Ryan tries to hide how he feels about Ana...
Pete looked across the room to see Ana tangled up in the white bed linen as she slept face down in the bed. Initially he had been shocked to see her in Brendon's bed but when he noticed the empty champagne bottles he rolled his eyes thinking she had made yet another mistake she could add to her long list of fuck ups. His room adjoined Brendon's and he had let himself in without thinking he might interrupt something. He sat down on the end of the bed rubbing Ana's foot as it poked out of the sheets. She jumped and mumbled but didn't wake. He could hear the shower running and he knew he could have left without either Brendon or Ana realising he had witnessed their drunken tryst. He pondered the idea and figured that reuniting Ana with Ryan would be much harder if information of this particular unity was shared. As he carefully closed the adjoining door it suddenly dawned on him how crazy it was that these two had so clumsily got together because if he was honest he had always imagined they might. Brendon matched Ana in so many ways it could actually have worked.
Ana was used to that dull ache in the back of her eye balls, that heavy feeling in the pit of her stomach and that constant sensation of dizziness. Ana was used to feeling hung over and probably a lot more accustomed to it than Brendon but somehow he appeared cheerful and lively. Ana had only one eye open as she watched him buckling his belt loosely around his jeans. He was humming to himself and she wanted to shout at him to shut up but she also wanted to watch him dress. He rolled his deodorant on and spent a while fussing his hair in the mirror before pulling a t-shirt over his pale skin. He was broader than Ryan, skinny still but a slightly stronger build. Ana was aware of how she was looking at him and although she wanted to tell herself it had never happened before she knew that wasn't entirely true. She'd sized Brendon up plenty of times it just hadn't mattered before because she had always been far too consumed with Ryan Ross to care.
Brendon surprised Ana by turning suddenly and catching her watching him. He playfully threw her a shocked expression.
"Were you checking me out?" he asked her pretending to be appalled by the idea when truthfully he was thrilled by it. Ana just giggled and hid her face under the covers. "I'm shocked by your overt display of sexual attraction." Brendon teased as he sat down on the edge of the bed and tugged the covers from her face. Ana felt a sense of comfort when she saw his warm face looking back at her, that ridiculous grin mirroring her own. "How you feeling?" he asked kindly.
"Like crap." Ana smiled curious as to why she couldn't help by smile every time he looked at her.
"I'm meeting Jon for breakfast you wanna come?" Ana shook her head. "Ok call me later we'll hang out." He leant forward and kissed Ana's forehead sweetly and left. Ana rolled onto her back and stared at the ceiling, a tiny flutter in her stomach that made her feel like a fraud. How could she giggle and flirt with Brendon like that when all she really wanted was to be with Ryan again?
Ryan felt the warm air hit him as the hotel doors were opened for him. He stood for a moment and adjusted his sunglasses before pulling the car keys from his pocket. He was thinking about Helen, he was thinking about the fact that she had ordered him to go and buy her a new cell phone. He wondered why he did these things, why he pandered to her every need. He lifted the keys and pressed the button to unlock the car.
"Hey." He spun around to see Ana stood behind him, her hand raised, shielding her eyes from the glare of the sun.
"Hi." He said hearing the car beep and unlock behind him. "How are you?"
"Hot." She told him, actually breathing in his smell as a breeze wafted past them.
"Yeah." Ryan replied wishing he could think of something witty to say, something to make her smile. "What you up to?" was all he could manage but it served its purpose.
"Need to get some new clothes." She told him stepping a little nearer. "You?"
"I've got to go to the mall if you want a ride." Ana pretended to ponder the idea but of course she wanted a ride, anything to be with him.
Ana managed to convince Ryan he needed a coffee before he began his shopping adventures in the mall. They sat opposite one another with a slightly awkward silence that Ana was actually finding incredibly sexy. She couldn't help it; she couldn't help finding that weird shyness attractive. It was the fact that Ryan was so unlike most the guys she knew, the fact that he had this softness about him. Ana teased him with pretty smiles as she fiddled childishly with strands of her hair, winding it around her finger as she spoke to him. Ryan was trying hard to remember how upset he was that she had got together with Brendon, he kept forgetting that had even happened. The way she was pouting her lips and the way she was flashing her sparkly eyes at him was so distracting by the time he was half way through his coffee he was close to forgetting his own name. That was what he loved about this girl, she totally consumed him everything about her had him in a trance. When her cell phone began to ring Ryan felt the daze slip away, her attention was elsewhere and it was as if her spell suddenly lifted.
"I'm just having coffee with Ryan." She said turning slightly in her chair as if she wanted the call to be private. "I'll call you when I get back and we'll hang out." She then said. Ryan could hear the tone of irritation in her voice and for a moment that made him feel special. She wanted out of the phone call because she wanted to give her attention to him. "Brendon you're such a dick sometimes." She then laughed and Ryan felt a pang of jealousy in his gut. "I know what hotel you're staying at. I'm staying there too!" she shook her head down the phone. "D'er!" she added. "Yup, cool bye." She turned back to Ryan.
"You're right he is a dick sometimes." Ryan smiled to cover up his sense of disappointment. Why did he keep falling for the same shit with this girl? He kept losing sight of the truth, she was a player, she had played him and now she was playing Brendon. It was so hard to remember that though when she made him feel so special.
"So what you buying today?" Ana then asked as she finished her coffee.
"Getting Helen a new cell phone." Ryan smiled and Ana began to feel the same sense of disappointment in her stomach. She kept managing to forget that Helen existed and she was starting to think maybe she was wrong; maybe he was really into this girl. "She's so funny." Ryan began. "She manages to break every single phone she has." He kept talking, telling Ana stories of Helen and her clumsy phone antics but Ana wasn't listening to him. She was watching him, watching the way his beautiful lips smiled and the way he looked up at her from under his hair before he nudged it to one side. "I swear she's like...."
"We should go." Ana cut him off abruptly, if she had have thought about it she wouldn't have. She didn't want him to know she was jealous.
"Oh right yeah." Ryan replied as they stood from their table. He wasn't at all endeared to Helen because of her cute clumsiness, he hated it, and it irritated the hell out of him. He just didn't want Ana to know how much he still wanted to be with her. He kept telling himself that Brendon could have her; he could have the grief that goes with Ana. Trouble was Ryan knew more came with Ana than the grief and that's the part he wanted back.
Brendon just kept flicking between the channels on the TV as if he was compelled to do so for a greater cause. Finally Ana yelled at him to stop and his childlike expression inspired immediate guilt inside her for being grouchy with him. He held a subtle pout on his lips as he placed the remote control down onto the bed between them.
"It was making me dizzy." Ana spoke quietly. Brendon just nodded. "I didn't mean to shout." She added feeling like she had frightened a child.
"S'ok." He mumbled. "Do you remember when we first met?" he then asked her. She smiled to herself and nodded. "You shouted at me all the time then." he laughed.
"Only because I liked you." Ana replied honestly. "It was affectionate aggression."
"I thought you were such a bitch."
"No you didn't." Ana turned to him. "You liked me straight away I could tell." Brendon actually demonstrated a tiny amount of embarrassment and Ana found herself obliged to respond to it. "I saw the way you looked me up and down." She flashed him her playful smile.
"Did you?" he smirked.
"Yes." She replied. "Seriously though, I'm sorry for being a bitch when we first met."
"Wow." Brendon laughed but she was serious. "You were never a real bitch you know." He told her.
"I'm trying to change anyway, be more grown up." She said.
"What's wrong?" Brendon asked. Ana shrugged her shoulders at him, she felt deflated, she felt like she had lost.
Ana dropped herself back onto the bed and stared up at the bad artexing on the ceiling. Her eyes followed the swirling patterns until she lost focus and closed her eyes.
"You know he isn't in love with Helen." Brendon then told her. He had been watching her and thinking about how much he wanted to touch her and how much he wanted to taste her lips but Ryan was a friend, a good friend and it was because of that Brendon couldn't have what he wanted. She looked up to him and he had to turn away before he did something he would regret. "He's only with her because he doesn't know how to leave her." Brendon said staring ahead of him.
"Has he said that?" Ana asked feeling a tiny amount of hope again.
"He doesn't need to." Brendon replied. "Fucking hell you've met her, we had this conversation already didn't we?"
"Do you think I should apologise for the way I treated him?"
"Yes." Brendon was finding it hard to encourage her further toward Ryan when all he wanted was to have her all to himself. "I think you should talk to him and be honest with him." Ana nodded thinking about the possibility of rejection if she were to be that honest. "If he knocks you back." Brendon added. "Then he's an idiot and you always have me right?" he smirked at her.
"Thanks babe, you're the best." Ana sat up and slid her arms around Brendon squeezing him tightly.
"I know." He smiled as his arms wrapped around her and he rested his chin gently on the top of her head. "I rock don't I?" Ana laughed.