~ The Courage Series ~
Blaine sensed movement toward the door, and he ducked into the bathroom just as the door down the hall swung open. Flattening against the bathroom wall, he left the door open enough to be able to hear. A.J. plowed down the hallway with Eve right behind him. They stopped on the other side of the bathroom threshold.
“A.J., come on. Tonight was supposed to be special.” She stopped him by grabbing his elbow and swinging him around. “Lisa and Jeff knocked themselves out to make this nice for us. Please, please, don’t ruin it.”
The pleading in Eve’s voice was so desperate, it wafted over Blaine’s heart as well.
“Please.” She moved toward A.J., and Blaine let his gaze fall to the darkness. It was such a private moment between the two of them, how could he not? “I know you think the world of Melody, and I love you for that. I know you want to protect her, but please don’t cause a scene tonight. Tomorrow you can call her and let her know how you feel about Bobby.”
“What? Am I supposed to just let him have a wide open shot at her tonight?”
Eve backed up from the intensity of his voice. “Maybe… Maybe, we could… I don’t know. Do something so she doesn’t go home with Bobby, but with someone else.”
“Like who? Except for Dante who’s like 12 years older than her…”
“Maybe Blaine. He’s here too.”
A huge whoosh of air went into Blaine’s lungs and clung there.
“Blaine? Spoiled little rich jerk Blaine? Oh, yeah. Like that’s an improvement.”
Eve softened. She really was trying. “Come on, A.J. Blaine’s a nice guy. You should give him a chance.”
It was like forever passed before either of them spoke again. There wasn’t a fiber of Blaine that had moved, and his muscles had begun to atrophy. Yet how could he move? Not only would they know he had heard everything, A.J.’s already dim view of him would surely be set in concrete from then on.
“Fine,” A.J. spat. “Fine. I won’t say anything tonight. I’ll call her tomorrow.”
The breath Eve breathed coupled with the soft kiss she put on A.J.’s cheek about did Blaine in. A.J. Knight didn’t deserve her. He wondered at that moment if any man did. With that they moved on down the hall. Long after they were gone, quietly, slowly Blaine closed the door and counted to 70 before he turned on the light.
When he did, the first thing he saw was his reflection in the mirror over the double sinks. He wanted A.J. not to be right. He would’ve fought it with his fists had he had the chance. But looking into his own eyes, what did he really see? A guy who was living a flagrant lie and flaunting a life he could only dream of living. With a shake of his head, he dropped his gaze and gave up trying to figure it out. There was no answer. Not a good one anyway. So it was better to forget it, and move on.