What Doesn't Kill You

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Chapter 9

Lucky was right. Chris had no problem with Scout taking the weekend off. Lucky drove them to London on Friday night, making multiple stops for coffee and also because he had the bladder the size of a pea. They took the piss out of each other’s tastes in music and shared stories from their university days before they got to their Air B&B.

Saturday was spent wandering museums in the morning. Scout learned that Lucky had an interest in that kind of thing. He loved going through the exhibits and reading the plaques. It was cute to watch the way he got excited and read bits to her. Who knew playboy Lucky was actually a giant nerd?

“When are you going to learn to trust me?” he asked on Saturday night when he pushed Scout out the door at 10:15 PM.

“When I’m certain that you aren’t a giant weirdo.”

“Babe, don’t be like that.”

He’d made them get dressed up and they walked towards the tube.

“Are we going clubbing because seriously, I don’t think I can do it. I’m such a lightweight.”

“You are such a grandma.”

“Would that make me a GILF?”

“I am ignoring you now.”

“Lucky!”

“Nope.”

“Luuuuuck!”

“Ignoring you.”

He stood on the tube platform, ignoring Scout so she grabbed his arm and started to sing. “He’s so lucky. He’s a star. But he cry, cry, cries in his lonely heart, thinking, if there’s nothing missing in my life then why do these tears come at night?”

“Oh my God. Are you singing Britney Spears at me?”

“Yes and I will continue.”

“No!” He clamped a hand over her mouth. “I’ll stop ignoring you, you annoying demon from hell.”

He removed his hand and Scout smiled up at him. “I think that’s the sweetest thing you’ve ever said to me.”

They got on the tube and a few stops later they were back on the streets of London. Lucky grabbed her hand and led them down the street until they arrived at the Natural History Museum where there was a queue of people.

“What are we doing here?” Scout asked.

Lucky grinned at her. “They’re holding a silent disco.”

“A what?”

“A silent disco. You put headphones on and listen to whatever you want and dance.”

Her stomach twisted. Dance? She couldn’t dance. She hadn’t danced in months and she still wasn’t healed. “Lucky, I can’t.”

“Scout.”

“No, I can’t. I’m not healed. I haven’t –”

“Scout.” He took her face in his hands. “It’s not professional. It’s meant to be a laugh. If you’re uncomfortable we can go but trust me, I think you’ll enjoy it.”

Scout bit her lip and looked into his eyes. She’d trusted Lucky with a hell of a lot since they’d met. “I trust you.”

“Good.”

He let go of her face and the line moved until they were inside. They were given some headphones and Scout plugged them into her phone and hung them around her neck. She grabbed Lucky’s arm and said, “Stay close.”

“I’m not going anywhere.”

Scout wasn’t sure why, but she felt nervous. This was what she did for a living. She was a dancer. But she wasn’t right now and she worried people would look and make fun of her. She was worried people would say ‘what’s wrong with that girl’s leg?’ It was bad enough that there was a scar on her knee that would take considerable time to cover up for future performances.

Lucky put his headphones on and motioned her to do the same. Scout didn’t. Instead, she looked around the room. There were so many people there. They had their headphones on and were dancing around and it was strange because the museum was completely silent. People had their eyes closed and were enjoying the music in their ears. She missed that.

Scout jumped when a hand landed on her shoulder but it was just Lucky. He picked up her headphones from around her neck and placed them on her head. He gestured at her to hand him her phone and she did. Scout watched as Lucky fiddled with it and then pulled out his phone with his free hand and did the same. He handed Scout’s back to her and motioned for her to wait.

On her screen was Spotify. Lucky had chosen Shawn Mendes’ If I can’t have you. She looked up and saw Lucky holding his phone up, the exact same screen on his phone. He held up three fingers and counted them down and Scout hit play at the same time he did.

The music filled her ears and she let Shawn’s voice sing the lyrics. She was still rooted to the spot but Lucky was doing the worst dancing she’d ever seen in front of her. It was like he was playing a game of charades as he pointed his finger at her and mimed being confused. It was enough to make Scout laugh and shake her head. He put his hands on his hips and raised and eyebrow and she knew he was saying ‘let’s see what you’ve got then’.

Scout placed her phone in her pocket and waited for the second verse to start up before letting the upper part of her body flow. She mimed along to the song as she danced, taking a small step or two so not to put too much pressure and strain on her knee. If felt good to move again. It felt good to let the music take control of her properly.

The song came to an end and Scout opened her eyes to see Lucky looking at her. She reached up to remove her headphones but his hands caught hers and moved them back down. He shook his head, gave her a wink and any shred of doubt left Scout’s mind.

She spent the rest of the night with Lucky, watching him dance in the most horrific manner and enjoying herself.


Saturday was Lucky’s day but Sunday was designated to Scout and there was only one place she wanted to go. The woke a little later and got ready before heading to Kew Gardens.

“I love coming here,” she told him.

“It’s a beautiful place.”

“I used to come here when I was having bad days. I spent a lot of time here before I went in for surgery.”

She led Lucky towards her favourite part of the gardens; the lake and sackler crossing.

“I wanted to say thank you for last night,” Scout said as they stopped on the bridge.

“You don’t have to thank me. I can’t wait until you’ve healed up properly.”

“Why?”

“Because if you dance like that with a slightly busted knee, I can’t imagine how you dance when you’re all healed up.”

Scout blushed and looked out onto the lake. It was sweet to hear him say that and Scout made herself a promise to invite Lucky to whatever her first gig might be when she was better.

“So,” he said. “If you had to give me marks for my dancing…”

“Lucky. Don’t ruin a good weekend.”

“How am I ruining it?”

“Lucky…”

He grabbed her by the hips and tickled her side.

“Lucky! Stop it!” Scout giggled.

“Give me marks out of ten.”

“No!”

“Give me a mark and I’ll stop.”

Her back was against the bridge and she had no escape so Scout blurted out a number. “Three!”

Lucky stopped and looked at her with mock outrage. His hands moved from her sides to res on the bridge either side of her, caging her in. “Three? Did you not see my funky chicken?”

Scout’s heart was thumping in her chest. Any time Lucky got close to her, it picked up the pace. “That was the problem. I saw it.”

“You’re going to break my heart.” But his voice dropped as he said it.

“Not my intention.”

He let her out from his arms and took a step back. Scout felt like she could breathe again. Lucky whipped out his phone and said, “Come here.”

“What are you doing now?”

“I want a picture.”

He’d been doing this all weekend. They’d posed for photos at landmarks and piles of dinosaur bones. She moved to stand in front of him. Scout must have been half a foot shorter than he was so this was their natural photography arrangement. The moment she was in front of him, Lucky wrapped an arm around her waist and pulled her back against him, resting his chin on her shoulder. Lucky stuck out his arm and snapped a few pictures.

“Send them to me,” Scout told him.

“On it.”

They continued their trek around the gardens before they went back to central London to pack their things and go home. As they walked towards the place they’d rented, Scout came to a stop. Shaftesbury Avenue was boasting an advertisement for The Red Shoes.

“What’s wrong, Scout?”

She shook her head and turned to Lucky. “Nothing.”

And that was when London threw her the second blow. Scott had just walked out of a theatre, done with rehearsal for the day, Scout imagined. He clocked her and she wanted to run but her knee reminded her that wasn’t possible.

“Scout,” Lucky said. “Are you okay? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

“We need to go.” Scout grabbed his arm but it was too late. Scott walked over to them and she wished the world would swallow her whole.

“Scout?” Scott said surprised. “I thought you moved back home.”

Lucky looked at Scott with a furrowed brow.

“It’s a flying visit,” Scout murmured.

“Well, it wouldn’t be for work, would it?”

Low blow. If he wanted a fight then Scout would put on her gloves. “At least I’m not begging for scraps.”

She saw the flash of anger in his eyes but her turned from Scout and looked at Lucky. “You want to watch yourself with this one. The bitch’s bite is worse than her bark.”

“What did you just call her?” Lucky had stepped between them and tensed up.

“Lucky, don’t”

“You heard me,” Scott said.

“Apologise to her,” Lucky demanded.

“Lucky!” Scout pleaded.

“You’ll end up playing second best,” Scott told him.

“Maybe she just needed a man who was worth putting first.”

Scott scoffed and Lucky balled his firsts.

“Lucky,” Scout tried again.

“I swear,” Lucky said through gritted teeth.

“Lachlan!” That got his attention. He looked at Scout who was stood there trying to get her head around everything that was going on. “Let’s just go.”

Lucky grabbed her hand, lacing their fingers together and they started to walk away from Scott.

“I’ll tell Carrie you send your love,” Scott called after them.

“Tell her to break a leg,” Scout called back. Once they’d cleared the street, she spoke to Lucky, “What was that?”

“Your ex is a douchebag.”

“Yeah, I don’t disagree but you looked like you were ready to hit him.”

“He called you a… he…”

“It doesn’t matter.

“It matters to me, Scout.”

“Why?”

That made him slow down the pace but their hands were still linked. Neither of them made the effort to detach themselves.

“You’re my friend, Scout. I’m loyal to my friends.”

She nodded her head slowly as the words sunk in. “I appreciate you sticking up for me but I’m asking you now to never get into a fight.”

“I’m not promising you shit that I won’t be able to keep.”

“…I appreciate the honesty.”

That seemed to do the trick. They were both laughing and the tension seemed to have melted away. Loyalty was hard to come by and Scout grew more grateful to have Lucky in her life with every day that passed. As awful as it was to see Scot, it confirmed that she was better off without him.

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