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Just Friends?

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Just Friends?

Chapter One

“C’mon, c’mon, c’mon,” Chloe begged as she kept pressing the button to bring the hotel lift to the reception level at Lassiters Hotel, “Oh c’mon, c’mon, c’mon.”

Chloe didn’t dare look back to see if Elly had indeed followed her to the hotel. If she did, Chloe wanted to disappear to another part of the hotel until Elly had walked down to Chloe’s office, realized she wasn’t there and left.

But this lift was making it impossible. What are the chances that both lifts had been stuck nearly on the top floors when Chloe was desperate to make a confusing exit? Most people left a building to exit an anticipated awkward conversation, they don’t get in a lift to stay in the building and expect it to take them away from it.

Yet, here Chloe was, desperate to avoid talking to Elly as she didn’t know what to say.

Three minutes earlier, Chloe had been on her lunch break, entering the Waterhole to grab something to eat. She had nearly turned around when she had spotted her brother having lunch with his wife, Elly, at one of the tables. Mark didn’t even see that she was in the pub as his chair was facing the opposite direction.

As Chloe had walked to the bar, she could feel Elly eyes on her. They seemed to track her every move. Or was it only in Chloe’s imagination that she wanted Elly’s eyes on her? As Chloe had stared at the menu, even though she knew what she wanted to order, she couldn’t help but glance at Elly.

How could Chloe resist?

Elly was still the woman she loved even though Elly had married Chloe’s eldest brother and was pregnant with his child. They had spent one night of passion together when Mark had nearly left Elly at the altar. Chloe had somewhat come to terms with the fact that Elly had only used her for comfort and to feel loved and Chloe would never get to experience that again.

Chloe was a mix of disappointment and slightly hopeful when she glanced at Elly. Her ex-BFF wasn’t staring at Chloe or tracking her every move, not at that moment at least, but she was looking like she was bored of Mark’s ramblings. Elly couldn’t look less interested in her husband if she tried and from what Chloe could tell from behind Mark, he seemed like he had no idea.

Chloe shrugged at the thought that Mark always seemed to have a blind spot when it came to his now-wife. He had no clue that his own little sister had been in love with his then-fiancé for months and for Mark, as a cop, he still didn’t seem to spot the look of boredom on Elly’s face.

But Chloe watched as that look of boredom on Elly’s face twisted and changed. Mark didn’t seem to notice as he was too busy in his own conversation about something to Elly without realizing Elly wasn’t even listening to him let alone looking at him.

Elly’s face contorted from boredom to stunned confusion and disbelief in a matter of seconds.

Mark wasn’t the reason that Elly’s facial structure changed.

Kyle was the reason.

Or was Chloe getting her hopes up that she along with Kyle could possibly be the reason?

At first, Chloe didn’t even see her housemate approach her. Despite trying to avoid it, Chloe only had eyes for Elly. But something changed in Elly’s eyes and it made Chloe look up to see Kyle walking over to her with a big smile on his face. Then she noticed Amy and Gary sitting together off to the side of the bar and she knew Kyle was going to make a move on her as he was determined to prove to his ex-girlfriend Amy that he was moving on.

But Chloe wasn’t expecting Kyle to wrap his arms around her waist and pull her into a deep and passionate kiss.

Chloe didn’t have time to prepare to have his lips melding against hers roughly as he ran his tongue against her lips, sliding it against her own.

Most of all, Chloe didn’t have time to prepare Elly for this revelation that she was in a casual ongoing fling with her new housemate.

How could Chloe prepare Elly for it?

The former best friends hadn’t spoken in over two months. Since finding out his fiancé had slept with his sister two nights before their wedding when Mark had abandoned Elly in a moment of grief and seeing them over a week later talking about Elly’s pregnancy, Chloe assumed that Mark had issued Elly with an ultimatum to stay away from her or else his marriage to Elly would be over.

Unbeknownst to Chloe, Mark hadn’t exactly verbally ordered his now-wife an ultimatum to stay away from Chloe. But he did make it clear that even to this day he couldn’t touch Elly without feeling sick from the thought of Chloe been intimate with her and Elly having her hands all over his sister. Elly took that to mean that she needed to stay away from her sister-in-law if she had any hope of saving her marriage even though if Mark knew the truth of her deceptions their marriage would be beyond repair.

Even though Chloe had fallen into the kiss and allowed Kyle to deepen it she knew that he was only doing it to make Amy jealous. His ex-girlfriend Amy was engaged to marry his father, Gary. Chloe had fooled around with Kyle, making out with him several times out by the pool at the house they lived in with Aaron, David and Leo, whilst indulging in some sexy times together in secret. With the exception of one other public display of affection several weeks earlier, their fling was mostly kept from prying eyes.

Especially since Paul, Kyle’s boss, wanted Kyle to break up his daughter, Amy, from Gary and didn’t want to see Kyle distracted by a flirty single Chloe.

As Chloe stood there in the pub, making out with Kyle, she couldn’t help but keep one eye open glancing over at Elly. There was still a part of Chloe that wanted to see Elly jealous at the realization she was moving on from her feelings for her. After all, Elly had spent considerable time acting jealous of Chloe’s one-night stand with a water polo player and then Chloe’s entire relationship with Mel.

As Chloe watched Elly’s face contort with stunned confusion and disbelief, she saw that Elly was completely unprepared to be confronted with the reality of seeing her making out with someone new. But Chloe couldn’t be certain what she was witnessing from Elly was jealously.

Realizing that it was cruel and unfair of her to be making out with Kyle passionately while she had her eye on Elly to try and spot any indication of jealousy, and it was also unfair to herself that Kyle was trying to make Amy jealous, Chloe broke away from the kiss.

Chloe pressed her lips gently back against Kyle’s, hoping he wouldn’t take it as rejection as she told him that she wasn’t able to stay for lunch and needed to head back to work.

Kyle let Chloe walk away from him but not before reaching out for her hand and kissing her fingertips softly, telling her in a rather louder than normal voice that they’d continue their make out session at home that night. Kyle was trying to make Amy jealous, but he had no idea that it was instead Elly who was reacting to the news that he and Chloe were in some kind of relationship.

Mark still had zero clue that Chloe was even in the pub let alone what Elly had just witnessed or that she was reacting to it because he was still deep in his own ramblings to Elly.

As Chloe left the bar, she heard three things before she reached the door.

Elly scraping the legs of her chair against the venue floor as she hurriedly rushed to get out of her chair, Elly mumbling “Morning sickness” to Mark and Mark offering to help her.

Chloe imagined that Elly had waived him off, not because Mark shouldn’t follow her into the women’s bathroom just to hold her hair back if she needed to throw up but because Chloe had the very real feeling that Elly was rushing off to follow her.

So here Chloe stood in the hotel lobby, pleading with the hotel lift to take her away from a potential awkward conversation with her sister-in-law over her passionate kiss with her new fling.

Finally, the doors opened and Chloe was thrilled beyond belief that she wasn’t held back by a departing hotel guest trying to struggle to get their suitcase out of the lift.

Chloe pressed the button to one of the floors without even looking, not caring which floor she landed on, before pressing the button to force the lift doors to close. She kept hitting the button like it would make the doors close quicker, “C’mon, c’mon, c’mon.”

Chloe closed her eyes when she heard Elly yell out, “Hold the doors!”

Chloe willed the lift doors to close before Elly reached them, even though she felt such a sense of relief knowing that she was right and Elly had followed her from the Waterhole.

Chloe sighed as the doors closed but an arm shot out in front of them, halting them. The doors opened back up and Elly stood there in front of the lift.

“Can we talk?” Elly asked Chloe, not waiting for an answer as she stepped into the lift.

“I’m in a bit of a rush,” Chloe made excuses but then noticed that the floor she had chosen was the second-top floor just below the penthouse.

Realizing that meant been in Elly’s company for longer than she’d hoped if she had only chosen the next floor up, Chloe sighed.

Elly stepped forwards, her back to Chloe and before Chloe could do anything, Elly pressed the floor button for every single floor of the hotel between the reception level and the second-top floor.

Elly glanced back at Chloe, “Looks like you either have some time now before you get to the floor you want or you can prove you’re avoiding me by getting out at the next floor.”

Chloe rolled her eyes, “Elly, I’m working, I don’t have time for games.”

Elly turned around to stand next to Chloe, “Last I checked, you work in the office on the reception level and don’t have a whole lot to do with visiting the floors of the hotel. I really want us to talk about what just happene--”

Elly was cut off as the lift suddenly went dark. Instead of moving upwards it shut down and stayed in its place on the reception level, stopped in its tracks.

Oh, you have got to be kidding me! Chloe thought as she realized she was now trapped in the lift with Elly and it had shut down.

I hope I didn’t do that by attempting to force the lift the stop at every floor but I’m happy to have even more of a chance to talk to Chloe, Elly thought.