If Only Tonight

Blurry Dividing Lines: Chapter Thirty Seven - Break Her Heart...

A loud shrill ring emitted from her pocket. Her cell phone was ringing. Who could it be? Mia wondered, as she juggled the laptop and files in her arm, to free her hand and get the phone. She had just finished her work, and was heading back to her room.

"Hello?" She said, answering her phone.

"Who's Jeremy, and how many times have you seen him?"

Mia laughed, as she struggled to get her keys. Her room was coming up.

"I see you got my email. Shouldn't you be sleeping? It's like well past midnight over there right?" Mia asked. It was Stacie.

"I can't sleep. Insomnia has become the flavour of the week." She replied cattily.

"What's wrong?" Mia asked with concern. Between the two of them, Mia had been the one who at times couldn't sleep. It was never Stacie. Even when there was a paper deadline looming, Stacie would sleep like a log.

"Thank you for being concerned, but don't change the subject..."

Shaking her head, Mia opened her door.

"Look, I'll tell you whatever you want. Just tell me what's wrong, why can't you sleep?" Mia bargained.

Closing the door behind her, she placed her things on the coffee table; and fell on to the couch.

"Is it the research group, or teaching?" Mia asked.

"Teaching is easy...it's my group. They are a nightmare! It's like they all have writer's block!" Stacie fumed. "I've given them all the help I can, but they are having trouble writing papers, and I have no idea what to do."

"Have you talked to them about what's bothering them in the writing?"

"You think! I've been spending days with them one on one! I thought maybe their experiments were inconclusive, but they have all the information they need. I went through every last experiment done in my lab. They're just being lazy!" Stacie vented.

"You know, we were like that too sometimes." Mia reminded her. "It'll probably pass. Just give them a few days alone."

"Yea, yea, Brooklyn. You've been out of the loop for a while. Remember the publish or perish mantra?" Stacie retorted.

"It's about quality not quantity."

"Yea, yea...We'll see how that goes. So...less about me, more about you! Now spill about the guy. Who is this Jeremy? How many times have you talked to him?" Stacie changed the subject, sounding a little bit relieved.

"We email back and forth. I didn't give him my number, yet. He is this guy-"


He had no idea when she had gotten back, but unable to keep his curiosity at bay, Matthew walked in to the living room only to find Mia on the couch talking on her phone.

"He is this guy-" She stopped in mid-sentence, having seen him. Mia looked startled.

"Hold on, Stace." She said, before placing her hand on the microphone.

"I didn't know you were here." She said, giving him a once over. He had dressed in black dress pants, with a black dress shirt.

"I needed a quick change after the gym." He explained, going to the bathroom to check his appearance.

"What? Got a hot date?" Mia called from the couch. He heard her whisper something on the phone.

"Something like that."

Exactly like that, he thought. Having deemed himself presentable, Matthew returned to the living room.

"Don't worry, you have the place to yourself. I'm going to head home." He told her, as he grabbed a light coat.

"Have fun." She said, as he opened the door to leave.

Closing the door behind him, Matthew wondered who this guy was. She was seeing someone? His blood boiled at the thought. You have nothing to complain about, the rational part of his mind countered.

Trying to erase the thoughts from his mind, Matthew stepped outside the complex, and headed for his car. At least he knew that there was a girl waiting for him at the bar...even if it wasn't Mia.


"Have you seen Matthew?"

Turning around to see Oliver leaning in her doorway, Mia smirked.

"Isn't that my line?" She asked him.

Chuckling, Oliver came inside the office.

"It is...but today I'm borrowing it. Have you seen him?" He asked, looking over her head to see her computer screen. A page from the paper she was reading was open.

"I think he left to go on a date."

"Another one?" Oliver asked, exasperated.


"What is this...like the fifth one this week?"

"Pretty much."

"The week isn't even over yet..." Oliver shook his head.

"Is it even the same girl?" He asked her.

"I have no idea. He never tells me anything." She answered.

"Well if you see him before I do, tell him Felix wants him to sit on the panel before the match on Saturday." Oliver told her.


Mia had just returned to her work, when she heard Oliver.

"By the way, are you going to the dinner?"

"Dinner?" Mia asked, a little confused.

"Yea, it's at the end of this month. 30th of September...for cancer research." He told her.

"So that's what the email was about..." Mia thought aloud.

"You didn't read it?" Oliver looked at her in disbelief.

"Nope...I thought it was another reminder to show up to your practices." Mia shrugged.

He laughed as he heard this.

"Is the admin ordering you guys to show up?" He asked.

"Pretty much. But in my defence, I have been showing up."

"Good thing too, we wouldn't want you to get in trouble. Anyway, I'll see you later. I have to take Ariana to the doctor."

"Okay, tell her I said hi." Mia told the blond player, as he waved goodbye before leaving.

Left with her thoughts, Mia leaned back in to her chair. It was starting to annoy her that Matthew was going out while she was confined to the complex working like crazy. What bothered her even more was that she didn't know who he was going out with, whereas, Matthew and the other two players made it their business to know where and who she was going out with.

Major double standard, she thought.

Although, it had benefited her that they knew; she couldn't help but feel as though Matthew should have been just as open when it came to his whereabouts.

Glancing at her cell phone to see the time, Mia decided it was about time to go home.

Leaving her work on her desk, Mia thought that it would be a work free night. I'll watch a movie before going to bed, she decided. Logging off her computer and shutting off her laptop; Mia locked the door to her office.

It was a short walk to get to her room. Searching in her pockets for her keys, Mia finally found them and unlocked the door to her room. Flicking on the lights, Mia was unprepared for the sight on the couch.

"What the-" Mia freaked, as she took in the scene.

A blond haired girl in a strapless red dress was sitting on the couch that Mia shared with Matthew and Oliver. The blonde had her arm around his neck, and the two were locked in a passionate embrace.

Hearing Mia, they both jumped apart. Matthew ran a hand over his hair, and straightened his shirt. The girl looked at her and frowned.

Quickly regaining her senses, Mia turned on her heels.

"I'm really sorry...I didn't mean to interrupt." She said as she closed the door behind her, before Matthew could say anything to her.

Running down the hall to the stairwell, Mia bounded up the flight of stairs to the only place she knew she could go.

Walking down the hall of the second floor, Mia checked to see she had the right number. She knocked on door 307.

As the door opened, Nathaniel peered out from behind.

"Do you think I can stay over?" Mia asked, hesitantly.

"Sure, you're lucky Ivan's gone to visit his family for the week. We can watch something." Nathaniel said, as he let her in.

"Do I need to ask?" He said with a grin.

"Guess..." Mia muttered.



"Did he say something stupid?" The brown haired player asked with concern.

"No...he just didn't tell me he was going to bring a guest over."

"Oh." Nathaniel mumbled, as comprehension dawned on him. "Awkward..."

"You have no idea..." She muttered under her breath.

Mia sat on the couch, remembering the sight. She could feel her heart breaking in to tiny pieces. I don't have feelings for him, she told herself trying to calm down. The pain was translating in to anger. At least, I don't now...


Feeling a little guilty about the previous night, Matthew walked silently through the building.

After Mia had left, Matthew had decided that it had been stupid to have brought the girl over, albeit he was rather late coming to the conclusion. What was her name? Matthew thought blankly. Emma...Emily...something like that...he tried to recall.

It wasn't long after the green eyed girl had left that Matthew had decided to call it a night. Feigning exhaustion, he had walked the other girl out. There was no way he was going to spend the night with just anyone. Cleaning up the apartment, the dark haired player had waited for Mia to return. When that had seemed unlikely, Matthew had driven home.

She wasn't supposed to have come to the apartment so early, Matthew thought regretfully. He had thought Mia would be working late, had he known otherwise, he wouldn't have brought the girl over.

Reaching Mia's office, Matthew found the normally open door closed. He knocked, but no one answered. She's not here? He wondered. She was never late, was she that upset with him? Not everything is about you! He berated himself.

Leaning against the wall across from the office, Matthew decided to wait. He wanted to clear things up with her. After all, she had been more than nice to him.

It was a few minutes before he heard a voice coming from down the hall. As it got closer, Matthew saw Mia appear.

"Yea, it was really nice seeing you." She was talking on the phone, smiling, holding a steaming cup of something. It's probably hot chocolate, he guessed, knowing how much Mia disliked coffee.

"Sure, how about tomorrow? Same place, same time? Works for me. Bye!"

There was pounding in his head. Was she talking to some guy? The guy...the one she was talking about to her friend? Matthew could feel his stomach clench.

He saw Mia look over to him, at once her smile was gone.

"What are you doing here?" She asked, coldly. Clearly, she remembered the previous night. Mia turned her attention to unlock her office door. She stepped in, with Matthew right behind her. It was all clean, compared to the last time he saw it. The pile of papers was gone, and the office looked like it was back to its usual spick-and-span state.

"I just wanted to talk to you. Clear things up."

When she didn't say anything, Matthew continued.

"I'm really sorry about the other night. Before you jump to any conclusions, nothing happened. It was just a - " He found himself saying, before Mia interrupted him.

"Look, Matthew. I don't want to know what you do or who you date in your spare time. I really don't care." She told him, aptly.

Silenced, Matthew watched as she put on her lab coat. The white coat whirled to a stop, over her jeans and black sweater dress. The gold heart he had given her glittered in the fluorescent lights. Mine, he thought before being able to stop himself.

"Just give me a heads up next time." Mia told him, as she turned to face him. Her expression had softened.

"Don't worry, there won't be a next time." He assured her.

"Whatever." She shrugged, turning on her computer.

"Oh...I forgot, but Oliver was looking for you. You have to sit on a panel before the match on Saturday. So you'll be in the pre-game interview on Friday." She told him, before tending to her work.

Standing there awkwardly, Matthew watched as she got looked for her things. Not knowing how to make it up to her, Matthew asked her the only thing he could.

"Why don't you come with us to Mahiki? We're all going tomorrow night."

"Why?" She asked, curiosity written all over her face.

"For a night out, you know to relax. Besides you hardly go out with the team." He told her, when he really meant 'Let me make it up to you'.

"Okay..sure...can I bring a friend along?" She asked, agreeing, as she sorted through some papers.

"Sure. Why not..." Matthew didn't know what to make of it. Usually it wasn't as easy to convince her...but she had actually agreed in one shot. Is she bringing the guy? He was fuming.

"Alright, then I'll come." She confirmed.

Not knowing whether he had just lost the girl he wanted, Matthew dragged his feet out of the office. What have I done? He thought with chagrin.


"Good book, yeah?"

Glancing to see who was speaking to her, Mia saw Jeremy sit down across from her.

They had agreed to meet up at a coffee shop, once again. Since meeting at Waterstone, Jeremy had emailed Mia. After a few emails, Mia finally agreed to meet for a quick coffee break. He seemed genuinely nice, something she had not encountered very often in between meeting the team and Ryan.

Knowing she would probably be early, Mia had brought along a book. She had been looking forward to doing some reading.

"Yea, it's really good." She told him, smiling. Mia showed him the cover of the book.

"A Brilliant Darkness. Sounds interesting." He said, reading out the title.

"It is. A while back I saw this documentary on a physicist, Ettore Majorana, so I got curious and decided find out more about him." She said, explaining. Mia still remembered that time; Matthew had stayed up with her...it had been after Jason. Shaking off the thought of Matthew, Mia suggested they order some food.

As the waitress came over, Mia ordered a hot chocolate and two brownies while Jeremy ordered coffee and a bagel.

"Did you get the books you ordered?" He asked, taking off his jacket.

"Yea, I picked them up a few days ago."

"Same, I managed to get them yesterday." He told her.

"So how's work?" He asked her, as their order arrived.

"Can't complain." She said to him. Having not told him exactly where she worked, Mia was cautious not to reveal too much about her life and of those around her. Before Jeremy could question her any more, Mia asked her question.

"So are you doing anything tonight?"

Jeremy looked at her, an eye brow raised.

"Nope. What do you have in mind?"

"I'm going to Mahiki with a few friends from work. Would you like to come?"

Watching him mull over the answer, she waited patiently, hoping he would say yes.

"Well since you asked. Sure I'll go. Want to meet me there, or should I pick you up?" He asked her.

"I'll meet you there?" She said tentatively, Mia was itching to get back behind the wheel of her Challenger.



Music was blaring, the lights were flashing, there were people everywhere.

Glancing around, he looked to see if she had come. He had been feeling rather stupid for allowing Mia to bring her friend. All day he had been feeling as though he was losing her. Losing her to some idiot guy, he thought angrily, leaning against the wall.

"Looking for someone?" Came a voice from beside him.

Looking to see who it was, Matthew found Oliver looking at him with curiosity. The blond haired player offered him a drink.

"Shouldn't you be at home with Ariana?" Matthew shot, as he took the tumbler from his friend's hand.

"She invited Lina and a few other girls over. So she kicked me out for a few hours." Oliver grinned.

"So who are you searching for, Matty?"

Matthew glared at Oliver for calling him that. It was bad enough both Leon and Lina called him that, now his best friend was calling him by his nickname in public. What if someone heard?

"Firstly, don't call me that! Secondly, I'm not looking for anyone." He said, adamantly.

Taking a huge gulp from the tumbler, Matthew looked at Oliver only to find the older boy smirking.

"What?" He asked, furiously.

"You're looking for Mia, aren't you?"

"No!" Matthew tried sounding appalled. Oliver wasn't buying it, he looked at Matthew with one eye brow raised.

"Okay...maybe...yes..." Matthew muttered, knowing it would be difficult to fool Oliver, if the older player was already suspicious.

"Did you ask her out?" Oliver asked.

"No. Why would I?" Matthew asked, a little uncomfortable.

"How would she know to come, if you didn't ask her too?"

"I asked her to come, but I didn't ask her out on a date." Matthew clarified.

"Ohh...I see. That would explain it."

"Explain what?" Matthew asked in confusion.

"The guy over there with Mia."


Having arrived with the party in full swing, Mia scanned the room for her roommates. Almost at once she saw Oliver, and with him was an irritated looking Matthew. At least, she thought he looked a little disgruntled.

"So where are your work friends?" Jeremy asked, coming over to her. He had apparently arrived before her. "I'd love to meet them."

Mia turned to see Oliver wave to her, Nathaniel had joined them. Taking a deep breath, she knew she couldn't keep them a secret forever.

"I'll take you to see them." She said to Jeremy, and they started walking to where the trio stood.

Finally approaching her the guys she called her friends, Mia saw Oliver smile warmly at her.

"Hello." She said quietly.

"Hey Mia! So who is this you've got with you?"

Oliver knew how to break the ice, Mia thought. She saw Matthew momentarily glare at the blond player, before turning to Mia with a calm expression.

"This is Jeremy. We met at Waterstone." She introduced the man beside her.

Turning to Jeremy, she saw him awestruck. That had been exactly what she was avoiding.

"You work with them?" He asked her in surprise. "I've watched you guys play..."

"Wow..." She muttered. "This is Oliver, Nathaniel, and that is Matthew."

"Nice to meet you, Jeremy." Oliver offered a hand, Jeremy hesitantly shook it. The older player was always the easiest to get along with. She saw Nathaniel appraise the guy next to her. Seeming to approve him, Nathaniel greeted him.

"Hello." He said, giving Jeremy a quick hand shake.

She saw the ice cold glint in Matthew's eyes. Please, please don't do anything stupid, she pleaded silently. She stared at the ground, awaiting his cold remarks.

"Hey." She heard him say. Mia looked up to see he hadn't moved or offered his hand, but he wasn't looking as unfriendly as she had known him to be.

Breathing a sigh of relief, Mia was glad that he had not given Jeremy the cold shoulder.

"I was there when you played against Manchester United two weeks ago!" Jeremy exclaimed, as he looked at them, amazed.

Mia and the three footballers cringed simultaneously. They had lost against United ...three - nil. It had not been one of their best games. Defeat had been hard to take for all of them, especially Matthew...Mia could see him glaring daggers at the unaware newcomer.

"So what do you do for a living, Jeremy?" Nathaniel asked, changing the subject.

"I'm the sales manager at Best Buy." He told them.

Mia listened as Oliver and Nathaniel engaged in conversation with Jeremy. Turning to look over at Matthew, she found him watching her.

"What?" She asked, he had been far too quiet for her liking. Normally, there would be some hint of disapproval.

"Nothing. I didn't say anything." He told her, giving her a questioning look.

"Really? Nothing?" She prodded; it was never nothing with him.

"Yup, nothing. He seems nice." And with that, Matthew left their group heading in to the crowd, leaving Mia puzzled.

"Mia, do you want something to drink? I can go get us some drinks." She heard Jeremy asking her, as she watched Matthew disappear.

Facing Jeremy, Mia smiled.

"You know what, I'll come with you."

Walking with Jeremy, they headed to the bar.

"So, you work for London FC?" He asked.

"Yea..." She mumbled.

"That's got to be interesting." He said, still with a look of amazement on his face.

"It has its moments." She responded.

"They seem really cool." He told her.

"They are." She muttered. When they want to be...she thought about one player.

"So, do you want to go for dinner now or have drinks and then go?"

Hesitating, Mia turned to see where the guys were. Maybe they could have dinner together? She thought. Looking over she saw Oliver and Nathaniel talking to Lucas. Where is Matt? She thought. It was then she saw him.

Her blood boiled at the sight. He was lip locked with a red head. Mia's hands were in her pockets, clenched in fists. Taking a deep breath, she turned to the brown haired boy awaiting her answer.

"You know what, let's go. Dinner sounds good."