This is the end of my short story Mad as Hell. You can read the first part here
Caleb took his seat with a large plastic cup of beer. He was in awe of the ability these things had to get normal thinking mortals to spend nearly five bucks just on a watered down oversized drink. Greg had chosen smartly with a large cup of coffee instead. Greg was driving and really had no chance tonight for drinking.
The two men were seated in the second row of the section behind a group of college students, their noisy cheers and foul mouthed boos had more entertainment value for Caleb then the actual hockey game that night. That was until Greg elbowed him in the ribs after the first hour. The dark haired male turned to see what was so interesting, only to find Estelle sitting two rows away to their left, and she was not alone. Hayden was with her.
"What you want me to do about it?" he said turning his eyes down to examine the chocolate bar wrappers under his shoe.
"How about you get off your ass and talk to her. You know you want to." Greg said leaning towards his friend. Caleb just shook his head his teeth clenched. "If you don't then I am and she's looking good tonight. That top is giving me ideas." he giggled
"Have her, I don't care." he gazed over at her, making a noise. "She looks cold."
"Got my blood boiling." he blushed slightly as he stared at his friend's former girl. "That's a shag me top if ever I saw one." Caleb looked over first at Estelle then back to Greg a slight ridge at his eyebrows. "What?" Greg shrugged bringing his hands up to gesture at his chest "She leans over any and she'll fall right out of that thing. I can't believe you gave that up. Dude ... oh hang on I see boob." Caleb turned again to see what his friend was suggesting only to find the redhead bending down to get something out of her purse. "I wonder if she needs a ride home. Should I ask?" he raised an eyebrow at Caleb waiting for some sort of response. "Okay I'm going to ask if she's needing a lift home or what." he stood climbing over his friend nearly tripping. Caleb watched from his seat with one eye hoping partly that she said no and hoping partly that she said yes. Either way, he hated the idea of her being there with Hayden.
Greg stood there chatting with her for a few minutes, his hands buried deep in the pockets of his hoodie, smiling and blushing in a way only Greg could. Women loved it. It didn't seem to matter how geeky Greg truly was he scored every time without effort. He returned to his seat just as one of the college students in front of them leaned over puking. Half the section jumped up heading for higher ground.
They stood outside of the arena, the parking lot getting crowded as they waited. Estelle had agreed to a lift home with them, as Hayden lived on the opposite side of town. Caleb wasn't sure if he should hug Greg or kill him.
It had been a silently painful last two weeks not talking to Estelle, not seeing her but he'd be damned if he were to be the first to bend. He had his pride. What was left of it anyway. He felt a knot tighten in his stomach as Estelle stood for a moment talking to Hayden, her hand on his arm. The guy was much taller then her, close to 6'feet with a hawk nose. Estelle was the same height as both Caleb and Greg, a mire 5'7. It was something he always liked about her, always made him feel they were on equal terms in his mind. So often women made Caleb feel he wasn't enough, not tall enough, not grown up enough, but Estelle had always made him feel perfect. Till this happened.
The wind was starting to pick up a bit as she walked over to them finally, her purse on her shoulder causing her shirt to stretch a little across her chest. Caleb let out a small sigh as he noticed the blush on Greg's face again. He did not want to know what his friend was thinking but he was sure it was the same thoughts he was having himself. Caleb said nothing as he got into the car not waiting for anything other then the door to be unlocked.
The smell of her perfume invaded his senses, twirling itself around his mind and forcing memories to flash behind his eyes. He gave a slight smirk as he watched Greg fidget with the rear view mirror. 'God', he thought to himself, 'he's really going to make a move on her'. Caleb ran his tongue over his teeth in near frustration. They pulled out of the parking lot and made a right heading down Victoria. They would be at Estelle's in only a few minutes then he could relax. Greg got to the lights and hit the turn signal.
"I don't know about you guys, but I'm starving. I need food." he said not taking his eyes off the road as he continued on an extra few blocks to the nearest sandwich place. "Anyone want?" he asked. Both Caleb and Estelle said no as he got out of the car. Estelle waited only a few seconds before she got out of the car and opened the front door. Caleb found her leaning in over him, her hands on his knees.
"You know full well he is doing this to get us to talk. So, can we just skip the crap and make up?" her voice never rose above a whisper. Caleb turned from her, his jaw hurting he was grinding his teeth so much. It was all he could do to keep his hands to himself, and he was not sure if he wanted to slap her or pull her into his lap.
"You should have heard what he was saying about you few hours ago." he shook his head unable to look at her. "He's not doing this to get us back together. He wants you himself. Always has."
Estelle bent her neck slightly so that her hair was brushing against Caleb's chest.
"God you are exasperating do you know that? First you think I'm cheating on you with Hayden, then you think Greg is after me..."
"He is. Ask him." he spat the words at her like tasting something bad, his eyes squinting.
"What is your deal? Huh? You are the only guy I'm sleeping with. Or was or whatever. I don't want anyone but you. Just you." she replied her hands slapping his knees as she moved from the car slamming the door. Reaching into the back seat again, she grabbed her purse and slammed that door too walking away.
It was just after 1:00am. Caleb found himself unable to sleep and flipping channels. There was movie that looked familiar in a chick-flick sort of way. A woman in a long dress reading a letter. The letter was from her lover begging her to take him back. He cringed as he sat back on the sofa flipping channels again. Thirty seconds later he was back on the channel with the chick movie. The woman was running now down the street the letter in hand, looking for the lover who wrote it. They find each other on the corner and embrace just as the credits rolled. Caleb let out a deep sigh his eyes unable to look away. It was worse then a car crash, this thing. There was a hostess yammering on about it being based on a book or something. He got up moving towards the kitchen for a cup of tea and a bag of chips, before returning to the sofa. The next movie started and he realized it was a Jane Austen marathon.
"Peachy. Just peachy. Nothing on but weeping women." he was about to turn it off when the opening credits faded out to a sword fight. "Oh that's interesting." he mumbled around a mouthful of chips. Before he knew it, it was 3:13am and the movie was over, the dark haired man had long since stretched out on the sofa hugging a pillow.
His strong pale hand reaching over the edge of the table for his cell phone, hitting speed dial. A sleepy voice picked up on the second ring. "What'cha doing?" he yawned loudly into the small phone.
"I had been sleeping like any normal person. Yourself?" Estelle asked. He could hear her moving in the bed, getting into a sitting position. He knew if he kept her on the phone for even another two minutes she would be wide awake and in the kitchen making coffee.
"You sleeping alone?" he rolled his eyes to the ceiling sniffing. He heard her mumble a yes. "I was watching Northanger Abby. It wasn't that bad actually. Surprised it was fairly cool."
"You were watching a Jane Austen movie? You?" she was moving around the apartment now fully awake, her breathing heavy still as she did. "You?" she said once more unable to pretend not to be shocked.
"Me. So you alone then?" he asked his own dark eyes closing with sleep.
"Yes. No need to ask if you are alone. Did you want something?" she was filling the kettle with water, Caleb could hear the taps in the kitchen. He shook his head no before he remembered to speak. His arm crossed over his chest.
"Just maybe I wanted to say good night." he opened his eyes with a jolt looking at the time. 3:25am. "Just maybe I thought you would want to grab a cab and rush over here so we could wake up together. Given that we are both alone right now. You know if you wanted." he started to snuggle towards the back of the sofa with the phone barely resting at his ear. He could hear her breathing. Thinking it over. The sound of her stirring her coffee rattled him awake again. "Estelle?"
"Caleb." she answered slurping her coffee in the phone letting him know she was in no hurry.
"Are you coming over?" his breath hushed out as he fought another yawn. "Are you coming over?"
"It's 3:30 in the morning."
"That's never stopped either of us before." He faintly heard her moving back towards her bedroom, the sound of it creaking as she sat back down on it, the image of her placing her coffee cup down on the bedside table, the thin black laced slip she wore around the house filled his once again closed eyes. He never heard her hang up her end of the conversation, the empty line buzzing a white noise in his ear as he started to dream.
The doorbell woke him at 3:52 am. The dark haired male blinked for a moment staring at the cell phone still clutched in his hand then turned it off as he got up walking to answer the door. Estelle was standing there in a dark sweater and jeans, her hair hidden under the sweater's hood. She said nothing as she locked the door behind her, taking off her shoes and heading to Caleb's bedroom. Caleb followed silently.