Keep the Beat

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Chapter 26

“Take your time.” I called into Chase’s cabin, rolling my eyes. After leaving the dining area he insisted that he needed to stop at his cabin to grab a couple of things before we go for a walk.

“I will, thanks for being patient as always.” Was his reply.

“Oh, just hurry up.” I grumbled, crossing my arms in irritation. His chuckle rang through the cabin and he came back outside with his guitar case slung across his shoulder.

“Chill out wifey.”

“Don’t call me that.”

“Alright superwoman.”

“Don’t call me that!” I huffed and stormed off ahead of him towards the woods. I could sense him rolling his eyes at me while he followed.

“I always call you wifey.”

“I always call you asshole.”

“Are you still mad?”

I growled and an humourless laugh escaped my lips. “Mad? Mad? Of course I’m mad you idiot!” I turned and pushed him hard in the chest. “You should have told me!”

“I know May. I just panicked.”

“I’m beyond mad!” I continued walking until we reached the small clearing in the woods. Chase hadn’t said a word. I sat down on the leaves with a humph, and glared at Chase. He stared back.

“I was trying to protect you May, believe it or not. We all were. We all care about you and sometimes you need to realise that we want to help you.”

“Well, you all did a great job.”

He let out a humourless laugh, and shook his head. “We tried!”

“You shouldn’t have had to try! I can take care of myself!”

“Well I wanted to take care of you!” He yelled, breathing heavily. “God sake May, I know you can take care of yourself but I wanted to prove to you that others can help you. I failed, I get that but I tried.”

My lip trembled slightly, “You were helping me. Before all of this stupid business. Just being there and making sure I knew that you would be there, making sure I knew you were on my side. You were helping me.” My voice cracked, “It broke me when you were away.”

“I’m sorry.”

I pursed my lips and lay back on the ground. I could hear Chase shuffling and his guitar case being unzipped. “Please tell me you’re not going to sing me a lovesong.” I muttered, “You’re turning this into some cringe worthy chickflick.”

“Jeez May, you’re ruining my moment.”

I couldn’t help but chuckle at this. He began to play a couple of chords and I heard him sigh. “Is there any point? Or are you just going to continue to hate me.”

“I don’t hate you.”

“I hate you.” He muttered. I frowned and looked up at him. “I hate you for being so blunt. I hate you for being so stubborn. I hate you for being such a smartass, for being good at everything, for always knowing what to say. I hate that you were able to get to me. I hate you for making me fall for you.”

“Chase—”

“Well, you done done me and you bet I felt it.
I tried to be chill, but you’re so hot that I melted…
I fell right through the cracks.
Now I’m trying to get back!”

He began to play his guitar as I gazed at him, a small smile tugging at my lips as one of my favourite songs poured from his lips.

“Before the cool done run out,
I’ll be giving it my bestest.
And nothing’s gonna stop me but divine intervention.
I reckon, it’s again my turn…
To win some or learn some.” He looked up from his guitar and held my gaze.

“But I won’t hesitate.
No more, no more.
It cannot wait,
I’m yours.”

He paused, taking a breath before continuing. “Well, open up your mind and see like me,
Open up your plans and damn you’re free.
Look into your heart and you’ll find love, love, love, love.
Listen to the music of the moment, people dance and sing, we’re just one big family
And it’s our God-forsaken right to be loved, loved, loved, loved, loved.”

I could never resist a Jason Mraz song, so with a smile across my face I joined in.

So I won’t hesitate!
No more, no more.
It cannot wait,
I’m sure.
There’s no need to complicate.
Our time is short.
This is our fate,
I’m yours.”
We sang together. Before Chase could continue to sing, I leaned forward abruptly and placed my lips on his. His eyes widened in surprize, but he let the guitar go quickly and wound his arms around my waist, deepening the kiss. I ran a hand through his hair as he moaned softly.

Tears dripped from my eyes onto his cheek, startling him. He open his eyes and reluctantly stopped the kiss. “I love you.” He whispered, wiping away the traitorous tears. “And I’m so sorry.”

I sniffled, and chuckled at myself. “I’m sorry for being a psychotic bitch.”

I didn’t know why I was crying. Relief? Happiness? But it felt good, it felt good to let it out, and as we sat there on the ground with my legs wrapped around him and his arms around me, I couldn’t stop the flow of tears.

“You say that like it’s a bad thing.” He murmured, kissing my cheek.

“Isn’t it?”

“Nah, you pull it off.”

I let out a choked laugh, and buried my face on his shoulder allowing his lips to trace my neck. My heart felt like it was about to explode, and I realised how much I had missed him.

“I should have known that you’d never have done something like that without a reason.” I whispered.

“You should have.” He agreed, “But Keara’s a twisted bitch. I shouldn’t have fell for her shit.”

“Let’s not talk about it. I don’t want to talk about that again.”

“What do you want to talk about?”

“Do I look like the social one in this relationship.”

He grinned, his eyes shined with adoration. “Let’s talk about that then.”

“What?”

“This. Us.”

I froze, and lifted my head from his shoulder. “Go on.”

He smiled and pecked my lips again. “I don’t want to be apart from you again. Or to have a choice to go off with some other girl. And I don’t want you to freely check out that Jack guy—”

“Jacks a friend! He’s with Jessica. Besides, I’ll do what I want. I’m never going to pretend like Jacks not sexy.” I shrugged, smirking at Chase who frowned.

“I’m sexier though.”

“Definitely.” I kissed him for a moment before pulling back. “Considering I openly admitted that Jacks hot, who do you think is hot? Like here, in the camp.” I narrowed my eyes at him, waiting for his reply.

“You.” He responded cheekily, winking.

“Besides me.” I urged.

“Caleb?”

“Dude!”

“I feel like this is a trick question or something.”

“I’m just curious! Like, all the girls here are pretty hot. Like Shannon—”

“Who is with Caleb.”

“But you think she’s hot.”

“Okay, well we both know that all of your friends are hot, but I’m the hottest.”

I sighed at his vague answer. I was honestly just curious. He leaned forward pulling me into another kiss, I felt as if I couldn’t keep my hands off him. Those past weeks showed me how much I took him for granted. But now I could see how beautiful he is, I knew how amazing his personality was and how he was a hopeless romantic at heart.

“We got way off topic.” He told me against my lips, “I was about to profess my love.”

“Oh, how charming, profess away.” I mocked and rolled my eyes.

“I love you. And I want you to be as close to mine as you’ll ever be—which isn’t a lot considering you’re a strong independent white girl who don’t need no man.”

I cracked a smile, “Are you asking me to be your girlfriend?”

He smirked, “Maybe.”

“Is that a yes or no.”

“A yes.”

“Well I have to deny it.”

He paused and his face fell. “What?”

“Because I don’t like clichés. So I wanna change things around. Why is it always the boy who asks the girl out? Why not the other way around?”

“Because you guys are oblivious?”

“So Chase, will you be my boyfriend.” I cringed slightly, “Boyfriend sounds slightly lame though right.”

“So does girlfriend. That was the main reason why I never asked you to be mine.”

“I think we have commitment term issues.”

He chuckled, wrapping me in a hug. “Will you be the Lois to my superman?”

“God no, Lois always annoyed me.” I scrunched my nose up in disgust.

“Um, the Bonnie to my Clyde?”

I mulled this over before nodding my head in approval, “I will.”

He kissed me again as he laughed, “If anyone heard us now they’d think we were crazy.”

“We are though.” I murmured. Before I could kiss him again, a rustle in the trees interrupted us. I glanced up to see our friends enter the small clearing, all grumbling about scratches that they received from the trees.

“See! I told you this is where they hid out!” Shane exclaimed, pointing at Caleb.

“I thought it was further out! It’s not my fault they camp in the woods!”

Chase groaned in irritation, and rested his head against mine, his eyes closed tight. I had the suspicion that he was wishing for them to vanish.

“You guys look… Busy.” Shannon smirked, shooting a cheeky wink. I grinned and bit back a laugh as Chase narrowed his eyes at her.

“What’s up?” I questioned, the small tinge of awkwardness still there after my outburst in the dining area.

“You and lover boy rushed off before we could tell you how much you kicked ass.” Cassie smirked, whistling lowly.

I flushed slightly, “I’m sorry for snapping like that. I know it was strange—”

“It was awesome!” Josh insisted, “Scary. But awesome.”

My friends nodded in agreement, and threw themselves on the ground beside us. “Chris wants us all at the concert field in an hour to start organizing, so we can chill here for a while.” Jessica explained, lying back on the grass.

“We still have to come up with a name for our band.” Melissa mused.

The argument broke out, and we all began to argue about what name would suit our band. I was still adamant on five seconds of May, but Chase just laughed at me and shook his head.


“May help me out here!” Cassie yelled, as she began to crumble under the weight of the speakers.

“Shit.” I muttered and raced over to her, grabbing the other end.

“Cassie! I told you to get one of the boys to do that!” Chris scolded, worry written over his face.

“We don’t need no man!” I announced tossing my hair over my shoulder as we both lifted the speakers up the steps onto the stage. “We are strong, independent—”

I tripped over the last step almost dropping my end of the speaker until someone grabbed a hold of the speaker and my elbow, stopping the impact. I glanced up at Jessica who was stifling a laugh and taking the speaker off me.

“Still don’t need a man!” I yelled, “We only needed Jessica.”

I knew everyone was laughing at me, but I just joined in. We worked together in taking the speaker to its designated position. Cassie was smiling with amusement as she thanked me for my ‘help’. Shane and Caleb weren’t as gallant, they teased me for the rest of the day. I gave as good as I got. Chase came up from behind me, giving me a hug as I continued to insult both Shane and Caleb.

“Lay off guys, it’s not her fault she’s clumsy.” He defended my honour, kissing my cheek. Some onlooker’s eyebrows lifted at the show of affection, obviously curious about whether or not he was still with Keara.

“Everyone’s staring.” I muttered awkwardly. I never usually minded attention, when I was actually causing a scene. But being in spotlight because of my love life wasn’t something I was fond of.

“Guys, I know I’m beautiful,” Caleb stated loudly, “But you don’t have to stare!”

Chase snorted, “Don’t kid yourself. I’m the beautiful one Caleb.”

“No I am! I’ve pretty eyes.”

“I’ve a pretty face!”

“I’ve pretty hair!”

“No I’ve pretty hair.” Shane defended, shoving Caleb aside.

“Guys, you all may be pretty. But I’m a goddamn goddess.” I smirked, winking. Our onlookers were wildly amused, and one was bold enough to say what was on his mind.

“So May, are you and Chase together now?” I recognised the speaker as Corey, and mentally rolled my eyes. Chase took my hand, raising an eyebrow at me.

“Yes.” I stated, smiling. “We are.”

Chase grinned, while nearly everyone else cooed. “Finally,” Shannon catcalled, “I’ve been shipping Chay for the past year.

“It has been pretty obvious.” Corey agreed, “I thought May would have been available when you were with Keara.”

“Not that it’s any of your business.” Chase snarled, narrowing his eyes at him.

“This isn’t fair.” I heard Chris murmur as he slapped a fifty note into Kelly’s hand. “They couldn’t have waited one more week.”

Kelly smirked slipping the money into her pocket. “You bet on us!” I cried in disbelief, stomping my foot.

“Maybe.” Kelly smirked. “You guys won me fifty bucks, thanks!”

“I can’t believe you.” I muttered. “This is a disgrace.” I looked for back up from Chase, but he was in stitches laughing.

“Dude! This isn’t funny. Such disrespect!”

Chris smiled sheepishly at me, “Sorry May. It was Kelly’s bad influence.”

“For once Chris, I actually believe you.” I crossed my arms and glared at the ginger bitch.

“Don’t hate the player, hate the game.” She shrugged, mischief sparkling in her eyes.

“I will get you guys. Watch your back.” I winked. Chase chuckled, ruffling my hair. “You guys should know not to mess with the prank mastermind!”


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