Third Time's the Charm (PG-13)
You should feel special. This is the first chapter for the book I want to write. I don't think it will ever actually get written, and if it did, it's got a long way to go, but w/e. I just kinda went over this chapter and added the final scene, and thought, why not? I posted this over at doggie_dreams and decided to do it here as well.
But I like it. I might even post the Prologue here at some point, but be warned. I really don't like that one. It was the first thing I wrote in this universe, you know, seriously typed up on my comp and everything. It's not...I don't know. i don't like it.
All righty then. Enjoy!
TItle: Third Time's the Charm (just the rough first chapter)
Pairing: Charlie/Lewis. Past mention of Charlie/Travis.
Length: 2,687 words. Wow :p
Rating: PG-13 for mild language and mention of sexual situations.
Charlotte McCoy pulled into her driveway after a long day at work with the express intention of collapsing on the couch and not getting up for a few years. At least.
But when she stepped through the front door into her living room, her plan was completely shot to hell.
There was music playing, soft strings and a flowy woman’s voice. Candles lit the room from every surface. Rose petals were strewn across the floor, leading from the front door and trailing a path up the stairs.
She dropped her bag on the ground next to the door, and went over to take a quick sniff from one of the candles. Mmm, Country Apple from Bath & Body Works. One of her favorites.
She looked at the staircase, realizing this could only be Lewis’ doing. It was their four year anniversary. She started up the steps, smiling a little. She really did love this man.
As she reached the top of the stairs, she peered around the corner, following the trail of petals with her eyes. She walked a little farther down the hall and peeked into her room. More rose petals, more music and more candles. He’d really gone all out for this.
She started walking down the hall again, butterflies starting to have a party in her stomach. She had no idea what Lewis had planned, and was anxious to find out. The scent of even more candles met her as she stepped out onto the balcony, the trail finally coming to an end. Fairy lights decorated the railing surrounding the balcony. She looked over to the chairs she kept there and saw Lewis standing next to a wine bucket, holding two flutes already filled. Charlie looked around one more time and smiled at Lewis.
“Hey,” she said. “If I’d known you were going all out, I might’ve cleaned up a little.” She added, indicating her torn jeans and the rumpled t-shirt. Normal attire for a day at the shop.
“You look perfect,” Lewis said, completely serious. He handed her one of the wine flutes and smiled. “Happy Anniversary.” He said, moving closer to her. He leaned down (he’d always been a few inches taller than her) to kiss her, and the smile she felt on his lips was contagious, her own smile widening.
“Happy Anniversary. This is really something Lewis. When did you have time to do it all?” she asked as she pulled away to look at him.
“It wasn’t a big deal. Jack let me off a little early for the special occasion.” He answered, referring to his boss.
“Well how nice of him.” Charlie said, taking a sip of the wine.
“Jack’s a nice guy.” Lewis held out his hand for her and she took it as they walked over to the chairs and sat down.
“I propose a toast,” Lewis said, once they were seated. Charlie looked at him, waiting patiently for his next words. “Four years is a long time by anyone’s standards, but especially by mine, as I’m sure you know
“To us.” Charlie murmured. They both leaned forward at the same time, their lips connecting to seal the toast with a kiss. Lewis pulled back first, looking Charlie in the eye. His face had turned serious and his eyes had narrowed a little in thought.
Charlie’s eyes widened. This was one thing she was not expecting. Her eyes darted from Lewis’ face to the hand in his pocket and she could guess the ‘question’ Lewis had for her.
Something inside her screamed ‘no’.
Lewis had taken his hand out of his pocket and brought with it a little box, obviously a ring box. He looked at her, a confident smile on his face, and asked, “
Lewis was well-off. Probably just as well as Charlie, if not more. The ring was beautiful. But Charlie couldn’t say yes. She felt the denial just waiting to burst out of her mouth. The smile that she’d had trouble keeping off her face had slipped at the unexpected turn of events. She looked at him, her mouth opened to release the ‘no’, but she couldn’t. She knew he wouldn’t be getting the positive answer he’d been expecting tonight, but she couldn’t say no. She’d loved this man for four years…
“Lewis, I…” she started. Four years. And today their anniversary. This was the logical step. How could she throw that away like it was nothing? But how could she say yes when everything in her being told her to say no?
“Charlie—” Lewis only ever called her that when he was angry or nervous. She couldn’t tell which one it was in this situation.
“Lewis, I’m sorry. I just…. I can’t.” So that’s how. Seven words and a whole relationship in the garbage.
“Can’t?” Lewis asked, disbelief plastered across his face for a second. Then his confidence and calmness came back, and he was mister professional again. “Well, I see.” He said. He snapped the box shut, stood up quickly and started over to the door.
“Lewis wait, please—”
“No, I think I’ll be going. Your rejection pretty much took care of everything.” He told her, straightening his jacket. He was angry now, that she could see clearly.
“I’ll have my things out by the end of the week.”
And he was gone.
Charlie couldn’t move. Barley five minutes ago they’d been toasting to each other. Four years and hopefully many more…
The tears came then. Even if she’d said no, and even if she knew it was the only thing she could do, it still hurt. It was four years. Four years of memories. Four years of her life with the same man. And while she knew she couldn’t marry him, that didn’t mean she wanted him gone.
It didn’t mean she wanted it to be over.
Charlie didn’t know how long she sat there. The candles had burned down and all the scents mixing together that before had seemed romantic and wonderful, were making her nauseous now. She got up and went around the balcony blowing out any candles that were still burning. She wouldn’t want her house going up in flames along with her life.
She went inside and walked down the hall, doing her best to ignore the rose petals littered everywhere. As she walked down the stairs and into her living room, she passed by the phone. She thought about calling Nari, knowing she needed to tell someone. She went to the table and reached for the phone, when something else caught her eye.
The box with Lewis’ engagement ring was sitting next to the phone, on top of a note in his hand-writing. She slipped the note out from under the box and read it.
Charlie set down the note and picked up the box. She opened it and just stared. It really was a beautiful ring.
She grabbed the phone then, walking around the table to sit on the couch. The numbers were blurring as she dialed Nari’s apartment, a fresh batch of tears coming.
“Hey Char, what’s up?” Nari answered the phone. Thank god for caller ID.
“Hey Nari. You think you can come over? I wanna talk.” Charlie said, trying to disguise her sob ravaged voice.
“Can’t we talk over the phone? Tomorrow’s the big interview! I wanna be ready for it.” Nari said enthusiastically.
Oh jeez. Charlie had completely forgotten about the big Vogue interview. She didn’t know if she could handle showing up there tomorrow and pouring her heart out to some stranger.
“No, we can’t do this over the phone. It’s kinda majorly important, and I’d like you to be here for it. “Charlie said, getting a little impatient. Did she sound that normal? She felt like first class shit.
“Charlie, come on. I know at night is early for you, but some of us go to sleep and get up at normal times. I have to be on the ball tomorrow, I can’t—“
“Lewis proposed and I said no.” Charlie said quickly, interrupting Nari in the middle of her rant. “And now he’s gone.” She added, her breath hitching a little.
There was a pause on the other end of the phone. Charlie could imagine Nari’s face perfectly.
“I’ll be right over.”
And the line went dead.
The minute Nari hung up with Charlie, she had her shoes on, her cell-phone in hand, and she was on her way down to her car. She climbed into her red Mini-Cooper and had her phone flipped open and dialed seconds later.
Rodney answered at the boy’s house. ‘Perfect.’ She thought. ‘Just the man I wanted to speak to.’
“You would not believe what just happened.” She said the minute he picked up, practically shouting into the phone. She whipped out of her parking spot, and shot out of the garage, straight into
“Mr. Blackwell’s finally come to his senses and proposed.” Rodney threw out casually, used to Nari’s explosive personality. He flopped down in the chair next to the phone, and idly flipped through a magazine he’d found on the table.
“No, you nit-wit, that’s your wet-dream come true. Something a little less gross, and a little closer to home. I’m being serious here.” Nari said, sneering into the phone.
“Oh I see. We’re being serious. I’ll have to put away my water shooting flower then.” Rodney quipped. He turned the page and admired a diamond engagement ring absently.
“Damnit Rodney, you’re ruining my crazy-important-news-spilling moment here.” Nari yelled into the phone, swerving in and out of traffic. She’d always hated how far away Charlie’s house was from her apartment.
“Ok, ok. I’m sorry. Spill your crazy-important-news. Though with you, everything’s crazy-important—”
“Lewis proposed and Charlie said no!” Nari shouted, turning onto Charlie’s street violently.
“What?!” Rodney shouted back, jumping out of the chair. “Are you serious?!”
“Like a heart attack. Now I have to go, I’m at her house. Toodles.” She hung up on Rodney and got out of her car, slamming the door as she hurried up Charlie’s walkway.
Rodney stared at the phone in shock, not believing what had just happened, or what Nari had just told him.
Rodney stared at the phone in shock, not believing what had just happened, or what Nari had just told him.
“Hey Rodney, who was it?” Luke asked as he came out of the game room, where Rodney had been before he went to answer the phone.
“Nari. You’re not going to believe what she just told
“Well it must’ve been pretty shocking. Your jaw’s still on the floor.” Luke said, laughing a little. Anything to do with Nari was always crazy-important, according to her, and Rodney was always good at indulging her obsessions, so Luke was almost positive it wouldn’t be that important.
“With good reason. Lewis proposed and Charlie turned him down.” Rodney said bluntly, finally turning to look at Luke.
“What?!” Boy was he wrong. This was huge. This was major.
“Yea. Nari just told me. She’s over there right now, at Charlie’s.” Rodney said, sympathizing with Luke. His jaw had dropped almost as far as Luke’s and his eyes were just as wide.
“Wow. Do you know what happened?” Luke asked.
“No. That’s all she had time to tell me.” Rodney said, sitting back down in the chair. Luke leaned back on the wall across from Rodney. Just then the game room door opened, and Travis poked his head out.
“What’s going on guys? Who was on the phone?” he asked. Rodney looked at him, wondering how he’d take the news. He glanced at Luke, and saw the subtle head nod, Luke’s way of saying he thought Travis should know.
Rodney looked back at Travis, and took a deep breath. This could go one of two ways, and Rodney wanted to be prepared for both of them.
“It was Nari. You’re not gonna believe what happened.”
It was on
It was on
Four years ago, he’d found out that Charlie McCoy, alternately one of his best friends and on-again-off-again girlfriend, had found herself a new boyfriend. Travis and Charlie had broken up for good before going their separate ways for college, nine years ago. There had been no talk of waiting for the other, or trying to sustain a long-distance relationship. And while Travis had had other girlfriends and flings throughout his five years in college, he’d never really found someone to rival the place Charlie held in his heart.
Four years ago, another of his best friend’s, Gonzo, had told him that if by some cruel twist of fate Charlie and Lewis, the new boyfriend, stayed together, then that was the time for Travis to ‘get up off his ass and tell her how he felt’, in Gonzo’s words. But every year March 1st, Charlie and Lewis’ anniversary, rolled around and every year Travis was found shut-up in the game room, playing pool and trying to ignore the fact that he’d let the one person he’d every really loved slip through his fingers.
That first year after Charlie and Lewis had gotten together, Travis had been all set to go talk to her. He and Charlie had had they’re problems in high school, but he knew, and hoped she knew, that they were perfect for each other. Nothing had ever felt as right as just sitting on his couch, watching a movie with her, or driving somewhere, anywhere, just the two of them.
He’d gotten as far as his car when he remembered that there were more than just his feelings to consider. Maybe he hoped she’d feel the same, but he didn’t know for sure. And he couldn’t go over there half-cocked and try to tell her how he felt, and have her turn him down. It would make things awkward within the group, and horrible between the two of them. While he did want her in his life as his girlfriend, he needed her in his life in general, as the great friend she was. He couldn’t lose her over some selfish want to have it all his own way.
So here he was, four years later, playing pool and brooding. He barely noticed it when the phone rang and Rodney got up to take it in the hallway. He vaguely noticed Rodney’s raised voice a few minutes later, and was finally almost fully aware of Luke going to check what had happened. When neither of them came back in, he laid his cue across the table, and walked over to the door himself. Jordan and Nate looked at each other with their eyebrows raised, not protesting something that caught Travis’ attention before .
Travis stuck his head out the doorway and raised his own eyebrows. “What’s goin’ on guys? Who was on the phone?” he asked quietly, talking not being one of his priorities on this annual vigil.
Rodney looked over at Luke, and then back to Travis, looking as if he didn’t know what to say. He took a deep breath and seemed to find the words.
“Nari just called. You’re not gonna believe what happened.”
So yay....an update. Hope you liked it :D