[[A/N: Thanks to I luv hardy, Miss-RKO, luneara eclipse, WhitneySheree and KatieKazaMizAwesome for reviewing, I loved all your reviews (L) I am so sorry it's taken me over a month to update! I hope you enjoy this chapter!]]
+ BELLE's POV + 16th September, 2010 (Thursday) +
The way I felt when I woke up this morning was nothing short of pure ecstasy. Yesterday I'd woken up excited to go on a road trip with Daniel - the one object of my affection - and I'd gone to sleep having just become his girlfriend. There was no way I'd expected that to happen - I wasn't as confident as my brother or Maryse, so it wouldn't have made sense if I had. But here I was - miles away from my brother, in my boyfriend's house. I was properly thrilled - we could have a few more days of just spending time in each other's company, doing whatever we felt like with hardly any interruptions.
Right now we were occupying two wooden deckchairs in Daniel's backyard while sipping from our glasses of orange juice. "Sleep well?" I asked, turning to look at him. He smiled that winning smile of his and I wanted to melt right then and there. "Perfectly, what about you?" he replied. I stopped for a moment to think about the dream I'd had last night... Not that I could remember it very well, but he'd been part of it and that was good enough for me.
"Just great" I responded, sighing happily as I crossed my legs and put my glass back on the little table between us. He did the same and then stood up, leaving me slightly confused at first. I was about to stand up and walk inside when he shook his head and joined me, laying down behind me and wrapping his arms around my waist. Resting my head on his shoulder, I made myself comfortable in seconds and blushed when he kissed my cheek. I don't remember it always being like this... I thought to myself, which was not to the discredit of any of my past boyfriends. It was just that there had been nobody before that made me feel as secure, as wanted or as safe as Daniel did.
For a few minutes I just concentrated on breathing and being able to feel Daniel's heartbeat, until I started humming to myself. The humming soon turned into words, and I sang.
"We'll do it all, everything, on our own... we don't need anything, or anyone..." I crooned softly, brushing my cheek against Daniel's. I wasn't even aware I'd done it at first, until he continued along with the song.
"If I lay here, if I just lay here, would you lie with me, and just forget the world?" he sang. After I wriggled around slightly and my body was facing his, I nodded meekly and whispered, "Yes". Which I would do... There was no way I'd ever want to let go of him - figuratively or literally. He was just too special and important. Neither of us made any move to keep going along with the song after that; we were happy enough just laying there, silently reveling in each other's company. I didn't feel any awkwardness in our shared silence, just total inner peace and happiness. This was absolutely perfect.
"So how about you tell me about high school, hmm?" I asked Daniel as we sat down at his kitchen table. Pausing in between bites of his grilled veggie salad, he nodded and smiled ruefully. As he saw me noticing the look on his face and almost saying something, he shook his head and laughed. "It wasn't all bad, I had a few great friends, but it just ended on an awful note... I really could've done without that" he said quietly. After swallowing a mouthful of my winter vegetable soup, I reached out and placed a hand over his. "What happened, Dan?" I whispered, not sure if he actually wanted to talk about it yet, or if he'd just said he would last night to keep me happy.
"Most of it was pretty good, my teachers were usually really good and I had enough friends to make it bearable... I wasn't the most confident guy around though, I was really awkward around girls and most of them thought I was just a nerd" he explained, shrugging lightly. I put down my spoon again and edged closer, wondering if he would say any more. "I had my first girlfriend when I was seventeen, and I was just so happy. I thought it was going really well so I asked her to our senior prom just before my eighteenth birthday. She said she'd go with me and I was thrilled... Maybe I should've seen it coming; she'd been a bit weird for the week leading up to prom, but I figured she was sick or something. When I went to her house to pick her up... she wasn't even there. I went to prom anyway to catch up with my friends, and apparently she was busy making out with the prom king... I'm just lucky my friends were there, we still managed to have fun" he added. "I'm totally over it now but it put a damper on the end of what was otherwise a great time, ya know?"
I gasped loudly. Whoever that girl was, I already wanted to punch a hole through her head - and I wasn't usually a violent person. She'd obviously hurt Daniel, which he didn't need or deserve. "I'm really sorry that happened" I whispered, pushing my bowl away from the edge of the table and giving him a hug. He rested his head on top of mine and I could feel him taking in a deep breath. "She's also the first girl I ever kissed... I was pretty proud of myself until I realised she didn't like me as much as I first thought. After that I decided to focus on my career, figuring that I'd get it right when I was meant to... Nothing's ever really turned out the way I wanted until now".
At that moment, I sat up just enough so I could look at him, blushing unashamedly as I smiled. I didn't know quite to say but luckily Daniel wasn't offended by my silence. He tucked a lock of my hair behind my left ear and pressed his lips to my temple, sighing happily. "I really, really like you Belle" he whispered in a tone of voice not unlike the one he'd used last night. Placing a gentle hand on his left cheek as he drew back, I replied, "You have no idea how much you mean to me Daniel... I don't want to lose you".
"You don't have to" he replied firmly. I hoped with everything I had that he was telling the truth; the thought of us being torn apart was frightening, very frightening indeed. I hugged him again after I found the will to finish off my lunch, holding on tightly. We stayed together like this for a while; Daniel occasionally stroked my hair, and I smiled dreamily. After we'd gotten up and Daniel had insisted on washing up without my help, he pulled me into a hug from behind, his arms wrapped loosely around my waist to allow me the breathing space I needed.
"I was wondering... if maybe you'd like to have a picnic dinner in the park tonight? If you haven't already been there, I think you'd like the Las Vegas Springs Preserve..." Daniel said, completely out of the blue. I veered to the side, kissing his cheek before replying "I'd really like that... And no, I've never been there". He seemed satisfied with this and after we'd stood there cuddling for a little while longer, I went upstairs to decide on what I would wear later on. My chosen outfit consisted of a purple singlet, skirt, choker and heels. It was nowhere near as fancy as what I'd worn last night, but I had a deep weakness for anything purple (particular in paler versions, like lavender or mauve) and so it made me feel just as confident.
After I'd dug out some coat hangers from the wardrobe in my guestroom, I hung up my outfit carefully and sat at the desk opposite from my bed, switching on my laptop. As soon as I got a working signal from Daniel's wireless Internet connection, I opened Facebook and logged in immediately, chuckling at some of the statuses I saw. I saw that Eve was online and sent her a private message to let her know I was still in Vegas with Daniel, and that I was perfectly safe. After that, I clicked onto Daniel's page and giggled happily at his latest status which said "I have the best girlfriend ever 3", that I could tell he'd posted last night. There were comments on it from Santino, Eve, Brandon (who I knew as Kaval) and a woman named Sarah, who turned out to be his sister. I was thrilled by her comment - she seemed so enthusiastic and happy about me, even if she didn't know my identity yet.
At least his sibling isn't a jerk... I thought to myself, grumbling quietly and shaking my head to send the thought away. I didn't want to think about Mike; it would only ruin my fun. I went into the area where I could display relationships, laughing at the few friends I'd shown as siblings. Thinking of Daniel, a proud smile crept onto my face as I changed my status to "in a relationship with Daniel Bryan", sending him a relationship request without a second thought. I wanted everybody to know that I had an amazing boyfriend, and in my ecstatic state I could see no reason why I shouldn't. Right now, I had no idea of the consequences it could lead to... All I could think about was my newfound happiness with Daniel.
"Dan... This place is beautiful" I gasped suddenly as he led me through a pathway lined with a mass of trees. I could see a clearing ahead of us, and a few splashing sounds let me know that there was water nearby. Normally running water sounded far more relaxing than a few errant splashes, but I was so happy in Daniel's company that almost anything could be considered relaxing. He nodded in agreement and linked arms with me as we kept walking, stopping when we found a small lake that, in its surface, reflected the burnt orange clouds above. It was sunset now and the area was almost entirely silent except for some birds that skimmed over the water's surface - if there were any other people here, they were certainly nowhere near us.
"How about over there?" I interjected in the middle of our comfortable silence. Nudging Daniel gently, I pointed to a space in between two trees that directly overlooked the lake. A few faint rays of light were streaming through the leaves and it was one of the most beautiful sights I'd ever seen. He nodded in agreement and we walked over, laying out the picnic rug on the bright green grass. Immediately I lay down on my back, crossing my legs demurely after removing my shoes.
"I hope you like the food I packed in here... I didn't really know what to bring, because I wasn't sure how much you'd like the kind of stuff I normally eat... Didn't wanna go too hardcore on you, I guess" Daniel said quietly, peering into the basket as he pulled out two plates and cutlery sets. I sat up, then lifted his chin with one finger and gave him a soft kiss on the lips. "What... was that for?" he asked slowly, his eyes meeting mine.
"You're... you're too kind" I stated, somewhat bluntly. "You've already done so much for me like getting the plane tickets, and cooking chicken for me when you don't even have to..."
"I just wanted you to feel as comfortable as possible in my house... All I want to do is to treat you the way you deserve to be treated" he whispered, pressing his lips to my temple softly before handing me my plate and cutlery. He opened up both sides of the basket and I could immediately feel some steam wafting past my nostrils. "What's that?" I asked, picking up a small white cup with a lid on it and smiling as I felt its warmth. He explained that it was miso soup - something I'd never tried before - and that I could pour it into a bowl if I would prefer. After digging a bowl and soup spoon out of the basket, I sat up and slurped my soup carefully, savouring the brand new taste. He drank his straight from the cup like it was a coffee and I grinned, content to watch him as he did so.
After that we ate some sandwiches filled with cucumber and avocado. It was an interesting combination and to my delight, I quite enjoyed it. Daniel mentioned that he'd considered bringing tofu tonight, but that he'd decided against it in the end because "it's not everybody's favourite food... More of an acquired taste, really". I laughed and said "It's just as well, I don't know if I'd be up for it yet... Maybe another time?", ending my question on a hopeful note. I liked to think that we could do this again someday - the possibilities seemed endless now that I had another reason to spend time with Daniel.
While Daniel was finishing off his last sandwich, I lay down on my back again, watching the sky turning a dark blue. Daniel reached into the basket immediately and pulled out a portable lamp, setting it up at the other end of the blanket. "Would you like something to drink?" he asked, pointing to a bottle of apple cider, and a bottle of Coke. I opted for the apple cider and politely took my glass once it was poured, sipping slowly in silence. "Look at the sky... Isn't it beautiful?" I murmured, staring upwards in awe. The first stars of the night were becoming visible, looking like little twinkling dots against the darkening canopy of sky above.
"It is," he agreed, reaching for one of my hands and holding it tightly. He straightened up a little and looked into my eyes, making me wonder what he might say next. After kissing my cheek, he whispered "But it's still not as beautiful as you", nuzzling into my neck affectionately. I was stunned - his words were truly touching, and I felt overcome with emotion.
"I... I... Daniel..." I whispered, my voice cracking slightly under the strain of not knowing what to say next. I felt like there were a few other words about to roll off the tip of my tongue, but I was speechless and couldn't find the voice to say them. He just smiled and pulled me into a hug, and I leaned in to kiss him. Just like every kiss we'd had so far, it was wonderful. Normally I found kissing a little awkward at first but with Daniel, any anxiety I might have had just disappeared. I could stay like this with him forever, and for a while I did just that. The silence was only broken when Daniel kissed my cheek, smiling as he sang:
I don't quite know how to say how I feel; those three words are said too much, they're not enough...
If I lay here, if I just lay here, would you lie with me and just forget the world? Forget what we're told, before we get too old, show me a garden that's bursting into life...
I felt my heart beating rapidly now. He'd sang to me more of the song that we'd sung to each other this morning and if I hadn't already been a big fan of it, I certainly would be now. It was one of the sweetest songs he could have picked - as well as one of the sweetest things he could possibly do - and it sounded perfect coming from him.
We stayed there for a while longer, not getting home until approximately ten o'clock. As soon as we got inside, I walked upstairs and changed into my pajamas while Daniel was in his room using his laptop. I sat on the edge of my bed, plaiting my hair as I stared out the window. Eventually I tired of that and switched on my laptop, letting out a small joyous squeal when I got on Facebook and saw that Daniel had accepted my relationship request. That pretty much settled it for me - he obviously wasn't afraid of having the truth out there, so I didn't want to be either. After I permitted myself to indulge in a small fit of giggles, I got up and walked down the hallway, knocking timidly upon his bedroom door. "Hey, can I come in for a minute?" I called out. I heard the sound of a chair dragging against the wooden floor so I knew he'd been sitting down, and as soon as the door opened I threw my arms around him, my lips seeking his and claiming them instantly in a rather sudden kiss.
When I eventually found the power to pull away, Daniel bit down on his bottom lip and smiled. "What was that all about?" he asked, smirking a little. I chuckled, looking over his shoulder. "I just wanted to come and say goodnight... And I just saw how you accepted the request..." I explained, trailing off awkwardly. He smiled and embraced me at once, kissing my shoulder softly. "Why wouldn't I?" he asked, sounding genuinely confused. ¥
"I don't know... I wasn't like, worried or anything, I'd just wondered if you were okay with making it public..." I rambled awkwardly. Once Daniel realised I was being dead serious, he hugged me even tighter.
"Babe, of course I am... I want people to know I'm with you..." he said, pausing before he asked "Is this about Mike?". Of course it was, so I nodded. I personally didn't care what Mike thought; my main concern now was for Daniel's safety. I told him this and he sighed. "Belle, I know he hates me and that he'll be mad when he finds out about us, but I don't care what he thinks... Besides, I wouldn't care what he does to me, as long as my girlfriend is safe and happy" he said. I thought of asking whether he'd tell me if Mike ever did anything to him, but decided against it - even if he didn't, I'd find out anyway.
"I don't care what he thinks either" I declared happily, feeling more than appeased by now. He seemed thrilled by this and picked me up, spinning me around for a moment before gently letting me down. He looked up at the roof for a few seconds, like he was trying to remember something. "Ahhhh..." he murmured, evidently figuring out whatever he needed to know. "If you wake up and my door's still closed, just knock to wake me up - I have my interview tomorrow but I got permission to do it over the phone... I thought after that we could drive to Salt Lake City and catch a plane from there... Accommodation's already sorted out, and I'll finalise tickets in the morning" he suggested. It sounded like fun to me so I eagerly accepted the plans, kissed him goodnight and walked back to "my" room. My sleep ended up being much more restless tonight than it had been last night - which was disconcerting - but I tried my hardest to ignore it, concentrating on keeping my eyes closed until I finally fell asleep.
+ BELLE'S POV + 17th September 2010 (Friday) +
Uuuuugghhh, what time is it? I thought to myself as soon as I could bear sitting up. The morning sun was making itself very obvious, which had me a little worried that I might have slept too late. I quickly crept down the hallway, seeing that Daniel's door was closed; I knocked loudly a few times before continuing downstairs. Upon entering the kitchen, I searched through the cupboard and made myself two slices of toast. Loud footsteps echoed through the house and I giggled when Daniel came stampeding into the kitchen, his hair an adorable mess. I sat down to eat my toast, watching him walk outside when his phone rang.
I wonder what the interviewer's asking him? I asked myself silently, even though I didn't know. I could easily guess some things though - some of the questions had to be about me, my brother or a combination of both. Daniel was still outside even when I'd finished my toast so I went back to my room, changing into a blue plaid shirt, skinny jeans and matching shoes. After applying my eyeliner, mascara and lip-gloss and Brushing my hair, I zipped up my suitcase and brought it downstairs to leave next to the front door. A short while later, Daniel came back inside and asked, "What time is it?" to which I told him it was 9:05am. He seemed pleased with this, shouting something about a cab as he ran upstairs to get changed. I was confused until I realised we must be getting picked up from his house and driven to the airport to pick up a rental car - taking his car to Salt Lake City would just be silly.
The cab arrived ten minutes later, much to Daniel's relief. It didn't take us long to get to the airport - we had picked up the rental car by 9:30. Right now I was in awe of Daniel's preparedness - I'd certainly never had to make so many plans for just one day before, and I was amazed at how organized he was.
By 9:40am we were out on the road again. We decided we'd get lunch somewhere in three hours, and then switch seats so I could drive for the second half of our trip. The next three hours were spent singing along to the radio, pulling funny faces at other drivers and in my case, ignoring most of my phone calls. Mike had called twice and I'd done nothing about it, but I did speak to Santino and Eve. Of course, I couldn't resist taking this opportunity to mess with Eve and tell her I had some big news to share once I saw her on Sunday - she would be dying to know from the second I told her. I hung up on her after purposefully letting her beg for a while, stuffing my phone back into my bag. Daniel was about to ask what was so funny when he spotted a diner, and asked if I wanted to stop there for lunch.
I agreed, feeling my tummy rumbling as Daniel turned around and drove into their parking lot at 12:30pm, a little earlier than expected. We both opted for sandwiches once we got inside, as we were due to board our flight at 5pm and we didn't want to hang around too long. Much to our delight, the diner was almost completely quiet and we finished our lunch as soon as we could, getting back in the car by 12:55. There was at least three hours and ten minutes left of driving, and I prayed to God the roads were clear enough that we might get to Salt Lake City early. I would feel terrible if we missed our flight, because in instances like these it would be impossible to refund our tickets - and I didn't want to waste Daniel's money, not when he'd gone to so much trouble for me already.
As I turned onto an almost deserted road, I sucked in a few deep breaths, trying not to hyperventilate. Daniel placed a hand on my upper arm and asked "Belle, is something wrong? You look stressed, are you sure you're okay to drive?"
Crap, I thought. He noticed! Shaking my head and smiling sweetly, I replied "I was just worried about not making it to Salt Lake City in time... What if we take too long out here and miss check-in? We probably won't get there until four o'clock, and we've got to drop off the rental car, and...", only stopping once I found myself struggling for air.
"Belle, we'll be fine, I promise... Even if something went wrong, I'd call Vince or Stephanie for help, I would work something out..." he told me, speaking in a gentle and reassuring tone. Turning my head just briefly to look at him, I forced myself to inhale deeply. "I was just w-worried, I don't want your plans to be wasted, not when you've made so much effort..." I rambled. He squeezed my arm gently for a moment, sighing quietly.
"Belle, just... just take a deep breath, please... We're going to make it to Salt Lake City in time, and we'll get to Chicago tonight exactly as planned, I know it" Daniel said in a calm, soothing voice. I wasn't entirely convinced yet but I had to smile; I was majorly freaking out now and he was so calm and levelheaded, which was just what I needed right now. As I kept driving, I tried my best to focus on his words, and absolutely nothing else, hoping everything really would be okay.
[[A/N: Sorry if this ending seemed awkward, this chapter was originally almost 6000 words long and that is just ridiculous. I cut it in half so I could end the next one how I'd originally planned, because I love the idea I came up with and I think you'll all like it :D
Just wondering, can anyone guess what Belle was going to say to Daniel on their date? I won't say anything more about that yet, for a while yet anyway... But if anyone thinks they know, tell me xD
Next chapter should hopefully be out within the next week. Don't forget to review and let me know what you thought! Toodles xoxo]]