‘Then there’s no problem.’ Sam joins in. Varun doesn’t answer, he’s too busy trying to calm himself. He looks over to Alia and sees she’s still on the phone but she’s looking at him. Seeing his slightly angry expression, she gives him a smile, knowing it’ll make him relax. It works, the tension leaves his body and he returns the smile.
‘You sure there’s nothing going on?’ Mark asks, again drawing his attention from Alia.
‘Yes, I’m sure.’ he lies, hoping they’ll just drop the subject.
‘Then why are you so angry at Mark for wanting to ask her out?’ Ryan asks.
‘Because she’s my best friend and I don’t want anyone to mess around with her.’
‘Okay, so if I promise not to behave badly, can I ask her out?’ Mark enquires.
‘No. Don’t even think about it.’ He’s starting to get angry again and they all see it but they’re enjoying the fact that they’ve finally found a way to get a rise out of him.
‘Come on, mate, there’s no harm in him asking. She might say no.’ Sam persuades. Unable to take it anymore, Varun gets up, pushing his chair back so violently that it nearly topples to the ground.
He walks away from the table but, instead of going towards the door like his friends expect him to, he walks towards Alia, intent on making sure that any ideas anyone might have about trying to make a move on his Alia are removed from their brains. As soon as he’s close enough, his arms wrap around her from behind and he rests his head on her shoulder. She leans into him, turning her head a little to smile at him but carrying on her conversation without a pause.
She’s used to his affectionate gestures so it doesn’t phase her at all when he turns his head, burying it in the crook of her neck or when his arms tighten around her, pulling her in closer. He wants to get a reaction from her, wants her to put down the damn phone and pay attention to him because, right now, he’s angry and needy and wants to prove that’s she’s his Alia, so he does something that he’s not strictly allowed to do, not in public at least. Softly, so softly she almost thinks she’s imagined it, he brushes his lips against the skin of her neck. He finally gets the reaction he’d been hoping for, she stops speaking for a second.
A few seconds pass and, when he doesn’t do it again, she tells herself she must’ve imagined it and picks up her sentence where she left off. She barely gets four words out before he repeats the action and, this time, she knows she hasn’t imagined it. She also knows why he’s doing it and, determined not to give him what he wants, she continues her conversation.
She struggles to keep her attention on her conversation as he repeats his actions again and again, trailing a burning path of kisses upwards over her skin. Eventually, she has to give in. ‘Shaheen, I’m gonna have to call you back.’ she says, cutting her sister off mid-sentence. The other girl doesn’t get the chance to reply before Alia ends the call, turning to face Varun who doesn’t seem to care that he shouldn’t be behaving this way.
His arms are still wrapped around her and he tightens his hold even further, keeping her where she is though she has no desire to go anywhere at that moment. He attempts to resume his activities but she stops him. ‘What exactly do you think you’re doing?’ she demands, trying her hardest to sound angry but failing miserably because, whether she wants to admit it or not, she had been thoroughly enjoying what he had been doing. It’s not like she’s a stranger to his kisses but he’s never done anything like that before and she’s a little confused but mostly she’s hoping that they’ll finally get past the in between place they’ve been stuck at for years.
‘What does it look like I’m doing?’ he asks, answering her questions with one of his own.
‘It looks like you’ve lost your mind.’
‘Well, you certainly drive me crazy but, no, I haven’t. I’m just trying to prove a point.’ he explains, leaning in slightly without thinking about it.
‘That you’re mine.’ he murmurs. Her heart is racing and she begins to find it hard to breathe as he leans in closer to whisper in her ear. ‘Only mine.’ Though she’s known it for years, hearing him say it causes all kinds of feelings to flood through her. Once again, his lips ghost over her skin and she forgets completely that they are in a public place. ‘You wanna get outta here?’ he asks. She nods but regrets it a little when he pulls away, unwrapping his arms from around her. Seeing the disappointment on her face he chuckles slightly and takes hold of her hand, leading her out of the pub without even glancing back once.
t is a ten minute drive to his hotel and he’s impatient. It’s been a long time coming and, even though he’s waited so long, it’s killing him to wait just that much longer.
Ten minutes seems like ten hours and, when they get to the hotel, he almost runs inside, pulling Alia along with him. As soon as they get up to his room, he kisses her, walking them backwards towards the bed as he does and almost tripping over his bag in the process.
They fall onto the bed and he pushes her cardigan off her shoulders as she tugs at his t-shirt. Hands travel over skin and impatiently pull on the obstructing materials between them.
he’s laying next to him, his arm wrapped around her, using his chest as a pillow as she traces patterns on his skin. ‘Why have we never done that before?’ she queries, utterly astonished that it’s taken them so long to give in.
‘Because we’ve spent years lying to ourselves and insisting that we’re just friends.’
‘And we actually believed ourselves? God, we must be idiots.’ she states.
‘Nah, we got here eventually didn’t we?’
‘Only took us eight years.’ she replies sarcastically.
‘You trying to tell me it wasn’t worth the wait?’
‘Oh, it was definitely worth it but I still wish it’d happened sooner.’
‘Well, we can’t change what’s happened but maybe we can stop lying to ourselves.’ he suggests.
‘I reckon it’s about time we accept the truth.’ she agrees.
‘And what would that truth be?’ he enquires though he’s fairly certain he already knows her answer.
‘Well, you said it earlier, I’m yours.’ she tells him. ‘Maybe we’re complicated but that’s one thing I know for sure.’
‘We aren’t complicated. You’re mine and I’m yours, it doesn’t get anymore simple than that.’