A/N: Surprise! I really had no plans at all for a third instalment, but to my annoyance and happiness, Ben and Hailey just won't go away. They're still taking up residence in my head, yelling at each other over all the other din. I'm not sure how far this one will go. It will really depend on reader response. Heaps of people asked for more Hailey and Ben, so here you go. But because I'm really lazy, it will kind of be supply and demand. If no one wants to read it, I won't do it. This is a pilot if you will. So let me know if you want more!
"Whenever It Rains she's bound to be falling
Whenever it pours she's always down
It feels like a game 'cause she is always scoring
But numbers are vague and the rules cannot be found"
- Whenever it Rains, Gorgeous
I've discovered that it rains a lot in Melbourne. For supposedly the world's most liveable city, the weather is really shit. As a matter of fact, it's raining right now. Not that it's bothering me all that much. I've got too much uni work to do to be worried about the weather. At the moment I'm sprawled out on the couch, listening to Gorgeous, a fantastic Brisbane band and trying to start the essay I'm supposed to hand in tomorrow.
Ben's not here. It's probably a good thing. He goes stir-crazy in the rain when he has to stay inside. I really don't need his ramblings and fidgeting while I'm trying to study. He and Liam are at the studio, trying to start on the next album, the same way I'm trying to start my essay. I hope they're having more luck than I am. I dropped my pen with a sigh. It wasn't working. As I moved my hand the huge rock on my left hand caught the light. I stopped and looked at it. Good god. I often forget that Ben and I are engaged. As soon as I catch sight of the ring though, it quickly comes back. It's a beautiful ring. Fairly simple, but not plain. I've always hated huge, garish ring. I guess Ben knew that, because this ring is exactly my taste.
Deciding I was tired of admiring my ring and listening to mellow music I stood up and stretched before walking over to the CD player and hitting 'disc skip.' Like pretty much everything else in this house, the CD player is huge and expensive. Students aren't supposed to live like we do. They're supposed to have to scrimp on everything and live really cheaply. Two minute noodles every day of the week. Granted, we didn't pay a cent for the house. And granted, the CD player is Liam's that he saved for years to buy. But I still get the feeling that both boys are making more money from this music business than they're letting on. One of Ben's random CD's started to play. I wrinkled my nose as some weird, crazy Japanese techno music came blaring through the speakers. God that boy is weird. Why he had Japanese dance music mixed in with his Pearl Jam and Coldplay was beyond me. I hit the button again and wandered into the kitchen as Ben Harper's diamonds on the inside began to play. I didn't know who'd put that in there. It could be any of us; all three of us own that CD. My phone rang as I pulled the milk from the fridge. Ben insists that I keep my phone on me every single moment of the day. I even have to have it sitting on the vanity when I'm in the shower. 'In case he wants to talk.' I pulled it from my pocket and opened it. "What?"
Ben's face appeared on the screen, looking sheepish. "Hi baby. How's the essay going?"
"Great guns. What's up?"
"Well, uh. It's not my fault." He said in a rush. "Promise you won't hurt me."
"Ben it's a little hard to strangle you over the phone. Believe me, I've tried." I commented, flicking the kettle on to boil. "Tom wants to talk to you." He said.
"Who's Tom?" I asked, as his face disappeared. I heard muffled voices in the background. A second later, a thumb appeared on the screen. "What the…"
I knew it was Ben's thumb, by his Maori ring. He'd drawn an angry looking face on the pad of his thumb. "Ben has to work late tonight." The 'thumb' said in a gruff, Godfather-like voice. "It's not his fault. I'm making him. He's very sorry. He wanted to come home but I said, 'no. You have to stay here until we get this done.' Ok sweet cheeks? Ciao."
'Tom' vanished and Ben came back. "I'm so sorry Hails. I have to stay longer than I thought. Blame Tom. He's a slave driver."
"I take it that was Tom Thumb?" I asked dryly. Ben nodded.
"Mean bastard isn't he?"
I sighed. I was pissed off. This was the fourth night in a row I'd be home by myself cause Ben had to work late. "I'm sorry." He repeated pouting.
"That won't work." I said grumpily. He gave me his puppy dog eyes.
"Neither will that."
He resorted to seductive, bedroom eyes. "Fat lot of good those will do you." I said. He laughed. "LEIGH! Get off that damn phone!" I heard Liam roar in the background. Ben turned and gave his brother a few of his favourite Greek swear words. Just about the only Greek he knows. "I have to go baby. Love you." He pouted again. I gave him the finger. Ben lifted the phone to his mouth and snogged the screen. "See you when I get home." he said, wiping his spit off with his sleeve. I just rolled my eyes and hung up on him. I sighed and looked around the empty house. I was sick of being on my own. My eyes fell on that stupid essay, lying on the coffee table waiting to be finished. I sighed again. Another evening of fun.
Liam and I got home just after twelve. Giggling quietly as Liam stubbed his toe on the bottom step, I opened the door and let myself in. I smothered a yawn as I rounded the top of the stairs and walked into the living room. The stereo was still playing Gorgeous. Smiling slightly, I walked over and peeked over the back of the couch. Hailey was asleep, her head resting on her unfinished essay. Walking around to the other side of the couch, I bent and lifted her easily in my arms. I frowned. She weighed nothing. Either I'd gotten stronger, or she'd lost weight. I definitely knew it wasn't the former. I made a mental note to ask her if she'd been eating properly as I carried her into our bedroom. "Night Li." I called softly as I closed our French doors with my foot. Laying her down on the bed gently, I unzipped her heavy jacket so it wouldn't strangle her while she slept. I pulled down the covers and slid her thin body between the sheets. I frowned again as my fingers danced over her rib cage. I was pretty sure she hadn't always been that thin. Shrugging it off, I pulled the covers back up and headed into the bathroom to shower. When I came out again, trying to dry my hair Hailey had woken up. "Hey gorgeous."
She glared at me. Because she was still half asleep her glare ended up making her look cross-eyed. "I'm mad at you remember?"
I dropped my towel and stepped into a pair of flannelette pyjama pants. I love flannelette. I'd wear it all the time if Hailey would let me. "Don't be mad at me." I whined. "I'm sorry baby. I really am. I promise I'll make it up to you." I said, sliding in beside her and kissing her forehead. She turned her back on me. "You said that four nights ago." She grumbled.
I blinked, wounded. I had thought that beer and footy on the TV was an excellent make up. I wrapped my arms around her waist and pulled her back against me. She was already nearly asleep again and didn't protest. Her body fit perfectly against mine. I gave a small smile of contentment. This was how I wanted to fall asleep every night. She was so warm and soft and smelt so good. Almost a month had passed since I'd proposed to her. By the time I'd actually worked up enough guts to do it, the only people who hadn't know about it were my mum…and Sean. Mum was over the moon. I think she was just relieved that I'd proposed to Hailey before she figured out what a Bogan I actually am. Mum was afraid she'd be stuck with me forever. Sean on the other hand, was not so ecstatic. He'd actually tried to brain me with a microphone stand before Liam had stepped in. Mackenzie had cried. She'd thought she and Jared would be way before Hailey and me. I'd thought that too, personally, given that the two of them act like Wilma and Fred Flintstone already. Oh well. Gigia was over the moon. She even put away her wooden spoon in honour of the occasion.
But since then, Hailey and I haven't been back to Brisbane, so she hasn't seen her parents and I haven't seen mum. We also haven't spent much time together. She's at uni and working at an ice-cream store on Lygon Street, and the band is keeping me busy all the time. Liam makes a good manager, but he'd make a better nazi. He's got all the tactics down already. Still, I'm grateful that seeing as though someone has to yell at me, it's him and not Michael. I feel kind of bad about dragging Hailey all this way, away from her friends and family only to leave her alone most of the time. She understands, but she is getting fed up with me saying I'll be home and then not turning up, and I don't blame her. I will have to try and make it up to her.
Hailey shifted in my arms and rolled over so she was facing me. I dropped a light kiss onto her nose and watched as she buried her face in the crook of my neck. Her heavy, even breathing told me she was still asleep. I felt my own eyes begin to grown heavy. A couple of minutes later I was asleep. When I woke up the next morning, it was still raining. Surprise! Hailey was still asleep, curled up against my side. I took a look under the sheet and groaned. Hailey wriggles around a lot when she sleeps, mainly against me, often resulting in my groin waking up long before the rest of me does. I ran a hand through my hair and sighed. I knew that when Hailey woke up she'd still be pissed at me, so there was no chance of her helping to undo the problem she'd caused. "Stop sighing." She snapped irritably, without opening her eyes. "Sorry." I apologised immediately. I ran a hand gently up and down her back. She sighed and involuntarily moved towards my touch. "What time is it?" she muttered.
"7:10." I replied. She groaned.
"I have to get up."
"No don't." I said, nuzzling her neck.
"I have to. Have a lecture." She said grumpily, sitting up.
"God, you're so grumpy in the mornings." I said.
"Only the mornings when it's raining, I have to get up early and you're pissing me off." She replied. "Well stay here, and you won't have to get up, I'll stop pissing you off and…I really can't do anything about the rain, but I can shut the curtains. Don't go…"I whined. "Stay here and play with me. Fuck the lecture."
Hailey rolled her eyes. "I'm not going to 'fuck the lecture' cause you want me to stay here and 'fuck' something else just cause you're hard. You're hard every morning."
"God. What is wrong with you this morning? Is it THAT time again?"
Hailey glared at me and backhanded me with her pillow as she climbed off the bed. "Oh right. Just because I'm in a bad mood must mean that I'm premenstrual right?"
"Well are you?"
"No! I'm just in a shit mood ok? God knows you have them often enough. By your reasoning, you must spend half your life with PMS."
My eyes widened. "Did you just call me a woman?"
"No. You're not pretty enough to be a woman." She grouched, storming into the bathroom and slamming the door behind her. I shook my head. "Jesus Christ Li." I complained to my brother, slouching into the lounge room and flopping onto the couch. "Woman. Who needs them?"
Liam grinned at the TV. "You do Casanova. You'd be completely lost without a woman telling you what to do all the time."
My head lolled to the side as I thought. "That's probably true. Hailey's pissed at me for something. What do I do to get her un-pissed so she'll blow me?"
Liam hit me over the back of the head. "That was on Hailey's behalf. You shouldn't want to make her un-mad just so you can get off you pervert."
"I can't really think of any better reason." I replied.
"God Ben. You supposedly love the girl. You want to marry her. Be romantic. I'm pretty sure she's not marrying you to be your live in sex servant."
"She's not?" I asked in wonder. Liam looked at me.
"I really wonder where I went wrong with you." He said. I just shrugged. He sighed. "Do something nice for her. Show her that you do in fact love her, and do appreciate her as a person rather than just a piece of ass."
"She's a nice piece of ass." I commented. Liam shook his head again.
"I'm not hearing this. Look Benjamin. Be romantic. You've hardly seen her at all this week. No wonder she's pissed at you. I bet you woke up this morning and asked her for sex, didn't you?"
"It was her fault in the first place that I woke up in the condition I did."
"Well maybe, after not having seen you in a week, she didn't want to wake up and hear that the first words out of her boyfriends mouth were 'fuck me.'"
"I didn't say it exactly like that." I protested.
"Well whatever you said. Look. You have the whole day off for once. Plan something nice for her. Go and pick her up from uni and take her somewhere."
I pondered. "Reckon she'd like to see a car rally? There's one on in Geelong today…"
"No Benjamin, I do not think that Hailey would like to see a car rally. Think harder."
"What about a monster truck derby?"
"What about…I take her and we go and throw random objects at cars!"
"You still do that?"
I sighed. "Then was do you suggest Romeo?"
Liam looked at me with a smirk. "Is there ever going to be a time when you don't come to me asking how to please your girlfriend?"
"Probably not. So what do I do?"
Liam sighed. "What you should do, is this…"
I was still fuming when I got out of the shower. I have barely seen Ben in over a week. I was pissed even before he asked for sex about him not being home on time four nights in a row. What a wanker. "Hi, how are you honey? Can you blow me now?"
And now I had a day of boring lectures and an even more boring shift at the ice cream parlour to look forward to. I was so sick of that place. The work was boring and the pay was shit. Nowhere near what I was making at the bar where I was working until Ben cracked the shits. Yet another reason he's pissed me off. He never apologised for that.
I finished getting dressed in jeans and a plain white wife beater with a black bra underneath. I threw my hair into a ponytail, grabbed my bag and left the room. Ben was sitting on the couch when I walked into the room. He looked up. "Are you going babe?"
I ignored him and grabbed my keys and phone. "Ok. Have a good day then," he babbled, completely oblivious to my anger. I snorted in disgust. "Bye Li." I said, completely ignoring Ben and thumping down the stairs. Asshole.
Liam grinned at me as Hailey banged the front door shut. "Man she's so pissed. You won't be getting any for weeks."
I rubbed at my hair. "Tell me about it. This plan of yours had better work Li. I mean it."
Liam just waved a hand carelessly. "It will. Don't worry."
I slunk down lower on the couch, subtly trying to adjust myself. "You'd better hope so buddy."