Sara Regency hated Los Angeles.
Maybe hate was too strong a word… Sara Regency strongly disliked Los Angeles.
The noise, the pollution, the people all annoyed her. Fake attitudes and fake body parts polluted the busy streets and sidewalks while paparazzi with their cameras firmly attached to their faces were drawn to celebrities like moths to a flame. Fame and money were too important to the residents. It was a game of who had the most and who had the best of the most.
Just stepping into the city was enough to put Sara off for the entire day. It was too bad, she thought as she stepped off the plane, Ryan following behind her and her bodyguard, that Los Angeles was so important to her career. If she could get through her life without going to L.A. ever again she would be a completely happy woman.
"Get ready, Ryan," Sara said, linking her fingers with his. "Your life is going to change in a minute."
"My life changed when you walked back into my life," Ryan said simply, giving Sara's hand a squeeze.
Sara smiled at Ryan, her heart flipping a little in her chest as she looked at her husband. After being married for less than six months, Sara had to go back to L.A. to work on everything related to making a CD. And with her manager breathing down her neck about getting back in the public eye before her latest movie was released on the world Sara was unwillingly thrust back into Los Angeles.
Sara's bodyguard, Troy, opened the large doors to the terminal of the airport and led Sara and Ryan through. Immediately, the couple was blinded with the multiple flashes from cameras. Microphones and video cameras were stuck in their faces as they walked through the airport to the parking garage to their limo.
"Sara! How's the marriage going?" one paparazzi yelled over the crowd of other reporters and fans hoping for an autograph.
"Is it true you're having an affair with Aaron Ward?" another asked.
"Sara! Sara, over here! One picture, Sara!"
Sara gripped Ryan's hand harder, rushing through the crowd of fans and reporters behind Troy. Sara's eyes were hidden behind large sunglasses, her mouth set in a firm line. Flashes and questions kept firing at her and Ryan, even as they both climbed into the backseat of the limo waiting for them.
She let out a long breath when they were finally on their way to Sara's house just outside of the city.
"Told you everything would change," Sara said, looking over at Ryan who looked dazed.
"I'll say… Is it always like that?"
"Pretty much, and most times it's worse. Most didn't know I was coming in today."
"How do you deal with that?" Ryan asked as he slid an arm around his wife.
"I don't know," Sara said, slowly, thinking. "They've just always been there. It's obnoxious, but it's part of the job description. I knew what I was getting into when I signed up for this. They might start following you around too, and I'm so sorry about that."
Ryan gave Sara a squeeze, and let her rest her head against his shoulder. "Don't worry about me, Sara. I'll deal with it."
Sara's house appeared in the tinted windows of the limo over a large hill that overlooked most of the houses on the lane. As part of a gated community just outside of Los Angeles, her neighbors were her colleagues and peers, some of whom she'd worked with.
The sprawling mansion was a creamy white, with seas of bright green grass and pinks and purples of flowers, some she'd planted by hand, in front. Large windows graced the front of the house giving a person with binoculars or really great vision a glimpse into the house of Sara Regency. It wouldn't have been the first time people would have snuck into the neighborhood and peeked over the wall surrounding her house.
Ryan knew her house was big – he'd seen pictures. He didn't realize it was this big though. How much stuff did she have?
Sara enjoyed watching Ryan during the drive from LAX to her house. He reminded her of a little kid in a new area: so many things to see. But the way his eyes grew big and his mouth hung open a little when the driver drove through the gate was priceless. She did have to admit it was probably a little much for one person, but she fell in love with the house two years before. And she planned on filling it with children and dogs before long, anyway.
The driver pulled around the front circle, stopped in front of the large entranceway. Sara waited until the driver came around to open her door and then slid out smoothly with the grace of an expert. She knew exactly how to get out of a car in any type of skirt so that she didn't expose too much for the greedy photographers. Sara turned and watched as Ryan climbed out of the car and craned his neck upward to look at the house.
"Well… Welcome home, Ryan," Sara said, almost sheepishly. "I know, it's probably a bit too much, at least right now, but I loved the house and I hope that you'll like it too."
Ryan took Sara's hand, squeezed affectionately. "Stop worrying, Sara. I love you. I'm sure the house is just as gorgeous from the inside as it is from the outside."
Sara fished her keys out of her oversized purse and led Ryan up the short steps to the large front doors. Pushing them open, Sara let Ryan enter first and watched in amusement as he took in the house.
The doors opened to a large foyer. The walls were a neutral color, the floor contrasting in a dark hardwood. Dark wood tables framed the sides of the doors and held pictures and little bowls for keys. To the left was a formal-feeling sitting room that Sara used only when she had esteemed visitors. To the right led to a powder room and a large staircase and in front of the door was a large hallway framed with pictures that led to the kitchen.
Sara showed Ryan around the house, pointing out little things or telling random stories as they popped up in her head. Through the kitchen was the living room complete with large, comfy couches and chairs. There was a large fireplace and a flat screen television above it. In LA, Sara didn't use the fireplace quite as often as she would like, but she very much enjoyed having the opportunity. There was nothing better, she mused, than curling up on the couch with a fire blazing, a mug of tea, some good music and a good book.
"Did you want to see the upstairs yet" Sara asked, "or you do you want to wait and just chill out for a while?"
"Whatever you want to do, Sara…"
Ryan was still feeling something similar to shock. He felt small standing underneath the high, vaulted ceiling. How could Sara, who fit in so well in their tiny hometown, fit in at all in this sprawling luxurious house? How would he?
Sara loved this house. It was a sanctuary away from the insanity of downtown LA. But suddenly, watching her husband begin to look uncomfortable – and watching him trying to not look uncomfortable – made her wonder if this was the right house for them. Shouldn't they've gone house hunting together? Shouldn't she have, at least, brought him out to see the house before they agreed to move down to California? Doubt began to creep into the back of her mind as she began to fidget and wring her hands.
Ryan turned around and watched his wife – and how weird was it to call Sara his wife? – stand around looking nervous. He had to admit it was cute to watch. He closed the small gap between them, rubbed his hands along Sara's arms, soothing her.
"Don't worry, Sara. I like the house. It's just going to take a little time to get used to it."
"You're not lying to make me feel better?" Sara asked quietly, looking up at him. His indigo-colored eyes glinted in the sunlight that streamed through the windows.
"Why would I lie to you? I love you. That means I'd do anything but lie to you to make you feel better."
Ryan kissed Sara softly, slowly deepening the kiss until she was straining against him. "How about you show me our bedroom?" he asked playfully as he pulled Sara toward the stairs in the back of the kitchen.
So this is the much anticipated (haha) sequel to Liberty
I currently have the first four chapters written, so I'll update soon with chapter two.
I'm hoping I'll be able to update rather frequently, but it'll be a little hard because right now I'm trying not to let it drag but I have to find a way to get to where I want Sara and Ryan to go.
As always, please review. :)