Eddie looked Emily in the eye, not willing to answer her unless she knew he was telling the truth.
“Yes,” he said calmly, willing his voice to not betray the emotions rolling through him. He wasn’t sure how Emily would take his confession, and he was dying to know what her sudden intake of breath meant.
“For how long?”
Eddie ran a hand through his hair and down his neck. He held onto his neck, staring up at the ceiling and wondering how much she could handle knowing.
“As long as I can remember,” he answered honestly, still not looking at her.
“But I was with Nick. Why didn’t you ever say anything?”
“Seriously?” Eddie asked, finally meeting her eyes. He didn’t want to try to interpret what he saw there. “You just answered your own question. You were with Nick. I wasn’t going to do anything to mess that up.”
“You just let me go on with him even though you liked me. I met him through you. You were the one who introduced us.”
Eddie thought back to the day Emily and Nick met. It wasn’t so much that he introduced them as he was out with Nick when they ran into Emily. As much as he wanted to keep her to himself, he couldn’t ignore his friend’s immediate interest in her. Eddie did what any friend would do and stepped back so his buddy could get the girl. He’d never told Nick about Emily, how much he liked her, so there was no reason for Nick to back off.
“I wasn’t going to keep you apart when I hadn’t worked up the nerve to ask you out. You both seemed to like the other when you met. I didn’t want to get in the way.”
“So you stepped back,” Emily answered.
Eddie nodded. “I know you’re still not over him. It was clear when you saw him tonight. Don’t think our friendship needs to change. I know where we stand and I’m okay with it. But, uh, I think I’ll head out. I really shouldn’t have come up here with you.”
Eddie didn’t give Emily a chance to say anything. He rushed out of her apartment and hurried down the stairs before she could follow him.
Not that he thought she would.