What is it with them and thinking that they can just kiss anyone they want?! As if I’m a piece of meat!
I angrily threw my bag onto the ground and fell face-first on to the bed of my hotel room. My scream of frustration was muffled by the pillow under my head.
None of this made any sense.
I went from being a girl who was barely noticed to one that had two men fighting over her. What the hell happened? Did someone spray supermodel on me or something?
But they weren’t really fighting…. seeing as they both had other problems with women. I was being treated like the re-bound and I am positive that I hadn’t signed up for it.
I wish I could go away. I wish I could be invisible again so I wouldn’t have to deal with this.
My tears couldn’t be stopped. They spilled over and soaked the pillow below me. I wish I had Ben and Anna here to comfort me- my two good friends. They would understand.
But I had no one here except Andrew, and he would over react and I didn’t want to trouble him.
After having a good cry my chest always felt heavy. My cheeks were sticky. And crying always made me tired.
I dragged myself out of bed and slipped on my pajamas and continued to weep in the covers until I fell asleep.
I wasn’t quite sure why I was crying.
Because I felt like I was being used as a re-bound? Because I was frustrated? Because, despite my best efforts, I had feelings for both guys.
And neither of them were in the right place to have feelings for me.
It was only three o’clock in the morning. I felt sick to my stomach, so I didn’t want to eat ice cream as I normally would have done in this situation. But I needed some kind of comfort.
So I did the only thing I could do. I picked up my phone and called Ben.
It rang for ages and I held my breath the entire time.
“Hello?” Ben’s voice rang through, his kind, familiar, Australian accented voice… and that immediately made me break down and cry. Again.
“I-I’m sorry!” I cried, “I needed to-to call someone…”
“Shhh Luce! Catch your breath everything will be alright” He said soothingly.
He waited patiently until I could speak coherently again, when the tears had ebbed and my erratic breathing slowed down, “Now, tell me what happened”
So I preceded to tell him everything. Everything.
How things had happened with Patrick and with Gerard and how they had both kissed me and how I in truth had no idea which one I liked! When I really shouldn’t be liking either of them!
“I wish you and Anna were here” I sighed and burrowed into the covers more.
“I know Luce but let’s think this through alright?”
I nodded even though he couldn’t see me.
“So Gerard likes Emmy and Patrick has a soon to be ex-wife and yet both are infatuated with you” he summarised it so flippantly that he made it sound easy… which it wasn’t.
“I didn’t ask for this” I said weakly. I felt the need to point this out- I was happy being invisible! In fact I preferred it.
He chuckled, “No one asks for love Lucy, it’s not something we can control”
“They don’t love me” I said disgusted.
“How can you be certain?”
He had me there, but I couldn’t think like that. Who would love me? Or more, who could?
“I think you should talk with both of them-lay out some rules. Clear your head. Maybe you need a break Lucy. You’ve been under a lot of pressure with the movie, composing and singing”
I frowned, “How did you-”
“Andrew told me. Personally I think you would be the greatest Christine that there ever was” he said pointedly.
A small smile tugged at my lips, “Next to Anna”
“Meh“ he joked.
I couldn’t help but laugh, “Thanks Ben. You’re the best”
It was strange the ‘sibling like’ relationship Ben, Anna and I had.
“Now get some sleep it’s awful late there” he said in a typical big brother fashion.
“All right” I said stifling a yawn feeling suddenly tired.
I wasn’t supposed to be at rehearsals for another hour. And I had paced around my hotel room since five in the morning thinking of Lucy.
I knew something had been wrong when she had left my apartment last night; as a result, my conversation with Emmy had been brief and distracted on my part.
I found myself no longer wanting to hear her voice, her thoughts and concerns, I wanted to hear Lucy’s voice.
It had taken me many hours to get to sleep as I kept staring at my phone contemplating whether or not I should call or text Lucy.
No matter how I tried, I could not rid myself of the feeling of her lips against mine. The way her body seemed to mould to mine and how it just felt so right…
I needed to talk to her. I needed to know what was wrong. But it was a conversation that had to be spoken face to face.
So after wrestling with my conscious for longer than I cared to admit, I decided to simply go the rehearsal’s earlier than needed.
Andrew had decided yesterday that he was going to film Lucy singing ‘Love Never Dies’ and send it to Emmy so she could practice some of the movements.
Pushing open the door to the rehearsal room, I could see both Andrew and Joel by the piano in a deep discussion, many papers scattered about.
“Gerry” said Joel, looking up in surprise.
I heard the door open, but before I could look around, Joel spoke again, “And Patrick”
Snapping my head around, I turned to see the man himself walk through the door. As soon as our eyes locked, he glared.
As a reflex reaction, I glared back- but I wondered, was he here for the same reason I was?
“You boys are early” said Joel, glancing down at his watch, “we don’t need you for at least another hour”
“No, no” said Andrew with a dismissive wave of his hand, “Lucy will get this done in one take” he said pointedly, “Then we can go over some more choreography for Devil Take the Hindmost” he explain, suddenly he looked up, “Actually we could use you for this song”
Joel concurred, “No need for stand –in’s if we have the real things here”
For some reason, I felt relieved that I was able to stay, but as Patrick came and stood by my side, I began to imagine shoving him out the door…
Joel nodded in understanding as he grabbed the camera off the piano and began to fiddle with it.
“Lucy!” called Andrew glancing over his shoulder.
It was only then that I noticed a large pile of white tulle in the corner with a pair of black converse shoes sticking out of it.
All of a sudden it moved and Lucy sat up, seeming flustered, she blew a hair out of her face as she stared at Andrew in exasperation.
It was only then I realized she had been lying down and was wearing a large tulle skirt.
“We’re starting” he said simply as he moved to the other side of the piano.
Still seeming annoyed she stood up and I could see the full length of her skirt that fell down to the floor and flared out in a typical ballroom type gown, but I could see it was only the petticoat and her black singlet shirt prevented me from thinking it was a finished dress.
I opened my mouth to speak as she past, Patrick actually reached out to her and I resisted the urge to swat his hand away, but she ignored the both of us and headed to her mark in the middle of the room.
“Gerard can you go to the far left, Pat you go to the far right” said Joel, pointing to said positions, “With Lucy…” he glanced down at his camera to check the frame, “In the centre”
I glanced at Patrick and again we faced off- I’d never seen Patrick as a rival in anything. Acting, singing or talent… but was he possibly a rival in fighting for the affections of a girl?
The music began and I immediately turned to Lucy.
Her long brown hair had been pulled back up the top, letting the rest of her hair cascade down her back and fall around her shoulders. She had no make-up on, but that didn’t stop me from admiring her beautiful green eyes and plump lips.
And the curvature of her body…
It took me a moment to realize that the music had started I was so lost looking at her. But when she bit down on the soft tissue of her bottom lip, wetting it slightly, I realized she was about to sing: “Who knows when love begins? Who knows what makes it start?”
I released a breath I didn’t know I had been holding as I heard her sing the first notes.
“One day it’s simply there, a life inside your heart”
She was singing with hesitation that I knew the script called for, but even hesitant and restrained, her voice was still amazing.
“It slips into your thoughts, it infiltrates your soul”
I closed my eyes and let her words wash over me, focusing on nothing but the sound of her voice.
“It takes you by surprise, then seizes full control”
Opening my eyes I watched as Lucy looked up and turned to Patrick. I knew she was in character and that she was acting, but it still made me clench my fists at my side… if asked I supposed I could say I was in character too.
“Try to deny it, and try to protest”
Turning she sung the next line to me, her green eyes piercing through me, she sung with the perfect amount of emotion.
“But love won’t let you go, once you’ve been possessed”
A small frown crept onto my face as I realized the truth of her words.
Love was a powerful thing. And no matter how you tried to ignore it, pretend it was something else, it never left.
But it came on so suddenly and all the more ferocious.
All sound faded away as I was finally able to recognize what was right in front of me- Lucy. Beautiful Lucy.
A girl who I was in love with.
The acknowledgement of my feelings for her was odd- for as long as I could remember I had been in love with Emmy. But in the recent weeks that I had spent without her, with Lucy, whatever I felt for her, as I knew it couldn’t be love now, faded. And had been replaced with something far, far stronger.
Looking up I watched as Lucy stared at Patrick, her lips still moving in a silent song, before she turned back to me, her green eyes pierced into me, like they always did. As if she wasn’t merely looking at me, but was seeing me.
It was a strange sensation to realize you were in love with someone. Truly in love.
There was no floating. No Cloud Nine business, merely a fact of no longer wanting someone… but needing them. Knowing that your life would be so much better with them in it.
Suddenly, something broke through my thoughts as I heard Lucy’s voice, clearer, louder than before.
“Love never dies, love never falters”
She seemed unafraid now; there was no hesitation as her voice filled the room.
“Once it has spoken, love is yours”
As she began to lift her arms, her voice building as she did I couldn’t help marvel at the wonder before me and how someone could possibly possess a voice like hers.
“Love never fades, once it is with you”
A small smile ghosted my face as her voice began to soar. An odd sense of pride washing over me.
“Life may be fleeting, love lives on”
I closed my eyes and let the sound of her voice wash over me once more.
“Life may be fleeting”
The room was suddenly silent and I opened my eyes to see Lucy looking down, seeming to struggle. Slowly she lifted her head and sung the last line.
“Love lives on”
Her voice echoed around the room in a beautiful chime and I had the urge to clap but my hands would not move as I felt frozen.
“And cut” called Joel.
Patrick immediately stepped forward and pulled Lucy into a hug. I jolt of irritation washed through me though I was somewhat satisfied when I saw that she returned it half-heartedly.
Striding over purposefully, as Lucy broke away from Patrick I immediately pulled her into my arms, wrapping them around her. I stared at him pointedly over the top of her head making my intentions known.
He glared back in response.
Breaking away Lucy walked over to the piano with Andrew, leaving the both of us to stare after her as she pulled off the large tulle skirt to reveal a pair of blue jeans. The two of them immediately engaged in a conversation- Lucy was signing again.
“Alright boys, ready to do your bit?” asked Joel as he turned the Camera off.
“Absolutely” said Patrick.
I snapped around to face him and glared. Was he really going to fight me for her? Did he really think he had a chance?
Apparently he did as we walked over to our marks and I found myself measuring him up as an opponent.
This would almost be laughable if the prize of our transgression wasn’t so precious.
Lucy was… right. Perfect.
Gerard was undeserving of such purity. He didn’t know what it was like to share a life with someone and Lucy was not one to play games with.
And yet here we were.
I sat down at the make-shift bar and prepared for my first line. Gerry stood out of line of sight and I truly wish it would have stayed that way.
“Miss Giry! I’m not afraid of him! I’ve bested him before! If he ever had the courage to meet me face-to-face! Man to man!” I truly felt like I was going to be fighting for Lucy and I had no doubt Gerry felt the same.
I looked up to see him and nearly stumbled backwards-of course this was only for the role, “No-No it can’t be!”
A sneer formed across his face and he held out his arms in a welcomed fashion, “Not afraid of me, you say?”
My eyes narrowed and I pointed an accusing finger, “S-Stay back!”
“Do you think you own more of her soul than I do?” he challenged, referring to the new script we had received a few days ago… but I wondered, did he think he was better for Lucy than I was?
“I’ll kill you! I promise you!” I snarled.
He nearly laughed at my threat, “Of course! As you say, you’ve beaten me before. But that was a long time ago Vicomte” He sighed, “And we were playing a different game…”
He took a step closer trying to intimidate but I would stand my ground, “Look at you. Deep in debt. Stinking drunk. Pitiful. Shall we two, make a bet? Devil take the hindmost”
I couldn’t help but take his insults personally. He truly believed he was right for Lucy! HA!
“Look at you. Fowl as sin. Hideous. Horrible. Call the stakes. Deal me in. Devil take the hindmost” We began to draw to our full heights as if it would change the outcome. It was purely instinct.
“Our Christine shall chose tonight”
Lucy was our Christine in so many ways… Life was beginning to imitate art.
“Let her choose!” I nearly yelled.
“Is she yours or mine?” Well I could surly tell you Gerry!
“Draw the line!” I spat.
“If she sings, you lose tonight”
“I won’t lose” I promised.
“You leave from here”
“Fine!” I spat.
“Disappear…” It was ironic, singing this. My anger began to boil. I would not lose Lucy-that was something he could bet on!
“And if she won’t? If I win?” Which I obviously would.
“All your debts, wiped away”
“Very well. Let’s begin”
Little did I know that those words sealed our fate. One of us would come out of this with our prize and I would be sure not to go down without a fight!
“Devil take the hindmost” We sang in union.
A silent agreement deaf to Lucy’s ears.