My Boyfriends Best Friend

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4

I was pouring coffee into my favourite mug when Maggie walks in the door, her eyes lightening up when she sees me.

"Hey, Kate, you ok?"

Maggie is tugging her trainers off whilst looking up at me, her blonde hair falling in her tired eyes. She tries to suppress a yawn but fails when it takes over her entire face as she waves her hand apologetically.

"Sorry, it's been a busy night. I'm gonna head off to bed, I leave at six tonight, will I see you?"

She heads past me and I smile when she reaches out to stroke my arm softly. She was always the best big sister ever, but now it was more than that. She cared so much, and I felt exactly the same. I couldn't imagine not living here with her.

"Yeah, I'll be here. Sleep well, love you," I call after her as she makes her way to her bedroom. I drink my coffee, scrolling through my social media when a text comes up.

C: Hey babe, I'm not feeling too well today so I'm staying home. Call me when you're home? Miss you. Xx

I sigh, wondering what was wrong with him. He seemed ok yesterday, but then I guess it must be a bug of some kind. I send him a get well text before heading out the door to meet Eden.

As usual. Eden was late, her hair flying out behind her as she tears down the street, waving at me wildly. Her tardiness was a constant topic of conversation between us, but today I couldn't be bothered.

"Sorry, I was-"

"It's fine."

Eden peers at me then, frowning.

"Someone woke up on the right side of the bed this morning? Did Connor pay you an unexpected visit last night?"

I roll my eyes as we walk towards the bus stop, hoisting my bag on my shoulder as we join the line. I shivered, beginning to wish I'd worn something warmer than my thin denim jacket.

"No, I didn't sleep well actually."

"Why?" Eden looks concerned now, her arm lacing with mine as I shrug.

"I don't know. Weird dreams and that, you know?"

Eden bites her lip before she speaks again, more quietly this time.

"Was it about the accident?"

Eden had a way of switching from running to standing still in seconds, something I could only dream of. I was constantly in a state of chill, which I envied Eden for.

"No, it wasn't," I smile reassuringly, noticing the bus coming towards us.

The accident wasn't something I liked to talk about, but Eden knew enough to not ask any questions. She had lived across from us ever since I could remember, and her family had been wonderful when it happened- hence the tight friendship between us.

"Hmm. Guess who texted me last night?"

I look up with surprise when she grins, holding up her phone.

"Calum?!" I say in disbelief, as she laughs.

"I know. He was probably drunk-"

"On a Thursday?"

Eden pauses, before nodding at me to read the text, which asked her, quite simply, what she was doing.

"Did you reply?"

"Of course I did. But then he didn't reply," her face fell as I bit my lip. "I never heard from Jesse, the jerk. Did you?"

Her eyes met mine then, and I felt my mouth go dry. Did I lie to my oldest friend?

"No."

Yes.

"He really is an ass," Eden scoffs as we board the bus. I tune out her chatter as I feel my phone burning in my pocket, guilt seeping through me for lying to Eden. I just didn't know how she would react, and there was nothing to hide anyway; not really.

We finally reach school, and I am relieved not to see Jesse anywhere.

"Where's your boy?" Calum demands as he slides into the seat beside me, choking me with his cologne. I'm distracted temporarily when Jesse walks in, his blue eyes meeting mine briefly before I turn away, my cheeks burning.

He walks to the other side of me, sitting beside me as I stare at him wide eyed, watching as he moves the chair back to accommodate his bulk, his faded grey t-shirt gripping to his biceps as he shrugs his jacket off. My eyes are drawn to the throbbing vein on his forearm that is so...muscular.

What the hell?

"He's off sick," I mumble, tearing my eyes away from Jesse who seems to be smirking.

"Really? What's wrong with him?" asks Calum, and I realise I haven't got a clue. Ask me what Jesse's forearms looked like and I'd give you a detailed description. But as for my ill boyfriend? No idea.

"He said it's his tonsils," Jesse yawns, copying the assignment down from the board as I follow suit, trying not to pay attention.

"You'll have it next then, sugar tits," Calum winks, as I roll my eyes.

"Will you please not call me that?"

"Sorry, sugar- uh, Kat."

Where was Eden when I needed her?

"Did you text Eden last night?" I ask with a sweet smile, as Jesse lifts his head with interest. Calum frowns before shrugging.

"Yeah, I was bored."

I want to press him for more information but Jesse leans forward, addressing Calum.

"Did she text back?"

He meets my eyes then, and I blink with confusion. Since when did he care whether Eden replied to Calum? Calum laughs to himself before frowning at Jesse.

"Of course she did. No girl would ignore me."

I shake my head at him before turning my attention to the board when Jesse speaks.

"I was texting this girl last night," he declares, as I feel my heart skip a beat. Surely he wasn't referring to me?

"Yeah? Was she hot?" Calum asks with interest, leaning over me as I feel my heart sink.

"Fuck, yeah."

I felt relief sweep through me; so he wasn't talking about me. I relax then, as the teacher addresses the boys, demanding they pay attention. This resorts in Calum arguing his point, which the teacher declares invalid. Calum is then asked to leave the room when he starts kicking off, and I watch as he leaves.

"What are you going to do with yourself today without lover boy to hold your hand?"

A smirk is playing on Jesse's lips, and I send him a look.

"I'm sure I'll cope," I snap back, as he lifts his eyebrows questionably.

"If you need help navigating the hallways, just let me know. I can help," he says in a patronising tone.

"Oh, I heard you only help college girls," I shoot back, as the bell rings for the next period.

He frowns as he watches me leave, before catching up with me and grabbing my arm.

"What is that supposed to mean?" he snaps, his face close to mine. I can't help but notice the hues of green swirling with the blue in his eyes, and the way he has to look down at me to address me.

"Get off my arm, Jesse. I know you don't like me but you don't need to be so-"

His eyes change then, as he releases me. He steps back as he shakes his head, pushing a hand through his hair.

"I don't dislike you, you're just-" he stops mid sentence as he backs away, his eyes breaking contact with mine as he turns to blend in with the crowd.

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