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Let Me Put My Arm Around You

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"You should really stop smoking if you want Colin to kiss that mouth"

"Oh, shut up Astrid" he really leaned into the posh English whenever he was particularly irritated, it amused Astrid to no end.
Stubbing his half smoked cigarette onto the bench they were sitting on, Nick felt the breeze tickle his neck, it was an unnaturally warm spring day, Astrid had come up to Manchester for the term break, and with nothing much else to do while waiting for Colin to finish his swim meet, they had settled on a nearby park bench.

"Well, I'm not wrong" She smirked, taking a long drag from a cigarette of her own.

Nick and Colin had been what ever they were for about two months now, Astrid had known since the near beginning when Nick called her at 1 am on a school night in a state of panic, not knowing what to do with all of it. She graciously took everything in stride, then told him to get the fuck back to sleep before hanging up.
He was actually happy at this moment of his life, his grades were good, he was in the running for head boy next year, he was getting along better with his team mates, some would even call him popular, and he had Colin.
Every time Colin blushed when he took his hand felt like a victory, this was his first serious relationship, he never even really kissed anyone like he kissed Colin before.

"So..." Astrid started, leaning in theatrically.

"So what?"

"So, what's going on with you and Colin"

"I dunno," shrugged Nick, the embedded gum on the ground has suddenly become very interesting,

"What do you mean you don't know, you're the one who called at friggin' 1 am in the morning blubbering how you kissed Colin and how much you love him and how his lips where so soft, "oh, Astrid, he's my best friend, wah he's so cute-" , jumping up, Nick clamped his hands onto her mouth before she could continue any longer, the ash from Astrid's cigarette threatened to fall onto her wool coat.

"That's kinda it," Nick spat, letting his hands flop to the side, "he's my best friend, if we became a proper thing, what would my parents say, what would Ah-ma say? Should we tell them? I don't know! Even if we don't become a proper couple, I still want him as my best friend in my life. Fuck, Astrid, what should I do?

Tapping the ash to the ground and taking another long drag, his cousin placed her hand onto his shoulder. "Shit, sorry Nick, I didn't even think about that. I just though you seemed happy together."

"It's alright, you mean well, it's nice to have someone to talk to about all of this." Nick said, gesturing vaguely, "I just want to have what I have for now, like a best friend who I get to kiss sometimes, bad way of putting, it I know but it's the best I can come up with"

"No, it's fine" Astrid said waving it off, "It's between you and Colin. So, you really like him?"

"Yeh, I think it might be even more than that"

Colin called from behind them, his hair still wet from the pool. Nick admired another blush blooming on Colin's face as he swung an arm over his broad shoulders, the leftover scent of chlorine, tugged him deeper into attraction. He waved a shy hello to Astrid as he leaned into Nick's neck.


"So, lunch anyone?"