As it happened, Edinburgh was not on the cards for Lucky and Scout. Lucky had been feeling under the weather and by the time New Year’s Eve came around, he wasn’t even getting out of bed.
“I’m really sorry, Scout,” he apologised.
“Don’t apologise,” she told him. “We’ll go next year.”
She’d made the trip to his flat after stopping at the supermarket to pick up some supplies. Scout intended to bring the New Year in with him.
“You’re going to get ill if you stay,” Lucky said.
“Then you’ll have to look after me. I’m not leaving you here sick and alone.”
Lucky looked up at her from his bed and she perched on the edge of it and ran a hand through his hair. She placed the back of her hand against his forehead to feel him burning up.
“Have you had any breakfast yet?” she asked.
“I’m not really that hungry.”
“You need to eat something and keep your strength up. I’m going to get you some paracetamol to break the fever.”
He looked so tired and pale, lying in bed. Lucky didn’t argue with her and Scout leaned down and kissed his forehead and got up from her seat to go into the kitchen. It tugged on her heart to see him so down and out. Lucky was a big ball of energy and personality. He was funny and full of himself and she adored every single part of him even if she’d like to smother him with a pillow at times. He was becoming this large part of her life in such a short space of time.
Jim loved him. After the most vicious game of Monopoly on Christmas day, Scout watched Jim and Lucky take a drink together while chatting about the cricket. She had always made excuses for Scott but never thought that her Dad might like someone to share his interests with too. Lucky didn’t cringe at Jim’s jokes or roll his eyes. He laughed and made equally bad puns and Scout’s heart felt like it could burst.
Toast done, she rummaged around to find the painkillers before carrying it all back to the bedroom. Lucky had made himself into a human burrito and his eyes were closed.
“Lucky? Baby?” Scout said gently.
He opened his eyes slowly as she placed everything on the bedside table before getting on her knees next to the bed.
“Baby, just try a few bites for me,” she coaxed.
She ran a hand though his hair again and Lucky pushed himself up with more effort than was needed. Scout handed him over the plate of toast before sitting on the edge of the bed again.
“If this doesn’t clear up soon then you need to see the doctor, okay?”
He nodded and swallowed a bite of toast. “You’re hot when you’re bossy.”
“How are you still thinking with your dick even when you’re sick?”
“Sunshine, I could be dying and I’d still be thinking with my dick if you were in front of me.”
“I don’t doubt it,” Scout laughed. Lucky managed a few bites of toast before he downed the pills she brought in. “Hopefully that will help you. I’m going to clean up and then I’ll be back. Get yourself comfortable again.”
“You don’t have to do this, Scout.”
“Don’t think I’m being nice to you. I’m going to use this against you when I’m sick and can’t do anything. You better be waiting on me hand and foot.”
He gave her a weak smile before sinking back down into the bed. She took the plate and went back into the kitchen to clean up and by the time she walked back into the bedroom, Lucky was asleep. The rest would do him some good. Scout walked back out of the room, closing the door quietly behind her.
Scout meant the morning tidying up the flat a little. Lucky hadn’t been on top of the cleaning since he got ill. By lunch, Scout flopped onto the sofa and pulled out her phone. She had a message from Chrissy asking if she and Lucky wanted to meet up with him and the team tonight. She tapped out a quick response.
Lucky is sick. Rain check?
Sure thing. Tell him get better soon x
Lucky still wasn’t Chrissy’s biggest fan although he had thawed out a little compared to that match day. He hadn’t fussed Scout over them texting and had joined them out with the team a few times.
After she read the message, Scout pulled up Instagram and scrolled aimlessly through her feed until she saw a promoted post asking for dancers. It was always weird how social media ads were so targeted and knew so much about you but it put a seed in her head.
She said this year she would get back into dance. She opened up the internet and had a search around to see if there were any auditions on the horizon. Even if there was no hope in hell of her getting something right now there was no harm in putting her name back out there again. She just hoped that she wouldn’t end up in the same auditions as Carrie.
“You’re making your great escape?”
Scout jumped out of her skin. Lucky walked into the room, looking a little better than this morning.
“Hey. How are you feeling?” she asked.
“Rough as hell but getting there.” He dropped onto the sofa next to her and she placed a hand on his forehead again.
“You don’t seem so warm.”
Lucky leaned back against the couch and then towards Scout so that he could look at her screen properly. “You’re auditioning?”
“I’m just seeing what is around. I know I won’t get anything yet but I just want to put my name out there again.”
“How competitive is it?”
She put the phone away and looked at him. Scout patted her hands on her lap and Lucky shifted himself so that he was lying with his head in her lap. “It can be pretty brutal. When I first started there was a girl who was pushed down the stairs.”
“Yeah. It was pretty intense. You can make some pretty good friends but when it comes down to auditioning and getting a role it’s everyone for themselves.”
“And you want to be part of that again?”
She played with his hair as she answered. “Yeah. I don’t know. Something about dancing makes me feel whole and complete more than anything else in the world. No matter how aggressive it can get it’s always worth it in the end.”
Lucky had a lazy smile on his face. “I love seeing you talk about dancing. You always light up.”
“I can’t wait to get back in the studio.”
“It won’t be long now, love.”
Lucky and Scout spent their New Year’s Eve tucked up together. He blew hot and cold and towards the end of the night, they were curled up in bed. He kept apologising for being ill and the only way to keep him quiet was between kisses. Sick or not, Lucky managed to find the energy to turn simple innocent kisses into something more heated.
Somewhere in between wandering hands and mouths that didn’t stop, one year ticked over into another and Scout and Lucky welcomed it in as one.
“You’re incredible,” Lucky told her.
“Please, tell me something I don’t know.”
The shop was currently packed full of people. Swansea City’s manager had recently released his biography and after calling a few favours, he came in to do a signing with a few members of the team also showed their faces.
“And I thought I was the one with an ego,” he muttered.
Lucky was feeling a lot better and was slowly getting back to his normal self. He was behind the counter, serving customers and Scout winded in and out of the crowd, making sure everyone was okay.
“There she is,” Chrissy boomed when he saw her. “Lady of the moment.” He came towards her and pulled Scout into a hug.
She gave him a quick squeeze back. “Thanks for turning up.”
“What kind of friend would I be if I didn’t use my fame to help you out?”
“A pretty shit one.”
He laughed. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen this place so busy.”
“Same. Hopefully this will start to put it on the map.”
“Chrissy.” Lucky’s voice joined them and Scout turned to see him standing there.
“Lachlan. I was just congratulating scout on the event.”
“No surprise it’s a success.”
Lucky always got a little uptight with Chrissy around. Scout made a move and stood next to him, wrapping an arm around his waist. She felt Lucky relax instantly and he wrapped an arm around her before kissing the top of her head.
“Swansea’s going to miss you when you leave,” Chrissy commented.
“We’ll be back to visit,” Scout told him.
“We? You’re both heading out to London.”
“Yes,” Lucky said.
“That’s amazing news.” Chrissy seemed genuinely happy for the both of them and when Scout looked up at Lucky, he seemed happy.
“Thanks,” Lucky said to him. “And like Scout said, we’ll be back to visit with family and the business here.”
Scout still found it hard to wrap her head around the fact that Lucky would be moving with her at some point in the future. A few months ago she had all but given up on life going her way ever again but now things had turned around. Things seemed manageable and not as hopeless.
Chrissy was pulled away by fans for photos and autographs and Lucky and Scout placed themselves behind the counter again. Behind them, on the wall, hung the star map that Scout had bought him for Christmas.
“What is that brain of yours thinking?” Lucky asked her, kissing her temple as she took a book from a customer and scanned it.
Scout processed the purchase and handed it back to the customer with a receipt. “Just thinking how much my life has changed over the past few months.”
“Is that a good thing?”
“I thought it was but I guess life knew better than I did.”
Lucky wrapped his arms around her from behind as they looked out into the shop where customers were all standing around and browsing the shelves.
Swansea was her home but she always wanted to leave. When she did, she made London her home but it never quite felt the same. She felt a little lost but standing here now in Lucky’s arms, Scout was starting to question if home was a place or if it was possible to be a person.
“I’d have to agree with you,” Lucky told her.
Scout had never felt as comfortable with a person as she did with Lucky. She got excited to see him and spend time with him. She struggled to spend time away from him. He drove her crazy but she wouldn’t swap him for the world. The emotions built up in her again and this time, Scout couldn’t stop herself. The worlds left her before she could get a handle on them.
“I love you.” Scout felt him tense and she realised the weight of the words that she just said. She turned in his arms and he looked at her. “I… I…” She was panicking because Lucky wasn’t saying anything. She couldn’t take it back. She didn’t want to take it back. She didn’t know what she’d expected from him.
Lucky cupped her face and kissed her gently. “I need some more time,” he told her quietly.
It felt like a blow to the gut but Scout nodded her head, plastering on a smile. She’d rather he say it when he meant it rather than feeling obligated.
But suddenly she was plagued with the worry that he might not feel it.
Why did she open her big mouth?