Madden Grey is an odd one. One of a kind, she likes to say. When she gets hired to write a column at the Vogue offices, she gets her suitcase and leaves the Virginia memories behind. She soon realizes that making friends and finding love isn't easy in the city where everything happens. But then, she meets Noah Taylor, and he just happens to be amused by Madden's.... unusual qualities.


2. Open spaces and Suitcases.

Madden stayed with her father for hours, talking about her fears and plans and expectations of her new employment. After that day, it was a whirlpool of emails and letters and packing until she's standing at the airport, holding her two suitcases, standing next to an emotional mother. 

"It's like college all over again," her mother chuckled, blowing her nose and wiping tears.

"I'll be fine mom, really," Madden sighed and gave her mother one last hug.

"Oh, I'm going to miss you. Don't forget that I gave the movers specific instructions, so the boxes and furniture should already be in your apartment, ready to be unpacked. Oh, and I borrowed your green sweater and packed it in the box with the books. Oh, and-" her mother spouted all the information that Madden wanted to avoid.

"Mom, I have to go. The flight leaves soon. I love you," she smiled as she cut her mother off. Kristen gave her a hug and a kiss on the cheek and said goodbye for what seemed like the hundredth time. 

After Madden was sure her mother had stopped coming back to tell her un-needed information, she checked in her bags and practically floated into her flight from happiness.

This was it. Her dream was coming true today. Today she would be moving to New York.


1 hour and 27 minutes later, the plane landed and Madden's heart was practically doing front flips around in her chest. She didn't have the privilege of a window seat, so her view of the wonderful city was pushed off until she got out of the plane.

She hurried and left the plane and tried not to sprint to the baggage check. Luckily, the first suitcases she saw were her brown suitcases covered in stickers of places she wanted to go to. 

Suitcases in hand, Madden walked over to the window and stared at the city, her cheeks hurting from smiling and grinning at everyone and everything there.

After 5 minutes of staring pointlessly out the window, Madden decided it was about time to go check out the city for herself. She tore herself from the window and headed toward the escalator. As she was heading down the moving stairs, her eyes wandered to a chauffeur holding a sign with MADDEN GREY printed in bold black letters. She was expecting to catch a taxi, but this was better. Thanks mom, she thought.

As she stepped onto lower ground, her suitcases swayed with her arms when she stepped up to the man holding the sign.

"Are you Madden Grey?" he asked professionally. 

"Yes I am. And what should I call you?" she grinned nicely.

"Um- John." he answered awkwardly, obviously wanting to avoid conversation as he lowered the sign and reached for her bags. She let him take them and thanked him as they walked toward the car.

"Man, I'm glad to be out of there. It's quite packed, don't you think?" she offered as friendly conversation.

"Um-yes. It was." he mumbled as he opened her door and lead her in the car. She took that as a sign that he didn't want to talk and made a mental note to not talk to taxi drivers. 

He put her bags in the trunk and hopped into the driver's seat, starting the car with a quiet efficiency.

All Madden could do was gawk at the spectacular city. Everything was moving at once, like ants in an anthill. This is like a movie, she thought.

She had no idea that the car had stopped, due to her daydreaming and awe of the city she'd dreamt of her entire life.

John cleared his throat to catch her attention and lead her out the door. He handed her luggage to her and drove off. He was obviously prepaid, Madden thought.

She turned around to face her new home, The Strauss Towers . 

As she walked in, she was bombarded with service.

"Good afternoon miss. We can take you over here," a lady escorted her to a register.

"Gwen Wilson informed us that you would be here today. Here's your information and your two keys. I advise not losing them," the lady said. Madden saw that her name was Maria, as said on her name tag.

Madden grabbed her papers and keys.

"When is first month's rent due?" Madden asked after reading that it wasn't on her information of when she would be paying.

Maria laughed.

"Sweetie, Vogue is paying for your apartment. Don't be silly," Maria laughed.

That was music to Madden's ears.

"Thank you so much Maria, I guess I'll be seeing you more often," Madden said.

"Yes we are. Good afternoon," Maria said with a fake cheeriness. 

The button to the 9th floor lit up as Madden pressed it and set down her suitcases.  Right before the elevator doors close, a hand thrusts into the elevator to keep the doors from shutting. The doors open and a man walks in. He's dressed in a very bright outfit that could be questionable for anyone but me.

"Hi there. I'm going up to 9. Sorry for making you wait longer," he says in an oddly feminine voice. She knew that he was probably gay, but she didn't care. She'd always wanted a gay guy friend, not that she was particular. Any friend would be nice.

"Oh, me too. What room?" she questioned.

"119. What about you? Are you moving in?" he retorted in an excited voice.

"Yes actually. I haven't even seen my room yet. Unpacking is probably my worst fear. I guess we'll be neighbors though, I'm in 120," Madden grinned.

He jumped and clapped his hands.

"Yes! It's about time someone new moved in! I'm glad it's you though, and not some creepy drunk like the last time. I think room 117 still reeks of alcohol and vomit," he chuckled as they stepped onto the 9th floor of the luxuriousness of her new home. 

"Thanks for the imagery," she laughed as she stuffed her key into the keyhole. Even the door looked pretty.

"You need some help? I've got time.. or..." the man said.

"Promise you're not a creep?" Madden raised an eyebrow.

"Promise. And how many movies have you seen where the creepy slasher guy is as sexy as this?" he gestured toward himself. Madden chuckled.

"Alright then. I guess we'll both get the first look together," she said, turning the door knob.

They both stepped into her new home and sighed as they saw the boxes that littered the floor.

"Well, we have all day. Let's get started!" the still unknown stranger said, elevating the flaps of the first box he came to.

"Shouldn't I know your name first?" she asked him.

"Shouldn't I know yours?" he retorted with a raised eyebrow.

"I'm Madden Grey," she replied with a slight chuckle.

"I'm Blake Garrison," he said, plain and simple. 

"I like how you said that," she observed. 

"What do you mean?" he asked, not looking at her, while lifting a pile of movies out of the box. Madden decided to start on the kitchen, pulling out bowls and pans and the everyday kitchen neccesities out of a camel colored brown moving box.

"You said it so proudly. Like you knew who you were introducing."

"I do. It took me awhile for me to figure it out, but it came all at once. Like a wave hit me, and I just knew exactly who I am and what I stand for," he shrugs.

"I guess I'm still scared to get in the water."

"You'll get over it soon. Don't worry about it."

They unpacked.

"Are there any cute guys in the building?" Madden asked after a bit.

"I was waiting for you to ask that one," he laughs, "and there's only one, sadly. He's just a mystery to everyone. I don't even know his name, being I've never said two words to him, but he's pretty cute. I could actually see him with you."

"Whoa, whoa, whoa, I've known you for 15 minutes and you're already marrying me off?" she laughed.

"It's what I do. The Queen does what the Queen wants.," he snapped his fingers in a Z-formation like Madden did when she was a child. 

Madden could not get enough of Blake.

"You know, I can tell that we are gonna be friends," she nodded firmly and laughs.

"Looks like there's a princess in town..." he added.

"You know it!" she laughed and mimicked him.

"How about some music? This sound system you got seems totally groovy." he says, admiring her speakers and plugging his phone into the MP3 Jack.

"Turn it up!" Madden insisted and he settled on "Midnight City" by M3. 

They danced around her apartment while taking everything out of its box. That was Madden's only moving strategy: to get everything out of it's box and find a home for it later on, and Blake agreed.

For two hours, they unpacked the boxes and talked about random things, like their favorite music or their biggest fears. By the time both of them felt like exploding from solitary confinement, Madden felt like she'd known Blake for her whole life, so she decided to treat him to a night out, as a thank you. She needed something to do with the money she'd been saving to pay for the rent that was covered by her employers.

"Where should we go?" Madden asked him as they stepped out of Strauss Towers.

"You know, I really feel like shopping, now that I'd have a shopping buddy..." he said.

"You know, I was thinking the exact same thing," she grinned back at him while they walked down the busy streets of New York. 

Normally, people might be intimidated by the crowded streets of tough people, but Madden had literally practiced her confident walk in her bedroom since she was a child, and now, actually in New York City, she felt like she owned the place.

To Madden's surprise, she really enjoyed shopping with Blake because he actually knew what he was doing. He would give her his honest opinion on something she tried on and she'd reciprocate it back to him. 

Madden was amazed at her luck that day, that she could make friends with practically one of the first people she met, and she knew it probably wouldn't happen again in this city full of people nice and mean, but she was sure grateful. It was the first time she'd ever felt like she had a real friend.

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