Blu Braithwaite, I’m in love with you.’ It was the first thing Brodie thought to himself on the morning after their first night together. They’d been talking over the phone for at least two months, with such busy schedules since the first “date” in her office, eating Chinese opposite each other, they hadn’t been able to get together.

This date was two months and change in the making, and as it so happened it was at one of Franny’s summer barbeques…

‘Are you going to this thing on Saturday at Francesca Milan’s?’

‘Franny is one of my best friend, you know that right?’ Blu said to Brodie, over the phone. They’d been talking since that dinner in her office, she enjoyed his conversations, looked forward to it with butterflies in her tummy. Their phone calls were long, hours long into the small hours of the day, they talked about everything and nothing and the more they talked the more Blu liked Brodie Sterling. He was nothing like his mother, guarded sure, and all those things one would expect a man of his ilk to be, but he was also very sweet and kind and fun.

‘Ah. Okay…’

‘What was that for?’

‘What was what for?’

‘That tone I detected. Do you know Francesca?’

‘I do, I’ve done stuff with her husband. Roland’s a cool guy.’

‘Enough said.’

‘I didn’t say anything.’

‘You didn’t have to Brodie. Franny is one of my best friends, you need to know that.’

‘Understood. Are you going on Saturday?’

‘I hadn’t planned to, I have to fly to Japan on Sunday morning but I get in on Saturday afternoon. Don’t you have to fly out on Saturday night in prep for the launch?’

‘Can you come? I feel like I haven’t met you since that day in your office-’

‘But we’ve talked every day for hours on end.’

‘I know… it’s just weird that we are in this thing and haven’t seen each other for over two months.’

‘What thing?’ Blu laughs.

‘A relationship.’ Brodie wasn’t shy about it, he thought of her as his girlfriend even if they hadn’t addressed this situation of theirs. They haven’t even so much as kissed, but he’d never met a woman like Blu Braithwaite.

‘Are we in a relationship Brodie?’ Blu needed to know, she liked him a lot, so they have to address this thing they have.

‘Would you Blu, like to be my girlfriend? All day, all night through the long distance and the short, endless phone conversations and the fact that sometimes we might go weeks, maybe months without seeing each other? I would like that very much because I’ve never met a woman like you.’

‘Go on…’ Blu giggled.

‘You’re smart, so smart, and funny, and cool. You are the coolest woman I’ve ever met. Damnit you’re sexy and beautiful and kind and did I mention sexy?’

‘I believe you have. Brodie we’ve only met once-’

‘And talked every day for the last nearly three months. For hours. You know the baggage I come with, my mum, the press and everything else but-’

‘It’s not baggage, it’s a part of who you are and I don’t hold that against you. Any of it. I come with baggage too, everyone has their baggage.’

‘Mine is so public.’

‘Are you trying to end us before we begin? Before I’ve had a chance to answer your question?’

‘Blu I’m not trying to end us, I would very much like us to be an us-’

‘Then I’d love to be your girlfriend Brodie Sterling, baggage and all. And yes, I will be at the barbecue on Saturday if you’re up for it.’

‘I can’t wait to see you.’

*

‘You came because Brodie Sterling was going to be here?’ Franny was the first of her friends to accost Blu as she hopped out of the black cab.

‘Oh be quiet you.’

‘I won’t be and you brought him cupcakes?! Blu! You really like him. Like really like him and see you’re blushing.’ Franny started in that Miss Congeniality tune, it is only her favourite movie.

‘Would please stop!’

‘I won’t. You’re blushing. Oh Blu you’re glowing. He looks good on you and I haven’t even been formerly introduced to him.’

‘You know him don’t you?’

‘I do, and I know he’s not so fond of me, but-’

‘I’ve told him you’re one of my best friends and that’s that. Whatever happens between you two I don’t care I just don’t want to be caught in the middle of it.’

Franny leaned in and hugged her best friend. ‘My lovely best friend Blu.’

‘Oi you two!’ Dada called to them from the upstairs window, ‘hurry up and get in here we need to tease the couple du jour.’

‘You know she luuuuurves him, yes she is blushing.’ Franny sang.

‘And she looks pretty. So very sexy.’ Dada carried it on.

‘She wants to kiss him and-’

‘I hate you guys.’

‘Oh no you luuuuuurve us so very much so.’

Roland opened the door from inside and shook his head upon seeing his wife tease one of her best friends. ‘I’m sorry Blu.’

Brodie came out to meet her. ‘Hey.’

‘Hi. How are you?’

‘Good. You?’

‘What are you waiting for? Kiss your girlfriend.’ Franny said, hands on hips. Everyone else was looking at the couple.

Blu looked at her friends and shook her head, ‘don’t listen to them. We don’t have to kiss on their command.’

‘But I want to kiss you.’

‘Whoop!! Whoop!!’

Cheers erupt all around.

Blu shakes her head with a little laugh.

Brodie stepped forward, and gently kissed his girlfriend for the first time since they started dating two months and change ago.

‘That’ll do.’ Seamus came to their rescue from inside the house.

They endured the good natured teasing of their friends, this was a small and intimate gathering, and Franny stuck to the friend circle with one or two family members. By the time they were ready to leave, Brodie had been welcomed as one of them.

‘So where to next?’

‘Don’t you have to get to the airport?’

They were standing outside having said their goodbyes, waiting for Brodie’s car to be brought round by the valet.

‘I pushed my flight out to tomorrow night.’

‘Me too.’ Blu corked her head to the side, ‘would you like to come to my place?’

‘Yes!’ Brodie whispered triumphantly, which made Blu laugh.

It was a night to remember…a night that remained with Brodie for some time to come. So much so he woke up the next morning and said to himself;

‘Blu Braithwaite I am in love with you.’ It was the first time he’d ever allowed himself admit to such feelings.

Brodie pulled into the driveway of the place he’d come to love, the familiar sight welcoming to him. It is the first time he has felt something close to peace since coming home.