Erase and Rewind


Friend or Foe

"She looks constipated."


"Yeah she does, look at the way her face is scrunched up tight – you definitely shouldn't use this shot."

"She doesn't look constipated," I defended my friend as we both stared at the photo of Jenna sitting on a bench at the park.

"She does, her face is comical man. She looks purple, it's like she's going to burst any minute – constiiipaaated," he sang and ducked his head so I couldn't swat it.

Drew Summers was a bit of a joker, always upbeat and fun to be around. I'd met him through my photography class this year when we ended up working together on a group project. There was something about him that always put a smile on your face and it hadn't taken long for us to become friends, hanging out together from time to time. He'd dropped round tonight to help me mount my photos for our current project, which involved us documenting people in an everyday setting; it was imaginatively named 'The Simple Life'.

We were currently sitting on the living room floor, arguing over a photo of Jenna; I liked the picture and he didn't. I liked to think I'd caught her at a moment where she looked thoughtful, whereas Drew thought she looked constipated and that I shouldn't use this photo to display some of my development work.

"You're just bitter because she turned you down," I told him as I snatched the photo out of his hand.

"Yeah, I'm still mending a broken heart." He grabbed a hold of one corner of the photo and yanked it out of my grasp. "It's ugly, let me help you by getting rid of it."

"Drew!" I lunged at him as he made an attempt to tear up my picture and we both ended up rolling on the floor as I tried to snatch the photo back from him. When he wouldn't let go I jabbed him in the stomach with my elbow.

"That's not playing fair," Drew moaned as he placed a protective arm on his stomach.

"I play dirty," I said triumphantly and held the prized photo in my hand. I had my back to him and was too busy crowing in my victory to notice he had edged closer to me.

"Well if you're going to play dirty..." I never got a chance to reply because at that moment Drew's fingers found their way to my sides. I squealed loudly and collapsed on the floor as his fingers dug into me.

A girl once asked me if I had a fear of anything and I had told her no. I wasn't the type of girl who was scared of bugs when I could easily squash them with the heel of my shoe. Spiders didn't bother me, I loved roller coasters so heights were never a problem, snakes didn't faze me and I absolutely adored scary movies. But as brave as I might pretend to be there was one thing that always managed to get me and it was something not a lot of people knew – I was ticklish as hell.

"Drew!" I screamed at the top of my voice, my sides aching as he continued to dig his fingers into my skin. I kept twisting my body but the boy just wouldn't give up, soon I felt like I was running out of breath as I continued to squeal at the top of my lungs.

"I give up, I give up," I repeated over and over again, hoping he'd show some mercy. When his fingers finally stopped I could have cried with relief. I slowly got up off the floor and pushed my messy hair out of my face.

I glared at him when he just stared back at me, no remorse evident on his face. "That was very mean of you," I scolded him.

"You know your face looks as constipated as Jenna's photo right now." I growled as his words added more salt to the wound.

"Just you wait, I'm going to get you back for this. But it won't be anytime soon oh no I'm going to make you wait and suffer, and just when you think you're safe – bham!" I slammed my hand on the coffee table to add more dramatic effect.

"I'm pissing my pants," Drew sniggered at my threat. "But don't you think you'd better get the door?" When I continued to stare at him blankly he rolled his eyes and pointed a finger out to the hallway. "The doorbell's been ringing for the last few minutes, idiot."

I scowled at him for the name calling and headed out the room to find out who had popped round.

As soon as I opened the front door I wished I hadn't because standing there on my porch in all his glory was Connor Thompson. My heart sank immediately. He was the last person in the world I expected or wanted to find standing outside my house, though judging by the strain on his face he didn't seem very happy to be here either.

"You going to let me in, Lee?" I didn't want to, I really didn't, but Gran would have my hide if she found out I hadn't let one of her favourite people into her house.

"If I have to..." I threw the door open ungraciously and headed back towards the living room. I didn't bother to wait for him, he knew his way around. Besides, I thought it would be wise if I used those precious minutes to compose myself and to delay the inevitable confrontation that was about to take place.

"That's not –" Connor's voice trailed off when he realised we weren't alone, having spotted Drew sitting on the sofa looking slightly disheveled. He didn't say anything at first, but I knew the clogs in his brain were working in overdrive as he analysed the scene. "I don't think when Grandma said make yourself at home she meant 'have sex on my sofa.'"

I should have known he wasn't going to soften his words, but after over a year of being Connor free I wasn't prepared for his attack.

"Uni hasn't changed you at all has it, Connor? You're still the same bastard you were when you left and for your information we weren't having sex." He raised an eyebrow as he looked me over. His gaze lingered on my messy hair before moving down to take in my crumpled clothes. I forced myself not to react as he continued to slowly rake his eyes over my body, but I instinctively crossed my arms in front of my chest. I was aware of Drew's watchful eyes and hoped that he wouldn't interrupt, thankfully there was at least one gentleman in the room.

"Not that it's any of your business," I retorted.

"Right," the tone of his voice was patronising and it only managed to piss me off further.

"What the hell are you doing here?"

"So it's okay for you to come into my house any time you want but when the roles are reversed?"

I fumed at his arrogance and had to force myself not to reach across and strangle him. "Listen you dick, I only ever go over to your house when Gran sends me on some errand so don't go al–"

"You okay, Lee?" Drew's voice broke off my rant and I turned to see that he had moved beside me, obviously all the shouting had drawn him out. "Is this guy bothering you?" He rested his hand on my lower back to calm me, immediately Connor's eyes were all over us, a smirk settling on his lips as he noticed the way Drew stood behind me protectively.

With Connor's gaze on me and his words still ringing in my ears, I stepped away from Drew's arms.

"It's okay, Drew. Why don't you go into the kitchen and get us both a drink?" My voice was much softer now as I silently urged him to just leave the situation alone.

"Getting guys to do your job for you now, Lee? You used to be able to take care of yourself," Connor taunted. I glared at Connor for being such a prick. I could tell Drew was ready to pounce and Connor was only pushing him to his limit.

"Don't," I warned Drew, hoping he would ignore the urge to punch the smarmy git in front of us. "The drinks please, Drew." Thankfully Drew saw the plea in my eyes and headed for the kitchen leaving me and Connor to ourselves.

My stomach was a ball of nerves as I stood before him. The antagonism between us was familiar territory, but I'd gotten used to not having to watch my back around him that this whole situation was a bit daunting.

"What do you want, Connor?"

My head had been spinning so much since yesterday when I found out Connor was back that I hadn't had time to think things over. He'd been gone for over a year and as the saying goes 'out of sight, out of mind' and I had definitely pushed Connor Thompson to the very back of my mind.

"That's not the way to greet a friend, Lee."

I laughed bitterly at his statement. "We're not friends."

"No we're not. The only thing we had in common was –" Mary. He didn't say her name but he might as well have, it was the proverbial elephant in the room. I closed my eyes and wished I'd never opened the door, but when I opened my eyes again he was still here.

"What do you want, Connor?" I asked again except this time my voice held a weary tone. For one brief moment I thought I saw something in his eyes, maybe a sign he was tired of all this as I was, but then the shutters came down over his eyes and he was the same Connor as always.

"Nothing from you, Leah," he replied acidly. "I just came to drop something off for Grandma."

He grabbed a hold of my hand before I could stop him. I tried not to flinch, but it must have shown because he clenched his jaw. His gaze locked with mine, daring me to say something. Just as I opened my mouth to give him a piece of my mind he let go of my arm and turned his back on me. It all happened in a matter of seconds but his actions left me reeling, so much so that I never noticed he'd dropped something into my hand. It wasn't until I was alone that I felt the weight in my palm. I looked down and finally noticed the small brown leather notebook he'd left behind.


This chapter is slightly different to the original upload, some changes here and there that I think improve the chapter as a whole. Sadly I no longer have a beta so please ignore the grammatical errors, feel free to point out any mistakes you spot. I know I should get a new beta but it means that the speed in which I can upload new chapters will be much slower and I really don't want that.

Thank you to everyone who's reviewed, I appreciate all the feedback and comments that I've got so far; it's especially encouraging as it motivates me to continue with these re-posts when I wish I'd finished the story already rather than having to start again from scratch.

There's an element from this chapter, something that happened, that will find a resolution/continue later on in ch 26 (I'm almost done writing ch 26). For those readers who've read this story before you might have an idea as to what this thing could be; but either way I thought I'd tease you guys a bit and let you know there's an important part here that will play a key factor later on.

In other news, I've been making some necklaces for a charity event that I'm taking part in. My poor fingers are currently suffering from an accident with superglue, you do not want to get the stuff on your skin! Unfortunately I was rather careless and I'm now paying the price :(

I'll post some pictures of the jewellery I've made on my LJ. For anyone who's interested my LJ addie is: addicted2cocoa. livejournal .com (minus the spaces)

I've also posted a prologue of a possible future story once E&R is finished called "Echoes" on LJ. Please note my journal is friends only.

There may be another update before the end of this week, it depends on how this jewellery stuff pans out.

Slightly ott but has anyone heard of Lianne La Havas? Her duet with Willy Mason on "No Room for Doubt" is simply stunning, it's currently on a loop whilst I'm writing E&R. Check it out if you haven't heard it.

Until next time...