It took me a while to do it, but here's the last chapter. I actually wrote this a few times, all different. I was initially going to start with having it in Chloe's POV where she ambushed Derek on the way to work, but I liked this one much better. Let me know what you think though, I'm so excited to have this story finished!
And if you haven't already, there's a new story on my profile called To Where the Demons Follow. I'll be throwing up the next chapter within a few days so check it out, review it and let me know what you think! It's going to be my best story yet I think :)
I paced back and forth in my office after Tori left. To anyone else, Chloe liking me was probably clear as day. To me though? Apparently I needed Tori to spell it out for me.
What an idiot I was.
I grabbed my phone and keys off the kitchen counter and rushed down the stairs of my apartment building and into the garage where I climbed into the car. There was no time to stop, instead I blew through stop signs and exceeded the speed limit by an amount that surely would have caused me to lose my license if caught.
The five minute drive to Chloe's apartment building felt like the longest five minutes of my life. Was I nervous? Yes. Was I sweating profusely? Sure was.
It was so unlike me to not have a plan, but here I was. Sitting in my car directly outside of her building, listening to a break up song on the radio while I tried to sort through my mind.
Stupid Derek, you aren't even going through a break up. Mute that shit.
What was I about to do? Run up the stairs, bang down her door and hope she'd forgive me after pleading for it? Or would I leave a card and some flowers and hope she'd accept them, and call me when she was ready?
Both of those scenarios felt over the top, and not at all what I would do in that situation. So instead I wiped the sweat off my brow and hopped out the car. On the outside I appeared calm as I watched my reflection in the windows of the building as I approached, but my heart was racing fast.
The elevator couldn't reach the ground floor quick enough and hurried in, frantically pressing the seventh floor button. The doors closed as I watched a brunette haired woman run for the elevator, but there was no time and they shut before she could reach it.
I reached the seventh floor and rounded the corner. 742B in gold letters hung above the peep hole on her door and I stopped, turning my back on it. Was I supposed to play it cool? Did I have to drop to my knees? Did I have to-
"Are you just going to stand there?" I heard the door squeal open behind me and I swung around. Chloe stood in front of me, a grey pair of sweats hung on her hips and a red cropped singlet covered not much of her torso at all. Her hair was in a messy bun and her eyes looked tired.
"I was going to knock..." I trailed off.
"Well...?" She stared up at me and opened the door wider, gesturing for me to come in.
"Thanks." I murmured.
Chloe moved over to the kitchen island and hoisted herself up onto it, crossing her legs underneath her as she grabbed for her mug of tea. "We should talk about last night."
"We should." I said as I leaned back on the counter behind me and faced her. Silence fell upon us as we looked at each other. She eventually broke eye contact to fiddle with the tea bag in her mug. "Chloe I'm sorry about-"
"If you don't want me that way, just tell me." She interrupted, rushed. Her voice shook.
How could she think that? I opened my mouth, but the words struggled to come out.
"But everything in me tells me otherwise. That you do want me. And everyone around us says it too. The way you act and look at me sometimes contradicts so many things about this whole situation. So why do you do it?" She interrupted, voice still shaking.
"Do what?" I asked, clueless as to what she meant.
"Tori's right. You sabotage yourself."
"I don't me-"
"-mean to. I know." A pause. "Why though?" She whispered.
I broke eye contact and looked around her apartment. The bright blue feature wall caught my attention, where she'd hung up all of her framed pictures and mementos. In the middle, the largest photo, was a photo of all of us. Chloe, Simon, Tori, Liz, Peter, Rae, and then myself, all in our winter coats standing in the park during the dead of night. Chloe and I stood off to the right of the photo, where she clung onto my jacket. I had my arm draped around her shoulder as I held her close, trying to shield her from the cold. On the other side of her was Simon, who had his arm around her waist as he beamed at the camera, however it wasn't him that she was snuggling up to. I'd seen that photo hundreds of times, every single time I went to Chloe's house, and not once did it ever cross my mind that maybe, just maybe, she wanted me more than she wanted Simon.
Along the wall were even more photos of us, some of the whole group, some of just a few of us, but overwhelmingly, most of them were of just the two of us. I chalked this up to us just being best friends this whole time. But now I was seeing it for what it really was. The little trinkets I gave her as gag gifts, the Christmas and Birthday cards I'd signed, all displayed along that wall amongst the others, but mine were always front and centre.
"Is it that you don't think you're worth it?" She interrupted my thoughts, my eyes snapping back to hers. I shrugged, not really knowing what to say but she could read me like a book.
Chloe hopped down from the counter and strode up to me. It was comical how short she was, barely just reaching my chest.
"You're going to have to help me out here." She huffed.
"What do you mean?"
She reached up and grabbed my shirt collar, pulling me down to her height. "You are such an idiot." She whispered before closing the distance and planting her lips on mine.
Her hands moved from my collar and wrapped around my neck, pulling me closer. It took a moment to register what was finally happening, but I eventually reciprocated and moved my lips against hers. My hands snaked around her bare waist and I pulled her closer, fire coursing through my body as she raked her hands through my hair, gently tugging it by the nape of my neck. She tasted like maple syrup and strawberries, and I never wanted this moment to end. I pulled her close and she gasped against my mouth before bringing one of her hands down to cup my cheek as we kissed.
She eventually pulled back for air, her pink lips swollen and her cheeks flushed a rosy red. Her sapphire blue eyes met mine and we rested our foreheads together as we caught our breath for a moment. I still held her close with my arms around her waist, and her arm stayed around my neck while the other rested on my cheek. I leaned into her warm touch and sighed. She was all I ever wanted.
"Derek..." She breathed.
"Just for the record, I absolutely think you're worth it."