You and Me… We used to be Friends
It was a wonder the ceiling hadn’t given away to the bolt holding the punch bag suspended, what with the way Tobe was doing everything in her power to decimate it. There were cracks in the leather where there hadn’t been before. Eden scowled as Tobe took another swing at it. She had mad boxing skills, she really did, and they had only gotten more frantic when Eden had come down to talk to her.
For two hours she’d sat there watching Tobe.
Three times she’d said hi, only to be very, very carefully ignored.
Now Eden was just tired and pissed off. It really was exhausting pretending everything was hunky dory. OK, so pretending with Noah had been exhausting in a good way and she was glad that they’d finally slept together. It was awesome. Everything about it. The sex. The intimacy. She felt closer to him than she’d ever had but the happiness they had spun between them was fragile. And they both knew it.
Eden heaved another heavy sigh and saw Tobe’s jaw clench at the sound.
OK, enough was enough. “Are you going to be a little bitch for the rest of our lives or do you think you actually might forgive me at some point?” she snapped. She had apologized a million times for what happened to Mhairi. Tobe knew how much she’d cared about the old woman. Why was she punishing her for this?!
Tobe drew to a stop, her features tight with anger. She swiped at her sweaty forehead. “Excuse me?” she asked, her accent seeming more pronounced with her anger. “ ae’ you talkin’ tae me?”
Yeah… way more pronounced.
“No, Mr. DeNiro, I’m talking to my friend Tobe,” Eden cracked.
Tobe grimaced at her lame Taxi Driver joke. “We’re not friends.”
“Yeah we are.”
“Naw, we’re not.”
“Yeah we are. Or we will be once you forgive me.” She pleaded with her eyes. “I don’t like making myself vulnerable to people, Tobe. Surely my sitting here begging you like a virgin quarterback on prom night means something to you.”
“Now that was just disturbing.”
Eden smirked, a glimmer of hope sparking in her chest. “Well?”
Tobe cocked her hip, her eyes still hard. “Fight me.”
Unease gripped Eden. “What?”
“Fight me. Then maybe I’ll think about it.”
Fight Tobe? No way. She was Ankh. Tobe was Neith. She’d kick her ass and have one more thing that she needed to be forgiven for. “Uh…”
The command in Tobe’s voice pressed a button of indignation and Eden found herself standing to her feet, her movements casual as she crossed the distance between them. They stood inches apart. “OK. But I think we-”
The color of blurry flesh flashed before her eyes and pain exploded across her face from her nose. The room tilted and her breath whooshed out of her as her back slammed against the mat. The back of her head smacked against the ground and bounced up. Her eyes watered as she tried to focus, warm liquid dribbling out of her nose. She blinked and looked up at Tobe. Tobe who’d laid her out with one punch. Eden groaned and wiped the blood from her nose, wincing as the broken bone began to knit itself back together. She cracked it back in place to move the process along, hissing at the blast of stinging, sickening pain that shot up her face and into her sinuses. She gasped and pushed herself up on her elbows. Tobe looked down at her triumphantly. As the nausea subsided, Eden noticed the softening around Tobe’s eyes. She eyed the Neith sardonically. “Feel better?”
Tobe nodded and reached a hand out to help her up. “Actually yes.” And then she made a face. “Plus, it’s harder to be mad at you when you’re in my face.” She flexed her hand. “Or my fist rather.”
Eden rolled her eyes, letting her haul her to her feet. She pulled up the hem of her shirt, using it to clean the blood off her face. “Did I get it all?” she wrinkled her healing nose.
Tobe nodded. “Yeah. T-shirt’s ruined though.”
Eden waved her off. “I have a million of them.”
With a yawn, Tobe headed over to one of the benches to sit down and Eden followed her.
They were silent a moment.
“I really am sorry, you know.”
“I know.” Tobe shook her head, tears pricking her eyes. “I just needed someone to be angry with.”
“I get that.”
“I guess I only have myself to be angry with for letting Mum and Dad be taken though.”
“You didn’t let them get taken. And you saved Cam’s life.”
Tobe grunted. “What’s left of him.”
“We’ll get his soul back.”
“Another promise?” Tobe asked bitterly.
“Sorry,” Tobe whispered. “That was a crappy thing to say.”
“Cyrus is working really hard to find them.”
They were silent again and then Tobe cleared her throat, turning to her now with a sad smile. “You and Noah seem really close now.”
Eden shrugged, trying to be all nonchalant when in fact her insides had turned to mush just thinking about him. “We are.”
“Does that mean you traded in the old v-card then?”
Groaning, she shook her head at her. “You’re as dirty as he is.”
Tobe chuckled, a low sound that warmed Eden. “I’ll take that as yes.”
“You do that.”
She snorted and then threw her a wicked half-smile. “Is he as good as he looks?”
Eden slapped her arm and Tobe laughed, brushing her off. Just when Eden was sure she wasn’t going to dignify that question with an answer, she found herself wetting her lips in memory. “Ooh yeah.”
Tobe smirked. “There’s a surprise.”
“Yeah, I know, I know, he used to be a manwhore so he should be good right.”
“You said it.”
“Whatever. He’s a reformed manwhore.”
“That he is. Every time I see you two together in the hallways he’s got his hands on you. It’s kind of sickening actually.”
“Oh yuck it up. You’re just jealous.”
“I am,” Tobe admitted, the levity in her voice giving way to sorrow. “My boyfriend only remembers that he’s supposed to care about me.”
Horror flooded Eden and she glanced at Tobe out of the corner of her eye, understanding washing over her. “You and Cameron? You’re together again?” Last time she checked Tobe and Cameron were secretly pining after one another. They had dated before Eden had even known them but had broken up when Tobe had heard through the grapevine that Cameron supposedly thought it was like dating family to be with her since they’d known one another for so long. When Eden discovered the person who’d told Tobe Cam said that, her suspicions had started to grow, especially watching the way Cameron’s eyes followed October’s every movement. That person had been one of the bitchiest, annoying irritants Eden had ever had the displeasure of meeting - Shona. And Shona had had it in for Tobe, convincing Eden even more that Cam and Tobe had been split up by a devious little shrew.
“Yup. Took your advice, asked him about what Shona said. You were right, it was all BS. We were together and happy until all hell broke loose.”
Eden nodded. “I get that.”