"Are you sure you are doing the right thing?"
He shrugged as he picked up his duffel bag. His hair fell in his eyes as he pushed in away with annoyance.
"Who knows?! But it will be an adventure. My parents think it's a great opportunity, Oxford is like the English equivalent of Yale."
"I know that, I am from England remember?" Victoria snapped, her eyes suddenly filling with hot tears.
"Well then you know that I can't refuse such an offer. We can keep in touch-"
"For fucks sake, Greg. You're my best friend."
He stepped forward then, his fingers brushing away her tears as she held his hands.
"I see you every day, we work together all the time-"
"Victoria. You've got Drake. You've got Shannon, your aunt... you're doing so well. I don't have a reason to stay."
"Stay for me. For our friendship."
"Victoria," he sighed, as she glared at him.
"Is this because you have feelings for me? Really?"
He looked taken aback as she groaned.
"You're moving to England, because you can't stand that I'm with Drake. That's true isn't it?"
He lifted his eyes to hers, as she sucked in a breath, her eyes wide.
"Shit, tell me I'm wrong, Greg," her voice was barely above a whisper as he stroked her face, his thumb tilting her chin up slightly.
"I can't lie to you. But you're in love with him-"
"Are you in love with me?"
He swallowed then, looking away uncomfortably, before she stepped back.
"You're my best friend Greg. There's nothing between us-"
"No, you're right. So I'm doing the right thing. Listen-"
She sucked in a breath as she folded her arms, shaking her head.
"You're leaving me."
"Be fucking fair, Victoria."
They stared at each other, words unspoken filling the air.
"I came to say goodbye, lets not make it awkward. Send me an invite to the wedding," he smiled sadly, as he pulled her into his arms. "I love you, Victoria Marshall. Let me go."
She buried her face into his neck, suddenly furious with him for feeling something for her despite everything.
"You're a coward," she whispered, tears falling down her face as he nodded.
"Maybe. La douleur exquise."
She stared at him as she frowned, unsure what it meant.
He kissed her forehead, as he moved past her and out to the waiting car. His scent lingered in the air behind him, as she stood, frozen in shock. Her best friend was really going. She heard movement behind her and she whirled around, hoping it was him telling her it was all a sick joke.
"Hey," whispered Shannon, her eyes red from crying. The girls fell into one another's arms as they cried, both distraught at him leaving.
"Its only Greg, why are we crying?!" Shannon sobbed, as Victoria let out a small laugh.
Shannon eyed her carefully, holding her at arms length.
"Did he say anything to you? About you and him?"
Victoria swallowed, closing her eyes as she remembered the words he had used.
"I think he left because of me."
Shannon smiled kindly, before hugging her.
"He was in love with you. We all knew it. It's for the best, even though its incredibly sad."
Victoria didn't respond, only nodding.
"Drake is coming over. He said we can watch any film I want, and we're gonna eat pizza and chocolate ice cream-"
"That sounds amazing. I'm gonna go and see Axel...he always knows how to cheer me up."
Victoria hugged her, feeling comforted by her friends presence.
"I love you Jones."
"Stop being dramatic, we've finally got rid of him," Shannon joked, fanning her face as she grinned.
Victoria walked her to the door, as she saw her Aunt watching her from her usual spot by the tv.
"You ok hon?"
"Yeah, just sad. I will miss him."
"You can visit him. I'm sure he will be back to see his folks from time to time. It's not forever."
"Oxford is a great opportunity for him. He is so intelligent, he will do so well..." her voice trailed off as she sank into the sofa, hugging herself as she tried to breathe normally.
"He knows you love him. Maybe just not in the way he would like..." her aunt said softly, her eyes crinkling as she smiled at her kindly. She nodded to the driveway as headlights flooded the room, as Victoria smiled. "Here comes your knight in shining armour, as promised."
The lights turned off as she watched him climb from the car, his hair wet from the shower. His slung his gym bag over his shoulder as she watched his handsome face leaning into the boot with concentration.
"Who'd have thought it...my niece tamed Drake Anderson," she chuckled to herself as Victoria turned to gaze at the door as he let himself in. Her heart swelled when she saw he had a bouquet of flowers in his arms, a smile on his handsome face.
"How's my girl?"
He leaned down, making a sad face as he ran his thumb under my eyes.
"I'm a little sad, but I'm feeling better now."
"Wait till we order the pizza and tuck into these amazing doughnuts I picked up for us. Even got you some Aunt D."
He was pretty damn perfect.