I changed three times. I never thought much about clothes before or why it mattered but I wanted to impress Molly and everything looked weird on me. Nothing fit correctly, at least I didn't think it did. I settled on black dress pants, black loafers, and a deep plum dress shirt.
My hair was a mess, the only thing I could do to tame it was slick it back but it looked like I was trying too hard. So I just ended up leaving it as a curly disarray around my head.
I took the white wine out of the fridge and stared at the flowers I had bought her on the counter and shook my head. I had gone way overboard. A dozen roses was something you bought a girlfriend. What was I thinking?
I looked at my watch and sighed. I was already 15 minutes late and couldn't decide if I should bring the flowers or not. I spent four more minutes trying to decide until I grabbed the wine, the flowers, my leather jacket and left.
It took me 10 minutes to get to the lobby of Molly's condo and I went up to Scott and told him I was here to see her. He made a quick call to Molly, I could only assume, and I was escorted the elevator and let up.
The second the doors closed I was freaking out. This girl was way out of my league. I was boring. I had nothing interesting to say. I didn't go out and do things unless I had to and she'd find that out soon enough and she'd move on. The wine was wrong, the flowers were wrong, the shirt – purple what the fuck was I thinking? This was going to be a catastrophe and then the doors opened and I forgot everything.
She was standing there, barefoot, her hair was down in soft brown waves and she had put on makeup, not a lot but just enough to play up her features. She was wearing a flowing dark purple satin tank top and black skinny jeans. She was playing some music I had never heard before. It was soulful, airy and sung by an emotionally male voice.
Ignore everybody else/We're alone now
I realized that her whole life was probably scored and she chose this music carefully, for us, for this moment because all I wanted to do was kiss her.
She looked up through her lashes, smiled devilishly and that was it. I placed the wine and flowers on the ground, pulled off my jacket discarding it without looking and pulled her towards me. She wasn't tense like last time; she was relaxed and pushed herself into me as our mouths met. I felt her mouth open and her tongue brush along my lower lip as she stood on her tippy toes to try and match my height.
I tried to hold her tighter, push my mouth harder against hers. I tangled my hand in her hair; it was as soft as it looked, smelling like coconuts. The tip of her tongue lightly pushed its way into my mouth and brushed along my own. She tried to push herself closer to me, wrapping her arms around my neck nearly pulling herself up so her face would be parallel to mine.
I bent down and picked her up, wrapping her legs around my waist as I slipped my tongue into her mouth carrying her to the kitchen counter, setting her down and pulling her close to me so she was nearly teetering at the edge. We kissed feverishly, our tongues exploring the others until she breathed in deep and pulled away from me, both of us breathing heavily as our forehead met. "Hi," she sighed out.
I laughed. "Hi." My hands fingered the ends of her hair.
"We match." She pulled on my shirt and I laughed, noting that our shirts were exactly the same color as I took her face in my hands and kissed her.
"You make me crazy," I breathed, kissing her again. "I haven't stopped thinking about you all week. I don't understand."
"I was actually thinking about that. Why you?" she whispered. "Out of all the men that have tried to date me or court me, why you? And I decided that maybe, sometimes, things are just … right." She smiled and kissed me. "Are you hungry?" she asked pushing me away and jumping off the counter.
"I'm starving and it smells amazing in here," I said walking to grab the wine and flowers. "I brought you these."
Her eyes lit up. "You got me flowers!" I saw her cheeks flush. "Look at you, making this is a real date." She pushed herself on her tip toes and kissed me. "Thank you, they're lovely." She took them from me and pulled a vase from a cupboard. "Do you mind pouring me a glass of wine?" she asked. "Glasses are in that cupboard." She motioned with her head as she began clipping the stems of the roses and arranging them in the vase.
"You're really good at that," I remarked placing the glass of wine beside her. "Arranging the flowers I mean."
She shrugged and took a sip of her wine. "I get a lot of flowers from record labels and record producers and people just trying to kiss my ass but never from boys I like." She winked and placed the flowers on her dining room table which I now noticed was half set.
She walked back over and pulled everything out of the oven. I watched her as she began dishing up the food and realized that I had never met anyone so confident and so unsure at the same time as Molly Hooper. Her movements were precise but I could see in her eyes she was second guessing herself, completely unsure of how this was going to turn out.
After the duck and the potatoes were dished, she brought the plates to the table. "Sit," she ordered as she grabbed salad and her wine and joined me.
After we had served the salad, she motioned for me to start and she did the same. I took the first bite of the duck and hesitantly put it in my mouth. Even though it smelled amazing I was afraid it was going to be bad and I didn't want to have to lie to her when she asked me how it was. The second it hit my tongue I let out a moan. I loved food, more importantly I loved really well made food and this was very well made food. "This is really good."
She smiled and took a sip of wine. "Thank you. I spend a lot of time inside so I'm really good at domestic things for lack of a better word. You play till you find out what works. Cooking and music are very much alike when you think about it."
"Well, I appreciate your talent, talents. You seem to be good at everything," I said popping a potato in my mouth.
She shook her head quickly. "Noooooooo, no, I suck at a lot of things. I am terrible at sports. I can run and I can't even do that very well anymore but if you ask me to play pretty much anything, I will fail miserably." She put a piece of duck in her mouth. "I'm also a terrible actor. I could never do what you do."
"I'm sure you aren't as bad as you think you are at either of those things," I said wiping my mouth with a napkin. "You keep a very neat place, is that what you mean by domestic things?"
"Yeah, I am a little bit of neat freak unless I'm writing then I kind of let things go. Music is my kryptonite; I kind of go crazy and abandon everything for it. It's really unhealthy."
"You produce something amazing so being a little unhealthy is okay." I winked. I ate a few more bites and asked, "Are you going to sing for me tonight?"
I watched her face flush and she smiled an embarrassed smile. "I have the recording but I could sing it to you live. It'll just be a little stripped down. You can choose."
"Do you not want sing for me?" I asked placing my cutlery on my now cleaned plate.
She shook her head. "It's not that, it's just nerve racking when you sing a song to the person that inspired it." Her flush deepened and she took a long sip of her wine.
"I inspired the song you wrote. Is it the 'let's get lost' one?" I questioned trying to contain my excitement that she had written a song that had anything to do with me.
"No, but I did start working on that one. The one I just wrote is called 'Fresh Pair of Eyes'. You made me realize I needed to see myself differently and I decided the idea of that would make a pretty good song. So thank you for that." She grabbed my hand and squeezed. "Are you full? Do you want more?" she asked letting go of my hand and picking up my plate.
"I'm full, thank you. That really was amazing," I said taking another sip of wine.
"I have pie for later," she said rinsing off the plates.
"What kind of pie?" I inquired standing up and leaning against the opposite side of the counter.
Her brow furrowed. "I don't know actually." She dried her hands off on a dish towel and opened her fridge. "It's apple which is my favorite kind of pie." She said closing the fridge and leaning up against it. She breathed in deep and looked at me. "Let me go play you this fucking song. I'm not going to be able to relax until I do it. So come on." She stepped forward and grabbed my hand dragging me into her music room.
"Sit on the couch." I did as I was told and watched as she paced for a couple of seconds and then looked at me in utter confusion. "Why am I so fucking nervous?" She ran her hand through her hair.
I grinned. "It's because you like me. Take a deep breath."
She closed her eyes with a small smile on her face and took a deep breath in and then out. "Do you want to hear the recording or live?" she asked opening her eyes.
"Live," I said like she was crazy to even ask.
She sat down at the piano and looked up at me. "So this isn't going to be as grand as the actually recording, it's more music based than lyric based. You know what it's probably better if we just listen to the recording so you get a better idea of the whole sound and-"
I cut her off. "Molly, just play the song," I said as gently as I could.
She took another deep breath and nodded. "Right, yeah, okay." She closed her eyes and started to play.
The piano was simple and light as she began to hum along to the melody. She introduced lower notes to give the song more weight and feeling. Then the whole song turned and the notes were upbeat and whimsical and then she began to sing.
'Cause I want to be seen/With a fresh pair of eyes/The single white tree/In a black hood of disguise
Her voice was high, airy and nearly strained but beautiful. She opened her eyes and looked at me as the music took on weight again.
I want, I want to be seen/With a fresh pair of eyes/The single, the single white tree/In a black hood of disguise
I felt my heart quicken. There wasn't a way to describe what it felt like to see someone, just a few feet away from you sing a song that was inspired by you and so personal to them. I was the fresh pair of eyes and I saw her exactly the way she needed to be seen.
I miss God, I miss God/I miss God, I miss God
The music became dark again and she was humming again as she closed her eyes again as she let the dark notes become light and then it was over. More music than lyrics, feeling throughout, simple, stunning, beautiful, caring, detailed, soft but there was the pain underneath it all. This was the way I saw her at this exact moment and I knew I would see her in many other ways because this wasn't something fleeting, not for me.
The way I felt in that particular moment was the way I wanted to feel for the rest of my life. My chest swelling, my head dizzy, her voice still lingering in the air. I knew this was crazy, every ounce of logic in my brain told me that to feel this way about her so soon was crazy but I didn't want to think. I wanted to jump and take everything that came with her. I knew it wouldn't be easy, I knew things would spring up and try to break us apart but the thought of those things made me want her more. The best things in life were never easy. I saw her with the fresh pair of eyes she needed but I wanted to be seen through her eyes that were looking at me right now through impossibly long lashes.
"You hated it." The insecurity fluttered behind her eyes and she looked away from me. "It's a weird song, I know."
I stood up and moved towards her shaking my head. "No. No, I loved it. I've just never had a song sung specifically to me before. It's overwhelming in a way I hadn't expected." I sat down beside her on the piano bench mirroring the position we had taken a little over a week ago. "I… it was… I loved it," I said smiling before leaning in to kiss her. "Are you religious?" I asked as I broke the kiss.
She laughed. "No, not at all, when I was writing the song I thought that to be seen anew, with a fresh pair of eyes the wrongs I have committed and the wrongs that have been done against me need to be washed away, like sins. I miss God. It sounds a lot more poetic than the new guy I'm seeing likes me and that makes me feel good." She laughed and rubbed the back of her neck.
I felt my brows furrow and I laughed. "Did you just compare me to God?"
"Yeah I guess I did cause I'm a ridiculous human being." She laughed from her belly and grabbed my hand. "Do you want pie?" she asked, standing.
"I would love some pie," I said following her.
She broke away from me and took the pie out of the fridge and pre-heated the oven. I brought over her wine from the table and sat on the opposite side of the counter.
She grabbed her wine and looked up at me with a smirk. "So, how were the Golden Globes?" she asked laughing.
"Well, as you can tell from my texts they were boozy," I said with a tone of embarrassment.
"It also looks like from this picture they were dancy." She turned her phone in my direction to show me the picture of Michael and me dancing the night before. Harry, my PR agent, had called me to tell me this photo existed but that I shouldn't worry about it because most people thought it was awesome. I hadn't seen it till now.
I rubbed my eyes in embarrassment. "Yeah, I like dancing. I always have and there was a lot of gin involved and Mike loves to party."
"He should have won last night," she said with a slight edge of annoyance in her voice.
"So should have Steven McQueen." She turned when the oven beeped and but the pie inside.
She picked up her wine glass. "I haven't been to a Golden Globes party in a really long time. I used to go all the time when I was married." She finished the glass.
I shrugged. "It makes sense. Jim's constantly nominated."
"Yeah he is." She drifted off, looking away from me nodding and poured herself another glass of wine.
James Moriarty was an actor most actors were envious of. He had worked on stage in his early twenties, was nominated for a Tony and then broke into movies with a string of indie hits in the early 2000's. He won his first Oscar at the age of 30 for Madness. The movie was about a murder mystery novelist who was starting to believe his characters from his popular book series were coming to life and trying to kill him. The movie was frightening and Moriarty's performance was paranoid, subtle, and absolutely riveting. He had been nominated countless times after that, had led massive movie franchises and married the most talented woman in music.
When the story broke that he had been drinking and driving and he and his wife had been in a car crash that had put her in coma for a week, most people had been shocked. I was shocked. I had met Jim a couple of times and he had been nothing but nice to me. The encounters had always been brief but he never seemed like he was ever drunk or high but he was a good actor. If I lost parts half the time it was to Moriarty, even now. He was working more than ever.
"Let's play 20 questions." She beamed. "I think it's the fastest way to learn a lot about someone. I play it with almost everyone I meet."
"Okay, do you want to go first?" I asked.
"What's your favorite color?" She came around the counter to sit in the chair opposite me.
"Green, and you?"
"That's terrifying," I said taking a sip of my wine.
"It's a beautiful color, your go."
"What movie always makes you cry?" I asked her.
"Lost in Translation. I think it's sad that they finally find each other and they can't be together, in one way or another." She shrugged and looked away from me.
"I always cry when I watch It's a Wonderful Life. When they cheer to George Bailey the richest man in town, I cry every time."
She was smiling sweetly at me. "That is the cutest thing ever," she paused. "You're favorite food."
I thought on this one for a long time. "This one's hard."
"That's what she said." I looked over at her slowly and she was staring at me with a huge grin on her face. "Sorry continue."
"Freshly baked chocolate chip cookies," I finally said.
"That's a good one but I would have to go with bacon cheese burgers, those are my favorite food." The oven beeped and she went to get the pie out of the oven.
"What piece of clothing do you feel most comfortable in?" I asked as she pulled plates from the cupboard.
"Honestly?" She asked cutting into the pie. "I feel most comfortable in nothing." She took a pie server and dug the first piece out and placed it on a plate. "I'm all for keeping my clothes on in front of a camera but in my personal life the less clothes I have on the happier I am. Especially pants, pants were created by the devil." She went to the freezer and pulled out ice cream and put a scoop beside the pie and slid it to me with a fork.
I sat silently and stared at her. "So I guess your hatred of clothes bodes well for me." I winked at her taking a bite of the pie.
Her eyes narrowed and she gave me an annoyed smile. "You have miles to go before you benefit from my hatred of clothes, Holmes."
"We'll see," I muttered. "I feel most comfortable in well worked in jeans and a t-shirt."
"You look good in jeans and a t-shirt." She came around to eat her pie.
"Thank you," I said blushing.
"Last song you were listening to on your iPod?" she mumbled through a mouth full of pie.
I pulled my phone out of pocket and checked my iPod. "'Wild is the Wind' by Nina Simone."
She looked shocked. "Really? Wow, C.K. Dexter Haven you have unsuspected depth."
"What?" I questioned completely unsure of what she was talking about.
She shook her head. "Never mind, I really like that song. Most people don't randomly listen to it. I was shocked." She took another piece of pie and put it in her mouth. "The last song we were listening to was 'Came Back Haunted' but Nine Inch Nails."
"You're a Trent Reznor fan?" I asked.
"The Social Network must have made your brain explode."
"When I left that movie I had no blood left in my body my boner was so huge."
I stared at her for about four seconds before responding with a punctuated, "What?"
I watched her face flush. "I keep forgetting you aren't used to the way I talk. Yes, I really liked The Social Network a lot," she said licking off her fork. "Guilty pleasure movie?" she said changing the subject.
"I love Clue. I've seen it now at least a hundred times."
"I've never seen Clue." She took one of the last bites of her pie.
I gasped. "What?!" I grasped her leg just above her knee. "We are going to watch it sooner or later. I'll bring it over," I said taking my plate and hers and placing them in the sink.
"Mine is Freddy vs. Jason. I always watch it when it's on TV. It's so awful but I love it. Oh double feature," she said pointing at me with a goofy smile.
"What Clue and Freddy vs. Jason?" I said coming back to her side of the counter.
"Yeah, why not?"
I stared at her and shrugged. "I can't think of a single valid reason why not."
"That's our next date, double feature." She leaned forward and kissed me before hopping up and walking to the couch and plopping herself down.
I followed, sitting next to her as she stretched out and put her feet in my lap. "Favorite book?" I started tracing her tattoos with my fingers. On one foot she had a cartoon of Audrey Hepburn and on the other a drawing of Ariel from The Little Mermaid.
"Twilight," she said grinning at me looking at me through her lashes.
I felt my brows furrow. "Really?"
She laughed. "No, but I do like Twilight, another guilty pleasure." She looked away from me and started tapping her lip. "Favorite book, favorite book, it has to be East of Eden."
"My favorite book is Catcher in the Rye. I've read it five or six times."
"Do you know how to play any instruments?" she asked.
I nodded. "Violin and guitar sort of, I can play well enough but I'm not great or anything."
"I can teach you," she said smiling, trying to rub her feet together in my hands.
"I would love lessons. You know how to play everything."
She shook her head. "Not everything, guitar, bass, piano, violin, drums and I'm learning to play the accordion. Of course I excel at the piano and then the guitar. I know how to play the others enough to get away with it."
"You were playing Bach the other day. You know how to play the violin," I said resting my hands on her shin.
"It makes me happy you knew what I was playing." She smiled.
"Your favorite flower?" I asked.
"Red roses, you nailed that one right on the head tonight." She smiled a sweet half smile. "Your favorite flower?"
"Tulips, we always had them in the house; they're my mother's favorite." There was a brief pause and I felt a weird calm come over me and I realized I was completely relaxed in her presence.
"How many questions is that?"
"I don't know." I said looking at her. Taking in all her features; trying to memorize her face.
Her eyes wandered around the condo as we let an amount of silence pass between the both of us and I was surprised that it didn't feel uncomfortable. Her gaze came back to me. "Do you want to watch a movie and then make out after an acceptable amount of time has passed?" she asked with a skewed smile on her and her eyebrows raised.
I smiled at her and then tried to brush it off like it was no big deal. "Yeah that sounds good. What do you want to watch?" I asked standing.
"Does it really matter?" she giggled.
"That's a good point." I picked up the nearest movie and put it in the player.
She shifted to rest against my side and I put my arm around her shoulder. I ended up putting on Cabin in the Woods which I had never seen. The problem was it was a good movie and before we knew it, it was over.
She stood and stretched. "I'm gonna put on a movie which plot is easy to ignore."
I nodded. "That's probably a good idea," I said un-tucking my shirt. I didn't see what she put on and she walked back to me and instead of sitting beside me she straddled me.
She looked down at me as her hair fell to one side and brushed the side of my face. She smiled as she slowly leaned down and kissed me. The kiss was long and deep as she lowered herself onto my lap draping one arm over the back over the couch as her fingers weaved themselves into my hair.
My hands slowly moved up her thighs to her hips as I dug my fingers into her skin, our kiss intensified and our mouths opened. There was no coyness, just want and eagerness, our tongues met in the middle as she pushed herself closer to me.
My hand gripped the hair at the base of her neck pulling it back, exposing the smooth length of her neck. I pressed my lips to her alabaster skin as she let out a deep moan strangled by the angle of her throat. She smelled clean like soap and a little like grapefruits. I wanted to taste her and my tongue traced along her neck and jawline up to her mouth where I lightly bit her bottom lip and pulled away from her.
Her eyes opened slowly staring at me with lust as she rotated her hips, rubbing herself against my erection. She licked her lips slowly as she moved in to kiss me again and my hands started on her hips and rose, pushing her shirt up until my hands landed on the bare skin of her ribs. My fingers started rubbing circles on her back as she undid three buttons of my shirt and slipped her hands inside.
The feeling of her cold hands on my chest made me hiss and made her kiss me harder, pushing her hips deeper into me. She let out another moan between kisses and that's when I heard it. Her voice, the voice I would know anywhere, the voice that I had heard for nearly nine years. Irene.
I parted from Molly and looked at her with wide eyes. "What are we watching?"
She stared at me for a few moments longer, her whole body still in make-out mode until her eyes widened like mine and she uttered, "Oh shit."
I looked passed her and there was my ex-girlfriend on screen trying to seduce Matthew McConaughey in the romantic comedy Take a Number for Love. "Do you actually like this movie?" I looked up at Molly who looked slightly pained.
"I saw it when I was 16 and McConaughey is shirtless for the whole movie and talks in a Southern accent so thick you can't understand what he's saying. I like it cause it's shit, not because it's good and not because of Irene Adler. I totally forgot about you and her." She shifted her weight to the left and flopped off of me on to the couch.
I rubbed my face and tried to find the right words to use. I ended up using the most ineloquent ones possible. "You know that saying bitches be crazy? Well that's Irene in a nutshell." I rubbed my face again, leaning forward as my elbows rested on my knees.
Irene wasn't always crazy, she was fine for the first seven years that we dated, it was in the last two years when my fame started to eclipse her own that she went off the deep end. Everything made her jealous. She accused me of cheating on her on a daily basis and she started faking pregnancy scares to bring us closer together. In the end she ended up cheating on me with one of her co-stars and had been trying to win me back for the past ten months since our break up. She thought the best way to do that was to spam my email on a daily basis with naked pictures of herself. I deleted at least three emails daily and if she found out what my phone number was, I would get upward of 100 texts an hour from her, all inappropriate.
"Why is she crazy?" Molly asked placing her hand on my arm.
I looked at her knowing that I didn't want to get into this with her tonight. My relationship woes were nothing compared hers but tonight was not the night. There would be a time and a place but not now. "Would you be mad if I didn't want to talk about it right now?"
She laughed. "Believe me I know all about not wanting to talk about an ex. There'll be a time and a place but not tonight." She leaned over and turned off the TV.
"Isn't difficult for you to watch movies with Jim in it?" I asked angling my body to face her.
She looked at the floor and stared pensively. "Sometimes. Half the time he loses himself in the performance and I stop seeing him and see the character instead but yeah, mostly I just stay away from his films." She looked at me and smiled.
I nodded slowly. "I guess comparing Irene to Jim isn't the same thing." I felt a smirk pull at the corner of my mouth. "She's not a very good actress."
She smiled and her tongue came out quickly to wet her lips before she spoke. "Well, come on now, she was good in that one thing that time." Her smile grew.
I started laughing and she joined in. "Is it weird to just talk about our exes? Isn't that a topic that new couples usually avoid?" I asked as my laughter subsided.
She shrugged. "They were a part of our lives and them being a part of our lives led us to this point and I'm pretty happy with this point in my life. I'm not jealous of her and what you had with her because it's over and now you'll have something different with me; don't ever feel weird talking about your past, not to me."
"So you're sure you want to keep doing this?" I asked her.
"Yeah, I like you and I want to spend time with you till I don't anymore. Let's not overthink it, overthinking ruins everything."
I smiled and nodded. "Okay." I moved towards her grabbing her and kissing her deeply wrapping my arm around her waist and pulling her towards me. She pushed her legs out so she could lie down and moved so that I was lying on top of her, supporting my weight so that I didn't crush her.
We made out on the couch for a long time. I hadn't done what we were doing in nearly 10 years, just making out to make out. It made me feel like a teenager, everything over the clothes, panting, swollen lips, my erection awkwardly rubbing against her thigh. I had forgotten how amazing it was to date someone, for everything to be equally exciting and awkward at the same time.
She parted from me, panting. "What time is it?"
I looked at my watch and sat up quickly. "It's 10:30. I have a 6:30 call time tomorrow."
She nodded while wiping her mouth and straightening out her hair and clothes. She smiled. "I forgot how much I loved kissing."
I smiled and kissed her one more time before getting up and grabbing my coat. "So, I should just text you when I want to see you?"
"Or me you. As you know, I'm in between albums right now which means I literally have nothing to do all day." She stood, following me to the elevator.
"My schedule varies but I'm in L.A. till the end of March," I said adjusting my jacket and popping the collar.
She bit her lip and looked away from me slipping her hands into her back pocket. "Lock?" she said quietly. "Do you mind if we just keep doing what we are doing? Sex wise, I mean kissing doesn't hurt anyone but once we start using our mouths and hands for other things, stuff gets complicated and I need some time with that." She looked at me bashfully through her lashes.
I smiled and took her face in my hands. "Whatever you want. The kissing is great, amazing. Really just hearing your voice, hearing your stories, that's all I need." I leaned in and kissed her deeply, breathing in her smell, soap, grapefruit and coconuts.
She let out a noise that sounded like mix between a laugh and a sigh. "Awe Lock, you're so sweet you make sugar taste just like salt."
The elevator door opened and stepped backwards towards it pulling her with me, kissing her the whole way. She broke away and step back into her apartment. "Later gator," she said smirking as the doors closed between us.
I learned in this chapter that describing music is difficult.
I want to thank my beta Midnight Angel414 for being awesome.
Thank you to the guest that gave me my first review and thank you to anyone and everyone who is reading. It makes me want to write more if I know someone is enjoying it.
Retrograde – James Blake
Fresh Pair of Eyes – Brooke Waggoner
Wild is the Wind – Nina Simone
Came Back Haunted – Nine Inch Nails
I appreciate reviews, like I said if you like the story reviews fuel me to write more!