"Stay." Was the one word she said when he asked if there was anything she needed.
It wasn't that odd for him to be at her house. They talked occasionally on the phone and since she and Zeke didn't live with each other anymore their relationship had become far less volatile. In fact, Luther and Ginger were almost as good of friends as him and Zeke now. Zeke didn't know it because he was still having trouble getting over their past relationship, but Luther couldn't help himself from wanting to hang out with her since their discovery of having several common interest, such as a dislike for idiots like Ozzie, and fondness for destroying things and picking up different hobbies. Ginger had even learned how to skate board properly from Luther, and even a few tricks.
Luther had been talking to Ginger on the phone, it happened fairly often recently, when Ginger had gotten another call, but she never switched back to him, which was unusual. Usually, if she was going to have a long conversation, she would switch back and tell him not to wait up. So, naturally, Luther had begun to worry.
After almost an hour and a half and still no phone call, Luther had decided to go over to Ginger's house, only a few blocks away, and see what was wrong. When he arrived, all the lights were off, but the door was unlocked, which was a rare occurrence, and bluish light could clearly be seen flashing out of one of the second story windows that he knew to be Ginger's bed room.
Afraid, Luther had quickly bolted into her house and ran up the stairs, swinging into Ginger's room. She had been laying, in full date attire, on her bed with a box of Kleenex sitting next to her with several already balled up on the bed. She had a movie going, some romantic sappy thing Luther was never into, but clearly had not watched a minute of it as she had her head buried in the pillow which was soaked with tears and stained with make-up.
"Ginger..." Luther had whispered stopping at the door in complete bafflement. "What happened?"
At the questioned, Ginger's sobs had grown double in force.
Luther had been shocked. In all his years of knowing Ginger, which was most of his twenty-six, he had never seen her this upset. Not even close.
He had walked over to her, sitting on the bed near the head and placed an arm on her back. "Do you need me to get you anything?"
Her only answer was to shake her head.
"Or do anything?" Luther asked wanting to be helpful, but unsure what to do not knowing the circumstances.
Ginger once again shook her head but whispered out one word. "Stay."
"Okay." Luther said quietly rubbing her back, willing to wait until she was ready to tell him what had put her in this state.
After almost half an hour of silence except for her sobs, Ginger quickly sat up almost knocking Luther off the bed. "He dumped me!" She shouted fire in her voice.
Luther was thrown off. "Who?" He asked shocked.
"Garrett." She said annoyed and angry, but not really at Luther.
Luther stumbled a little. "B-but everything was going so great. I thought he was going to propose."
"I did too." Ginger said pushing her head on Luther's shoulder harshly. "I don't know what happened."
"Did he say anything?" Luther asked a little timidly. He didn't want to upset her further.
She was silent for long enough to make him think that he had gone too far, and when he was about to apologize she said, "He said he needed to spread his wings...that he'd been tied down to me for too long..." She said tears starting to pour again.
"Ginger..." Luther mumbled. Comforting had never been his area of expertise. "I-I'm sorry. If there's anything I can do..."
"Don't tell Zeke." She said quickly.
"Wha-Why not?" Luther said confused. He didn't think that telling Zeke or not telling him would make the situation any different.
"He would enjoy it too much. He still lives for my misery."
Luther moved his arm around her shoulders. "That's not true. He'd be just as upset."
"I doubt it. He didn't even come when I graduated high school... or college." Ginger said the hurt obvious in her voice.
"Well, in his defense, you were kind of a jerk to him." Luther said losing tact.
"Just don't tell him." Ginger said quietly.
"Okay. I won't." Luther said, but the promise was hollow and Ginger knew it. He still had loyalty to Zeke as his best friend, and, despite her words, Ginger knew that Zeke really did care about her even if he refused to show it most of the time.
After another long period of silence and the situation not changing Luther offered, "Do you want to go catch a movie? Something violent. Ya know, to take your mind off..." When Ginger looked like she would once again burst out in tears at the mention of her ex-boyfriend's name Luther opted for different words. "what's his face." He trailed off.
"Yeah. I'd like that." Ginger said wiping the tears away and the mascara that had washed down her face. "Let me just clean up first." She said standing and heading for her bathroom.
While waiting, Luther's phone rang. It was none other then the infamous older brother they had been previously talking about. "Oh hey. What's up, Z?" Luther asked answering his phone.
"Nothing much. I was just wondering if you were busy. Steve Caballero is going to be in town and we were going to try and hang out."
Luther was silent for a long moment deep in thought.
"Luth?" Zeke questioned.
Luther sighed. "Ah. I can't. I promised someone else that'd I'd hang out with them."
"Who?" Zeke said with a little bit of annoyance. "They would understand, I'm sure. I mean he's only going to be in town tonight. Then he's leaving."
"I know, Z, but I really can't."
"Well, who are you hanging out with? Maybe we can all go where ever together."
"Uh...no. I don't think that would work." Luther said obviously uncomfortable.
"C'mon, Luth. This doesn't happen every day." Zeke almost whined.
"I know. Look I have to go." Luther said as Ginger walked out of the bathroom looking stunning. "I'll talk to you later." He flipped his phone closed.
"Wow, Ginger. You look great." Luther said unable to stop staring at the modest, but form fitting, solid red dress she had changed in to.
"Thanks." She said sounding not much like she believed it. "Who was that?"
"Umm...Zeke." Luther replied unsure if he should tell her or not.
"Oh." There was a brief pause. "What'd he want?"
"To know if I could hang out with him and a pro who's in town."
There was awkward silence looming in between each response.
"You can go if you want to." Ginger said clearly not wanting him to go, but at the same time understanding that pros were his life now.
"Nah. It's okay. I can see him again sometime...maybe." Luther trailed off at the end not looking Ginger in the eyes.
"Luther." Ginger said sternly in a way that strongly reminded him of Zeke. "You don't have to miss this because of me."
"It's okay." Luther walked up to Ginger putting a hand on her shoulder and looking her directly in the eyes. "Really. I'd rather be with you...and I think you need me more right now." He tagged on when she looked at him skeptically.
"Thanks." Ginger said genuinely grateful.
"No problem." Luther said as he pulled her into a quick hug. "C'mon. I think there's a movie playing at eight."
They left shortly and after near two hours of explosions, killings, and uncensored language, they emerged from the theater, sorrow wiped off of Ginger's face.
"That was great movie." Luther said laughing. "We should go see it again."
"Right now?" Ginger questioned.
"Yeah, right now. Why not right now?"
"Because the theaters closed." Ginger said in a harsh way, but Luther took no offense to it since it had become almost like a joke for her to say things to him implying that he was dumb.
"Oh, yeah." He said turning back to look at the theater to confirm this fact. "Wanna grab something to eat then?"
"That'd be great." She said looping her arm in his.
As they entered one of the near by restaurants that was still open, Luther noticed something terrifying: Zeke was sitting at a table along with Steve Caballero and his wife.
"Oh no." Luther said turning around to face away from Zeke.
"Wha- Oh." Ginger began to question, but then noticed the problem at hand. "We should leave." She said turning to look up at Luther, who was still a good foot and a half taller then her.
"Yeah." Luther said glancing back over his shoulder to verify that Zeke was in fact there. In that brief moment, however, Zeke caught a glimpse of his best friend and there was no way he was going to let him escape without having dinner with a famous pro skater.
"Hey, Luth!" Zeke exclaimed standing up.
Luther looked away quickly, but recognizing he had no chance of escape, turned his focus back to Zeke.
"Oh, hey, Z. Didn't expect to see you here." Luther said moving in front of Ginger as she moved behind him.
"I didn't expect you either. You said you were busy with someone else." Zeke said as he approached Luther standing relatively close to his red headed friend.
"Umm. Yeah." Luther said trying to come up with something on the spot. "We, uh-I...Our plans were canceled." Luther stumbled as Ginger poked him hard in the back.
"Oh, well. You can just join us for dinner, then." Zeke said putting his hand on Luther's back just above Ginger's head.
As Zeke pushed Luther towards their table, Ginger slipped behind the host stand.
Just as Zeke was offering a chair next to him for Luther and about to introduce him to Steve Caballero, Luther quickly excused himself to go to the restroom.
Luther started walking off in the direction. As soon as Zeke turned his attention back to the couple sitting in front of him, Luther made a bee-line straight to the door where he had seen Ginger slip out quietly as soon as Zeke had turned his back
Bolting out the door, Luther looked around, almost frantically, to see where Ginger had gone. He had the keys to the car, so she couldn't have gone too far.
His frantic searching was put to a stop shortly after it had begun by a hand falling on his shoulder.
He spun around quickly to see Ginger smiling up, slightly sadly, at him.
"Thanks for coming after me." She said and then continued. "But you really didn't have to. Zeke's your best friend. You should be spending time with him."
Luther was dumbstruck. Yes, he wanted to have dinner with Zeke and Steve, but right now, he thought, Ginger needed him more. It wasn't every day that one of your best friends was dumped by her boyfriend of six years for no apparent reason.
"I'll just walk home." She finished after Luther didn't reply for almost a minute, and she started to walk away.
Luther took a moment to snap back to reality, but when he did he sort of jogged the few short yards Ginger had made it yelling. "Hold up. I didn't say I wanted you to leave. I'd rather be with you right now." He finished by grabbing her shoulders from the back and pulling her against him.
"Listen, Luther." She said turning around in his grip, "I just want to go home." Truth be told, the restaurant scene wasn't the best for her at the moment. There were too many happy couples in there, and she and Garrett used to be regulars at that particular one.
"Then I'll take you home." Luther said with no doubt.
"It's okay. I'll just walk home. You stay here and have fun."
"Ginger, I'm not letting you walk all the way home alone." Luther said sternly.
"I just want to be alone." Ginger said leaning her head against Luther's chest.
"I'll give you a ride home and then you can be alone. Okay?" Luther asked and Ginger nodded.
After dropping Ginger off at her house and making sure she would be fine left alone, Luther headed back to the restaurant. He had sort of ditched Zeke after all.
Luther walked in the front door to see Zeke staring at him, confused. "Dude, Luth. Where have you been? You kind of just left."
"Yeah, I know." Luther said rubbing the back of his neck. "I-I had to...take care of something." He trailed off.
"Take care of what?" Zeke asked having started to ignore the couple that was sitting across the table from them.
"It's getting late. We're going to head out." Steve said standing with his wife and placing their portion of the bill on the table.
"Wait. Hold on." Zeke said holding up a hand. "You don't have to leave already."
"I think we do. I'll catch up with you later." With this they walked away.
"Luther." Zeke said glaring at his friend.
"What'd I do?" Luther said more or less knowing, but at the same time hoping Zeke would drop the subject and quit prying.
Zeke sighed. He knew he had already lost the battle. "Why did you ditch us? And who were you with earlier?"
Luther stayed silent for a long moment looking down at the mostly eaten food on the table and fidgeting with the edge of the table cloth clearly debating on whether or not he should tell Zeke the truth.
"Garret dumped Ginger." Luther mumbled keeping his attention on his hands in his lap.
"Garret who?" Zeke asked confused.
"Her boyfriend. Garret Delvino." Luther said looking up at Zeke like he was an idiot.
"Oh, oh right. That Garret." Zeke said as it suddenly clicked. "Wait? He broke up with her." He leaned forward starting to get concerned.
"Yeah." Luther said solemnly.
Zeke thought about this for a moment looking off to the side. Luther had moved his attention back to his hands when Zeke snapped his head back towards Luther with an almost condemning look.
"How do you know?" He asked slowly and accusingly.
"I-I...um." Luther stumbled looking anywhere for answers.
"Don't tell me you've been talking to her again." Zeke said trying to catch Luther's attention.
When Luther didn't give an answer Zeke sighed putting his head in his hands. "Oh, Luth. You know me and Ginger don't get along. How could you do this?"
"I'm sorry, Z. I don't talk to her that much. Just enough to make sure she's not dead or anything." Luther lied.
"I-it's okay." Zeke also lied and after a moments pause continued, "So Stinky broke it off with Ginge?"
Luther looked almost sad and nodded.
"For what?" Zeke asked trying to make eye contact with Luther.
"He wanted to see other people." Luther was obviously uncomfortable talking about the subject, but he was the one to bring it up and he really wasn't looking forward to having a conversation about his and Ginger's secret friendship.
"But they've been dating for, like..." Zeke thought a minute. "Eleven years."
"Six, actually." Luther said. "But I guess that was just long enough for him."
"How do you date someone sixteen years-"
"Just six." Luther corrected him.
"Fine. Six years and just quit." Zeke said getting a little angry, but he was really more confused. His longest relationship had been only a year and when she broke it off he felt like he was going to die.
"I-I dunno, Zeke, but can we just drop this now." The more Luther thought about it the worse he felt about leaving Ginger alone and the more he wanted to go find Stinky and punch him until he couldn't breath.
"Fine. I didn't know it bothered you that much." Zeke said not quite understanding why it concerned Luther so much when Ginger was no more to him then his best friend's evil little sister.
"It doesn't really bother me." Luther said trying to sound truthful. "It just reminds me of when me and my girlfriend broke up." Six months ago Luther's girlfriend of four years had dumped him for another guy -a celebrity, actually- and it still hurt him to talk about long term relationships being broken up. That, however, was not the reason that this bothered him. In fact, this made that hurt less. He hurt more for Ginger's heartbreak than for his own.
"Oh, man. I'm sorry." Zeke said truthfully. He didn't like to bring up the topic of Luther's love life. It had seemed so much better than his own, but after what had happened, Zeke was grateful that his relationships had never ended quite as bad or never led him so wrongly.
"I-it's okay, Z. I know you didn't mean it."
There was a long period of silence between the two young men before the restaurant manager told them that they had to leave.