Sorry this story seems to be jumping around a lot, between Connie/Col and Connie's training and stuff... I need to plan it our properly, but I thought I'd update cos I haven't in ages :D so please review, even if you hate it- I need to know these things! :D
Connie dumped her sleeping bag next to Jane's in Anneena's bedroom. She looked in the mirror and realised how pale she looked. Jane followed her gaze to the mirror.
"Connie, why are your eyes so red? Have you been crying?"
Connie shook her head; "No, I'm just tired. Have you got any eyeliner?" Anneena dug into a draw and handed Connie a charcoal pencil.
"Did Col get hold of Rat?" Connie shrugged, smoothing the cool liner across her eyelids.
"I don't know- Col might not be coming now."
"What? Why?" Anneena pressed a button on her phone and the screen illuminated her face, highlighting her soft features.
"Umm, some stuff just came up." Connie ran a mascara brush quickly over her lashes and put it away in the drawer. She saw Anneena and Jane share a sceptical look.
"Look Connie, we know that… oh, text from Rat." She read it out aloud. "Col told me about tonight, sorry I can't come, I have Society stuff." Anneena looked up at Connie, who shrugged. He must have a meeting with his mentor or something, she thought. "See you guys tomorrow. Try not to miss me too much- I know that's hard though, but try your best." Anneena rolled her eyes and put her phone away.
"So, what are we going to do? Watch a film?" Connie traced a finger absent mindedly across the intricate pattern in the wood of the dresser, trying to feel the slight buzz she got when she traced the same pattern on the wood of a tree, but she felt only the cold damp of the dresser.
Jane's voice snapped her back to the present. "Connie!"
Anneena and Jane exchanged a quick glance, and came to a silent mutual agreement. They each grabbed one of Connie's wrists and dragged her over to the bed, pulling her down to sit on it.
"You need to talk to us Connie. What's happened?" Anneena's voice was low and urgent, a complete contrast to her usual laid back attitude. Connie looked between the two of them, unsure if they meant about her running away or the awkwardness with Col. "Why isn't Col coming?" Well, that answered my question, she thought. She felt a slight relief, as that question was slightly easier to answer than one involving more lies about the Society. But it was only a slight relief- she'd have rather lied about the Society than tell the truth about Col. She didn't feel completely guilty lying about the Society, as she knew she was protecting thousands of creatures. But she just couldn't lie to her best friends about this.
Taking a deep breath, she told them about what had happened last night, staring down at Anneena's pink bed covers the whole time, the blush refusing to fade from her cheeks. She only allowed herself to look up when she felt two sets of arms around her in a group hug.
"It'll be okay, we promise," Jane said for both of them. Anneena nodded.
"Yeah. And besides, you and Col have been going out for ages now, most couples would have already slept with each other a thousand times by now."
Jane glared at Anneena. "Not helping!" she hissed.
Anneena shrugged. "But it's true."
Jane opened her mouth to reply when Connie pulled away. "No, it is true. And it's not like I don't want it happen…"
"So you do want to?" Anneena pounced on her words, her eyes eager.
"Well… I don't know. It's not like I really want to, but I don't not want to either."
Jane frowned. "So what about last night?"
Connie shrugged slowly. "I never saw it coming, I'd never even thought about it. Then suddenly he was taking my skirt off, and I just sort of panicked. But then we talked about it, and…" She bit her lip, not sure of what she wanted to say.
"You suddenly wanted to?" Anneena finished for her.
"Yeah- but then he didn't want to. Then Mack walked in anyway. I'm so stupid."
"Why are you stupid?" Jane asked, a puzzled frown pulling her eyebrows together.
"'Cause I never stopped to think where we were, and it could've been Evelyn who walked in."
"That's what happens when you get caught up in a moment- you forget about everything else, and stop thinking rationally."
Anneena raised her eyebrows. "Speaking from experience, Jane?"
Jane rolled her eyes. "No! I don't even have a boyfriend! I'm just saying… you know what I mean."
Connie laughed. "Thanks for the advice guys. You sound like agony aunts." She poked Jane in the ribs as Anneena laughed.
Col sat crouched against the door, his head leaning back on it. Having knocked on the door several times to no answer, he'd discovered it was open and let himself in. He wasn't even sure why he was here- Connie would probably refuse to talk to him, but he had to get through to her. Now he was sitting listening to every word being said in the bedroom, feeling guilty and hating himself, but unable to tear himself away.
Connie's laugh alerted him to the conversation he'd been eavesdropping on. "Thanks guys. You sound like agony aunts."
"Wait, wait wait…" Anneena's voice echoed through the wooden door. "You didn't answer the question. Why isn't Col coming?"
"I said he might not come. And, well… we sort of fell out on the way home, when I brought up about last night, and he was being deliberately awkward and not answering any of my questions, and then we started yelling at each other, and I stormed off, and…" Col heard Anneena and Jane shushing her as her voice started to shake. He resisted the urge to go and comfort her as he always did when she was upset. A brief flash of anger surfaced in him, as her words sunk in. Deliberately awkward? He hadn't been trying not to answer her, he just didn't trust himself to speak without thinking of an answer first, in case it came out wrong.
"Do you want us to talk to him?" That was Jane's voice, as calm and reasonable as ever.
"No, this is something we need to talk about ourselves… thanks anyway."
"Well, he hasn't texted to say if he's coming or not, I'll just text him to see if he is. Don't worry, I won't say anything else." He heard the tapping of phone keys as Anneena stated composing her message.
Then it hit him.
His phone was on full volume.
"Okay, it's sent." He swore under his breath, pulling his phone out of his pocket to put it on silent mode, but he was too late.
A loud chime rang out a second before he hit the silent button.
All three girls looked towards the closed oak door at the same time. Anneena and Jane looked at each other in confusion, but Connie's eyes didn't leave the door.
"Wasn't that Col's phone?" Jane whispered.
Without a word, Connie got up and walked slowly towards the door. She opened it without hesitation, to find Col standing up, holding his phone in one hand and running his other through his hair hurriedly. "Err… you left the front door open."
Anneena stood up. "Oh crap, why do I keep doing that? I'd better go close it." She glanced at Jane and then pushed past Connie and Col.
"Er, year, I'll… help you." Jane followed her, squeezing Connie's hand on the way past. "Hi Col."
"She needs help with her front door?" Col asked disbelievingly.
"Yeah, you know how the locks, umm… confuse her." Jane stammered, before running down the stairs, leaving Connie and Col alone.
Col put an arm across the doorway to stop Connie following, but she didn't even try to move.
She moved backwards into the room. "We need to talk."
"That's an understatement," Col grumbled, walking in after her and shutting the door behind him. Connie leant against the wooden dresser, looking at him in the mirror.
"I'm sorry." Col looked back at her reflection and received no reply, so he carried on. "I wasn't deliberately not answering you; I didn't even know the answer myself." He walked up to stand behind her.
"I told you- I can't give you what I want unless I know what it is." Connie rested her hands on the wood.
Col's fists clenched. "And that's what the problem is. Our relationship isn't about you trying to please me. I'm not asking for anything."
"Well you seemed to be asking for something last night."
"I don't just want you for sex Connie!" he yelled, not even realising he was shouting. "Why do you suddenly think that? It's never been about that, and now suddenly it is?"
"You're the one who made it about that!" she replied defiantly, spinning round to face him. She felt weird- it was the first time he'd directly said it and it seemed to make it even more real. "We were fine for months, why is it so different now? What happened?"
"You ran away, that's what happened!" He moved closer to her, so she was trapped against the dresser. "And it made me realise how much I fucking love you."
"So?" she whispered, her resolve weakening.
"So, I wanted you to know that. I wanted you. I still do." His eyes left hers and he glanced downwards. "But you're not ready. The fact that I had to talk you into it proves that." He rested his forehead on hers and looked back into her eyes. "I just want to go back to the way it was."
"We can't, it won't be the same between us."
Col looked hurt. "Why?"
Because now I can't have it, I want it! her mind screamed. But she just shrugged.
"Connie, the most important thing to me is you; I just want to make you happy."
Connie tried to pull back but she was trapped. She shook her head. "You said our relationship isn't about me trying to please you- well it works both ways. You can't do everything to make me happy, and not do what you want to do," she hinted.
"What are you saying?"
She couldn't think of any other way to say it, so she pushed herself against him and kissed him with every bit of energy she had left, until they were both light headed and dizzy. Col broke away first, his heart pounding against hers, but he didn't let go of her. He tried to push down the longing in the pit of his stomach that the kiss had stirred up inside him- he wouldn't allow himself a repeat of the night before. But he didn't know that Connie had exactly the same feeling as him, which she was trying to get through to him.
"We'd better go and find Anneena and Jane," he said, grabbing her hand and pulling away from her. He made for the door but Connie pulled backwards. "Wait…" she stumbled and fell onto Anneena's bed, pulling Col down with her.
"Was that planned?" he half joked, raising an eyebrow. She blushed, then sighed, frustrated. This really wasn't going well.
"What is it?" Col asked.
She rolled over and laid flat on her back, staring at the cracks in the ceiling. "You know how you tried to talk me into it? It worked," she blurted out.
Col stared at her but she didn't take her eyes off the ceiling. "Are we thinking the same thing?" he whispered slowly. Connie nodded.
Col leant over her to whisper in her ear, his lips brushing the top of her jaw. "Then I look forward to it." He kissed her neck and then got off the bed. "Let's go find Anneena and Jane- see if they've managed to break the door between the two of them." He left the room and Connie heard his footsteps receding down the stairs. She sighed and sat up, trying to make her heart beat at a more normal pace. Failing miserably, she gave up and followed Col downstairs.