LUCAS was still in a bad mood throughout the rest of school. Ava could sense something was the matter but she didn't want to push him to tell her if he didn't want to.
But, like he promised, he took Ava to the best ice cream parlour in town and she couldn't be more excited. It was a cute little one that had all sorts of different unusual flavours with many different colours. The walls were covered in pastel colours and the seats were comfy sofas.
She knew that Lucas didn't like to go because it was too childish or girly. Apparently it wasn't manly to sit in a store surrounded by parents watching their kids do the special colouring papers but whenever she gives him the puppy dog eyes, he always gives in.
"I don't know why you like this place so much." Lucas complained for the fiftieth time since school ended.
"Because." She drawled, rolling her eyes at him.
"It's just so..."
"Yummy." Ava sighed with a dreamy expression, as she thought about which flavour she'd get this time.
This time it was Lucas who rolled his eyes. "Whatever. You want to eat here or at the tree?" He said as he pulled up by the ice cream parlour.
He nodded in return and got out the car to open the door for Ava. She always needed a hand because the car was slightly higher off the ground than other cars and she didn't want to risk falling.
"Why aren't you wearing your jacket?" Lucas noticed that the jacket he had put on her was on the seat and not around her. He was frowning and looked around the street, slightly covering her with his own body.
She shrugged. "It was too hot. Let's go." She grabbed his hand and then skipped to the cute little ice parlour, Lucas slightly lagging behind.
When they got in, it was slightly busy so she was relieved they already decided to go to their tree. They were happily greeted by Joe, an old man, close to his retirement and the owner of the shop. His wife died before they could have any children so it was just Joe as he never married again. He opened the shop in memory of his late wife because she loved ice cream. Ava always saw him as a grandfather - old, wise and had a round belly.
"Ahhh. Ava and Lucas. My favourite customers. Don't tell the others." He whispered the last part making Ava giggle. Lucas smiled warmly at the old man, which was rare. He always did have a soft spot for Joe. Ava thought it was the extra scoops he gives him because Lucas is a "growing boy."
"Hi Joe!!" She waved at the man opposite the counter before putting both hands on the glass in front of the ice creams and looking intently at each one.
"Joe." Lucas nodded in greeting.
Small hands on Ava's leg made her look down to see a little girl, around three, looking up at her with wide eyes. Lucas and Joe were discussing business so Ava picked the little girl up and balanced her on her hip, seeing as she was light enough to do so.
"Hello. Where's your mummy and daddy?" Ava asked her in a soothing voice.
The little girl shrugged and played with Ava's hair. It was straight at the beginning of the day but had now returned back to its wavy state.
Ava was slightly worried. She didn't know what to do with the little girl. Sure, she was great with kids of all ages and loved them to bits but she didn't want some angry parent accusing her of kidnapping.
"Want some ice cream?"
The little girl perked up and Ava was happy she wasn't crying about being lost. The girl nodded frantically and started clapping her hands, gaining the attention of Joe and Lucas.
A look of confusion spread across both of their faces. Lucas looked warily at the girl who leaned forward to look at the ice cream, making Ava struggle to hold her properly. "Who's this Ava?" He asked cautiously.
"I don't know. She's lost," Ava paused to get a better grip on the squirmy infant, "she was holding onto my leg and now I'm buying her ice cream."
Lucas reluctantly took the girl away from Ava and held her more easily. The girl started to beep every time she poked his large bicep. Ava saw the irritated look on his face but knew that he was great with kids too. She always thought he'd be an amazing father because even if he didn't like other people's children, he'd absolutely adore his own.
"You mean I'm buying her ice cream?" Lucas asked.
"Yep!" Ava agreed and went back to look at the flavours, pointing out interesting ones with the little girl.
Joe looked at them in awe. He was a big shipper of Ava and Lucas, always saying that they'd be married and have many children together. "Look at you two. It's like a snapshot into the future. You two with your little girl. Hopefully I'll still be here to serve you ice cream." Joe said wistfully then adding more urgently, "I might not be here for much longer so you two should get a move on."
"Joe." She dragged his name, groaning as he started muttering about naming one of their children after him. Lucas wasn't doing anything but staring at Ava and bouncing the little girl on his hip.
"Joe. Joe." He imitated Ava, pulling funny faces. "Fine I'll stop. But, if you do end up together and have a boy, you name him after yours truly. Deal?"
Ava giggled, "deal." She thought he was just being a silly old man. Lucas on the other hand stared at her with a look she couldn't decipher. But, it didn't matter because she was ready to order her ice cream.
"May I please have a scoop of blueberry and a scoop of cookies and cream." She watched eagerly as Joe made her ice cream but quickly added loudly, "don't forget the sprinkles!"
Lucas chuckled quietly at her before ordering his vanilla ice cream.
"Boring!" Ava teased.
"How dare you! Vanilla is simple and the original of the ice cream. One of the best. You must apologise at one." Lucas shouted in mock horror.
She hung her head down in shame, giggling despite how much she tried to hold it in and said, "I'm sorry Lu Lu."
He gasped loudly. "Not to me! To the ice cream!" Lucas pointed at the cone of vanilla ice cream in Joe hand, who was looking at the pair in amusement.
"I am so sorry vanilla ice cream!" Ava exclaimed exaggeratedly, forgetting about the store full of parents and children. Placing her hand on her forehead she said, "please forgive me. You are most definitely not boring but simply delicious and deliciously simple!"
At this point, the little girl in Lucas' arms was laughing so much, tears came out of her eyes.
"I'm sure it forgives you." He muttered with a mock sigh.
Suddenly loud claps were heard from around them, the children in the store looking at the two in amazement for their show and parents looking pleased their children were happy. Ava at once blushed her bright red and stepped closer to Lucas, probably trying to hide behind him. He just looked down at Ava, laughing at her embarrassed state, not even caring that he made a fool out of himself.
"You kids are great. Just for that, the ice cream's on the house!" Joe told them, still laughing at them slightly.
"Thanks Joe. What d'you want kid?" Lucas asked the giggling girl pulling on his ear.
"Choco! Choco! Choco!" She repeated, pointing at the glass before smacking his face with her chubby little hands.
Ava heard Lucas growl a little as held her hands to stop her. He asked Joe for a cup of chocolate, not wanting her hands to get messy with a cone. Just as they received each of their ice cream, a frantic lady barged through the glass door with a wild look on her face. Lucas immediately moved in front of Ava and the latter clutched the back of his top, a little frightened of the woman.
Her eyes searched the room before landing on Lucas. Or more specifically, what was in Lucas' arms eating a cup of chocolate ice cream.
"Oh my baby! You found her!" The lady rushed forward to pick the girl up, a look of relief and gratitude on her face. "Thank you so much Al-"
Lucas interrupted, "it's alright. She went to Ava straight away so it was lucky she was good hands."
"I can't thank you enough. Both of you." She emphasised, appreciation lacing her words.
"Just keep an eye on her next time." He warned.
The lady nodded and walked out with the little girl waving at Lucas and Ava. Ava licked her ice cream happily and waved at the girl, pleased she found her mother.
After that, the pair said their own goodbyes to Joe and set off to the park. Ava loved going to the tree because even though she lost her mother and father there, she gained Lucas and she was quite alright with that.
Spending a while sat against the large tree and eating their ice cream, Ava started to get tired so she asked to go home. Lucas readily agreed, knowing that home meant his house. Ava didn't call the children's home her home because as cringey as it may sound, home is where the heart is and her heart is always with Lucas.
"Go put a movie on baby. I'll get the pizza." Lucas put some left over pizza in the microwave as Ava went upstairs to his room browsed through Netflix for a film to watch on his laptop. She settled on Beauty and the Beast as it was her favourite. Before Lucas got back, she got changed into one of his t-shirts that rested at the middle of her thighs. It was much more comfortable than what she wore to school.
As she got settled in the covers of Lucas' King-sized bed, the door opened and Lucas came in along some pizza, pepperoni to be exact. He groaned when he saw the opening titles of the film. "Really? We've watched this so many times."
Ava sprawled herself on the bed, "that just shows how amazing it is." She lifted her arms in the air to emphasise her words.
"You're too cute."
She blushed and rolled over to make room for him and the pizza. Lucas put the pizza next to her and went to get changed. He stripped off his top and changed into some sweatpants that hung low on his hips. Ava couldn't help but stare at his well defined chest, a six pack very prominent. Even if it was her best friend, she couldn't deny he looked like a God.
Just as he looked up at her, Ava quickly averted her eyes to the pizza and picked up a slice. Lucas moved to the side of the bed and picked up Ava, erupting a squeal from her, to lay with his back resting on the headboard. He placed her back down on top of him, an arm around her waist and her head on his bare chest. Ava made herself comfortable and enjoyed the movie.
They were halfway through the movie and Ava was singing a long to the songs. Even Lucas was mouthing a long to the words, no matter how much he denied it. She had placed a napkin on Lucas' six pack and her last pizza slice rested on it, using him as a table. His hand was running up and down her back, tingles dancing where ever he touched, when suddenly, he said, "you did so good today. I'm so proud of you."
"I know. I can't believe a made a friend." Her words were mumbled through the pizza she was chewing on but Lucas heard clearly as his whole body tensed at the mention of Jackson.
"I don't want you to be friends with Jackson anymore baby." His voice lacked any emotion and so did his face when Ava sat up to look at him.
She pouted and her eyebrows creased in confusion. "Why? Do you not like him? He didn't even say anything to you."
"He's just... not a good person. I don't want him using you."
"I promise he's not." Ava said desperately. "Please Lu Lu. I only want a friend that I made myself. I want more friends like you do."
It seemed her words did nothing to persuade him. "You want him to be your new best friend huh?" He questioned darkly, eyes still looking at the laptop screen but Ava could tell he wasn't paying attention. She could see the hurt in them.
She gasped and hugged him closer, putting her head in his neck and ran her small nimble fingers through his brown hair. "Of course not. Only you're my best friend. Forever and ever. Promise Lu Lu." She was desperate to make him believe her, not ever wanting him to doubt their friendship.
He sighed and moved the dirty napkin, full of pizza crumbs, off his torso and hugged Ava back, careful of the laptop. Neither were paying attention to it anymore.
"I know Ava baby. I know. Love you."
"Love you too Lu Lu. Very much. You're my favourite." She whispered in his neck, her breath fanning his skin causing him to shiver.
"Favourite what baby?" He asked curiously.
He laughed. "Thank you little one. And you're mine too."
They settled down to watch the film. "So can we still be friends with Jackson? " She hesitantly asked him, giving him the puppy dog eyes for extra effect.
After a long pause from Lucas, he reluctantly agreed. She was glad he wasn't too angry about wanting to be friends with Jackson. No doubt she would choose Lucas over Jackson but it would've been a shame since he was so nice to her on the first day. But, she couldn't live without Lucas.
The longest they ever spent apart was a day and that was because Lucas' father took him on a short, overnight holiday on his thirteenth birthday. She had spent the entire day sulking but when she woke up the next day, Lucas was in her bed with his arms wrapped around her. He seemed more protective ever since but it didn't bother her. As long as he was protective, he still cared.
With her thoughts of the past with Lucas, she drifted off to sleep in the comfort of her best friend's arms.
Thank you for reading!
Exam are killing me slowly...
Yes I should be revising. And yes. I am on Wattpad instead. Shhhh.
P.S. Can't thank you enough for the support on this story.
Much love <3