Chapter four:

Jared took a deep breath before entering his and Peter's office. He could see Peter through the glass, slumped in his chair, staring out of the window. He looked like he was deep in thought.

"Hey." Jared walked through the door and carefully closed it behind him, hoping that no one would notice how awkward he must've looked. That would raise questions and he was sure people would start betting on why he was being awkward with suggestions such as "woke up in the same bed this morning after a drunk night" and "Jared screwing Peter's mum".

"Hey." Peter sat up straight in his chair and faced Jared, a half smile on his face and his head tilted slightly to the side. They stared at each other in silence for a moment before Jared broke it:

"Are you okay? I mean really. What's going on?" He looked down at his feet as he realised how agitated he got whilst saying that and ran a hand through his hair, getting irritated at the fact that Peter was just looking at him, not saying a word, "Peter!" he almost yelled and strode over to the taller man, slamming his hands down on the desk in front of him.

"Jared." Peter sighed and looked up at him from where he was sitting. Jared felt his stomach flip and he straightened himself up, feeling bad for getting so angry at his best friend. Best friend. Why were they acting so strange when they were best friends?

Jared sighed and looked Peter in the eyes, "Just please tell me what's going on."

"As if you don't know!" Peter half shouted and even he looked shocked at his tone of voice, "Sorry. I wanted you here so we could... talk. I don't wanna argue with you but I just want to know why?"

"Why? Why what?" Jared stared at Peter, completely perplexed. How had this all been turned on him when Peter was the one acting like a jerk?

"Alton told me! Jared, why are you being so awkward about this?" Peter stood up now and walked around the desk so that he was next to Jared, looking down at the smaller man with a distressed look in his eyes.

"Alton told you what? Peter!" The smaller man balled his hands into fists and was gritting his teeth. This wasn't what he'd been expecting when he came up to the office. He was hoping for Peter to just explain why he was being a dick and to apologise, not to be blamed and quizzed about something that he had no idea about.

"About you and Karp!" Peter shouted and ran a hand through his own hair, glancing through the glass of their office to see if anyone on the other side had noticed them shouting at each other. Jared turned to take a look as well and sure enough there were a few intrigued faces peering their way, forcing back amused smiles. Jared ignored them and turned to face Peter again. Let them watch.

"Huh?" Jared scowled and thought for a moment; was he talking about what happened in Karp's office earlier? It couldn't have been because he was sure he didn't know. Why had he punched him then? Alton wouldn't have known about that either. Alton. Peter had acted weird with Alton the previous day... What was Peter talking about?

"And here you go again, acting like you have no idea! At that party, Jared! Alton saw you and said he had bets with Damien whether you would or not."

"What? What did- Peter... I... what? Bets on what?" Jared stammered and his head hurt. He thought back to the party and forced himself to remember it. All he could remember was waking up with his shirt off and the smell of a bittersweet scent...

"Oh I don't know," Peter's voice was dripping with sarcasm, "maybe you made out with him and ended up in your bedroom."

"What? No? No. No!" Jared processed what had been said and the realisation of why Damien's scent was so familiar to him slapped him in the face. He stared up at Peter and didn't even care about how gormless he must've looked with his face twisted into an expression of disgust and fear. Not even twenty minutes ago he'd been alone with Damien, cleaning up his face because Peter punched him. Peter punched him.

"What?" It was Peter's turn to look confused now and he moved closer to Jared, ducking his head slightly so that their eyes were level. Jared swallowed and felt his skin tingle as he looked into Peter's enticing hazel eyes.

"I don't remember much from that night." The littler man replied in a small voice and looked at the floor. What had Damien done to him? He'd never done anything like that with a man and he'd never even considered kissing a guy... Well, apart from Peter but he'd always put that down to them being so close. Surely he'd know if they'd had sex? He'd feel something surely or he'd remember doing something like that. There was no way he had been that drunk.

Peter suddenly looked scared and lightly pushed Jared's chin up so that they would be facing each other again, "You don't remember... what do you remember?" the taller man asked in a soothing voice, his eyes fixed on Jared's.

"I remember... I remember picking a plant up?"

"Oh. Oh I am going to kill him." Peter put his hands on Jared's shoulders and squeezed them tightly, "How dare he take advantage like that."

"Me and him didn't... yano?" Jared looked back at the floor and found himself wondering why Peter had been so angry about what had happened before finding out that Jared himself had no recollection of it, "Wait, why did you get so angry about it?"

Peter's eyes flicked to the floor, back up to Jared and back to the floor again, "Urm... It was Karp?" he almost asked but Jared knew his best friend far too well to even think about believing that that was the full story.

"Jealous?" The smaller man teased in the hope that it would make the situation less awkward and serious but what was said next completely stunned him;



"Yes, I was jealous okay?" Peter turned his face to look away and Jared just stared at him, his stomach doing somersaults. Jealous.

"Jealous?" He squeaked back, a small smile forming on his face. Jealous, "Nothing will ever change between us for the worse, you know that right? You've never said this when I've been a bit crazy at parties before with people..." Jealous. Jared knew that Peter wasn't jealous in case it ruined their friendship but he wanted to hear him say it.

"Yeah but they were..." The dark haired man took a deep breath and continued, "They were all women and I just accepted the fact you weren't into men."

"Oh?" Jared just grinned. He knew that he probably wasn't making this easy on Peter but he'd waited so long for this without even realising. He'd always found himself forcing himself in the other direction of his partner when they were drunk in case he tried something with him. He'd never actually wanted to admit it to himself but he had longed to have Peter for years now. There was just something about the way that the well built, taller man was with him that just made him want to wrap his arms around him and never let go.

"And when I heard about Karp it just stung a bit because I thought you were into that and wondered... wondered why not me." Peter's hands hadn't moved from Jared's shoulders but his grip had loosened. His eyes looked teary and Jared felt a tug on his heart. The nights they'd spent talking to each other about everything and the hugs they'd shared suddenly seemed like so much more.

"Because you clearly didn't get in on the betting action!" Jared laughed and put his hands on Peter's waist, showing the other man that he was completely alright with how he felt and hoping that it showed that the feeling was mutual.

"Wow I feel like a dick." Peter blushed as Jared's hands touched him and the smaller man laughed at him;

"Look at that little blush!"

"Oh shut up!" Peter went to pull away from Jared, clearly embarrassed but Jared pulled his waist towards him, preventing him from getting away.

"Make me." He smiled cheekily and gazed into Peter's eyes, hoping that the other man would get the message. He could feel his heart trying to jump out of his throat and felt his face grow hot as he started to blush too. Peter returned his smile and moved one of his hands from his shoulder up to his face and moved their faces close together so that they could feel each other's breath on their skin.

Jared remembered how everyone could see into their office but didn't care. He didn't care who saw him with Peter. He closed the gap between them and put years of funny feelings for his best friend into the kiss and all of a sudden everything made perfect sense.