Chapter Seventeen. Stars and Possibilities.
Songs for this chapter: Lykke-Possibility or Hozier- Work Song (spotify). The Second song for this chapter when they are dancing together is: Sleeping At Last-Saturn.
My mind had been void of anything else other than Grayson’s mysterious girl, since he had asked me out three days ago he’s been acting different, strange even. Like if he shouldn’t have uttered out a word about ‘her’. I made sure to tell him countless times it was okay, and he would always nod but there was still a look in his bright green eyes that told me he was anything but ‘okay’.
I wanted to help him like he had helped me try become a better person, not only for myself but for everyone around me-for him. I wouldn’t say he was distant with me, but it was as if when we were around each other that a part of him wasn’t.
It was as if he was holding onto something that died a long time ago. Countless amount of possibilities invaded my mind at night making it hard to get even a blink of sleep, dark bags started to form under my eyes that no amount of concealer could hide. Grayson noticed, a frown would etch across his face as his thumb would rub circles on my cheek as we looked into each other’s eyes.
He would ask me if I was okay, I wanted so badly to say I was but that I just couldn’t stop thinking about that girl. But I didn’t, I didn’t because I knew he wasn’t ready to talk about it. I could see it in his eyes, the pain that conversation brought him. So I would rather get less than a blink of sleep and paranoia then have him be pained.
That’s what love is, you look after the ones you love and that’s actually what I was doing with Gray. He didn’t have to tell me anything until he was ready and I understood that.
Grayson had sent me a text out of blue an hour ago making my heart leap out of my chest with delight, it was the first text he had sent me in three days. Three long sleepless days, but I knew he needed time and I was willing to give him the whole universe if he needed.
Time was no different.
He had texted me to get ready for six, and to wear anything I had wanted but nothing formal.
I smiled as I read the text, I was now ready and just putting on my pair of old converse before I heard three knocks on my front door. I ran down my stairs, careful not to trip as I rushed to open the front door. I had no clue what to wear so I had opted for a salmon coloured t-shirt dress, a grey snap back, Grayson’s trusty denim jacket that I have yet to return back to him and of course, my converse.
I opened my front door ready to jump into Grayson’s arms, but my face fell when there was a man probably in his mid forties stood at my door wearing a tux.
″Hello, Ma’am. Are you Miss.Libby Johnson?″ He asked curtly. Okay, so now I felt like I was in Victorian England. Who is this dude? And what in the world does he want? How does he know my name?
″Yes that’s me″ I answered politely, ″May I ask who you are?″ I tried to say just a posh as his voice sounded, but I knew I failed. Miserably.
″I’m your designated driver for tonight Mr. Smith has sent me to collect you″ He informed me as he curtly put one arm out to a long black limo awaiting me outside my house. That really didn’t fit in here, I smiled looking at the limo. But where was Grayson taking me?
″Oh″ I breathed out, still keeping my eyes on the limo. I had never been in one but I had always wanted to, I guess tonight’s my lucky night.
″If you’d follow me,Miss″ He beckoned towards the limo with his right arm while the other hand was on his stomach, looking like a butler from Titanic.
″Of course″ I smiled, butterflies were starting to erupt inside me from excitement. I closed my front door, before I followed behind my ‘designated driver’ who was not yet named.
Reaching the limo he had opened the door for me in the back and held out his hand to help me inside. I really could get inside myself but just for tonight I wanted to live it up and pretend to be in a posh film. So I obliged and took his hand as I sat down in the limo.
My eyes widened at the inside, it was nearly pitch black but there were two little white lights on the top corners. There was also champagne in a ice bucket that was calling my name but I had decided to let Grayson pop it open. There was also soft music playing in the background, it brought a smile to my face. It was small things by blink 182, also the song that was playing when I accidentally confessed my true feelings for Grayson.
I had no clue where we were headed but where ever we were going I knew I would love it since Grayson had picked it out. Was this our first real date? He really was going all out.
I knocked on the black glass dividing me from the driver. He rolled it down and looked at me from his rear-view mirror with a smile on his face, I mirrored his actions.
″Are you able to tell me where we are going?″ I asked, hopeful he would but I was probably pushing my luck. He chuckled and shook his head.
″I’m sorry Miss, bosses order. He strictly said you can’t know where you are arriving″.
I let out a sigh, and nodded understandingly. He’s just doing his job, ″You know you can call me Libby. Miss is too formal for me″ I chuckled,then remembered I didn’t even know his name. ″What’s your name?″ I asked curiously, hopefully that isn’t breaking any rules.
He smiled, ″I’ll keep that in mind, Miss. I’m James, James-″ I cut him off.
″James, James Bond?″ I chuckled.
He broke out a small laugh and shook his head, keeping his full attention on the road, ″No Miss-″. Once again I had to cut him off.
″James, you can call me Libby. Honestly I feel more comfortable with you saying Libby than Miss″.
He nodded his head, a smile still playing on his lips. ″I’ll note that. I’m James Parker″ He greeted. I smiled at his name, James Parker. Hm, sounds fancy.
A few minutes after of chatting away with James he stopped the limo abruptly . I furrowed my brows, looking out the window it looked like we were in the middle of nowhere just stopped outside a dirt road.
James came around and opened the door for me, once again giving me his hand. I obliged as I got out the car. I looked around with furrowed brows, had we got lost or something? There was nothing here only one small building that looked to be abandoned but everything else was just road.
″James, is this the part where you tell me everything was a set up and you’re about to murder me any second now, but you’re going to give me like a ten second head start before you start to chase me like that one movie with Abigail Breslin?″ I chuckled jokingly, slightly nudging him with my elbow.
I could tell just by looking at James, how innocent he was. It looked as if he couldn’t hurt a fly. He smirked at me, okay that was new.
″Libby″ He began, I mentally praised him for calling him by my name and not Miss. ″Grayson instructed me to bring you and tell you to go into that building right there″ He pointed towards the small building, that looked run down.
I scrunched up my face, ″Are you sure? I mean it looks a little...closed″.
There couldn’t have been anything in that building, it was just like a big white block. No windows, I couldn’t see a door and also there was no signs. What was it? Whatever it was i’m sure it had to be closed for at least fifteen years.
″Yes″ He smiled, ″Don’t judge it by the outside″.
I took in his words, don’t judge it by the outside. Well hopefully the inside actually has room for air and there’s no mice or rats running around.
I gave him a nod with a small smile, still not fully convinced. As I walked closer and closer to the building it didn’t seem to be getting anymore appealing as I inched closer. I walked around to the corner as James pointed to, and hallelujah I found a door.
It was just a double sided wooden door, that had some flowers engraved onto it. Pulling open the door it wouldn’t budge. Okay this has to be a set up or something. Even though it was probably half six by now the sun was still scorching my bare legs as I tried again to open up the door.
I looked at James for any bit of help, he motioned with his hands to push, I inwardly rolled my eyes. Why didn’t I think of that?
Pushing the wooden door, it opened with ease. I gasped once I walked inside.
It was pitch dark, but there was a heavenly smell of food surrounding the place. There were candles guiding me to where I needed to go alongside rose petals. Everything was so beautiful, James was right. I shouldn’t have judged the place from the outside. Because the inside is beautiful and smells heavenly too.
Still following the candles and rose petals, I looked up once they suddenly stopped. I smiled brightly, and tears started to prick my eyes as soon as I had. There stood a handsome Grayson, wearing a tuxedo, holding a beautiful red rose. So much for casual, Gray. A bright smile played on his lips showing me his dimples and pearly white teeth.
I couldn’t help but feel under dressed but Grayson’s smile said a million words and I knew I shouldn’t feel that way.
I mirrored his smile, as I took a glance at my surroundings. There was one table in the middle of the room with two candles and a rose in a vase in the center. Soft, classical music was playing in the background. I instantly recognized it to be the Claire De Luan, my Dad had a taste for all that type of music so I grew up listening to him blare it in the kitchen.
I walked closer to Grayson, placing both my hands on his cheeks. ″This is beautiful, thank you″ I breathed out. He looked down into my eyes, if it were possible he smiled even brighter.
″You’re beautiful″ He complimented wholeheartedly, making my cheeks flush. My blood started to rise to my face. Thank god for foundation or else I would be looking like a tomato by now.
″You clean up rather nicely yourself″ I chuckled, He leaned down and brushed his lips against mine. I inched closer to him to meet his lips, his lips were soft and plump and still sent chills down my spine.
Before the kiss could get heated we both pulled away, smiling into each other’s eyes. Putting his hand on the small of my back he guided me to the table and pulled out the chair for me. ″M’Lady″ He joked in a fake English accent as I went to sit down.
Taking a seat himself, he encased his hand with mine and rested it on the table as he rubbed circles on my hand with his thumb. How could someone so beautiful like Grayson, want someone so tainted like me? I don’t think I would ever understand why.
″Is this a date?″ I asked jokingly, I already knew the answer to that one. He scrunched up his face as if thinking long and hard about it making me gasp dramatically.
″Hmm″ He dragged on, putting his free index finger on his chin. ″I don’t know, Lib. I might just be bringing you here for the fun of it. I just got you a limo, decorated this place, had a chef come and make us a three course meal all for the fact that I was...bored ″ He joked, trying to sound serious but his eyes always told me the truth.
″You didn’t have to go out of your way to do all of this, I would have been happy going to our secret spot and just eating sandwiches″.
Everything here was beautiful, and believe me I loved it. He made me feel like a princess, but I didn’t want him to think he has to do all of this to ‘impress’ me. His smile alone makes my insides warm and that’s all I could possibly ask for.
He frowned as he looked down at his lap, ″You don’t like it?″ He questioned himself more than me, his voice sounding saddened and pained.
″No no″ I exclaimed, ″I love it too much. But just you being with me is enough, Gray. Everything just looks really expensive, I don’t want you wasting your money on me″ I confessed.
I frowned as he let go of my hand, but then he surprised me by placing it on my cheek. Looking into my eyes, he gave me a small smile. ″Lib, I didn’t waste anything. I wanted to do this for you, you deserve it. You know, you should give me an award for boyfriend of the year″ He smirked cockily, making me laugh.
I could tell he was trying to make me feel better, and he had. What did I ever do to deserve someone as good and pure as Grayson. The world may never know.
Just by saying a couple of words, it would instantly lighten my darkened mood. Just his smile would make my insides flutter like crazy, and his god damned laugh would be the death of me.
He was making me a better person without knowing it and for that I am eternally grateful.
″What are you thinking about?″ He asked me gently, taking my hand in his again making me feel sparks as soon as they touched.
″You″ I replied with a small giggle,making him chuckle.
″Yeah, I do have that effect on girls, Lib. I’m a disease and once you have me, you can’t get rid of me″.
His words couldn’t be anything but the truth, since I’ve met him without realising it he was taking up all of my thoughts. If I tried focusing on something else, his smile or laugh would pop into my head like he was a...disease. Infecting me the longer I spent time with him and there was no cure. But I didn’t want there to be, life without Grayson would suck ass.
My life did ‘suck ass’ before I met him, but now being with him it’s bright and I actually think about having a future, he makes me feel as if all my wildest dreams will come true and I can do anything if I work hard enough. He was changing me for the better and people around me were starting to notice, even Gabriela.
″I don’t ever want to find a cure then″ I admitted truthfully making his smile even bigger if that were even humanly possible.
″Me either″ he breathed out, looking deep into my eyes. If I could just stay in this moment forever, I would. I know I would never forget all this time i’m spending with him in fifty years to come, and hopefully he won’t either. Hopefully in fifty years we would be together, i’m not one to jump too far into the future but that’s how I seen my future now. With Grayson by my side and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
″You know Lib, I don’t think I ever asked what you see yourself doing in the future″. It was if he was reading my mind. I smiled at him, other than the fact that I wanted to be with him in the future I knew what I always wanted to do.
″I’ve always wanted to have my own cafe, you know? My own little business where I could bake cupcakes and brownies, something I love to do but earn money from doing it. I’d probably sell pancakes too, Gabriela really loves my pancakes″ I chuckled, thinking back to when I made Gabriela four pancakes in the morning one time and four for myself, but I had to go to the bathroom and by the time I came back, I had one left. I don’t think i’d ever forgive her for that, not when she ate my food. Don’t mess with me and my food.
″Really?″ He quirked up a brow, I nodded my head. ″I need to get you to make some of your lovable pancakes for me then″ He wiggled his brows.
″What about you?″ I asked curiously, ″What do you aspire to be?″.
He furrowed his brows as if he didn’t know, ″I always wanted to play football″ He confessed,″ but my Dad is retiring soon and so i’m expected to run the business when he does. My family are really supportive and want me to do what feels right, but the business has been really sentimental to my Dad since I started to grow up . I think it be right for me to take it over instead of playing football, which could possibly lead me to no where″.
I frowned at his answer but I was proud of him at the same time, he was sacrificing his dream for his family. I didn’t know if I should encourage him to play football or to run his families business.
″Do whatever you heart tells you, Gray. If your heart says football, go do that. If your heart says run the family business, do that. You could always play football on the side, do whatever your heart desires. The sky is the limit″ I advised, hoping it would help just a little. I tightened my hand on his to show him I was there for him. Because I know he would always be there for me.
″Thanks Lib″ He smiled appreciatively, I returned the smile.
Before any other words could be spoken a tall male waiter came holding on to a tray that had two dishes on top. With a smile he placed the dishes in front of me and Grayson. The food smelled so good. I could tell right off the bat it was Chicken Alfredo, one of my favourites.
Once we had finished all the meals with small talk, I felt so bloated and stuffed like I couldn’t eat for another year. Grayson really went out of his way, the food what better than I had ever tasted in my seventeen years of life. It was like angels came down from Heaven and cooked them all for us, and don’t even get me started on the dessert.
It was a white chocolate brownie, drizzled with chocolate sauce and fresh cream. A white chocolate brownie? I never even knew that was possible. White chocolate is my favorite chocolate so I think it’s safe to say I finished the heavenly brownie in two seconds. What would you even call it? A whitey? A blondey?
Grayson took my hand and gently pulled me up so I was now standing. I creased my forehead looking at with him curiosity. He took my right hand in his as he placed my left hand on his shoulder.
″What are you doing?″ I whispered, since our faces were just inches apart. I wanted so badly to kiss him, but decided against it.
″Dance with me″ He breathed out huskily, a small smile playing on his lips as he placed his hand on the small of my back, he started to sway me along with him to soft music playing.
″I don’t know how to″ I admitted embarrassingly, as I started to turn scarlet.
He lips lifted down just below my ear, ″You’re doing it right now″ He whispered ever so gently. I could just tell he was smiling and of course when I looked back up to him, he was.
Lifting up our hands, he twirled me around making me laugh lightly before he pulled close to him again. He still smelled like pine trees and cotton, it was beautifully desirable.
Again he swayed us along to the music playing, I didn’t know what song it was but it was beautiful, and it fitted the mood I was in right now. It made me feel as if everything was going in slow motion and me and Grayson had all of the time in the world to be together as we danced slowly but delicately.
I lay my head on his hard chest as we continued to sway with the music. This moment was perfect, just us together as we danced and laughed and just enjoyed being in each other’s presence.
I had many questions to ask but none of them mattered at this moment in time. I didn’t want to ruin this perfect moment by asking Grayson questions he wasn’t quite yet ready to answer and bring back any memories for him that were too painful to think about.
I was grateful to see that spark in his eyes once again and not see pain and hurt that I have seen the past three days. I finally have my Grayson back and i’m going to risk that by asking some question that could possibly ruin everything.
We must have danced for at least twenty minutes just taking in each others embrace before we let go of each other and he placed his hand on the small of my back to guide me outside.
The night sky was now pitch black, but big white stars were illuminating the darkness to make it appear as if it were navy. I stood there looking up at the sky in awe, watching all the stars twinkle and planes fly by before I felt Grayson’s hand wrap around my waist and pull me closer to him giving me a lingering kiss on top of my head.
″I always said that when people pass away they become a star, that they will always be watching over you even in your darkest of moments. They will always make it brighter, you’re the sky and they’re the star. When you look up at them they will always be looking down at you, proud of who are you and watching you as you achieve all of your dreams″ Grayson consoled, making me smile as I kept my eyes on the stars up above me.
I know my Dad is up there watching down on us with a big smile on his face,I hope you’re proud Dad.
″You think so?″ I whispered, as I turned around to Grayson and hugged him tightly and snuggled into the crook of his neck just enjoying being in his strong arms. I felt safe being in his arms, like I could never get hurt or feel any type of pain again.
He placed his finger under my chin and made me look into his big, bright green eyes, ″I know so″ he whispered as he slowly leaned down an delicately placed his lips onto mine.
I ran my fingers through his soft, brown hair as I kissed him back just as softly as he was kissing me. I was infected by him, he was a drug I was addicted to and I knew I would never be sober again.
His lips were moving against mine rhythmically as his tongue begged my lips for entry, I refused teasingly making him groan as he grabbed my hips gently and pulled me closer to him making me gasp. Using this to his advantage he slid his tongue into my mouth, I could tell he was smirking.
Our tongues were dancing with each others as he held onto my hips and I ran my fingers through his hair which i’m sure is long dishevelled by now.
I had to pull away to catch my breath, but the taste of mint his tongue provided still lingered in my mouth. When we looked back into each other’s eyes he smiled at me with such admiration that it made my heart swell up with love.
I knew in that moment, I was no longer falling for Grayson.
I had fallen, hard.
I knew in the moment that I loved him.
I was in love with Grayson Smith.