recap: simon has fled the apartment.

Simon realized as he reached the basement that he had forgotten a laundry basket. An audible groan escaped his lips. He couldn't see himself carrying a full load of clothing back to the flat without dropping everything all over the stairs but he wasn't going to rush back to Briala's all too eager arms. He would do anything rather than face her again. Scanning the room for a possibility his eyes lit on an empty wicker basket in the corner. He thought he recognized it as Angelo's. Angelo wouldn't mind if he borrowed it briefly. He took his time trundling his wash into it. Spreading it over the tall table in the middle of the room he seated himself on a stool and took time to fold everything. Simon was not good at folding laundry but he could do it if he took the time. T-shirts usually turned out a little wrinkled and sometimes Eon's smocks had creases in them but no one really minded. When he had swept the floor and gathered all the random clothing from the corners to the lost and found bin he figured that Briala had probably grown tired of waiting and left. It was after six. He slowly began ascending the stairs, taking his time, in case she hadn't left yet.

He fumbled with his key to open the door. Balancing the basket between the wall and his hip. Briala shrieked as he opened the door, snatching his purple t-shirt off the top of the basket. She pressed it to her face and sighed, " I love this shirt! You wore it yesterday, didn't you?" But Simon wasn't listening. He had pushed passed her, down the hall, dumped the folded laundry on his bed, and raced back out the door.

"Where are you going?" she shouted.

"Have to return the basket!" he replied, not looking back. Briala watched him all the way down the stairs. Eon simply shrugged and continued talking with Briala who was stroking Simon's cotton t-shirt.

Simon stopped short at the door to the laundry room, wicker basket trembling in his hands. Emerson Grey say on the high table, reading a magazine. She jumped down when she saw him.

"Simon," she said, puzzled, "why do you have my laundry basket?"

Simon's face turned its usual colour in situations involving girls.

"Is it yours? I'm sorry. I…um…forgot mine. And n-needed one in a pinch so I-" he handed the basket to Emerson, turned and ran back up the stairs. He wondered which was worse. Briala or Emerson. He didn't pause to consider. He just ran back to the safety of his apartment.

"It's your turn to cook." Eon announced as Simon entered the apartment. "and Briala is staying to eat. Do you think I should invite Angelo and Emerson?"

"Not Emerson!" Simon gasped. Eon turned to stare at him.

"Alright. Hubbout Angelo?"

"That's fine. You can invite him if you want. Actually, I think I will go get him!"

"No, I'll call." Eon said, cell phone already in his hand. Simon moved stealthily into the kitchen to start dinner. Briala wandered in after him, sitting at the cheap kitchen table and adoring the way he cut vegetables. Simon pretended not to notice her but his neck and face were hot and red under her intense gaze. It seemed like an eternity until Angelo arrived.

As a full blood Italian, Angelo knew how to cook good food well. He joined Simon at the stove, telling him what to do with the pasta and vegetables while Eon and Briala held friendly conversation.

To Simon cooking was almost as wonderful as creating music. Usually he preferred to work alone but tonight Angelo's presence was greatly appreciated. His smooth accent intertwined with the silk Italian words sounded beautiful. And Angelo's shoulder length ringlets which were the color of bottled light did well to attract some of Briala's attention away from Simon. Eon's pants were still too long and he found himself tripping over the hems several times while cooking.

"So," Angelo finally asked Simon whole they were mincing cloves of garlic, "the girl- who is she?" He kept his voice low and smiled wickedly at Simon.

"I met her in the park yesterday and she followed me home tonight." Simon whispered. "I don't know how to get her to leave off without being rude or hurting her feelings."

"That could be a problem. Eon seems quite taken with her."

"What!?" Simon gasped, turning around to stare at his best friend and the girl. Angelo deftly turned Simon's head back toward the knife in his hand. Simon seemed irritated. "My best friend and that…girl!?" he hissed. It couldn't happen. It wouldn't! Eon wasn't that stupid! Angelo shrugged and scraped the garlic into the pan, stirring it around with a bamboo spoon. He watched it brown for a moment before adding tomatoes, onion, and some sort of green cut in small pieces. Fresh basil Simon decided by the smell as it joined the sauce.

At dinner Briala sat as close to Simon as she possibly could. Every few minutes Simon would inch his chair closer to Angelo and she would follow. By the end of the meal Angelo, Simon, and Briala were all bunched together at one end of the table while Eon sat alone at the other.

Briala also proved to be a bit of a dingbat but Eon didn't seem to mind. As a matter of fact he seemed to find her absolutely fascinating, a fact which mildly disturbed Simon. He wondered what was wrong with him.

Finally, after dinner and a movie, Briala left. Simon collapsed on the couch, loosing a huge sigh and running two hands through his hair. Angelo sat down on his right, laughing.

"I'm glad I came tonight." he said, " I find this whole situation very entertaining." Simon flushed and pulled his t-shirt over his head to hide it. He let the shirt sit there for a moment, cowering like a turtle in its shell. Eon finally jerked it off and threw himself down next to Simon, chucking the red t-shirt across the room.

"What I wouldn't give to be you." he breathed. Simon wanted to throw the shirt over his head again. He felt very exposed sitting between his two best friends in only a beater and Eon's black pinstripes which were long enough to serve as a floor mat as well as pants. With his bare feet wriggling inside the legs and his hair sticking out at odd angles. Eon shoved Simon off the couch. "Where do you find girls like that?" he demanded, stretching out with his legs over Angelo's lap, his head and feet resting on the arms of the couch. Simon shrugged and looked down at the floor.

"She's coming up tomorrow too." Eon said. Simon's brown eyes flew open. He looked furiously into Eon's face.

"no!" he gasped. Eon nodded, casually. Simon sputtered something before turning to Angelo, "May I move in with you tomorrow?" he asked earnestly.

Angelo shook his head. "I'm helping my cousin Emerson move in tomorrow. If you want to help out I'm sure she wont mind, though."

"Emerson?" Eon asked, "Emerson Grey?"

Angelo nodded, "You've met her?"

"You bet we have." Eon said, looking at his hands.

"I'm going to play my guitar in the park tomorrow." Simon announced finally. "and I might go and visit the Children's home or work late or something. Just be sure that I will not be around.

A/N: critique required. PM me! or review.