Disharmony

179310
After her latest antic lands her on the front page of every tabloid in the country, singing sensation Kasia Stevens’s manager books Luke Hemmings as her opening act, hoping to salvage some of her reputation. According to the media, he can do no wrong. He’s pure and wholesome and entirely dedicated to his music: everything a singer/songwriter should be. Separately, they’re superstars. Together, they have the potential to be epic or disasterous. Either way, Luke better buckle up, because being on tour with Kasia Stevens is bound to a wild ride.

AA
aa

11. Try And Catch Me Now

Kasia didn’t get nervous. At least, not like this. A few butterflies before she got on stage always helped her perform her best. But this was gut wrenching, stomach tightening, she felt like she couldn’t breathe nerves.

And of course, he was the cause. He always did have a way of paralyzing her with fear. Just the thought of him made her feel as though fingers were tightening around her neck and slowly strangling her to death. As though she was drowning and gasping for air.

She should have known this would happen. Since the breakup three years ago, she’d managed to avoid this situation. He’d been pretty low key, only doing small independent films that didn’t garner him much attention at the large music awards shows she generally attended.

However, this year, he’d just finished filming the latest in a large action movie franchise and was out promoting everywhere. Currently, she was glancing at the TV, attempting not to watch the prerecorded interview he’d done with the entertainment channel while simultaneously trying not to the think about the fact that in a few short hours, they’d once again be in the same room.

Award shows were always fun to attend; especially ones honoring musicians because the performances never failed to disappoint. So of course she’d said she would attend and perform. At the time she hadn’t thought about Noah being there, mostly because it had been ages since she’d thought about him general.

So she’d begged Luke to come along. He’d been wary, and rightfully so, after the near disaster that picture of them kissing had caused. But she really needed the moral support, especially since Annie had returned to school. Besides, Luke was a musician as well, so his presence there wouldn’t be questioned.

Although they were taking the same car to the event because they were staying in the same hotel, they planned to stagger their red carpet entrances so they wouldn’t be asked to take pictures together. Kasia had listed Luke as her plus one to ensure they were seated side by side. She knew that was a questionable idea, considering all that had happened the past few weeks. But she figured barely anyone knew about the kiss as the picture had been stripped from all websites and banned from being published. Thus, people would either assume there was something going on between them or assume they were just friends. And seeing as people always assumed they were in a secret relationship, this wasn’t anything new to deal with.

A soft knock on her door drew her attention and she quickly switched off the television and stood carefully, smoothing out her feather skirted dress and tugging gently on the end of her high ponytail. Taking a deep breath, she tapped her self-painted black nails against the outside of her beaded clutch as she walked towards the door and pulled it open to reveal Luke on the other side.

He was dressed simply, in fitted black pants, a red plaid button up, and a black leather jacket, but she thought he looked breathtaking nonetheless.

She smiled widely. “You clean up nice, Hemmings.”

He smirked, dragging his teeth over his lip piercing. “You’re gorgeous, Stevens.”

Despite herself, she flushed, nodding towards the doorway to direct his attention elsewhere. They arrived at the red carpet half an hour before the show was scheduled to begin. Kasia stepped out of the car first, Luke saying he would wait ten minutes before making his appearance.

She worked the red carpet as usual, giving them sultry looks over her shoulder when they asked. Her management had advised her not to do any red carpet interviews, as she would undoubtedly be asked about Noah or Luke and she would rather not talk about either. So she finished her poses and smiles and waves quickly before stepping inside the lobby of the venue to wait for Luke.

Just as she was about to pull out her phone to check the time, she felt a presence before her. Believing it was Luke, she raised her head with a smile, only to have her expression freeze when it turned out to be the very person she’d intended on avoiding the entire night.

“Kassie,” Noah smirked, his eyes flicking up and down her body. “You look good.”

She felt as if she was drowning in a bathtub full of snakes. Her skin crawled and she found that she had forgotten how to breathe.

“Noah,” she whispered because she couldn’t force her voice to go any higher.

Damn him for still looking so good. The past three years had only made him more attractive. His thick blonde curls had been cut short and tamed, which gave the illusion of maturity, although his deep green eyes still glinted with that mischief that she used to find so enticing.

Now, however, they just left her paralyzed.

She hated that she allowed herself to be this way around him; that she let him contain her fire. As his lips twisted into an even deeper smirk, she waited for her heart rate to spike and her breathing to become haggard, as it generally did in his presence.

Both things eventually occurred, but she was surprised to find that it wasn’t for the reason she originally believed. She wasn’t flustered by him; she was disgusted.

So she breathed deeply and stood up straighter and looked him straight in the eyes. He seemed surprised by her boldness, as she’d generally been timid in their relationship. But if Kasia had learned anything about herself as a result of their breakup, it was that she was a force to be reckoned with.

“Good evening, Noah,” she smiled tightly. “I hope you’re well.”

His eyes twinkled with amusement and he leaned close, his lips brushing her ear as he whispered, “Much better now.” And then the bastard winked and walked away.

She was fuming, her nails digging small crescents into the palm of her hand as she cursed under her breath.

“Everything alright?”

Turning, she relaxed a little at the sight of Luke, who had finally finished his walk of the red carpet.

“Yes,” she replied a little breathlessly. “I just ran into someone I haven’t seen in a while.”

Luke raised an eyebrow, looking unimpressed. “Noah? I saw him when I was walking up.”

She blinked in surprise. “Yes.”

“Did you know he was going to be here?” Luke sighed.

“Yes,” she said slowly, wondering why Luke’s demeanor was changing slowly to one of annoyance.

“Is that why you wanted me to be your plus one?” he asked quietly.

The simplest answer was yes, but the situation wasn’t simple, so she knew simply conceding would give him the wrong impression. Unfortunately, she wasn’t given a chance to respond, as they were ushered to their seats.

Luke sat tensely beside her, making very minimal conversation and laughing unenthusiastically once the show actually began. She knew the cameras in the audience could pan to her at any moment, so she tried her best to make it seem as though she was having a good time. When she won the award for female video of the year, Luke hugged her courteously, whispering congratulations into her ear with absolutely no enthusiasm. She accepted the award with excitement, thanking the usual people before returning to her seat to find her touring partner was still giving her the cold shoulder.

“Luke,” she spoke softly during a commercial break. “What’s wrong?”

“What do you mean?” he replied innocently, not even bothering to look at her.

“You’ve practically been ignoring me all night,” she protested.

“Don’t worry,” he shrugged. “I’ll make sure to turn on the charm the next time Noah’s around.”

Her mouth fell open in shock. He couldn’t be…it wasn’t possible…had she been sending entirely the wrong signals? Was Luke jealous?

“I didn’t ask you to be my date because I’m using you,” she hissed in response, feeling her heart rate elevating in rage.

“Could have fooled me,” he responded coolly.

She rolled her eyes and turned to face the front, regaining her composure as the music cued the entrance of the next presenter.

 And of course, it had to be him.

Noah smiled charmingly at the audience as he began his introduction to the award. Just before announcing the nominees, his eyes met hers and she gripped her clutch tightly in her lap with one hand, the fingers of the other curled into a fist. She kept her expression neutral, however, because she could practically feel the eyes of an entire nation waiting for her to have some sort of reaction. But it seemed like Noah could sense the distress he was causing her and the corners of his lips lifted just slightly before he removed his gaze and cued the video package listing the nominees.

As clips of the various music videos played, she felt something on her wrist and looked down to see Luke’s fingers attempting to unfurl her fist. She relaxed her fingers, breathing deeply as he intertwined their hands and squeezed softly. Looking up at him, she expected to see Luke’s eyes deadened, because he always was one to fall victim to his sense of duty, but what she found instead was understanding.

Despite his initial disgust with the situation, he was now indicating that he had accepted her reasons for wanting him there and she was beyond grateful. So she held Luke’s hand tightly until Noah and the winners of best collaboration video exited the stage, sighing and smiling gratefully as she turned to him during the commercial break.

“Thanks,” she said, enjoying the fact that he hadn’t yet released her hand.

“He really works you up, doesn’t he?” Luke frowned.

Kasia nodded, a little frustrated at the thought. “I wish he didn’t affect me that way.”

He shrugged. “Then don’t let him.”

She wondered if it really was that easy; if she could really just turn it all off. But then again, turning off her emotions had gotten her through many a scandal in the papers, so why couldn’t it work in regards to Noah as well?

Shooting Luke a small smile, she nodded and squeezed his hand gratefully before letting it go. “I have to go backstage to get ready for my performance. I’ll see you after.”

“Of course,” he smiled encouragingly. “Break a leg.”

Laughing softly, she rose from her seat and made her way back stage. She stopped short before she reached her dressing room, her eyes narrowing when she spotted Noah at the end of the hallway, taking pictures with the group to whom he had just presented an award.

Her hopes of avoiding him flew out the window when he took notice of her presence and called her name down the hallway.

She held in a groan and kept her lips pressed together, her arms crossing over her chest in irritation. “What do you want?”

He didn’t look the least bit offended by her coldness. In fact, he looked rather amused, which only served to enhance her annoyance.

“Oh, Kassie,” he replied, that stupid amused smirk twisting his lips, “Still so much anger. Can’t we be friends?”

“Yes,” she replied, “Once you grow a heart.”

“Still feisty,” he grinned. “I always did love that about you.”

She scoffed. “You say that as though you’re capable of love.”

The corners of his lips lifted into a small smile and he reached out a hand to tug affectionately on her ponytail. She swatted his arm away and fixed him with a glare as he spoke.

“Love is for the weak, my darling.”

“You’re wrong,” she challenged, looking him straight in the eyes. “Love is for the fearless. Not allowing yourself to love doesn’t make you strong; it makes you a coward.”

Before he could respond, she brushed passed him into her dressing room, sighing in relief as she sank into the chair in front of the mirror. Ten minutes later – which was record time – she emerged dressed for her performance.

The award show people had been surprised when she told them what song she would like to perform. It wasn’t new and she hadn’t released it as a single, so the probability that anyone in the audience would know the words was slim.

But that wasn’t the point of this performance. She needed to prove to herself that she was truly over him. So, she would sing the song that she’d written when she’d finally realized that their relationship had been toxic. And she would sing it right to his face.

Such an occasion required the appropriate attire, of course. Red was the color of redemption and it didn’t hurt that it made her feel invincible. So when she stepped out onto that stage, her feet bare beneath the silky a line skirt of her gown and her hair rippling around her shoulders in loose, messy curls, she could practically feel her veins being lit with fire.

She stood at the back of the stage, her head tilted downwards as a single spotlight shone on her and the first chord of the backing track played. Taking a deep breath, she began to sing.

You have a way of coming easily to me. And when you take you take the very best of me. So I start a fight cause I need to feel something. And you do what you want cause I’m not what you wanted.

Her eyes lift to survey the audience and she couldn’t see anything, but she knew he was there. As she walked slowly towards the front of the stage, her voice became stronger.

Oh what a shame. What a rainy ending given to a perfect day. Just walk away. There’s no use defending words that you will never say. And now that I’m sitting here thinking it through. I’ve never been anywhere cold as you.

The audience was utterly silent. Even the track playing behind her wasn’t very loud, so the only noise in the entire venue was her voice.

You put up walls and paint them all a shade of grey. And I stood there loving you and wished them all away. And you come away with a great little story. Of a mess of a dreamer with the nerve to adore you.

By this point, she was certain her gaze looked as though she could start a forest fire and she channeled that rage into the next chorus.

Oh what a shame. What a rainy ending given to a perfect day. Just walk away. There’s no use defending words that you will never say. And now that I’m sitting here thinking it through. I’ve never been anywhere cold as you.

There was a musical interlude. She took the opportunity to find Luke in the front row. She wasn’t sure if he was aware of her reasoning behind picking this song, but he still smiled at her as though he was the proudest person alive and it fueled her conviction.

You never did give a damn thing honey, but I cried, cried for you. And I bet you wouldn’t have told nobody if I died, died for you. Died for you.

She took another deep breath as she went into the last verse, willing Noah to feel her pain and anger and most importantly, her indifference to his feelings.

Oh what a shame. What a rainy ending given to a perfect day. Every smile you fake is so condescending, counting all the scars you made. And now that I’m sitting here thinking it through. I’ve never been anywhere cold as you.

There was a moment of silence before the audience started clapping and cheering. Smiling widely, she waved and blew kisses. Just before the stage went dark, she caught sight of Noah. That amused smirk was in its usual place, but this time, it didn’t incite anger. This time, all she felt towards him was pity that he still didn’t seem to understand what she was saying.

She smiled to herself once the stage was pitch black. That performance was one of her best ever. It left her confident and buzzing and ready to take on the world.

The rest of the show was a blur of excitement. She won two more awards and clapped excitedly when Luke accepted his award for Best New Artist. They danced along to the performances and mingled with the other celebrity guests and it wasn’t until they were back in the car headed for the after party that she remembered how the show had started.

“I wasn’t lying before, you know,” she said quietly after they’d finished reminiscing about the fabulous dance moves they’d seen from the various audience members. “I wasn’t trying to use you.”

He lifted one side of his mouth into a small smile and ran a hand through his hair. “I know. At least, I know it wasn’t intentional. I suppose I was a bit jealous.”

She smiled softly. “You have no reason to be.”

There were many ways he could interpret that statement and she supposed every interpretation was valid. On one hand, there was officially no relationship of the romantic nature between her and Luke. On the other, they both knew that was complete bullshit. At this point, it was only a matter of time before something decidedly not platonic happened between them again.

Nodding, he chewed on his bottom lip before he spoke. “What happened with you and Noah?”

She laughed bitterly. “Hollywood’s bad boy dumped America’s sweetheart. That’s what the headline read.”

“Come on, Kas,” he encouraged softly. “You know I never believe anything I read in the papers. I want your side of the story.”

She found herself captivated by the sincerity in his eyes and wondered if it was in fact possible that after discovering the seedy underbelly of celebrity life, Luke was still pure of heart.

“It’s actually pretty cliché,” she admitted. “I’d been in the industry for about three years and I’d successfully began my mission to rid myself of the sweet, innocent image. Dating Hollywood’s bad boy was just the next natural progression, I suppose. We actually met at an award show. He was presenting the category I was nominated for, trying to promote his new movie. We were introduced backstage after I won. I feel hard and I fell fast and I didn’t even realize it was happening. At the time, I was naïve enough to think that just because you love someone, it means they automatically love you back. It turned out he had no intention of ever being in a serious relationship with me; he thought of me as some kid he was just having fun with. And the worst part is that I knew. I knew his reputation; I knew what he was like and I still managed to convince myself that I’d somehow be different, that I’d somehow be the one he changed for. But I guess if you go into a relationship hoping someone will change, then it wasn’t really any good to begin with, was it?”

There was no self-pity in her voice as she spoke. Two years ago, that might have been different, but she’d learned to admit her mistakes. Back then, she really was blind and stupid and desperate to cling to an ideal of a man who didn’t really exist.

As she was speaking, she’d been staring blankly out the window, but when she finished, she turned to look at Luke. He was staring at her, his gaze intense.

“I’m sorry,” he whispered.

She shrugged. “Don’t be. It was years ago. And I learned my lesson. My heart is far too valuable to be given away that easily.”

“He made you cynical.”

Kasia raised her eyebrows in surprise. Though, she supposed Luke was right. Her words to Noah had been hypocritical, seeing as she hadn’t allowed herself to feel anything either, especially for Luke. Mostly because she knew that if she opened herself to him entirely, she’d fall harder and faster than she ever had before.

“Now you know why I’m so screwed up,” she muttered.

His eyes flashed with anger and he shook his head. “But you’re not, Kas. You’re not bitter or dysfunctional or jaded. You’re the one choosing to put up these walls. You just haven’t figured out that you don’t have to. Not everyone is going to let you down.”

That was not at all the response she was expecting. Then again, Luke always had been the one to call her on her bullshit. There were many times when she thought his optimism was foolish, but in this particular case, perhaps he was on to something.

“I’m beginning to see that,” she admitted, a small smile lifting her lips.

He mimicked her action, a grin brightening his face. “That’s a good start. So what do you say for the rest of tonight, we forget about the past and just enjoy ourselves?”

She grinned and nodded enthusiastically, suddenly excited for the party ahead. “Sounds like a plan.”

...

It turned out forgetting about the past was surprisingly easy. Especially when she was with Luke.

She loved award show after parties. The music was pumping, the alcohol was free flowing and it was entertaining as hell to watch normally straight laced celebrities let loose.

So she and Luke danced and mingled and took far too many shots of rum until she could barely remember her own name. Unfortunately, this meant she woke up with a wicked hangover the next morning.

She groaned as she lifted her torso, recognizing her surroundings as the bedroom of her Malibu beach house, though she had no idea how she’d gotten there, considering the awards show was in LA. But she didn’t put too much thought into it, as the sheets were crumpled and clothes were strewn on the floor and she had a massive headache and an urge to vomit.

Also, there was someone else in her bed.

Usually, she wouldn’t be too surprised about ending up in this situation, but she’d been keeping her promise to Henry about not being too wild and had managed to abstain from one night stands since the start of her tour. So when she looked to her side and vaguely made sense of the bare back of another human being, she was a little confused, to say the least.

Squinting her eyes and sucking in her bottom lip, she blinked rapidly as her vision became clearer. He was lying on his stomach, so all she could make out was blonde hair. Pushing herself up with one hand, she leaned over him to see if she recognized his face, only to have her eyes widen with horror when she realized who he was.

Luke.

Shit.

She wasn’t really sure what to feel.

On one hand, she pretty much wanted to jump his bones every time she saw him; that boy had a smile that could power all of Los Angeles and it was the sexiest thing she’d ever seen. On the other, she’d pretty much shut Luke down in the romance department, so sleeping with him could be construed as sending mixed signals.

She had meant what she said about not yet being ready to let him in, but based on what she remembered of the previous night, she found herself more and more wanting to tell him everything.

Maybe today she would take that first step towards letting down her emotional walls. Maybe this was the sign.

She was pulled from her thoughts when she heard Luke stirring. He shifted slightly, turning his head to face her as his eyes slowly opened. One side of his mouth lifted and his voice came out hoarse and gravelly.

“Morning.”

“Hey,” she whispered, wondering if he’d put together the confusion of their current situation.

Blinking, he settled his cheek into the pillow and sighed. “I’m hungry.”

“Same,” she nodded in agreement, chewing on her bottom lip as she decided she should probably make him aware of what was happening. “Luke…I think we slept together last night.”

His eyes shot open and he pondered the thought for a moment, squirming beneath the covers before he burst out laughing. “No, we didn’t.”

Utterly confused, Kasia glanced downwards, noting that she hadn’t worn a bra with her awards show dress, so when she’d disrobed, she’d ended up topless. Performing the same wiggling action that Luke had done a few seconds earlier, she realized she was still wearing underwear. She supposed that did reduce the likelihood of anything happening by quite a bit.

Biting her lip, she peeked beneath the covers to make sure Luke was in the same situation and burst out laughing when she realized he was still wearing his fitted black pants from the night before.

“How is that comfortable?” she laughed.

He shook his head and buried his face in the pillow, his voice coming out muffled but cheery. “I probably couldn’t get them off.”

She blinked and then burst out laughing again. “Dude, we really need to get you some looser pants.”

Her laughter was stalled when she realized the full force of her headache and she groaned as she fell back against the pillow again. “Shit. Are you as hungover as I am?”

Luke groaned in response, so she took it as a yes.

“Know any good remedies?” she asked hopefully.

He lifted his head a little and shot her a sly grin. “Isn’t that supposed to be your area of expertise?”

Of course, he was right. She’d woken up plenty of times with no memories of the previous night and a headache that made her want to scream. By now, she was an expert at getting herself back to normal.

“Yeah,” she let out a breathy laugh. “Actually, I know just the thing.”

Rolling to the side, she let the sheets fall as she swung her legs to the floor and smirked knowingly when she heard Luke bury his head in the pillow again to keep from looking. She ran to her closet and pulled on a hoodie and a pair of yoga pants that was lying on the floor before quickly brushing her teeth and washing her face and heading to the kitchen. 

She hummed as she pulled various bags of fruit from the freezer and spinach and coconut milk from the fridge. Without bothering to measure out the right proportions, she dumped the desired ingredients into a blender and sent it whirring just as Luke walked into the room.

He was still shirtless, but looked a little more awake, his face damp as though he had just splashed it with water.

“So,” he said as he slipped into a barstool across from her. “Do actually remember anything from last night?”

She shook her head as she turned to grab two large glasses from the cupboard behind her. “I remember pretty much nothing after we got out of the limo at the after party.”

“Same,” he sighed, propping his elbows on the counter top and holding his cheeks in his palms. He looked ridiculously adorable and she held in a laugh. “Hopefully we didn’t do anything stupid.”

Kasia snorted, raising her voice over the sound of the blender. “Luke, this is me you’re talking about. If I got drunk enough that I don’t remember what happened, chances are I probably did something illegal. Plus, we somehow ended up an hour away from where we’re supposed to be, so something wild must have occurred.”

He pursed his lips and studied her as she switched off the blender and poured the goopy green liquid into the two glasses. “Are you gonna get in trouble with Henry?”

She shrugged and slid his glass across the counter. “Are you gonna get in trouble with Jack?”

Luke sighed and wrapped his fingers around the glass, pulling it towards him. “I’m not the one that was supposed to be staying out of trouble.”

She lifted one side of her mouth into a wry smile as she brought the glass to her lips. “Well, maybe getting into trouble will be good for you.”

“Maybe,” he replied, “But it won’t be good for you.”

“Just drink,” she sighed, rolling her eyes.

He did as he was told, grimacing as it slid down his throat and he shot her a look of complete disgust. “What’s in this?”

“Trust me,” she laughed, “You don’t want to know. But it’s my go to hangover cure.”

He nodded and they downed the rest of their smoothies as quickly as possible. While they waited to feel better, Kasia decided it might be a good time to piece together the happenings of the previous night.

Taking a deep breath, she retrieved her phone from the floor of her bedroom and her laptop from where it sat on her living room table. The phone was first, because if she had done anything outrageous, chances were that she would have several strongly worded messages from Henry.

With a reassuring nod from Luke, she woke her phone from its sleep mode and her eyebrows shot up in surprise at the result.

17 missed calls.

Henry probably wanted to kill her.

“Is it bad?” Luke asked quietly.

She sighed. “We’ll see.”

Chewing on her bottom lip, she unlocked her phone and called her voicemail to listen to the first of seven messages that Henry had left.

Kasia, where the hell are you? I swear, if you’ve stolen a car and driven to another state again, I’m absolutely going to…well, I don’t know what I’m going to do, but it’s going to be bad. So bad. Bad enough that you’re actually going to hate me for the rest of your life. Call me when you get this.

The other six messages were pretty much the same thing with a variation on the threats and strings of imaginative curses.

She winced as she deleted the last of the messages, giving Luke a small shrug when he shot her a worried look. “He’s pissed because he doesn’t know where I am. He didn’t mention anything about what I did last night besides disappearing, though.”

Luke nodded towards her laptop. “Well, we can soon find out just how bad you were.”

Laughing, she logged into her computer and pulled up the celebrity gossip site she had bookmarked to look at when she needed a good laugh. Sure enough, her picture was on the first page.

Kasia Parties Hard

Not the worst headline she’d ever read about herself. Below it, there was a picture of her standing on top of a table as she chugged what looked like a bottle of vodka.

Still, not the worst picture she’d seen of herself.

“That seems pretty average to me.”

She jumped as she realized Luke had walked up behind her and was staring at her computer screen over her shoulder. Breathing deeply to restore her heart rate to normal, she nodded. “Yeah. I mean, considering they portray me as a wild child on a regular basis, a picture of me dancing on a table top isn’t exactly scandalous. It might not be as tame as Henry would like, but he’s seen me do far worse.”

She paused and raised an eyebrow at Luke. “Where were you in all of this?”

He furrowed his brow as he scanned the picture before smiling widely and pointing to the corner of the photograph. “Right there.”

Her gaze shifted to where his finger led and she laughed at the sight of him standing on the ground by the table and smiling up at her like a proud father.

They read the remainder of the article to see if it could give them some insight as to how they ended up in Malibu, but only discovered that they’d spent hours dancing and mingling and generally having a good time before leaving together at around three in the morning. Luckily, there were no comments made about any romantic relationship between them. Apparently being together on tour made people used to her hanging out with Luke.

“Still no idea how we got here,” she said, shutting the laptop, “But it doesn’t look like I did anything too crazy. I better call Henry so he doesn’t have a heart attack.”

“Yeah, I should call Jack as well,” Luke agreed, padding back towards the bedroom to find his phone.

She held her breath as her phone rang and an extremely irritated Henry picked up.

“Kasia? Where the hell have you been?”

“I’m in Malibu,” she explained. “At the beach house.”

“And how exactly did you get there?”

“No idea,” she answered honestly, walking towards the foyer and peeking outside to confirm that there were no stolen vehicles on the driveway. It was empty, meaning it was more than likely they’d taken a cab. “Probably taxi? There’s no cars outside, so I didn’t drive.”

“That’s good to hear,” he sighed with relief. “Is Luke with you by any chance? Jack’s been freaking out all morning.”

“Yeah, he’s here,” she replied, walking back to the living room and plopping down on the couch as she watched Luke appear every now and then in the bedroom doorway entrance as he paced while presumably having a similar conversation with Jack.

“Did you two…”

She rolled her eyes. “Henry, how is that any of your business?”

“The last time you two were alone, someone snapped a picture of you smooching and I nearly had a media spectacle on my hands, so it’s not a completely outrageous question,” he snapped back.

He was right, but she refused to give him the satisfaction of believing so. “For the last time, Luke and I are just friends.”

“I know that’s not true,” he replied, “But as long as you keep it on the DL and I don’t have to bribe anymore websites to take down pictures, I’m not going to complain.”

She parted her lips to protest before realizing it was a lose-lose situation and waiting for Henry to continue.

“Anyways,” he went on, “You and Luke better get your little asses back to LA as soon as possible. You have some studio time booked before we fly out to Chicago for the next show.”

“Roger that,” she nodded. “I’ll call a car. Later, Henry.”

She wandered into the bedroom to find Luke pulling on his shirt from the previous night and running a hand through his hair in an attempt to tame his messy locks.

“Did you get a lecture?” she asked sympathetically as she rummaged through her drawers for clean undergarments and a change of clothes.

“Not really,” he looked surprised. “But we should probably get back.”

“Probably,” she laughed. “I wish I remembered last night. I’m sure it was epic. We always have a good time together, don’t we?”

It wasn’t until after she spoke that she realized the truth behind that question. Luke made her feel utterly normal. He didn’t judge her or act different around her or treat her as if she was fragile or damaged. He just saw her as a person and it made spending time with him the most amazing thing in the world because she never had to worry about being anyone other than herself.

His eyes twinkled and he nodded slowly. “That we do.”

She couldn’t help but smile as she hugged her change of clothes to her chest. “I have to go into the studio when we get back. Do you wanna come?”

“Sure,” he replied immediately. “You working on stuff for the new album?”

“Yeah,” she nodded. “It’s not coming out for a while, but I wanna start recording the stuff I have written so I can decide what to cut out later.”

“Of course,” he agreed. “I did the same thing with my album.”

Another thing they had in common.

When they had first met, Kasia had thought they were polar opposites; and they were in many ways. Their personalities were drastically different and there were times when he made her so mad that she wondered why she put up with him in the first place. But they agreed on the important stuff: like how the fans were always their number one priority and how they would do absolutely anything for the people they love.

It turned out their writing processes were similar as well, and for a while now, she’d been toying with the idea of asking Luke to cowrite a song for her next album. Maybe being in the studio with him would help solidify her thoughts on it.

They got dressed and greeted the car about fifteen minutes later and arrived back at their LA hotel to knowing looks from Henry and Jack. After the world’s most luxurious bubble bath, Kasia met Luke in the hallway and they headed to the studio together.

As they laughed and wrote and swapped ideas, she wondered if he understood how much this meant. Her songs were sacred. They were a part of her soul, a page from her diary, and yet she found herself easily being able to share them with Luke. It was terrifying, yet exhilarating.

She’d just finished recording a version of a song she’d written specifically for the fans and walked into the sound booth to find Luke contemplatively reading through her song book. Despite the fact that sight caused her stomach to twist into nervous knots, she didn’t have the urge to snatch it from his hands. Besides, watching his lips purse and his brow furrow in concentration as he carefully read each line was fascinating.

“What’s this one?” he asked, looking up and holding out the leather journal and tapping a finger on a page that had the words ‘Tell Me Why’ written across the top in large block letters.

“It’s about my mom,” she replied bluntly.

His eyebrows rose in surprise. “The lyrics are very angry.”

“That pretty much sums up my relationship with my mom.”

He sucked in his bottom lip and spoke softly as she plopped down in a chair beside him. “You don’t talk about her much.”

Kasia shrugged. “We don’t really get along. She never really supported me doing this for a living. I swear, she’s just waiting for my career to falter so she can say I told you so.”

“Sorry,” he winced. “I didn’t realize your relationship with her was that strained.”

“It’s alright,” she sighed. “It might have been a good thing, actually. I built my career entirely on my own and even if it all ends tomorrow, I can always look back and I know that I was the one that made my dreams come true.”

He nodded and they sat in silence for a few moments before he spoke again. “Will you play it for me?”

“Sure,” she agreed, a little surprised by the request. It was an unrecorded song, one that she’d written just to get her feelings on paper but never had any intention of actually bringing to life.

Standing, she walked back into the recording studio to grab her guitar and settled herself into the chair once more, strumming a few times as she reacquainted herself with how the melody went in her head. With one more strum, she began.

I took a chance. I took a shot. And you might think I’m bulletproof, but I’m not. You took a swing. I took it hard. And down here from the ground I see who you are.

The next part was faster. Probably because the more she sang, the angrier she became.

I’m sick and tired of your attitude. I’m feeling like I don’t know you. You tell me that you love me then cut me down. I need you like a heartbeat, but you know you got a mean streak. Makes me run for cover when you’re around. Here’s to you and your temper, yes I remember what you said last night. And I know that you see what you’re doing to me. Tell me why.

You could write a book on how to ruin someone’s perfect day. And I get so confused and frustrated, forget what I’m trying to say.

She repeated the chorus, glancing at Luke’s expression to find him watching her with great attention as she took a deep breath and slowed down a bit.

Why do you have to make me feel small so you can feel whole inside? Why do you have to put down my dreams so you’re the only thing on my mind?

There was another repeat of the chorus, this time without furious strumming before she stopped playing entirely and sang the last few lines on their own.

I take a step back and let you go. I told you I’m not bulletproof, now you know.

“It’s good,” he said quietly as she set the guitar to the side. “How come you never recorded it?”

“I never felt the need to,” she responded. “I guess I thought writing it was therapy enough. But singing it out loud did feel really good.”

“I’m glad,” he shot her a small smile. “And thanks for singing it for me. I feel like I know even better now.”

Although she agreed, she reached out to punch his arm jokingly as she lowered her chin to hide her blushing cheeks. “You’re getting soft on me, Hemmings.”

He dropped one eye in a wink before laughing and turning in his seat to grab his guitar. They spent the rest of her studio session swapping songs and lyric ideas and possible harmonies before Kasia drove them back to their hotel and they snuck in the back entrance.

Polite as ever, he walked her to her door and she hesitated once she had stepped inside, not quite ready to let him go.

“Today was fun,” she smiled brightly. “And so was last night, I’m sure. I’m really glad you’ve been around, Luke.”

She expected him to return the pleasantry, but instead he stepped right up to the doorway, looked her directly in the eyes, and said, “I’ve wanted to kiss you all day.”

Her eyebrows shot up and she felt her heart skip a beat as she whispered, “I’ve wanted to kiss you all day, too.”

He took another step forward so that he was now just inside the doorway. “Then why didn’t you?”

Her initial reaction was to repeat the words back to him, before realizing she was the one entirely at fault in this situation. They had both stated their feelings, but she was the one calling the shots because she was the one claiming she wasn’t ready.

But despite the fact that she was absolutely terrified of opening herself up to Luke, she couldn’t help but trust him.

“I’m scared,” she admitted, avoiding eye contact.

“I know,” he whispered, raising a hand to cup her cheek gently. “But you can’t keep yourself caged off forever, Kas. Nobody knows what’s going to happen.”

She nodded slowly. “You’re right. I know you’re right.”

“So what do you want, Kas?”

Stretching her lips into a slow smile, she looked up at him from beneath her eyelashes and reached out to tug on his t-shirt. “Remember how we woke up this morning?”

He quirked an eyebrow in slight confusion. “Half naked in your bed?”

Her grin grew. “Yep. I’m thinking this time, we should go for fully naked in my bed.”

“I’m good with that plan,” he laughed, tilting his chin downwards.

She clutched his t-shirt in her fist and leaned up to kiss him soundly on the mouth. This time, she didn’t hold back. She melted against him, throwing her arms around his neck and smiling against his lips as she enjoyed the warmth of his arms wrapping around her torso. She tugged at his hair and he nipped at her lips and what started as playful and exploratory soon became hungry and passionate.

Which is why she was a little dejected when he pulled away until she his eyes, sparkling and dark, and her heart began to race again. And then he kicked the door shut, grabbed her hand, and pulled her towards the bedroom. 

 

Join MovellasFind out what all the buzz is about. Join now to start sharing your creativity and passion
Loading ...