. But not wanting to have a fight in public, I stayed quiet, slowly allowing the burn of anger to dissipate. After ten minutes of now awkward silence, I replied quietly, “You and I are just friends.” And if he continued to be a possessive idiot that’s the way we’d remain.
Marco looked at me sharply. “But you know I want more,” he answered. “So you also must understand why I don’t want to hear shit about other guys you’ve been with. Guys that got all that I’ve wanted since I fucked it all up.”
The weight of our history, of our feelings and confusion, wrapped around me with a sense of longing then, and I felt fearful. Of us. Of our future. Or lack thereof. Without thinking, I whispered, “Maybe we shouldn’t hang out anymore.”
“You can handle it,” he said stonily, his tone brooking no argument.
I forced myself to meet his hard gaze. “But can you?”
“As long as you don’t talk about the guys you’ve fucked, or Cole too much, then, yeah, I can handle it.”
I narrowed my eyes. “Cole’s my best friend.”
He ducked his head, bringing us closer. “I’m your best friend,” he answered roughly. “You’ve just forgotten. My fault, I know. I can help you remember.”
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