No one, but you

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Chapter 42

I was living in LA for 5 months already. I got used to this city, to its rhythm and to people, who surrounded me. I was making new friends, staying in touch with my friends in New York. I was successful with my job here and was very proud of myself when Amanda praised me at one of the skype calls we held. Having Nate, who was visiting me every now and then, was good, but it was stopping me from making a new acquaintance from a romantic perspective. Only Tasha knew about our friendship with benefits and she wasn’t happy or quiet about it.

As Tasha and Jake’s wedding was planned on the 10th of July, I asked for a week off and was granted with it. I felt sad that I wasn’t there for her when she needed me. Tasha was choosing a dress via FaceTime with me and it was exhausting for both of us. She said that certain person deprived us of having this experience in a normal way and I knew that she was right. We both had this knowledge, that this wedding will be bound with very disturbing feelings for me. I was a wreck when I left NY and wasn’t able to support my best friend almost for 2 months.

I flew to New York on the evening of the 3rd of July and Tasha and Jake both were here to meet me. I couldn’t even describe how happy I was to see them both, but especially Tasha. It was the first time for all our friendship when we have not seen each other for so long. We both cried, but it was happy tears. It was decided, that I will be staying at their house until the wedding.

The first day I spent with Tasha and Jake, we celebrated the 4th of July at their house. It was only three of us, but we didn’t need any other company, so contain we were in our bubble. We talked and laughed, danced and sang. It was insane, but I needed just this. I was awfully happy.

The next few days I spent running errands on Tasha’s requests. Even if she was telling me, that she wasn’t nervous, she was. As hell. She became quickly annoyed and snapped at me and Jake on every occasion she had. One day I found him sitting on the porch. He didn’t want to get inside without me as his backup plan. I laughed from the sight, but soon it died in my throat, as Tasha discovered us here. She was extremely anxious and I honestly found it adorable to see. This girl was so in love with her soon-to-be-husband, so she wanted everything to be according to her plan of dream’s wedding. Even if she refused to admit it. Jake had the patience of an angel, but for me, it was another reminder of how perfect they were to each other. Love was everywhere.

Jake proposed to Tasha to mix their bachelor and bachelorette parties, but she refused. I honestly was surprised, for me it was a natural suggestion, but no, she’d had other’s plans. Two days before the wedding she, Chloe and I went to the SPA. We received the magical treatment here, relaxing completely. We talked about the time I wasn’t there. Chloe and Mitch were still together and he even moved in with her in our old apartment. I was happy for her, this beautiful girl deserved to be loved and to be happy.

Chloe asked me a million questions about my life in LA, I always was vague when I talked with her over the phone. She wanted to know everything, starting from my apartment to my duties at a job and even my colleagues. She was curious to know, what it meant for me to live in Hollywood. Of course, I knew that the question she was interested the most was coming, but still, she caught me off the guard.

“And what about your love life? Maybe you already met someone?”

Tasha snorted and I glared at her. I knew that she was thinking about my relationship with Nate. But there weren’t any relationships between us except for friendship. He knew how much I loved Tyler and it wasn’t fair to start a relationship with Nate, while he will know that I will always love the other man. His friend from all of the people.

“What’s so funny?” Chloe glanced between me and Tasha.

“It’s her secret to tell. Not mine.” Tasha shook her head and turned to pick another glass of champagne.

“Huh?” Chloe was staring at me, while I remained silent. “Holy shit! Don’t tell me, that it’s Nate? Are you a thing?”

“Yep.” Tasha answered before I even could open my mouth.

“Fuck! Tasha!” I started to feel annoyance. She was right. It was my secret and I honestly didn’t want to share it with anyone. Now I even regretted telling her. Clearly, it was a mistake. “Chloe, it’s not like that. We aren’t a thing. We’re just friends. He had been visiting me, while he was for business in LA, but that’s all.”

“Yeah... Just “friends”. He had been staying at your place for days. He didn’t need the hotel or anything. Only you and your warm bed.”

“For crying out loud, Tasha! What is the deal with you?”

“You like the man, he likes you back. You feel good around him, he already knows your needs and you know his. Why don’t try to date him? Don’t give me your bullshit again! That it’s only friendship between you two. From my perspective that “fucking buddies” thing it’s not your profile... Well, it’s yours, but I am sure as hell, that it has nothing to do with what you really need.”

“Oh, I see now. You were holding back yourself all this time. Am I right, Tasha?” I was beyond mad at her. She knew my reasons. I told them to her a thousand times already. Why didn’t she want to drop it? Chloe was feeling uncomfortable. We excluded her from our conversation and I could tell that she was relieved about it.

“Yeah. You’re right. Nate is a good guy, he respects you and I could tell that he likes you for real. He’s ready to do everything for you. But you still putting this act about you being in love with Tyler till the end of your days! How could you even consider it? Asshole hurt you over and over and over, you were a wreck each time! You were miserable when you ran away to LA! But you still love him? What the hell?”

“You can’t control your feelings, Tasha...” Chloe smiled at us sadly and I instantly felt her compassion to me.

“I can’t believe it! Chloe, let me tell you something... I know, that Vera thinks the other way, but believe me... If Tyler won’t get married to this Italian chick and he will find Vera’s whereabouts. She will be with him again.”

“I won’t.”

“Stop this! I know you for the whole of my life! You’re predictable when it goes down to Douglas.”

“Like hell, I would!” I got up and rushed out to the exit. I went to the changing room, dressing in my black floral dress and walked to the street. I was angry at Tasha. I was angry at myself. Because if I will be honest with myself, what she said, was the truth. Except, that he will marry this girl. He never contradicted to his dad. Never done this before and won’t do it now. I paced back and forth before the entrance to the SPA. For me, the day was ruined. How could I go to dinner with only Tasha as my company?

Tasha and Chloe were outside 15 minutes after when I calmed down a little and now was sitting on the bench near the exit. Tasha stood before me, averting her eyes to the side. I knew that she was feeling guilty, but at the same time she was sure of her words, so she didn’t regret it. Chloe smiled at me, patting me on my shoulder.

“I was very happy to spend this morning in your company. I missed my roommate. I am sorry that I need to leave you, but work doesn’t wait for me. See you at the reception?”

“Of course! Thanks, Chloe.” I stood up and hugged her tight. She hailed a taxi and was gone in a few minutes. The silence between me and Tasha was starting to get on my nerves.

“You know, that I am right. Deep down, you just know it, Vera...” Tasha was staring right me in the eyes and I held her gaze.

“It doesn’t matter now, what I know. He’s his father’s son. He will marry Penelope and I think we should leave it right here.”

“As you wish... I don’t want to ruin our dinner tonight with our arguments.”

“Me too.”

“Peace?”

“Sure.” She hugged me and I kissed her cheek stepping aside. We hailed a taxi and drove off to Tasha and Jake’s place. We had at least 4 hours before dinner, so we used it to pumper up ourselves. Nate helped me to book a table at one of the fanciest restaurants on the Upper East Side. I was very grateful, thanking him over and over again until he didn’t silence me with a kiss. I felt a warmth spreading through my body, remembering his last visit to LA.

When Tasha and I were sitting in the taxi, I had time to observe my friend. She looked beautiful in a red loose dress and nude stilettoes, she put a little makeup to highlight her features. I smiled at her. I love her, she was my family.

“I think I got your approval?” She asked me, arching her eyebrow.

“Yep. You’re gorgeous!” I put my hand on hers and gave it a squeeze.

“Look who’s talking!” I looked at myself and smiled. I choose a deep blue dress with low back and knee-length with black stilettoes. It was hugging all of my curves, I felt sexy in it. My hair was down in some waves and bright makeup on my face. We both looked stunning and I was hoping, tonight will go also perfectly.

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