Ryan and Ana are worried about Pete...
Ryan stepped out of the cab into the parking lot of a diner that looked as though it had thrived in the 1950's but been completely forgotten about since. He could see Pete's brooding form through the window and felt a tiny bit nervous at what might be waiting for him. He couldn't imagine what was happening for Pete that was making him so angry and so detached. It frightened him how bad it might actually be. He joined Pete at the table.
"Coffee darlin?" A waitress asked him. Ryan nodded even though he didn't really want a coffee at all. Pete still hadn't looked up at him and Ryan was beginning to feel quite sick with nerves.
"Pete." He said almost pleading with him for some kind of recognition. Pete lifted his head and Ryan immediately saw the reddening lump around his eye and the congealed blood in the split on his lip. "What the fuck happened?" he asked Pete.
"I asked for it." Pete mumbled with a slight smile as he ruffled his hand through his tufts of thick hair. His knuckles were red and sore looking. "Sorry to drag you away, I've been drinking I couldn't take the car back."
"You want me to drive us back?" Ryan asked almost thankful it wasn't anything worse. He wasn't sure what he had expected but he had sensed some dreadful confession or admission. Then it struck him maybe Pete was in some serious trouble; maybe he owed money or was dealing with the wrong people.
"Thanks." Ryan took the coffee from the waitress and found himself adding a sachet of sugar even though he had no intention of drinking it. "Pete are you in some kind of trouble?" he then asked bravely. Pete smiled again as he looked up at Ryan. He wished he could tell him, it had been his intention to tell him but now he was sat opposite his friend he was choking on the words. He couldn't bring himself to do it; he couldn't spill the details.
"Some kind of yeah." He told him.
"Fuck." Ryan replied. "Do you need money?" Pete raised his eyebrow at Ryan, wincing when he felt the pain in his face.
"Dude." He began. "I have enough fucking money." He laughed at Ryan.
"Why did you get beaten up then?"
"I got beaten up because I called some guy a c*." He answered. "Don't worry your pretty face about it." Pete stood from the table, again a slight wince as he did. "So can you take the car back?" he dropped the keys on the table in front of Ryan.
"Hang on!" Ryan got up and followed Pete out of the diner. "Where are you going?"
"I got some stuff to do." Pete said slipping his shades on as the sun hit his face. He wouldn't tell Ryan yet, he would sort this mess out and then go to Ryan with the truth, it wasn't fair to burden him until he understood exactly what he was dealing with. A taxi pulled up at that exact moment. "Look after Ana. I'll be in touch." He smiled at Ryan and got into the taxi leaving Ryan stood in the parking lot with a frown on his face.
"Excuse me!" he heard the waitress calling behind him. "You are going to pay the bill aren't you?" she asked him.
Ana sat alone on the low wall looking out onto the gardens of the house. She hadn't taken any time to appreciate how pretty the setting was and she took some deep breaths as she absorbed the warmth of the sunshine. What was going on with Pete? That question wouldn't leave her mind and she was impatient for their return.
"Hey!" Ana looked back to the house. "Up here!" she raised her eyes to an upstairs window; Brendon was staring down at her with his chin resting on his arms. "What you doing?" he asked her with a smile.
"I'm cooking a three course meal Brendon." Ana replied sarcastically. "What the fuck does it look like I'm doing?"
"Italian would be good." He grinned down at her.
"I'm doing the spaghetti right now." She let out a little laugh.
"You look beautiful today." He then said and Ana was sure she blushed a little. "Don't forget the Ciabatta!" he shouted before disappearing from the window. Ana reached for a cigarette knowing full well she had to stop enjoying his attention.
Ryan came face to face with Ana as he entered the kitchen knocking into her, but instead of stepping back and apologising he held onto her and kissed her hard on the mouth taking her by surprise.
"Wow." She said as he backed away from her slightly, dropping his arms to his side. "Are you ok?" she then asked him; she had noticed Pete was not with him and he had a strange look about him.
"I don't know what's going on." Ryan told her as he saw her eyes dart to the empty space behind him.
"Well where's Pete?" Ana asked and sighed out loud when Ryan shrugged his shoulders at her. "Fuck it." She moaned. Ryan sat her down and explained what had happened and they discussed some possible reasons for his behaviour but the truth was they were lost. "Maybe he's just having like a bit of a freak out." She offered.
"That's kind of obvious." Ryan laughed. "Nothing we can do." He then concluded. "He's a grown up, he can look after himself and if he doesn't want our help."
"Maybe he's gone to Patrick for help?"
"Yeah maybe. I think we should just let it be." Ryan stood from the kitchen table.
"Weird day." Ana yawned, covering her mouth and then rubbing her eyes a little.
"You want to take an early evening nap?" Ryan asked with a mischievous grin spreading across his face. Ana looked at him as if it was something they really shouldn't do.
Ryan's plan was ruined almost immediately when he heard the rest of the guys coming downstairs. Spencer was on the phone ordering some take out as he breezed into the kitchen asking Ana and Ryan what they wanted to eat. Ana sat forward, her elbows on the table and her head resting on her hands as she watched Brendon and Ryan arguing over which dishes to order and Jon hunting the kitchen for alcohol. She felt a genuine love for them all even Jon and his constant desire to fight the serenity around him. Her mind wandered back to Pete hoping he wasn't in trouble, hoping he didn't need her. Ryan's phone was ringing but it was out of his reach, Ana took it from the table and answered it for him, wondering if maybe it would be Pete.
"Hello?" she asked politely. The connection wasn't that great and she could hear a lot of background noise. "Hello?" she asked again.
"Who's that?" Ana felt sick when she realised who she was talking to.
"It's Ana." She replied.
"Ana it's Helen can you put Ryan on the phone please? I cant hear you very well, I'm at the Airport." She was shouting down the phone. Ana looked up to Ryan, her face made him wonder as he took the phone from her hand and his eyes locked with hers as he heard Helen's voice. He suddenly felt a sense of guilt begin to creep into his mind. Not even guilt that he had betrayed Helen there was only a small amount of guilt for that. It was more that he felt Ana deserved more from him than the situation he was offering her and for that he felt guilty as he looked into her pretty eyes.