Chapter Ten - We're Here Together

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“What do you mean?” I said looking at Xavier through the glass screen of my phone. He looked different, on edge for some reason.

He picked his phone up and walked across the hotel room. “She’s gone. DJ kicked her out.”

“Of the tour? On what grounds?” I replied. I felt relieved, but I couldn’t help overthinking why I’d been blessed with such a miracle. I’d literally been hoping for her departure from the minute she opened her mouth and spoke to me. Xavier sat down at the table and shrugged.

“She wasn’t right… she didn’t belong with us.”

I found myself smiling. I hadn’t liked her, not one bit. But now I didn’t need to worry. Arabelle, and her man stealing claws were history.

Xavier smiled. “Enough about her. How’s Chicago?”

“Great. Ben’s been amazing. He grew up here so he’s kept my mind busy in between TV spots and signings.”

Xavier frowned and leaned back in his chair. “I’m jealous of a guy who isn’t even interested in you.”

“Don’t be jealous. You’re the reason he needs to keep my mind busy after all.”

Xavier grinned “I had a dream about you last night.”

“Oh yeah… tell me all about it.”

Xavier told me about the dream. It sounded amazing and blissful, far from the life we were currently leading. I looked down at the table and clenched my jaw.

Another magazine cut out letter had come. Cruder than the last. My eyes ran over the words and a shiver ran up my spine.

Everything inside of me yelled to say something. Tell Ben, tell DJ, tell Xavier, tell someone.

But I didn’t. Even after everything I’d been through, even after everything my parents had been through, I didn’t want to believe that anyone thought these things. If I didn't speak about it, it wasn't happening.

“Babe?” Xavier’s voice called out, I looked up and fell back into his hypnotic gaze. “Are you okay? You seemed distracted.”

“Just tired. We’re heading to Madison in the morning.” I lied, I hated lying to Xavier and what made it worse was I didn’t know why I was doing it. Actually no, that was a lie too. Xavier would make it real. He’d fly over and put his tour at risk, he’d call the cops and he wouldn’t leave my side. As much as I wanted to see him. We needed to do what we were doing.

“I’ve watched every one of your interviews.” Xavier replied proudly.

“You’re such a sap.”

“Yeah, but you love me anyway.”

***

The next two weeks went so fast I probably could almost have missed it if I’d had time to blink. We travelled to Madison, then through to Springfield, then Frankfort and Nashville. After my last TV spot in Nashville you could have questioned my use of mood enhancing drugs, and I wouldn’t have been offended. Tonight I was flying back to LA to take a well-earned break. Tonight I’d see Xavier at the airport.

Even the arrival of a third letter that morning couldn't bring me down.

I knew it was wrong to deny their existence, but it was easier than dealing with it.

Ben and I arrived at the airport that evening. “Scarlett, I think this might be the happiest I’ve seen you during our time together, which is saying something. You’ve never really been down.”

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