Eddie's eyes almost fell out of his head. He had almost forgotten how short that she was, she barely came up to his chest and she looked about as sly as the cat that ate the canary. "Did you miss me?" She asked, her cunning smile crossing her unpainted lips.
Eddie had to fight every instinct not to simultaneously pull her into a tight hug, and slam the door in her face. He wanted to say something, anything, but couldn't seem to find his voice. His jaw opened like he was about to say something, but then snapped back shut just as quickly. Finally he managed "What're you doing here?" But it was croaky, and he didn't like it.
Ally seemed to pout, "Not quite the welcome home that I expected, but I'll take what I can get" She regarded him almost warily. She looked around him and Eddie blocked the door way with his built 6'2 frame. Ally rolled her eyes and shoved past Eddie and walked into the apartment.
"Nice, you finally cleaned it up a bit," She said teasingly and walked over to the kitchen table where the lilies were still sitting in center display. "Looks like Becca finally got to you, I thought you'd never cave and get rid of the whole 'frat boy' apartment. Where is Becs anyway?"
Eddie stiffened and Ally looked up at him curiously. "No more Becca?" She asked, her lips still pouting out a little bit. Eddie was beginning to hate the way that Ally was looking at him, with a mix of sympathy and accusation. He shook his head and she raised one perfectly shaped eyebrow.
"Then what's with all the stuff? I know you didn't buy this," She said as she picked up a oversized white silk pillow "By yourself, so who did?" She tossed it back down on the couch and turned to face Eddie with the same slightly mocking smile on her lips.
"Actually, I bought it"
Eddie turned on his heel to see Jane standing in the doorway of the bathroom. Her hair was still damp, but she was wearing a black tank top and loose fitting jeans that slipped off her slim hips. "I'm Eddie's girlfriend."
Ally's cynical smile disappeared and bloomed into a dazzling one. "Oh how cute" She gushed and reached out her had to shake Jane's. "I'm Ally Rhone, me and your boy toy go way back" Jane looked at Ally's hand for a minute, as if it was some poisonous snake that was just waiting to bite her.
"Jane Goodale" She slowly shook Ally's hand. She noticed that Ally had neatly manicured fingers, unpainted but still very feminine, and that she was generally a very beautiful girl, and then, a very young girl.
"Jane Goodale," Ally repeated with the small smile back on her lips, as if it was permanently there "Like the chick with the chimps' right?" Eddie had the overpowering urge to want to laugh, Ally had always had a way of saying things.
"Not to seem rude, but how old are you?" Jane asked, eyeing Ally up and down. Ally tilted her head and let a spill of glazed hair fall over her shoulder as she regarded Jane through her expressive brown eyes. "25. How old are you?" The same smirk of a smile was still glued in place, and Eddie had the feeling that Jane might try to smack her.
Jane turned sharply to Eddie and gave him a very calculated kiss on the lips. There was no salt taste this time, but still the same sweet balmy taste. "I'm going to make some reservations for tonight before they get booked up," Than turned to Ally "It is our one year anniversary today after all"
"Oh, how nice for you" Ally said sweetly, although there was an impish glimmer behind her eyes. Jane rolled her eyes and went into her bedroom to dry off before she left the apartment to brave the hot New York City summer heat.
"She seems nice," Ally said as she found herself a comfortable spot on the slightly run down couch and snuggled a little deeper. "Older, but pretty, good for you"
Now Eddie was afraid that he might smack her. She was exactly the same that she had been five years ago, and while he couldn't decide if it was reassuring or not, he still sort of liked her cynicism while she was still young enough to get away with it. Middle ages cynics weren't cute, they were depressing.
Finally, he was managed to find his voice again. "So you came back?" Ally laughed a little and crossed her legs.
"Apparently, I guess the city called to me. I traveled around, met some interesting people, a lot of people actually. I've been fishing in Alaska, I taught sailing in Turks and Caicos for a while and you know I always loved sailing. Than there was Italy, Morocco, those two didn't last very long. Arizona and Ireland lived in the south of France for about two years, oh and then there was some God-forsaken little spit of land in Kansas. However, somehow, I really began to miss home"
At the word 'home', her eyes met his and Eddie left as if he had just grabbed a weak, but still very much alive, wire. There was a odd tingling sensation going down his arms and he wondered if it would be too cliché to have a heart attack at that very moment.
"You just up and left, you hardly said a word" Eddie told her as he sat in the single seat across from her. The guilt that she was feeling seemed to shrink her.
"I know," She admitted as she sat up straight, her hands folded in her lap. She almost looked like a little girl who had gotten into trouble and was being lectured by the principal. "I wanted to call you so badly while I was gone, but I figured that you would be mad, and I know you and I know that it's a lot easier for you to be mad and hate someone than to miss them and worry, so I let you hate me
"You had Rebecca, and I knew that she would help you get over whatever you were going through with me. I know that we were best friends back than, and it was a pretty shitty thing for me to do, but I had my own reasons for doing it. I never forgot about you though Ed and I always wanted to call you to make sure you were alright but..."
Her shoulders kind of slumped to her side, like a puppet whose strings had been abruptly cut by a mad puppeteer. All the words she wanted to tell him had spilled out of her in a mess, and now she didn't look like the deviant twenty year old he used to know, or the fiery girl who was trying to goad on his girlfriend a minute ago. Now, Ally just looked a little tired, like someone who had been running for a long time, but than had no where else to run to.
There was a weird sensation that was bubbling in the pit of his stomach, something that felt cold and metallic, but alive. "Do you want to get some coffee?" He asked finally.
At the sound of his voice, Ally sat back up again, there was a tiny glimmer of hope behind her eyes. "And sushi?"
Eddie had to laugh; she had a funny way of making him do that. "Sure, and sushi. Let's go."