Strung

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Chapter 7. - Oblivious

My entire body was tingling from the top of my head, to the tips of my fingertips against the soft material of his shirt. My body naturally bowed into his, flushing my chest against his stomach, feeling the hardness of him against my soft curves. I felt my thighs press together, something needy coming over me, something that made me feel undeniable female in his strong arms. His kiss was firm and confident, but he didn’t try to shove his tongue in my mouth.

No, Lukas LaBelle kissed like a guy who knew what he was doing.

And that was precisely why instead of curling my fingers into his shirt and pulling him closer, I pushed him away.

He broke away slowly, lifting his head only enough to put a few inches between our mouths, his breath still hot on my skin. My whole body was shaking, as if I was shivering from cold – but I was burning up inside at the same time. I felt breathless, my mind a jumbled mess, like I was drunk, floating above the ground.

I was tempted to keep my hand flattened against his solid chest just to keep myself uptight – but in the end, I let him go. Sucking in some air through my mouth, I whispered. “Why did you just do that?” I didn’t mean for my tone to come across as accusatory, but that was definitely how it sounded.

Lukas’ eyes were so bright, like beautiful little lanterns floating over a golden sunset. I took another step back from him, as he reached up, and ran a hand through his blonde locks, pushing them away from his face.

He shrugged. “I thought that was what you wanted.” His tone was confident, his voice stern, unlike my shaky, breathless question. Lukas looked so calm and collected – a complete opposite of the nervous breakdown I was about to endure. “I mean, you are obviously a fan.” His gaze moved toward the separate row of paintings I’ve had of him – mostly shirtless, or wearing even less.

I swallowed. I couldn’t believe he saw those! I even had one where I painted angel wings on his back, and an all-white guitar in his hands. Art was one thing if it was consensual, but those felt like little pages of my diary over the years – a changing vision of how I saw him, going from a cute teenage boy, to a sexually suggestive very adult man.

“Wait, you kissed me because you thought that… I was a fan?” I asked, already regretting the words as soon as they left my mouth.

Lukas shrugged again. “That’s what they all want, isn’t it?”

My mouth dropped open, my jaw most likely hitting the paint covered ground we were standing on. The man I spent the last eight years of my life obsessing and fantasizing about kissed me – and not because he liked me or even because he thought that I was remotely attractive or anything special… No. He thought that’s what all the fans wanted.

If the Earth would ever open to swallow up a person whole, this would be a good opportunity for it right now.

I shook my head, taking another few steps away. “I can’t believe this.”

Lukas moved in synch with me, bringing his body closer. “What’s wrong?” He asked, and the bastard even had the nerve to sound sincerely concerned. “I think it’s clear the attraction is there.”

This nervous laugh erupted out of me. “Yes, well that doesn’t mean that you can just around kissing people!”

“So you’re not denying it?” He asked, cocking a brow at me. When I remained quiet, he spoke again. “Why shouldn’t I kiss a dedicated fan? No one else before seemed to mind.”

My eyes widened as I looked up at him – at the handsome face I knew almost better than my own. “You are out of your fucking mind.” I said simply. “I heard that all famous people have a weird kink, but… You are seriously insane!”

Again, he shrugged. If I expected him to show a hint of remorse, I would’ve been disappointed. “It was just a kiss, Barcelona. Calm down.”

“First of, I’ve never heard anyone with a name Barcelona – especially not a girl.” I counted off on my hand. “And second, I think it’s time for you to leave.”

His bubblegum colored lips twisted up into a sexy half smile. My heart had no right speeding up about something so stupid as Lukas LaBelle’s lips. “Are you kicking me out, Cambridge?”

I nodded. “At least you’re in the right country now – name wise.”

“Your favorite member of your favorite band just kissed you… And you’re seriously telling him to leave?” He asked, still dubious.

“Yes.” I replied, firmly. “And honestly, that’s something I would expect from Jesse’s mouth… But you?! I thought you had at least a hint of reality in that twisted up, overconfident head of yours.”

“Fuck me… You’re completely right.” Lukas sighed, shaking his head as if he couldn’t believe this was happening. “I’m sorry. I’ll go.”

“Are you sorry about kissing me, or being an ass about it?” I had no idea why I just asked him that. My mother always warned me not to ask questions I wasn’t ready to hear the answer to… And as much as the idea of Lukas LaBelle kissing me purely because he imagined that’s what he should do in a situation where he was alone with a female fan, I didn’t want to hear that he regretted it.

Lukas chuckled, his long fingers reaching out to stroke a line gently down my cheekbone. Then, he walked to the door. Just as he was about to close it behind himself, he turned around one more time. “About kissing you now.”

And then, he threw a devastating wink at me that left me completely devastated and even more confused.


I didn’t sleep at all during that night. My thoughts kept taking my back to that kiss, my body kept remembering how he felt against me. And no matter his reasons, to me it felt right.

So I stayed in my studio, and worked on the party, and when I got tired of that, I worked on a painting, that portrayed a blonde tattooed man with a cocky half smile leaning down to a dark haired girl. I tried to remember exactly how he looked – that confident air about him, like he knew there was no chance in hell he would ever get rejected. That promise in his golden eyes that he knew he could be the best thing that ever happened to the girl, and nothing in her life before or after him would ever compare.

I painted and painted, and no matter how many times I tried to capture that exact light, I never seemed to get it right.

Mercifully, the sun rose, as it always did, and I did what any sane girl in my situation would. I called my best friends over.

Callie arrived just a few hours before, and thanks to jetlag, she was already wide away. And I didn’t think Ginger ever slept. But being the incredible girlfriends that they were, they came with an extra cup of coffee. “And what happened to you?!” Ginger’s eyes were running up and down my body, and truthfully, I didn’t even want to know what she saw.

“I had a long night.”

Callie frowned. “I didn’t hear you leave this morning.” When I didn’t confirm or deny her statement, she froze. “Wait! Did you spend the night here?!”

Sleepily, I nodded. “I wouldn’t have been able to close my eyes if I tried.” Because every time I did, my brain kept replaying the image of Lukas LaBelle planting one on me… But I wasn’t sure if I wanted to share that with my friends just yet. I just didn’t want to be alone. “How was Milan?”

Callie sighed dreamily, gazing up as she recounted her walk for a famous designer, and a shoot for another campaign she did while out there. “I mean, you should’ve seen the clothes! This summer is going to be insane!”

“You can say that again…” Ginger groaned, and told us about the internship she took on for the whole summer term. Which basically meant she would have no time off from her studies. Like, ever.

Not that Ginger ever really travelled or vacation or partied like Callie… But the pace she set for herself would’ve driven the most stable man off the deep end.

“So what happened to you?” She turned to me, nodding towards my disheveled appearance and the Olympic rings under my eyes.

I sighed. “Arielle stopped by last night to look at my work so far.” And when they blinked at me with blank stares, I added. “And Nikki came with her. And along with Nikki, came Brian Flynn and-“

“Let me guess…” Ginger said, sounding robotic, while Callie screamed.

“Lukas LaBelle! Holy fuck, Londie!” She grinned, jumping up and down in the middle of my studio. I covered my ears with my hands, and Ginger looked just about ready to shoot herself if that name was ever mentioned again. “I cannot believe that he was here! Did he sit?! Where did he sit?! Fuck, would it be weird if I smelled the seat?! You probably did, you’re way creepier than I am…”

Despite my exhaustion, I couldn’t help but laugh. “No, I didn’t sniff his chair.” I sniffed his shirt a little… But not his chair.

Callie’s brows raised as she looked at me expectantly.

I nodded toward the other side of the room, where the plates were lined up. “That one.” And then Ginger and I watched as Callie bounced over to said chair, and planted her cute butt down on it. “But that’s not all.”

“If you’re going to tell me he used your toilet too, this is going to escalate too fast…” Ginger murmured, shaking her head at the thought.

I chuckled. “Not quite. But he did paint that plate-“ I pointed next to Callie. “-and then he went exploring.”

Callie’s eyes narrowed at me as she made a sound low in her throat I could only compare to a pouncing tigress. “Did he explore your lady-garden?” She asked suggestively, wiggling her brows as she did so.

“Oh, she wishes.” Ginger snorted. “He found the thousands of nudes of him you have laying around the place, didn’t he?”

“You have nudes?!” Callie squeaked.

“Painted ones. Just my imagination, they’re unfortunately not real.” I replied, waving her away. “But yes. He did look at my special shelf.”

“Wait, what’s your special shelf?” My blonde friend asked, and I pointed her in the right corner.

“See for yourself.”

After a minute or two of shuffling through the different sized canvases I had lined up there, she turned back to me, her face a mix of amusement and horror. “To be fair, you are really really talented. I mean… Some of these look like photos with a cool filter over them – they’re incredible!”

Ginger snorted. “So the fact that the nudes weren’t stick figures should make her feel better about the man on them finding out?” Now that she put it that way… “How did he react?”

“He had to be charmed!” Callie said, helpfully. “I mean you are so fucking talented, and there’s obviously so much work that went into these – he had to be flattered.”

“Or maybe he realized your unhealthy obsession and Lukas LaBelle ran for the hills.” Ginger commented.

I shook my head, sighing. “He didn’t run.” The exact opposite, actually. But as much as I wanted my friends to make me feel better about the fact that I seemed to be just a fan to the man I spent nearly a decade worshipping, I decided not to tell them about the kiss. Not because I thought they would make fun of me for it – because, let’s be real, I knew they would – but because I wanted to keep that bit to myself. It was special and intimate to me, and gossiping about it would have made it feel cheap.

“That’s a good sign, at least.” Ginger nodded, sounding encouraging, while Callie went back to looking through my art. “You are a beautiful person, London. Inside and out. And he is a lucky asshole to have your admiration.”

I smiled at my best friend, her words warming my racing heart. “Thank you, Ging.”

“So talented…” Callie murmured in the back. Then, she screamed, and I nearly fell off my little stool. “Holy fuck, Londie!” She squeaked. “This one is… Like I could practically see the passion in his eyes… The hesitation of the moment… Ugh! I love this one! So realistic!”

And to my horror, turned the painting I was working on before they arrived to face Ginger.

“You just know he was going in for an amazing kiss!” Callie gushed. “Extraordinary!”

I felt Ginger’s gaze on me, and unlike our blonde friend, I could tell she knew that painting wasn’t just a figment of my imagination. I held my breath, waiting for the usual sarcastic comment, but surprisingly, Ginger kept her mouth shut.

“Can I keep this one?” Callie asked, pointing to the moment before Lukas LaBelle actually kissed me on a canvas. “I want to see that look in a man’s eyes while I hang out with my vibrator at home.”

Ginger and I snorted at the same time. If someone, our bubbly blonde model was not in need of pity on the men department. Thankfully, before I could point that out, her phone rang, and she went outside to answer it.

My other best friend took the opportunity to turn to me, with a serious look on her face. “Do you want to talk about it?”

I inhaled deeply. Talking about things with my friends always made me feel better, and I wanted to get confirmation that Lukas did care more for me than he made it seem… But… “I think I’m okay.” I said instead. “But thank you for not telling her.”

Ginger nodded. “Blessed be the oblivious.”

I couldn’t have agreed more.

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