christians back, and there's gonna be trouble mother of shit, this chapter was such a pain in the ass to put out oh, and "i'm the fucking artist!"- www.falloutboyrock.com
She sat at the coffee shop stirring her second cup of the steaming liquid. She had spent the last half of an hour on the phone with Christian. The silences were drawn out and when one of the did talk, it turned into a "how's the weather" type of conversation.
"The movie releases in less than two weeks," His voice was hurried and insecure, all evidence of his nervousness being poured out through the other end of the phone line.
"I know this is this your version of small talk, Christian, but when you send me a text telling me that you miss me, I think we're beyond that," She said, switching the phone so it rested against her other ear.
"I'm sorry," He forced out after a minute, knowing he was being awkward and making this harder than it had to be.
"Don't say that," She replied gingerly, making it sound more like a modest plea than a simple request.
"Just... I shouldn't have been a dick. I know your situation and I was just... being a dick," He whispered the last part. He was being repetitive but he wasn't really concerned about it.
"Why the sudden change of heart?" She asked.
He noted the cynicism in her voice, but someone in the background called for him and it pulled his attention away from her. "One minute," he said before he directed his voice back to the phone. "I don't expect anything from you, Belle. I just ...I really want to see you again,"
She felt eyes on her and looked up from her phone to take in her surroundings. "I'm not sure if that's a good idea,"
A couple of people working behind the counter looked up at her, a mixture of sympathy and curiosity on their faces. They knew what happened to her... anyone with access the internet, television, or a newspaper knew what happened to her. She had become "the mysterious actress that was abducted", and (needless to say) it bothered her.
"It doesn't have to be anything personal. I'm just...I'm going to the Hyde tonight. You should come,"
"Just think about it, okay? I really want to see you," He repeated with a little bit more urgency.
She nodded her head as if he could see her.
"But listen, I gotta go. Just... just show up tonight. You could use a night out," Again, she nodded her head in accord.
"I'll see you later?" He asked hopefully, the voice in the background bellowing for him.
"Yea, I'll try to make it,"
"Okay. Um, take it easy,"
She replied with a weak "You too," before closing her phone and resting her head in her hands. She pulled one arm up to rub the back of her neck to loosen the muscles there.
She grabbed her bag and pulled out her notebook, opening to the last page to read what she had wrote. She had scribbled it out, but the writing in it was so familiar to her. She didn't really need the journal to help her remember how she was feeling.
She skimmed over the first couple of sloppy paragraphs until his name caught her attention.
She grabbed the notebook with both hands and leaned further back into her seat, grabbing it to bring it with her.
i expected it to come to this. i knew we would eventually get the courage to mess around and probably end up in this awkward place that we find ourselves. obviously it was too much to hope that it wouldn't.
did I really want anything to come of it? when it comes right down to it, it doesn't matter what patrick thinks, or what my parents think, or what my fucking psychologist thinks...
Belle pulled back from her notebook and let her eyes wonder over to the unvarnished disney pendant, the hemp tied loosely around the strap of her messenger bag.
do I want him?
but "only in hour increments".
he has this way of overdramatizing things. he is pretty much having nothing to do with me now, because of everything that was said and done. he's too selfish to realize that it wasn't about him. but I'm sure he's overanalyzed and warped it so many times in his brain that he's not even able to comprehend our situation and find any reasoning. that's the pete I could never want.
but there are times when i find him ...the pete i want. he has this way of making things seem to disappear. sitting in the car that night...staring at the stars with me, brushing my hair from my face like a modern day romeo.
but this isn't a sonnet, and I'm not the romantic i once was...
star gazing has never seemed so overrated.
Belle threw her had back to rest on the chair and closed the notebook. She rolled her neck a couple of times and grabbed her bag from the table, tracing her fingers over the pendant before stuffing her notebook in the bag and getting up.
As she was moving towards the trash can, she noticed a motion outside through the window. She turned her head in time to see a man standing with a camera, pointed in her direction. She did a double take, and looked around the coffee shop before looking back at the window. The man was making himself comfortable at a table outside. Surely he's not taking pictures of me, she thought trying to calm herself. She took a deep breath and peered out the window again, only to have her suspicions proved true.
She opened her phone and called Allison. Surely she would have advise. The phone rang four times before her voicemail picked up. Belle took a deep breath and looked back at the window to see the man pointing the camera at her again.
Belle sighed before calling the only other person she could think of. Oh, this will be fun, She thought, listening to it ring.
"Hello...?" She heard Elise's voice through the speaker of her phone.
"Hey, I tried calling Allison but she didn't pick up-"
"Why are you whispering? ...Actually, I don't care.... Why are you calling me?" Elise asked, her voice short.
"I'm at a coffee shop-"
"You're loosing your mind, and I don't have time to-"
"Will you shut up for a second and listen to me?!" Belle took a deep breath to calm herself before continuing. "I'm sorry, I just...I need your help," She said, moving to a booth in the back to get away from the relentless photographer.
Elise replayed those words over in her mind. Well, isn't that a doosy, She thought. She was tempted to hang up on Belle, but her mind drifted to Patrick and his pleas. Elise huffed and silently cursed herself for ever agreeing to do this.
"You have my attention," Elise replied, taking a seat on the bohemian print sofa in the condo she shared with Allison.
"I'm at a coffee shop, and there is a guy outside with a camera. I look like shit and I really don't want my tear-stained face all over tomorrow's second-rate gossip blog," Belle finished.
"Well, that would be a shame..." Elise trailed off. This girl has a lot of audacity... being a bitch one day and calling me for help the next, Elise thought.
"You don't want to have to cover up the reason why I look like a dead beat crack whore, do you?" Belle asked, quickly becoming agitated. She wasn't one to beg, and the fact that had already done that only to be rejected was beginning to piss her off.
"Actually...well...no, I don't," Elise paused and thought for a second. "How about this- just go into the bathroom and try to make yourself look presentable, and when you feel okay, throw on some sunglasses and jump in your car-"
"I don't drive. I'll have to hail a taxi, and that will take forever! Can't you just come and get me?" Belle pleaded.
Elise sat on the other end of the line and rubbed her fingers against her temple. She was debating on whether or not she should call Patrick. Surely he wouldn't mind picking up his brat of a sister.
"Can't you call Patrick?" She thought out loud.
"He's in the studio. Trust me, you are my last resort," Belle said, trying to keep her tone soft but finding it a true struggle.
Elise finally gave up and got off of the couch, grumbling to herself. "Fucking christ. Just tell me where you are and I'll just come get you," She said, grabbing her purse off of the counter.
"I'm on the corner of Laffeyette and 54th," Belle replied, making her way toward the bathroom.
"Alright, I'll be there in fifteen," She replied, making her way out of the condo and to her car.
Elise shook her head as she climbed into her car. She could tell taking this on was more than she could handle. Isn't this suppose to be Allison's project? She thought, pulling her car out and onto the road.
Less than twenty minutes later she had pulled up to the shop, only to find the man with the camera accompanied by another gentleman, both taking a seat at the small table outside, both with cameras in hand.
She took a deep breath and walked into the coffee shop, going straight back to the bathrooms.
"Ma'm, you must be a paying customer to use our facilities!" One of the ladies yelled in Elise's direction. She ignored her as she made haste towards where she assumed the bathrooms were located.
Once inside she saw Belle look up at her from her spot on the counter, holding her phone in her hands. Belle's eyes were still turgid from the therapy session and strands of her hair were sticking out from the messy ponytail at the back of her head.
Elise took a step closer to her, grabbing paper towel and running it under cold water.
"You didn't do what I asked," Elise said, wringing out the paper towel and reaching up to Belle's face. Belle hesitated in letting Elise touch her. "This is going to make your eyes less puffy. Just hold it there for a minute," She advised, bringing the cold flimsy towels up to Belle's eyes for her to hold in place.
"Alright, hop down and I'll see what I can do," She said, grabbing Belle's hand to pull her from the counter. She took the ponytail out of Belle's hair and grabbed the mini-brush in her purse, running it through the tangled brown mess hurriedly, smiling slightly when she caught a knot emitting an "Ow!" from Belle.
Once she was satisfied she grabbed hairspray from her purse and doused Belle's hair, causing her to cough rapidly. Once Belle regained her ability to breathe in nontoxic oxygen she looked at herself in the mirror. The hairspray had rid of the fly-aways, giving definition to the otherwise dull curls.
"Well, you don't look like Miss America, but it will have to do. Now, take these," Elise said, pulling her oversized sunglasses off of her head and handing them to Belle, who shielded her eyes with them.
"For some reason this reminds me of that time when we tried to curl the hair on your "My Size" Barbie. Remember that smell? God, that was awful," Belle said with a laugh, tossing the towel in the trash can.
It was silent for a minute and Belle began to regret trying to lean on nostalgia to make peace with her old friend. She took a step closer to the door, feeling defeated for a moment before she heard Elise clear her throat.
"Yea, my Mom thought it was an electrical fire, but it was just singed plastic hair. I remember," Elise said, letting that memory release a small laugh from her mouth. The two girls looked at each other and let the smiles diminish from their faces.
Elise cleared her throat again and took a step closer, reaching down to straighten out Belle's shirt and jeans, frowning at the simplicity of the outfits. She was trying to avoid the odd situation they found themselves in as she pulled a scarf out of her bag and tied it around Belle's waist, before grabbing her hand and pulling her out of the bathroom.
The photographers looked up at them from through the window and stood up, both poised for any shot they could get.
Elise stopped at the exit and grabbed Belle's shoulder to look at her. "Okay, just keep a smile on your face and keep your shoulders up. Look straight ahead, and walk as fast as you can, okay?" Elise said, the encouraging tone in her voice surprising herself.
Belle nodded her head and pulled her bag up further on her shoulder before walking out, Elise quickly on her heels.
"Anabelle! How are you feeling?" One asked, so close to her she could smell the coffee on his breath.
"I'm sorry, but she's not going to be answering any-" Elise was interrupted by the other male voice.
"Is it true that you shot him? Will there be a trial?" Elise hit the unlock button on her door and opened it, guiding Belle into the seat and shutting the door. She turned around and ran right into one of the photographers.
"Who are you?" He asked inquisitively.
She smiled and stepped around him to go to the drivers side of the car. "I am Belle's agent. Now, if you'll excuse me, we have to go," She said, quickly opening her car door and getting in. She took a deep breath and put the car into drive before pulling out onto the road.
After a couple minutes of listening to Incubus, Belle reached over and turned down the music.
"You are pretty good at that... ugh, thanks for coming, ya know...to ugh, get me," Belle said quietly when they pulled onto the expressway.
"Well, that's what I'm hired to do," Elise said, the words coming out of her mouth a little more sharply than she meant to. She looked over to Belle who seemed to be offended.
"I didn't mean it like that..." She began to explain. Belle nodded her head and bit her bottom lip.
"So where am I dropping you off at?" Elise asked, changing the subject.
She weighed her options. She could either go back to the studio (which was not happening any time soon), go sit at Pete's house and watch TV, or maybe she could...
"Actually, I was thinking maybe I should go somewhere. Maybe try my hand at actually being a normal twenty-two year old. It might be good publicity,"
"What did you have in mind?" Elise asked, feeling herself warm up to the idea of actually hanging out with the person she better referred to as a "client".
"Have you ever been to the Hyde?"
I attempted to focus on the pleasure she was desperately trying to give me when I heard the voices from downstairs, announcing the arrival of the guys.
Greta hadn't noticed as she moved slowly on top of me, her upper body flush against mine. It's not that I didn't enjoy the passionate contact of our figures, but it left no room to adequately...maneuver...?
My short breaths must have tickled the skin of her neck because she clenched her head to her shoulder with a light laugh, causing her to pull herself up with her hands and look down at me.
Her hair immediately surrounded us, much like a canopy, and the scent of vanilla and honey enveloped my senses. I was trying to force every smell and visual into my memory bank, knowing that would be the only thing that could keep her close to me for the next three months.
I knew that my anxiety about her leaving had something to do with the reason why I found myself dissociated in this particular tryst.
She sighed and began to assault my neck, placing her lips over the skin and back up, attaching her lips to mine softly. I pushed all of my anxieties to the back of my mind and focused on her.
Her movements were slow and beginning to seem forced, which was frustrating me. She wanted to please me, I could see it in her eyes, but she didn't really put in the effort.
I took the opportunity to opening her mouth with my tongue, deepening the kiss and pulling her closer to me. I grabbed her hips with my hands, trying to guide her as she moved.
I moved my mouth from hers to kiss a trail down her throat. I think she got the hint, and pulled herself up into a full sitting position. I kept my hands on her hips, guiding her as I brought my head up, stopping at the peak of her breast to nuzzle on one of her hardened nipples.
She responded by tilting her head back to let out a moan, moving her hips faster. I let my hands drop from her hips, resting my head back to the pillow to get a full visual of her as she moved faster.
Both of her hands were holding up her upper body, and her fingernails dug into my chest. Her hips were moving in a rhythm all her own, slowing down for a minute before pacing faster and then slowing again. The way she was moving against me electrified every fiber of my being and I was rooted in that spot, not being able to do anything but watch.
There was a brief knock on the door, and I didn't notice until Greta collapsed on top on me and pulled the sheet over us.
"Hey bro, I just wanted to-" Joe's head bounced through the door before he stopped and looked at us. I frantically wrapped my arms tight around her.
"Joe!" I squealed, pulling clumsily grabbing for the blanket to pull it tighter around us.
Joe seemed to snap out of his trance and turned around, still standing in the doorway. "Um...nevermind. Ugh, I'll have Pete call her," Joe finally stuttered out the words as he faced the door. I took a deep breath and held back my frustration. Leave it to Joe to interrupt at the most inopportune times.
"Wait, are you two having sex? Like, is there penetration going on right n-" Before he could finish the sentence I flung a pillow at him.
"Out!" I yelled as Greta buried her head into my chest.
I shook my head and smiled back at Greta when I heard the door shut. I bent up to kiss her but frowned when she didn't respond.
"I'm sorry...it's just, I mean..." She mumbled, climbing off of me to lay on her side and wrap her arm around me.
"You aren't in to mood any more?" I asked, finishing her sentence. She looked over at me and nodded her head.
"Maybe we should lock the door from now on," I suggested, and she sheepishly nodded her head.
"Yea, that's a good idea,"
Belle was refreshed to find the Hyde more of a lounge area than a club. The atmosphere was fueling her good mood as she sat, tucked into a corner booth, the faux-croc seating surprisingly comfortable against her skin.
Elise and Allison had escorted her, after a four hour shopping spree and salon treatment. Elise had been fairly civil to her all evening, and Allison was nothing but sweet to her. All of this was fairly new to Belle, but she had to admit to herself that the "girlie" aspect of being a female wasn't so harsh. She enjoyed herself for the most part.
"Hey, you going to order a drink or stare at a hole in the wall all night?" Elise asked, waving a hand in front of Belles face. Belle blinked a couple of times and smiled over at her.
"Yea, I was just thinking about some things," Belle said, uncrossing her legs just to cross them again.
"Well, stop doing that and have some fun," Elise said, flagging a waitress down. "I'd like a Grey Goose Martini, three olives," She ordered and looked over to Belle. "Vodka and Red Bull for me,"
The waitress nodded her head and turned around to the go to the bar. Belle was about to ask where Allison was until she spotted her across the lounge.
"Is she always..." Belle started, but trailed off.
"Networking...?" Elise finished, following Belle's stare to Allison who was surrounded by three other people who looked very official. "Yea, she always does that,"
Elise let her eyes jog around the room, and they stopped on a familiar man, talking only a couple of feet away from them, his eyes glued on Belle. She nudged Belle and whispered in her ear: "Isn't that Christian?"
Belle looked over and her gaze connected with his. He didn't smile or frown, he kept his crystalline gaze on hers. She let her mouth form into a smile, and he smiled back before excusing himself and making his way over. Within seconds he was seated at the other side of her, sitting back and getting comfortable.
Elise excused herself to look for the waitress who hadn't been back with their drinks.
"I didn't think you'd show," Christian said, staring at his hands. She looked over to him while he ran the fingers of his right hand over the palm of his left.
"Yea, I didn't think I would either," She said, now finding herself memorized by the hem of her shirt.
She became fascinated with the sounds of various conversations and voices in the room, finding it to be a rather convenient distraction. She knew he was looking at her, she could feel his gaze.
He turned his body so he was facing her, his leg resting on the chair as he grabbed one of her hands timidly. She looked up and caught his gaze.
"Do you think we can fix it?" Just as he was asking her the million dollar question, she heard the shrill noise of her ringtone coming from her pocket. She thought briefly about ignoring it, but she knew the other person on the line was wondering about her where she was. Since the accident she pretty much answered all calls as a courtesy.
She exhaled sharply.
"Just hold that thought, okay?" She asked, grabbing her phone and giving Christian and apologetic smile.
"Hello?" She answered, scooting back into her seat.
"Hey, um, you weren't home so I thought I'd call," Pete's voice came through the receiver.
"Yea, I'm at the Hyde with Allison and Elise,"
"Oh," There was silence on the other end of the line and she was getting ready to hang up when his voice came back over the line. "Are you coming home tonight?"
Home? She thought to herself.
"Nah, I'm staying with Elise and Alli-" A gasp from her mouth interrupted her sentence, as she felt something cold on her shoulder, and turned quickly. Her jerking motion causing Christian to spill a little bit of the drink that he had tried to inform her had arrived. "Woah, Belle. Take it easy," He said, laughing a little as he wiped up the couple of drops that had fallen with a cocktail napkin.
"Yea, I'm sure you are," Belle winced when she heard Pete's harsh voice. "Don't fucking bother,"
With that the other line on the phone went dead. She angrily flipped it shut and shoved her phone back into her pocket. She grabbed for her drink and latched onto the straw, trying to down as much a possible before having to take another breath.
Do you know what's even more overrated than star-gazing?
Drinking away your problems.
Authors Note: this chapter was the equivalent of giving birth to an elephant. actually, i dunno. i've never given birth to an elephant. but i have this theory that it would probably suck. much like writing this chapter did.
oh, and a major DoJ shout out to CeCe. thanks for being a sweet member. you rock.