Interlude: Chance (Part Two)

02-09-17_2-43-47-pm

Come on… Where is she?! Zayne glanced down at his phone. It was 10:24.

He tapped his foot impatiently, his eyes scanning the deserted road for a few moments. There was no sign of Hope anywhere. I bet she’s not coming. He thought sadly. And could he really blame her if she didn’t?

02-09-17_2-44-51-pm

For a moment, his mind travelled back to that cool spring evening over seven years ago. Was this how she’d felt, he wondered, when he never showed up? Judging by her reaction to him the night before, Zayne had a sinking feeling that it had been even worse. Even after all this time, he still felt he’d made the right decision by walking away, but Zayne wished he’d had the courage to say something to her, rather than standing her up the way he did. What was he thinking? God, I was such a fucking idiot back then.

01-20-17_8-51-44-pm

Even now, Zayne often caught himself thinking of those months when he’d tried living on his own. There were times when Zayne looked back on those days and was able to laugh at himself… And there were others where he longed for a time machine, so he could go back and give his younger self the sort of beating Eun had once given him. Not that it would have knocked much sense into me…

He still found it amusing that those disastrous months on his own were the closest thing he’d ever have to the true “uni experience”. Zayne never attended it himself – He just continued working at the restaurant. Eventually he got promoted to waiter, then host, and finally, after begging his boss for years, line cook.

And, with a steady job, Zayne finally moved out (for good this time) when he was twenty-one years old.

That was already a few years ago now, and thankfully, things were going much better the second time around.

02-09-17_5-03-55-pm

“You’re still here?”

Zayne was suddenly called back to the present by a beautiful voice calling from over his shoulder. He whipped his head around, searching… And there she was, vibrant and gorgeous as ever.

02-09-17_2-52-27-pm

His entire face lit up at the sight of her. “What? Thought I’d stand you up again?” He teased. “I assure you, I’m not that much of a dick.”

Hope rolled her eyes. “I never said you were… I just figured maybe you gave up and went back home or something.” She shrugged.

“Yeah… And I kinda figured you were gonna be the one standing me up this time.” Zayne replied, smiling. “Looks like we were both wrong.”

02-09-17_3-00-00-pm

“Well, I definitely considered it.” Hope admitted. “But…”

“But what?”

At last, she smiled slightly. “Well, I’m here aren’t I?”

02-09-17_2-57-53-pm

He nodded, his eyes drinking in the sight of her beautiful smile. “And you won’t regret it.” He assured her. “I promise.”

“Hey, I’ll be the judge of that.” She chuckled softly to herself.

Zayne smiled. “Fair enough.”

02-09-17_3-20-24-pm

An awkward silence fell between them for a few moments after that. Zayne couldn’t explain it, but he suddenly felt so nervous… More nervous than he could remember feeling around a girl in years. He’d felt so calm and confident the night before, but now that she was standing here in front of him, his mind had suddenly gone blank, and he felt certain he’d sound like an idiot if he opened his mouth to speak. What the hell?! Get it together!

“So… Um… D-do you like coffee?” He spluttered awkwardly, finally breaking the silence.

“Are you kidding?” Hope smiled. “I love it!”

02-09-17_3-07-50-pm

Zayne let out a nervous laugh, relief washing over him at her words. “Oh, good… Me too! There are days when I think I’d die without it.” He shook his head. “Sometimes I wonder if I qualify as an addict…”

“Same.” The beautiful young woman joined in his laughter. “I basically feel like a zombie until I’ve had at least two cups.”

Perfect.” He grinned. “In that case, I know exactly where to start our tour – We’ve gotta hit up Aroma. It’s just this little hole-in-the-wall, but they’ve got the best coffee you’ll ever have… And best croissants too.” He finally felt his nerves starting to ease up a bit. “Just don’t ever tell my grandmother I said that. She’s French, and kind of a pastry snob.” Zayne laughed softly.

02-09-17_3-11-02-pm

“Well, I’ve never been much of a croissant fan, to be honest… And I’ve even been to those fancy bakeries in Champs Les Sims!”

“Oh no… Don’t tell her that either.” Zayne teased.

“I won’t!” Hope giggled, and he felt his heart leap at the sound. “The coffee sounds great though… But I have to ask – How are their donuts? That’s the deal breaker, you know.” Her lips curled into a playful smirk.

“Well, it’s like you said, right?” He smiled. “I’ll let you be the judge.”

02-09-17_3-00-53-pm 02-09-17_3-00-41-pm 02-09-17_3-18-30-pm 02-09-17_12-42-39-pm 02-09-17_12-54-04-pm02-09-17_3-34-27-pm 02-09-17_3-27-42-pm 02-09-17_3-36-04-pm02-09-17_1-02-25-pm02-09-17_3-40-33-pm 02-09-17_3-32-36-pm02-09-17_12-18-53-pm 02-09-17_3-39-58-pm02-09-17_1-45-44-pm02-09-17_12-27-36-pm02-09-17_3-44-43-pm02-09-17_3-41-37-pm02-09-17_1-14-00-pm 02-09-17_1-14-18-pm 02-09-17_3-30-57-pm02-09-17_1-07-22-pm02-09-17_1-33-24-pm02-09-17_1-20-27-pm02-09-17_1-28-38-pm02-09-17_3-47-25-pm 02-09-17_1-49-34-pm

“Hey, I recognize this place!” Hope laughed as she followed Zayne up the winding path. “I thought you promised no tourist traps.”

“I know, I know.” He glanced over his shoulder, smiling. “But this is worth it. You’ll see.” Zayne promised her. He led her across the small clearing, finally coming to a stop near the edge of the steep cliff. “Alright… Stand right… there!” He pointed to a spot a few feet to his left.

“You didn’t warn me there’d be any cliff diving on this little tour of yours. Otherwise I would have brought my bathing suit…”The young woman smiled, glancing down over the edge for a moment. “Or a parachute.”

02-09-17_1-51-46-pm

“Ha-ha.” Zayne just shook his head. “Just give it a minute or two. And you’ll see.” He assured her. “Trust me.”

Together, they watched as the sun began slipping below the distant horizon. And then, just like that, the sky was on fire. The light danced and sparkled over the water below them. It was breathtaking.

Zayne stole a glance in Hope’s direction, relishing in the beautiful vision of her smiling face bathed in the sunset’s orange glow. She’s perfect.

02-09-17_1-57-44-pm

“Wow.” She whispered at last. “That’s amazing.”

“Told you.” Zayne smiled crookedly at her. “This is my favorite place in the whole city… I come here all the time.”

“You do?”

He nodded. “It’s just so peaceful, y’know? It’s a nice place to sit and think. And it makes me feel kinda close to my parents…This is where we spread their ashes, back when I was a kid.”

“Oh… Wow. I’m sorry.” Hope replied softly, her smile vanishing.

02-09-17_2-02-36-pm

Zayne kicked himself mentally as soon as he realized what he’d said. Jesus! Nice one, Zayne. Bringing up your dead parents definitely won’t kill the mood or anything. He wasn’t sure why he’d said it… It just sort of slipped out.

“Sorry. That was… weird.” He shuffled his feet uncomfortably for a moment, watching the orange of the dirt below his feet give way to shadow as the sky above darkened. “Forget I said anything, okay?”

02-09-17_2-03-51-pm

She stepped toward him, shaking her head. “Hey, I don’t mind. Seriously. But if you don’t wanna talk about it, it’s okay.”

Zayne hesitated. He rarely felt comfortable enough to talk to anyone about his parents… But there was just something about Hope that made it seem okay. She was so easy to talk to. He felt so comfortable around her. And she spent all afternoon telling me about her family… Might as well tell her about mine.

He took a deep breath before replying. “There was a fire at our house, back when I was really little. The firefighters were too late to save my parents, but they got me out in one piece… Minus this nice chunk of my face.” Zayne almost smiled for a moment as he gestured toward his scar. “So with my mom and dad gone, my aunt and grandfather were the ones who raised me.”

02-09-17_2-05-18-pm

“I had a feeling.” Hope’s voice was very quiet. “I mean, I noticed you talked about them a lot, but you never mentioned your parents, so…” She paused. “I’m really sorry. That can’t be easy.”

Zayne shrugged. “Sometimes it’s not.” He admitted. “Birthdays and holidays really suck… But I think the hardest part is that I barely even remember them. I mean, I’ve got little pieces here and there, but I guess…” He hesitated, searching for the right words. “It’s almost like what I miss most is like… The idea of having parents, know what I mean?” There was a sudden stinging sensation in the corner of his eyes. “Like, my aunt loves me… But she’ll never love me the way a real parent could. I’ll never really know what that feels like.”

02-09-17_2-06-35-pm

He fell silent then. Zayne had never said those words out loud before. He’d never told anyone how he felt. It was somehow both mortifying and freeing at the same time.

“I understand.” Hope replied seriously. “My aunt Hallie… Her parents died when she was little too. She never really talked about it much, but I know it wasn’t easy for her either. My grandparents love her like a daughter though. They really do. They’ve always made her feel like a member of the family.” She smiled gently at him. “She’s really lucky to have them… And from what you’ve told me about your aunt, you’re really lucky to have her too.”

02-09-17_2-08-45-pm

Her words were so warm and sincere that Zayne couldn’t help but return her smile. “Thanks.”

Neither of them spoke for a few moments. He felt his heart skip a beat in his chest as his eyes drank in the sight of her. There was something about the way she was looking at him… Zayne wanted nothing more than to reach forward, take her in his arms, and kiss her…

02-09-17_2-17-43-pm

But he didn’t. For all he knew, he may never see her again in his life. Hope could fly back to San Myshuno and never speak to him again. His only chance of seeing her face again would be in the pages of a magazine.

All the more reason to go for it. A small voice in the back of his mind seemed to say. But he couldn’t. It wasn’t worth the risk – he couldn’t chance messing everything up. They’d shared a perfect day together – they’d laughed at each other’s stupid jokes, they’d shared interesting stories from their childhoods, they’d commiserated about their struggling careers, they’d shared their dreams for the future, and Zayne had opened up to her in a way he never had with anyone else.

If only it didn’t have to end.

“Damn… It’s getting pretty late.” As though on cue, Hope broke the silence, looking up at him almost guiltily. “I’m sorry, but… I’ve really gotta go.” She said, biting her lip.

02-09-17_2-19-10-pm

“Oh shit. Right. That dinner thing.” Zayne sighed. Hope had explained that the main reason she was in town was to talk with the modeling agency and plan her next career move. That evening, she had a dinner meeting with some kind of industry big-wigs… Not something she’d be able to miss, no matter how much he wanted her to. “Do you want me to walk you back to your hotel or something? Or to the restaurant?” He offered, trying to keep his tone cheerful.

Hope shook her head. “Don’t worry about me, I know the way… Thanks, though.” She smiled.

Zayne felt his heart sink. It was really time to say goodbye. “Well, I didn’t get to show you all the places I’d wanted to, but at least you got the highlights.” He paused. “And I’m sorry we didn’t get to do this years ago… But I hope it was worth the wait?”

02-09-17_2-23-10-pm

“Definitely worth it, Mr. Worldly.” She smiled. “Thank you.”

“Thank you for giving me a chance.” He said seriously. “Glad I didn’t disappoint.” Zayne added with a wink.

Hope laughed brightly, shaking her head. “I’ll see you around, Zayne.”

She gave him one last smile, then turned and walked away without another word.

02-09-17_2-23-46-pm

Zayne’s face fell as he watched her leave. They hadn’t exchanged any sort of contact information. Maybe he was right after all. Maybe he would never see her again.

It was worth it. He reminded himself. More than worth it. But could he really just let her walk away like this?

He still hadn’t made up his mind when Hope stopped dead in her tracks. She’d barely made it halfway back to the path. For a moment, she just stood there, silent and unmoving. Zayne eyed her curiously. Was everything okay?

02-09-17_2-26-29-pm

At last, she turned around and quickly began closing the distance between them. “Know what?” She said, drawing closer to him. “I’m in Windenburg for about two more weeks… And I think I’d really love to see the rest of the tour sometime.” Zayne’s heart skipped a beat as he watched her pull her cellphone from her pocket. “So I’ll need a way to get in touch with my tour guide, won’t I?”

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61 Responses to Interlude: Chance (Part Two)

  1. audreyfld says:

    Young love! So sweet. ❤ Such a calm chapter after so much sadness. I hope Hope doesn’t break his heart. Lol

    Liked by 2 people

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Yes, it’s so nice to write uplifting chapters like this. Even I need a break from the drama and despair sometimes hahaha. And yes, hopefully (LOL her name makes it so hard to ever use the word “hope” again 😛 ) no hearts will be broken!

      Like

  2. Senna says:

    “But she’ll never love me the way a real parent could.”

    I can’t help but feel as though that’s a rather cold thing to say, in regards to the woman who raised him alongside her own daughters. :/

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      I totally get how it comes across that way. I don’t think Zayne intentionally means anything bad toward Joce when he says it though. He knows she loves him and is essentially a mother to him. But I think he just feels like no matter how much she loves him, it will never be the same as the way Luc and Hazel loved him.

      But then, unfortunately he has only the vaguest memories of their love, so it’s not like he can really compare :-/

      Liked by 4 people

      • kaffepigen says:

        I kinda understand what he mens. A Mother’love is different No matter how much Jocelyne loves him as her own. It will never be the same.

        Liked by 1 person

      • audreyfld says:

        That kinda rubbed me the wrong way too. Shades of Stefan not calling Jonas papa until he lay dying. So sad. He will realize it some day.

        Liked by 1 person

        • CitizenErased14 says:

          If you scroll down in this comment thread and read what I and ThePlumbob said, it might help explain a bit better (I’m just too lazy to type it again LOL)

          Like

      • Jes2G says:

        I understand the sentiment behind it, but I think he is holding onto some fantasy. I’m quite sure Jocelyne was an EXCELLENT mother to him. She wasn’t perfect, but no mother is. We can see through the relationships with his cousins that they were all raised together as siblings, and so I get the feeling Jocelyne did her best not to differentiate between them (except we know she did by favoring him more lol). Furthermore, we know Zayne loves Jocelyne a whole lot by how he reacted in times when he was afraid and/or in need. He has had a mother his entire life! She may not have been his birth mother, but she is his mother. So, given that Zayne has had an excellent experience with a mother, what more does he think he own mother can offer him? What does he really want? (besides Hazel alive) What is he looking for?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Tizy says:

          Exactly I agree with Senamna and Jes. Completely. Zayne can be so ungrateful.

          Liked by 1 person

        • theplumbob says:

          I reckon that’s exactly the problem he’ll have for the rest of his life. Since he lost his actual parents at such a young age, he has no real way to gauge what the maternal love would have been like, so he’ll always feel like there’s something missing, even though Joce couldn’t be more maternal toward him. It’s the whole “never knowing” part that will prevent him from ever feeling quite whole in that department, I think.

          Liked by 2 people

        • CitizenErased14 says:

          I somehow never got any kind of notification about this comment haha otherwise I would have replied a while ago.

          I think what you say here is very accurate — about holding on to a fantasy. Obviously he was very loved and Jocelyne was a great mother to him. And I think he understands that. I think it’s just a curiosity thing. “What would it have felt like to have my actual mother here loving me? Would it have felt different? I’ll never know.” But he assumes the answer is yes. It’s that “what if” factor. It’s something he’ll never 100% know and I think that haunts him.

          I just think it’s unfair to call him ungrateful for thinking that (I know you didn’t use that word, but others did. This part is general haha). He’s very grateful to Joce and he loves her so much. But it’s just a question that will always be with him.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. kaffepigen says:

    He got her number! That is awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. CitizenErased14 says:

    Thanks! I’m so glad you liked this chapter! I had so much fun with it!

    And I love that you caught the parallel with Luc and Hazel 🙂 Tomorrow’s chapter will actually touch upon that 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  5. sourocha1 says:

    Oh, oh..I’m having flahsbacks of luzel! Ohhhhhhhh! They are going to have the most adorable babies! It helps even more knowing that there won’t be such a big timejump ( i think) , so, we will be able to see the little one alllll the way from baby to child ( aka toddler.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      LOL! I love that you are already planning their children when they haven’t even kissed yet XD Glad you got the Luzel vibes! That was intentional 😉

      Like

      • sourocha1 says:

        Wait a second…the heir don’t need to marry the father/mother of their childrem, do they? Hum…Because last time you gave us a ‘happy couple, they burned to dead, so, I’m just imagining a situation where hope isn’t with Zayne anymore…because I know you just sit in front in the computer and say: ”Hum…how much misarable can I make the heir today?”

        Like

  6. witchazard says:

    How are the doughnuts? That’s Hope always asking the right questions! OMG look at those muscles and those abs Slay girl!
    Looking at Zayne being all romantic. I get what he’s saying about Jocelyn. I was like this is the third time we met and you drop the dead parents bomb. I forgot about Hallie so I was kind of relieved Hope could somewhat relate to his situation.

    I see what you’re doing Citizen trying to show me all the possibility of how adorable they’d be together. I won’t fall for it she may have turned around, but she said two weeks! Unless they elope or something this is going to turn into a long distance relationship that may last for about 7 months tops ending in a big bowl of let’s be friends. I’m still holding off from jumping on this ship! i’ll wait until we get some concrete evidence. Like nooboos on the way!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. julyvee94 says:

    Woop woop! I’m on the ship. Don’t you dare sink it!

    Liked by 3 people

  8. misfit913 says:

    Aww, they’re so cute!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. azzywoods says:

    Ship HoZay for me! These two seem to balance each other perfectly, somehow.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. SpurklyNinja says:

    Hope is perfect for Zayne! Really liking the picture of them going into the fountain as well. These two are so cute! ❤

    "But she’ll never love me the way a real parent could." Hmm.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. theplumbob says:

    Just realised I still haven’t commented – this chapter is clearly far too dreamy! To reiterate, I love it ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  12. maladi777 says:

    I’m really tempted to throw them both in CAS and take a peek what would their children look like. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. NoaLyn says:

    Aww that is so cute! I’m so happy to see Hope back in your legacy 🙂 And she looks amazing! Can’t blame Zayne for being all awkward around her 😉 Gosh I really thought he’d let her go away – thank god she took it in her hands and asked for his number!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Yay, Hope’s back! I can’t help but feel she has a bit of a bitchy edge to her now though. Maybe its just resting bitch eyes
    Idk

    Like

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Hahahahaha well her eyebrows are very arched so she has a bit of resting bitch face LOL But minus when she was first apprehensive about seeing Zayne again I think she’ still quite sweet ^_^

      Like

    • theplumbob says:

      Haha! Yeah she can definitely have a resting bitch face when she has a very neutral expression. luckily she’s pretty excitable so she’s animated enough for that not to be too much of a permanent expression. But in the beginning when she’s reluctant about Zayne, it obviously does show haha! Also, she’s not necessarily afraid to speak her mind, which in some situations may come across as bitchy, I guess 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  15. haleyrood says:

    I so badly want to jump aboard this ship. But at the same time I am too afraid to jump aboard then have this ship sink like my hopes and dreams.

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Hahahaha okay, first off, hi! ^_^ I haven’t seen you comment before, so let me take a second to thank you for reading! I appreciate it very much!

      Secondly… I understand your hesitation haha and you are not alone! We’ll have to wait and see what’s ahead for these two 🙂 Thanks again for reading 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Colourofmusic says:

    Oh my god this is so cute! It’s so nice to see things goinf Zaynes way a bit more. ^_^

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Simmie says:

    I’m happy Hope is mature enough not to stand him up just because he did to her (though he had his reasons). And I definitely think Zayne’s matured over the time jumps 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Yes, she thought about it but thought better of it! 😀 And I’m glad you think Zayne is more mature now. I think so too 🙂

      Like

  18. Eeep! These two give me butterflies. I don’t think I’ve had this feeling since teenage Tobi and Colette.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. lisabeesims says:

    I love her. She’s a sassy one if he needs a bit of saSs back in his life … on a different note how did you get them to walk together. Mine run everywhere and it drives me crazy. I even have to know running mod and it doesn’t work. Do you do poses or do you have a walking trick.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. theceltygirly says:

    Okay so I love the little kitties eating spaghetti painting
    This was really cute ❤ I like them very much and I hope everything goes well between them 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Arrowleaf says:

    Awh, they’re so cute together!

    A lot of your pictures in this chapter are breath taking. :O

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Thank you so much, Arrowleaf! I really love them as a couple too 🙂 And I appreciate your compliment on my screenshots! This chapter took a long time to shoot, but I was very pleased with how the pictures came out ^_^

      Like

  22. Sista Hope is fit. I’m jealous

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Bugsie2016 says:

    If present day Zayne could look back at how this went, he would probably laugh at how awkward he was being. Maybe his pick up line should be ‘Do you like coffee?’ If they answer ‘No’ it’s not gonna work out.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. kaycee39 says:

    Can you hear me squealing? OMG they are so frickin adorable. I totally love these two together. I love Hope and well Zayne has grown up and only want the best for him. its meant to be because he has never opened up to anyone like that before. She’s the one, honestly I think she always has been THE one but I had no idea she would return. This makes me smile 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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