"That was entirely unforgivable of you, Carrie," Chase fumed, as he caught up with Carrie who was walking calmly toward the waiting limo.
Carrie's look was still as blank and emotionless as ever.
"All I did was say the truth, Chase," she said point-blank. "By the way, I'm not coming to weekend rehearsals either."
Chase blinked at her, hurt reflected in his eyes, the incident minutes previous with J.P half-forgotten already.
"But… why not?" he whined, hugging her. "I want you to come."
"Chase, you're a big boy," Carrie said dully, trying to push him off. "Don't start crying on my shoulder."
Chase just squeezed her tighter.
"Come to rehearsal with me," he complained. "I want you to."
Carrie sighed into his shoulder and said, "Fine, but only for Saturday."
"No, for the whole weekend, and the weekend after that," Chase mumbled. "Also the weekend after that. And all the other weekends."
"Saturday," Carrie said plainly, ducking under his arm and grabbing her purse. "I'm… going to school. I'll see you tonight."
Chase noticed Carrie's expression when she mentioned school. It was a mixture of anger and fear.
A high-pitched ringing sound came from J.P's pocket. He jerked awake and fell with a crash off the couch. After swearing loudly at the throbbing pain in his shoulder blade and the back of his head, he flipped open the phone and grudgingly brought it to his ear.
"Hullo?" J.P said groggily.
"It's Chase," said a desperate and slightly irritated voice. "Where the hell are you?"
"Down the hall, obviously," J.P mumbled, running a hand through his messy black hair. "Why, do we have rehearsal today?"
"We have rehearsal every day, you idiot," Chase said confusedly. "Look, if you're upset about what Carrie said—"
"I'm not upset," J.P lied quickly.
"You really suck at lying, for such a big actor," Chase said amusedly.
J.P bit his lip and mumbled, "Carrie said that too."
"Just forget it, all right?" Chase said.
J.P let out an exasperated growl and half-shouted into the phone, "Chase, I've been trying to do that for the past few days now, and it's not working!"
J.P hung up and threw his cell phone into the corner of the room. It hit against the wall and the battery flew into the tall potted palm tree in the corner. The cuts from the glass in J.P's right hand were stinging, and J.P was pretty sure there were still shards of glass in his skin that were quickly getting infected, but he didn't care; all he wanted was Carrie back.
J.P thrust himself off of the couch, grabbed the battery and shoved it back into the phone. He began hastily dialling Carrie's number. It rang several times before it went to Carrie's answering machine.
"Hi, it's Carrie! I'm not available right now 'cause I'm out living my life. Leave your message at the beep!" Carrie's cheerful voice said through the phone.
J.P felt a wave of sadness sweep over him when he heard the happiness in her voice. Only once had Carrie ever looked or sounded so happy in front of him, and that time hadn't even been real— she'd simply been acting. The answering machine beeped, his cue to start pleading.
"Carrie, please pick up," J.P begged desperately. "Look, whatever I did, I'm sorry, but I really need to talk to you. Call me back, please."
"… but I really need to talk to you. Call me back, please."
Carrie couldn't pick up. Her cell phone was lying some few feet away from her, where a crowd of girls surrounded her and were kicking, pulling her hair and throwing dirt at her while she lay defencelessly on the ground.
"Carrie isn't home yet," Chase said worriedly. "I wonder where she is?"
"She's probably hanging out on Main Street with Kelly," Fiona said, "Try calling her cell phone."
Carrie was in fact on Main Street, but Kelly was nowhere near her, and Carrie was in a back alley face-down on the dirt-caked pavement, half conscious. She twitched awake when her phone vibrated right next to her ear. She half-opened her eyes.
"Nng…" she moaned, reaching for her phone. "H-hello?"
"Carrie, where are you!" Chase gasped. "It's like eleven o'clock at night! What happened?"
"N-nothing…" Carrie winced. "I'll be at the loft in a few minutes."
Carrie hung up and struggled to get up. Her arms, torso and legs were almost completely covered with bruises and cuts, and her lip was split and bleeding. Clutching the enormous bruise on her right side Carrie limped home.
"… I'm not available right now 'cause I'm out living my life. Leave your message at the beep!"
This was now the fifty-second time J.P had called. He had been calling since two o'clock in the afternoon the day before, and it was now noon the next day. He slumped over on the couch, thinking about giving up. Carrie hated him more than she had before and it was his entire fault. He just didn't know why. J.P had believed when he'd been in London for his concert that there was no way he could miss Carrie more than he had then, and he knew now he'd been wrong. He missed Carrie so much right now it felt like a constant stomachache that couldn't be dulled with Tylenol. J.P felt rather like he was going through withdrawal; Carrie was his drug, his aphrodisiac, and he'd gone without her for far too long.
At that moment J.P's cell phone rang. For the second time J.P fell off the couch and grabbed his phone.
"Carrie!" he choked out.
"Carrie is here," Chase said irritably.
He sounded tired and worried. "She came home last night at almost nine-thirty completely covered in bruises."
"What?" J.P gasped.
"Not to mention your little stunt made me infamous."
He tried to lunge towards the door but ended up tripping over the coffee table and crashing to the ground.
"What is it?" Chase said in shock at the sound reminiscent of a small earthquake.
"I think I might know how she got them!" J.P cried into the phone.
J.P scooped up his sunshades and dashed out of the studio, tossing his phone idly into the corner and ignoring Chase's confused and incoherent yelling through the speakers.
"DRIVE!" he screeched when he threw himself into the limo.
Chase watched from the window with a confused look on his face as J.P McCarthy's limo took off at full speed.
"This… will… teach… you… not… to… stalk… J.P!" grunted Anna, saying a word between every kick that landed on Carrie.
Kelly was struggling against the girls who were holding her back by her arms and her hair.
"STOP IT!" Kelly cried, tears pouring down her cheeks at the sight of her best friend being beaten up.
"Shut up," advised the girl holding her, elbowing her in the stomach.
Kelly whimpered and doubled over, winded. A bunch of girls picked up stones and began throwing them at Carrie, laughing as they pierced and scraped her pale white skin. One girl held Carrie's arms behind her back while people began throwing dirt at her, and as one particular girl kicked her in the ribs Carrie saw stars and passed out for the briefest moment, slumping in the girls' grips.
And then suddenly everybody stopped. Carrie opened her eyes to see why they had all stopped. An enormous black limo pulled over next to the curb.
"Who is that?" gasped a bunch of girls.
Carrie was thrown onto the ground so that everybody could turn around and gawk at the limo, and she was knocked out again. J.P stepped out of the limo and whipped off his black sunglasses, his blue-and-green eyes piercing through them like daggers.
The crowd of girls standing on the curb screamed and cried out, "J.P! OH MY GOSH, IT'S J.P MCCARTHY!"
"Move aside, now," J.P ordered.
All of the girls obediently shuffled to the side, revealing Carrie lying on her side, her face and body black and blue and bleeding scarlet.
"Oh my god," J.P moaned, running towards her and dropping to his knees next to her, one hand gently cupping her face. "Did you kill her?"
"No, J.P, honest," they all chanted.
J.P scooped Carrie up into his arms.
"I'm going to need all of your information," he said, trying his best not to yell at them all. "That means full names, home and cell phone numbers, email addresses and parents' names."
"HERE, J.P!" everybody screeched, waving pieces of paper in his face.
The driver got out and collected them all. J.P gently scooped Carrie into his arms, cradling her as though she were a china doll, and started towards the limo, but he turned around and glared at them all.
"Thank you for your information," he snarled. "You are hereby all banned from my fan club and my concerts in the future."
All of the girls started whining and crying, "No, J.P, we didn't do it!" but J.P merely stepped into the limo and drove away.
"My loft, now," he ordered, cradling Carrie in his arms and snuggling her to his chest lovingly.
This was all my fault… this was all my fault… this was all my fault…
"Damn it, Carrie, why didn't you tell me?" J.P whispered to her. "I wanted to be there for you."
J.P brushed her bangs out of her face and kissed her parted, torn lips, glad this time for an excuse and the ability to do it without being pushed away. She tasted of salt and a hint of a cinnamon cookie, and as the limo sped off towards the lofts he debated whether or not she had eaten one earlier.
Carrie woke up on the familiar white couch in J.P's loft. Every single part of her body throbbed, and she let out the softest of moans against the piercing pain like a thousand pins. She vaguely wondered if someone had used her for a real live voodoo doll, before she remembered that no, she'd been used as a real live punching bag. Carrie winced when she tried to move her body to a more comfortably position, but a firm but gentle hand pressed down on her chest softly. A voice soft and light as velvet began to croon out a song to her.
"Would it be too much to ask if you would join me for a dance? The mood is fine, the stars do shine—"
Carrie immediately recognized the voice and hastily tried to sit up, grunting at the pain that flared up when she sat up to quickly.
"No," J.P said insistently, laying her back down again.
Carrie blinked at him confusedly.
"Oh shit," she gasped, when she remembered what had happened.
It was then that Carrie noticed the saddened look J.P was wearing, and her brows furrowed questioningly as one of J.P hands left her chest and slid onto her throbbing cheek like a gentle breeze.
"Why didn't you tell me what those girls were doing to you?" he whispered, looking let down.
Carrie tried not to be angry with him since he had probably just saved her life, but anger began building up in her chest nevertheless. She sat up nonetheless and glared at him furiously.
"Because it's your fault!" she exploded, unable to help the tears that began to glisten in her eyes. "If you weren't always following me, and being all concerned and stuff—"
J.P's arms shot around Carrie's shoulders and pulled her into his chest. Carrie suppressed a gasp, but nevertheless got a huge whiff of his very masculine scent, and she couldn't help but lean closer into his neck.
"Carrie, even if I wanted to I will never stop being concerned for you," J.P said firmly, shivering with excitement as her lips accidentally brushed his neck. "For God's sake, Carrie, I'm just glad those girls didn't kill you."
Carrie's insides flooded with guilt. To think that the person she had been horrible to for all these weeks actually felt that way about her. J.P's eyes widened when he felt Carrie's arms slid around his waist, and he suppressed the urge to push her down onto the couch and rip off her clothes. Instead, he contented himself by smoothing back her blond curls and brushing his lips over her forehead.
"Carrie," he murmured, squeezing her tightly. "I'm so sorry."
A/N: I gots a lotta reviews for dis :3 thank youuu 3 you're all AWESOME