Chapter 5- Cherry Ripe

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Of course, this whole fiction is based upon music from The Fray. If you haven't already, check them out. They remind me of Tom and Chris so much, I can't:

*Inhumane squealing*

On with the story <3

I am reminded of a hotel.

You know what I mean, don't you? The large, formal reception with comfy chairs and random vending machines stacked in random corners.

People are everywhere.

They're chattering exuberantly to friends, whilst paying no attention to us.

I catch a glimpse of the huge poster on the back wall and grin. It's a bigger copy of mine, which is still folded neatly in my duffel bag.

Some pretty words catch my attention. I have no clue how I didn't spot them before, but here I am.

It's written in huge golden letters on the main desk.

Welcome to Performance of Ashes.

Then in even smaller writing, which is an unfair and impractical error on their part, reads:

Haven for actors from ages 10-18

These guys are... actors?

Oh, it all makes sense now!

Shit. Shit. Shit.

Struggling to breathe, I stumble into a quieter corner of the busy reception and hyperventilate in silence.

Idiot! Why didn't you read the bloody poster!

You thought this would just be some kind of convenient, free summer camp? It's winter, dipshit!!

I can't act. Nope. No way. My anxiety would rather I die.

"You okay there, buddy?"

A soft voice interrupts my breakdown and I realise that I'm crying. My lengthy, tinted hair is sticking to my forehead and my nails have been bitten to the tips. I must look a right state.

"I think we should show you your room," Robert whispers, concern lacing his normally cocky voice. Happiness briefly overshadows my panic, but it soon passes like a rain cloud in summer.

He places a sturdy palm on the small of my back. I'm guided up some fancy, green print stairs. "Since you're new, and don't have to pay rent until you're sixteen, you'll be sharing with one of the Director's."

I cringe and shake harder.

Robert either doesn't notice or chooses to ignore it, because his pace doesn't falter. Soon we're standing outside of room 204 and I am certain my stomach decides to pack up and move into my feet. I find myself praying to some kind of higher power, despite having never expressed an interest in religion before.

"Taika wants you with Chris because you're a newbie and all," Robert breathes, double checking the key card and shoving it into the door handle. The machine beeps and turns green. "Lucky bastard," he grumbles.

"Chris? Thank the Lords, which one?"

Robert raises an eyebrow and glances around the room with a smirk. "Hemsworth,"

Then he's gone and the door closes behind him.

I just stand there with my back to the rest of the room, glaring at the door in disbelief.

So, I'm rooming with a stranger?

What if he's a serial killer? Or a pervert?


"You must be Tom," a low, velvety voice strokes my ears and I shiver involuntarily.

I turn and shrink away from the guy who is standing by the window ledge.

He doesn't even glance at me, but boy, do I stare.

He's beautiful.

It takes me a while to fully comprehend that what I'm looking at is human.

Long, golden locks are pinned behind his head with a decorative, Japanese chopstick; the loose wisps of whitened hair rest upon his cheeks, giving the masculine brute a soft and deliciously feminine look.

His eyes are blue and focused, like the Caribbean ocean. The blue skies reflect in them perfectly, highlighting the handsome face surrounding them. His body is broad with subtle suggestions of muscle beneath the polo shirt.

I am utterly astounded. Speechless. In AWE!

"Yes, that would be me," I squeak, placing my duffel beside the door. When I don't proceed into the room, Chris looks at me. I gulp and my face flushes.

"Make yourself at home. I don't bite, I promise,"


His undeniably Australian accent sends happy goose bumps along my back.

"Is this mine?" I clear my throat and gesture towards a bed, trying to quell some of the tension and the distracting, not to mention inappropriate, thoughts swirling around in my head. Chris nods, turning back to the window. I just sit there, awkwardly, analyzing the plain walls and furniture like they hold the secrets to the universe. I'm not sure how much time passes but eventually Chris turns to me again, with his arm outstretched. "Do you want a Cherry Ripe?"

I'm not a big fan of sweets but I can't deny the innocent gaze he gives me, eyes blazing with kindness.

I can tell this small event has just marked something important, I can feel it. 

So I reply with the biggest smile I can muster.

"Of course I do,"

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