Tuesday, 12 May 2015

3 - Make it to me

I have spent the past week stalking Wally's dive bar, every afternoon and evening, a little like a love sick idiot, hoping that Atlas might walk in again, but as yet he has not appeared.  

I know that Tapestry has given me Atlas's number but every time I go to call it or text it, I chicken out.  Firstly I do not know what to say to him and secondly, I can not help but think, he has not come looking for me.  I am guessing, since our one night stand, that he has forgotten all about me and is not interested in seeing me again in any capacity, as friends or otherwise.  He lives with the guy who he is in love with, so why would he!!

While he is out there doing berry knows what, I am driving myself crazy because I can not stop thinking about him, and doubt that he has even given me a second thought.  What Tapestry told me about him planning to go home, is also playing on my mind, I wander if he is even still in this town.  

If only I had the guts to text or call him!

Being in the dive bar, even though I am as bored as hell with my life right now, it keeps me out of the house and away from my Dad's constant earache.  Each day has become a set routine, I leave the house in the morning and head to the gym where I work out until I am fit to drop.  I take a shower then instead of going home, I head to the dive bar, sometimes via the library, and spend until midnight in the dive bar, reading, playing pool with myself and chatting to the odd person who comes in that I know.  I have even, on the odd occasion, fallen asleep which has amused Wally no end.  I am not even drinking enough throughout the day to get drunk, and I have read more books in the past week than I have my whole lifetime.  The only variation in my everyday routine is popping round to Tapestry's for a few hours to spend some time with Crystal and Vanilla, but I don't want to go everyday, worried they might get fed up with me.

Dad is killing me because he has already clocked onto me spending most of my time in the dive bar, but I doubt he realizes exactly why.  He has even popped in here himself a few times, to see what I am up to.  I can guarantee around midnight one of my brothers or sisters, sent by my Dad, will appear to drag me off home.  Which in a way amuses me, because he is running the risk of sending them to walk in on something that he would not want them to see.  At the moment I appear to him to be behaving myself, he finds me here alone and there have been no more nights when I have stayed out.  If Atlas had come in, then it might have been a completely different story.

One good thing has come out of this last week, I have actually sat down and had it all out with my Mother, we have had quite a long and meaningful talk while Dad was not around.  While I think I understand her a little better, I can never forgive her for standing back and letting this situation go as far as it has.  She surprised me by telling me she herself does not actually have a problem with me being gay, and has never really liked the situation and the way that Dad has handled it - him sending me away, the wedge that he has driven between all of us, and all the lies and deceit.  She gave me her excuses for standing back, which in my eyes were pathetic ones.  Her excuses for only coming to see me once a year was, as I expected, my Grandparents dislike of her and their colour mixed relationship.  However, I can not help but think, I am her son, and if she missed me and loves me as much as she says she does, then she should have fought harder, she should have stood up to Dad and done something to fix this ridiculous situation.

My secret is still very well kept. I promised Mom that I would give it a few weeks, before I come out into the open, firstly by telling my brothers and sisters that I am gay, which she agrees is the right way to go about it.  My Dad has been very busy over the years hiding what I am and making out like I am straight, she thinks it might come as quite a shock to them all.   I agreed to wait to let everyone get over Cinnamon's funeral before I go dropping my bombshell, especially for Scarlet's sake, who is really struggling to come to terms with Cinnamon fading.  She is carrying his baby and they were due to get married, and she is understandingly devastated and heartbroken.   

Mom has even said she will help me by taking Dad out and keeping him out of the way while I get everyone together to tell them, which we plan to do on their Wedding Anniversary, so while they are out having a romantic meal together, I will be spilling my secret to my siblings.

Dad is going to go totally ballistic when he find out everyone finally knows the truth, but I am seriously past caring, I just want this over and done with and I am only hanging on for my sisters sake.  I am not sure I am even bothered how they take it individually.  If they are okay with it, then that's all well and good, but if they don't like it or me for what I am, then that is there problem, I am not going to lose any sleep if any of them react to me being gay like Dad has.  I don't plan to stick around in this awful town for long anyway!!

Even though I was born and grew up here for the first fourteen years of my life, I am kind of feeling like a stranger and very unattached from this town.  I really do not get on with either of my parents for different reasons, them sending me away has created a void between us as a family, that I am not sure can ever be fixed.  Even my siblings are struggling to reattach themselves to me, but that is mainly my fault because I am having to hold them at arms length, I can not let them get too close to me.  I have to sit on the outside watching the strong bonds that some of them have and I feel like I am not even part of my own family anymore.  

As for friends, everyone has changed so much while I have been away, they have got on with their lives, formed their own attachments, started their families and I feel a little left behind.  Bay and Slate I have not even seen yet, I have not been to the hospital, not really wanting to face Bay.  I am just a distant memory on the back of most of their minds, I am just someone who used to live here and fitted in, now I don't any longer.  Any friendships that I had when I left have basically fizzled away.  

I sit here not really knowing who I am anymore.  I do not even know where to go and what to do to amuse myself, I have never been very good at being alone, or spending time with just myself.   This annoys me because I had a reasonably good life in Sugar Falls before my Dad waded in and destroyed it all.

I need to rebuild my life again and I really don't think that I can do it in this town.  I am seriously thinking about doing something that Atlas suggested, moving to Cherry Hill or Berry Shores.  I have been burnt trying to play the pure berry out in the colour coded world and don't plan to go back there.  I do not want to stay in Sugar Valley, mainly because my Dad is here and I doubt he will ever let me live a peaceful life, freely and openly as the gay man that I am.  So one of the other colour mix towns I think is where I will be heading, sooner rather than later.

I always get a little irritated when someone comes in who I know, especially if they decide to hang around.  Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy the company, but I can't help but think, if Atlas walks in while I am not alone, I am stuffed and will not be able to talk to him properly or say what I want to say.  That is if I have the guts too.  I don't know what is wrong with me, I suddenly feel like I have gone totally stupid where he is concerned!!

At the moment it is Parsley keeping me company.  Parley wandered into the bar a while back, he is stood at the bar next to me mostly in a world of his own, he is down in the dumps a little like I am.  Like with everyone, it feels awkward, like we are having to get to know each other all over again, conversation is very stilted most of the time, we don't know what to say to each other. Strangely the only person I have not had that problem with so far is Tapestry.

"So what is getting you down so much?  Not Straw I hope ...  Parsley she seriously is not worth it and you deserve better!"

"No, it is not her!  To be honest, I am actually happier now I do not have her constantly pecking my head!!  I don't know why I put up with her rubbish for so long!!"  he laughs awkwardly   "It's ... it feels like there is only Tapestry that remembers that Storm ever existed most of the time!  Everyone else is forgetting him already, even Dad!!"  I can see the tears welling up in his eyes  "I swear it is only that stupid gay debate keeping his memory alive!!"

"Yeah I've heard that one!"  I laugh quietly  "And would it have bothered you if he was?"

"Hell No, Bay is one of my best mates, well he used to be!!" he looks miserable for a moment, and I think I know why, I have heard that Parsley and Bay have had a major falling out.  "I just don't get why, if Bay is telling the truth, why Storm never told me?  He was my twin brother, I can't believe it because he did not tell me!!"

"It is hard for most gays to come out of the closet, especially with their closest family, because they never know how people are going to react to it.  I think you know Bay is no liar Parsley.  I believe him, if he says he was in a relationship with Storm, then your brother was gay.  I know Tapestry believes what Bay says, because Tapestry actually knew Storm was gay."  he frowns at me  "So is that what is bothering you Storm not telling you he was gay?"

"Not exactly, it is Dad, I guess you have heard the baby news?"  I frown and shake my head  "Dad and Elderberry are having a baby."

"Ooohh, no I hadn't heard."  he rolls his eyes  "I take it you are not happy about it."

"Yes and no, it is stupid at their age and I think ..."

Parlsey doesn't even finish his sentence, he turns round suddenly to face the door as he watches someone walk into the bar and pulls a face.

"You Mr can turn right back around and walk out of here!!"  he snaps  "You have not been back a day yet and you are in here already!!  I'm not going to let you mess things up for yourself!!"

"Chill Cuz!!"  I hear Tapestry laughing behind me  "I'm only dropping CD's off for Wally, that I promised him last week."  he laughs  "You are the one with a drink in your hand not me!!"  Tapestry starts laughing.  "You want to watch YOU don't turn out like your old man and Granddad!!"  he starts teasing Parsley.

We stand back as we watch Tapestry walk up to the bar and hand Wally some CD's and they stand nattering for a moment.  I hear them talking and laughing about the incident that happened in here with Strawberry dancing naked in the bar, Wally filling him in on what happened after he left the bar.

"Give us a drink Wally ..."

"Oh No Tapestry Orchid!!  I have had your old man, Brother and both of your psycho purple Uncles in here mob handed.  They threatened to have me shut down if I sell you another drop of alcohol!!"  This makes Parsley laugh.

"I wasn't asking for alcohol ... I want flavoured water."  Tapestry says laughing  "And I don't mean shitty water out of the tap that you have thrown a lemon into either, you miserable old git!!"  this makes me laugh.

"So what's happening?  You two drowning your sorrows?"  he laughs as he looks at me and Parsley"You still spitting the dummy out over the new baby?"   he starts laughing at Parsley  "Prelude has told me you are acting like a spoiled brat!  You have really upset Elderberry too!!  Hell, I think Strawberry's viscous tongue has rubbed off on you a lot more than we thought!!"

"Funny ha! ha! Tap!!"  he pulls a face at his cousin  "You wouldn't be laughing if it was your parents having another kid at their age!!"

"It honestly wouldn't bother me Parsley you tit!! Cotton is still a baby yet remember and everyone knows my Mother wants another baby."  Tapestry laughs at him  "At least they can have kids, you wanna try being in mine and Crystal shoes right now, she might never be able to have any."

"That is not really the point though is it!!  He has turned into your Mother, he is trying to replace Storm with another baby, and knowing that idiot he will probably go and call it Storm if it's a boy!  We all know Storm was his favourite."

"Don't be ridiculous!!  Now you are really starting to sound childishly like Coral!!"  Tapestry really starts laughing at Parsley  "You are just jealous in case you get your nose knocked out by the new baby because as far as we are all concerned, you have always been his golden child!!"  Tapestry laughs at Parsley and starts teasing him in a baby voice.  "You are peed off because you won't be his little baby any more!!"

"No!!  It's ridiculous, he will have Grandchildren older than his own child!"

"Does that really matter, age is just a number, look at me and Crystal she is ten years older than me.  She is Saffrons Aunt for berry's sake, when we get married, I am going to be Saffron's Uncle and he's older than me!!"  he starts laughing as he points at me and Parsley rolls his eyes.

"Well you have never really been normal or done things normally have you Tap!!"  Parsley sniggers at the pair of us.

"Isn't it a good thing that Prelude is getting over Manderine after all the trouble she has caused!  His life has been on hold since you and Storm were born because of that woman!!  You should be happy, he is sober and happy and he has only been that way since Elderberry has been around!!"

"Maybe there is something else that you should also put Parsley's mind to rest over Tap, while you are on a roll."  I say to Tapestry and he turn to frown at me  "Storm being gay - the whole truth of it.  Especially why he was hiding in the closet."  I smile at him and he continues to stare at me he looks a little confused 

"But I can't ... without ... "

"It doesn't matter, tell him if you have to, it won't be a secret for too much longer anyway."  he continues to stand there frowning at me. 

"Did you know he was gay?"  Parsley asks Tap  "Truthfully!!"

"Yes, he told me."  Parsley pulls a face and shakes his head.  "On mine and Vanilla's life!!  He was having a relationship with Bay, and like Bay he had a thing for Slate.  Why do you think Bay and Storm hated Coral so much!  She had what they both wanted."  This makes Parsley laugh  "Bay is not lying, and you owe him a very big apology!!"  Parsley frowns at him  "Think about it, Storm never had a single girlfriend did he, he actually thought you suspected he might be gay."

"I did not have a clue and I am not sure that I can believe it, what about all that stuff with Honey before he faded."  he frowns  "Why did he not tell me!!"

"He just used Honey as a smoke screen, to hide the fact that he was gay, because she did not look past me, he knew she would never go for him.  He wanted everyone to think he was into girls!!  He and Bay were scared, terrified even, about how Alpine and Prelude would react.  You know how big both of their ego's are, it would have dented both of their pride and ego's finding out they had gay sons, and we doubted they would take it lightly."

"WHY Tap did YOU never tell me!!Parsley snaps

"Because Cousin, it was not my secret to tell, and I am very good at keeping secrets, as you well know!!"  he grins at Parsley smugly, who just looks down at the floor.  I wander what that is about!? "Storm asked me to keep it, so I did!  Just like to this day I have kept yours!"

"Okay Tap!!  I get it!!"  Parsley mumbles

I can not help but laugh at him as he glances at me.
"So how is our naked dancing queen?"  Tapestry smirks at me, and I think I know why.  He avoided telling Parsley about me, Bay and my Dad's reaction to it, which amuses me, seeing as I actually think that Parsley believes him finally!

"She's still traumatized thanks!  She still has not left the house since."  I say with a straight face, then start to laugh.  All three of us start to laugh.  "And still you are the golden boy with the old man!!  I seriously need to know what hold you have over my old man bright eyes."

"It's Vanilla I think, he knows if he pee's me off he won't get to see his Granddaughter without a fight!!"  he smiles at me  "As for your sister, I'm sorry but she asked for it!!"  he laughs  "That will teach her to come onto me, I doubt she will try seducing me again!!  The dirty whore hates my guts and still she would have let me ride the bike!!  I wanted to throw up when she started mauling me!!"  he looks awkwardly at his cousin.  "Sorry Parsley!"

"Hey she is nothing to do with me anymore!!"  he laughs. "I notice you roped Mint into help you with your devious schemes."

"Yeah well, you know why she fell over herself to help me don't you!!  Revenge on the Tart!!"  he smiles at Parsley  "You was an IDIOT to dump Mint for Strawberry in the first place!!  She would never have treated you like the town bike did and Mint still loves you!!"

"Yeah right!!"  Parsley scoffs  "She hates my guts!!"

"Trust me!!  Ask Bay, which you can do when you apologize to him for being so nasty and calling him a sick liar!!"  he smirks at Parsley who rolls his eyes.  "Mint only lashes out at you because she's still hurting and you act like she doesn't exist!"

The conversation is interrupted when Parsley's phone starts ringing.  He answers it straight away, then wanders off outside to speak to whoever has phoned him.  Me and Tapestry go and sit down in one of the booths.

"You kill me!!"  I laugh at him "I noticed you swerved telling him the real reason why Bay and Storm hid in the closet!!" 

"Yeah well, I thought you wanted your brothers and sisters to know first.  You tell Parsley and the news would have been all around the whole town by midnight!!  He gossips like a girl, which is one of the main reasons why Storm never shared his secret with Parsley."  he grins back and I laugh.  "So how is it going with Atlas?"

"It isn't."  he rolls his eyes at me  "I have been too chicken to phone him and I haven't seen him since."  he laughs at me  "He is still in town isn't he?"

"Yeah, I was actually sat talking to him in the park earlier, while I watched Cotton pushing Vanilla on the baby swings.  He was with Mace who was giving him hell, you'd think they were an old spent married couple the way they were going at each other!!."  Tapestry laughs but all I can do is smile falsely at him  

"Were they fighting?"

"More like bitching and sniping."  he laughs  "I think Atlas is Mace's punch bag, he seems to take all his frustration out on him, but they are best mates, so I guess Atlas doesn't mind.  Mace really is not coping with being paralyzed."  

"What is he like, Mace I've never seen him."  I ask curiously

"He's very gay, you can tell a mile off!"  Tapestry laughs  "I don't really know him that well, but the few times I have spoken to him, he seems nice enough.  Elderberry loves him, he is her new best mate."  he laughs  "All I do know is he is besotted, obsessed even over Granite, very vain, and a bit of a drama queen."

"Is he good looking?"  Tapestry laughs at me for a moment and I kick myself for even asking.  I've just made myself look like a right idiot!!

"Truthfully, yes, very, and I'm a straight guy saying it.he rolls his eyes  "He's one of those - the guys are all jealous of him and the women fall over themselves, he's as fit as to hear them all talking,  I know he makes Forrest feel very insecure about himself."  he rolls his eyes as I just sit there staring at him blankly  "But looks aren't everything are they!!"

"I guess."  I mumble quietly

"Man, you have got it bad haven't you!!"  he starts laughing  "So why are you too chicken to phone Atlas?" 
"I don't know ... I swear I have gone stupid!!  Pretty much what I told you last week, and he still has not come looking for me!!"  I pull a face.  "I'm going crazy here!!"

"You are hopeless!!"  You are never going to know how he feels about you unless you try or at least ask him!!"

"Yeah I know!"  I mumble  "I think it is him being in love with Mace that's stopping me.  Why would he be interested in anyone else!  To him it was probably just that, a one night stand, which he's totally forgotten about by now!"

"You need to grow a pair and do something about it!!  You are acting like a girl!!"  we both start laughing  "When are you telling the siblings."  he asks me curiously 

"Next weekMom and Dad are going to the Bistro for their Wedding Anniversary and we are having a get together while we have the house to ourselves."  I grin at him  "So be prepared for the fall out ... you know Dad is going to go ballistic and no doubt he will be bending your ear over it, seeing as you are his best buddy these days!!"  we both laugh  "Berry knows how they are going to react to it!!"

"He will get a mouthful off me if he even starts on about you and his anti gay crap!!"  he laughs  "I think you are worrying about nothing, they are all friends with Bay, Slate, Forrest, on the quiet when your Dad is not looking.  They don't have a problem with them being gay, so why should they have a problem with you!?"  he laughs  "You know your Dad is the only homophobic that I know in this town!"  he frowns at me then  "Have your Grandparents never told you why your Dad has such a big problem with gay people?"  I frown at him and shake my head which makes him laugh  "Maybe you should ask them about Saffy ... your Dad's identical twin brother was gay!  A little ironic don't you think that Sunny gave you his name!"

"How do you know that?"

"Trust me, if I told you how I know you would never believe me!!"  he rolls his eyes  "On my life, your Uncle Saffron was gay, just ask your Grandparents, they will tell you!!

I just sit there wide eyed, my Grandparents have never said a thing, I believe him, I am just wandering how he would even know that when I don't!?  Parsley, who has now finished with his phone call comes back to join us, so our conversation has to stop.
"Well I need to make tracks, I have got lots to do.  I have music to make and an album to fill."  Tapestry smiles at me  "Are you in here for the rest of the night?"  he asks

"I guess, I have got nothing better to do."  I mumble

Tapestry smiles and winks at me before he leaves.  I am not sure what the wink is for, I can only presume he might pop back in later when he has lost his body guard.

Parsley leaves with Tapestry, I am not sure that Parsley trusts him not to misbehave around alcohol.  From what I have seen of Tapestry so far, I think that he has changed a lot since we were kids.  He has grown up a lot more than I think anyone thought he ever would!!  However, I can understand why his close family are watching him like a hawk all the time.  He has got a lot to lose if he messes up and he is still more than capable of going off and doing something stupid, just like he did last week during and after Cinnamon's funeral.

When I have finished my drink I make my way back to the bar to get a refill.  My phone bleeps while I am at the bar so I look at the text that has come in.  Sulfur.  I don't even open the text, I just stuff my phone back into my pocket.  I seriously do not know what his problem is.  Sulfur has been sending me texts over the past few days telling me he misses me.  I have just ignored them, because I seriously have found that I am not missing him at all.  In a way I am feeling quite relieved to be out of that relationship now.

I am stood at the bar where I have been talking to Wally for quite a while because I seriously have nothing better to do.

"Saffron have you seen Tapestry?"  I hear a familiar voice behind me.   

I start to choke on my drink because it is Atlas.

"You have not long missed him, he left here about half an hour ago."  I smile at him as I swing round to face him, but he just frowns at me.

"Strange, he phoned me about half an hour ago and asking if I wanted to meet him and Crystal in here for a few."  he frowns at me.  "Maybe he is coming back."  Atlas smiles at me.

As he says it his phone bleeps and mine bleeps not long after.  We both take out our phones and read the texts that we have just received.  Mine is from Tapestry, which makes me frown in confusion for a moment, knowing he can not read or write, he does not usually text, he phones.

"I have sent that cute brown guy that you have been pining over all week in your direction.  Grow a pair and have fun!!"  my text says and I start laughing at him telling me to grow a pair.  Tapestry is a scream!!

Atlas looks up from his text frowning at first, then he starts laughing as he grabs for my phone and reads the text that I received.

"Tapestry."  he smiles at me  "I think we, or I have just been set up!!"  Atlas starts laughing then he frowns at me  "You know where I live, so why not just knock on the front door?"

I take his phoning off him wandering what Tapestry has said to him

"Sorry I won't be joining you.  Three is a crowd and I doubt very much that you will miss me!!   There is a yellow guy hanging out in the bar who has been camped out in there for the past week, like a love sick idiot, hoping to bump into you again.  Have fun!!" 

Now I am embarrassed!!  I hand him back his phone and can not even look at him.  I can not help but wander again who has sent these text for Tapestry.

"Well?"  he frowns at me.  "If what Tap says is true, why not just knock on the door?  I don't bite, well not unless you ask me too!!"  we both laugh for a moment.

"I hoped I would bump into you again.  I did not think you would want to see me again, so I did not bother you.  It is not like you have come looking for me either is it."  I mumble, suddenly I have become tongue tied, what I want to say is not coming out of my mouth.

"You are the one who called it a one night stand, no strings attached you said, so I thought you did not want to see me again."  he laughs as I look at him over the top of my glass.  "You know we can be mates out in the open without it giving away your secret.  I am mates with Tapestry but it does not mean I'm shagging him and nobody would suspect us when everyone thinks you are straight!!"

He stands laughing at me as he orders us both a drink.

"I hope you two are going to behave yourselves tonight!!  Especially you Shine!!"  the landlord says as he puts our drinks on the bar  "Now I see where your naked sister gets it from, she knocked me sick she did!!"  he starts laughing.  Atlas frowns at me.

"Did you not hear about my sister's antics in here last week?  Getting arrested and charged with indecent exposure."  he screws his eyebrows together and shakes his head, while he smirks I think trying not to laugh.  "Hell where have you been?!  Strawberry decided to try and seduce Tapestry and was dancing in here naked.  It was in the newspapers, the whole town have seen the pictures.  Tapestry made a right fool of her, taking photo's and giving them to Mint, you know Bay's sister, she is a journalist."  We both start laughing  "Bright eyes only took down the flag outside town hall and replaced it with Straw's clothes!!  That kid has always cracked me up, he's a scream!!"

"Bright eyes?" he frowns at me

"Tapestry, it's my nickname for him.  His eyes are very bright and striking."  I smile at him and he raises his eyebrows.  "So where the hell have you been if you did not hear about my sister dancing naked in here, it is all everyone has talked about all week!!"

"To be honest, I have been really busy.  I have hardly left the house, Mace is out of the hospital and he is turning out to be awkward, hard work and demanding!!"

"Oh Mace ..."  I mumble sarcastically and he frowns at me. 

"And what is that supposed to mean?"  Atlas continues to frown at me

"I know ... Mace is the one you are in love with."  I mumble 


"Just!!"  he frowns at me  "You are not acting like a love sick idiot you said, you are trying to get over it and move on you said.  How are you supposed to do that if you are stuck up his ass twenty four seven playing nursemaid and playing happy families in the park?"

"Ouch!!  You almost sound like a jealous bitch!"  he frowns at me but does not give me a chance to say anything, he suddenly looks a little narked.  "If you really must know, this is only a temporary arrangement.   As soon as his trial is over and he gets his prison sentence, that is it for us!!  I will not be seeing him again and we have agreed to completely cut ties.  I will be in Berry Shores getting on with my life, and he'll be in Orange Falls getting on with his. We will be thousands of miles apart and never the twain shall meet!!."

"Berry Shores?"  I frown at him  "I thought you said you came from Cherry Hill."

"I do, I will not be going back to Cherry, it is time I grew up and cut my Mother's apron strings, I'm ashamed to say I'm a bit of a Mommies boy, and I can not stay here, so there is only one other place I can go being a mixed berry."

"Why can't you stay here?"

"Granite is here, I can not stand him and I really don't want any reminders of Mace, which is exactly what Granite will be!!"   he smiles at me  "Have you seen Bay lately?"  

"No, not since I was fourteen."  I think he is trying to be funny throwing Bay at me after I've just sniped at him over Mace.

"Well he has seen you!!  Sneaking out of our house the other morning."  I raise my eyebrows  "Don't worry, your secret is still safe!  He guessed it was my bed you crawled out of, he asked me on the quiet."  he laugh at me.  "Actually we had quite a nice long chat about you!"

"Oh great!!  I dread to think what he might have been saying."  Atlas smiles at me, showing no intention of being about to tell me anything Bay has said.  "Does he still blush at the slightest thing?  He is so cute when he does that!"

"Yes, he does.  Saffron, Is there still unfinished stuff between you two?"

"Hell no!!"  I laugh at him  "It's not like we were in love or anything!!  I was saving that for somebody else."  he nearly chokes on his drink as he stares at me wide eyed  "What?"  I frown at him.

"Nothing!!"  he laughs

I just stare at him not knowing what to say.  He looks away and starts staring at the floor like he is deep in thought.  I am not sure why, but I feel like there is a bit of awkwardness going on between us, and I am not sure why!!  Atlas is making me nervous with all the frowning and strange looks.  Maybe he does not want to be here, maybe he had a one night stand and just wanted to forget it.  Tapestry did kind of get him here under false pretenses, it is not like Atlas came here through choice, if he had known I would be here, he might not have come.   I am not sure we are even in the same book, let alone on the same page, he might have hated it and does not want to repeat it. 

Now that I have driven myself crazy for this past week, not being able to get him off my mind, I am wandering if I have just let my head get carried away too far with it and I have set myself up for a fall.  While he has got right under my skin and knocked me sidewards, and not just because of the mind blowing sex ... everything about him is enchanting to meWhile I feel like I am going out of my mind, I doubt he even knows I exist - it happens, you only have to look at Atlas, Mace, Granite and Forrest to see that.  One of them is so wrapped up in the other that they can't see straight, while the other one does not even know they exists!!

"Can I ask you something?"  he frowns again  "Who else in this town knows your secret?  Besides me, Bay, your Dad ... and I presume Tapestry, seeing as he was responsible for the texts earlier. "

"Nobody as far as I know."  I shrug my shoulders  "I guess Slate might know, if Bay has told him, you know pillow talk and the same with Tap, he might have told Crystal, I don't know, but I doubt it because he never told Honey.  One thing I do know about Tap he does keep secrets.  He's a total one off that kid!!"  Atlas laughs almost sarcastically

"Why Tapestry?  How or why does he know?"

"Storm his cousin and best mate, who faded.  He was another one in the closet, Tap has been carrying around Mine, Bays and Storms gay secret since we were kids."  I frown at him  

"You get on well with Tapestry don't you?"  he frowns at me

"Yeah, I guess."  I frown at him  "Why are you so interested in Tap anyway?"  he starts to laugh.

"He's cute don't you think!?  I would!!"  he smirks at me.  I am seriously not sure how to react to that, for quite a few reasons, but my face must have done something, because he starts to howl with laughter, which confuses me a little.  "Gotcha!!  That narked you didn't it!!"  he carries on laughing.  "Now all I have to work out, are you narked because of him or me?!"  he smirks at me.

"Seriously, you need to explain because you have totally lost me?"  I frown at him with concern  "You do know Tap is 100% straight don't you!!"

"I don't fancy Tapestry you idiot!!"  he continues to laugh  "I was fishing ... trying to work out who you used to be and could still be hung up on ... someone I know who is 100% straight with a girlfriend and kid, who knows your secret but doesn't know you used to have a crush on him when you were kids - that's what Bay says anyway!!  Bay wouldn't tell me who exactly, and I doubted you would either if I asked you.  I think bright eyes is the one!!"  he smirks at me

"You sneak!!"  I laugh at him  "And just to set the record straight - I used to be, it is in the past!!  There is definitely no still could be about it!!  That wasn't love either, just a crush!!"  he raises his eyebrows like he is questioning me.  "I swear!!  It was a stupid school boy crush, its over and done with, I don't even think about it anymore!!"  I smile at him  "Berry help you if you ever tell him, because he never needs to know!!"

"Your secret is safe with me!!  Another one!!"  he starts laughing  "So if it is not Tap or Bay, who were you saving your 'love' for exactly?"

"I'll tell you when I find him, because as yet he has manage to elude me!!"  I smirk at him

"So, what's all this about you being camped out here pining like a love sick idiot??"

"I ...eerr ... Tapestry is over reacting!"  I tell him awkwardly

"Yeah right, you twat!!"  he laughs as he raises one eyebrow  "You have gone all stupid on me haven't you!!  If you go any redder, you will be the same colour as your brothers!!" 

After he has finished laughing at me and playing me up, which totally embarrassed me.  He now knows how I am feeling about him, because he forced me into admitting it with his constant badgering, while I do not have the slightest idea what he is thinking or feeling other than amused.  I do not think that he hates the idea of me liking him because he is staying and not running a mile like I half expected him too. 

After the first initial awkwardness that he was creating between us, for whatever reason, we start to became relaxed and the atmosphere changed to how it was the last time we were together. We start to have a laugh and play snooker, the night seems to pass by in a flash.  Suddenly time is flying when it has spent the past week ticking at snails pace for me.  We are not getting drunk like we did the last time that we were in here together, I am just mildly tipsy like he is.

"Hell is that the time!!"  I say as I notice the time showing on the wall clock.  "It is nearly midnight, we seriously need to get out of here!!"

"Why Cinderella?"  Atlas laughs  "Are you about to turn into a pumpkin?"

"No idiot!!"  we both start laughing  "My old man, he kicked off at me for stopping out that night and he's been on my back ever since."  I roll my eyes  "If he does not come himself, he sends one of my brothers or sister in at midnight to drag me home like a naughty child, to stop me from being a dirty stop out and practicing my filth, as he calls it!!"

"Sunny is a prize jerk!!"  he smirks at me  "How does Cinderella fancy coming back to mine and practicing this so called filth on me?"

"Of course!"  I smirk back  "I thought you would never ask!!  But you can quit right now calling me Cinderella!!"

We both start laughing as we drain our glasses, put them down on the bar and walk out.

As we step outside the bar door, I see Crimson coming down the road towards us.  Luckily he appears to be texting on his phone as he is walking towards the bar, if he had not been he would have seen me.  I grab Atlas and pull him back inside quickly.

"Shit!!  If Crimson sees me I will have to go home with him."  he laughs  "I'll hide in the toilet, if he asks, you haven't seen me!!"

I slip into the toilets and stand up against the wall, I hear Atlas laughing his head off on the other side of the wall.  Atlas must have remained standing outside the toilet door, because it is not long before I hear the sound of Crimson's voice clearly, which makes me nervous.

"Hiya Atlas, how are you doing?"  I hear Crimson asking. "How is your leg now?"

"Great thanks!"  Atlas replies  "It niggles from time to time, other than that I forget about it until I see the dirty great hole in my leg!!"  he laughs  "Has a date come through for the trial yet?"

"No we are still waiting, but it should not be too far away now.  As soon as we hear anything we will let you and the others know."  Crimson mumbles  "I guess it is Mace you are worried about, like Elderberry, she is worrying herself stupid over him!"

"Yeah, the wheelchair is punishment enough without having to do time too!!"  Atlas mumbles.

"I wouldn't worry too much, you know Chief Constable Rock has got his back, he will be well looked after!!  We are predicting he will only get a few years AS LONG as Gravel plays fair in court and tells the truth!!" 

"Fat chance of that berry hole playing fair, I'll be very very shocked if he does!"  I hear Atlas mumbling miserably.

"I didn't know you drank in here Atlas.  I thought you, Forrest and Bay frequented the bowling alley."  Crimson says to him

"I do as a rule, but you know how noisy that place isI just needed some thinking space and time away from Mace, and this place is ideal being like a morgue!!"  Atlas laughs  "So is this where you usually hang out?"

"No, I'm actually looking for my brother.  Saffron virtually lives in this place lately, I can't imagine why!!  I don't suppose you have seen him tonight?"

"He is the all yellow one isn't he?"  Atlas asks which amuses me.  Crimson obviously replies yes.  "No mate, I've been here for a few hours and I haven't seen him."

"Oh well, I must have missed him.  I wander where he has got to?!"  Crimson laughs  "I guess I'll just use the little boys room before I go.  No doubt he will turn up at home sometime."

I panic when he says he is coming into the toilet, I quickly dive into one of the cubicles and lock the door quietly.  I look down at the gap between the cubicles and floor, he might spot my feet so I sit on the toilet and prop my legs up against the door so he can not see them.  I have to sit there listening to him, he comes into the toilet and cubical next to mine, I hear him start whistling while he is taking a leak and I am dying to laugh but can't.  He irritates me by washing his hands then I hear the whirring noise of the hand dryer as he dries his hands.  Eventually the drier stops and the toilet door opens and closes.  I just sit there to scared to move, wandering how long I need to give him before he has left the bar.

I suddenly think about Atlas and wander what he is doingI worry that he might have done one and gone home without me.  If he doesn't want this, then now is his perfect opportunity to escape.  I pull my phone out of my pocket and send him a text.

"Where are you?  You will have to tell me when the coast is clear.  My phone is on silent - text me back!!  Sx"

"I'm hiding round the back.  Don't worry Cinderella I'll be in to rescue you when the coast is clear.  Ax"

I laugh at him calling me Cinderella again, and just sit there waiting.  I don't know if the time is going slowly or it is taking Crimson time to disappear.  My phone starts vibrating and Crimson's name flashes up on my screen, because he is trying to phone me, so I have to turn my phone off quickly.   Nearly ten minutes went by and I am starting to get worried when I hear the door banging.

"You can come out now Cinders!"  Atlas is outside the toilet door.

I jump off the toilet and walk out of the cubical.  Atlas is just stood there straight faced.  For a moment he does not look too amused.

"Hell!!  Have you ever tried lying to, hiding from and spying on a policeman!?"  he pulls a face  "Especially when some idiot text me and sent my phone bleeping for him to hear!!"

"I am sorry!!  You must think I am a right twat!!"  I mumble thinking he is hacked off

"How old are we really!!"  he starts having hysterics suddenly.  "Sneaking about behind your big brothers back like kids, just to get a shag!!"  he creases up

"Well you can never say I am boring!!"  we both start laughing

"I thought he was never going to come out, what the hell was he doing in here, was he constipated??!!"  he starts to howl  "I had visions of you sitting there having to listen to him taking an uncooperative dump!!"

We both fall about laughing.  I am laughing more at Atlas because he has totally lost it, he is virtually crying with laughter.

"He wasn't actually in here all that long."  I tell him when he has composed himself a little"And no, he didn't take a dump!"  Me saying dump just set him off again.  "Probably a good job, there is never any toilet paper in this place as I found out once to my cost!!  I dread to think what the women do, they must have to sit and drip dry!!"

I stand laughing at Atlas again who is now totally cracking up, but something is playing on my mind, what took Crimson so long to leave the bar, because he seriously was not in this toilet for long.  I love watching Atlas laughing and can't help but grab his jacket and I pull him towards me.  He stops laughing almost instantly and without saying a word he wraps his arms around me and starts to kiss me, like he knew kissing him was what I wanted to do. 

We had been kissing for a few minutes, I was away with it, I could feel the sparks fly as our bodies grind together leaving nothing but clothes between us.  Suddenly he breaks the kiss and stands there frowning at me.
"How did you get my number?" 

"Tapestry gave it me last weekI have been too chicken to call or text!"  I mumble

"You idiot!!"  he laughs   "Come on Cinder's, it's time we went to the ball!"

Atlas grabs my hand and we quickly start making our way out of the toilet and bar.  We leg it back to his laughing all the way, I feel like a naughty little kid again, but in a good way.

As soon as we have crept to his room, the minute the door is closed and locked behind us, Atlas just jumps on me.  He slams me backwards like a maniac and has me pinned up against the door.  I am a little shocked by his actions, I did not really expect it.  I do not even get a chance to speak because his tongue is almost down the back of my throat. 

As we are edging quickly towards the bed, we are frantically trying to remove each others clothes without our mouths breaking contact.  It all gets a little too frantic and I hear a ripping sound, my t-shirt leaves my body in the same was as my cardigan, because he has ripped it clean in half, from the neck down.

I don't think either of us can get there quick enough, and I can't help but think, as he throws me onto the bed, that maybe we might be on the same page after all!!!

While we are waiting for our breathing, heart rate, mind and bodies to calm down and return back to normal, we just lie there in silence, Atlas has crawled into my arms and we still have not spoken.
"Saffron ... what the hell is going on with us?"  he mumbles breaking the silence.

"I was going to ask you the same question.  I do not know what the hell you are doing to me but hell, that was almost too much for me to handle!"

"I wasn't on about the sex ... is this another one night stand?"  he laughs quietly. 

"Hell I hope not!!"  he opens his eyes and looks up at me.

"So you are not sneaking out while I'm asleep like last time?"  

"No, not unless you want me too."

"No, I want you to stay!!"  he smiles at me.  "I hate waking up alone!"

"Probably a good thing!!"  I laugh  "Because I think I might need to do some sewing before I can leave.  I am not even sure either my trousers or my t-shirt are wearable right now, you tore them to shreds!!"  he smirks at me. 

"Don't worry Cinderella, we'll fix your rags tomorrow!!"  he sniggers

I can see what he is doing, I get a nasty feeling he is not going to let this Cinderalla thing drop!!


"What are you now my Fairy Godmother!!  You are definitely going to need a magic wand to make my rags look presentable!!I laugh at him, playing him at his own game  "Unless you plan to keep me permanently naked!?"

"You've just been to the ball, what more do you want!!  Seconds?"  he smirks at me

"Yes, I want a hell of a lot more more than just one dance!!"  he laughs  "And if this is how you are going to behave, I'm going to need more than a Fairy Godmother to keep repairing my clothes!!"  he rolls his eyes at me  "I bet you would look dead cute wearing fairy wings and a skirt!!"

"If I recall right, you told me your bitches don't wear skirts!!"  he smirks at me  "So I can't be your Fairy Godmother, I'll have to be your handsome prince instead!!"

"Your bitches?  Your handsome prince?  I raise my eyebrows and he laughs at me.  "So are you saying you are MY handsome prince now?!"  

"Yes Cinderella, if you want me, that is if you don't have someone else in mind for the part?I just stare at him for a moment, not sure if I am actually interpreting this right!!  "Well?  Do I get the part?  You did say this was not another one night stand! he stares up at me.

"Yes, if you want it, the parts yours.."  he sniggers 

"Well just remember Cinders, you go dancing with anyone else and we will be switching fairy tales, I will be locking  you up in my tower permanently and chopping it off ... and I am not talking about your hair eitherhe smirks up at me and we both start laughing.

"I think, that we might both be reading the same book, we may even be on the same page."  he smiles at me  "So how do you think this fairy tale is going to end?"

"All fairy tales have a happy ending don't they!"  he laughs

"Normally, but what about this particular one?"

"Well, your handsome prince is going to slay your evil father and let you out of the wardrobe that he's got you shut up in!!"  he smirks at me and I can't help but laugh at him

"What comes next?"  

"I guess, IF it all goes well and your evil father doesn't like me letting you out of the closet and kicks off proper, I guess we will have to move you into my castle or flee to Berry Shores where the evil father and Mace will never bother us again!!"  he stares up at me and I grin at him a little wide eyed.  "And they all live happy ever after!"
"Sounds like a good fairy tale!!"

"Yeah it does, but I guess we will just have to do some more reading to find out how it goes!!" he mumbles

We lie there silently with our eyes closed, I can hear his breathing changing because he is drifting off to sleepI am not sure I am going to be able to sleep - my head is racing and doing somersaults.  I am not sure if he is being serious or if he is just messing about with the fairy tale banterTomorrow he is going to have to tell it to me straight, without all this fairy tale stuff.
"Just don't get turning into an evil princess on me!!"  he mumbles sleepily

"I'll try my best not too!"  I laugh 


Song =  Make it to me ~ Sam Smith


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