It was the first time Alice had seen and gotten to talk with Natasha in a while. They’ve been living in the human world for almost a month, and while Alice and Caleb were off exploring new places with their friends (or in Alice’s case, her new girlfriend Candy), Natasha was always alone in the house. Alice felt guilty.
“Can we talk?” Alice asked. Natasha said sure and they sat down in the living room.
“What do you want to talk about?” Natasha asked.
“I actually wanted to talk about, well, you,” Alice said. “How are you? I feel like I’ve been seeing you less and less.”
“Oh, I’ve just been busy,” Natasha replied dismissively.
This surprised Alice. “You? Busy? I’ve never seen you leave the house since we got here.”
Natasha shrugged. “I don’t need to go outside to do stuff. I’m just working on something and I want to keep it a secret for now.”
“Well, okay…” Alice stood up. “I respect your privacy. If you’re ready to tell me, I’m all ears.”
Natasha watched her get up to leave and sighed. She couldn’t handle all this secrecy anymore. She was dying to tell someone about it. She stood up and walked to Alice.
“Do you really want to know?” Natasha asked. Alice nodded. “Promise you won’t tell Caleb?”
“I promise,” Alice said.
“Okay,” Natasha said. “I’m writing a book.”
Alice gasped and clapped her hands with glee. “A book? What’s it about?”
“It’s about, well, us,” Natasha admitted. “But it’s not done yet. My publisher keeps making me do all these dumb revisions.”
“Natasha that’s amazing! I can’t wait to read it!” Alice said. “You better make me look good in it.” She added, winking.
Natasha laughed. “You’ll be the first to read it once it’s officially out.” Alice, unable to contain her joy, hugged Natasha. Natasha allowed it, feeling happy that there was finally someone she could share her excitement with. It looked like their move to the human world was doing both of them good. She wondered briefly how Caleb was doing…
“You didn’t want me to get drunk so you brought me to a bar?” Caleb asked, incredulous.
Wolfgang rolled his eyes. “You don’t have to drink alcohol, you know. They have juice and stuff.”
“Yeah but alcohol’s more fun,” Caleb said, laughing. “What are they doing?” He asked, pointing to the wall-mounted television.
“They’re playing basketball. It’s really just for the ambiance, no one who goes here really pays attention to the TV,” Wolfgang explained. Caleb nodded, not quite sure what basketball was. They placed their orders and sat down at a vacant table. The bar was fairly busy, but this time they could have a conversation without having to shout.
“Anyway,” Wolfgang said. “I really wanted to talk to you about something.”
Wolfgang took a deep breath. “I tried to tell you this last week but… I chickened out.”
Caleb took a drink of his orange juice. Wolfgang had insisted he order something non-alcoholic.
“Okay so what I’m trying to say is,” Wolfgang continued. “I was wondering if you… you liked the nightclub we went to?” Wolfgang wanted to kick himself.
“Seriously? That’s all you wanted to tell me?”
“Yeah.” No, it wasn’t.
Caleb looked at him. He could tell there was something bothering Wolfgang, but he decided not to press it. If there was something Wolfgang really wanted to say, Caleb figured he should just let him say it in his own time.
“Yeah, it was fun,” Caleb replied. “I don’t really remember much of what happened, though. Oh but I did remember that girl.”
“Oh, her,” Wolfgang said, remembering how that random girl just grabbed Caleb’s phone.
“Yup, her name’s Yuki,” Caleb said. “I invited her over, actually.”
“Oh?” Wolfgang looked down, staring daggers at his own drink. “What did you guys do?”
“We just talked and stuff,” Caleb said, leaving out the part where Alice yelled at him for leaving Yuki all alone. “She’s pretty cool. She likes video games.” Wolfgang was seething.
Their evening continued with just idle chatter, but it wasn’t like their usual banter. Caleb could tell Wolfgang was tense. They left the bar and walked outside into the chilly night.
“Okay, I know why you’ve been so weird lately,” Caleb said.
Wolfgang’s heart started beating faster. “You do?”
“Yeah,” Caleb said. “You like Yuki, don’t you?”
Wolfgang stared at him.
“That’s why you got all moody when I mentioned her,” Caleb continued. “You think I’m trying to get it on with her.”
“You’ve got it all wrong,” Wolfgang said quietly.
“Then it’s a lovers’ quarrel, huh? You guys had history and she’s using me to make you jealous.”
“I’m not jealous of you,” Wolfgang scoffed.
“Oh, really? So if I call her up now you won’t freak out?” Caleb grinned, waving his phone in Wolfgang’s face. Caleb was just teasing him, but there was a part of his brain that, for some reason, was freaking out over the possibility of Wolfgang having feelings for Yuki. Caleb’s hand was trembling imperceptibly as he unlocked his phone and prepared to dial Yuki’s number.
Caleb looked up, his finger hovering above the call button.
“Just stop,” Wolfgang sighed. “It’s not Yuki. It’s you.”
Oh. Oh. Caleb felt warmth creep up to his face as the realization dawned on him. Everything made more sense now, and he felt like a complete idiot for thinking Yuki had anything to do with it.
“I like you, okay?” Wolfgang’s voice was shaking. “But I didn’t know how to tell you. I was scared because I knew if I told you, it would ruin everything. You wouldn’t want to hang out with me anymore. And I couldn’t imagine not being able to see your face or hear your voice and I–”
Caleb kissed him. He couldn’t help it. He was just so relieved hearing that Wolfgang liked him that he just wanted to hug him and kiss him and not think about anything else. After a while, he realized what he was doing and pulled away.
“Oh jeez. I’m sorry,” Caleb said, embarrassed. “I didn’t mean to do that. Well I mean I did but I didn’t mean to interrupt you. I’m so sorry.” Caleb covered his face with his hands so Wolfgang wouldn’t see how red his face was.
Wolfgang pulled Caleb’s hands away from his face and held them in his own. “Your sister was right,” he said.
“What?” Caleb looked confused.
“You are a dingus.” Wolfgang said, laughing. “All this time I thought you didn’t like me. Do you know how many hours I’ve slept this past week?”
Caleb shook his head.
“Zero! I couldn’t sleep because I was thinking of ways to make you fall in love with me. And I was going to confess earlier but I chickened out and then I thought you liked that weird girl from the nightclub.” Wolfgang was shaking again, but this time with laughter. Caleb couldn’t help but laugh with him.
“Kiss me again, you dingus,” Wolfgang said in between his fits of laughter.
Caleb kissed him again, melting in Wolfgang’s arms.
[I’ve been waiting for SO LONG to write this chapter. I just wanted for these two boys to finally get together that I was literally smiling the entire time I wrote this.]