Hey everybody! Thanks so much for the comments, you guys rock!
Anyways, here is Chapter 2…enjoy!
R&R and please, no flames!
London's heart flutters angrily in her chest. Todd is engaged. Her Todd! …the Todd that she had cried herself to sleep over, the Todd that she had experienced her first kiss with, her first love.
"When did you two meet?" London blurts out.
Bailey smiles, as if she's told the story a million and one times and loves it more with each passing day, "Well, we met in Zurich. He was there for dental school, and I was there for my year abroad. We both wound up in this under-21 club and he looked over at me and smiled, that was all it took, and I was in."
London tries to stop her lips from pursing. She can't blow up at Bailey, Bailey's practically innocent! She has no idea about Todd and London's history…unless, of course, he told.
"How old you were you?" London asks.
"I was 19 and he was 20, we started talking that night and we've talked every night since." She says, flashing a tooth-paste-ad perfect smile.
Bailey glances back around the room and points towards the open door at the entrance to the ballroom, "He's out in the lobby talking to some people. Do you want me to go get him so you two can meet?"
London shakes her head rapidly, not even looking in the direction that Bailey is pointing. She knows that just looking at him will make her convert back into the love-struck, fifteen-year-old girl that she was back when she had first met Todd, "That's alright. You know the St. Marks and the Tipton's…they really don't see eye-to-eye on anything." She begins to back away from Bailey soon-to-be St. Marks, "It was great meeting you, though, Bailey." She says, giving her a false smile before turning and hurrying off towards Zach, who is flailing his arms animatedly at Arwin.
"Arwin, no. For the fifth time I will not let you clone my mom to use for practice on asking her out!" Zach exclaims loudly, "You have tried for almost ten years to get her to fall in love with you and she still hasn't. Let it go, man. Let it go."
Arwin shakes his head at Zach, "Not until she is mine."
Zach places his hand over his forehead, "Oh dear God." He mutters before turning towards London, "Hey!"
She gives him a tight smile, "Hey."
"What's up?" he asks, noticing the pained expression on her face.
Arwin leans in, trying to hear what London is getting ready to say. The pair turns to look at him, blank expressions on their face.
"Arwin, could you not?" Zach asks.
Arwin gives him a dutiful nod, "Sure, sure. I'll just go talk to…" he glances around the room, trying to spot a familiar face, "Oh Esteban…" he says, making his way towards the bellboy.
"Stay away from me, Arwin!" Esteban exclaims, and Zach chuckles to himself before looking back at his friend.
"What's going on?" he asks.
London shakes her head, running a hand through her long hair, "Nothing, this party just really sucks right now."
Zach raises an eyebrow, "Why?"
Taking in a deep breath, London rubs her hands together, "Somebody is here who I haven't seen in a really long time."
"Who?" Zach asks before beginning to read the expression on her face, "Oh…Todd?"
London nods sadly.
His eyes widen, "Seriously? That's great, London!"
London tilts her head and raises her eyebrows at him, shooting him an "are-you-serious?" expression.
"Not." London replies, "Definitely not. The only reason I know he's here is because I met his fiancé."
Zach's expression falls, "Oh my God. I'm so sorry, London."
London shakes her head, giving him a posed smile, "Its fine. I haven't seen him in eight years anyway, it's not like I should have even been expecting for him to actually wait for me." She glances down at the floor before looking back up at the boy who had slowly turned into one of her most trustworthy, closest friends, "Anyways, I think I'm just going to head back up to me suite, completely drown my stomach in wine."
Zach smirks at her, "That'll settle well."
London laughs slightly, "Yay hangovers." She says before smiling at him, "I'll see you tomorrow." She says before making her way towards Maddie to tell her she was leaving.
"So soon?" Maddie asks sadly, eyeing her best friend in confusion.
"It's a long story." London says, raking a hand through her hair, "If you want, come up to my suite later on tonight and I'll tell you, okay?"
Maddie nods, smiling sadly, "Okay." She says before pulling her into a hug, "I'll be there around midnight or so."
London nods, "See you then." She turns towards Maddie's boyfriend, "See you, Trevor."
Trevor gives her a weak smile, "Bye London."
London quickly advances out of the ballroom, brushing a tear that is threatening to escape away from her eye.
She can't believe what is happening. This evening turned out so simple and within twenty-five minutes it was all shot to hell. Trevor's here with his drop-dead-gorgeous fiancé, and she is here with her best friend who is two years younger than her and works in a record store and still in a dopey-love-trance with his crush from Jr. High.
She begins to make her way up the set of stairs that lead to the elevator, not even bothering to glance at her surroundings, keeping her eyes glued to the bright teal polish on her toenails.
That's when she smacks into something hard.
"I am so sorry!" a male voice exclaims.
"No, no, you're fine." London says absent-mindedly before glancing up at the suspect she crashed into.
Tan skin, dark hair, brown eyes, London recognizes him the moment she looks at him.
It's Todd St. Marks; his hair longer, his shoulders broader, his tan deeper, but it's him.
"I'm sorry…" he says again, brushing off his pressed suit before finally glancing at her. He takes in her look, the long, sleek hair, the vibrant brown eyes, the tan skin, he is suddenly filled with flashbacks of that one magical week in Boston back when he was sixteen-years-old and the girl that he experienced it all with, the girl standing in front of him at this very second, London Tipton.
"London?" he asks, his voice squeaking.
London gives him a weak smile, the tears beginning to press against her eyes once again. Her stomach is over-flooding with butterflies, her heart pounding, her breath caught in her throat, "Hey Todd." She chokes out.
"Oh my God…" he murmurs in disbelief, "How are you?"
London sighs, "Fine, I guess. How are you?"
Todd smiles, nodding his head. "I'm doing pretty well! I just graduated from Zurich, and I'm opening up my own dental practice."
London smiles, almost genuinely. Opening his own dental practice had been Todd's dream, and it came true. "Wow, Todd, that's great."
Todd nods, "And you? Planning on taking over the Tipton eventually?"
London scoffs, "Definitely not. I'm at NYU right now, actually; it's my final year."
Todd grins, "Wow, that's great! What's your major?"
London shrugs, giving him a small smirk, "Fashion, obviously. I am London Tipton, after all."
Todd laughs, smiling at her, "Yep. You are."
"Todd!" a cheerful voice cries out, "There you are!"
London turns around and sees Bailey hurrying towards them.
"Baby, I've been looking all over for you!" she says, smiling.
Todd shrugs, "Sorry, I got caught up in some conversations."
Bailey nods before glancing over at London and sending her a puzzled expression, "Well, I guess you two have met." She says with a laugh.
"Oh…" London says, glancing at the two, "yeah…"
Todd gives London a worried expression before looking towards Bailey and smiling, "London, this is Bailey…my fiancé." He slips an arm around Bailey's extra petite waist.
"Yeah…" London says, nodding, "We met back in the ballroom."
Bailey grins, laughing, "I absolutely adored London's outfit and just had to comment on it!" she says gleefully, before a confused expression crosses her face. She glances from Todd to London and back again, "Wait…you two know each other?"
London sighs, "We met back in high school." She says briskly, "Dental convention, go figure." She says, giving a very small, hardly audible laugh.
Todd glances down at the red carpeting on the steps.
"Anyways," London says, glancing down quickly before looking back up in the pair, trying to avoid eye contact with Todd, "I better get back up to my suite. Bailey, it was nice to meet you, and Todd…" she glances up at him, and his eyes lock with hers, neither breaking the gaze, "it was nice to see you again." She chokes out as best as she can without sounding completely heartbroken. After giving them one last, very forced smile, she makes her way towards the elevator and presses the "Up" button.
"Please open now, please open now…" she whispers to herself and the doors open, granting her wish. She looks at it thankfully and steps in, quickly pressing her floor number and letting the doors close out Todd and Bailey.
"I'll kill him." Maddie declares.
London shakes her head, sniffling, "I'm fine, really."
The pair is sitting up in London's suite; London has just spilled the news about Todd to Maddie, who is way less than happy about it.
"I can't believe him!" she shrieks.
"Maddie, you're shrieking." London notes.
Maddie shakes her head in disbelief, "I just…I just can't even find one reason why he would do this to you. Not one."
"Well, we didn't really keep that close of ties after he left, and it's been eight years, and he's been in another country, and-"
"London." Maddie cuts her off, "He told you that he loved you. He told you that he would wait for you for those eight years."
London shrugs, "I also told him to make me a morning appointment, which I never did."
Maddie places her hand to her head, "Yes; that is precisely why you two aren't together right now. It's because you forgot to make a morning appointment."
London's head perks up, "See?"
"LONDON!" Maddie exclaims, "I was kidding! He should have waited, London."
London sighs, brushing a hand through her hair, "It's not like I was that loyal to him, either."
Maddie looks towards her, "What?"
London scoffs, "It wasn't even six months after he left and I had already been on dates with that one guy from the delivery truck- Brandon, Trevor…" London pauses, "I'm positive there were a few others, but I can't think straight right now."
Maddie shrugs, "Still, you have no idea how mad I am at him."
"Not half as mad as I am." London mumbles.
Maddie glances towards her, "I can imagine."
That's when it happens. It starts with a few sniffles, and a few heavy breaths. It soon turns into a racking fit of sobs, London's body shaking and her sobs overflowing the suite.
"Oh, London!" Maddie exclaims and hurries over to her friend, pulling her into a hug as she sobs onto her shoulder. London hadn't cried on Maddie's shoulder since the night Todd left for Zurich. Maddie had never wanted to see London that upset again.
"So she's there with Trevor…" Cody confirms over the phone.
"For the twenty-seventh time, yes." Zach replies, throwing his hands up in the air frustratingly.
"Twenty-second." Cody mutters quietly in return.
Zach is pacing back and forth in his familiar suite. Carey is downstairs talking to Moseby and Cody had called the moment Zach walked in the door.
"How does she look?" Cody asks.
Zach sighs, leaning against the kitchen cabinet, "Amazing." He breathes.
"Maybe she'll come to her senses and dump him." Cody tosses in, "I wouldn't worry about it."
"Well, I'm not the only one unhappy in love right now." Zach mutters.
"What do you mean?" Cody asks, confused.
"Well, Arwin is here-"
Cody cuts him off, "And still totally in love with Mom, no surprise there. Any others?"
"Yeah…" Zach says, shrugging his shoulders upside down, "London."
"London?" Cody repeats.
Zach pushes himself away from the cabinet and makes his way out of the kitchen, "Yeah."
Cody seems confused, "Why is London unhappy in love?"
"Does the name Todd St. Marks ring a bell?"
Cody gasps, "Todd is there? That's great!" he pauses, realizing what Zach had previously mentioned about people being un-happy in love, "But wait…not if there's a Mrs. Todd St. Marks…is there?"
"Not yet…she's the future Mrs. Todd St. Marks. London ran into his fiancé in the ballroom."
"Oh my God…" Cody murmurs, "Poor London."
That's when Zach hears it; a very familiar giggle.
He glances towards the clock on the oven, 12:12 AM. The giggle belongs to Maddie.
"Hold on a second…" he says into the phone and sits it down, making his way towards the door and swinging it open.
He wants to slam the door shut the moment he opens it, his heart shattering bit by bit. Maddie is standing across the hallway and a ways down from the Martin's suite. She is pressed up against the wall and Trevor is the one pinning her in, he is murmuring something into her ear.
He sucks in a deep, quivering breath and closes the door behind himself before retreating to the phone and picking it up.
"Cody?" he asks into the phone.
"Love is a pain far worse than death."
What'd you think?
R&R and please, no flames!