Zanessalov3r- thank you, don't feel like I deserve that accolade but thanks!
One more chapter after this one!
Breakfast was taken at the hotel, both of them slightly disheveled; Troy's hair frankly distracting as Gabi tried to concentrate on her eggs and sausage but finding it hard what with his hair like that and his twinkling blue eyes.
"Are you thinking about what I think you're thinking about?" Troy asked, chewing on his toast.
Gabi pursed her lips and lifted her eyes to his; thinking she should be conscious that right now she sat here with absolutely no make up on; no wrinkle cream and not even with her hair tamed, but actually, all she felt was genuine affection for the man across from her.
"What do you think I'm thinking about?" She shot back, playing his game with a little smile about her lips.
He gave her one of his uneven grins. "I don't think you want to know…"
She smirked. "Then that's definitely what I'm thinking."
He squinted in a half-lidded gaze that betold his attraction to her.
"I hope you've finished breakfast…" he posed, dropping his toast and finishing his mouthful.
"Why?" She looked up from her eggs to find him rising and then he went about picking her up out of her seat gallantly, something that made her squeal.
"Troy!" She gasped as he carried her through the hotel towards their room.
He almost collided with a hotel cleaner, so he flashed a winning grin at her and apolgised quickly.
"Sorry ma'am," he bowed his head and went sideways by her with Gabi. "Newlyweds," he added in explanation.
"We are not-!" Gabi huffed of his lie. "Troy! Put me down!"
"I will," he assured. "When I get to the bed…"
"No, Troy!" She whined as he swiped them into the room and headed for the bed, laying her on it and quickly joining her there.
She cupped his face as he leaned over her.
"Was this what you were thinking?" He checked.
"Not the carrying part, but this part, yes…" She confirmed.
"Good," he smiled, nuzzling her nose and then kissing her slowly. "Let's make the most of it before Jared wakes up…"
"So…how are you and Troy doing?"
It was afternoon. Gabi had spent the rest of the morning with Troy, and then arranged to meet Jared for a late lunch. They sat now, eating pizza among the students enjoying their weekends.
Gabi smiled at her son. "I'd rather talk about you…"
Jared smiled back. "Well, I had to ask seeing as I got you together. If he's doing anything he shouldn't be I feel kinda responsible…"
"Well, he's not," Gabi affirmed. "We're doing fine." She assured.
"And you?" Gabi checked
"Well I got all my homework done and even Anna was asking where I'd got to," he shared jokily.
Gabi tilted her head. "Didn't you tell her you were leaving?" She chided.
He shrugged. "Never came up…"
"Oh, child of mine," she sighed and Jared grinned, patting her hand.
"It's okay, she'll live," he assured.
Gabi decided to take his word for it as she changed the subject to move the conversation on. Otherwise they could be there all day, she mused.
"So….how are you finding the work load…?"
Troy was struggling to get all his required work done in the few short hours Gabi was spending with Jared.
He'd managed to get to the library and pick up the books he needed, but that was about all as he came into his dorm with a sigh and dumped them on his desk.
His tutor had seen him on the way back and stopped to talk to him and had delayed him somewhat- he couldn't even get a break on a weekend, he mused!
He swore under his breath as a knock sounded on the door and he silently hoped Jared and Gabi weren't back yet because he still had 3000 words to write for an essay due Monday. If he had any hope of spending his Sunday with Gabi, then he had to get moving…
He jerked open his door with the frustration he felt.
"Hi," a pretty dark-haired girl greeted. "I'm Jacinta…"
"Right. Hi." Troy nodded, gesturing with a lift of his brows for her to continue.
"I…I need one of the books you took out…" she ventured.
He frowned. She followed him all the way here just to get a book? Wow, that was creepy…
"Which one?" He asked flatly, annoyed enough at being delayed, being stalked and now having to give up one of his much-needed research books.
"The one called 'Teachings of the 1300's'," she broached.
Troy sighed and ran a hand through his hair. "I need that book to do my essay. I'm working on it now."
"Oh…well…I can come back for it?" She suggested.
Troy squinted at her.
"No, you may as well take it now. I'll add anything I need to once you're done with it…"
He turned his back to go inside his room to get the book and turned back, surprised to find Jacinta inside his room.
"I could just sit here and make some notes…" she suggested, biting into her lower lip.
Troy stared at her for a long moment. What was her game? Was she trying to bait him? Trying to get to know him? He could hardly stand there and blurt out he was a taken man in case he'd read the situation all wrong. Maybe she genuinely wanted to make some notes and high-tail it out of there, he certainly would if he'd gone to all the effort of following her back to her dorm…Not that he would, of course, because he was far too polite for that, but still…
"Okay," he allowed, passing her the book. "You can sit on my bed if you want…"
She glanced about the room.
"That one," he pointed to the bed he occupied.
"It's nice," she sat on it and bounced for good measure, making him watch incredulously.
"It's a bed," he murmured as he slipped back into his desk seat and opened his laptop to start work.
"It's hot in here, isn't it?" Jacinta called and Troy frowned.
No. No, it wasn't hot at all, if anything, he thought the room had a chill because the Uni never put heating on between spring and autumn to save money but the temperatures hadn't gone up, yet.
He squinted at her, seeing her shirk off her coat to reveal a short pinafore dress that revealed her burgundy tights; and the expanse of her legs she had on show. Jesus, she was coming onto him! What did he do? Ignore it? Tell her to get dressed?
He cleared his throat.
"Ah…you know…my girlfriend is dropping by soon," he aired lightly. "I'd really appreciate it if you could finish your notes by then…"
"Oh sure," she agreed softly, rolling onto her stomach on his bed to make herself more comfortable.
Hm…that seemed to only encourage her more, he mused. Still, she seemed to be genuine, flipping through the pages and sucking her pen tip in concentration…
He went back to his screen, opening his first book to make notes straight into a word document so he could copy and paste it if he needed to later. He was busy doing that when he felt hands press into his shoulders, startling him.
"Wha-!" He jumped and turned, remembering he had company in the form of Jacinta.
"It's Troy isn't it?" She asked with a curved smile that unsettled him.
"Yeah…" He frowned, swallowing as she just stood looking at him.
"You should relax more…" She suggested, placing her hands back on his shoulders, apparently to give him a massage.
He stood, unnerved. "Actually, like I said, I have a girlfriend."
She shrugged. "So?"
"So…she can…relax me later," he invented quickly, feeling totally out of his depth here. Girls just didn't do this, he mused. They didn't flirt with him, didn't proposition him and they definitely didn't try and massage him against his will…
"I bet I can do better," she winked and he cleared his throat and stepped away from his desk; gently brushing by her to escape.
"I think you should go now," Troy invited politely.
"But we haven't even started yet," she grinned devilishly.
"And we're not going to-" Troy stated, cut off as his friend pushed into the room.
"Not going to what? Dude, who you talking to-oo?" Jared hung the last syllable as he frowned at Jacinta. "Who's that?"
"She just needed a book," Troy assured his friend.
"Good, because Gabi is right behind me and if you're doing something you shouldn't be then-"
"Right! All parked!" Gabi's voice sounded behind Jared and Troy let out a relieved breath.
"Thank god!" He swooped forward and took her into his arms, kissing her without warning or care for who was watching.
"Troy…" She pulled away with a warm blush.
"Well, I can see I'm not needed here," Jacinta finally spoke and Gabi turned to look at her, surprised to find another person in the room.
"Too right," Jared gritted his teeth and twisted on his heel to face Troy as Jacinta squeezed by them to escape. "What the hell was that?" He demanded.
"She told me she needed the book I just took out…then she tried to massage me!" Troy defended haplessly.
"Are you really that naïve?" Jared accused of his friend.
"Jared…" Gabi frowned, working out the situation quite quickly even though she felt somewhat out of the loop, having been pounced on the moment she arrived.
"No, mom, he should have known," Jared argued.
Troy flicked his eyes between Jared and Gabi, sighing as he took her fingers into his and twined them.
"You should know how I feel about your mom, Jared…" Troy offered regretfully. "You're right, though. I was naïve…but nothing happened."
Gabi put her other hand over Troy's, sandwiching his to show her support.
"What did happen?" She asked out of curiosity.
"She just came for the book, sat on the bed and wrote some notes and then came over and tried to rub my shoulders; at which point I told her for the second time I had a girlfriend and then I was asking her to leave when Jared came in…" Troy detailed.
"I knew you'd be irresistible sooner or later," Gabi teased.
Jared looked at his friend for a long moment, and then let out a breath.
"You were telling her no when I came in?" He checked.
"Yes!" Troy assured. "I swear, man…"
Jared frowned. "She really offered to massage you? That line is old…"
Troy pressed his lips together.
"Well, I told her I had someone else to do it for me…" He murmured and looked to Gabi. "No pressure," he added with a smile.
"Jared, is everything okay?" Gabi checked of his uncharacteristic behaviour since they got back.
Her son nodded. "Yeah, yeah it's fine…I'm sorry I thought bad of you," he added to Troy. "I guess I was just…mistaken."
Troy nodded, still concerned his friend didn't trust him, but he let it drop for now.
"So, how was your day?" He checked in with them both.
Gabi shrugged. "We just had lunch then went round the shops."
Troy nodded. "Are we all having dinner later?"
"I have that essay to do as well," Jared sighed.
Gabi looked between them.
"Why don't I leave you guys to do your essay and if you have time later, call me and I'll come by with some pizza…" She suggested.
"What will you do?" Troy asked softly, worried about her being alone.
She smiled. "Enjoy my Jacuzzi and have a spa treatment," she voted.
"Okay," he agreed. "I'll call you when I'm done."
He leaned down to kiss her briefly.
"See you later," Jared called as he laid on his bed.
Troy mooched over to his desk and sat, letting out a sigh. There was no way he was going to be able to concentrate on his paper with the awkward silence that sat between him and his roommate. He stood and went over to his own bed, sitting on the edge to at least face Jared, even if he wasn't able to have eye-contact.
"Do you think I would cheat on Gabi?" He asked in a quiet voice, trying to keep the hurt out of his tone.
"No," Jared blew out a guilty breath. "No, man. Of course not…"
"But just now…you thought I was…" Troy ventured confusedly.
Jared had his arms folded behind his head and he twisted his neck to look at Troy.
"I found something out that's had me tripping…" Jared broached.
"Today?" Troy squinted.
"Yeah…when me and mom were talking about stuff…about my dad…" He sucked in a breath.
"What did she tell you?" Troy prompted gently.
"This is awkward," Jared creased his face in recognition.
Troy nodded. "I know…its okay if you don't want to say…"
"Well, I just don't know if you know or not…and if you don't…"
"I might wonder why she hasn't told me?" Troy offered of his friend's thoughts.
"Yeah," Jared agreed.
Troy licked his lips. "I'll keep it confidential," he promised. "We were mates first, right?"
"Right," Jared agreed with an affectionate smile.
"So, what is it you found out?" Troy wondered.
"My dad…" Jared swallowed. "He was cheating on my mom…She told me the divorce was because of his debt and that was half true…the rest of it was that he got into debt by gambling in casinos and it turns out he was cheating on her while he was there…"
"Jesus," Troy swore softly, vehemently.
"You didn't know then," Jared guessed of his reaction.
Troy looked at his friend with wide, awed eyes. "No…but go on…"
"Well, it's just changed the way I feel about my dad," Jared admitted. "I mean, I already hated him for what he did and now this? It just makes it so much worse…"
Troy swallowed, not sure what to say. "Seems like your mom wasn't happy for a while, either," he ventured, trying to stay neutral.
Jared looked up.
"Aren't you angry?" He wondered.
Troy sucked in a breath. Yeah, he kinda was. More so, he was worried about Gabi and how she was dealing with all this. For her to keep it from him said a lot about how much it hurt her. He'd done the same after all. And then there was his friend, lying there, destroyed at the news his father had cheated. He had no idea how that felt.
"Yeah, of course I am," he admitted softly. "But you must be really hurt right now."
"I just wish she'd told me…why wait so long?"
"She really wanted you to see him so I can't imagine she told you this lightly," Troy offered.
Jared sighed. "I was asking a lot of questions," he admitted.
"Your dad is still your dad," Troy mused. "Like mine. Even if he's gone trekking in the mountains, he's still my dad, unfortunately."
"At least yours isn't a prize asshole…" Jared argued.
"Well, I'm sure neither of my parents are innocent," Troy considered of their break up. "But it's pretty bad that Cal cheated…"
"Look, I'm sorry I accused you, man," Jared offered then as he met Troy's worried blue gaze.
Troy nodded. "That's okay. At least I know why now…"
"Did I scare you?" Jared smirked, just a little.
Troy lifted his brows. "Yeah, just a bit."
"Sorry, man," Jared got up to clutch his shoulder.
Troy stood and wrapped his arms around his friend; man-hugging him while the moment called for it.
"I'm sorry about your dad," Troy murmured as he pulled away. "But I'll never be that guy…"
"I know," Jared assured. "You're nothing like him."
"How did Gabi seem?" Troy aired his curious thoughts. "I mean, your mom…" He adjusted as Jared looked at him.
Jared smiled faintly at Troy's question. "I guess she's gotten past it, she seemed resigned with it somehow."
Troy nodded. "I've been cheated on, so I know how it feels."
"I can't sit here and write an essay now," Jared sighed. "I'm gonna get some air…"
Jared headed for the door. Troy looked up as he went.
"Hey, Jared," he called and his friend looked back. "Want some company?"
Jared smiled. "Yeah. Thanks, man."