Author's 1st Note: Yay! It's finally here!
I cannot tell you guys how many times I rewrote this chapter... (It was a lot of times) I wanted it to not only be right, but also pay homage to the original fic this one is inspired by.
Before I have you guys start, I just want to let you all know how grateful I am for your support. I see all of your kind messages and reviews and I can't tell you how much it means to me.
It definitely inspired me to really push this new chapter out and I'm so excited that you guys finally get to read it!
As you can probably guess why from the title, I do apologize ahead of time for your heartstrings...
Nonetheless, I hope you enjoy!
Beca's hands were shaking when she pulled her key card out of her pocket and it took her a few failed attempts to finally slide it into the scanner and get the room door open.
She didn't know where else she could go to escape. It was a cruise ship after all. It wasn't like she could just jump into the ocean and swim to the nearest deserted island.
Beca shook her head. No, she couldn't do that.
Her room, though not her first choice for seclusion, was really the only option she had.
"Fuck," Beca muttered to herself, gripping her hair hard as she used every bit of her will power to hold back the tears she so desperately wanted to let roll down her face.
She was on the brink of hyperventilating as she paced around the room, her mind reeling with what felt like a million conflicting thoughts.
She couldn't believe Chloe had kissed Chicago. After everything that had been going on between them…
Beca stopped pacing and her fingers relaxed in her hair.
Wait a second… What was going on between them?
Before Beca could process an answer to her own question, the sound of the door unlocking crashed her back to her shitty reality.
Beca's brow instantly furrowed in anger and she spun around to face the door.
Chloe quickly emerged from behind the door and stepped inside, her hands already up in submission.
"No, Beca, wait. Please," she said, cautiously walking up to Beca but stopping when Beca flinched away from her. "Just let me explain."
"There's nothing to explain, Chloe!" Beca snapped. "I saw you kissing him! Now get out of the room and leave me alone!"
Chloe's brow furrowed, "I told you I didn't kiss him, Beca! He kissed me!"
Beca scoffed and rolled her eyes as she shook her head. "Like there's a difference."
"There is a difference," Chloe said, her pitch quivering as she boldly stepped closer and didn't stop until she was only a few inches away from Beca. "I wouldn't do that to you!"
Beca wanted to back away, to get as far away from Chloe as she could and curl up into a ball so she could sulk in her own misery in peace. But her adrenaline was pumping and her stubbornness was at full force.
Chloe's hair wasn't the only red she was seeing.
"Oh, yeah?" Beca snarked, taking a step, making the already small space between them even smaller. "And why is that?"
Chloe's breath hitched in her throat as her eyes rapidly danced back and forth over Beca's. The air was already thick with intensity, but even Beca could feel the way the look in Chloe's eyes suddenly shifted the entire energy between them.
"Because, Beca, I–" Chloe said, her eyes gradually getting glossier, which made Beca's heart stop.
No. There was no way Chloe was about to say what Beca's gut was telling her she was about to say.
Chloe sighed, "This is so not how I wanted to tell you this, Beca, but I…" She gently placed her hands on Beca's tense shoulders, relaxing them. "I love you."
Beca's eyes instantly widened and she gasped. Her shaky gaze flicked over Chloe's glistening eyes and when she opened her mouth to speak she realized her throat was completely dry.
She couldn't even manage a sound.
The room grew thicker as her stunned silence continued, but it didn't last long when Chloe slowly started to lean in closer.
"Did you hear what I said?" she whispered, dropping her hands to gently hold onto Beca's arms, stilling just as their lips brushed. "I love you, Beca." She could feel Beca's shallow breath hitch against her lips and she paused.
"Chloe," Beca managed to choke out, "I–" Her sentence was cut off by the press of Chloe's lips on hers and a whimper escaped her as her thoughts clouded over and her eyes fluttered shut, instinctually.
Beca kissed Chloe back, despite her anger and despite her better judgment. She kissed her back with a fervor, feeling a warm wetness build at the corners of her eyes.
She was reminded of how good it felt to kiss Chloe. How being with her like this felt more like home than any physical place she had ever lived in. It was warm and tingly and it made Beca want to forget everything else and simply melt into Chloe's arms.
But just when the urge twitched at her fingertips, the image of Beca's mother's heartbroken face suddenly flashed in her mind, and she was instantly reminded of the countless nights Beca had to watch her mother cry herself to sleep.
No. She couldn't do this to her mother. It was hard enough to put the pieces back together the first time. Beca couldn't imagine what would happen if her mother had to go through something like that again.
Beca knew what she had to do. Even if it wasn't at all what she really wanted...
Beca's eyes were already closed but she squeezed them tighter as she held back her tears and startled Chloe when she suddenly pushed her back, away from her, and broke the kiss.
"Get off me!" Beca spat, panting with her brow furrowed and her eyes filled with confliction.
Chloe was clearly taken aback, and it pained Beca to see the hurt confusion written all over her face.
"I'm sorry," Chloe said. "I-I didn't mean to upset you."
Beca shook her head and spun around as she gripped onto her hair again. "Goddamnit, Chloe."
Despite Beca's aggression, Chloe didn't let up on her attempts to calm her. She timidly placed a hand on Beca's shoulder, though she quickly yanked it back when Beca immediately jerked away at the contact.
"Don't touch me!"
Beca was overwhelmed with emotion; Hurt, anger, reluctance, confusion. Her thoughts were racing and the tightness in her chest grew heavier.
"Beca," Chloe said, concerned. "What's wrong? Talk to me."
Beca was struggling to hold herself together and shook her head. This wasn't fair, but she had to convince herself that it was necessary.
She willed herself to calm down– well, to an extant– and released a deep breath.
"What's wrong?" Beca said, straightening herself out before turning back around to glare at Chloe. "You wanna know what's wrong? This is wrong." She gestured between the two of them, letting her pain dictate her actions. "I can't–" Beca hesitated and grunted before she continued. "Just… get out."
"Please," Chloe pleaded, quietly. "Don't do this."
Beca tittered, scornfully. "Don't do what?" she asked, but Chloe remained silent. "What did you think was gonna happen, Chloe?" Beca couldn't stop herself from doing what she did best. "What? Did you think we would have sex a few times, fall in love and then have a magical, happily ever after together?"
Chloe's lips parted and her eyes started to gloss all over . "I… I don't know. I–" Her brow curved and one of her shoulders came up in a hopeful, half-shrug. "Maybe?"
Beca's stomach twisted violently.
No. She couldn't let this happen.
"Seriously?" Beca said, keeping up her harsh tone. "Are you really that naive? God, we just had sex, Chloe. You even said so yourself, it didn't mean anything."
"Well I lied!" Her unexpected outburst staggered Beca. "It wasn't just sex for me Beca. All this time we've been spending together and really getting to know each other, I just– I could feel myself falling more and more in love with you." Fresh tears were starting to build in her eyes and Beca had to swallow to keep her own tears from forming. "I didn't plan on any of this to happen," Chloe continued, softly. Almost like she had no strength left. "I didn't plan on having sex with you and I didn't know I would develop feelings for you. But I did and I…"
Chloe's gaze fell to the floor and she nibbled on her bottom lip hesitantly. Beca's throat suddenly felt dry again, so she waited anxiously for Chloe to finish whatever it was she wanted to say.
After a few silent moments, Chloe bravely took a step closer to Beca and finally looked up to meet her eyes.
"I know you have feelings for me, too, Beca."
Oh, no… This was it. Beca had to end this and she had to end it now.
She swallowed the thick knot that had formed in her throat and noticed the instant worry that appeared in Chloe's eyes the moment her own expression changed.
Beca's eyes narrowed and she smirked cruelly. "You really are pathetic, huh?"
Chloe's brow furrowed. "W-What?"
"You really think I have feelings for you?" Beca said, laughing and shaking her head. "Wow,I knew I was a good performer, but damn. I didn't know I was that good." Chloe remained still in a stunned silence, her jaw slacked as her eyes continued to dart over Beca's.
Beca stepped closer to her. "I don't feel anything for you, Chloe Beale. Why would I? You're just like your mother and I hate everything about you."
Chloe's expression crumbled and her chin quivered as tears fell from her eyes.
"Beca, I'm not my mother!" she cried. "How many times am I going to have to apologize for her mistake? I'm sorry her and your dad did what they did, and I'm sorry for what it did to you and your mom. But Beca, what happened between our parents has nothing to do with us."
"It has everything to do with us!" Beca shouted, losing her grip on her self control, feeling her old habits coming back to life. "What am I supposed to do, bring you home for Thanksgiving dinner and say, 'Hey mom, this is my girlfriend Chloe. Remember her? She's the daughter of the woman dad cheated on you with! But it's okay if we date, right?" Her brow curved, "Get real, Chloe."
Beca knew it wasn't going to be enough to just push Chloe away. No. Chloe was too stubborn for that. Beca was going to have to stab her where it hurt the most instead.
She was going to have to be cruel.
"Look, Chloe. You were a decent fuck. I'll give you that, but that's it." Beca regretted every word that spew from her mouth, but it had to be done. "It's over now. I've had you," she smirked, wanting to slap her own self in the face for what she was doing, and then her smirk turned into a nasty scowl. "Now get. The fuck. Out."
Beca couldn't let Chloe know how much it was killing her to hurt her this way, but Chloe was still standing there, so her facade couldn't be broken just yet.
"You don't mean that," Chloe said, her voice shaky. "I know you don't mean that. "You're just lying again. Lying to me and lying to yourself."
Beca tittered. "Think again, Princess. I hate you. I've always hated you." She hesitated, a part of her still trying to stop herself from hurting Chloe any further, but it was too late. Beca had already stuck the knife where she knew it would hurt Chloe the most. Now all she had to do was twist it. "And I always will."
Chloe just stared at her, her cheeks and eyes reddened from fallen tears as she searched Beca's eyes for something Beca was refusing to give her.
Beca's chest felt strained as she anxiously waited for Chloe to respond, bracing herself for the inevitable. Wishing she was anywhere else but here.
"You kissed me back," Chloe quietly muttered.
Beca wasn't sure she heard her correctly. "What?" she snapped.
Chloe's lip quivered as another tear fell from her right eye. Her brow creased and she shook her head rapidly as she gasped a short sob.
"You kissed me back!" Chloe said, angrily. "And I don't understand why you're so set on ruining this," she continued, speaking as firmly as she could manage despite the occasional whimpers of sadness that would escape her. "Because I know you have feelings for me whether you want to admit it or not."
Chloe did something then, something Beca hadn't been expecting. She let her anger deflate with a deep sigh and reached her hands back, behind her neck. Her action confused Beca at first, but then she realized Chloe was undoing the turtle necklace she had given her and it made Beca's heart ache.
"But if this is how you want to treat me, Beca, then congratulations." Chloe squeezed the necklace in her hand shakily. "You got what you wanted."
Chloe stared intensely into Beca's eyes in silence one last time before frowning in anger and letting the rest of her tears roll down her cheeks.
"I hate you!"
Although Beca was anticipating this kind of response, the words still burned like a thousand bee stings to the chest. She wanted to cry. She wanted to reach out, hold Chloe tight against her and say she was sorry and didn't mean a word of what she just said.
But she couldn't.
Chloe threw the necklace at Beca's face, hitting her square on the nose and with one last shake of her head, Chloe spun around and quickly rummaged around the room.
Beca had initially winced when the chain struck her, but her hands acted on instinct and reached out just in time to catch it before it could fall to the ground. She held the necklace in her hands as she watched Chloe desperately grab clothes, makeup and hygiene products in a haste.
Beca had never seen her pack so quickly.
Once she was satisfied with the items she collected, Chloe grabbed her key card and phone and left the room without another word.
The second Beca heard the heavy door click shut, she clenched the hand that was still holding the necklace and squeezed it into her palm as a strong wave of sorrow suddenly overcame her.
"I'm so sorry," she gasped, her vision going blurry as she finally let the tears she had been holding back flow free from her eyes. As the wetness ran down her cheeks, her feelings of sadness abruptly began to morph into anger. "God damnit!"
Beca needed to hit something.
Her eyes quickly darted around in search of an outlet to release the strong urge for aggression and when her gaze landed on the tv remote sitting on the table next to her, Beca didn't hesitate to pick it up with her free hand and chuck it with all her strength across the room. She unintentionally struck the makeup mirror on top of the dresser drawer and gasped in surprise when it shattered to pieces.
Beca screamed in anguish before falling to her knees and clutched the necklace against her chest as she started to rock back and forth.
This was so unfair. Why was the one person she wanted most in the world also the one person she couldn't have?
Beca has been struggling with her feelings for the entirety of the cruise trip. She was confused, conflicted and she hadn't really been sure whatshe had been feeling towards Chloe. Sure she knew she was attracted to her. Who wouldn't be? Chloe was, for lack of a better word, gorgeous.
But the more time they spent together the more Beca felt like she was losing her mind. She could no longer think as clearly as she usually did and instead found her thoughts always coming back to something about Chloe. It was like she was completely obsessed with her.
Beca had been too dense and too caught up in her own invented enmity to figure out what everything she had been feeling actually meant, but after what she had witnessed at the club and the horrible fight they just had, the moment Chloe left the room, Beca realized she knew exactly how she felt about her.
She was in love with her, too.
And she just pushed her away for good.
"Fuck!" Beca cried, curling herself into an even tighter ball and sobbing for a long while.
Once the rush of her raging emotions settled, Beca eventually stood up from the floor and listlessly made her way over to the bathroom. The sliding door had been left open after Chloe had gone and when Beca stepped inside, she could feel her anguish reigniting when she noticed a handful of Chloe's items were missing.
Her brow furrowed at the sight and she closed her eyes before taking a deep breath and walking over to the sink. She carefully placed the turtle necklace on the counter and looked up at the mirror, cringing at the shameful staring back at her.
Her black eye makeup was badly smudged and running down her cheeks, and her eyes were red and puffy. She looked like how she felt.
She turned the faucet on and dipped down to wash her hot face with bitingly cold water. After wiping her makeup off and brushing her teeth, Beca grabbed the necklace and stepped back into the room to change into her pajamas.
As she pulled her shirt over herself, Beca snickered bitterly when she realized this would be the first night she actually slept in her pajamas, without ultimately stripping back out of them.
After turning off all the lights, excluding her nightstand lamp, Beca stared at the neatly made bed and sighed, taking a privy moment to imagine the sheets messy and crinkled, with Beca hovering over a smiling Chloe.
Beca shook the fantasy away and walked over to her side of the bed. Once she reopened the sheets and duvet, Beca sat on the edge of the bed and gently hooked Chloe's necklace onto the lamp's power knob.
"You fucking idiot," Beca quietly said, to herself. She shook her head and lifted the covers until she could comfortably slip underneath, facing Chloe's empty side and sensing another chain of tears welling up in her eyes.
This wasn't right. It had only been a few days, but in that small amount of time, Beca had remarkably gotten used to Chloe's presence next to her in bed and staring at her vacant pillow only made Beca miss her that much more.
She grabbed the pillow and brought it closer to her, wrapping an arm around it to snuggle it into her chest. It was then that Beca realized it still smelled like Chloe; a soft, natural blend of sweet peaches and rose petals, along with something else that was just authentically Chloe.
It was the final push that sent Beca into another mourning session, though this time her weeping was much quieter, but still pained.
She reached back to shut her lamp off and readjusted herself to curl around Chloe's pillow. Nothing but thoughts of Chloe ran through her mind and when Beca closed her eyes, all she could see was Chloe's face. Her eyes, her smile, and the heartbroken look she had on her face when Beca had said all those hurtful things to her.
Beca whimpered and nuzzled her face further into Chloe's pillow, mentally reliving every memory she had with her, until emotional exhaustion finally cradled her to sleep.
Author's 2nd Note: Are your heart strings still intact?