"I love you."
"Not nearly as much as I love you." Ben whispered in my ear as i tried desperately to keep the rest of my tears at bay. "Do you need a ride home?" he asked.
I smiled shyly, seeking approval. "I was actually thinking of staying around here for a bit?" I asked, running my fingers lightly through the back of my dark curls.
"Of course you do," he smiled. "Fine just be home by midnight. Just kidding." he smiled. I laughed lightly before he left.
I went back stage where all the models were relaxing after the hustle and bustle of the show and noticed they were all drinking from elegant champagne flutes. Ben's gone, i thought to myself as I picked one of the many glasses up from the small black table. I sat down in a big black leather chair, surrounding another small back table and many other chairs, models perched atop them.
The champagne tasted fruity and vanilla-ey, I tried to focus on how good it tasted and how nice it was to sit her and relax in one of the places I've always dreamed of sitting….but I couldn't.
All I could think about was Billy, in court, without me. I knew he told me to go, practically pushed me out the door but… I still should have been there. He's always there for me, wherever, whenever and I couldn't even be there for him in one of the few times he needs me.
He was there to cradle and hug me when my dad died, when my mom left when we were little, when Nick kissed Lulu, all the times I thought I might lose my job…. And all the times helped me keep my job. He was there.
"What's got you down honey?" a southern accented voice said from just above my ear shot. I looked up to see a beautiful, very long legged, pale woman with fiery, curly red hair. She had a short tight black skirt and a loose fitted long sleeved white blouse and killer black peep toe heels. She took the seat beside me as I downed my second glass.
"I think I'm a horrible person and an even worse friend." I sighed, gulping down my drink.
"What'd ya do that's so terrible?" she asked kindly.
"Well there's this guy," she smirked at me, "we've been best friends since forever and today he really needed me but I ditched him to come here….I mean he told me, begged me to come here instead of with him but, he's always, always there for me."
"Well I don't know what's goin' on with him that makes you think he needed you so much but It seems to me that this boy really loves you."
"Of course he does, we're best friends. Billy and my brother are the only two people I really love in this world. He's one of the most important people in my life, and I am in his too."
"I think he might like you a little more than you think." She said with a raised brow.
"Billy? No… I don't think so. No, no way." I state as firmly as I can manage and rise from my seat. "Thank you for the talk though, I'm glad I got to say it out loud." And with that I walked back out to the stage.
I walked down the cat walk and basked in the glow of the lights beating down on the stage. I felt the alcohol starting to settle in my brain giving me a light tingling buzz.
Hmmmm… I thought. Billy couldn't love me in another way could he? No. But what if he does? I love him, that's obvious but am I in love with Billy?
"Janey?" I heard his voice from in front of me and I allowed my eyes to focus. No way. Just when I needed him, there he was again. Always. There he was with that handsome face and think blond hair, beautiful crooked smile that he always saves for me in place.
"Billy? What's wrong, what are you doing here?" I asked concerned, but happy.
"I had to tell you something Janey.. I uh..shit I…. I.." he ran a hand through his hair as he looked at me then the ground.
"What's wrong?" I asked again.
"It's just – I don't really know how to say this…..I guess I just kinda say it…. alright," he took a deep breath, his perfect crooked smile still there, light, hopefulness and fear written across his features, "It's you Janey." It's me what?
"Jane?" I heard from behind me. I turned to see Jeremy standing beneath the lights at the other end of the cat walk. I turned back to Billy to see crushing defeat, heart ache and regret all over him and I wanted so much to take all the pain away.
"I'll see you tomorrow Jeremy, I have to get going." I told him, reaching out and clutching Billy's arm guiding him down the small stairs to the ground.
"Wait Jane," Jeremy said and I cringed inwardly. Not now… I turned again to see Jeremy with a hopeful smirk on his face. "You never did answer me about that date." Dammit. I felt a push away from me.
"This was a mistake Jane, I'm leaving." Billy said angrily, staring to walk away.
"No! No you're not." I yelled. I'd had just about enough. "Jeremy, I can't. I'm sorry. Really, I'm just not in a good place I guess? I have some stuff to work out, annoying boys to straighten things out with." I said glaring over at Billy. "We really have to go though, I'll see you tomorrow." And with that I grabbed Billy's arm again and pulled him down the hall and out the front doors.
I plopped down on the front steps and pulled Billy down with me.
"What the hell was that?" I asked.
"Nothing Jane. It was a mistake. I should have fucking known." He huffed under his breath
"What's me?" I asked quietly. I had to be sure.
"What Jane?" he asked.
"What's me? You said It's you, but what am I, please tell me the truth."
"Jane really I shouldn't have-" I put my hand over his mouth.
"I'm going to try something okay?" I asked. He rolled his eyes but nodded. I lifted my hand from his mouth and leaned in, waiting for him to pick up on what I was doing. I watched his adams apple bob up and down as he gulped before I sealed my lips to his.
He responded hesitantly at first, then more eagerly. He gently licked my bottom lip asking for entrance with I granted greedily. I reached up and locked my hands in his hair, holding him to me. For the first time there was a new electricity around us.
"I love you Janey." He said when we parted.
I smiled and said, "It's always been you."