Louis' blue eyes narrowed into Annie's confused brown ones. "Annie, what are you doing here?"
Annie stumbled over herself; even though she wasn't nude it still felt that way. Her arms immediately covered her bare shoulders. "Just, I don't know, what are you doing here?"
Louis' eyes bore into hers for a moment. "I don't know. I didn't see you downstairs, just wanted to know what happened."
Typical Lou, always butting his head into things that aren't that big of a deal. "Nothing, just, you know how Liam likes these things and all the shit that. I was enjoying myself last time it happened. I don't wanna sulk out when everyone is obviously into it."
Louis nodded. Annie noticed that he was dressed to the nines again. Louis always dressed to impress; he came from a rich background but he wasn't over-the-top like most guys with his wealth. Liam was more casual. Louis was proper, more like a gentleman. Far as Annie knew he was Liam's only responsible friend. Part of the reason why Annie only spoke to him and not Liam's other friends.
She looked at him oddly. "Why aren't you downstairs? You're obviously dressed for it."
Louis smirked and blushed as he looked down. Annie always teased him about his style but he took it because he knew she was just being silly. If it was anybody else he wouldn't take it as a joke. His family wasn't as loose as other families like Liam's when it came to money.
"I'm not really feeling it tonight. Plus I don't wanna be down there unless everyone is having a good time. I'm surprised Liam isn't looking for you."
Annie rolled her eyes, maybe Louis never paid attention but Liam is kind of an important guy.
Liam never does at these parties; Annie often got lost in the crowds, nursing one beer in a corner of the house party until he locates her by the end. Sometimes she rarely saw Louis; usually it was near the end of the party when people would mostly too wasted to drive themselves back home. Annie's mouth twitched, she always saw Louis behind him though, Liam asked Louis to drive her back the last few times because Liam was too intoxicated to get behind the wheel. Annie didn't feel she should worry, it's his life and he could do what he wants with it.
Louis worried about her, probably had something to do with them meeting in freshman year.
"Yeah that usually happens by the end, I'm ok with waiting around until then." Annie nonchalantly waved at him and uneasily glanced back at her makeshift bed in the tub.
"Ah I see, that doesn't look very comfortable. Were you really planning on sticking it out alone in here?"
Annie narrowed her eyes and sat down on the edge of the cold ceramic tub again. "Guess I just needed some peace from the heavily extroverted excitement."
Louis crouched down to her level and tried to look in her eyes but she was staring off far away. It seemed like she was somewhere else in deep thought.
Annie turned her attention to Louis, his eyes were concentrating on something and she was trying to figure it out. He didn't say anything for a few seconds.
"Does he, umm, Li, is he good to you?"
It was a private question but Annie felt like answering it, Louis never judged her, he was one of the best people to talk to, seemed like lately he'd been the only person she can rely on to be there for her; as a friend and nothing more.
"Yeah, he is. I - you know it's weird. I never thought we'd make it this far. I used to think we were so different when we met. Like opposites, but it worked out. We make it work."
"Is it all supposed to be only work?"
What was he getting at? Annie thought and caught her laugh. "Relationships require work. Just learn to put up with each other's vices. And it's not only work, it's more than that. But really, prepare for the worst, hope for the best."
Louis raised his eyebrows, "Since when do you talk in clichés? I guess you're right. But it shouldn't be hard to get on, right? Even if Li's life isn't always like you want it to be, he does care for you; a lot of us do."
Annie smirked and pushed his shoulder. Louis was being really sentimental and it wasn't that late. "Where's all the cheese talk coming from? I thought you'd be hooking up with some girl tonight. You know, since everyone else is doing it. You had your eye on a few of them, especially the harlots that walked in."
Louis smiled and sunk down on the furry bath mat, leaning against the cabinet sink. "I didn't know you watched me." He made direct eye contact with her in that moment.
Annie found it hard to look away but she tried to because Louis always had these eyes that would just look at you and then grip you as if you are the only person in the room to him. He did that a lot with other people so she didn't think anything of it. "It's pretty obvious when a guy nearly gawks at girls. You don't hide your attractions well."
"Piss it. I don't gawk at girls. I look, there's a difference. And just because I look at them, it doesn't mean I want to shag them. Wishful thinking on their part."
"I never said you did and I never really gave that impression I thought you slept with everything that moved. I know how some guys can be I guess..." Annie trailed off not meaning to but there was something she wanted to admit that stuck in the back of her mind.
Louis would have probably found her thoughts to be ludicrous if she really confessed them.
"Now you're talking in stereotypes, what's wrong? Since when do you lump us all in one boat? I don't think I've ever seen you this jaded." Louis admitted.
Annie leaned back a bit and stopped when she realized she was backing into the tub. She let her body lower more, sunk down on the towel and moved to get more comfortable. "Sorry...I just, I don't know. I like Liam and I respect his life it's just, and honestly," she sat up and glared at Louis, "please don't tell this to anyone, especially Liam." She sunk back down on the towel and took a deep breath. "I feel like sometimes, maybe...deep down, I could do better."
There was a silence that followed after she admitted that. Louis didn't know what to say or how to answer. He swallowed roughly, should he be happy or sad that she said it? He looked at her looking up at the ceiling, her lips parted, her forehead crinkled, her breathing had sped up.
"Do you mean that?"
Annie's eyes flickered across from Louis and back up to where her distracted eyes were just now. Why did she say that? Louis wouldn't judge her but this is something she normally kept locked away in her head. Lately she had been feeling this way and she couldn't possibly tell Liam. He wouldn't have a free moment to hear her out in all honesty.
Annie sat up slowly, collecting her thoughts, trying to work the puzzle pieces in her brain so they won't come out as jumbled mush. She held onto the edge of the tub, steadying herself, wanting to stand but kept herself down.
"Yes...I mean-it's true but, I don't know. Maybe I need to go home or something." Look at me; I'm in a tub for Christ sakes! My boyfriend is outside living it up. Why am I doing this to myself?
"Why are you doing this to yourself Annie?"
Were her thoughts speaking aloud or Louis saying them? The accent was too English and posh sounding to be her own.
She pushed her deep brunette hair away from her face and tried not to lose it. This conversation just got more intense and she wasn't sure how she was going to handle it.
"Nothing, sorry I brought it up. Can we, like, change the subject?" She also didn't plan on talking with Louis this long but as long as it's not about Liam she can rest easy.
She swallowed carefully but he nodded and went with the subject change. It was funny how they've never been this serious around each other before. It almost seemed like Louis was waiting on her answer as if he needed to hear it.
They started talking about Louis' odd obsession with his Wii system, but Annie tried to make a joke of it because he was just being silly. The look on his face was so serious and nerdy. When she paused to look at his face, she pulled back from the jokes.
"A gamer? You? Please. I'm sure your delightfully, stiff upper lipped family would be so proud at how you spend your time when they aren't looking."
"I'm full of surprises babe. It doesn't end with me. There's stuff I never told you, but I thought you knew this about me at least. I'm shocked. This is lightweight."
"Nah, you never told me. Being a lazy person does take a lot of time and your parents give you so much of it. They all think you're studying to take over the business but no, you're just a regular shlobby bloke just like the average American guy here. Only, you still have nevertheless all the stereotypes of a Brit, so we'll amend that to slobby Brit, or I don't know, anyone in the royal family. You're basically Prince Harry on the weekend."
"I'm not who you think I am but I do like to have fun sometimes. Beats whacking off."
Annie sucked in her lip and looked away with an awkward look. She started giggling a little, then he looked at her funny and she giggled harder. He rolled his eyes as she giggled even louder than before. She eventually calmed down the laughter by taking deep breaths. She didn't think she'd smile let alone laugh tonight. Louis sometimes said whatever he's thinking and it almost always gets a big reaction, he's not as posh as people think he is. Sometimes Annie wondered if she only got to see this side of him when no one is looking.
"Well, that is good to know."
"It is, my penis thanks my hand often."
Annie clucked her tongue and avoided responding to the comment. "So…how much longer is the party going to be, you know?"
Louis looked bemused, "You really wanna get out of here don't you?"
"I'm not sure honestly, knowing Li, he could take it well into dawn hours, though I hope not because some of us need to work for a living."
Annie nodded, seemed accurate of how Liam would do these things. Lately she's wanted to feel his arms around her, they don't live together but she sometimes would stay over and Liam sometimes liked his space. She liked to touch him, maybe it wasn't always mutual, she didn't always feel attractive to her boyfriend and that was the saddest thing to admit.
Annie sighed heavily as she realized this was going to be another long, boring night of waiting. But for what? Couldn't she just do the things she wanted to do when Liam threw parties? Whatever that is, be alone or maybe lay with her boyfriend. Lay there in utter peace, having his arms wrapped around her body as she fit inside his hold. Just being near him would be enough. She wanted things to be simple again. Like how they were in the beginning of their relationship. Maybe she should ask him to do it next time. What's the harm in that?
"Ask him to do what?"
Annie's eyes flew open wide. Did she asked that question out of her thoughts? She had to cover her tracks quickly.
"Uh, nothing, just wanna ask him, never mind him. Sorry my thoughts are fucked up now."
"I'm prepared to be your Oprah if you want me to."
Her eyes seriously held his for a moment. "I don't know Lou, maybe in the past that would have been okay. I don't wanna be pessimistic tonight."
Louis grabbed a towel hanging up from the rack and folded it into a pillow shape as he put it at the head of the bath mat. He made sure to lock the door in case any bystanders came in to disturb them; but realistically, it was in case he got hit by it. He lied down and folded his hands behind his head.
"Try me." He was daring her to continue and strangely she was feeling a lot more comfortable than before.
Annie swung her bare legs over so the length of her body was fully inside the tub. She closed her eyes and opened them again. Was she really doing this? After a few silent moments she looked at him hesitantly before slightly nodding her head.
"Do you love him?" Louis asked, more blurted out than asked, making Annie's eyes and the rest of her wide awake.
Annie's mouth hung open and her throat had cotton balls forming. "I have feelings for him."
"Not what I asked, do you love him? Are you in love with him?" Louis asked rather sharply again, elaborating even more on the second question.
Her face had gone all red and she couldn't believe how direct he was being.
"You know, you're too far away. You should come closer." Louis' voice came again, this time even more raspy, laced with a serious tone but still comforting at the same time.
Thanks for reading! :)