Lily returned to the rented house an hour later. It was dark and cold, but the rain had stopped. There was no time to care about the fact that she was shivering like a leaf. It was probably just her nerves getting the better of her.
She couldn't say she was surprised when she saw two men sitting on the stairs to the front porch. It looked like they were talking like sane human beings -- well, they weren't at each other's throats, anyway. That made this a whole lot easier.
When the two men saw Lily, Dirk stood up roughly. Jamie followed by his example and stood up too.
Jamie was about a head taller than Dirk -- it looked kind of comical actually. Dark and handsome next to tall ruffian in a leather jacket. Jamie's chopper was leaning on the banister of the stairs.
“Dirk, Jamie,” Lily said as politely as she could manage. She didn't quite succeed in keeping the sharp edge out of her voice, but who cared. It made all this seem more dramatic somehow. Lily's heart was pounding hard against her ribs and her insides squirmed.
“Listen, Lily, about before...” Dirk began, but Lily held up her hand.
“Don't, Dirk. You had every right to be upset with me.”
Jamie cleared his throat uncomfortably to remind them both that he was there, too.
“OK, I'm just going to cut to the chase,” Lily began, keeping her eyes off both of them. “I've been thinking and, well, you both know I'm going to have to make a choice.”
“That's right,” Jamie said, arms crossed over his chest.
“Like I said, I've been thinking...” Lily stopped to think about what she was going to say next for a few heartbeats. “And...” She looked up at the two of them. They had both stopped breathing. It looked like Dirk was going to pass out if she waited much longer. It was now or never. She might as well just say it. All this waiting was getting her nowhere.
“I've made my choice, and I choose....” They all sucked in their breath. “No one.”
The two men breathed out loudly. Dirk looked taken aback. Jamie looked angry.
“What? You can't do that!” He snapped angrily.
“I can and I will.”
“So I've waited here all this time to hear you say you choose no one?!”
“'Fraid so,” Lily said with a shrug and a small, crooked smile on her lips. “Now excuse me. I need to go inside to deliver the good news to my fellow heroines.”
Jamie snorted. Dirk just remained silently standing there, dumbstruck.
Lily calmly made her way past the two men. She sighed with relief. See, that wasn't so hard now, was it?
The thing in her chest that had been weighing her down for months was gone and the feeling was fantastic. She was finally free of it all!
She found Leanne snuggling on the sofa with some random guy Lily had never met before. The TV was one, but neither of them seemed to notice the pictures that were flashing across the screen.
“Hi, Leanne,” Lily said happily.
Leanne didn't answer since her lips were locked onto the other guy. Lily would be surprised if they even heard her.
She went upstairs to give Jael a try. Lily knocked once before entering Jael's room. What she saw in there was slightly shocking. Jael was sitting on her bed with a boy next to her. Not just any boy: Potter Fanning, the person Jael seemed to dislike so much. What was more, they were kissing. They both broke apart bashfully when Lily entered the room.
“Not you as well!” Lily said, but she was smiling. “Go, girl.”
“Uh... thanks,” Jael said, face red.
Lily laughed as she closed the door. She was happy that Jael had finally found herself someone to be with. She deserved it. It was a surprise that it was Potter Fanning, but if it was love, then it was love.
She was still shivering, she noticed. She needed to get out of these wet clothes, so she went back downstairs to her room and slipped into her warm pyjamas and stuck her feet in her fuzzy slippers. That helped a bit, but she was still shaking. Lily went into the kitchen to make herself a big mug of hot chocolate. That was exactly what she needed.
“To freedom!” she said before gulping her chocolate down. She burned her tongue, but she didn't really care. She was free of love, after all. Never again was she going to put herself through that shit. It was a waste of time and energy. It just wasn't worth it. She was so done with love -- for, like, forever.>> Next Chapter