Mal didn't let go of Ben but turned her head towards Oliver smiling and asking the boy how he was doing. Oliver looked ashamed and said that not very good and then made a point to look at Ben directly. "Ben, I wanted to apologize for the way I've been acting towards you. I misread a situation and run with it, which was wrong of me. I'm sorry, and I hope we can talk it out and start from scratch."
Mal turned towards Ben and smiled, hoping that the boy would accept Oliver's olive branch, and they could all hang out together. Mal saw that Ben wasn't sure, and the girl felt sad; she fought the urge to tell him to please just agree to be friends with Oliver. Ben seemed to sense her uneasiness, so he let go of her and offered his hand to Oliver, telling the guy that he was open to talking about the situation with him in another moment because that night was for Mal to enjoy herself.
Mal again fought the urge to say that she didn't mind that they took some time to talk, but she knew that Ben needed more time to accept the fact that Oliver was now trying to be friendly. Oliver nodded and smile shyly at the couple and went back to the group of Mal's coworkers that now looked embarrassed.
"Hey, did you have a good time? We can go back to playing until everyone leaves if you want to." Ben was standing looking at Mal, trying to see if she was glad about how everything worked out in the end. If he was honest with himself, he didn't want to be friends with Oliver or even try to talk to him, but as always, he knew that it would make Mal happy, and Ben planned to do his best because he wanted her to be happy.
At that moment, Mal turned to look at him and smiled brightly, and Ben knew that he would do anything in his power to make her smile like that always. "I had the best time, Ben, thank you for organizing everything. Also, I'm sorry I didn't notice how my friends were acting towards you until Evie told me." Ben tried to say something to make the girl feel better, but Mal stopped him and apologized again, so the boy nodded, accepting her apology.
Ben noticed her friends looking at them and said to Mal that she should talk to them while he check on Azis. Mal nodded; they knew that the boy had a hard time whenever he was in the same space with Evie, no matter how cool he tried to act. When they all live in the same city back when they were in college, Evie and Azis used to be very friendly, neither of them wanted to commit to being a couple, but everyone in the group assumed they would end up being together. However, time passed, and Evie found work in New York, and Azis thought they were finally going to try to be together now that the pressure of college was behind them; instead, Doug came into the picture, and that ended things between the couple.
Azis always assumed that Evie's relationship was just like a fling and that they would work in getting back together. However, years passed, and the girl seemed to be invested in staying with Doug, so even though he was happy for her, it still hurt him to think they missed a chance to be together. When Ben and Mal got together, Azis was happy for them, but he also realized that he never got over Evie. Now that they were in the same city after all this time, he couldn't help but think about what would happen if he confessed to Evie how he still wanted to be with her.
Ben interrupted Azis train of thought, and the boy smiled at his friend; they walked outside the apartment to the stairs and sat there; a couple of minutes later, Jay joined them, and the three of them talk about everything going on. Azis shared his thoughts, and Jay told him to go for it. "I think you guys need to talk about how things ended between you two at some point. When she went to New York, I thought you two were talking about how you were going to start dating officially, and suddenly, she was in another relationship. This is the first time you are in the same city since college, and I think this is a great opportunity to get everything out in the open."
Azis nodded but noticed Ben being quite, and he turned to him, asking him his thoughts on the matter. " Look, Evie is in a relationship, and I don't think you should tell her that you want to be with her if you come out and tell her that it puts her in a complicated place and she doesn't deserve that. With that said, I do think you should ask her out and talk about how things ended between you two, so you finally get closure. From that moment on, maybe you can go back to talk regularly and see if there is still a spark there but give it time."
They stay in silence for a couple of minutes, and then Azis said that he would ask her to lunch before she went back to New York and talk about how things ended between them. The other two nodded and told him that they would be ready to talk to him whenever he needed them. With that subject done, Jay asked Ben what happened between him and Oliver. "We saw the entire group looked shocked with Mal's speech and then Oliver and you shook hands. "
Ben rubbed his face and sighed, making his friends look at each other with concern. "He came and told me that he was sorry about how he treated me and that he was wrong. We are going to talk about what he thought so we can be friends. I honestly don't want to; he just assumed something and acted out. Still, I know Mal likes him, and it is important to her that we are friends, so I'm going to do it."
"You can talk to him to clear the air, but there is no need for him and you to be friends. I know he is Mal's friend, but Lonnie is friends with some people that I barely speak in my life, honestly don't force yourself." Azis agreed with Jay's statement, and Ben shook his head, telling them that he knew that Oliver for Mal was like one of them for him, and they would be spending time together. The door of the apartment open and they heard the voices of the people inside saying goodbye, the trio stood quickly, making their way up another floor, so they didn't see them.
In the end, they decided to go up to the rooftop, and there they continue to talk for a while about how everything was going in their lives. Even though they worked together, they were usually too busy to sit down and chat, so they took the opportunity to talk. Time flew by, and suddenly, they realized that they needed to go back to the apartment. When they made their way back the only people, there were Jane, Carlos, Mal, Lonnie, and Evie. Mal ran to hugged Ben asking him if he was ok; two hours past since they went outside with Azis, and the girl understood that Azis wasn't the only one that needed to vent.
The boys apologized for taking so long and told everyone that they just lost track of time. Mal continued to hug Ben and the boy smiled kissing the top of her head while assuring her that he was fine. Meanwhile, Jay made his way to Lonnie, who was talking with Carlos and Jane and hugged the girl while joining the conversation. That left Azis free to go looking for Evie who was making herself a cup of tea at the kitchen. The boy cleared his throat to get her attention, making the girl smiled at how he used to do that when they were younger, and he wasn't sure how to approach her.
On the other side of the room, Mal and Ben were looking at them remembering scenes from the past when Azis and Evie would suddenly disappear to be together away from them. Mal looked at Ben and asked him what did Azis said about Evie just for the boy to shake his head, trying to focus his attention on the couple. Carlos's voice announcing that they were leaving got the entire room to turn toward them, and soon, they were all saying their goodbyes. Once again, Ben made his way to the hotel, but this time, Azis walked with him there before making his way home. He shared with Ben how he asked Evie to go out with him to talk about how everything changed between them just for the girl to say no.
Ben felt horrible but told Azis that he did the right thing telling the girl the reason why he wanted to talk with her. Even though he understood how difficult the conversation would be he was angry with Evie for not being open to talking with Azis. Both boys decided to go to the hotel bar and spent hours there talking about their situations, after a couple of hours, they sent a text to Jay so the boy would know why they weren't going to show at the office later that day and continued their time there. Finally, they went upstairs and crashed in Ben's room, not before the boy sent a voice memo telling Mal how much he loved her and that he would talk to Oliver because he knew she expected that from him. Ben rambled for a while and then shared how he was just going to get to bed so he wouldn't be calling her early. Jay woke them up, knocking on their door at one pm, bringing them something for their hungover and asked them what made them drink last night. Although when he saw the text the boy knew exactly the reason behind his friends deciding to get drunk.
The three boy spent their afternoon there talking, they order food and were planning to hide in there until Mal called Ben, asking him if everything was alright breaking their bubble. Ben told the girl that he would pick up some clothes from the apartment and there they could talk. He did his best to look presentable and told his friends that he was coming back in an hour. "Hey, how about you just checked out of the hotel and come stay with me at my apartment. We can talk there."
Aziz's idea made sense so the three got out of the room and Ben went to check out of the hotel, ready to get to his apartment and get some clothes. When he arrived at the apartment, the girls were seated in the living room watching tv, however, the second Mal noticed him, she ran to hugged him. Ben smiled and say hi, and Mal took a step back without letting go and whispered that he smelled of alcohol, making the boy blushed. Evie was looking at them from the couch, and Ben say hi to her, not really moving and avoiding looking her way as much as possible.
Mal took the boy's hand telling Evie that they were going to talk in private she made her way to the bedroom, closing the door behind them. "Ok, before you tell me what happened last night with you or at least as much as you feel comfortable without outing your friend I need you to know that you don't have to talk to Oliver if you don't want to. Ben, I admit that I was excited about you two being friends, but I don't want you to feel like you need to do that for me. Now can you tell me what happened last night?"
Ben nodded and told Mal everything making her promised that she wouldn't share anything with Evie. Mal listened carefully and felt bad for the impact the conversation or the lack of one had in Azis. "I get it, she didn't say anything to me about her conversation with him. I guess she is scare of talking to Azis although I don't see why."
"I told them that I was going back and I'm staying with Azis until Evie leaves. He doesn't want to be alone for now." Mal nodded assuring Ben that he was doing the right thing and helped him pack another backpack with enough clothes so he didn't need to come back to the apartment until next week when Evie was going back to New York. The girl asked Ben if he wanted to take a shower before leaving, but he told her that he rather go back to his friends.
"I'm sorry this week isn't going as we plan. I can go out with Evie and you some days, just don't come to the office with her ok?." Mal nodded and told him that she was going to text him later to see what they could do together and not to worry about it. Kids knocking at the door announced the beginning of trick or treating, and Ben kissed Mal, bringing her close to him, not really ready to leave her. Evie's voice telling Mal that she was missing cute kids made them end the kiss laughing.
Evie saw Ben with a backpack and told the boy that she would sleep on the couch there was no need for him to go away again. Mal interrupted her telling her that she asked Ben to give them space because she missed her too much, which made Evie looked at her funny, but still, she nodded. Again Ben turned and kissed Mal; then he told her to sent him Oliver's number so he could talk to the boy. Mal looked like she was going to say something, but Ben kissed her again, this time kids saying how yucky they were made them end the kiss once again laughing. With a quick wave to Evie and taking two chocolates of the bowl of sweets Ben made his way to Azis's place.
It took Evie a couple of days to realize why Ben was not coming to the apartment, and it took her a couple more to come to terms that talking to Azis was the right thing to do. With that in mind, three days before going back to New York, she texted the boy and asked him for lunch, shocking everyone.