Let's catch up with Cloe in Athens, and get a little glimpse into her past :)

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Scene 2: Live a Little

A.D. 2015

She wasn't about to deny that it had happened. Denial had always seemed to her to be the absolute dumbest way to deal with anything. The harder you tried to fight the truth, Cloe had always thought, the harder it'd fight back and come to bite you in the butt. She always tried to face it, even and especially when she couldn't quite embrace it. To accept it, or to change it. To handle it, in one way or another.

No truth was meant to be denied. But some were better buried: confined to the deepest corners of the mind. Not to be thought about again, though still known to be true. These were the truths that threatened to destroy you. To distract from all that mattered more, by seeming more important than they were. Often inviting hopes, or fears, built on meaningless truths that weren't worth falling for.

Was this truth one of those? She wasn't sure. So he had kissed her. So what. Did she feel like a sex goddess all of a sudden? Was she now under the impression that she was actually desirable? Did one kiss, from a dude who was the literal epitome of perfect, refute a whole lifetime of proof that she was not the kind of girl a guy like that could ever want?

No. No, it did not. This truth was not dangerous at all, because she harbored no delusions that the kiss signified anything. For starters, she had freaking written Eldor into existence. Decreed that he would walk into her life. Whatever interest he might have in her was... well, it was destined, determined, or some shit. Wasn't it? By none other than Cloe herself. How disgustingly pathetic. If anything, this incident should just solidify how pitiful her love life was. Er, lack thereof. Apparently, out of some twisted sort of sympathy, the cosmos had felt the urge to gift her — curse her? -- with some crazy fateful superpower, in order for Cloe to ever have a chance with such an epically fine ass.

On the subject of fine asses... ugh. So now that other stubborn truth, one beautiful bay-blue-eyed truth that definitely fell in the to-be-buried category, had cause to pop up in her consciousness again. When would this ever end? Why was her heart always so insufferably stupid?! If and whenever she experimented further with this power, she was sure as hell not going to use it to artificially infuse her life with romance. And absent such an artificial miracle, there was no way that she and Mr. Campion could ever be. There was simply no chance.

"Something on your mind?" chirped a voice nearby.

Cloe snapped out of it and turned to smile faintly at the girl seated beside her, a fellow hosteller who had arrived in Athens just today. As socially graceful as she was conventionally pretty — an Aussie who looked like she'd just come from starring in one of those surfer-themed movies — the newcomer had slid with ease into the friendly band of bunkmate buddies who hit up the clubs every night. Cloe had joined the gang again this time, after having spent part of the previous night bar-hopping with them, following the Eldor incident. There were still lots of nightclubs to research and review, after all.

It was relatively early in the evening, so their current nightspot was pretty low-key: lights pulsating smoothly rather than flashing spastically, music at a volume not intended to violate eardrums.

Cloe shook her head, faint smile fading. "Nah, I was just..."

"It's a boy, isn't it," the girl guessed. "Someone you met in Greece, or back at home? Tall, dark, and handsome? You miss him?"

All of the above, Cloe affirmed in her mind. Sigh.

"The problem is," her companion continued, reaching to pull Cloe's glass of water away, "you won't find whatever you're looking for in a cup of this. It's at the bottom of a bottle. Or, better yet..."

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