I don't own the characters, the places, or anything really, I'm just borrowing them. Please don't sue me, I have nothing you want.
Thanks to those who faved/followed/reviewed this story so far. It means a lot, and I love getting feedback about your thoughts on the story. And to the new followers, welcome! It's great to have you here. And just so you know, there's 23 chapters in total. New chapters are released every 2 weeks on Fridays (Fortnightly Friday Fanfic).
**** Chapter Thirteen ****
Emily texted Paige when she couldn't see her outside the Grille. "Where are you?"
Hanna put her arm round her, and then pulled her into a hug. "Don't worry about Spencer; she's a little old fashioned. Go find Paige. I'll go home; you guys need to be together."
"You're the best, Hanna. I don't know what I'd do without you."
Hanna smiled "Right back at you, but you're welcome. I love you, and if Paige makes you happy then I love her too."
Emily's phone beeped, she read the text out to Hanna. "She's round the corner."
Emily smiled and began walking, Hanna going in the opposite direction towards her home.
Emily spotted Paige as she turned the corner, Paige looked at her apologetically, her eyes slightly red as if she had cried. "I'm so sorry, Emily" she said when Emily approached. "I shouldn't have left."
Emily threw her arms round her and hugged her tight, "You have nothing to apologise for. I'm so sorry that happened to you."
Paige rested her head on Emily's shoulders, "I ruined your dinner."
"Spencer ruined the dinner." She pulled away from Paige and put her hands on her shoulders, "Are you okay?" Paige nodded. "Come on, let's get out of here" Emily said, linking her arm through Paige's.
"Oh, hi girls, you're back early" said Pam looking behind Emily and Paige, "Where's Hanna and Spencer?"
"They're not here." Pam looked confused. "Spencer was doing her usual interrogation and she got quite nasty. We left."
Pam frowned, "It can't have been that bad surely. She can be a handful though." She glanced at Paige who looked at the carpet embarrassed.
"We're just gonna go up to my room" Emily explained, and moved towards the stairs. Paige glanced at Pam and gave her an apologetic smile, before turning to follow Emily upstairs.
Paige walked over and sat on the window seat. Emily joined her. "You know, I didn't think I would feel like this again." Emily looked at her questioningly. "Ashamed. Or guilty of who I am. When I said my parents took me out of Rosewood High to be home-schooled? I came out to them not long before that; they thought it was something or someone from school that *made* me like this. They took me out of the school thinking they could cure me. Obviously they couldn't. Tonight was like that all over again." She looked at Emily. "I can't go back to feeling like that. It wasn't a good time in my life and I just can't do it again."
Emily smiled sympathetically, "I guess me being in the closet doesn't help either."
Paige shook her head and put her hand on Emily's leg. "No, I wasn't talking about you. This is not about you. You've not done anything wrong. It's going to take you time; I know what it's like. I'm just happy to be part of your life right now. If we have to keep it secret I'm fine with that. But I'm not fine with Spencer acting like she knows everything and she's right about everything, because she's not. But she's your friend so I have to deal with it."
Emily put her arm around Paige's shoulder, "I'll fix this. Don't worry about Spencer." Paige looked at her sadly and smiled.
"How's your uncle?"
Paige turned round to face Emily, "He's not doing too well again. I should probably head back soon to check on him."
"How long are you here for?"
Paige shrugged, "I don't know, but I have my materials here to sculpt, and my camera." Emily frowned questioningly. "I do sculpt, but not that much. Only when the stalls are on; Christmas, Valentine's Day… that sort of thing. My passion is photography. I love taking photos of things, practicing with the exposure - I mean, they're not professional or anything but I love it. But anyway, my point is there's no reason why I can't stay indefinitely. Like I said, I won't leave you again… Hey, maybe I could take photos of you sometime?"
Emily smiled embarrassed, "Oh, I don't know."
"Emily, the camera is going to love you. I don't think it would be possible to produce a bad picture of you."
Emily smiled, and at the same time her phone beeped, she walked to the bed where her phone was and checked the message "It's Spencer" she said, putting the phone back down and returning to the chair.
Paige looked concerned, "Was it a text? What did it say?"
Emily shook her head, "It's nothing. I'm not even gonna read it."
Paige got up and took the phone, she handed it to Emily. "Read it. She's your friend. You don't have to tell me what it says."
Emily sighed and took the phone, reading the text to Paige. "Sorry about tonight. But I don't think Paige is a good friend for you."
Emily shook her head, a frown forming on her face. Paige sat down next to Emily and pulled her into a hug.
"I'm so sorry, Paige."
Paige sighed, "You didn't write the text. And I don't care. I've decided not to let her bother me. She doesn't know what she's talking about anyway. But I can see that she bothers you and that's what's frustrating me." She stroked Emily's hair, "To be honest she doesn't seem like a very good friend."
Emily exhaled, realising she had been holding her breath, "She used to be."
Paige pulled away from Emily, "Em, I don't want to come between you and Spencer. I've just got used to saying what I feel. And I have to be honest with you, I won't hold back if she gets in my way again."
Em... It sounded so good to hear Paige say that.
Paige glanced around Emily's room, catching sight of a rainbow coloured scarf. "When it gets cold outside, don't wear that rainbow scarf when Spencer's around. She might think you've crossed to the dark side."
Emily frowned, laughing "What?" She glanced round, "I love that scarf. What's wrong with it?"
Paige smiled, "Rainbows are associated with lesbians."
Emily frowned, a smile appearing on her face, "That's ridiculous."
Paige made a face, "So is Spencer's logic. That's all I'm getting at. It looks like a really comfy scarf." Paige looked at her watch, "I really should be getting back to check on my uncle."
Emily nodded, "I'll drive you."
Paige put on her jacket. "I really should get his bike out so you don't have to drive me."
Emily got up and put her jacket on, "What bike? Like a motorbike?"
"Yeah. You like bikes?"
"Not really. I didn't peg you as a biker chick."
"Oh yeah, I've got the leathers and everything" she gave Emily a cheeky grin, making her blush.
"What's it like?"
"It's a Kawasaki Ninja 450. Black. It's neat. Maybe I'll take you riding some time. We can ride 2-up."
Emily raised her eyebrows, "What's that?"
"Well, it's a sports bike so if I was to carry you as a passenger, you'd have to sit right at the back and lean away over, gripping me tight. It looks a bit odd. They call it 2-up."
Emily nodded, "I think I'll give it a miss."
Paige laughed, "Oh well."
They walked downstairs and Paige said goodbye to Pam. They made their way to Emily's car and she drove to Paige's uncles, stopping near the sidewalk.
"Well, I'll see you when I see you." Paige leaned over and gave Emily a kiss. Emily looked round. "Don't worry, there's nobody here. I checked."
Emily nodded, "I'll see you later. I hope today wasn't too much of a bust for you."
Paige frowned, "Are you kidding? I spent hours with you; that's an awesome day in my book, Fields." She opened the door and got out the car.
Emily laughed, "Hey, why are you calling me by my surname now?"
"Because I know it, and I thought it would be cute."
"It sounded nice. But I don't even know your surname."
Paige grinned, "Maybe I won't tell you."
"Don't tease me, Paige."
Paige leaned into the car, "It's McCullers." She turned round and started to walk down the path.
Emily rolled down the window, "Night, McCullers."
Paige turned round, grinning. She waved to Emily and watched as she drove off.
Emily lay in bed for a while that night before she finally managed to fall asleep. She fell into a dream…
She was in a house which looked like Paige's uncles.
"Hey Em, do you wanna go a ride with me?"
Emily followed Paige to the shed, who opened both doors and walked in. Emily followed, looking around. In the far corner there was something covered in a dust sheet. Paige glanced at her with a cheeky smile and whipped the dust cover off... It was a huge long silver motorbike with rainbow coloured stripes on it. The front wheel went on for miles. Emily wondered how the hell you could drive it.
Suddenly she could see Rosewood Main Street; there were crowds of people on either side of the street, covering the sidewalk. Emily was standing at the front of the crowd, near the Rear Window Brew. There were floats coming down the main street, decorated with colourful banners. Emily looks around her, and then she heard the roar.
Looking up, she recognises the long rainbow and silver motorbike; Paige was riding it amongst the procession of people.
She was wearing Emily's rainbow scarf and holding some kind of silver plastic gun. Emily looked at it closer; it reminded her of the ray gun from the "Barbarella" movie. She watched it years ago; she enjoyed Jane Fonda movies.
Paige's bike had a silly rubber horn on it, which she squeezed. It made a stupid tune like an ice cream truck.
Paige was looking around the crowd, waving at people and pulling the trigger of the plastic gun. Emily looked in more detail; Skittles were being fired out of the gun at the crowd. Children were laughing and putting their hands up to catch them, Paige laughing with them. Scanning the crowd, Emily could see that everyone seemed to be smiling and enjoying themselves.
Paige reached Emily and smiled at her, she fired her gun and Emily put her hand up; preparing to be attacked with Skittles. She didn't get hit; rays of colour were appearing out of the gun. Emily looked at her hands, they were changing colour. She looked down at her body; she was becoming the colours of the rainbow. Looking around, she noticed that everyone was staring at her. Those close to her in the crowd stepped back. "What's happening to me, why are you walking away from me?"
Emily opened her eyes; she was sitting upright in bed, her clothes sticking to her with sweat. She was breathing fast. "What the hell?"
She looked over to her scarf, still sitting where it was the previous day. She lay back in her bed, staring at the ceiling until she drifted off to sleep again.
The next day she once again headed to the Rear Window Brew. The day passed uneventfully, the same regular customers came in for the same drinks as they always did. Sometimes, she felt she could just about work the full day blind-folded.
"Hey, Fields." Emily turned round to see Paige walking into the Brew. She seemed to be chewing something.
Looking down, Emily noticed the pack of Skittles in her hand. No way! "Wow, what's wrong?" asked Paige, stopping in the middle of the cafe.
Emily looked around; they shut in half an hour so were pretty empty. "Sorry, it's the Skittles."
Paige frowned, looking lost. Emily rolled her eyes, "The rainbow thing."
Paige smiled, nodding "You cotton on fast, grasshopper."
Emily frowned, "What's with all the names?"
Paige just smiled at her, swaggering up to the counter.
"I didn't expect to see you here."
"Well, I thought I would take the bike out for a ride" she explained, Emily noticed she had a bike helmet with her, she hadn't noticed that earlier. Too distracted with the Skittles.
"You're sure it's a black bike, right?"
"Last time I checked, yeah. Have you been breathing in too much caffeine or something, you're acting strange."
"I had a strange dream last night. That's all I'm saying. Maybe I'll tell you about it later."
Paige raised an eyebrow, "I'll hold you to that, Emily." She looked around, "So, what can you offer me to drink then?"
"We have some festive drinks which have just come in; I could use a guinea pig for them actually so I can give you one for free. You like hot chocolate right?" Paige nodded. "We have a spiced orange hot chocolate, or a snowball."
Paige sniggered, "A what now?"
"A Snowball. It's hot chocolate, but it's white chocolate flavoured. And well, it's a white drink. And it's got lots of coconut in it."
Paige nodded, "I'm not sure about the white chocolate part, but you had me at coconut. I love coconut."
Emily blushed a little, "Okay." She took a take-away cup from the stack and poured in the white chocolate syrup. "It might end up really sweet, if it does just don't drink it and I'll make another."
Paige nodded, "How are you today? Has the she-wolf been on your case?"
Emily turned round, "Who?"
Paige sighed, still eating her Skittles, "Spencer."
"No. She's probably waiting on me to text her back... There you go" - Emily placed the cup in front of her.
Paige looked at it; it was completely white. She screwed up her face. "Looks interesting." She held it up and sniffed it; Emily tried to stop herself from laughing.
"It's not poison, Paige."
Paige smiled a half-smile. Emily loved it when she did that, it was like a teasing cheeky smile, just smiling on the right side of her lips.
"I know" Paige replied, giving the drink a sip. "Oh, it is pretty sweet. But, mmm coconut. There's like half a box in here, Em."
Emily smiled, Paige was starting to use her nickname her friends used, and it sounded great coming from her lips. She watched those lips as Paige drunk her hot chocolate.
"Do you want to start stacking the chairs, Emily?"
Emily looked up, Zack was standing in the middle of the cafe, and there she was, staring at Paige drinking, with a distracted smile on her face. "Sure thing, Zack." She started to walk out from the counter. "Oh, this is my friend, Paige. I don't think you'll have met her."
Zack smiled and walked up to Paige, who smiled and shook his hand, "Hi."
"What do you think of the Snowball then?" he said, signalling to the drink.
"I love the coconut. The white chocolate is a bit different, maybe a bit sweet. But nice, I like it."
Zack smiled, "Cool."
Paige smiled at Emily as she walked past, moving towards the tables. "Can I help you?"
Emily shook her head, "No, just enjoy your drink."
Emily turned round, wiping the tables with a cloth before stacking the chairs up on them. She turned as the door opened, it was Hanna. She looked from Emily to Paige and her face lit up.
Emily smiled; Hanna was such a goober sometimes. "Hi, Hanna."
"Hi Em, Paige!" replied Hanna, looking from Emily to Paige again. She walked over and stood beside Paige. "Paige, I'm so sorry about yesterday. Spencer was horrible to you."
Paige smiled, "Thank you. But you don't need to apologise, you did nothing wrong. Some parts of the night were actually quite fun" she said, glancing at Emily.
"Maybe if we go out for dinner again, we should make it the three of us?" Hanna suggested.
Paige glanced at Emily, puckering her lips as she thought. "Yeah, maybe."
Hanna noticed the bike helmet beside Paige, "Paige, you're a biker chick?"
Hanna glanced at Emily and winked, Emily and Paige laughed.
"What's so funny?" asked Zack as he walked through from the store room.
"Nothing Zack, we're just messing around" Emily answered.
Zack nodded, "Woman stuff is it?... Hi, Hanna."
"Hi, Zack. Something like that yeah."
Emily had just finished stacking the chairs. "You can just go now if you want, Emily. I'll lock up. Go and enjoy your weekend."
Emily smiled her thanks, and they left the Brew.
"So, a biker chick? Next you'll tell us you have a tattoo" Hanna said to Paige.
Emily looked at Paige, who smiled that teasing smile again.
Hanna frowned, "Oh my god, you've got a tattoo haven't you?"
Paige smiled at her, "I'm not answering that."
Emily raised an eyebrow in surprise as Hanna turned to her, "Em, You need to find out where it is and let me know."
Emily blushed, "Han!"
Hanna smiled, "Oh calm down, I'm just saying."
Paige sniggered at Emily, who looked away embarrassed.
"Oh well, I actually have to go meet Caleb. I just thought I would pop in when I walked past and say hi" Hanna announced.
Emily and Paige nodded, "Okay, Han. Have a nice night."
Paige smiled at Hanna awkwardly, "Thanks, for what you said earlier."
Hanna nodded, and then grabbed Paige in a hug taking her by surprise.
Emily laughed; Hanna was a bit unpredictable if you didn't know her.