Chapter 16 - Bonus
a sudden and favourable resolution of events.
I awoke to the sound of harsh pounding echoing down the hall from the front door and groaned as I wrapped myself deeper into the blankets. My eyes were puffy and raw from the crying and my head ached from how much I had overworked myself. After the knocking continued, I screamed into my pillow before abruptly sitting up.
"El," I yelled with a raspy voice. "Can you please get the damn door?"
Another minute or so passed before I slipped out of the bed and wrapped my blanket tightly around my body as I stormed toward the door. Tearing it open, ready to chew out whoever it may be that was standing there, my voice caught in my throat as I stared at a very distressed Benjamin.
"You have some nerve," I mumbled as I turned on my heel and walked toward the living room. Falling down on the couch, I watched as Benjamin slowly entered the apartment and closed the door behind him.
"I assume you're here to try and apologize for shutting me out, for what I'm sure is a ridiculous reason, and leaving me high and dry?" I asked as I stared at him, not allowing any emotion to find its way to my face.
"I am," Benjamin whispered as he sat down on the chair nearest me. I sighed and ran a hand over my face before gripping the blanket once more.
"What the hell happened?" I asked quietly, refusing to make eye contact.
"I saw a picture of you kissing that guy from the restaurant the four of us went to a week or two ago," he said sheepishly. My eyebrows furrowed together as I snapped my head up to look at him and saw a nervous expression covering his face.
"What, Johnathan?" I asked, confused. Benjamin nodded and I couldn't stop myself from laughing loudly which seemed to startle him. I shook my head and stood up from the couch and began to pace around the living room.
"But I know you didn't now, I know what Laura tried to do. I know that since she couldn't get to Elli directly that she decided to try and go after you instead."
I stopped pacing and slowly turned around to face him, anger starting to bubble up inside of me unexpectedly. I bit my lip as I tried to steady my breathing with no success as my eyes narrowed.
"She did what?" I snapped as I let the blanket fall from my shoulders before beginning to head towards the door. "That bitch is going to get a piece of my mind."
"Elli already took care of it," Benjamin informed me, cutting me off. I looked up before looking down and noticing her shoes were missing and my keys were no longer on their designated hook.
"What did she do?"
"Gave Laura a pretty nasty black eye and called her out in front of a shit ton of people," he said with a small smile that made one of my own appear before I let my face go back to showing no emotion.
"Why the hell would you believe something like that?" I whispered as I tried to keep the frustrated tears at bay. I spun around and walked back over to the couch with Benjamin hot on my tail as he fell down next to me.
"I'm sorry, King, but seeing a picture right in front of your face like that, I just," he sighed as he trailed off and ran a hand roughly through his hair. "I wasn't thinking clearly and I'm sorry."
"I would never, ever do something like that," I said which caused Benjamin to cup my cheek and interrupt me.
"I know, baby. I know and I'm so sorry but I have been cheated on in the past and I've grown so fond of you these past two weeks that it just felt like a blow to the gut because I never took you as someone who would do that and I was right, you're not. Please forgive me."
I sighed as a smile tugged at my lips and I placed a hand on his knee. He looked up at me sadly and I placed a soft kiss to his lips before pulling back so I could look him in his pale green eyes.
"I forgive you," I started to say which caused a smile to break out on his face. "But next time, talk to me. Don't just walk out without telling me what it is you think I did."
"I won't," Benjamin responded quickly as he shook his head. "I mean, I will. I'll talk to you next time, I promise."
Smiling, I welcomed the kiss that he planted on my lips but we were quickly interrupted as the door swung open.
"Will you quit being so fucking stubborn and just put some ice on it?" Cooper scolded as he closed the door behind him and Elliott came walking into the living room.
"It's fine," Elliott told him as she fell onto the chair and gave me a smile. "Awe, you guys made up."
"Thanks, El," I said instantly which made her flash me a smile as she waved her hand dismissively.
"No one messes with my baby," she told me with a wink. Elliott curled up in the chair, pulling her knees up to her chest as Cooper came to stand near the coffee table with his arms folded in front of himself. The two of them stared at each other before I decided to speak up.
"You really do need ice though," I informed her as I glanced over at Cooper.
He threw his hands dramatically in the air and said, "thank you," before walking over to the fridge.
Cooper came back into the living room with a bag of frozen peas and pushed it against Elliott's cheek, causing her to recoil slightly before she relaxed as he squeezed in on the chair next to her to hold it to her eye.
"I still can't believe you fought Laura," Benjamin said with a laugh as he rested against the back of the couch and slung an arm around my shoulders. I snuggled up into his side and released a grateful sigh.
"I'm surprised you know how to fight," Cooper pitched in which caused Elliott to snap her head at him and narrow her eyes.
"Can thank my brothers," she said sternly which caused me to chuckle.
"You have brothers?" Benjamin asked surprised as Elliott nodded. Raising a brow, I glanced at Elliott and waited for her to reply before I said anything for I wasn't sure what Cooper did and didn't know.
"Two of them," Elliott informed them.
"She had to learn to stand up for them when she was young," I added with a weak smile.
"What do you mean?" Cooper asked as he glanced between the two of us.
Elliott sighed and I bit my lip as I was sure memories of her childhood were rushing back but she seemed to push the feelings down as she covered it up with a smile.
"Well, Brandon loved wearing my clothes and got beat up in school all the time because of it and Alex was the scrawny, nerdy kid and I'd be damned if I let anyone mess with my family."
I watched as Cooper's smile grew and he wrapped an arm around her shoulders to pull her more firmly into his side. He kissed her temple and started placing kisses all over the side of her face which made Elliott squeal and my smile grow.
"You're so amazing, do you know that?" Cooper told her once he stopped attacking her with kisses.
"I do," Elliott replied with a wink which caused me to roll my eyes as the boys laughed.
"So, I vote we order pizza for dinner and binge a movie series. Are you guys down?" I asked as I climbed off the couch to head into the kitchen to find the paper menu we kept with the phone number on it.
After hearing their approval, I dialed the number and smiled as I watched Elliott curl up into Cooper's side. I couldn't stop the smile that grew on my face, knowing that she finally found someone worth putting her past behind her for.