Somebody Needs You 23
"Hmm?" She was lying on her stomach with the pillow pressed to her cheek when she felt his hand on her shoulder pulling at her to turn over. She finally scooted over onto her back before she opened her eyes and stared up into his eyes.
He leaned and kissed her cheek. "Wake up for me sugar. I need to talk to you."
"Hmm?" She looked around a little then looked back at him. "What is it? Did something happen?" She moved to get up, but wasn't awake enough. "What time is it? Where--?" She saw his outfit and instantly felt sick. She'd already messed up his day, but he was dressed up to go out now and she was messing up his night. "Is it time to go to the after party?"
"It's only nine," he said fixing the collar of his dark dress-shirt. "But I wanted to talk to you."
She yawned. "The party?"
"I canceled my plans to go over there." His hands moved to push some hair out of her eyes. "I thought we'd stay at home tonight. I--"
"Oh God," she said and pushed herself up a little in bed. "I ruined the picnic--I ruined the weekend."
"No Sugar," he said and put a finger to her lips and moved a little to sit away from her on the edge of the bed. "I ruined the picnic and messed up the weekend on my own."
"I never should have had Patty over here." His hands went to his head. "I never should have put you in that place with her." He pressed at his eyes. "I should have explained what was going on--I should have--"
"You don't owe me any explanations."
"Were you crying on the phone with Ree?" he asked putting a hand out towards her.
The warmth there was genuine, but she felt like moving away from him. She instantly hated that feeling, but she knew she was going to have to keep her wits about her or he'd be able to turn this into something sexual.
"Wait...did you send her up to--" She sighed. "Were you spying on me?"
He shrugged. "Dani was up here--"
Colleen moved out of the bed and glared at him. She didn't mean to be upset with him or her, but she needed to make sure that he knew she didn't like being checked up on. "Dani needs to mind her own business."
He followed her move and got up and walked towards her. "She was only trying to help out."
She turned on the overhead light and squinted. "We should go to the party," she said.
He sat there for a long time just watching her. "Sugar, you have to understand. I'm new at this."
"New at what?” She rolled her eyes and sighed heavily. “Being oblivious to the fact that someone might actually want more than an autograph from you?"
His mind went into overdrive trying to understand what had gone on. He didn’t understand where her outburst had come from earlier and the things she was saying now seemed clearly out of line. "What?"
"I'm not saying that you treat me badly or anything like that—“ She looked at him. “I’ve thanked you for everything you’ve done and given me, but it seems like we're getting nowhere in this relationship because as soon as I think we're getting somewhere in this relationship you do something that totally makes me think that there is not a relationship there at all--” She began to pant after saying so much in a short period of time.
He could see how things were stuck in place. He hadn’t wanted to make any sudden moves with this. "I never have never intentionally--"
"You might not have done it on purpose, but you did it."
He put his hands up in a surrendering motion. "I'm new at being in love and I'm new at letting someone love me."
Her arms crossed over her chest and she curled her feet up on the couch. "That's laughable.”
“You have more people that love you than anyone I've ever met.” She ran her hands through her hair. “Loving someone doesn’t just have to do with wanting to be with them. I wanted to understand you. I wanted to love you, but you wouldn't let me-“
“Wanted?” he asked, “As in past tense?”
“I’m--Now I'm not so sure I want to any more."
“Well I can’t stop you from not-“
“That’s it,” she said, “You’d go to the ends of the earth for Patty and Gabby and I get left in the dust in one swift move.”
“That’s not fair.”
She laughed. “Do you know how much it hurt to see you go to Gabby and Patty instead of me?”
He frowned. “Go to them?”
“This whole weekend you’ve been searching for them. You were at the skills challenge, you were at the game and at all the parties I’ve seen your eyes searching for something or someone.”
His eyes went wide with surprise. "I honestly thought you understood you have nothing to feel insecure about..."
"Who said I was insecure?” She pushed herself off the couch and started to pace. “I'm saying that I don't know what you want from me because YOU HAVE NEVER TOLD ME! For all I know if Patty were to say come to England with me and help me raise Gabby, you would be on the next flight. You don't owe me anything..."
“It doesn’t matter,” she spit out at him, “It’s the fact that I can see it in your eyes--You look at her like you're a fucking kid in a candy store and she's the biggest lollipop in the world.“
"It's a fucking metaphor," she said rolling her eyes.
"Ok. Ok." He backed away a little.
“You look at them both like a man who is missing his family-” She sighed. “I can’t compete with something I’m not.”
"I should have just told you how I as feeling, but I wasn't sure I could put it into words."
"Anything would have been nice." She sighed a long sigh. "I know you didn't even want me here...so WHY did you invite me?"
"What do you mean I didn't want you here? What are you talking about?"
"I know you needed a date for the weekend, but was that the only reason I'm down here. Because if that's the only reason then I can deal with that--” Her eyes welled up with tears. "--But if that's the only reason then I'll just shut up--"
"Hold up," Lance said, "I--I think we've gotten totally off track somewhere here."
"I invited you here because I wanted to spend the weekend with you. Yes I needed a date, but to save me having to be the ass by saying that, I couldn't think of anyone else that I'd want down here."
"This is just dumb," she said. "I should just head back to LA--"
"No," he said, "Don't do that."
"I just--” she sighed heavily and sat down again. "I just don't get it. I keep trying to figure out what's going on and anticipate what's going to happen so I don't get to girly and pushy and so that I'm a cool girl but give a girl a clue ok?"
Lance went to her side and pulled her into his arms and held her there when she struggled. "I'm sorry. I know that things are strange because of Patty and Gabby and maybe there is still a part of me that is in love with the idea of the two of them, but at the same time I'm trying not to push that on you. Most girls I know don't want the committed thing. They want to do the date and party thing and I'm totally cool with that. I guess I shouldn't have assumed that things were the way they were."
"I don't want this to be strange."
"Colleen. I'm sorry. I've messed this up. I haven't been truthful with you about a million and one things and having everyone else talking about this--" He smiled. "Have I ever told you how much I love you?"
She stopped breathing. She remembered him saying love ya, but never I love you. "I don't know if we should--"
He pulled her into his arms and tried to kiss her.
"Don't--Wait a minute--" She turned away from him and took a deep breath, looking at them in the mirror across the room. "Do you mean that?"
He licked his lips and sighed. "What?"
"What you just said--" She turned and looked at him. "Do you mean it?"
"What?" he asked, "That I love you?"
"Of course I mean it." He moved away from her and started to sound angry. "I said it."
"Sometimes people say thing in the heat of the moment. Or they say them before they realize the consequences"
"Colleen I did not say I love you to get you in bed." He rubbed his shoulder then his forehead. "And what consequences are there for telling the woman that I love that I love her?"
"I didn't think you thought this through." She sat down on the bed and looked over at him. "I don't think that you realize the magnitude or the consequences that come from saying what you said."
He sat down on the bed and rubbed his shoulder again. "What are you trying to say?"
"I'm just saying that I Love you are the three most important words that you can say to someone and we haven't even be dating that long." She put a hand on his thigh. "For God's-sakes you just started calling me your girlfriend."
"So there is a whole time frame and schedule for a love life?"
"No, I am not saying that. I am just saying that this is all moving really fast. I really care about you Lance and I want a future with you. It's just that too much has happened this weekend for me to not be a little weary of those words"
"Are you saying you want to end this?"
"I am not saying that at all. Lance I know that I care about you. I can even cautiously say that I am falling for you. But look at our relationship. Everything has been based around your schedule." She sighed and moved away from him. "Everything has been based around your life. I know that--"
"You sound like Carrah--"
"You are busy and I know that you're being in a group doesn't let you do what you want--" She smiled. "I don't mind being accommodating because clearly it's easier to reschedule my day than yours, but for god sake I have met everyone in your family AND all of your friends. You have met Ree and Spencer... and you just barely dropped into town long enough to make that dinner." She sighed. "I don't want to be greedy, but I want you to know more about me before you start throwing around the L word because I feel like I need to get to know you better before I can say that back to you. I feel it, but feeling it and saying it aloud are too different things."
"So you feel it but you can't say it?" He held his breath for a minute. "I don't think I'll ever understand women."
"Have you ever tried?"
"I didn't mean it to be an insult, but I think you need to sit down a minute and actually--" She paused. "I just think that we've been missing each other. We do all the couple stuff, but we don't do the human stuff. You and I need to just sit and talk or watch a movie or discuss politics or SOMETHING to get to know each other better. I know SO much about you and you know SO much about me, but at the same time you don't know enough and I don't feel like I know enough."
Silence fell over them. She could hear his breathing and could almost hear his brain ticking away at the choice he was about to make.