Empty swimming pools [BxB]

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Can we kiss forever?


- So, how do you like Sinclair’s party so far?

William turns around and there’s Jorja Smith, all smug and fearless, dressed to kill and obviously on a mission.

There’s not a chance this girl would talk to William just because she wanted to catch up with a friendly face. She clearly wants William out of Lennon’s life which makes him respect her in a strange way, knowing that Lennon has someone like her in his life to stand up for him but also makes him jealous of her not knowing if there’s something more between them and she’s just trying to get rid of William. It’s making him crazy.

- Not a fan of the party as much as not a fan of Matty. - he brushes her off.

- Can’t say I have watched his latest movie to be honest.

- Me neither. But I wasn’t talking about his acting skills. - he continues talking because she is clearly into this small talk. Is Lennon here with her? He wouldn’t be, he should be recovering.

- So why are you at his house then?

- My girlfriend... - he coughs awkwardly and then glances behind. - My fiancée, she’s a friend of his, they are co-stars.

- Aha, Nina, right. I remember Nina. The American sweetheart, perfect-girl-next-door Nina.

- Can I help you with something Jorja? What is all this talk about Nina? You met her before, I’m sure you can ask for a selfie for your Instagram yourself.

- Yeah no. I’m just thinking about how you two are still together, going strong and everything, getting married. Congratulations by the way. I guess. - he doesn’t thank her because he feels there’s more coming. And it’s not like it was honest coming from her anyway.

- I’m just wondering if cheating on her made your love even stronger? It usually goes like that, you know. You and your longtime girlfriend had a bit of a crisis in your relationship, then you met Lennon, had a bit of fun with the bad boy but then decided to ditch him because it was too much work to get out of the closet and ruin that perfect family name. It was a perfect little fun trip really, for you, before settling down.

- It wasn’t like that. It wasn’t. You don’t understand. You’ll never...

- You don’t love her, William. Why are you getting married? - her voice is serious all of a sudden, all mocking is gone.

- Not your damn business. Excuse me, I have to get some fresh air.

- Wait. Answer me this. Humour me. It’s for research that I’m doing. - William rolls his eyes but turns around.

- If it is the last day on Earth, Armageddon and all that shit, and you have to spend it with either Nina or Lennon, who would it be? But it’s only the two of them, and you have to choose only one. Be honest. I won’t tell anyone. - she winks. William sighs and pinches the skin between his brows, done with this confusing conversation, done with Jorja making him the bad guy in this story, again, when Lennon is just as guilty.

And then he sees him.

Just as a group of people moves from the middle of the room and reveals a dark corner where Lennon is. Not dark enough.
Lennon is sitting on a window sill kissing a man who is standing in between his spread legs. He is not doing much, just sitting there, not paying much attention to the man who is in front of him. The man is trying to touch him wherever he can or kiss him on the lips when Lennon is not talking to another man who is standing next to them, close. They are all too close, the other man is laughing loudly at something Lennon said. And there’s that lazy curl of Lennon’s mouth, predatory, like a lion sitting on his throne, so damn confident. Why was I even worried about him, he’s doing just fine. The whole week he was patiently waiting for Lennon to reply to his messages, so he can arrange for them to meet and talk. Finally talk about what the fuck went wrong that left him so broken. He is doing just fine.

- I would spend it with someone who would like to spend it with me. And out of those two, believe me Lennon is not the one who wants that. - he points with his head in Lennon’s direction and Jorja follows his gaze. She shakes her head and bursts laughing.

- You’re funny, really. You find that upsetting? How dare you blame him for trying to forget you with someone else after you ran away to New York without a word? After he gave you a song, a love song by the way. Poured his heart out like never before. How can you hear a confession like that and not even acknowledge him with a reply?! I’ve never seen him like that really, he was so much that night, so smitten, so hopeful. He spent the whole night on that piano and he hasn’t played the piano since he was little.

- What are you talking about Jorja? What song?

- Maybe you should ask your dearest fiancée.

*

His head is spinning while he is trying to understand. He wishes he didn’t drink tonight although that was the most logical thing to do after Nina persuaded him to come with her to this dreadful party.

Nina. The way she smiles like she cares, the simple life she promises, the lies she tells.

Does she lie? Is there something she knows about that song Jorja talks about? Where the fuck is she now? He glances around, surveying the crowd.

Finally there is Nina with the group of people that she regularly hangs out with. Matty Sinclair is sticking his tongue into some bloke’s mouth not paying attention to anyone, some others are saying hello to William as he approaches but he doesn’t hear anything, only focusing on Nina. He grabs her by her arm and tugs her toward the kitchen, her look of triumph becomes a look of panic. Curious stares slide their way but he couldn’t care less, half of these people are so drunk and high they won’t even remember this. There’s people in the kitchen too but he doesn’t care.

- What are you doing? Oh my god, you ruined my dress, I spilled my drink all over myself!

- I don’t give a fuck about your stupid dress. - he growls through his teeth like a beast in the night.

- William? W-What... What is wrong with you?

- There... There is a song. A song that’s supposed to be given to me. - there is pounding in his temples like the truth that he is persistent on denying is demanding to be let in.

- A song?

- And you know something about that, don’t you?

- I’m not sure I follow honey, are you ok?

- Damn it, Nina! Remember last year when Lennon and I ... - the rage is getting the best of him. He needs to breathe. - When we... he tried to contact me. That night at the party...just before we went back to New York?

- What is this about? Are you seriously going to talk about him now?

- Just answer me. Did he try to contact me or anything else? Call, come look for me, drop something off at the house?

- What?! No! He called you that time in the car, remember, and I put him to his place!

- Stop lying. Why are you insisting on pushing the wedding date as soon as you heard I’m working with him?

- He’s not the reason for me wanting to marry you sooner, baby. I-I love you. - she is leaning in, filling his head with that repugnant Dior J’Adore.

- And you hate him just as much. I wanted to break up with you because of him and you couldn’t handle it. So you did something to push me away from him, didn’t you?

- No, no. We were happy! I forgave you, so we could be happy. You were confused. That is in the past. We moved on.

- Yeah, you’re right, I was confused. About you. He was pretty much constantly on my mind and that made me realize that you and I are done, that there were no more feelings there.

- William, stop it. We can’t do this here. People will hear. - her gaze flickers over William’s shoulder to the few people mingling in the kitchen behind them.

- No! Fuck them. - she is trying to wiggle her way out of his embrace but he is caging her between his strong body and a kitchen counter. - We’re doing this here, tell me if there is something that you didn’t tell me then. You hid something from me before we left London.

- I’m...No. I don’t know what you’re talking about.

- I know you’re lying to me.

- N-no. No.

- Fine. Lennon is here and I’m going to find him right now and the three of us will piece the puzzle of this mess together.

- Fine! Yes! I did it. - William’s eyes grow in surprise as she admits. - He came to the house the day after the party. He left an envelope, I don’t know, Charlotte talked to him, I was... I made her get rid of it. I couldn’t let you see it, it was probably something pathetic that would make you stay in London, and I... I couldn’t stand it, couldn’t stand losing you, I did it to save our relationship. I was scared I... - he physically can’t stand being this close to her anymore or listen to her lying voice. - William? I’m sorry. Baby, talk to me.

*

His face is red as he stumbles out of the back door. He doesn’t understand what he is meant to do now. Is he supposed to just go home and forget what Jorja said, what Nina confirmed? He is aimlessly walking outside, he sees a large empty in-ground swimming pool in the darkness of the massive, breathtaking garden, lavish outdoor furniture around it, rows of trees and bushes shielding it from the house. It’s probably emptied so it can be thoroughly cleaned for the summer that’s almost here. And there’s Lennon sitting in the middle of the pool cross legged. Cigarette in his hand.

- What are you doing?

Lennon’s head snaps up. He looks up at him for what feels like hours. Shadows of the night surround him, cigarette smoke everywhere like he is drowning in it.

- That day after the Radio One Annual Gala... I know you came to my sisters house. - William finally says.

- Well, it was a mistake. - Lennon looks down.

- I didn’t know. - William whispers into the night. - I didn’t know.

William runs a hand over his face. He goes around the edge of the pool and descends the blue tiled stairs.

- I’m not sure how it happened, I’m so confused, Nina was apparently hiding it from me, the song... there’s a song? I didn’t know there was a song. About me?

- There’s a lot of fucking songs that I wrote about you.

- I... I didn’t know you felt that way. Then. I thought... - Lennon’s eyes flash under the light that comes from somewhere in the garden.

- Does it matter? It wouldn’t matter anyway, you didn’t feel the same.

- What? We talked in that restroom, we.. - William’s mind is racing. - I was honest! I meant that... I...

- Fuck you. Fuck you, William and your honesty. You said you would break up with her and come back for me! Take me to New York. You said we would make it work. You promised. And then, puff! - Lennon is waving manically with his hands in the air. - You’re gone without a word. Running after her. Never turning back. Not a text not a call. Gone across the ocean without even a fuck off Lennon. Fuck of might be too kind. - Lennon smiles to himself as he digresses, his mind is frenzied, William can see it in his wild eyes, as he starts singing quietly, to himself, almost humming. - And to tear apart the ties that bind perhaps fuck of might be too kind, great song by the way, wish I wrote that one.

- But I saw you with him. With fucking Matty Sinclair, you left the party with him.

- What? What are you talking about? - Lennon throws his cigarette butt away into the corner of the pool.

- Lennon, I thought you’re not going to... that you didn’t mean it. That you didn’t mean it like I meant it. When I saw you getting in his car and ...

- You thought I was fucking Matty that night? - he snaps. Something dark falling over his entire face and posture. William doesn’t say anything. - Wow. Thanks for all the trust. So basically even if I got to talk to you the next day, even if you did hear my pathetic declaration of love it wouldn’t matter anyway because you would still think I’m a fucking slut so hungry for cock that I would go fuck Matty right after I fucked you.

- Lennon...

- No no, I get it. - he shakes his head. - I was never meant to be trusted. I’m just a miserable excuse of a person who thought for a second that this was something real, that someone could... fuck. - he whispers as he gets up and starts walking away, but it’s loud enough for William to hear.

- Lennon, stop. I’m sorry. Ok? I was just so fucking confused. My life was a chaos and you, you were... you were everything. You became so important in such a short time and, and I felt overwhelmed. I guess it was a defence mechanism, I was pushing you away because I was afraid that you would hurt me, that, that I will give up everything I am, everything I’m supposed to be, for you. And I wasn’t sure you... - Lennon walks back to take the packet of cigarettes from the spot where he was sitting before. He just stands there, his back to William. William wants to reach out.

- I was so fucking scared. I never felt like that before and I didn’t know what to do with it. I apologise. For thinking that you were sleeping around. For assuming shit. For being a coward. For just leaving without a word. - Lennon turns around his eyes red, cheeks wet.

- I hate you so much. - Lennon whispers and William’s heart pounds in his chest like it’s on its way out. He didn’t know. He touches Lennon’s face and he looks at him like he doesn’t know what is happening.

- I hate myself for hurting you. For making you cry. Please, don’t cry. Please. - he cradles his head with his forefingers and sweeps his jaw with his thumbs, then wipes his tears, gently, skin so soft and warm. And then William leans, kisses his lips, carefully, just presses enough to taste the salt, and the sadness, and the truth. Lennon blinks a few times like he is just waking up, and melts into William, his hands go around Lennon’s middle and they stay like that, quiet, holding each other, and it feels like hope. Or saying goodbye.

- I don’t actually hate you. - Lennon tells him, murmuring it into his neck with a sniffle.

- I know. I know now. - he whispers, and he plants a small kiss just under his ear. He tries not to breathe in the scent of his shampoo or run his hands down his back.


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