Conner and Tucker walked Lea and me back to our apartment like gentlemen. The conversation between the four of us never strayed from Shane’s antics of the night or the fact that he paid an interest in me. The warnings to stay away from him from the two guys made me feel like a sixteen year old.
When we reached our apartment, I wasn’t surprised that Tucker and Conner came inside with us.
Conner draped himself over the couch as if he owned the place, and Lea curled up next to him, moaning about the room spinning. That left Tucker and me on opposite sides of the couch sitting in our two side chairs. Tucker leaned forward with his elbows on his knees and hands dangling between them, watching me.
Tucker had a young boyish face - and he was attractive, very attractive. His dark copper colored hair matched the exact shade of his eyes, which were still staring at me. “Can’t say I blame Shane though,” he smiled. “Grace was the prettiest girl in that whole bar.”
“Grace and Lea,” Conner added.
Lea moaned in response and lifted her head. “Thanks, babe,” she muttered.
Conner turned to look at me and regarded me with a serious expression. “You should steer clear of Shane, though. I mean, don’t get me wrong, he’s one of my best friends and I love the guy. You know, like a brother, but he’s got some major baggage with women and I just don’t think he’ll ever be capable of having more than a quick sexual relationship with a girl.”
Lea snorted and laughed. “Um, yeah. Well, gentlemen, thank you for all the warning labels you just plastered all over Shane, but there’s definitely nothing to worry about with Grace. Without a doubt, Shane is not a thought in Grace’s mind; definitely not her type at all.” She started giggling uncontrollably. “Although, I think a great one night stand here and there might be good for her, but trust me, boys, Grace is a nut that’ll never be cracked!” She gave me a wink and stumbled to the bathroom.
I smiled and settled back into my chair more. It felt comforting that I had Lea in my life. She knew me; she knew who I really was. To everyone else, I was just a regular twenty-something; indistinguishable from anyone else, and that’s what I wanted. No one but Lea and Jacob knew about my past and my secrets. Now Jake was gone and Lea was the only person in the world who knew who I really was. I sighed in relief. “I appreciate the Shane warnings, but I’m really not interested in being a notch on a bedpost, so I’m really not interested in him.” Like a narcissistic little boy would get under my skin. I had to be honest though, Shane was insanely attractive, but looks fade and they are just a covering. Even if the outside of a building looks beautiful and structurally sound, it doesn’t mean that once you step inside, the building wouldn’t be rotten and crumble down around you; crushing you. I was way beyond that. I had been broken so many times, no one needed to remind me of getting hurt. I just smiled and reassured them the existence of the possibility that I was just an ordinary girl.
Lea wobbled back into the room. “Really. Like, how much did I drink, and why can’t I get a normal hangover like everyone else? Why do I have to suffer the puke until you’re sober situation?” She plopped the bathroom wastebasket on the floor next to her and collapsed back unto the couch.
Conner bolted upright seeing the bucket. “Sweetie, if you puke in front of me I’m gonna blow too. I can’t stand the sight of someone vomiting!” He eyed her nervously.
She rolled her eyes. “I think I’m good. This is just in case, and you really should be the one that holds my hair back. That’s the sign of a good boyfriend!”
My eyes wandered up to the clock, and I saw that it was four in the morning. I yawned loudly, and announced, “Well, I’m beat. I’m going to bed. Conner, I’m positive that I will be seeing you in the morning, and knowing Lea, many mornings to come,” I smiled. A bubble of giggles escaped Lea’s lips. “Tucker, it was nice to meet you.”
Tucker stood up when I did, which I thought was sweet. “Good night, Grace.”
I think I fell asleep on the walk to my room, because the next thing I knew, it was two o’clock the next afternoon and I was still wearing Shane’s shirt. The subtle scent of him still lingered on it causing me to jump out of my bed thinking he was there with me.