I followed closely behind Julian into the café, my hand in his. The warm smell of coffee and chocolate came, making me smile softly. I loved the smell.
It wasn’t too busy but there were people around. My eyes found Logan and Ruben in a booth with Leo just as Julian started leading me towards them. I smiled gently, the twins sitting next to each other while Leo sat opposite them, focusing on his phone in his lap.
“Hey,” I said, moving to sit next to Ruben as I hugged him gently and he kissed my cheek. I brushed my hand through Logan’s hair while he smiled at me.
“Jasper will be here soon. I think he needed a break from you-know-who,” Leo said, to which Julian chuckled at and I picked up the menu.
“What are you having?” I whispered to Ruben but he never replied so I looked over to tell he was distant and angry about something. His jaw was clenched, he was staring down while he tore a paper napkin into strips.
I nudged his elbow with mine gently and his eyes moved towards me before he looked away again.
What did I do?
“You’re mad because I invited Julian and the others?” I muttered, turning to him more. He stopped ripping the napkin and just laid the pieces down on the table.
“It was just supposed to be us. So I could apologise and we could have fun.”
“We can still do that though. And I forgive you,” I said and his brows picked up as he looked to me.
“Of course I do, silly,” I smiled a little as I took his hand gently. “You’re my best friend and I can’t have you angry at me or me angry at you. Can you forgive me though? I reacted badly and I shouldn’t’ve.”
“Yeah, I can,” he nodded softly with a cheesy grin just before he moved his arms around me, embraced me with his chin on my head. I hugged him back, felt his hand rub my back gently.
And then it lasted longer than it should have and I thought about pulling back but I didn’t want to just in case he saw it as something else. I’m not sure what but he has his ways to get upset quickly and I don’t want to risk it.
A cough sounded deep within a throat and Ruben released me but kissed my head quickly before he sat back and I looked to Julian to see his reaction but that was when I realised it was Leo who fake coughed. Both of them were looking at us, me more than Ruben.
“That was a very friendly hug,” Julian put in, now looking at Ruben.
“Cute even,” Leo followed up while Logan started laughing softly.
“Well, I’m cute and friendly,” Ruben shrugged with a small smirk as he glanced back at me but I just turned back to the menu.
“I think I’ll just go with wedges,” I said and pressed my lips together as I watched Julian get up.
“Ruben and I will go order,” he said and I looked to Ruben, who was looking at Logan for help, who just shrugged and waved bye.
“Fine,” Ruben sighed and I got up for him to get out too.
“Lo-Lo?” I questioned as I sat down next to him. “Explain. Now.”
He sighed and straightened his cutlery. “Ru’s always had a crush on you. I did too,” he shrugged and I blinked, looked to Leo who rolled his eyes.
“Typically everyone has a crush on you.”
“You?” I asked and his little smirk faded as he averted his eyes back down to his phone.
“I don’t,” Logan put his hands up and I narrowed my eyes at him for a moment. “I used to. Now I just see you as a sister. Best friend. Ruben likes you, there’s no point hiding it cause it’s that obvious. He hates you with Julian. And he’s sick of waiting so he’s trying to make some moves. And now he’s dead,” he said, his eyes looking passed me now.
I turned my head and found Julian and Ruben outside. Julian talking him up, his fists bunched into Ruben’s shirt while Ruben tried talking too.
“Julian’s just protective,” I said, swallowing a lump as I put the thought that Julian would hurt Ruben away. Julian wouldn’t hurt him.
“Even more now after,” Leo started and I looked to him as he looked at me sadly, “what happened.” He finished with a sad smile. I nodded, understanding.
“He has every right to be,” Logan added, now playing with the stripped pieces of napkin. “Ruben’s just an idiot trying to make a move in front of him.”
“He wanted to get a reaction. You know how he is. He wanted the attention. He wants Rosie to see Julian as the bad guy,” Leo looked to me again and I sighed a little but then smiled softly at Jasper as he suddenly joined us next to Leo.
“G’day all,” he nodded and looked to me lastly. “How are you feeling?”
“Fine. I’m fine. Just wish everyone would stop asking,” I smiled and he put his hands up in surrender.
“Sorry for caring then,” he replied and I chuckled a little just as I glanced back to Julian and Ruben but they were now ordering. “What’s up with those two anyway? They were getting heated outside.”
“Heated?” I asked, looking back at him and he looked at me with big eyes.
“Julian scuffed him to the ground. So, what happened?” He asked, looking to Leo for an answer. Logan answered though while I looked back to the other two as they came back.
“Everything good now?” Jasper asked just as the both of them moved to sit next to me but Ruben beat him so Julian moved to sit next to Jasper.
“Everything’s fine,” Ruben replied with a sigh and I looked to the slight grazes on his arm, thin and fresh.
“Did you seriously throw him to the ground?” I asked Julian, now a little mad. Julian gave me back an obviously look.
“He did,” Ruben muttered, sitting back as I kept my look stern at Julian. “We came for a nice, friendly lunch. What happened?”
“You hit on my girl. You got your lesson,” Julian snapped, his eyes dark and narrowed at Ruben. As bad as the situation was, I couldn’t help but feel lighter, happier as I smiled a little.
My girl. It was the first time I’ve heard him say that. This has been the first time he’s been so protective too. And I adored it so much.
“Ruben you have no shot,” Leo chuckled, obviously seeing my little bright moment before I hid my smile again, bit the inside of my cheek. “Nothing. Zero. Zilch.”
“I’m a lot friendly and happier then Julian-.”
“Okay. Rosie, we’re leaving,” Julian said, getting up as I looked at me desperately but also sternly.
“You can’t tell her what to do,” Ruben scoffed, sitting back as I sat, looking from Julian to the boys opposite me.
“I came for lunch. Not sure about the rest of you. But can we just be happy and have a good lunch?” Logan asked and I nodded with him in agreement but looked to Julian softly. He paused before he sat back down but he was still mad at Ruben. “Great, here comes our drinks anyway.”