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Rated: E · Chapter · Young Adult · #2072986
Outside the Café and Inside the Kitchen....three friends navigate their final school year
***AUTHORS NOTE*** This is part three in a running story, please read parts one and two to fully understand where part three begins. Enjoy!

         “Damn.” Chloe muttered under her breath as Louise glared at her from across the table. That was obviously what she was trying to tell me, she thought. Moron, Chloe.

         “Mickey! Hi!” Jo almost seemed to swoon at his feet like a damsel from a romance novel. “I’m surprised to see you here, I thought you’d be spending some time with your Dad. Doing some shopping?”

         He smiled his winning smile, reminding Chloe more of an animal bearing it’s teeth before it sinks them into its prey. “I had to get some new shirts before school on Monday. I wanted to look good when I saw you again.”

         Louise made a quiet gagging noise just loud enough for Chloe to hear, though she quickly covered it with a cough. Chloe had to stifle a laugh as she threw her friend a look.

         “I was going to wait until Monday to catch up with you,” he started, giving the others a pointed glance. “but if you’re free now, maybe I could refresh that coffee and you can fill me in on what I’ve missed?”

         "That would be lovely, thank you.” Jo replied, ignoring the girls’ obvious yet silent protests as she knocked her almost full cup into the nearby bin. “I can catch up with the girls anytime, right guys?”

         "Sure, ok - if that’s what you want.” Chloe replied flatly, picking up her bag as she stood. Although Michael was tall for a boy of seventeen, for a girl of the same age Chloe was practically Amazonian. Pulling herself as tall as she could, she held his gaze and stared him down with her best icy glare. “We’ll leave you two to it then.”

         “But we’ll see you tonight, Jo.” Louise added, following her lead. “We’ve got that history project to work on, don’t forget. So you need to be at my house by seven.”

         “Sure, yep, seven. Bye!” She gave them a dismissive wave of her hand, and was immediately lost to shine of that smile.

         “You’re friends are worried about you.” He observed as he sat down in Louise’s now empty seat. He had developed a slight accent since he’d been away, not exactly Italian, just a bit of an odd twang. She wondered fleetingly if he was putting it on for her sake. If so, she was flattered. “They don’t think I’m good for you.”

         “No! No, I don’t think it’s that at all.” She replied a little too quickly. “They’re just looking out for me, after last time. It’s what friends do.”

         He smiled, and all too clearly she remembered the pain she had felt after he left. The thought that she’d never see that smile again...and now he was back!

         “I’m so sorry about how I left things, Jo.” He said to her now, reaching across the table to brush his fingers against hers. “I wish we’d had more time together.”

         Brushing aside the flashback of their kiss goodbye, Jo struggled to focus on the reality. She gave him a bright smile and said casually, “Well you’re here now, so let’s just leave the past in it’s place, OK?”

         His smile broadened, and this time his hand lingered, stroking a line across her palm. “I’d like that, Jo.” He told her. “I’d like that very much.”

***Next part to come ASAP, thanks for reading!***
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