A/N: Greetings! I'm going to start this off by saying if you haven't read my first story, I Dare You, I'd highly recommend you do so. You'll be a little lost if you don't. This story picks up one year later, and will have plenty of flashbacks to cover that time jump.
Disclaimer: I don't own Pitch Perfect or any of its characters.
The point of view switches this chapter, so keep an eye out for that. Enjoy!
Beca unlocked the door to her apartment, yawning as she stepped inside, hung her keys up on the hook by the door, and flipped the light on. DJ'ing always zapped her energy, and she was exhausted after the long night. Of course, after the performance was the meet and greet with the VIP section. It was still a drain on her, even though she was working on becoming more of a people person. It wasn't that she didn't appreciate her fans, they'd been her lifeline over the past year, but Beca had always preferred solitude to company and that wasn't something that was going to change overnight.
A tired grin spread across her lips as she heard movement from somewhere deeper inside her apartment. This was her favorite thing about coming home, and she wasn't disappointed as the dog trotted around the corner, his tail instantly wagging furiously. Beca laughed as he jumped up, catching his front paws with one arm and wrapping the other around him in a hug.
"Hey, Zeus! Did you miss me, buddy?" she asked, letting him lick her cheek before he dropped back down.
Beca scratched behind his ears as he wiggled happily and pressed against her legs, before grabbing the leash off the hook and clipping it to his collar. After a short walk, she brought him back inside, hanging the leash back up and ventured into the kitchen. She grabbed a bottle of water out of the fridge and took a sip, moving to sit down on the couch, wishing she had something stronger as her thoughts strayed to the one she couldn't forget. They say time heals all wounds, but Beca was a firm believer that the sentiment was a load of shit.
It had been a little less than a year since she'd left California after losing the love of her life, and Beca was no closer to moving on than she'd been the night Chloe told her there was someone else. The scene replayed in her mind constantly, whether she was awake or asleep. She couldn't escape those words, or the way Chloe had delivered them so easily. 'This was never going to be forever...It's time to grow up. Go to Nashville.' Beca shook her head, trying to think of something else, only to recall how clearly Chloe had told her they were over, and that she wasn't in love with her anymore.
She was momentarily distracted as Zeus hopped up on the couch beside her, curling up into a ball. Beca let her hand stroke his large head, immeasurably grateful for his presence. She found her thoughts wandering back to the day she'd adopted him, which brought a smile to her face. Stacie had suggested it about a month after she'd moved, saying that dogs were awesome companions and were actually proven to provide a lot of comfort. Beca was a little skeptical, but had gone to the shelter the next day.
Beca slowly wandered around the shelter, taking her time in searching for a dog that would be a good fit for her. She knew she didn't want a puppy, since her schedule would never allow her the time a puppy demanded. She found herself frozen in front of an enclosure containing a large black dog, and she felt an instant connection when she looked inside. He was laying calmly on the ground, but his eyes seemed intelligent as he watched the people passing by.
A mother and her son stopped beside her, the boy instantly deciding that the dog was "the one." The mother had taken one look at his information sheet, before declaring in an awful tone, "Absolutely not, Ian. Pit Bulls are dangerous. Besides, that one looks like he's been here a long time. There's obviously something wrong with him."
Beca raised an eyebrow as they walked away, before flagging down one of the workers.
"Can I help you?" The woman asked, a friendly smile on her face.
Beca nodded, leaning over to look at his sheet, asking, "I'd like to know more about...Buddy?" She frowned at the name, instantly disliking how generic it was.
"Of course. We just got him a few weeks ago. He was found wandering alone a few miles from here, and a gentleman kindly brought him in," she explained. "We named him Buddy in hope that it would make him sound friendlier. He gets along really well with the other dogs during playtime, but the minute people see he's a Pit...well, they don't have the best reputations."
Beca let that information sink in, studying the dog for another minute. "So you don't know anything about him? How old he is or if he's healthy?"
"Actually, he was found with a collar and tags, but unfortunately they didn't contain any identifying information. We were able to determine he's at least up to date on his rabies vaccination based on one of the tags, but that was about it. We had him examined by a vet immediately, and she determined he's in excellent condition. We're waiting to update the rest of his shots in case the rest are current as well. The vet estimated he's around three years old. Sad really, it seems that someone decided they just didn't want him anymore," the woman finished, a sympathetic lilt to her tone.
Beca frowned at those words as they hit way too close to home, feeling the fresh hurt bubble up inside her chest.
"So someone just dumped him off and left him alone?" she asked, unable to stop a bit of anger from creeping into the question.
"Yes, it seems that way. Unfortunately, it's a familiar story around here. Would you like to meet him?"
Beca looked over at her, answering, "Yes, please." She extended her hand, adding, "I'm Beca."
"Rachel," the woman replied, shaking her hand before unlocking the door. "Don't worry, he's very friendly. Take your time. The door will lock automatically when you leave."
Beca thanked her, and stepped inside the small room, taking notice as the dog stood up when she entered. His tail wagged slowly back and forth as he approached. She held out her hand for him to sniff, breaking into a smile as he licked her fingers. Taking a closer look at him, she noticed he was entirely black, except for a white patch on his chest. Beca pulled her phone out and did a Google search for pictures of Pit Bulls, frowning when she looked back at the dog.
"He must be mixed with something," she muttered, noting that he was much leaner than the images on her phone, but still very muscular. His face was also different, with perky ears and a longish nose. Locking her phone and slipping it back into her pocket, she sat down on the floor, grinning when the dog laid down beside her with a curious look.
"So no one wanted you either, huh?" she said, unable to deny the bond she already felt forming with him.
All she could think about was that they were basically in the same boat. The person they trusted and thought loved them had left, and now they were both alone.
"You're pretty cute," she admitted, reaching out to scratch behind his ears.
That must have been his magic spot, because the dog instantly let out a happy whine, his large head pushing forward against her hand as he scooted closer.
"Want to ditch this joint and come home with me?" Beca asked, for some reason feeling completely comfortable talking to the dog. He looked at her patiently, and she said, "Thought so. You need a new name though, dude. I'll be right back."
Beca left the room and quickly searched out Rachel.
The woman recognized her instantly, and asked, "How'd it go?"
Beca grinned at her. "I'll take him."
Beca sighed, twisting the cap back onto her bottle of water and placing it on the coffee table. She should be happy…hell, she should be over the fucking moon. Her career had taken off like a shot, and even she hadn't expected things to happen so quickly. Big Machine had been a dream come true, and had come through on all their promises. Beca was in a studio recording her first single two weeks after arriving, and making her debut as a DJ in a little less than two months. They'd hooked her up with one of their professionals and she'd caught on quickly, instantly falling in love with playing her music for others.
Her single had been a success, starting slow before skyrocketing to the top of the charts, where it remained for a solid month. She'd finished her first album in six months and was seriously proud of how well it turned out, knowing how hard she'd worked on it. Her team of musicians and producers were incredible, and Beca was constantly absorbing new information, which left her too tired to do much more than collapse in bed next to Zeus at the end of the day. Her album had gone Multi-Platinum, surpassing her wildest dreams for it, and the label had thrown her a huge party to celebrate.
On top of all that craziness were the public appearances that she agreed to in her contract. She was thankful for all the PR work that Big Machine did on her behalf, and dutifully showed up to each and every venue, club, radio show, talk show...whenever, wherever, she was there. She'd been instructed to get Twitter and Instagram accounts, and her own YouTube channel, and given a lengthy lecture on the importance of social media. It was completely overwhelming for her as she'd spent her entire life as an inherently private person, and was now opening the door for people all over the world to electronically stalk her. She was all too aware that the number of people interested in doing so was growing at an alarming rate.
With the success came money, and Beca was thankful to move out of the cheap one-bedroom apartment she found and into a nice building downtown. She decided against renting, and was now the proud owner of a large three-bedroom apartment that took up the entire sixth floor of the building. She and Zeus made the move a month ago, and were now comfortably settled in. The only pain was that she had to travel down six stories to take Zeus outside, but outside of that inconvenience, she loved it. She'd been allowed to remodel the third bedroom and convert it into a studio so she could work from home. The whole apartment had a modern feel, with simple furnishings and stainless steel appliances. The kitchen wasn't as large as she would have liked, but it was a million times better than the one in her previous apartment, which was basically a shoebox with an oven.
Glancing around in the dim light, she walked out onto the balcony, leaning on the railing and looking out over the city. She had an outstanding view, and spent many nights outside looking at the city lights or the stars above. Zeus followed her, laying down peacefully at her feet, and she smiled at his need to constantly be by her side whenever she was home. It was one of the many things she loved about him, that they had bonded immediately and the dog just seemed to understand exactly when she needed him most.
"Should we go to bed, bud?" Beca asked, looking down at him.
At her words, Zeus instantly trotted inside and down the hallway. Beca chuckled as she followed, shutting off the lights and made sure the door was locked tight. She took a quick shower to wash the sweat and grime from the club off, before plugging her phone in to charge and sliding into bed. Zeus was already curled up against the spare pillow, and barely cracked an eye open as she got settled.
"Yeah, yeah, sorry I disturbed you. You're gonna be in trouble when Stace visits next week and you get booted to the couch," she muttered.
She got no reaction to those words, and shook her head before turning out the light, asleep in seconds as the exhaustion caught up with her.
"Chlo...Chloe...Earth to Chloe Beale?"
Chloe jerked her eyes up, spinning around to look at Aubrey who was eyeing her with a concerned look. "Yeah?' she answered, hoping her friend would distract her from what she'd just seen.
"I was asking if you're ready to go," Aubrey said, gesturing at the groceries that were already stacked in the cart. "What were you looking at, anyways?"
Chloe swallowed hard, glancing back down at the magazine cover and knew it was too late to hide it from Aubrey. The blonde stepped closer to see, letting out a small sigh at the brunette on the cover.
"Oh...I should have known," Aubrey said, her voice softening as she looked hesitantly at her friend. "Come on, let's go cook dinner."
Chloe allowed her friend to lead her out of the store, but the magazine cover was permanently printed in her mind, the headline sticking out like a sore thumb. "ROMANCE FOR BECA MITCHELL? Find out who the hottest DJ has been cozying up to!" The photo was obviously snapped by paparazzi, as Beca wasn't looking at the camera, but she looked so stunning it made Chloe's heart ache.
Aubrey spoke up as they reached the car, saying, "Chlo, you should know better than to believe that trash. It's all a bunch of lies."
Chloe remained silent and lost in her thoughts as she helped load the groceries into the trunk. Of course she knew that, but she also knew that Beca was famous now. She probably had people falling all over themselves for a shot with her, and after the way Chloe had treated her, she wouldn't be surprised at all if Beca was dating someone. She climbed into the passenger seat as Aubrey returned the shopping cart, wondering for the millionth time how different her life would be if Beca had stayed. It was selfish and unhelpful, but it was all she had these days. Chloe constantly pictured how things would be if she hadn't convinced Beca to go, confident that they would still be together, and happy.
Aubrey slid behind the wheel of her convertible, glancing over at the redhead. "Chloe, it's time to move on. You need to forget about her."
Chloe glanced over at her friend, knowing she was only trying to help.
Aubrey continued, "Let's plan a fun trip this summer! Want to drive up the coast?"
Chloe hesitated, not yet having told Aubrey of her plans this summer. Taking a deep breath, she said, "Uh, I'm not staying here this summer, Bree. I'm going home...to spend some time with my family. I can't stay here..."
She trailed off, unable to voice the words. She needed to get away from Barden and her apartment and everything that constantly reminded her of Beca. Chloe felt like she'd spent the past year underwater, going through the motions and trying to survive one day at a time. Knowing that she'd done the right thing for Beca hadn't helped one bit, the pain every bit as real and permanent as her actions.
It was an impossible situation. Chloe was thrilled that Beca was becoming a star, not surprised at all at how quickly the brunette rose to fame. On the other hand, it meant that Beca was everywhere. She was on the radio, on television; her face was splashed across the covers of magazines as everyone wanted to interview the "hottest person in the music industry." Chloe couldn't escape her, not that she wanted to, and refused to talk about Beca with Aubrey. The only thing she would say is that it was her fault, no one else's, and she was going to deal with the consequences.
Although she wouldn't admit it out loud, Chloe was miserable. She forced herself to maintain the cheerful exterior that her colleagues at Barden had become accustomed to, retreating into solitude at the end of the day and hiding alone in her apartment. She missed Beca terribly, feeling like there was a hole in her chest that would never heal. By the end of the year, her apartment had become almost unbearable, and she needed to get away. Her mother had been asking her to come home for months, and she finally decided to try and use the summer to start fresh. Her flight was booked and she'd be returning to Tennessee for three months after graduation on Saturday. Grace was thrilled, and the more Chloe thought about it, the more she was looking forward to letting her mother distract her from her heartache.
Aubrey's voice broke her concentration. "You're going to spend the summer in the same city as Beca? Do you think that's the best idea?"
Chloe sighed, answering, "I've thought about that. But that's my home, Bree. My family is there, my best friend is there, and as much as I value our friendship, it's just not the same."
Aubrey nodded understandingly. "I get it, Chlo. I'm sorry I haven't been more helpful this year. I know you're struggling."
"It's okay," Chloe shrugged, looking over at Aubrey. "I don't think anyone could have helped me much this year. It was so hard...it still is."
"Sorry those blind dates didn't help much," Aubrey said sheepishly, causing Chloe to snicker at the memory.
"Bree, I'm glad we're friends. But never again. Those dates were awful," Chloe replied, shaking her head.
Aubrey laughed, saying, "I didn't think they were so bad! And are you sure? There's this girl I met at the gym last week..."
"Never. Again," Chloe retorted, not letting Aubrey finish. "I just...I don't want to be with anyone else. They could have been the best dates in the world and it wouldn't have mattered," she finished quietly.
Aubrey reached over to hold Chloe's hand, and she smiled at the blonde, grateful for her support. Chloe knew her friend had meant well, even if her methods weren't what she was hoping for, and she knew she never would have made it through the year without her and Jesse. They kept her sane, along with many, many phone calls to her mother and Jess.
Chloe was really looking forward to being back in the same city as her best friend. She knew that Jess and Ashley had befriended Beca when she arrived, knowing that the brunette was heartbroken and all alone. Chloe had encouraged them to do it, especially Ashley, believing that Beca would be more open to talking with the woman since she knew how close Chloe was with Jess. It also had the added bonus of receiving sporadic updates on how Beca was doing, since her friends were completely sympathetic towards their situation. According to them, Beca was a total recluse outside of work, but Chloe found that hard to believe with all the photos and rumors swirling around of the brunette with different women.
The thought made her stomach turn, instantly feeling sick. She turned to Aubrey, her voice apologetic as she said, "Bree, I'm not really feeling up to dinner tonight."
Aubrey glanced over at her worriedly, before saying, "Okay, Chlo. You know you're always welcome."
Chloe nodded, glancing down at her hands in her lap as the car parked in front of the townhome Aubrey now shared with Jesse. She was thankful that the blonde hadn't pushed her, knowing that she would have stayed and been horrible company.
"Thanks. I'll see you tomorrow at graduation. Say hi to Jesse for me," Chloe said, climbing out of the car and pulling her own keys out of her purse.
"I will," Aubrey replied, moving quickly around the car to give her a hug. "Call if you need to, okay?" she whispered, squeezing tightly before letting go.
Chloe took a deep breath, forcing the tears back as she nodded, before turning and making her escape.
The tears fell as soon as she pulled out of their driveway and started off down the street, continuing all the way home until she was tucked into her favorite corner spot on her couch.
Chloe walked quickly through the familiar airport, her eyes searching anxiously for the blonde hair and familiar face of her best friend. Jess had insisted on picking her up, and Chloe was beyond excited to see her.
Chloe turned to the left, instantly spotting Jess, breaking out into a wide smile as she approached and wrapped her in a hug.
"I missed you!" Chloe squealed into the blonde's shoulder, hugging her back tightly.
"Oh, girl, not as much as I missed you! Come on, let's get outta here," Jess said, moving towards the baggage claim.
Thankfully, Chloe's suitcase was one of the first to appear, and they were out of the crowded airport after only a few minutes. They made small talk all the way to the car, and Chloe was thankful that Jess saved the harder questions for when they were speeding down the highway.
"How are you, Chlo? Like, really, how are you?" Jess asked, glancing over at her.
Chloe sighed, turning to look out the window. "I'm….I'm fine."
Jess snorted, "Yeah, okay. Want to try that again?"
Chloe didn't answer, the silence filling the car until she couldn't take it. "I miss her. I miss her all the time," she admitted quietly. "I know I did the right thing, and I've regretted it every day since. And if I had to do it again, I'd still do the same thing and I'd still regret it. How is she?"
"Are you sure you really want to know?" Jess asked, her voice cryptic.
"Well not anymore," Chloe replied nervously, praying for good news. "What is it? Is she dating someone?"
Jess shook her head. "No, of course not, Chlo. How many times do I have to tell you, she doesn't see anyone….except Ash and I every once in a while. Ash more than me."
Chloe smacked Jess' arm, exclaiming, "Well why'd you go and say that then?!"
Jess shrugged, answering, "You'll never move on if you keep asking about her. Don't you think it might get easier if you didn't?"
"I don't want to move on," Chloe retorted, looking back out the window.
Jess grinned. "I was hoping you'd say that. Because she's playing at a club tonight and we're going."
Chloe snapped around to look at her best friend, eyeing the smirk on the blonde's face. "What did you say?" she asked, feeling slightly pathetic at how hopeful her tone was.
Jess' eyes flicked towards her, answering, "So, don't be mad, but Ash and I think that ya'll could totally patch things up. I mean, you're miserable over her, she's miserable over you, and since this whole breakup was really just a big lie…."
Chloe shook her head, cutting her friend off. "No, I don't think we can. She hates me, Jess."
"No, she hates what she thinks you did, Chlo," Jess argued, her tone remaining light. "Except you didn't run off and fall in love with someone else. Stacie's pretty sure that when Beca finds that out, everything will be fine."
Chloe scoffed, turning away again. "This isn't a movie. Life doesn't work out like that. She'll never forgive me for what I said to her." After processing for a moment, the realization hit her. "Since when do you talk to Stacie?"
Jess chuckled, answering, "Wondered how long it'd take you to pick up on that. This whole plan is actually her idea, but Ash and I like it. I think we've got a pretty good shot at getting you two back together."
"Do I get a say in this?" Chloe asked, unsure how she should feel about this scenario. "Not that I'm against ya'll messing with my personal life, but….oh wait, I'm completely against you three messing with my personal life!"
"Chlo, you've been a hot mess for a year. Don't deny it, we Skyped on the regular and I saw it with my own eyes," Jess said, not letting Chloe butt in. "Also, don't argue with me. I'm a lawyer. I'll win."
Chloe crossed her arms, shooting a glare across the car at her best friend.
"We love you, Chlo. And we love Beca. And you two belong together. Are you seriously going to sit there and say you wouldn't get back together with her if it was an option?" Jess asked, her voice sounding like she already knew the answer.
Chloe humored her, despite feeling confident that she and Beca would never get back together. "Of course I would, but that'll never happen. Why are you asking me a question you already know the answer to?"
"Lawyers prefer questions we already know the answer to. Surprises are the enemy. Can't plan for wildcards. Anyways, that's not the point," Jess said, emphasizing with a finger pointed in her direction. "The point is, Stacie is visiting Beca and she's confident she can get through to her. So all Ash and I have to do is get you to the club tonight! Which is why I volunteered to pick you up from the airport, because I'm kidnapping you and you're going to the club with us tonight."
Chloe's eyes went wide as she shook her head. "Now way. Not happening."
Jess didn't seem bothered by that, answering, "I wasn't asking. Will you answer a question for me?"
"Yes. There you go, I answered a question," Chloe retorted, having played this game with Jess many times.
"Ooh, okay smartass," Jess laughed. "Glad to see my best friend is still in there somewhere. But seriously, Chlo, do you still love her?"
Chloe fell silent, looking over at her. "Of course I do," she answered quietly.
Jess sighed, reaching over to take Chloe's hand. "Then how can you not go tonight?"
Beca grinned as she heard a loud knock at her door, and moved quickly across the apartment to open it. The sight of her best friend almost had her in tears of happiness, Stacie not wasting any time in wrapping her in a tight hug and lifting her off the ground. Zeus trotted over, making a nuisance of himself as he nosed around Stacie's legs.
"Ah! Put me down you giant!" Beca yelled, stepping back the second her feet touched the floor. "I hate it when you do that," she grumbled.
Stacie ignored her, cooing happily as she rubbed Zeus and let him lick her fingers. "Hi there, handsome! Is Becs treating you right? You can always come back with me."
Beca rolled her eyes, moving around the pair of them to shut the door. "How was the trip? Any problems getting here?"
Stacie finally stood up, her eyes roaming around Beca's apartment. "It went smoothly. Damn, Becs, this place is nice! You own this?"
Beca nodded, grabbing Zeus' collar and dragging him back into the apartment away from Stacie. "Go lay down, you big baby," she said, turning back to her best friend. "Yeah, I just figured it made sense. Since I live here now," she quipped.
Stacie flicked her ear as she moved into the living room, responding, "I thought it might only be temporary. Unless you're doing better than you've let on?"
"Want anything to drink?" Beca asked, avoiding the subject and moving into the kitchen.
Stacie's eyebrows rose as she looked over at the brunette. "Yeah, water would be great. And you're not that slick...with a place this nice your album sales must be off the charts."
Beca slowly made her way over to the couch, handing Stacie a glass of water as she sat down. Stacie joined her, waiting expectantly.
"I'm doing okay," Beca said, shrugging as if it wasn't a big deal. "Well enough to afford Zeus and this place. I don't need much."
Stacie rolled her eyes, asking, "Since when are you all weird and vague. This isn't some interview, Becs. I'm your best friend, not some long lost relative trying to hit you up for a payout."
Beca laughed, holding her hands up in surrender. "Okay, okay, I'm sorry. I don't have friends here, not really. I've gotten into the amazing habit of talking without actually saying much. It's a PR thing that's been drilled into me. Sales are up, appearances are up...life is really good, Stace," she said, but her smile didn't quite reach her eyes.
"How's your love life?" Stacie was as blunt as ever, not even bothering to look ashamed.
Beca's eyes narrowed slightly, before answering, "Non-existent. I'm busy with my music, and not interested in dating. You know that."
Stacie's eyes flickered with mischief as she pulled a gossip magazine out of her bag, saying coyly, "Not according to this magazine article I read in the airport on the way here. Apparently you've been spotted "cozying up" to one..." she trailed off, flipping pages until she found what she was looking for. "Danielle Bradbery?"
Beca stared blankly back at her best friend, before finally saying, "Who the fuck is that?"
Stacie laughed, handing over the magazine. Beca glanced curiously down at the story, vaguely recognizing the woman, before sighing and tossing it lightly onto her coffee table. Leave it to the media to literally manufacture a story out of nothing.
"I recognize her, but I barely know her. She records at BMR. That photo was from the party they threw me when my album went Multi-Platinum," Beca said, her tone laced with humor as she pointed at the framed award on the wall. "I think I met over a hundred people that night, and posed with each and every one for a photo. Fucking tabloids," she said with a laugh, not worrying about the story.
"I think she's kinda cute," Stacie offered, still chuckling and earning herself a glare from the other end of the couch. "I mean, have you even thought about trying to move on, Becs?"
Beca clammed up, her stare turning frosty as she paused before answering the question. "No, I haven't."
Stacie pushed a little further, saying, "I know, I just...I don't want you to be alone forever. I worry about you."
"Well, don't," Beca huffed, getting up and moving restlessly around the room, before opening the sliding door and stepping outside onto her balcony. She felt Stacie join her a few moments later. "I tried, Stacie. I pushed myself, I got outside my comfort zone, I trusted her..." she trailed off, letting her gaze wander. "It's been a year, and I still hear her words in my head every night. I can't do that again...I just can't."
Stacie wrapped an arm comfortingly around her shoulders, pulling her close. "I'm so sorry for what happened between you and Chloe. I...I saw her when I was home. She's not dating anyone, Becs..."
Beca cut her off, saying, "Stop. I can't hear this."
"Will you just listen? Please? I don't think it's over between you two," Stacie said, a touch of desperation in her voice.
Beca turned to stare incredulously at her. "Stace, it's already over. It's been over for a year."
Stacie shot back, "She still loves you."
"No she doesn't!" Beca exploded, causing Zeus to join them on the balcony, his head nosing along her thigh. "I know because she told me so, right around the time she told me that we were never going to last and that I should grow up. She doesn't love me," Beca finished quietly, all the fight leaving her.
"She's coming here, to Nashville for the summer."
Beca's eyes shot up at those words, narrowing at her best friend. "I don't care. She can do whatever the fuck she wants. I don't want to see her, Stace."
They fell silent as Beca contemplated this new information, despite how unwanted it was. Chloe was coming here, and she was apparently not dating the dude she'd chosen over Beca. She forced it down, knowing that it didn't really matter if Chloe was single or not. She didn't love Beca, and had never seen a future that involved her in it. If it wasn't that guy, it would have been another. Beca wasn't Chloe's forever, and she was going to have to come to terms with that at some point. But that point was not right now.
Beca glanced down at her watch, murmuring, "Shit. Come on, lets get ready and cook some dinner before I need to be at the club. I'm spinning tonight."
She turned and snapped her fingers at the dog, saying, "Come on, Zeus." The dog walked obediently behind her, missing the way Stacie grinned at her words.
"Thanks, Paul." Beca smiled as the kind man opened the door for her, stepping out onto the street with Stacie right behind her.
"Have a good show, Miss Mitchell," the man said politely, returning her smile.
Beca sighed, replying with a quick "Thanks," knowing that she could ask him a million times to use her first name and see exactly zero progress.
Stacie found it extremely funny, slipping an arm around her as she stepped up beside her, whispering, "Come on, Miss Mitchell, my famous, Rockstar best friend who lives in a fancy building with a doorman."
"And a driver," Beca added innocently, gesturing at the black car awaiting them at the curb.
Stacie raised her eyebrows, joking, "Well, damn. I changed my mind, I need to borrow some money."
Beca rolled her eyes and gave the brunette a shove, walking up to the familiar man waiting for her. "Hey, Isaac," she said happily, giving him a fist bump.
"Hey DJ," he said with a smile, glancing over at Stacie.
"Isaac, this is Stacie, my best friend from home. Stace, this is Isaac," Beca said, introducing the pair.
Isaac greeted Stacie politely, holding the door open for the pair to slide into the backseat. Once he was comfortably behind the wheel, he asked, "Need to make a stop before the club?"
Beca replied, "Nope. And I know I have to make an entrance and all that shit, but Stacie does not. Can you take her around back? And pick us up there? Not really in the mood to deal with the press tonight."
"You got it."
Beca sighed, catching the look Stacie was giving her. "What, dude? You're being creepy and weird."
Stacie shrugged, saying, "You're just like, legit famous now. It's weird, but also awesome."
"I'm kinda the same I always was, just now there's a shit ton of people who care what I say, who I date, what clothes I wear, and basically everything else about my life that used to be private," Beca scoffed, looking out the window.
"When did you get a driver?' Stacie asked curiously.
Beca smirked, answering, "I poached him from the label. Isaac and I met when they flew me out here for my first visit. After I got here, he drove me to some of the bigger events, but mostly I drove myself. When the shit really hit the fan, the label recommended I hire a driver as an extra safety precaution."
They continued to chat until Isaac pulled up to the front of the club, flashbulbs already going off like crazy before anyone exited the car. They watched him step out of the driver's seat, dark sunglasses firmly in place. Beca flipped open the center console and pulled out a pair of her own.
"Becs, this is crazy," Stacie said, her voice turning a little nervous.
"Yeah, I forgot you haven't visited me in a while. Isaac will take you inside while I visit with the fans for a few minutes, sign autographs, and take selfies and shit."
Stacie nodded as the door opened and Beca stepped out of the car, dark sunglasses in place. She smiled and waved as Isaac closed the door and returned to the car, approaching her fans and signing a few autographs.
After about five minutes, Isaac appeared at her side, leaning down to whisper in her ear, "Time to go, Becs."
Beca waved once more before walking through the door of the club, handing Isaac her sunglasses and easily weaving her way through to the VIP area. She found Stacie chatting with an energetic man dressed in dark jeans and a white button down shirt, the sleeves rolled up to his elbows. He looked up and smiled as she approached, standing up to greet her.
"How's my favorite superstar today?" he asked, his voice overly positive.
Beca rolled her eyes, answering, "The same as every other day, Scotty. And I'm not a superstar." Turning to Stacie, she grumbled, "I see you've met my manager."
"Yep." Stacie nodded, her reply strangely short for the way the two had just been conversing.
Looking suspiciously between the two of them, she shrugged it off and said, "Right, well I've gotta get to work. Have fun, Stace."
"Scotty will take care of me," Stacie giggled, looking over at the man who nodded enthusiastically.
"Gross," Beca muttered under her breath, turning and making her way up to the DJ booth where her equipment was waiting for her, already set up.
The house DJ roared her introduction into the mic, the crowd below shouting their approval. Beca took her place behind the tables, grinning down at the happy faces, red from exertion and alcohol. Nodding her thanks at the small cooler of bottled water set up for her, she turned her attention to her music, queuing up her first mix as the other DJ slipped out of the booth.
She pulled the mic to her mouth, yelling, "How're we doing tonight?! I'm DJ BMitch and I'm honored to be spinning at Club Mai tonight!"
The crowd cheered loudly again, recognizing her stage name, and Beca quickly turned up the volume on her first mix, a mashup of Bulletproof and Titanium. It was one of her signature tracks, and the one she started off every set with. Settling into a groove, she stayed tuned in to the vibe coming from the dance floor, time slipping away as she lost herself in the music.
It was pushing one in the morning when the house DJ returned, signaling the end of her set. She quickly shouted out a thanks to the crowd and reminded them to tip their bartenders generously, before stepping outside the booth. She took a deep breath as Stacie approached her, the unreadable expression on her friend's face instantly morphing into a wide smile.
"Becs, that was incredible!" Stacie said, wrapping her in a tight hug. "Ew, you're all sweaty," she added, pulling away almost as fast.
Beca laughed, nodding in agreement. "Yeah, it gets pretty hot in the booth." She glanced at Scotty, who remained a few feet away. "Do I have to do the meet and greet?" she asked, already knowing the answer.
He rolled his eyes, answering, "You ask me that every time, and every time I give you the same answer. Stop asking, and get your butt to the VIP lounge. Don't worry, it's a small group tonight."
Beca was a little surprised by that statement, but decided to remain silent and not question her good luck. It wasn't that she disliked talking to her fans, but after a night in the booth, all she wanted was a late night Taco Bell run, a hot shower, and a stiff drink. She usually only got one of those things, and it was the last of the three she would choose.
Stacie walked beside her as she made her way down the staircase, grabbing her arm before they could turn the corner and enter the room. Beca sighed, leaning against the wall, internally grateful for a few moments to prepare herself.
"Don't be mad, okay?" Stacie said nervously.
Beca froze, looking up to meet her best friend's gaze. "What did you do, Stace?" she asked, her voice low.
Stacie didn't respond, instead gesturing for her to turn the corner.
Beca hesitated, studying her friend for a long moment before pushing off the wall and rounding the corner into the VIP room. She was completely unprepared for the sight that greeted her eyes. Jess and Ashley were sitting on the couch, talking and laughing with the woman who had singlehandedly torn her heart into pieces. Beca was frozen in place as the three women noticed her presence immediately, going silent and rising to their feet.
Beca felt her heart pounding in her chest as her eyes locked onto the clear blue gaze that had haunted her for the past year.
A/N: All mistakes are my own.
Huge shoutout to my awesome friend...you know who you are...for talking through all my random story ideas and helping me nail down the major points for this one. Couldn't have done it without ya!
Thank you so much to everyone who followed along with I Dare You! I hope you found your way here and are ready to continue this journey with me!
Let me know whatcha think!