[20] Cuddles

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B O Y ' S

When I wake up I realize that Archer's arm is no longer around me, the warmth I felt when I fell asleep was nowhere to be found. I begin to sit myself up properly, feeling alone and groggy. As I wake up I realize that a throw blanket has been placed on me and that the movie's credits were rolling onscreen.

I look around the room, searching for Archer with my eyes.

"I'm here," I hear Archer's voice say, his body making its way back to the couch.

He places his arm back around me and lays us down a bit, my head against his chest.

"Sofia woke up about an hour ago and then got picked up. I've got cookies in the oven right now and Zac's picking up some takeout," he informs me, his voice low and soft.

I don't say anything and just close my eyes once more, hearing his gentle breaths.

"Grey, I'm not a pillow," he says to me softly.

"You're the one who came back and put your arm around me," I reply matter-of-factly.

"I didn't say I didn't like being your pillow, I'm just saying that I'm not soft like a pillow. Unlike a pillow, I've got defined abs."

I roll my eyes, knowing that Archer loves to boast about his athletic build.

"Archer West is into cuddling, interesting," I say in order to change the subject, ensuring that he doesn't go off on a tangent about his abs.

"Who said I'm into it? I'm simpling upholding my deal that said that we could 'cuddle and shit,'" he says while holding onto me.

"Admit it, you love it," I exclaim with my groggy voice.

"I think you're confused, you're the one who loves cuddling," he states, trying to redirect the conversation.

Archer wasn't entirely wrong, I did, in fact, enjoy cuddling.

I look him in the eyes, wanting to fully read his expression for what I would say next.

"So you're doing this for me? Are you doing this to make me happy?"

He gives me a small smile before replying, "Of course, I would do anything to make you happy."

We look at one another, not uttering a word, and just share a moment. Although we were fake dating, there seemed to be an authenticity to parts of the whole experience.

Our moment is interrupted when we hear a loud noise come from outside, Archer's grip a little firmer on me.

The front door begins to twist open in order to reveal Zac, he's returned with a number of paper bags in his hands. Zac locks the door behind him and proceeds in dropping the bags onto the coffee table in front of us.

"I accidentally kicked the recycling bin on the way in," Zac says, taking a seat next to me.

Archer nods as a form of acknowledgment and sits us up in order to grab the tv remote, choosing a movie on Netflix to play. From the title and glimpse of the movie's description, it would seem to be a comedy. Archer then completely moves his arm from around me, taking out the to-go boxes from the paper bags.

I get up and grab a few water bottles from the fridge, giving a quick glance at the photo booth strip of us before returning to the couch. A mere glance at the photo strip brings back memories of Archer and I.

I continue to glance at the photo strip as I get the last batch of cookies out of the oven, their sweet aroma filling the air.

Once I sit back down Archer's digging into a small paper box, sauce and everything lightly splattered on his face. I laugh at the sight and get a napkin, wiping his face with it a second later. We continue watching the movie and eating, making the occasional comments. Although I took a nap, I still seemed to be drowsy, my accumulating lack of sleep finally getting the best of me.

After finishing his dinner, Archer excuses himself in order to go to the bathroom, Zac's attention diverting from the food and landing on me once he's out of sight.

"You have either become quite the actress or you have started to develop feelings for my best friend. Which one is it?" he asks me quietly, picking at his food.

I say nothing and just continue to eat, not wanting to answer Zac.

"No comment?" he asks.

I just stare at him with a crooked smile, not sure on as to what I should say.

"I have started to develop feelings for your best friend, it's okay if you develop some for mine," he tells me, giving a kind smile.

I return the kind smile, knowing that Zac has good intentions and that Zac likes Arden.

Archer comes in sight and plops himself on the couch.

"I'm tired Zac, we can finish the movie some other time," he says within yawns.

Zac sighs, getting up and putting his jacket on.

"Night lovebirds," he tells us, Archer and I on the couch looking at him.

Zac winks at me and walks out the door, Archer getting up seconds later to lock it. I get up and throw away our trash, Archer shortly after joins me in the cleanup process.

"It's getting late, Grey," Archer states.

"Yeah?" I say, my response coming out more like a question.

"Stay the night, I rather you not drive when you're drifting in and out of complete consciousness," he says, staring at me now.

It wasn't uncommon for me to stay the night at Arden's house, therefore, my dad surely wouldn't mind as long as I informed him that I would be out of the house tonight. Also, my dad usually works late and rather have me in the company of others. My current sleepiness made me want to stay over as well, after all, driving would be a daunting task.

I nod at Archer's statement and in return, he gives me a satisfied smile. He walks off to fetch some clothes I can use as pajamas, returning a minute later with grey joggers and a t-shirt that lacks egg yolk and flour. After Archer passes me the clothes I go to the bathroom to change, finding a new toothbrush in the stack of clothes.

Once I finish getting situated and ready for bed, I make my way out of the bathroom. I immediately notice that the room down the hall's faint light is on, I enter it to see a shirtless Archer who's wearing identical grey joggers.

Archer lays himself down on the unmade white bed and gestures for me to come and lay down with him, I lay down next to him and begin to feel exhaustion take me over. He turns off the lamp on the bedside table right before placing an arm around me, snuggling his nose against my neck.

I give off a small smile that Archer can't see in the dark, content with how today went. However, I still would be lingering on the hope that Zac's presumption wasn't true although my heart was definitely saying otherwise.

Fake dating never felt so real.

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