I waited where I was for a few minutes, expecting a knock on the door since Luka had left without his keys, or his wallet, or his shoes for that matter. I thought he would be standing outside the door, cooling down, could picture his sheepish grin when I opened it for him.
But there was no knock and when I went to the door the hallway was empty. Of course we had friends and family in the building s he had probably gone to one of them I reasoned, which was fine. Not ideal but… ideally he would never have walked out. Ideally, he would have stayed to talk. Ideally there would have been nothing to talk about.
I went to shower and get ready for bed but couldn’t stop thinking about Luka. Where was he, who was he talking to, was he telling them everything? His best friend Stefan lived in Rome so unless he’d borrowed a phone it wouldn’t be him. He was close to all my family, my dad Vader in particular but I couldn’t see him going to any of them with this.
I settled in bed with a book that really wasn’t holding my attention and thankfully I didn’t have to wait long before I head the front door open and the low murmur of voices. Two minutes went by before Luka appeared in the bedroom doorway and I examined his face anxiously. He didn’t look upset or angry or happy for that matter. He didn’t look much of anything except calm and in control.
“You’re back,” I said then felt like a fool for stating the obvious.
“Of course. We need to talk.” A small smile touched his lips as he came and sat on his side of the bed. “Don’t look so worried Cass, it’s okay.”
“It is?” I frowned feeling confused because it hadn’t seemed that way when he left.
“I wasn’t angry at you or even about your feelings. I was angry at me. I just needed some space to think and realise that.”
“Why? My feelings aren’t your fault.”
He nodded. “They’re not your fault either Cass. They just are. You need to let the guilt go and just see what happens.”
“See what happens?” I repeated. “I don’t…” I shook my head. “Are you giving me permission to be with him?”
“Permission?” Luka held out his hand for mine and threaded our fingers together. “I don’t think that is an issue for us.”
I wanted him to clarify and opened my mouth to ask but he shushed me.
“Listen to me Cass. I was angry at myself for not seeing that there was something going on with you. I felt like I’d let you down somehow. But over coffee I realised that I let us down.”
“I stormed out and when I realised I had no shoes I thought I could at least have coffee. But I had no money so I stopped and collided with a man who offered to buy me one.”
“Nice of him,” I said and Luka nodded.
“So I mentioned our disagreement and he asked me if I was looking to meet someone. He didn’t say it but I felt like he meant to even the score.”
“Ahhh. Now I see why he bought you coffee,” I teased and Luka grinned.
“There was some attraction tesora but I wasn’t looking for anyone.”
“I know Luka. I trust you.”
“I wasn’t looking,” he said again. “But maybe I know what you felt when you met X for the first time. I can see how things can change in an instant.”
“Oh?” I looked into Luka’s golden eyes and saw what I saw on my own face when I thought about Stormtrooper. Uncertainty, fear, excitement, desire. I wasn’t sure how I felt about it which I knew was hypocritical but there was no point lying to myself. “You’re attracted to this… does he have a name?”
“Of course. But you have X so we’ll call him Z.”
“So this Z? He’s interested?”
“He agreed to see me tomorrow so I can buy him a drink so yes, I believe so.”
“Luka,” I chided. “You would know. You don’t have to sugar coat it for me.”
“Then yes Cass, he was interested. Are you angry?”
“A little maybe,” I conceded. “I know I have no right but, jealous also.”
“You have the right. As do I. And I was. Am,” he admitted with a shrug. “But we have always been honest and if your X and my Z can affect us in this way… then I feel we should explore it.”
“This is never what I wanted,” I said quietly. “I don’t want to lose us.”
“I just want you happy Cass. If that means you have a fling or want to introduce him into our life.” He shrugged. “We don’t come from traditional families, we know the way these things can work.”
“So what? We’re both going to date and then one day we’ll all double date and meet each others boyfriends?” I said incredulously and covered my face with my hands.
“Maybe.” Luka laughed and pulled my hair. “Or maybe you’ll get to know this guy and find it is just a crush and in a few weeks well be laughing about the whole thing.”
I dropped my hands to glare as I said, “You don’t believe that for a minute. And what about your guy?”
“We’ll see. I think… we both need to sleep on this, think about if this is what we truly want to do. You never know Cass. Now that you’ve told me everything, maybe he’ll seem less interesting.”
“The thrill of the forbidden?” I considered. “But I told you about him before and still… was attracted.”
Luka shrugged and stood up. “You told me but not everything I don’t think. But like I said, let’s sleep on it. Tomorrow… well you’ll run, I’ll buy a stranger a drink and we can compare notes after.”
“You make it sound so logical,” I grumped as I closed my book and set it on my bedside table.
“We have to start somewhere Cass. I wont let this, whatever it is, destroy us. We’re stronger than that.”
Luka’s words stayed with me as I drifted into sleep. I hoped he was right…