The following day, after Kai and I slept in my old house, we decided to go to the local diner and get food. My parents were pleased by this, they didn't want to have another awkward meal with us.
We both sat opposite each other, staring into each other's eyes as we waited for our food to come. When we first stepped in, Kai had attracted the attention of quite a few people here.
He didn't notice for once and if he did, he didn't comment on it. It was definitely a change in his character. English Kai would definitely poke the bear, well so to speak. He would bring to my attention how attractive he was and how all the girls wanted him.
After an old friend of mine from high school served us, Kai and I began talking about my family.
I tell him everything about life growing up with them and how it was hard to find myself. Embarrassingly, I tell him about me chasing after guys in high school. Surprisingly, he doesn't' laugh that much at me.
I'm so engrossed in my stories, that I don't notice the bell ringing or someone skipping over to me with a happy smile. It's only when arms wrap around my body, do I realize that someone is hugging me.
Tearing my eyes away from Kai, I give the stranger a strange look. But as soon as my eyes land on the person, I shriek and leap up from my seat. Her arms don't leave my body once, even when I unconsciously moved away from her.
"Anna!" I yell, crushing her with my arms. She giggles, causing her green eyes to light up. After hugging her, she slides into the booth with me, briefly glancing at Kai. When she turns her attention back to me, I am met with a harsh glare.
"It's about time you were here. Do you know how long I've been waiting for you?" She questions, trying to sound tough and annoyed. However, I know my best friend and I know when she is putting on an act. "Why the hell didn't you tell me you were here as soon as you touched down? Huh? Huh?"
Woah, someone's been having too many energy drinks.
"I wanted to spend some time with Kai," I answer, pointing my head at my handsome boyfriend opposite me. "I didn't want him to be overwhelmed with you guys."
Anna arches an eyebrow, unimpressed. "Are you telling me we're a handful?"
I shrug my shoulders, hiding the smile threatening to show on my face. "I'm not saying anything."
She rolls her eyes and mutters something under her breath.
"Anyways, it's great to see you," She blurts out, her mood taking a one-eighty turn. "Like in person."
"It's great to see you physically too," I reply and to add to her awkwardness, I poke in her in the arm. She chuckles at my action. "Oh, and by the way, this is Kai. My boyfriend."
As soon as I say the word 'boyfriend', Anna is sat up straight in her seat, excited. She grins ear-to-ear and introduces herself.
"It's nice to meet you, I'm sorry I didn't acknowledge you earlier. I would say Ren has told me about you but she hasn't. I'm assuming you're her mystery man?"
Kai glances at me, giving me an amused look. He shakes her hand that is stretched out to him and nods his head.
"It's nice to meet you too..." He drawls out, waiting for her to fill in the gap.
Anna gasps and lightly wacks my arm. "You didn't tell him about me? How rude."
Sometimes I think Anna is turning into another me. Over the past few years, she's changed into a confident, sassy person. I blame her boyfriend Xavier. Nonetheless, she's happy. She's finally who she wants to be.
"Anna. My name is Anna. Sorry my so-called best friend didn't tell you about me. I bet she was too busy talking about herself."
This time I gasp and wack her on the arm.
"I'm not that self-centered." I fire back, rolling my eyes. "I just...forgot."
"Sure," She mumbles under her breath, unconvinced. "Anyways, the guys are meeting up tonight. Jess is visiting and Cora and Derek are back from traveling. You wanna join?"
Before I can answer, she cuts me off.
"Of course you're coming, there's no need for you to answer. I will not take no for an answer."
And that settles it.
We talk for a while about life in England and how different it is to America. Soon, we leave, promising to see Anna tonight at a local bar.
"You're friend is really nice." Kai comments on the way back to my parent's house. "And slightly crazy. I wonder where she got that from."
Hiding the smile threatening to slide onto my face, I shrug my shoulders nonchalantly. "I have no idea what you're talking about."
"Sure, sure." He says. "I believe you."
The rest of the journey is spent with Kai teasing me, exactly like he did in England. I smile the entire time, even if his teasing begins to infuriate me. I wouldn't change this for the world.
My parents are gone by the time we arrive back, leaving the house empty.
Obviously, we're going to make the most of this. Before I can even step into the living room, hands wrap around my waist and pull me into a rock solid chest. My eyes flutter closed at the sensation of his front against my chest.
For the next few hours, we spend it having 'fun'.
"Holy sh*t, Ren is that you?" Cora exclaims, staring at me with wide eyes. The disbelief in her tone is hard to miss. Nodding my head, I extend my arms, silently commanding her to get over here and give me a bone-crushing hug. Without a single complaint, she does.
"I missed you," I mumble into her shoulder, squeezing her waist. The familiar smell of strawberries assaults my nose. Reminding me of all the times Cora would spray it after P.E.
"Same." She replies and reluctantly pulls away from me. "Why didn't anyone inform me she was coming?"
The accusation is clear in her voice. She's p*ssed nobody told her I was coming. Which is fairly surprising since Cora hates showing affection to me. Our whole friendship is based off pretending to hate each other or messing with each other. Now that I think of it, it's very similar to my relationship with Kai.
"Well..." Anna splutters. "I wanted it to be a surprise."
I roll my eyes and lightly punch Anna in greeting. Xavier, who is stood protectively behind her raises his fist. I punch it, very tempted to do the bro-hug.
Cora glares at Anna for a moment. Anna sheepishly smiles and tucks a strand of her brown hair behind her ear.
Jess is the next person to hug me. She smiles happily at me, glad to see me.
"You're looking great, Jess." I compliment, my eyes raking from her toes to the top of her head. Jess blushes and mumbles a 'thank you' under her breath. Still shy then.
Derek gives me a brief hug and whispers kind words into my ear.
I completely forget Kai is stood at the back, again, waiting for me to introduce him.
Pulling away from Derek, I head over to Kai and grab his hand. His beautiful eyes glance down at me; I notice the shine to them.
"Guys, this is Kai. My new boy toy." I announce cheekily, giving Kai an innocent smile when he growls a warning under his breath.
They all introduce themselves politely, teasing him.
Kai smiles, happy to be welcomed in my group. He might not say it but I have a feeling he was worried about meeting them.
He takes my hand and allows me to guide him to the large table. We all sit down and grab menus.
I won't lie, a small part of me thought it would be awkward but I was wrong. As soon as we sat down and got comfortable, we were all having a blast.
Kai is befriending my friends. He's acting like he's known them for a long time. It's amazing to see him fit in.
I'm so grateful he's trying with them.
Every now and then, his hand would slip to my exposed thigh and squeeze it. At first, I thought he was teasing me but I soon realized he was actually doing it as something to ease his anxiety.
So whenever he put his hand on my thigh, I would place my hand on top of him, reassuring him I am here for him.
I don't even realize everyone has gone quiet until Kai squeezes my thigh. Giving him a questionable look, I watch as he nods his head in a certain direction. Confused, I follow his line of sight and see a face that startles me to the core.
My heart rate spikes.
My breath hitches.
I can't believe who is stood right in front of me.