Hey guys, this is just a little one shot I wrote for A Drop of Romeo's Star-cross'd round nine for the prompt "running." Let me know what you think!
I notice three things simultaneously as I step out of Pure Barre and onto the Manhattan sidewalk. The first is that there is a grown man barreling towards me at approximately nine hundred miles per hour. He is running so fast that he looks like one of those Olympic sprinters whose feet never touch the ground, the skin pulled tight across his face, and his hair pushed back in the wind. The second thing I notice is that he is not just any grown man, but he is Chase Harrison. THE Chase Harrison: actor, Hollywood Heartthrob, and superstar extraordinaire. The third thing I notice is that he is going to run into me.
He sees me at the exact same time I see him, his eyes widening in surprise. But by that point, it's already too late. He holds out his arms, grabbing my shoulders, as if trying to use me as a wall to stop his momentum. Instead, we both end up toppling to the ground.
I close my eyes, bracing for the impact of the ground. The sidewalk knocks the air out of my chest first, and then my head smashes into the pavement. At first, all I hear are the noises: a noticeable thump as my body hits the concrete, and then an incredibly loud crack as my head follows. It takes a second, but then I feel the pain ricochet through my head, as if my skull has been shattered into a million tiny fragments that have then proceeded to lodge themselves into my brain. The pain is intense, and for a long moment, I can focus on nothing but the pounding in my skull.
Eventually, I hear a groan somewhere above me, and then a quiet, "Shit."
My eyes go bleary for a second, and I blink rapidly, trying to clear my hazy vision. When I am able to see again, I realize I am staring into the extremely handsome, and extremely angry face of Chase Harrison. THE Chase Harrison. Our eyes lock, and his gaze is positively furious.
"Who the hell are you?" He practically yells, squinting at me, the ire in his voice palpable. There are people moving around us now. People dressed in head-to-toe black, carrying microphones and camera equipment. They are rushing towards the two of us, sprawled in the middle of the sidewalk, shouting things at each other. "And what the hell are you doing in the middle of my scene? This is a closed set."
I blink, and swallow nervously. Words won't seem to form on my lips, even though I desperately want to explain myself. I can't seem to develop a coherent thought. This is partially due to the fact that I've probably just destroyed my brain in the mighty fall, but also because there is an extremely gorgeous, extremely angry man lying on top of me. Definitely inconducive to thought-processing.
He sits up just as the people reach us. "What the hell do you think you're doing?" An older man cries out when he gets to us, throwing a movie clapper on the ground. He looks like a bad Spielberg wannabe and I watch numbly as the clapper snaps in half. "This is a closed set, no fans allowed. Don't you think its bad enough that we have to put up with the paparazzi day and night?"
I glance across the street in a daze, and sure enough, there is a group of cameras, snapping away at the scene. There is zero doubt in my mind that I will end up on TMZ tonight. I try to focus on all of the people moving around me, but their actions seem slowed down, as if they have been captured by film and half-timed.
"You fans just never know when to quit." He huffs in indignation. It dawns on me in my fuzzy mental state that he must think I'm a sneaky fangirl trying to get on set. In reality I'm just an innocent bystander who has suddenly found herself in the middle of pandemonium.
Desperate to explain myself between gasping breaths, I suck air back into my lungs. "Not a fan…. Didn't know…movie set… So sorry." The words come out in a garbled mess, and I doubt that the man, who I am left to assume is the director, even has any idea what I'm trying to say. I'm still lying flat on my back in the middle of the sidewalk too, which probably isn't helping my case.
"Save your story for someone who wants to buy it sweet cheeks. Because of you, we're going to have to refilm this scene for the ninth time this morning." He turns away from me, muttering something about production costs.
I turn my head to glance at THE Chase Harrison, who is watching the scene with a hooded gaze running his hands through his tangled mass of dark hair. He pushes himself off of me, and back to his full height, straightening his clothes as he stands. He doesn't even give me a passing glance as he moves. Free from his weight, I want to spring to my feet and run away from this set, forgetting that this entire nightmare has even happened at all. For a girl who tries to avoid confrontation, the angry glares that surround me, and the hostile voices make me want to cry. I can't even sit up yet, however, much less run.
"Come on people, let's set up and do it again. Time is money," the director calls out, and once against everyone is moving in a flurry of motion. "And for the love of God, someone get the girl out of my shot."
A woman, probably twice my age, steps up to me and holds out her hand. I take it, a bit leery. She grins at me kindly. "Heard that crack on the sidewalk, let's get you to the doctor, yeah?" She has a soft British accent, and looks motherly and endearing. "We have to keep one on set at all times. He'll be thankful to actually have a patient for once."
"Thanks," I mutter meekly, accepting her hand. She gently pulls me to my feet, and the head rush is distinct and intense. I sway a little bit and she catches me around the shoulders before I can face-plant. The throbbing in my head has become more pronounced, and it feels as if my skull has been run over by an eighteen-wheeler. The woman leads me to a truck that is parked a little ways apart from the filming location. I try to ignore the glares of hostility as I walk past the crew, but their frustration is unmistakable.
"I've got someone for you doc." The woman smiles, as she leads me to a man. He's older, probably late fifties to early sixties. He grins at me expectantly, as if he has been waiting for me.
"Thank God," he chuckles. "I never do anything around here."
The truck is filled with delicious looking food and has a little corner for medical supplies as well. The woman gently sits me down on the edge of the truck, before giving me a halfhearted wave. "I'm Lena, if you need anything."
I nod, and turn to the doctor, who is inspecting the scrapes on the back of my arm. "That was quite the tumble you took, wasn't it?"
"You saw?" I ask quietly.
"Honey, everyone saw." He gives me a good-natured laugh, and I have to bite my bottom lip to stop from crying.
We don't talk much as he cleans my scrapes with antiseptic, and then shines a flashlight into my eyes. He runs his fingers across my scalp, and I wince in pain when he gets to the back of my head.
"Tender, yeah?" he asks. I just nod, my bottom lip still quivering. He prods for a few more minutes, and I try to distract myself by watching the crew film THE Chase Harrison running again. For an actor, he's surprisingly athletic, and I can't help but admire the way his built frame is able to cover an entire slab of sidewalk in a single stride. From my perch on the truck, I watch them refilm the scene twice before the director seems satisfied with the take.
"Just as I suspected, you have quite the nasty concussion. Nothing a little rest and relaxation won't cure though." The Doctor tells me pointedly after a few more minutes of inspection. I just nod, still unsure how to react and respond to all of this. "I'm going to give you a prescription for a pretty heavy dose of painkillers. Do you have someone who can wake you up every three to four hours?"
I have my roommates Kat and Dahlia, but I don't mention that they won't be home until later. "Yes."
"Then I want you to go home and sleep for the rest of the day. Have someone wake you up every so often to make sure you're still coherent."
I frown, because besides the splitting headache that has developed, I don't feel too sick. Plus I have a class in an hour that I need to get to. "Sure," I lie to the doctor, hoping that he won't see through my charade.
"Good, just wait a few minutes while I write up your prescription, okay?"
I nod slowly, and turn away from the doctor just in time to see THE Chase Harrison approaching me. He looks way better in person than he does on the cover of People, which is really surprising considering the fact that I thought they always airbrushed stars to make them look more attractive. He's physically perfect though, striding towards the truck in dark black pants, a white t-shirt, and black combat boots. It's easy to see why he took the title for "Sexiest Man Alive" this year. My leggings and long-sleeved T-shirt are doing nothing for me in the realm of attraction.
When I realize he's probably coming over here to yell at me some more, my eyes start to well up. Apparently, he has finished shooting his scene and has decided to finish chewing me out for earlier. All the emotions of shock, pain, and embarrassment that I have been trying to smother suddenly bubble over, and the tears are streaming down my face in horrifying rivulets. I try to bury my face against my hands and wipe away the annoying tears, but he's quicker.
"Hey, don't cry," Chase Harrison's voice is soft, and suddenly he is wiping the tears away from my cheeks with the pads of his thumbs. I'm shocked as his soft fingers gently graze my bottom eyelid. He isn't mad, I realize, but concerned. He gently strokes my cheek, and I don't miss the trail of warmth his fingers leave behind. "I just wanted to ask if you were okay, which clearly you're not."
"No, I'm fine," I choke out, in a voice that sounds strangely inhuman. His mood has radically shifted from earlier. "I don't know why I'm so emotional all of a sudden," I explain, trying to justify the tears.
"Side effect of the concussion," The good doctor chimes in.
"Concussion?" Chase Harrison frowns, studying my face. "I didn't know you hit your head that hard."
"I'm fine, really," I murmur, between sniffles.
"Mr. Harrison, were you coming to be checked out?" The doctor asks.
"No, I'm fine," He waves the doctor's worries away, "I wanted to apologize."
I suck in a shaky breath and twist my hands together awkwardly. "I'm sorry for running into you and giving you a concussion."
"It's not your fault," I shake my head. After all I was the one who stepped in front of him. "I'm sorry for ruining your scene."
He sits down next to me on the edge of the truck, and I realize that the good doctor has conspicuously disappeared. "Don't worry about it, people were just being overdramatic about filming. Including me. I shouldn't have yelled at you."
"It's okay," I attempt to smile at him reassuringly, but it probably looks forced. He makes me nervous
"No, it's not okay. I should have been apologizing to you, not yelling at you," he looks conflicted, and maybe a bit guilty. "I'd just shot that scene so many times, and I thought you were a crazy fan ruining it, and well I just snapped. I know it's no excuse, but I lost it."
My eyes well up again, and the tears spill over as I realize how much of a nuisance I must have caused to filming. I hate the fact that I've probably ruined everything. All I've ever wanted to be was a wallflower, hiding in the background. This event has thrown me directly in the spotlight. "I'm so sorry," I whisper, my voice thick with emotions.
"Hey, please don't cry," he says softly, gently and unexpectedly taking my hand in his own, and his face is pained. "Don't worry about the scene or anything. It's not your fault. They should have closed down all the stores, not just the street."
I nod and bite the inside of my cheek, still not convinced despite his reassuring words.
"I think we should start over. I'm Chase Harrison."
He releases my hand only to hold out his hand to me again. I eye it warily for a second, before taking the peace offering. Our fingers intertwine and his big hand engulfs mine, warm and soft. "I'm Lucy…" I breathe out quietly. "Lucy Cordova."
"Lucy, huh?" He chuckles. "That's a pretty name."
"Yeah, pretty old-fashioned."
He shakes his head and he's smiling now. He has a tiny dimple on his right cheek, which only becomes noticeable if you're close to him. "No, you look like a Lucy. But Cordova, is that Jewish by any chance?"
I blink in surprise. "Yeah, my father is Jewish, but my mother is a good Catholic girl."
He shakes his head, and his expression is one of disbelief. "No way," he mutters. "My mother is Jewish and my father is Catholic. I grew up celebrating every freaking holiday in the book."
"Seriously," My lips upturn in the first real smile I've given all day. "Me too."
My older sister, Stephanie, is the epitome of Chase Harrison ultra-fan. She has every magazine he has been featured in, and has watched every interview. I never remember her mentioning anything about him being Jewish and Catholic, just like us, or reading anything about it in one of her stupid magazines. It makes me smile a little bit to know something she doesn't.
"It's funny how you can have something in common with a complete stranger." He muses.
"True," I agree. We fall into an awkward silence for a few seconds, and I wonder why he hasn't left yet. "So, what movie are you making?" I ask, trying to keep the conversation flowing.
"You don't know?" He looks genuinely surprised.
"No, sorry. I don't really keep up on entertainment news and stuff," I admit, a little apologetically.
He smiles. I mean really smiles. And it's so discombobulating that my eyes hurt from witnessing it. "No, that's great. I mean it's really cool that you don't know what I'm doing every second of every day. I feel like everyone I meet knows more about me than I know about myself."
I nod, understanding the frustration of his predicament. "And to answer your question," he continues, "We're filming a modernized version of Romeo and Juliet."
"Oh?" I pause. "Wait, like the one with Leonardo DiCaprio ?"
He laughs, "No, no. Better than that. An actual modernized version with real language. Not that Shakespearean crap, with all the thous and the shalls."
"Shakespeare is probably rolling over in his grave right about now," I point out.
"Sorry. Shakespeare fan?" He asks, almost teasingly, pointing at me.
"Actually no. You're secret is safe with me."
I can't help but notice how easily we have fallen into conversation. Normally I'm just an awkward hot mess around anyone of the male species. But with Chase, it's like we're old friends. He checks his watch, which looks like it costs more than my private school tuition, and I realize I've probably kept him for too long.
"It was nice meeting you," I say earnestly. He looks at me baffled, "the second time. Not when I got the concussion," I clarify quickly. "But I should probably go. I have class in forty-five minutes."
"You're not going to class." The doctor reappears at the most inopportune time, holding a piece of paper between his thumb and index finger. His face is pulled into a frown and the lines on his forehead suggest intense disapproval. "You are going home and going to bed, my dear."
"Seriously, Lucy," Chase looks concerned now too. "Doc is right, you need to go to sleep. Not class."
I frown. Finals are approaching, and I can't miss any second of my last semester of college. "I'm fine, really," I stand up quickly, and start to move, trying to prove my point. Instead of walking forward, however, my body lurches sideways, and the pavement spirals up towards me once again. I gasp, and suddenly there is an arm around my waist, pulling me back into the comfort of a warm embrace.
"Hmmm fine? You don't seem fine to me. You can barely walk." Chase tucks me under his arm, so that I am cloistered against his side.
"Okay, okay." I admit, feeling woozy. "I'll go home. Point proven."
"Do you have someone to escort you? I don't want you walking by yourself in your condition." The doctor says, shaking his head with a frown.
"Erm…" I pause, wondering how I'm going to get out of this one.
"I'll take her," Chase offers, quickly.
"What?" I ask, my voice mirroring the shock on the doctor's face. Apparently Chase Harrison doesn't make it a daily occurrence to walk poor, little, concussed girls home. "I'm sure you're busy filming, and everything. I'll be fine."
"I'm done for a few hours, actually. It's the least I can do after nearly killing you not even half an hour ago."
"Really, it's only a few blocks. I can manage." I argue, not wanting to disturb him any more than I've already done today.
"Really, it's only a few blocks. I can manage." His tone mirrors mine, and I sigh. "Come on Luce, let's get you home." My stomach does funny things when he says "Luce" although that may be partially do to the nausea I'm beginning to feel as well.
He puts on dark shaded sunglasses, and takes the prescription paper from the doctor. "Take one pill every six hours. Only take two if the headache hasn't lessened after ninety minutes. You may start vomiting, which is completely normal in the first twenty-four hours after the concussion. If it keeps up, or if the headache doesn't subside by tomorrow morning, get to a hospital and have them check you out for internal bleeding or skull fracture. You should be fine though. I don't think you have any serious, permanent damage. Just have someone wake you up every three to four hours and sleep for a while, okay?" Even though the doctor speaks as if his words are directed to me, he talks at Chase, who appears to be taking detailed mental notes.
"No worries doctor," he grins, "I'll make sure she is a-okay."
I sigh in defeat. Could this day truly get any more embarrassing?
Tucked under the extremely toned, tanned, and muscular arm of THE Chase Harrison I stumble through the movie set, past big trucks with equipment, and over wires connected to microphones, and nearly knock over a giant umbrella lamp.
"Listen, you really don't have to do this," I tell him, when we finally make it away from the hustle and bustle of the movie set, and are back onto the regular Manhattan streets.
"Where do you live?" He ignores my comment.
"Fifth ave and Eighth Street," I tell him, and turn my head just in time to catch his grimace.
"I'm hailing a cab," he says bluntly. "That's too far for you to walk in your condition."
"It's like four blocks," I protest. I start to move away from him again, and thankfully this time I don't fall. I move slowly, but I'm able to walk okay on my own.
"Stubborn woman," he mutters, but catches up to me quickly, pulling me back to his side so that he can support my weight.
We walk in silence for the first block. It takes probably twice as long as usual to make it from one street to the next, and a few impatient New Yorkers pass us with huffs. I want to apologize, but I'm becoming increasingly tired as the pounding in my brain intensifies.
"So you're a student. I'm assuming you go to NYU then?" He says as we stop at the crosswalk button, and motions around us to the many NYU banners and signs that dot the area. I nod with exhaustion. "What are you studying?"
"Double major in International Relations and Global Public Health," I pause to take a breath before we start walking again. "And a minor in Spanish."
He whistles. "That's actually pretty impressive. What do you want to do?"
"Possibly work at the World Health Organization, or somewhere in the United Nations. I'm doing an internship with the UN this summer," I manage to keep my voice calm, despite the fact that I want to collapse.
"So you'll be around the city this summer," he says, as if committing this trivial piece of information to memory.
"Yes," I finally force myself to stop, resting against the side of the building. "Do you think we could take a break?"
I lower myself to the sidewalk, and press my fingers against my temples, hoping to stop the incessant pounding in my brain. He was right about the walk being too much to handle, and I hate that I didn't listen to him earlier. Suddenly, I feel him scooping me up into his arms, and carrying me down the street. I'm so tired that I don't even have the energy to protest.
"Sorry," he mutters. "I just want to get you home and in bed."
My lips upturn into a smile. "Why Chase, we've only just met," I say with false modesty. "I'm not that kind of girl."
He groans. "I did not mean it like that."
I laugh a bit and lean my head on his shoulder, too tired to be shy any longer. A little part of me wishes that had meant it like that, but I don't say anything.
I must doze off for a few minutes, because the next thing I know he's pushing the door of my apartment building open with his back and we're entering the lobby area. "What floor?"
"Two," I mumble. I feel him climbing the stairs, and blink as the world comes back into focus. "Apartment C."
"No jealous boyfriend to claw me out when he sees us together?"
"Oh, no." I shrug, almost a little sadly.
He finally sets me down outside of my door, and I pull my key out of my pocket. He takes it from me, and opens my door with deft fingers. Part of me bristles at the idea of letting a strange man into my apartment, but there is a larger part of me that feels safe with Chase. Perhaps it's a risk, but it's a risk I'm willing to take. I manage to slosh through the apartment, as if my feet are covered in mud, and I collapse onto my bed immediately, completely unaware that Chase has followed me into my bedroom. As a matter-of-fact, I almost entirely forget that Chase is even there, until I hear him clear his throat.
"Do you have someone to wake you up in three hours?"
"Yeah, my roommates Kat and Dahlia will be home eventually," I manage to get out. My body is already half asleep, the concussion pulling me further and further towards unconsciousness.
"When?" His voice is pointed and no-nonsense.
"When Lucy? When will they be home?" He is worried now, and I feel his hand against my forehead.
"Oh, six maybe?"
He starts to speak again, and I think his voice sounds frustrated, but I'm so far lost that I don't hear anything he's saying. That last thing I'm aware of is spiraling down into the blissful darkness.
"Luce," I hear a soft, but worried voice. "Wake up please?"
I turn, trying to find the source of the rich voice, speaking gently in my ear. "Yeah? I'm awake," I manage to say, although my voice sounds hazy.
"Thank God, I've been trying to wake you up for two minutes." The voice is both familiar and unfamiliar, in the strangest of ways. I open my eyes, and find the deep foam-green eyes of Chase Harrison staring at me, with an expression etched of concern.
When our eyes meet, the memories of the collide and the concussion and coming home rush back to me in bits and pieces. I groan as my stomach rolls, and I know I'm going to be sick. I push up out of bed quickly, and run to the bathroom, my hands covering my mouth. I try to throw the door shut behind me so that Chase won't follow, but he catches it before it slams shut. I never thought I would be more embarrassed in my entire life than I was this morning, but as I heave into the toilet while THE Chase Harrison watches me, I realize that I was so utterly and completely wrong. I feel him gather up my long chestnut colored hair, and hold it at the nape of my neck as he pats my back comfortingly.
"You don't want to see this," I mutter, when I can finally speak again. "Please just go."
"Not a chance," I can hear the indignation in his voice. "I did this to you after all."
I realize he must be motivated by guilt and strong feelings of pity, which makes my heart ache in an unfamiliar way. "No you didn't. It was my fault. Please just leave."
I'm surprised when he actually listens to me. He drops my hair and walks out of the bathroom, which makes my heart hurt for an entirely different reason. I blink away the tears of surprise and pain that I feel at his absence. I stand on shaky legs and flush the toilet, before dabbing at my face with a cool washcloth. I also attempt, quite successfully as a matter-of-fact, to brush my teeth, before I lay back down against the cool tile, draping the washcloth over my eyes. I think I would happily die here if that were to be the way to go.
"You don't want to sleep there, Luce." I hear Chase's comforting voice again, which surprises me since I thought he had left.
I pull the washcloth off of my face to look up at him. He towers over me, it's almost intimidating, but his face is kind. "You stayed?" My voice sounds meek.
"Of course I stayed," he looks confused. "I just left to get your medicine and water."
"Wait you filled my prescription and then came back to my apartment."
"Yeah, while you were sleeping earlier."
I think I fall in love with him in that moment.
He holds out a small blue pill and a glass of water. I take both thankfully, and drink the water almost greedily. When I'm done, he takes the glass away, and picks me up again. I let myself be babied and tended to. He tucks me into bed, and pulls the covers up around me.
"Thank you," I say earnestly. "For everything. You didn't have to do all of this."
He nods, "I know I didn't have to do it. But I wanted to do it. Really."
I smile at him and he smiles back at me.
"How's your head?"
"Ehh, so so."
"You should go back to sleep," he points out.
"I'm not tired," I lie. In reality, I know that he probably won't stick around for much longer, and I selfishly want to spend more time with him.
"I'm an actor, remember?" He teases. "I know when you're lying."
I blush and try to cover my face with my hands.
"How about TV then, yeah?"
"Okay," I concede.
He perches on the bed next to me, and flips through the channels. I know I should tell him that he doesn't have to stay, but I don't want to. I want him to stay. Maybe forever.
"Oh, Adele," he mutters, when we stop on a rerun of some concert series.
Adele is up on stage belting out lyrics. "I build myself up and fly around in circles."
"Are you an Adele fan?"
I think it over for a second. "She's okay. Not a huge fan or anything though but I have respect for her as a person."
"Waiting as my heart drops and my back begins to tingle."
"Okay I can live with that. I hate this song though." He admits, shaking his head as the camera zooms in on her face.
"Me too," I reply with pleasant surprise. "Her voice is too willowy."
"Yeah, you know what I mean right?
"Finally could this be it?"
"Actually I do, weirdly enough." His pinched expression makes me smile.
"Should I give up or should I just keep chasing pavements?"
"You know, this could be our song," I giggle.
"What do you mean?" He asks, as soon as I realize what I've said.
"Ummm, I don't mean like our song, our song, in that way," I hesitate, trying to cover up my blunder. "But you know you were running, like chasing something, and then we hit the pavement. And also your name is Chase so it's like a pun. And we both hate it. Okay never mind it's dumb."
He laughs again. "No I like it. I am officially deeming Chasing Pavements our song."
I grin as I realize we have a thing. I have a thing with THE Chase Harrison and THE Chase Harrison is in my bed. If I didn't have a concussion I might have felt pretty giddy at that point. I'm not sure how long we watch the Adele concert series for, but eventually I doze off again, my cheek resting against his bicep.
I am awoken by a gentle shaking of my shoulder. I blink my eyes open to see that my room has considerably darkened since earlier. My roommate and best friend Kat is looking at me expectantly through her hazel green eyes.
"Lucy Marie Cordova, please explain to me why Chase Harrison, as in, THE Chase Harrison, was sitting in my living room when I got home this afternoon?" I reach for the water on the nightstand and drink hungrily while she awaits my answer.
"Was?" I finally ask, my throat still dry. I'm feeling considerably better than I was the last time I was awake, although the headache still lingers at the peripheries of my skull. My emotions have tanked, however, with the realization that Chase is no longer here.
"Oh yeah, he left about an hour ago. Told me to wake you up at six-thirty and make sure you could hold a real conversation." Kat's eyes seem to search my face.
I try to keep the disappointment out of my expression and voice. "Did he leave a number or anything?"
Kat's face falls. "I don't think so."
I try to smile, but I'm sure it isn't fooling her. "We had a little run-in accident today, and I kind of have a concussion now. It's not a really big deal. He was just being nice and making sure that I didn't go comatose or anything."
"No big deal?" Kat asks, raising an eyebrow. "I almost had a heart-attack when I walked in and found him here. He's so so so hot. I couldn't even say two words to him without drooling."
I sigh, because under all of those pretty-boy looks, there is a kind human being, who is caring and considerate. A man who gave me a hand when he didn't have to. Although my heart aches to know him better, I realize our short meeting has finally come to its well-deserved close.
I follow Kat out to the kitchen to refill my water. She continues to prattle away about some meaningless gossip she read about Chase Harrison and his co-star. Something about how they might be dating. I attempt to tune her out, trying not to dwell on the mini heartbreak I'm experiencing now that Chase has left. He was so kind and thoughtful today, and now I will probably never see him again. The realization is a painful but necessary one.
"Should I give up or should I just keep chasing pavements?"
Chasing Pavements begins playing from somewhere in my house, causing me to overfill my glass of water. I glance around with wide eyes, as water continues to spill over my hand, trying to locate the source of the song. Not suspecting anything out of the ordinary, Kat points to my phone, which is lighting up on the table. "I think it's yours," she shrugs and leaves the room.
I dry my hand quickly and locate my phone, which is playing Adele and vibrating with frenzy. I look at the screen, and let out a surprised yelp when I read the name: CHASE HARRISON, in bold letters. Before it can cut to voicemail, I slide the touch screen open and hold it up to my ear, my heart beating frantically in my chest.
"Hello?" My voice is unsteady.
"Lucy?" Chase sounds worried. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah, I'm fine," I can't keep the smile off of my face. My cheeks hurt from how wide I'm grinning. "Kat just woke me up."
"Oh good," I can hear him relax. "I just wanted to make sure you were alright. I had to get back to the set to shoot a night scene this evening, so I couldn't stick around. I'm really sorry."
"No, no you're fine," I sink down into the chair at our kitchen table. "You've been more than kind and generous today. Thank you so much for everything this afternoon."
"Seriously, it wasn't a problem at all."
There's a short silence between us, and I get the sense that he doesn't want to hang up as much as I don't want to hang up. "Did you put your name and number into my phone?" I ask finally.
"Oh yeah, I wanted you to answer if I called you," he admits. "Plus if we're going to have a song, then we obviously have to set it as each other's customized ringtones."
He says the words so casually, as if he truly believes that I will be calling him often. As if I will need a customized ringtone on his phone. "Right of course," I agree, pulling my bottom lip between my teeth.
There's another pause, and this time he breaks the silence. "Lucy, I know we met under sub-par circumstances, but I would really love to see you again. I'll be around New York for a little bit. Maybe we can see a show, or go to dinner, or you know do something fun," I'm surprised at how nervous he seems. The words clearly don't come naturally, which makes me giggle.
"Is THE Chase Harrison trying to ask me on a date?" I ask, speculatively.
I can hear him exhale from the other end of the line. "Yeah kind of actually."
"No jealous girlfriend to claw me out."
"That would be a no," he laughs, recognizing his own words from earlier.
"Hmmm, well since we did get off on the wrong foot, I guess I am obliged to give you a second chance," I tease him.
"So, is that a yes?"
"It's a yes."