"Are you sure you don't want me to stick around to help?" Shelley asked as she threw her jacket on. Wade momentarily paused from putting all the chairs on top of the tables.
"I'll be fine Shell. Have yourself a goodnight." With the salute of his hand, he bid her goodbye as she let herself out of the closed down Rammer Jammer with an uneasy smile.
It had been a steady Saturday night after the miraculous homecoming win of the Bluebell Gators the previous night, the excitement had seemingly passed over. Which meant that the bar had been packed from five in the evening til closing as everyone wanted to relive the glory with cheap beer, rowdy music and good people.
While the residents of Bluebell enjoyed the ambiance, Wade slaved behind the bar without a break which in turn left the floors filthy with dirt, spilled food and various other items that he wasn't looking forward to cleaning up. Before getting down to business, Wade turned the jukebox on and sang along to the familiar country ditties filling the vacant, dimly lit bar. Begrudgingly, he reached for the broom and began sweeping the mess in and around the tables.
He was almost finished when a light knock broke him from his thoughts, before he had the chance to ask who was there he heard the door open.
"We're closed." Wade drawled, releasing a heavy breath. He was met with no reply but the light click of heels against the hardwood floors gave away who it was without him even having to look over his shoulder.
He didn't bother turning around, he wasn't in the mood to deal with whatever drama was on the menu today. The woman was for lack of a better word, a handful, to say the least.
More than likely it had something to do with their prank gone wrong on Jimmy Praboo several days ago, and how she didn't want him to include George on his childish endeavors. Though, it was also plausible that it had to do with his New York born and raised neighbor and what issue Lemon had with Zoe this week.
"I forgot my purse here earlier, I was wonderin' if I could get it back." Lemon stiffened at his less than enthusiastic tone, almost second guessing her motives of dropping by. Though if she had to wait on the people of Bluebell over the Homecoming weekend, she'd surely be exhausted by the end of the day as well. She took a few more hesitant steps into the bar before she stopped herself and subconsciously played with the buttons on her pale blue cardigan.
"I think you forget how I can always tell when you're lying." He pointed out with a sardonic chuckle, catching her in her white lie. Wade would've surely noticed if she had been in the Rammer Jammer, either by her bright blonde hair and pale complexion or by the tumultuous sound of her laugh. He had heard it far too much in the past to not be able to recognize it.
Lemon's mouth went dry while she wrecked her brain to save herself from the embarrassment of being caught but Wade beat her to it. "Why are you really here, Lemon?"
"Don't you remember our tradition?" Her typically saccharine speech was currently sheepish and withdrawn. "Homecoming? Surely you haven't forgot." His back was still facing her as she sniffled and felt the wetness remaining on her eyelashes.
Wade rotated on his heel so that he had a clear vision of the southern belle. He instantly took note of her tear stained cheeks, ruined mascara and red nose of the typically pristine looking woman. Despite his reluctance, he motioned to the empty stools that sat in front of the bar. Lemon thanked him with a halfhearted smile before seating herself on top of one of the withered pieces of furniture.
Wade took his regular spot behind the bar, quickly serving her, her favourite drink all the while opening a bottle of the cheapest beer for himself. "So why now?"
Lemon frowned at him, as if wordlessly telling him she didn't understand his question. "What do you mean?"
Wade sighed heavily, Lemon always did make things more difficult than they had to be, he had learned that the hard way. "We haven't spent homecoming together in who knows how many years, Lemon. Why now?"
Truth be told he knew exactly how many years it had been since they had spent homecoming together, but he wasn't about to show his hand quite yet. Not until he knew the intentions of her impromptu late night visit.
Lemon was caught off guard by Wade's less than cordial nature. However, she had become somewhat used to it since the pair had drifted apart and they adopted a more bantering relationship than the kinship that had once been there.
"Spending time with you and George, it brought back memories." She glanced at him with pleading eyes. "I miss our tradition." The southern belle said softly as Wade leaned his body against the counter and recalled the beginning of their friendship at the ripe age of seventeen.
"Come on, Jacky." Wade paced impatiently in the back alley of the Rammer Jammer. In the midst of his eager pacing, he failed to notice the familiar female heading his way. He felt his shoulder bump into something hard, and heard a small gasp of surprise.
"For heaven's sake Wade what on earth are you doing?" Lemon's right hand came to rest over the left side of her chest. She could feel her heart quicken in pace due to her surprise at finding Wade hanging out in the back alley.
"You scared me half to death!" She exclaimed as her heartbeat returned to normal. All she had planned to do after opting out of playing with Magnolia, was to take a peaceful walk around town by her lonesome.
Given the fact that earlier in the day the Homecoming game had taken place most, if it not all, the town were busy celebrating the win of the football game. Older folk were sure to be inside the Rammer Jammer, reliving glory days of victories past. Though, if they were Lemon's age, they'd be enjoying the annual dance being held in the school gymnasium.
"Sorry about that." Wade chuckled, his pearly white smile shining bright even despite the black night around them. "Just waitin' on somethin' to celebrate with." He nodded his head towards the backdoor of the Rammer Jammer which was usually pried open with a chair to allow air to flow through the obscenely warm kitchen.
Lemon was momentarily stunned to find someone, other than herself, who had opted out of attending the dance. The fact that it was Wade though, was somewhat concerning given that he had run the final touchdown which led to Bluebell's mirthful victory. However, the same could be said for her as she was the head cheerleader and cheered her team to victory each and every game with a happy smile.
Lemon quirked an eyebrow at him, all the while crossing her arms over her chest. "Somethin' or someone?" She clarified to which Wade laughed.
Everyone was aware that he had become quite the heart breaker since making the starting line up. He was that guy that all the girls loved for his sweet southern charm, albeit without a filter like George, and toned athletic body. He relished in it, or so he pretended to. She had heard countless stories about him from her fellow cheerleaders. Even as much as they bad mouthed him, he was George's best friend, he couldn't be that bad.
"Both actually." He drawled, leaning his body up against the back of the bar. Lemon rolled her eyes, and was about to turn on her heel to continue her walk when a loud clatter by the backdoor of the bar stopped her from doing so.
Lemon turned her gaze towards the male silhouette struggling with several garbage bags. She recognized him as Jackson Kearney, an ex-football player who's dream of playing in the NFL died soon after he graduated three years ago due to a career ending injury. He dumped the bags into the large garbage bin then grabbed a brown paper bag that he had put aside before ridding the trash.
The ex-football player began walking towards the pair, his eyes taking in Lemon's slim figure with a satisfied smile. Wade chuckled at Lemon's sheer look of discomfort before taking the brown paper bag from Jackson.
"I owe ya man." Wade peeked in the bag to make sure that his request had been filled. With a nod of approval, he slipped a twenty from his pocket and handed it over to Jackson's eager hand.
"Good doin' business with you, Kinsella." Jackson graced them with a polite smile before heading back to work. But not before casting one glance back at Lemon and flashing her a perverted smile. "G'night."
"Someone likes ya, Lemon." Wade wiggled his eyebrows to which she crinkled her nose at the idea of letting Jackson getting even remotely close enough to touch her.
"What's in the bag?" Lemon enquired, pushing the atrocious thoughts behind her. Wade flashed her one of his infamous smiles before leaning closer to whisper in her ear. Lemon backed away from him but he motioned for her to come closer. With a hesitant look, Lemon did as she was asked.
"I'm gettin' drunk." He amusingly whispered. Lemon took a step back, narrowing her eyes at the young man before her. Wade lifted a six pack of beer from the brown paper bag and shot her a curious look. He slowly began backing up towards his pick up truck parked several feet away.
"Don't make me drink by myself, Breeland." He smiled as he watched Lemon nibble on her bottom lip, clearly contemplating her choices. "Lemon...get in the truck." He commanded, speaking to her as if she were a canine and he were her master.
Lemon's blonde head tilted to the side, her long blonde curls moving to one side."Wade Kinsella, I know you're not telling me what to do." She shot him a point look, everyone in town knew that Lemon Breeland listened to no one but her daddy. Even then she somehow found herself getting her way. She had several males wrapped around her dainty little finger, one of the few exceptions being the boy calling over her to join him.
She could hear his amused laugh from where she stood despite the fact that he had now reached his truck across the parking lot. He had the beer safely inside the cab, but his body hung out the open driver's side door as he called to her.
"And what if I am?" He challenged while Lemon remained where she stood. "You know what? Forget it. I should have known Miss Lemon Breeland wasn't crazy enough to go drinkin' illegally." He waved her off before looking to get inside of the pick-up. Just before he shut the door, he looked back at her with a confident smirk on his lips. "Come to think of it maybe she wasn't even crazy enough to pull off that Gleason prank."
Lemon's mouth hung open and her eyes narrowed suspiciously. She knew that Wade was only attempting to get her riled up so she could prove him wrong and he'd receive a drinking partner because of it. Despite knowing his true intentions, she still felt the urge to prove him wrong, just for her own satisfaction."I honest to god did, ask anyone."
Wade shrugged casually before popping himself into the drivers seat, and shut the door behind him. "I can't be sure, I never saw you with my own eyes." With the flick of his wrist the blond football player revved the engine of his truck then placed his hand firmly on the stick shift.
"Wait!" Lemon yelled with a pained expression on her face. Wade's eyebrows rose upwards but motioned towards the empty passenger seat.
Twenty minutes later they were parked in a secluded wooded area which in merely an hour and a half would surely be full of the beat up cars of the Homecoming dance attendees with their respective dates. The pair were lounging in the back of Wade's pick-up, he was already one and a half beers in meanwhile Lemon was still nursing her first. Truth be told she wasn't much of a beer drinker but as soon as Wade doubted her infamous prank, her thirst for proving him wrong kicked in.
"So tell me, why is the head cheerleader and shoe in for Homecoming Queen sittin' here barely drinkin' her beer?" Wade quipped with a goofy grin, Lemon forced a smile before glancing down at the bottle she held close to her body.
Lemon mustered a weak shrug of her shoulders before setting her eyes on the wide receiver to her left. "Same could be said for you, I recall you scorin' the winnin' touchdown earlier today. I'm sure everybody is wonderin' where you are."
"So we're gonna play that game huh?" Wade quirked an eyebrow before taking a swig of his beer. When she gave a simple nod of her blonde head, he licked his lips clean of the beer that lingered.
"Honestly..." He began, noticing the straight faced glare he was on the receiving end of. He'd be lying if he said her death glare wasn't the least bit frightening, she could go from happy and smiling to glaring at him as if he were next on her list of prey. Lemon Breeland was something else that was for damn sure, he just wasn't sure what that was. "I didn't have a date." He answered with a mild frown.
Within a split second of him revealing his reasoning for not attending the school dance, Lemon burst out into a fit of feminine giggles. She had her head thrown back as her chest rumbled with amusement. Wade simply stared at the blonde who had been staring him down since he had literally run into her in the parking lot and now she was laughing at his misfortune.
"I didn't tell you so you could laugh!" He pouted slightly before turning his body away from her and swallowed a mouthful of carbonated liquid.
Lemon regained her composure and forced her lips closed, muffling her laughter in her throat. "I didn't mean it like that." She drawled slowly, reaching out to wrap her small hand around his arm. Wade peeked at her over his shoulder but didn't commit to turning around. The blonde sent him a pointed look before clearing her throat.
"I didn't want to just go with anyone, alright? Isn't a guy allowed to have standards anymore?" He defended himself with a slight pout on his lip. Meanwhile Lemon simply smiled, either because she didn't believe a word he was saying or because she was shocked at his sudden change of heart regarding the girls in their small town.
"You? No." She quipped with that confident smirk of hers. If she hadn't been taunting him, he would've almost found it cute. Lemon sighed, seeing that Wade wasn't budging. "I simply meant you could get any girl you want and you're sittin' here claimin' you don't have a date. It's hard to believe that's all. Okay?"
Wade paused for a short moment, taking in the indirect compliment she had just given him. One side of his mouth moved upwards, forming a cocky half smile. "Lemon, I do believe that's the first compliment you've ever given me." She shook her head and with a roll of her eyes the southern belle brushed it off as nothing. Even though both of them knew that it was a step in the right direction.
His half smile only widened until it was a full blown, blinding grin. The two had never been terribly close, they hung around the same circle due to the fact that George was his best friend and Lemon had taken a liking to him once they turned fifteen. There was also the fact that they were both apart of the jocks and cheerleaders crowd, it wasn't elitist like some high schools were but most often than not if you found a cheerleader there was sure to be a jock not too far behind.
"We need to document this shit." Wade said suddenly, ready to hop off the tailgate but Lemon grabbed his arm before he could.
"I'm sure you'll never let me forget it." She answered pointedly. Wade considered it for a short second before nodding his head in agreement, knowing full well he'd bother her incessantly about her choice of words until she was driven to the brink of taking them back.
"So..." Wade kicked his feet in the air, lightly skimming the tips of the grass with the toe of his shoes. "I told you why I'm here." He gently nudged his shoulder with hers before a somber undertone took over their party for two. Lemon's eyes flickered to her right, suddenly finding the rusting back end of Wade's fathers truck more interesting than the question she knew he was about to ask.
"Why aren't you at the dance gettin' your crown?"
Lemon felt her chest tighten and her eyes begin to water. Before she could even get the words out, she found herself letting the tears fall freely. She attempted to wipe them away before Wade noticed but they just kept falling.
"Whoa, now. I didn't mean to make you cry." His voice was ridden with alarm and his body language told her that he was clearly uneasy with her sudden sobbing. She felt his hand awkwardly rub her back, almost as if he had never comforted someone before.
When her sobs get worse, Wade hesitantly wrapped an arm around her shoulders. He kept it loose cause this was Lemon and if she didn't want him touching her, she would surely make it known in true Lemon fashion. However, instead of pushing his arm away and demanding for him to take her home like he assumed, she moved herself closer to him. She buried her face into the crook of his neck, the collar of his plaid button up collected the tears.
Surprise wouldn't even begin to describe what he was feeling as she gripped tightly onto his shirt. He had never seen this side of the blonde haired southern beauty before. He had seen cheerleader Lemon who consisted of smiles and gracious charity work around the small community; crazy Lemon was someone who only came out when she was really done wrong, ala Mrs. Gleason and the cow that had suspiciously found its way into her classroom; motherly Lemon was the girl who did her homework on Thursday nights so her whole weekend was clear to babysit Magnolia while their father worked.
Those three faces were the only ones she ever showed to the world, so to see a completely new side of Lemon was almost unheard of. Though if he were a betting man, he would assume that it was one of two things that was causing the magnitude of heartache pouring out of her. Either it was George, who Wade knew was at the dance with Cindy Killigan, or it was the pain of going through her first teenage milestone without her mother around to see it.
He held her there for several moments until her cries withered down and they were merely sniffles. "Lemon?"
Lemon pulled herself from the comfort of Wade's shoulder to peer up at him. Her cheeks were flush and her eyes had become slightly puffy and red. "I'm so sorry, I don't know what came over me." She replied with a small hiccup then proceeded to cover her mouth. She wiped at her eyes before moving onto fixing her long but now messy blonde hair.
"This doesn't have anything to do with George does it?" Wade questioned watching the southern belle's eyes light up at the sound of his best friend's name. He knew before she even answered that George wasn't the reason. "And don't lie, I can see right through you."
Lemon forced a tight lipped smile before lightly shaking her head. "No, it doesn't."
He could practically hear the anguish in her voice and that's when he took initiative and pulled her closer to his side. He knew that the stubborn Lemon Breeland would never ask for his sympathy, she would only take it if he offered it. He tightened the hold he had on her as she sniffled and rested her head in the crook of his neck once again.
"Parents suck." Wade blurted out, speaking from experience. Lemon stifled a laugh but nodded her head in agreement. He let her cling to him for a moment longer before he burst up from his seat, nearly knocking the poor blonde over in the process.
Her wide, tear rimmed blue eyes stared at him as if he had gone crazy.
"This..." He motioned to her tear stained face. "is not happening." Without another word spoken, Wade dashed to the front of his truck, half of his body leaned inside to flick on the radio. Lemon sat idly in her spot wondering what exactly the meaning of his sudden out burst was and why 'Something Like That' by the Tim McGraw was playing in the background.
"Come on." He held his out and nodded towards the empty spot of grass next to the truck. Lemon gave him a sideways glance before reluctantly slipping her hand into his. She could feel the callouses that were surely from working with his hands. George had always told her that Wade had a love of fixing up cars and just about anything he could get his hands on.
"What are we doin'?" Lemon asked softly, her eyes briefly darting up at the starry sky. Letting them linger until she felt one of Wade's hands find it's way onto her hip.
"I figure the only way to get you to stop cryin' your pretty little eyes out is to bring the dance to you. Distract you from what's really botherin' you." He offered with a proud smile, Lemon however only heard one particular aspect of his statement.
"You think my eyes are pretty?" Lemon was taken aback by his passing compliment, the night was full of firsts for both of them apparently. A hazy smile played on her lips as she waited for his reply. Instead of playing her game, Wade simply threw his head back to laugh at her predictable nature.
"Just dance, would ya?" Wade's hand pushed lightly on her hip, sending her feet backwards just as he twirled her in a circle.
Lemon's eyes widened and her lips spread into an impressed smile, something that was not easy to get from her. She slapped him lightly on the chest.
"Who knew Wade Kinsella could dance!" She exclaimed as if it was a miracle that a guy like him knew how to move his feet to music. A light laugh escaped her mouth before she let herself sway along with the upbeat music. Their feet moved effortlessly in sync, albeit slightly off beat to the up tempo music but Lemon wasn't about to complain in his attempt to cheer her up.
"Don't you dare tell nobody or I'll-" He began but she promptly silenced him.
Lemon leaned in closer, her gaze steadily locking with his. "Or you'll what?" She challenged while Wade simply stared back at her. His mouth was slightly parted as he found his eyes focusing on the soft pink of her lips curving up into a sweet smile. "That's what I thought." She giggled before laying her head on his shoulder as the music had switched to a slower melody.
"So what would you be doing right now if you were at the dance?" Wade asked rhetorically, he knew the answer but wanted to see how she would answer. In the midst of waiting he cast his eyes up at the starry October sky, feeling as though the current scenery was better than any cheap decorations from the local corner store could provide.
"Dancin' of course. What else would I be doin'?" Lemon replied. Wade felt the blonde's body shake slightly as she released a small giggle at his question.
"Nah, you'd be starin' at George while he danced with Cindy Killigan." Wade chuckled as he sensed Lemon's body tense at the mention of his best friend with another girl. He ran a soothing hand along her back until he felt tension ease up. "I'd notice those blue eyes of yours locked on him right away then I'd swoop in to steal Mouse's date away and leave him all for you."
"That's rude." Lemon argued, though there wasn't much fight behind her words. He assumed she was simply saying it to make it sound like she didn't harbor feelings for the quarterback.
"Lemon, Mouse may be my best friend but he's oblivious as all hell." Once again Lemon's slim body shook with laughter before the two were left in a comfortable silence as they swayed along with the music.
Several silent moments lapsed before Lemon managed to let two very courteous words pass her lips. "Thank you." She nuzzled her head closer to his neck. Wade's hands tightened around her waist, pulling her flush against him.
"You made tonight a lot better than I expected. I truly appreciate it." Lemon breathed, her words coming out as if she were on the brink of falling asleep. He could feel the warmth of her breath against the exposed, slightly chill skin of his throat.
"Anytime." He replied, hoping that she hadn't heard the faint hitch in his breath.
"I don't even remember why we stopped." She pointed out as her fingertips subconsciously spun her glass full of orange juice and champagne in a faint circle.
With a blank face, Wade crossed his arms across his chest. "George came home from New York, ya'll got engaged and then you turned into a Stepford wife on crack." Lemon's head snapped up just as quick as he expected it to, and when she did, he flashed her a bright smile.
Her face held a stern look, almost reminiscent of the one he received the night of homecoming. Wade had known the southern belle long enough to know that the simple notion of him smiling at her would only fuel her already uptight nature.
"I'm not a Stepford wife on crack." She defended solemnly, almost as if she had lost her true will to fight with him which was very unlike her. Her pink painted lips were pressed into a thin line but it wasn't until he caught sight of more tears welling up in the corners of her eyes did he start to feel bad about teasing her.
"If that's really what you think of me then I'll be on my way." Lemon pushed her more than half full glass towards him before shifting on the stool, the friction of the stool against the hardwood floors made a loud screeching sound. She smoothed the invisible wrinkles out of her dress before wiping at her tear stricken eyes. "I came here because unlike everyone else in this town, I knew you wouldn't judge me. I guess I was wrong."
Wade was left momentarily speechless, he hadn't meant to hurt her feelings as much as it appeared he had. He had merely meant to give her a hard time because that was the way their relationship had been the past three years. Lemon made a snide comment to him and he'd make one right back, and vise versa.
"Lemon!" He called after her but she continued towards the door. Wade quickly moved himself out from behind the bar, with a frantic shuffle of his feet, he beat Lemon to the door. He slipped his body in between her and the exit, making it so she wouldn't be able to leave without him letting her.
"I'm sorry, okay?" Wade confessed sheepishly as Lemon's eyes remained focused on the beaten up floors. "You're not a Stepford wife on crack." He quipped in a gentle tone, curling a finger underneath her chin until she was forced to look him in the eyes. When he knew he had her attention, his lips curved upwards into a half smile.
"Think of it this way," He loosened the hold of her chin, as Lemon's blue eyes bore into his. Wade's tongue ran lightly across his bottom lip, and he could have sworn he caught her staring as the taste of the lingering beer filled his mouth. "the craziness is apart of the Breeland charm."
She let out what sounded to be a mix of a cry and a laugh but due to the smile on her lips, Wade figured she found it more humorous than insulting. Lemon turned her face so that Wade's fingers no longer held her chin in place. "Stop starin' at me, I look like a mess." She expressed in a weak voice, he hadn't noticed the fact that he was staring.
Wade played it off casually and looked away briefly. Once the awkward moment passed, he shifted his eyes back to her as he tilted his head to the side and quirked an eyebrow. "You hungry?" He asked, feeling his food deprived stomach ache.
"I should be going." Lemon forced a smile as she attempted to step past Wade but he blocked her every move. After several unsuccessful getaways, she raised her eyebrows curiously.
"Get your ass in that seat, Lemon. I won't hesitate to throw you over my shoulder and put you there myself." He cast her a warning look, as if challenging for her to test him but she knew better than to try. He pretty much gave her no choice in the matter so with a defeated breath, Lemon retook her spot at the bar much to Wade's satisfaction.
Fifteen minutes later, the pair were seated at the bar, nursing their respective drinks and each with a sandwich that Wade claimed as the best in town. Lemon still considered hers as the best in town, but she wasn't about to bruise Wade's ego when he had generously offered her nourishment.
They were exchanging old high school stories and Wade had just told her the story, in excruciating detail, of Jimmy Praboo's infamous heat rub prank on her fiance. She tried her best to remain sympathetic towards George but the longer Wade went on about it, the harder it became. By the time he reached the end, Lemon was biting down so hard on her lip to contain herself, that she thought she might puncture her lips. Giving into her temptation, Lemon let out wild burst of laughter, her body violently shaking with pure unadulterated amusement.
Wade didn't bother to hide the smile that crept its way onto his lips at the sight of typically uptight and frantic nature of Lemon Breeland had disappeared. The carefree, vivacious girl beneath the hard outer surface was shining through and he couldn't be happier. It gave him a moment to realize why had fallen for her in the first place several years ago. He watched her until her chuckling died down and she was merely smiling at the memory.
Despite the mediocre sandwich in her stomach, Lemon was two and a half drinks in and was beginning to feel it. Her eye lids began feeling heavy with the amount of alcohol that was flowing through her blood. If she drank anymore she'd surely lose control and that was one thing she wasn't willing to let go of, especially with Wade staring at her the way he was. With a firm hand, Lemon pushed the half empty glass away from her and towards the other end of the bar.
Wade was too busy smirking to himself to notice. "I can't believe that was twelve and a half years ago." He commented from beside her, before taking a long swig of his beer. Lemon looked over at him hazily, before shaking her head.
"I don't even want to think about how long its been." Lemon turned her body on the stool, her bare knees lightly grazed Wade's as she did so. "I wanted to be married with babies by thirty." She brought her elbow up to rest on top of the bar as she held her head up.
Wade smirked before leaning in closer to the blonde who looked like she was about to pass out. "Did ya forget that you're engaged, Lemon? I know I'm irresistibly charming and all..." He trailed off and stifled a chuckle when her expression shifted to one that looked as if she were eating something sour. He'd be lying if he said it didn't hurt to see her react like that.
"Wade, please." Lemon shot him an exasperated look before she exhaled a deep breathe. "George and I keep putting the wedding off. Sometimes I wonder if it'll ever happen. Am I just wastin' my time?" She pondered aloud, not expecting him to answer her question but for Wade, the temptation was there.
"Is that what's botherin' you?" Lemon silently nodded her head.
"I try so hard to be the best fiancee, Wade. I do." The slight crack in her voice was reminiscent of the one he had heard many times before she broke down into uncontrollable sobs. "His mother hates me. Maybe mine did too, and that's why she left."
Before she had a chance to even shed a tear, he got to his feet and held his hand out to her. Lemon's sad blue eyes locked on his open palm before they glanced up at his face. He nodded his head towards a fairly large open space between the tables and that just so happened to be in front of the jukebox.
"C'mon, don't leave me hangin'." Wade offered with a subtle wink. She laughed lightly to herself through tears before slipping her soft hand into his and letting him lead her there.
Despite her tired appendages, Lemon let herself be taken onto the open hardwood floor. She instantly attached herself to Wade's chest, resting her head just underneath his chin while one of her arms curled around the back of his neck.
"Just so you know, I'm only doing this cause I can't stand seeing girls cry." He whispered softly in her ear as one of his hands came to rest on her hip just as the other encircled hers which had found its place on the right side of his chest. Their feet shuffled ever so slightly with the slow paced melody of the song.
"Liar." She mumbled, just loud enough for Wade to catch. His chest rumbled with a deep chuckle.
Once his laughter had ceased, Lemon could feel Wade's heartbeat against her cheek, the lull of it was making her even more drowsy. A content smile crossed her lips as she took in the comfort one small action brought her. Her finger tips mindlessly, albeit lightly, scratched at the base of his neck.
"I missed this." He breathed, confirming her suspicions. His words came out effortlessly despite his hesitance to speak them aloud.
The woman in his arms was engaged, and to his best friend no less, he couldn't let feelings of the past emerge. Wade had spent years pushing them aside and for a while he thought they were truly gone and were only a moment of weakness on his part. However, the ease and contentment of his current situation proved that they were all the more real.
"This may sound absolutely insane but..." She paused for a moment as her hand clamped tighter on the back of his neck, her manicured nails slightly digging into his skin. "...sometimes I feel like you know me better than anyone in this town. Including my daddy." Lemon smiled softly, the irony of her truthful words hadn't been lost. Who would've thought that the boy she always claimed to be dimwitted and a womanizer, would be the only man to understand her in all her faults and flaws.
Wade was utterly floored with Lemon's admission, sure they had known one another for a long while, but he never thought he had gained so much trust in her. However, as flattered as he was with the compliment, a larger part of him was growing frustrated due to the fact that she had no idea how deep his feelings for her went.
"Lemon you should go." He spoke the words softly as to not make it come out too harsh. The last thing he wanted to do was make her feel worse but he was killing two birds with one stone. Saving himself from a world of heartbreak, while also saving the engagement that she held so dear.
The blonde's head snapped up, the crown of her head barely missing his chin due to their close proximity. Her bright blue eyes were sending him a confused expression.
"I thought you were gonna cheer me up?" She sounded like a lost child, he even watched her bottom lip, expecting her to pout but it never came. Instead he tortured himself by staring at her quick witted mouth.
"You have a fiance to do that, Lemon." Wade's hand fell from Lemon's waist, touching her was far too dangerous with his current state of mind.
Lemon's eyes fluttered as her mouth dropped open into a small o shape. "What in heavens name is wrong with you?" She snapped, her brows furrowing.
"I can't be that guy for you anymore, Lemon. I just can't, I'm sorry." He laid out the cold hard facts with her, she didn't realize the toll it took on him to have her so close. It was far easier for the both of them to go back to the way they had been for the past year and half, fake smiles with a snide remark to match.
"So what are you tryin' to say?" Her lips were now pressed into a tight line which told him she was getting angry. However, her eyes gave away the fear and hurt she was feeling. "Go back to the way we were before?"
Wade silently nodded his head as Lemon swallowed the lump in her throat. "Well then," She began in a faux, chipper voice. A drawl he had become all too familiar with over the years. "I'm sorry to have bothered you." Lemon turned on her heels faster than he expected, her blonde hair brushed lightly against his cheek.
Without another word, Lemon marched loudly towards the exit. It wasn't until she had a hand on the door that she made a sound. Wade casually glanced over just in time to catch a glimpse of her in the window, her face once again wet with tears. Only this time they were because of him. Another sound, a whimper, left her throat as she looked back at him through the glass before letting herself out.
Wade let out a breath he didn't realize he'd been holding as he watched her slim retreating figure until she disappeared into the dark night. As he continued on with his duties, he kept telling himself that tomorrow was a new day. Which meant that he would go to work like normal then somehow between slinging drinks and chatting up the customers, pretend that Lemon Breeland meant nothing to him.
Should I continue? I'm not sure if this'll be just a one-shot or if it will somehow turn into a multi-chapter thing. :|