Chasing Beautiful (Chasing #1)


by Pamela Ann

One

I felt someone’s presence before I opened my eyes. Slightly opening my lids, and cursed inwardly from the brightness of the sunshine that was hurting my eyes.

Great, I forgot about closing the blinds again last night.

Willing my sleepy eyes to open a little wider this time, I was stunned to find Blake sitting on my couch, right across me, wearing a dark scowl on his face.

Why, oh why! Did I even give him a spare key, again? Ah, yes! So, that he can have a place to go to if he was feeling out of sorts.

Genius idea that was.

Rubbing my eyes and yawned loudly. I glanced at his quiet form, still wearing a brooding scowl on his face and still not speaking.

Okay…

“Good morning to you too,” my voice sleepy and draped with sarcasm.

What’s with the attitude? I thought.

“What the bloody hell were you thinking, Sienna?!” his voice grating and condescending, his beautiful expressive eyes—midnight blue rimmed with grey and flecks of gold in the middle—flashing suppressed anger, stormy and formidable.

“Excuse me? What in the world are you yapping about, Blake?” was he drunk, high or something? He didn’t look it.

“Care to enlighten me?” exasperated and annoyed.

I felt like someone ran me over, I probably looked it too.

I’d give anything for coffee right now, I groaned.

What kind of mess am I in? I don’t recall stepping on anyone’s toes before leaving to go home, I think.

I just landed yesterday, jet-lagged, and a little drained from my conversation with Luce before she left for Turkey with Toby. And now, this.

He barges in here like he owns the place, demanding and with a taxing demeanor.

Wait, how did he know I arrived already? Uh, Lucy Connelly probably did the courtesy.

She’s my friend, my flatmate, and dating Toby Watson—Blake’s best friend since childhood. I met Lucy at a college party. She was sweet and genuine and we hit it right-off. She casually mentioned that the woman, who she shared an apartment with, left for New York to follow her boyfriend, so I immediately inquired about the vacant room.

I was living in student housing then, but needed my own place—away from cat-fights, drunken noise, and drama. She offered excitedly and wanted me to check it out the next day, I accepted. I moved in two days later. Our friendship blossomed. And we became each others close confidants.

She went to school with Toby and Blake, in London School of Economics. And when she started dating Toby, two weeks after I moved in, I became friends with the two men—more so with Blake. We just clicked.

That was a little over eight months ago.

“I ran into Lucy last night, in Toby’s flat, and she casually mentioned that you came back last night, without telling anyone, might I add. So, OBVIOUSLY, I wanted to visit you—but she stopped me, revealed that you were in a delicate state—so, of course, my curiosity peaked—I badgered her until she told me what she knew—and learned about your ‘little interlude’ with Kyle—while her girlfriend was in the premise—the intention of ‘closure’, indeed, was lost to you,” his furious expression deepened when he said ‘little incident.’

I blushed.

Shit.

He probably thinks I’m a hussy now, giving in to Kyle’s advances.

I glanced away from him quickly. Was he ticked off that I hadn’t called him about what happened and learned it from Lucy? Even managed to sound—hurt?

I’m sort of in a tricky situation, Kyle cheated with his girlfriend—with me. When I told Luce, she was shocked and felt wretched for me. So, it’s no surprise, really, with Blake’s reaction.

“Yeah, about that…it was a merely a moment of madness—I’m shattered about it—who wouldn’t be in my situation? My emotions got the best of me….,”

I wanted to erase the whole entire visit back home from my lagging memory.

“How could you put yourself in that position? I didn’t understand the bloody need to go and get ‘closure’—he already started seeing someone else—before he called to break it off with you. Have you forgotten about that? He’s a cheater! But still there you went prancing back to Los Angeles. And to make matters worse, he took advantage of that. You were intoxicated and placed yourself in danger!” his scowled deepened, “You could’ve been hurt, Sienna.”

I was, not in the way he was implying, but my heart and pride were crushed.

“How you exaggerate things and blow it out of proportion!—really now, Blake… it’s Kyle we’re talking here. He would never hurt me, not like that.” I fidgeted with my lemon chiffon-colored, six hundred count sheets with my fingers trying to gather ground.

Was it really pathetic to look for closure? No, but if the guy in question cheated—surely closure is out of the question? My thoughts queried.

He sighed deeply.

He got up from the couch and stood in front of me, holding out his hand. His frame dominated the room. It’s a pretty decent size, but put Blake’s presence anywhere and the result would be the same, size be damned.

He has that pulling power around him and his dark good looks just enhanced it.

Dressed in nude chino shorts, blue dress shirt pushed back to his elbows and tan soft-leather loafers. He looked like he just stepped out from a Dolce and Gabbana summer photo shoot.

Sometimes I wish he was average looking then it be easier to look at him and not melt.

A few strands of his wavy locks fell onto his forehead, looking down on me, his beautiful face complacent, “I made the courtesy of brewing some coffee. Come.”

Taking his outreached hand and pulling me out of bed, “I was worried, Sienna. I care for your well-being. Don’t be cross,” I looked down, not meeting his gaze.

He towered over my five feet two stature. He inhaled deeply, smelling my forehead before kissing it, grabbed my hand and walked towards to the kitchen where the smell of freshly brewed coffee emanated, drawing me closer.

He didn’t utter a word until I had my first sip of caffeine. “How are you really feeling? Okay? Not okay?” studying my reaction, pensive.

“Yes—no—I don’t know? Can one be ever okay after a broken heart?” I doubt it, shrugging, “I’m sure I’ll move on, but I doubt I’ll put my heart out there like that—it’s traumatizing enough—being vulnerable is something I don’t take lightly—knowing my background and all,” sipping my scalding coffee without batting an eyelash.

It’s true, vulnerability reminds me of my demoralizing childhood and hell will freeze over before I will let myself in that compromising position.

Blake’s handsome head nodded in agreement, with evident understanding. He had an idea of my rotten years of misery, but never really pushed me to talk about it. I appreciated it and respected him for it. Both of our parents died when we were young and it was something we have in common—and it gave us a platform of understanding—that we didn’t have to explain the details, but simply understood the pain—the loss—the daunting uncertainty of loneliness and the frightening feeling of what loomed in the horizon.

Blake and I immediately became really close after Lucy dated Toby which was right about when I moved in with Luce. We liked the same books, shows, board games—amongst other things. We hit it right-off the bat and hung out once a week or so—when he’s not busy with his women. And there’d been a lot.

In the beginning, both Luce and Toby thought we would start dating too, but after a few months of insinuating, they finally let-up—accepting the fact that we clearly are just friends, platonic friends. I must admit that—at times—my mind drifts off and imagine—envisaging what it would be like to date someone like Blake. Six foot three in stature, all muscles and the most arresting face—full lips, straight nose, chiseled jaw—his unique eyes, hypnotizing.

Sometimes, I get caught up staring into those eyes and forget where I was. Blake is the sexiest man—sinful and beautiful—my eyes ever graced upon. And I always immediately snap myself back to reality when I get reminded that he’s a good friend and that he dates tall, beautiful, leggy, statuesque type of women—preferably lingerie models. My coca-cola-bottle-shaped form did not stand a chance.

Sure, most red-blooded male find me desirable and gorgeous, but with Blake, I simply felt plain Jane.

“…so, it should be okay, right?” I wasn’t paying attention to what he was saying. And my dumb-founded look seemed to annoy him.

Glaring at me and combing his hair with his right hand. He looks frustrated. Something was bugging him. But, what?

“Sienna… I was asking you if you wanted to eat breakfast.”

“You haven’t had breakfast yet? How come? You never leave anywhere without eating first thing in the morning…” I trailed off. “Hold on, how long have you been here? Sitting and scowling at me like a bear with a sore head?!” accusing green/gold to his midnight silver blue.

“Awhile…”

I glared at him some more, not budging.

“Okay—okay—I think…quite possibly around four in the morning, I suppose?” he looked sheepish admitting this piece of information and started to run his fingers on his dark locks, again. This habit comes out when he’s anxious. He doesn’t know that I know this, but I noticed it enough. I notice everything about him.

Did I hear that right? Four in the morning?

“WHAAAAAT!?!”

Oh, hell. He’s really pushing it. People break-up and get hurt all the time. There’s no need to go to such lengths on my own account.

“I was concerned about you. I was worried and wanted to see for myself that you were okay. You’re one of my closest friends, Sienna, sometimes even more than Toby—and I didn’t want some bloody idiotic wanker treating you so badly—like you’re worth nothing! And you weren’t picking up your bloody phone and so I rushed coming here, like the good friend that I am, checking if you drunk yourself to stupor or what of it.”