Jared is on his way almost reluctantly to a premiere, feeling stressed and hesitant to attend he meets a girl who might just change the night, or the course of his life
"Couple more blocks, Mr. Leto." The driver softly said, looking up at Jared through the rear view mirror. Coffee stained lips and city worn eyes. Oh the thought of driving a cab in the middle of New York, the idea was preposterous. All the crazies and their glorious antics, the spirit of this city glowing wildly in their veins. This was their city as much as it was his. He was just a figure mingling within the crowd here and maybe that was the reason he felt so connected. He was just another person.
His eyes flashed up to meet the driver's in the rear view and he nodded. Blue and quiet eyes that reflected every part of his life that had left him looking tired, overworked and yet so entirely exuberant he was sometimes surprised by his own capability. Slowly he returned his eyes out the window again and soon the quiet was disrupted with the sound of crowds, flashing bulbs, conversing reporters. His bubble of privacy was soon to be ended. Did he want to go walk that carpet? Did he want to look into the eyes of reporters and answer the repetitive questions that would be printed, sometimes cut up and misworded? He wasn't sure at all. He didn't think so. But what could he do? This was what was required of him. This was the world he had thrown himself into.
"Just stop the car here." He softly told the driver and the car came to an immediate halt. Jared reached over, taking money from his pocket but it was immediately waved away, something about it was his pleasure. Jared could only just smile gratefully. Was that smile real? It was. It would be the one out on that carpet that wouldn't be. A smile that would mask any and all emotions. He loved his life, loved his career, loved knowing that whoever was there at the event up ahead was there for him. But he had so many things going on, so many things that were wrong. He didn't feel like he had anyone to talk to. Not now. Not for such a long time.
He opened the door and stepped out onto the gray marked streets. The Autumn air biting into his skin as he pushed back some of his hair from off his shoulders. He tucked the coat he was wearing closer around him and watched the taxi drive away. He gave a returned wave to the one the driver gave him before it was nothing but a distant yellow spot in the dark up ahead, disappearing into the growing cold.
Reaching into his pocket he checked his phone. Of course there were messages but he needed to make sure there weren't really important ones he needed to reply to before he went on inside. None that couldn't be held off until the morning came around. Tonight was supposed to be about relaxing. Shannon had assured him that he would be able to let go of stress for awhile. Maybe even have himself a drink. Being stressed never helped anything and it sure wouldn't help him get over the panic he'd been feeling of late. He couldn't help it though, couldn't bring himself to help it. These hurdles were in the way for a reason and he would find a way to get past them. One night of "freedom" wasn't going to help him.
He took a step forward, swallowing down on the wind that dried his lips. He looked around, eyes falling on the bustling event ahead of him before he took a deep breath and tried to force the anxiety down. Usually he was so open to these kinds of things, excited even but tonight felt so different. Tonight didn't seem right at all. He wasn't himself. He needed to be shaken up a little, get back into the form of things. Maybe a drink would make him feel a bit looser, a bit better, just like Shannon said.
He stuffed his hands into his pockets and made his way towards the building, blue eyes looking around before falling to the ground that his boots walked along. He heard a small laugh behind him and he stopped, brows furrowing before he turned his eyes towards the area that the noise had come from. There was a burn of a cigarette and then a small flash of white teeth as another laugh came. Jared looked closer before he took a couple of steps towards who he now saw was a woman.
"Can I help you?" Jared asked, taking his hands from his pockets as he watched the woman throw down her cigarette and step out of the shadowed alley and onto the brightly lit city streets. He held her eyes, green eyes it seemed even in this sharp dark. She had red hair that was tied into a messy side braid, clear pale skin that stood out amongst the dark blue dress that she was wearing. She was rather beautiful he thought as he stood there looking her over.
"Or can I help you?" She questioned, leaning against the wall, bag strung in one hand as a smile played on her full lips. She twirled the ends of her hair around her painted fingertips as another small laugh came from her lips. She finally pushed off the wall and made her way towards him, eyes steadily held to his.
"I...you were just standing there, laughing." He replied, a little confused by her response.
"Oh that." She shrugged a little and looked down. "I guess I was laughing at you." She replied, looking over his face. She knew him, that much was obvious just by the look there in her eyes but she wasn't acting like anything because of it. That was interesting, almost a first.
He looked back at the cigarette she had thrown down before throwing a glance back towards the event happening, the one he was supposed to be at. He was stalling. He needed to get a move on. "Well I ought to be going." He stated with a shake of his head as he turned on her and began to walk towards the auditorium with a bit of a disappointed shake of his head.
"Not gonna tell me that those things will kill me?" She called out a bit of a Southern accent to her words. If he knew any better he'd pinpoint it at Texas.
He sighed, rolled his eyes a little and turned around to face her. "Those things will kill you." He said with a lift of his brows.
"Yeah well, so will overexposure." Again she laughed and gestured towards the event he was heading towards. "Do you even like those things?" She questioned, the laugh dying from her lips as she waited for his answer. There was something about the studying she was doing of his face that made him lower his eyes, shifting his weight from one foot to the other.
"I do." He replied, finally lifting his eyes to hers again.
"Just don't want to go to this one then?" She asked, her brows furrowing a little as she looked back at all those flashing lights. There wasn't any longing in them though. That in itself was surprising.
He shrugged a little but before he could answer she had reached out and taken hold of his hand. He looked down, his gloved hand a sharp contrast to the light tone of her skin and before long she pulled him along, laughing softly as she led him through the shadowed alley ahead. He could have easily slipped his hand from hers but before long they were at the other end of the alley and she had turned around to face him, taking her hand from his as she leaned against the motorcycle parked there.
"My name's Essie." She said with a smile. "And you're Jared. No need for introduction. You ready to get away from all that tonight?"
He stared down at her, taking a breath before he looked back down the alley towards the event and he let out a sigh. A smile appeared on his face and he nodded. "More than."