Authors: M. J. Grace
“We’ve done the best we can Mr Lewis. However,
there are quite a few out there; it appears a few fans have materialised also. It
may be wise to make a run for it Sir.” He advises.
AJ looks at me, squeezes my hand once more,
and smiles reassuringly “Ready?” At my nod, he counters “Remember what I said,
hold onto me and stay close. We may have to make a run for it. If that’s the
case just follow my lead.”
“Okay.” I smile tentatively, gripping his
hand tightly as if my life depends on it.
AJ nods his head affirmatively at the
waiter, who opens the door, then moves to my side, as we walk outside to what
can only be described as pandemonium. Cameras flashing, voices shouting,
people jostling, fans screaming. I hold onto AJs hand with one hand, and grab
his upper arm with the other. The staff are trying to hold the photographers
and fans back, but they are crowding around us so close, I’m being shoved and
pushed. Cameras flash up close to my face blinding me, and I dip my head down
trying to protect my eyes.
“Is that your new
“Where did you two meet?”
“How long have you been
The questions go on and on, fired at AJ in
rapid succession. Ignoring them, he moves us as quickly as he can towards the
car, whereupon he opens the passenger door, and I quickly climb inside. Putting
my shaking hands up, I dip my head down to hide my face, unwilling to have my
identity spread all over the press.
AJ quickly climbs into the driving seat,
starts the engine, and pulls away; having to go slowly at first, as to not run
over any of the people surrounding the car. Once free of obstructions, he puts
his foot to the floor and we speed away, leaving the chaos behind us.
I lean forward, looking at the receding
crowd through the wing mirror. I can’t believe what just happened. It was
totally crazy. How often does that happen to him? I don’t think I could put up
with that every time I went out.
“Damn it” He shouts, slamming his hand onto
the steering wheel, making me flinch. “Are you okay baby?” He asks, reaching
over to grab my shaking hand. “I’m sorry Birdie, I didn’t think we’d be
bothered there. I’ve eaten there numerous times before, and never encountered
a scene like that. If I’d thought that would happen, I’d have brought Ross
“I’m fine, just a little shaken up. I
thought we were going to be separated at one point, the jostling got so bad. I
have to admit I was starting to panic. If that waiter hadn’t been at my side,
holding them off… Are you okay?”
“I’m fine. I have to admit, that was
intense. I have never had to put up with shit like that before. I’ve always
travelled the city freely.
Whoever tipped them off,
must have mentioned I was with an unknown girl, and they went in for the kill. Hopefully,
that will be the one and only time we have it that bad, but knowing the
paparazzi, I doubt it.”
“It’s over, please can we just get back to
your place. I’m in severe need of a drink.”
AJ lets go of my hand, and places his back
onto the steering wheel. I turn my head to the side and gaze through the
window, watching the city go by. He says he has never experienced anything
that bad before. Can I believe him? His life is full of fame and celebrity. Although
I have witnessed for myself that he drives his Harley along the streets of LA
without being accosted.
Feeling reaction begin to set in, I clench
my trembling hands together, desperately trying to regain control, before AJ notices.
Leaving the city lights behind, it’s not
long until we arrive at the big gates guarding his home. We glide through them,
and soon AJ is pulling up outside the front door.
Trying to avoid him noticing the state I’m
in, I decide to exit the car as soon as the engine stops. However, as I open
the car door, and attempt to climb out, the shaking has become so strong, that
I’m worried my legs won’t hold me up. Gripping onto the top of the door for
leverage, I pull myself out and lean with my side against the car; watching as
AJ folds himself out of the car, and turns to look at me. Whatever he sees,
alarms him enough for him to slam his door shut, and run around to my side of
“What’s wrong?” He questions as he reaches
my side, looking at me with concerned eyes.
“I’m alright honestly, it’s just nerves. I
feel a little shaky that’s all. I’ll be fine in a moment. I feel so stupid.”
Without further ado, AJ slams my door
closed, positions an arm around my waist for support, and walks me into and
through the house to the lounge.
Placing his hands on my shoulders, he
presses me down onto the sofa and momentarily leaves me, before returning with
a glass of brandy. Sitting on the sofa next to me, as my hands are still
shaking, he holds the glass to my lips for me to take a sip.
“It’s shock, drink this it will help. Damn
those reporters, why can’t they realise the stress they cause to the people
they target? You said you were okay, you should have told me the truth Birdie.”
“It only just hit me, honestly, and I
didn’t want to worry you when you were driving. Truly, I feel better already,
the brandy has helped.”
“You have to be honest with me Birdie. Promise
me, you’ll always be honest with me.” He says looking at me intensely.
It’s an easy vow for me to make. I don’t
know why he is so intent on my promising, I just know I feel compelled to put
his mind at ease.
“How do you feel now?” he
“Better thanks.” I answer and when he
frowns “Honestly, look no more shakes!” I say holding my hands out flat.
AJ stands and pours himself a drink. Returns
to the sofa, and sits down next to me, draping one arm along the back of the
“I’ll do my best to see that never happens
again. You have my word on that Birdie, please don’t be worried.”
“I’m fine honestly. You said it’s a rarity
and I believe you. I’ve witnessed that you don’t usually have any hassle.” I
reply. Thinking to myself, that as I’m not going to be here much longer, it
doesn’t really come into the equation anyway.
“You’ve witnessed me?”
Damn! Why can’t I keep my mouth shut? Or at
least think before I speak. Now I have to admit that I saw him out on his
Harley. Something that I was hoping to avoid.
“Umm… I saw you when I was at a café in
town.” I reply hesitantly.
“Oh yeah, sitting with your head down,
scribbling on a pad.” He acknowledges.
Right, so he’s admitted that he saw me. So
why didn’t he speak to me? Once again my mouth goes into overload, and without
thinking, the question pops out of my mouth.
“May I ask you
said you wanted to hook up with me, and you just admitted that you saw me at
the café. So why didn’t you speak to me? You didn’t even glance in my
direction. Until Razor informed me that you had seen me, I really thought that
going to approach you in the open like that babe. Firstly, I was worried about
being shot down. Secondly, I knew about the party, so I was biding my time;
and thirdly, I wasn’t going to risk any paparazzi hanging around, and getting a
scoop before we’d had time to get to know each other better.”
whisper stunned. This is because my brain has now gone into shock. Looking
down at my hands to hide my confusion, I try to break his statement down. I
can understand his view on the paparazzi and the party; but he’d been scared of
being shot down! AJ Lewis! Is he mad? And to top it all he’s called me babe. As
hell? I don’t know what to think about what’s happening here. My instincts are
telling me to slam that wall up and hide behind it, but I find I don’t want to.
I don’t want to go down the same route I’ve been travelling the last few
years, but dare I take the risk and put myself out there with him?
snaps back up and my eyes meet his as he softly calls my name.
What’s going on inside that head of yours?”
I confess, blurting it out quietly. Another mouth malfunction. What is it
about him that causes my mouth to act without engaging with my brain?
“Turmoil?” he repeats raising an eyebrow. His beautiful blue eyes
turmoil. Puzzled, perplexed, confused, even chaos. You throw me into
you into turmoil?” He repeats as if to himself quietly. “I’d like to think I
threw your feelings into something else, but there you go. Tell me why you’re…
let’s say…. confused.”
I tell him what’s going through my mind? When it and my feelings are all in
disarray. Straightening my back, I come to a decision. He asked me to always
tell him the truth. So I’m going to lay it on the line. If he doesn’t like
it, then so be it. At least I will know where I stand.
know what you expect from me.” I say hesitantly. “You say you went to all that
trouble to attend the party. People don’t do those kinds of things; cancelling
flying to New York, just to meet me. That’s madness! Crazy! We hadn’t spoken
two words to each other. Why would you do that? Then there’s the apartment. I
feel beholden to you for letting me stay there.”
observe his face as I continue to speak, noticing the narrowing of his eyes and
the clenching of his jaw. Yep! He doesn’t like what I’m saying, but I’m on a
roll, the words tumbling from my mouth, unable to stop now I’ve begun.
be angry.” I say, trying to appease him. “You don’t know me, yet you’re doing
all these things. I don’t want to sound ungrateful, truly, but it’s all too
much. I feel overawed, even slightly intimidated by your actions. Can you not
understand that? I’m not used to the way you do things, or the way you say
things. I live a normal quiet life, and I feel like I’ve been thrown head
first into a lion’s den, and I’m going to be swallowed up by you sometimes.”
finishing my outburst, I have to say I feel quite liberated; as though a great
weight has been removed from my shoulders. He now knows how I feel, hopefully
he now understands where I’m coming from.
him, I notice he is no longer tense, but staring at me thoughtfully. The edges
of his mouth tilted as if he’s trying not to laugh.
laughing at me?” I question affronted. I’ve just laid myself out there and
he’s laughing. I can’t believe it.
temper, I quickly stand, intending to go to my room and leave him to his amusement.
However, I don’t reach very far, as he catches my hand and brings my flight to
sorry babe. I’m not laughing honestly. It’s just the thought of me as a lion,
swallowing you up. The mental picture got the better of me for a moment. Please
sit back down, let’s talk.”
look at him, I can see he still has an expression of stifled laughter about
him, and despite myself I can’t help it, I burst out laughing, as I fall back
onto the sofa. He’s so adorable and funny. So much for the serious
conversation I think, as I try to control myself, unable to stay mad at him.
his laughter, he turns to me. “Thank you for being so honest with me. It’s a
novelty believe me. I’m used to people saying what they think I want to hear,
instead of the truth. I understand now where you’re coming from, so let me
address your points. Yes I cancelled flights and appearances. Yes, I live in
a mad world, but it’s my way Birdie, not just the world I live in. I never
used to be this way. You probably know a little of my history, that’s why I’m
like I am. I live my life to the full, grabbing what I want with both hands. I’m
not willing to let life pass me by.”
what he’s referring to. It’s common knowledge that he had a bad childhood. His
father was abusive, and when he eventually abandoned his family, it was left to
AJs mother to raise him and his sister single-handed. It couldn’t have been
easy, financially or emotionally.
first thing AJ did when he became famous, was to buy his mother a house, and
set her up for the rest of her life. He put his sister Casey through college
too, and she is now a qualified attorney. He took care of his family. It’s
something I greatly admire in him.
don’t know what I expect from you?” he continues, “Well, I had hoped that you
would have gained some idea by now Birdie.” He says quietly smiling. “I want to
see where this can go. You know I was attracted to you, and I told you why. You
may think you’re ordinary, but to me you’re not. I’m drawn to you Birdie. Yes,
at first I admit, it was the hair, and the legs, etc. I’m not going to deny
that, but there was something about the woman walking towards me humming a
song, something that pulled me to you. I jumped at the chance to have you stay
in that apartment, knowing I was keeping you safe. I want to explore what we
could possibly have, and I had hoped that you would be willing to take a chance
on all the hype of my life, and explore it too. So tell me Babe, are you
willing to take this chance, and see where this leads?”
he’s done it again; plain speaking straight in at the deep end, taking my
breath away. He’s put himself out there, laying it out
without any illusion of what he wants. Telling me
he wants to see what will happen between us; but is it what I want? I know
people will think I’m crazy, even debating whether to take what he offers. However,
with my newly acquired knowledge, of how I have been holding people at bay for
the last few years. Do I feel prepared to give this a go? Knowing that my
brick wall may come up and ruin everything. Or even worse, that the wall comes
tumbling down, and I’ll find myself in too deep, with no defences.