Chapter Seven

Lily rushed down the hotel hallway and slipped into the elevator seconds before the doors closed. She pressed the lobby button then slumped against the wall and sighed.

“You okay?” someone asked her.

Lily jumped, not having realized there was someone else in the elevator with her. She looked up and saw Brian looking at her with those blue eyes that made her knees weak. “Yeah,” she answered quietly.

Brian continued to gaze at her. “So…you look like you’re in a hurry…”

“Yeah, I’m meeting JC for lunch and I’m running a little late,” she said, avoiding his eyes.

Brian looked down at the floor. “Oh,” he said softly.

The two were silent for a minute. The light in the elevator flickered on and off then went dim as the elevator stopped suddenly with a jerk. Lily was thrown toward Brian and they both fell to the floor, Lily on top of Brian. She looked at him for a few seconds then rolled off him and mumbled an apology.

Brian stood and picked up the emergency phone. He put it back a few seconds later and sighed. “We’re stuck.”

“What? What do you mean we’re stuck?” Lily demanded.

“The phone’s dead.”

“Oh my God…This can’t be happening. I can’t be stuck here with you…” Lily said, more to herself than to Brian.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Brian asked with a hurt voice.

“You know what it means. You haven’t been the easiest person to be around lately. You’re so moody and distant.”

“Well, I’m sorry. I’ve been dealing with a lot lately,” Brian said, somewhat defensively.

“I know! And I’ve wanted to help—tried to help—but you keep pushing me away!”

“Really? You’ve been so busy with JC I’m surprised you even noticed I’m around,” he said bitterly.

“That’s not fair.”

“So? Life’s not fair. So what’s going on between you and JC? You sleeping with him?”

Lily looked at him, shocked. “That is none of your business!”

“So you are,” Brian concluded.

“No, I’m not. But even if I was, what do you care?” she asked.

“I don’t.”

“That’s the whole problem, Brian. You don’t care. If you did, things wouldn’t be this way.”

“Maybe I do care. Maybe that why things are this way,” he said.

“What are you saying?” she asked.

Brian sighed. “Nothing.”

“Brian…”

“I said nothing!”

“Fine! I don’t even want to talk to you when you get like this,” Lily said. She walked over to the corner of the elevator and sat down. She was thankful it was dark and Brian couldn’t see the tears that started to run down her cheeks. Why did she put herself in the position where he could hurt her again?

Brian heard her muffled sobs and felt awful for hurting her. Why did he say those things to her? He always spoke before he thought when he was upset, but that was no excuse…He made her cry. “Lily…”

“Leave me alone,” she said through clenched teeth. “I don’t want to talk to you right now.”

Brian sighed and leaned against the elevator wall, cursing himself silently for being such a fool.

~*~

Lily slammed the door to her hotel room and fell onto her bed. Vicky put Caitlin down in the playpen and sat on her sister’s bed. “What’s wrong, Lily?”

“Today has been the worst day of my life.”

“What happened?”

Lily sat up. “Well, you already know that I woke up late. Then after I left, I got stuck in the elevator with Brian and we had a huge fight and I ended up crying. And then JC told me he leaving tonight and that we shouldn’t get too close because he doesn’t know when we’ll see each other again…I’m telling you, the day from Hell.”

“Wow…I’m sorry, Lily. That really sucks,” Vicky said.

“Thanks…So how was your day? Not as bad as mine, I hope.”

“Well actually, it was pretty good. AJ and I spent the day watching Caitlin. It was nice. Then he asked me to go out with him tonight.”

“Like on a date?” Lily asked.

“Yeah.”

Lily smiled. “That’s great, sis. I’m really happy for you.”

“Thanks,” Vicky said with a smile. “Are you gonna be all right?”

“Yeah, I think so…but I don’t know how much longer I can put up with this…”

“What are you saying?” Vicky asked.

“I love this job, Vicky. I really do. I love Caitlin like she was my own daughter and the guys are great. But I cannot stand fighting with Brian every time we’re in the same room. It’s too hard. I’m seriously considering quitting this job,” Lily said sadly.

Vicky was quiet for a moment. “Are you sure that’s what you want?”

“No, it’s not what I want…but it doesn’t look like I can have what I want. Ya know, I’d even settle with just being friends with Brian, but he won’t even let me…Vicky, will you hate me if I decide to leave?”

Vicky looked at her sister. “No, I won’t hate you. I’ll be sad about leaving everyone, especially AJ, but I won’t hate you. If you think you’ll be happier if we leave, then I support your decision.”

Lily hugged her sister. “Thank you, Vicky, but I don’t know if anything I do will make me happy.”