Note: This chapter has one steamier-than-usual screenshot, but nothing explicit.
Lucas blinked several times against the bright morning light as it trickled in through the hotel room window. He sighed softly and rolled onto his side, staring at the empty bed beside him.
She’s gone. He realized as his mind slowly awoke from its morning fog. Of course she is.
None of them ever stayed. They hadn’t for a long time. And it was better that way… Wasn’t it? Lucas asked himself as he lifted himself from the bed and reached down to retrieve his clothes from the floor.
Still, he’d foolishly hoped this time would be different. She wasn’t like the other girls. Not by a longshot. From the moment Lucas set his eyes on her, he knew…
Hazel. A small smile came to his lips as he remembered her name. Lucas waded through the thick mud of drunken memories that cluttered his mind, clinging desperately to any detail, any moment he could.
The way she smiled.
The way she laughed.
The way she tasted.
The way she –
“Huh?” Lucas let his t-shirt drop to the floor as he whipped his head around to face the bathroom door.
Someone had turned the shower off. How had he failed to notice it was on when he’d woken up?
Lucas walked around the edge of the bed, glancing down at the floor. And sure enough, there it was – a small pile of clothes that were not his.
She’s still here. He realized as the muffled sound of the hotel blow dryer reached his ears.
Despite his earlier hopes, the thought sent a wave of terror through him. It had been literally years since he’d actually come face-to-face with one of his one-night stands the next morning. What the hell was he supposed to say to her? “Thanks, that was fun!” “Damn, you sure know how to work that tongue, don’t you?” “Well, there’s the door. Bye!” Yeah, I don’t think so.
As his panicked mind raced through various possibilities, he heard the sound of the bathroom door opening.
Lucas’ breath caught in his throat at the sight of her. Jesus. She’s perfect.
“Oh, I hope I didn’t wake you!” She smiled sweetly at him as she approached the crumpled pile of clothes beside the bed.
Lucas shook his head, his eyes drinking in every inch of her as she let the towel drop to the floor and began digging through her discarded clothing. “No, you’re fine.” So damn fine. Holy shit.
“Do you wanna go grab some breakfast or something?” Hazel suggested as she began getting dressed. “I’m starving.”
Lucas hesitated. Breakfast? Together? The thought both excited and terrified him. He was supposed to be done with relationships, wasn’t he? Done with dating. Surely this crossed some sort of line, didn’t it?
I’ll just tell her I can’t go. “Look, last night was great and all, but I really don’t want to give you the wrong idea.” Yeah. That sounds good. Just do it! He took a deep breath, and at last opened his mouth to speak.
“Sure! I think a saw a little coffee shop around the corner that might be good.”
Just do it… Stop looking at it and DO it. A small voice in the back of Lucas’ mind scolded him as he continued staring at Hazel’s soft white hand. What would she say, he wondered, if he reached out and took it? He glanced sideways at her, watching the way the morning light danced across her smiling face.
With trembling fingers, he reached toward her. Closer… Closer… Almost…
Lucas stopped in his tracks at the sound of an excited, high-pitched voice from behind him. Hazel had stopped as well, her hands now far out of reach as she turned around to face the person who’d addressed them. With a small sigh, Lucas did the same.
“I’m so sorry to bother you, Mr. Rosebrook.” A girl of about sixteen or seventeen stood before them, shaking like a leaf. “B-but could I please trouble you for a moment of your time?” The way she spoke was so overly formal, Lucas almost had to laugh.
But instead, he just smiled. “Of course.”
She gushed to him for a good two or three minutes about how incredible the concert had been the night before, and how she’d paid all that money for a ticket just to see them – the opening act. “I didn’t even stay for the whole show.” She confessed. Lucas was genuinely surprised… And strangely moved as well.
“I just had to see you guys live.” The girl continued. “And it was so worth it. I was right in the front. Did you see me? I had a green t-shirt on?”
In all honesty, Lucas couldn’t see shit when he was under the bright lights of the stage. But he wasn’t about to tell her that. “Oh yeah, I remember!” He beamed at her. “You were really rocking out, weren’t you?” Lucas added with a laugh, hoping she’d fall for it.
The teen just giggled excitedly in reply.
After signing an autograph, taking two selfies, and letting her scribble a note that he promised to give to Florian (“He’s my real favorite… No offense, Mr. Rosebrook!”), Lucas smiled as the girl apologized profusely for interrupting him, thanked him about three more times, and finally skipped off down the road until she was out of sight.
“Ah!” Hazel suddenly cried out in pain and reached up, cupping the side of her mouth gently.
“Are you okay?” Lucas asked nervously, allowing himself to return to reality after his encounter with the fan. “What’s wrong?”
The young woman shook her head. “It’s nothing, I just… I think I have a toothache… That was just so goddamn sweet.” She doubled over in laughter then, dropping the act instantly. “Ahhh it was so adorable! ‘Mr. Rosebrook’… HA!”
Lucas rolled his eyes, but couldn’t hide his own smile. “Oh, shut up. It made her happy…” He shrugged.
Hazel’s laughter finally began to subside. “I know.” She said, her voice now more serious than before. “You were so patient with her. I know I’m giving you a hard time, but… It really was pretty awesome of you.”
“And, y’know, you’re probably gonna hate me for this… But last night, I seriously didn’t even believe you were in a band.”
Lucas had a hard time hiding his surprise. “What?! You mean you were serious when you said you’d never heard of us? But… I just thought you were playing hard to get or something!”
“Yeah, and I thought you were lying to try to get me in bed with you… Not that you needed to.” She added with a wink.
“Well… You must have recognized the name ‘Rosebrook’.” Lucas insisted.
“Tobias Rosebrook? Retired football star? Helped Germany win the World Cup four years ago?” He tried, citing one of his father’s greatest achievements – ending his career with his first and only World Cup win.
The girl just stared blankly at him.
“Alexander Rosebrook? World-renowned journalist? Author of Dust to Dust?”
Hazel shrugged. “I guess the title sounds kinda familiar… I think my Papa might have read it once? And maybe I saw the movie when I was a kid…? But it doesn’t really mean much to me, sorry.”
“So you seriously had no idea who I was when you left the club with me last night?”
She shook her head.
Lucas could hardly believe it. He couldn’t even remember the last time he’d gotten a girl in bed with him without at least name dropping his father or great-grandfather.
Hazel stepped closer to him, smiling. “You were fun, you were sexy, and you were interesting.” She shrugged slightly. “That’s good enough for me.” The young woman gave him a small wink. “Now let’s go! I’m still starving, you know!” With a laugh she turned away from him and skipped down the sidewalk.
Lucas followed behind her eagerly.
“Wow…” Lucas shook his head in amazement as he mentally ran through the list of cities Hazel had just rattled off to him. “All in less than a year?!”
She nodded, taking another spoonful of the ice cream she’d ordered. “I’m hoping to hit a few more before I head back home. I haven’t really decided what I’ll do when I get there though… I like keeping my options open.”
“That’s… amazing.” He said seriously. YOU’RE amazing. He wanted to say. “I’ve heard about people backpacking around and stuff, but I think you’re the first person I’ve met who’s actually done it.”
“Still doing it.” Hazel corrected him, smirking playfully. “And you sound like you’re doing some pretty amazing things yourself, mister.” She said. “I mean, all the travel you’ve done in just a few months… It’s crazy! And being in a band sounds so fucking cool. Seriously.”
“Oh, it is.” An almost dreamy smile came to Lucas’ lips as he spoke. “Being up on that stage, hearing the roar of the crowd… It’s the best feeling in the world. And getting to see so many places and meet all these new people… God, it’s the best. It really is.”
He glanced over at Hazel, his eyes locking with hers. For a moment, he found himself lost in her gaze.
“I love hearing you talk like this… Don’t stop!” She laughed brightly, and the sound sent a flurry of butterflies dancing through his stomach.
“Well, I guess I’d really love to do our own tour one day.” He continued, never taking his eyes from hers. “As the real headliners, y’know? Not just an opener. That’d be when I really feel like we’ve made it… Know what I mean?”
“You mean you haven’t ‘made it’ yet?”
He shook his head. “I mean sure, some days it feels like that, but… Other days, I just wonder what my parents think of this whole thing. It’s not like I have that much to show for it… I kinda wonder if they compare me to my Schwester… My twin.” Lucas explained. “She’s always been the ‘smart one’. She’s always had the best grades, and she’s getting a Master’s degree in a few months…” He shrugged his broad shoulders, a feeling of slight embarrassment rising within him. “I just wonder if maybe my family wishes I was smart too, instead of being… Whatever this is.” He couldn’t help but laugh as he threw his arms wide.
For the first time he could remember, Hazel was no longer smiling. “But Lucas, you are smart.” She said seriously. “I don’t know who the Hell ever said you aren’t, but don’t listen to them.”
Lucas shook his head. “That’s really sweet of you to say, but… You don’t know me, Hazel.”
To his surprise, the girl rose to her feet. “Oh yeah? Well I know that you were bragging to me last night about all the songs you’d written for your band. I know that you were bitching on the walk here about not having a guitar tech and having to set up everything yourself. I know that you play well enough that terrified teenage girls will stop you on the street just to get your autograph.”
“And your point is…?”
“I could never write a song.” Hazel continued. “And I’m sure your Schwester can’t either. I can’t tune a guitar or set up a speaker. And I don’t know anyone but you who can play an instrument well enough to be in a band. Let alone one with actual fans!” She cried. “The shit you do is AMAZING, Lucas. I bet most people would kill for half the brain you have. So don’t tell me you’re not smart, okay? Because you are.”
Lucas just stared at her for a long time. No one had ever told him he was smart before… Or at least, not the way she just had. Creative, yes. Talented, sure. But smart? For the first time in his life, he actually believed he could be. Hazel’s words sent a warmth rushing through him unlike anything he’d felt before.
“You’re amazing.” He said at last, rising to his feet as well. “You know that?”
Hazel planted a soft kiss on his cheek. “See?” She teased. “Smart.”
“I really wish you could stay.” Hazel’s voice was barely above a whisper. “Just a little longer.”
“I know.” Lucas agreed. “Today was… Well, it was probably one of the best days of my life.” He confessed. “Maybe the best.”
Though he had known her for less than twenty four hours, Lucas was already certain that Hazel was the most incredible person he’d ever met in his life. She saw the world in a way he never could. She was so deep and thoughtful, but she never took herself too seriously.
She wasn’t afraid to jump in a fountain with all her clothes on, or take a chance running through the crosswalk when the little man was already blinking red. She ate ice cream for breakfast without giving a damn what anyone else thought of her. She listened – really listened – whenever he talked. She cared about what he had to say. She asked interesting questions. She told the most amazing stories about her life on the road, but still spoke so fondly of the friends and family she’d left behind at home.
And she was beautiful – the most beautiful girl he’d ever seen. And one of the most skilled lovers he’d ever been with, too… Last night had not been enough. They’d snuck away together many times during their adventure throughout the city. And each time was even better than the last.
And yet now here they were, standing on the dark sidewalk outside his hotel. Somewhere inside, Lucas knew, his bandmates were packing up and getting ready to head to the airport – their flight left in less than three hours.
“Well, you have my number, right?” Hazel’s sweet voice called him back to the present. “Maybe we can keep in touch?”
“Y-yeah. Definitely.” But would they really? Lucas was too afraid to even consider the answer.
“Thank you, Lucas.” She said seriously. “For everything.” There were tears sparkling in her eyes as she planted a soft kiss against his lips.
Lucas couldn’t even find the words to speak. She pulled away from him then, gave him one last smile, and then turned to head back down the sidewalk.
She’d almost made it to the bend in the road before Lucas finally made up his mind.
She turned around, wiping a few stray tears from her eyes as she did so. “Lucas? What are you –”
“Come with me.” He said breathlessly.
“Come with me.” He repeated, reaching forward and holding both of her hands in his. “I’ll pay for your flight, your hotel, anything. We can even hire you to work backstage, if you want. Just… please. Don’t let me leave without you.”
It seemed to take her a moment to find her voice. “Are you serious?”
“Maybe more serious than I’ve ever been about anything. I know this is crazy… And I know we just met, but… I feel like I’ve known you my whole life. God, that sounds like some horrible line from a chick flick, doesn’t it?” Lucas laughed.
Hazel giggled. “Maybe we’re in one?” She suggested, shrugging. “I mean, this whole ‘love at first sight’ thing is supposed to be one of those cheesy movie clichés, right? I never thought it was real, until now…”
Lucas’ heart practically skipped a beat. Did she say… love?! “So… So is that a yes?” He asked softly. “You’ll come with me?”
Hazel reached forward and ran her smooth hand gently down his cheek. “Are you kidding? I’d go anywhere with you.”
Shoutout to XSimMimX for letting me give her gorgeous sim Hazel a bit of a makeover and use her as Lucas’ love interest! 😀