Being There

    Part Two


    The next morning Brady woke up, showered, dressed, and made breakfast before Chloe even woke up. She found him in the kitchen cooking before she went to shower. When she came down she smiled at him.

    "We need to talk, Chloe," he said solemnly.

    "Yeah, I guess we should."

    "I want you to know that last night was great. The best, actually. But you're just coming off of a relationship with Philip, and I don't think we should have done what he did. I don't want to jeopardize our friendship."

    "You think last night was a mistake," she looked down at her orange juice, trying to suppress her tears. She didn't want him to see the pain. If he didn't want her, she'd have to deal. "You're right. It was. It should have never happened and it'll never happen again. We're just best friends. Nothing more," she smiled slightly. Inside, her heart shattered into a million pieces.

    Hearing her say that was his worst nightmare. In the very least he'd hoped to see her fight back, like she did with Philip. Her agreeing broke his heart and made him feel empty.

    That night she sat in her room alone. Craig and Nancy were still gone and Brady had gone home hours ago. She turned on her CD player and sat with her head resting on the window still. The song playing seemed strangely relevant now as she listened to the lyrics:

      If I could have just a moment of you
      Would I be wanting more
      If I could have just a taste of you
      Would I be addicted
      If I could have just a touch of you
      Could I tear myself away

      I would pray to be the rain that runs over and in your skin
      With no consequence
      To be the liquid in your glass that falls around your lips and mouth
      Swallow me

      If I could have just a breath of you
      Would you, could you infect me
      If I could have just a view of you
      Would you leave your door ajar
      If I could have just a part of you
      Let me drink of your tides

      I would pray to be the rain that runs over and in your skin
      With no consequence
      To be the liquid in your glass that falls around your lips and mouth
      Swallow me

      And after would the silence thicken, stiffen
      Would I run home in the dark with something stolen
      Would you be slinking in my conscience, laughing
      Would this hunger ever cease

      You are the cliff that I walk
      Lord help me if I fall
      Are you more than my hunger
      Lord help me if I starve

      If I could have just a moment of you
      Would I be wanting more
      If I could have just a taste of you
      Would I be addicted
      If I could have just a touch of you
      Could I tear myself away

      I would pray to be the rain that runs over and in your skin
      With no consequence
      To be the liquid in your glass that falls around your lips and mouth
      Swallow me

      And after would the silence thicken, stiffen
      Would I run home in the dark with something stolen
      Would you be slinking in my conscience, laughing
      Would this hunger ever cease

      You are the cliff that I walk
      Lord help me if I fall
      Are you more than my hunger
      Lord help me if I starve

      If I could have just a taste of you
      Would I be addicted

    Chloe fell asleep at the window, crying.

    The week passed, Brady and Chloe still spent everyday together. As friends and nothing more, thinking it was what the other wanted. When the two of them picked up Shawn and Belle from the airport she saw Philip and didn't have the urge to speak to him. She'd moved on and found someone else. Granted she believed the other person didn't want her, but still, she had moved on. After her night with Brady, she'd never go back to Philip. She didn't ever want another guy. The more and more she thought about, Brady wasn't just a guy. Philip she had always described as a boy. Brady was a man. Also, the more and more she thought about it the more it hurt that Brady had rejected her. They seemed to be the perfect fit.

    People seemed to notice the tension between them. Marlena had tried to pry something out of Brady, but couldn't. No matter how distant they seemed to each other, they wouldn't give up seeing one another every day and at least attempting for some semblance of their friendship.

    Upon the return of Shawn and Belle, and in honor of their finding Alice's ruby, Belle was allowed to throw a party. The night came and Belle had to practically drag Brady and Chloe to the pub.

    A couple of hours into the party, Mimi approached Chloe.

    "I'm sorry," she said simply.


    "I'm sorry. I am very sorry for what I did to you. I want you to know that I've learned a lot in the past month and if I could take it back, have some way of prevent you from being humiliated like that, I would."

    "That didn't hurt so bad," Chloe said.

    "I know what Philip said to you. Belle told me. For whatever it's worth, you didn't deserve it."

    "This coming from the girl who hates my guts?"

    "I don't hate you. I just got jealous. It isn't going to happen again. There's enough Belle for the both of us."

    "Thank you, Mimi. I appreciate it."

    "So, why are you so down? Something happen?"

    "If you don't mind I'd rather not talk about it."

    Just then Belle came up dragging Brady with her.

    "Are you two fighting? Because there will be no fighting at my party," Belle scolded.

    "More like making amends," Chloe corrected Belle.

    "Really? Good, then you can both spend the night tonight. Chloe, you and Brady should dance," Belle said, pushing them together and leading Mimi away.

    Brady smiled at Chloe and took her hand in his, dancing to Jessica Andrews' ‘Unbreakable Heart'. When the song ended they were still dancing as the next song came on, ‘Let Me In' by Save Ferris. It had been so long since they had been so close, they wanted it to last. Finally, they parted.

    Later that night in Belle's room, the three girls were in their pajamas taking about everything that happened on the island.

    "So, you and Shawn finally kissed," Chloe smiled.

    "They did a lot more than that," Mimi laughed.

    "Belle Black, what exactly did you do?"

    "Nothing. Okay, okay, we almost did, but we stopped."

    "Good thing too," Mimi added.

    "Yeah, like you and Kevin didn't almost do the same thing."

    "Guess I missed a lot."

    "You should have come, Chloe," Belle sighed.

    "Yeah, it would have been fun," Mimi told her.

    "What did you do in Salem all month? When we left you and Brady were, like, attached at the hip, now you barely say to words together."

    "We just hung out," she answered.

    "Well, if you had come on the trip who knows what would have happened. I think everyone's hormones were running wild," Belle commented.

    "Yep, and now we're back in Salem, making sure we all wait for exactly the right time. Right, Belle?" Mimi looked Belle straight in the eye.

    "Yes, Meems. I'm waiting."

    "Chloe, I know it's none of my business, but did you and Philip ever, you know?" Mimi shifted uncomfortably. She knew the question was none of her business, but she was curious.

    "No, I didn't give myself to Philip," she simply stated.

    "You didn't give yourself to Philip, but Chloe, you said that like you did to someone else. What aren't you telling us?" Belle rested her chin on her hand.

    "It's nothing, Belle. When the time's right I'll talk to you about it. But right now, I'd rather not."

    Both Belle and Mimi saw the look on Chloe's face and knew they shouldn't say anything.

    The next morning after showering and dressing for the day, Chloe left Belle and Mimi sleeping peacefully and headed down her a glass of water.

    She reached the bottom of the staircase, not watching where she was going and ran right into to someone. She knew his build, she knew his scent.

    "Sorry," she mumbled, trying to get past him.

    He lightly touched her arm, beckoning her to stop for a moment.

    "What do you want, Brady?"

    "What's going on, Chloe? You've been acting strange ever since that night."

    "So have you."

    "What's wrong, Chloe?"

    "What's wrong? You have to ask?" She was yelling at him, nearly crying. "How did you think I would react when you told me that we'd made a mistake? You thought everything was going to go on like sunshine and roses? Well, surprise, surprise, I can't turn my feelings off like that. Why? Couldn't you see how much I wanted that? And not just the physical part of it. I wanted you, Brady. I gave myself to you because I felt something so deep for you. What you said hurt me more than anything Philip ever could have said to me because I was never in love with Philip and I am so deeply, wonderfully, and sometimes painfully in love with you. Your saying it was a mistake making love to you was like you putting a knife in my heart and twisting it to the hilt. You're my best friend and now every time I see you I want to scream and tell you how I feel and tell you it was a mistake." Her yelling brought a crowd of the other four people in the penthouse, but neither she nor Brady noticed them.

    "I'm scared, Chloe," he yelled back.

    "You think I'm not? Philip was safe, you're not. I love you too much for it not to be scary."

    "For Philip being so safe, he sure did reject you quick enough."

    "Your rejection hurt a million times more than his ever could have," tears were falling freely now as she ran out of the penthouse, leaving everyone inside stunned.

    "So, that's why she didn't want to talk," Belle realized.

    Brady stood, frozen, then ran out after her. He ran through Salem Place and reached the park, knocking into a woman and her thumping to the ground.

    "I'm sorry," he said.

    "Brady?" He helped Greta up as she brushed himself up.

    "Oh, hi, sorry," he said to her.

    "What's your hurry?"

    "I have to find Chloe."

    "What happened?"

    "It's nothing."

    "It's obviously something. You look like you lost your best friend."

    "I think I might have."

    "Talk to me, Brady."

    They sat on the bench.

    "She is my best friend and it went a little further about a week ago."

    "And she doesn't want that?"

    "No, she does, but I got scared and told her it was a mistake and she agreed with me. But this morning she told me that she wished I'd never said that and that I hurt her more than Philip ever could have. She's in love with me."

    "She said that?" He nodded. "How do you feel about her?"

    "I'm in love with her."

    "Why didn't you tell her that?"

    "I guess I'm scared."

    "You need to tell her that. Brady, she's probably just as scared as you are. You two can go through that together. If you love each other, don't deny your feelings."

    "Thanks, Greta," he said standing up.

    "No problem. Now go find her," she smiled at him. He went off in the other direction.

    About an hour later Brady was still walking through Salem, unable to find Chloe. He'd even tried Philip's house. Chloe had not gone home. She didn't want to face the questions. She walked through Salem Place and decided to get coffee at the Java Café. It was packed, which she really didn't feel like being around. Finally the waitress approached her.

    "Follow me," she said. Chloe followed her to one of the round, tall tables to find Greta and Hope sitting there. "I hope you don't mind, but since we're so crowded would it be okay if we sat the three of you together?"

    Hope looked at Greta, "It's fine with us."

    "Okay," Chloe said quietly, taking a seat.

    "How are you, Chloe?" Hope smiled at her.

    "I'm fine," she softly answered.

    "Chloe, how are you?" Greta knew what was going on. "I talked to Brady about an hour ago."

    "You did?"

    "What's going on?" Hope was lost.

    "Brady doesn't want me," Chloe stated.

    "You two need to talk," Greta said.

    "What did he tell you?"

    "How do you feel about him, Chloe?"

    "Right now I'm mad at him, I'm hurt by him. No one has ever hurt me more than he has. I don't know what I'm going to do."

    "Chloe, rejection is the story of my romantic life. What you have to do is just go on with your own life. You don't need some guy to define who you are," Greta told her.

    "Shawn said that you and Brady were just friends," Hope questioned.

    "We were. Then, it went further. I'm in love with him and he doesn't want me."

    "Chloe, just because you two kissed and that confused him. He's scared to let you know his feelings."

    "Did he say that?"

    "He told me he was scared."

    "No, he told you we just kissed?"

    "Well, no, he just said that you're friendship became something a little more, he didn't go into much detail."


    "Chloe, all you and Brady did was kiss, right?" Hope was becoming motherly.

    "Well, no, not exactly."

    "How far did it go, Chloe?"

    "The farthest," Chloe reluctantly answered Hope.

    "So, that's why it hurts so much that he rejected you. He was your first, wasn't he?" Hope squeezed Chloe's hand in support.

    "I'm so sorry, Chloe," Greta said. "I still think you both need to talk, he does love you."

    "I just need some time to think," Chloe said, sipping her coffee.

    Without getting a chance to think Brady ran up to her.

    "Chloe," he said, trepidly.


    "I'm sorry."

    "What do you want?"

    "I want a second chance. Can we talk, please?"

    "Okay," she got up and he placed his hand on her back as they began to walk away.

    "Chloe," Greta yelled. "Good luck."

    "Everything will turn out okay, sweetie," Hope added.

    "Thank you," Chloe said as she and Brady went to a bench in front of Barons.

    "I'm scared, Chloe. That's why I said that our making love was a mistake. Because I wanted to stop what was going on before I got hurt. But, I know better and I did both of us more harm than good. Because I have been miserable. It wasn't a mistake making love to you. It was the best night of my life. I love you and I don't deserve a second chance, but I'm asking for one. Because I don't know what I would do without you."

    "Brady, never do that to me again, please," she said through tears.

    "I promise. I love you, and I'll never hurt you as long as I live."

    "I love you, Brady," she said before kissing him.

    "I love you, Chloe."

    "I like your sister."

    "I know you like Belle, you were at the house last night."

    "Not Belle. I like Greta. She's a good person."

    "Yeah, she's turning out to be a pretty okay sister."

    "We should get her something to say thank you. Since she helped both of us."

    "Yeah, sure."

    "Brady?" They got up and were walking back towards the Java Café. "I want to tell everyone together. Your family, my mom and Craig. All in once sitting."

    "Okay. When?"

    "Now, as soon as possible."

    "I'll call them we'll all meet somewhere."

    "Someplace public, where Nancy can't try to kill you."

    Within an hour Craig and Nancy and John, Marlena, and Belle were sitting at a table at the Brady Pub waiting for Brady and Chloe, who walked in together. They sat next to each other.

    "Brady, why did you want all of us to come here?" Belle was sitting in between her parents.

    "I needed to tell Dr. and Mrs. Wesley that I'm madly in love with Chloe."

    "What?" Nancy's jaw clenched and you could almost see the smoke coming from her ears.

    "Clam down, Nancy," Chloe tried to sooth her.

    "Chloe, don't forget what happened with Philip only a month ago. And now another Kiriakis."

    "Nancy, that night Philip said all those horrible things to me who came to my rescue? Who stayed and talked to me for three hours and who carried me upstairs to my bed so I wouldn't have to wake up, risking his recovery? Brady. Brady has always been there for me as a friend and now as more. I'm in love with him, Nancy. I didn't plan on it. And it's different than it was with Philip. With Philip, I didn't know who I was and neither did he. I now who I am now, and so does Brady."

    "Mrs. Wesley, I love her," Brady pleaded.

    "Chloe," Nancy decided to take a different approach. "Brady is nineteen, you're barely seventeen."

    "It's a two year age difference and when I turn eighteen it isn't even going to matter. I need you to trust me on this."

    "I'm just trying to protect you."

    "I'm safe with Brady."

    "Okay, but we'll be setting some rules. Each time you go out you are to be home by midnight, except when the school year starts. At that time, you will be home by nine on school nights and eleven on weekends. You two are not to be alone together, is that understood? For now that's all."

    "Thank you, Nancy."

    "Thank you, Mrs. Wesley."

    "I have a rule," Craig added. "They are allowed alone, because we trust her, Nancy. And we trust Brady." Craig gave his wife a look that told her that was the final word on that.

    "Now, I trust the both of you and that's a fact. I just want you to know that I want you to be careful. Take things slowly," John said.

    "We're going to be careful, dad. I love her too much to hurt her. Tink, are you okay with this?"

    "I'm happy for the both of you. Chloe, I always thought you and Philip were perfect for each other, but after the dance, I knew that I was wrong. And you make Brady happy. So, yeah, I'm okay with this."

    "I knew that there was something going on between you two," Marlena smiled.

    That night Chloe again spent the night at the penthouse with Belle and Mimi.

    "So, last night when you didn't want to talk about not sleeping with Philip, but possibly sleeping with someone else, it was Brady wasn't it?" Mimi smiled.

    "Yeah, it was. Last week. But we're not getting anymore into it than that. He's Belle's brother," Chloe said.

    "Those things shouldn't be shared with a sister," Belle agreed.

    Later into the night Chloe snuck into Brady's room and laid down next to him.

    "Hi," he said.

    "Hi. I missed you," she explained.

    "Stay with me tonight."

    "Okay. I love you, Brady."

    "I love you." They drifted off to sleep in each other's arms.


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