I am SO SO SO SO sorry that I haven't posted ANYTHING in so long! I haven't reviewed much either, I'm SO sorry. I can't even use the excuse that I've been busy, because I totally haven't. Well, I sorta have. I've been going out and stuff. But today I was just sitting around playing solitaire. I'm SOOOOOO sorry. But here it is. This is probably the last filler chapter because hopefully the next chapter will be the wedding! Yay! But this one was necessary. I'll try to update The Slow Descent Into Madness ASAP as well. I'm sorry also because I feel like I'm dragging this out - I'm TRYING to end it, I promise. Anyway, as I said, the wedding shall be the next chapter. Or at least part of it. This one's a bit short, but I needed to get it out there.
Thanks to everyone who's reviewed/favourited.
OH AND AS A LAST SIDE NOTE! I recently finished reading the Stockholm Syndrome trilogy, and I was wondering if anyone else has read it? Because I totally need people to discuss with. Oh and if someone could write a FanFic of it, that would be the most awesome thing ever. And if you haven't read it, you totally should. Unless you don't like that kind of thing. Anyway, I'll stop talking now because I'm pretty sure that I'm embarrassing myself slightly. So, yeah. Bye! Love and hugs and all that goodness.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of it.
The evening seemed to stretch on forever. Vince tried to lose himself in the music and although he was pissed out of his mind, the thought of Evelyn pressing that knife to his throat kept plaguing his thoughts. The thought that Howard – his Howard – might be in danger made it even worse.
He silenced the thoughts by downing another vodka shot and dancing with the group of girls closest to him, praying that Howard would get bored soon and insist that they go home, where they would be rid of Evelyn once and for all, if Vince had anything to do with it.
As the hours went on, Vince managed to forget all about Evelyn with his fifth shot of vodka and his seventh flirtini.
It was three o' clock in the morning when the three stumbled back to the shop, with Evelyn leaning heavily on Howard's shoulder and Vince walking slightly ahead of them, eager to get back to safety just in case Evelyn tried anything. Hopefully she would be too drunk to notice if Vince tried to have a word with Howard in private…
"I'll call you a cab, shall I?" Howard slurred, reaching in his pocket for his mobile only to find it missing.
"Nah, it's all right, I'll just kip in your flat, yeah?" Evelyn smiled, gazing sleepily up at her fiancé. Vince watched, sickened by the sight, as Howard tried to remove her from his person.
"But… bad luck an' all that, isn't it, to see you before the wedding?" Howard tried desperately. Evelyn giggled.
"Bit late for that, isn't it? Anyway, I'll sleep on the couch, okay? I'll be gone before you wake up."
The three trooped upstairs to be met with an empty flat. Naboo and Bollo must have gone out – actually, they were probably hiding from Evelyn. If she found out that they'd gotten out of the stock room she might try something worse than just locking them up.
"I'll, er, get you a blanket," Vince offered, dashing through to the bedroom and opening Howard's old wardrobe, where they now stored the fresh linen. It took five agonizing minutes, filled with worrying that Howard would offer Evelyn his old bed and sleep on the sofa and then Vince would be stuck in a room with her for a whole night, during which absolutely anything could happen, to throw a fresh cover on the duvet and locate two fairly clean pillows. Thankfully, Howard seemed so eager to get rid of Evelyn that he had exchanged his usual gentlemanly manner for a whole new outlook, and he all but stormed through to the bedroom once Vince had thrust the pillows at Evelyn.
Nobody bothered getting ready for bed – from what Vince could tell, in his drunken state, Howard was fuming and Evelyn was so loved up that she didn't realize it. There was a lot of slamming drawers for a bit on Howard's part, but by then Vince had crawled into his own bed and pulled the duvet up to his chin, trying to block out as much of the world as possible.
Time passed rather slowly by the time they were both in bed and the lights were out. Vince tried to sleep, but the little voice inside his head was screaming you have to tell him, and he was experiencing so many conflicting thoughts that his brain felt like it was being ripped apart from about five different angles.
"Howard?" he eventually whispered into the darkness. He felt his friend stir in the bed opposite.
"What?" Howard asked groggily. Vince winced.
"Sorry, did I wake you up?"
O-kay then, Vince thought to himself, then cleared his throat.
"There's somethin' I've gotta tell you…"
"Can't it wait till morning?"
"Not really. It's… urgent."
"Oh, God, Vince, what is it? I'm tired, we've gotta be up at seven and it's already-" There was a pause, during which Howard glanced at the alarm clock on the chest of drawers, "-five."
"S-sorry. It's just-"
"Howard, sweetie?" a voice from the doorway floated into the room. Vince lost the ability to speak as they both turned to see Evelyn standing there, her hair mussed and her clothes rumpled.
"What?" Howard snapped, losing his patience. Vince tucked himself closer to the wall and cocooned himself in the duvet.
"Is there any toothpaste?"
"It's in the bathroom. By the sink. Exactly where toothpaste is in every bathroom in every house in every country of the world."
'Why are you brushing your teeth at five o' clock in the morning?' seemed to be the obvious question, but nobody asked it. As soon as Evelyn stopped hovering in the doorway, Vince sighed and rolled over, trying to forget that he'd ever tried to tell Howard. He was putting them both in danger, it was stupid… And yet, he couldn't bear to imagine his best friend actually marrying that creature…
"Vince?" Howard whispered into the dark. Vince flinched. Howard hadn't forgotten.
"What was it that you wanted to tell me?"
"N-nothing," Vince stammered. How could he tell him now? With Evelyn lurking in the next room?
"It was obviously something, or else we wouldn't be having this discussion."
"It wasn't anythin'! Can't we just forget about it?"
"No," Howard said firmly, "Just tell me, Vince."
Vince took a deep breath. He'd have to tell him something, just to get him off his back… He'd just have to make something up. Yeah! He was good at that. He'd been making stuff up to entertain Howard for years now… Just one more little lie couldn't hurt, could it? At least until tomorrow, when Evelyn would be gone, and they'd have the flat to themselves…
"Vince?" Howard prompted. Vince glanced over to the shape of his best friend lying beside him, and said the only thing he could think of…
"I'm in love with you."
Whoa. Where had that come from?