Disclaimer: I don't own the characters in this following fictional story.
They remain the property of the writers and producers of NBC-Days of Our Lives.

Unguarded Moments by Fidomom

Part 1

The Set-Up: Outside at Lexie's party.

Brady: You want Philip to love you, don't you, Chloe?
Chloe: Yes, okay?! Is it so wrong to want someone to love me?
Brady: Lots of people love you, Chloe.
Chloe: It's not the same at all! Philip loves me like Romeo loved Juliet.
Brady: If you actually believe that Chloe, then I feel sorry for you!
Chloe: You must really despise me if you can't believe that Philip could possibly love me.
Brady glared at her incredulously, turned, and walked away from her too angry to look back.
Chloe watched her best friend turn away from her.
~Why oh why did I have to agree to sleep at Belle's, tonight of all nights? Brady and I haven't fought like this for so long, we haven't left things so angry for so long. I wonder if our friendship is over this time?~

Later at the Black residence...

Belle: What's with the scowl, Brady?
Brady: Nothing!
Belle: Ok, THAT "nothing", has Chloe written all over it...what happened?
Brady: Nothing I can't handle on my own.
Belle: Hello? I'm her best friend...you could put me to better use you know.
Brady: Ok, fine, Tink! Why is she so resistant to Philip moving on, even though she doesn't want him back?
Belle: Oh! And I thought this would be difficult! Think about it, Brady...Chloe was an orphan. She had nobody. Now suddenly she's thrust into a life with parents who love her, friends who care enough to know her business, and a guy who says he's head over heels in love with her! Why wouldn't she eat that up?! She probably still fears feeling that lonely and starved for attention ever again. If she lets Philip get over her, then she goes back to being unloved, unnoticed. At least from her point of view. She told me she figures no other guy will ever love her as intensely as she believes Philip does.

Brady looked stunned. He kissed his sister's forehead.
Brady: I should have asked you ages ago. Thank-you for shedding some light on this for me. Talk about an untapped resource. I love you, Isabella Black.
Belle was touched by the use of her full name by Brady.
Belle: So what do I tell her, Brady? You know she'll ask me something about what's up with you.
Brady smiled.
Brady: The truth of course. I care about both her and Philip and they are no damn good for eachother!
Belle gave Brady a skeptical look.
Belle: Uh huh ... anything else you'd like to add, Brady?
Brady: Nope.
Belle smiled at her big brother and just shook her head in amused exasperation.
Belle: Ok. Well, when she gets here, send her upstairs, ok?
Brady: Sure, Tink. And hey ... thanks again.

An hour later...

Ding Dong

Brady casually opened the door. Chloe looked surprised, then sad, to see him.
Chloe: Oh! Hi Brady. Um....Belle...
Brady: I know Chloe. She's upstairs. She said for you to go on up.
He let her in and closed the door.
Brady: Chloe? I'm sorry for freaking out on you earlier. I just don't want you to keep getting hurt.
Chloe: Then why do you keep hurting me, Brady?
She turned and walked up the stairs to join Belle.
Brady was completely thrown for a loop at her response.
~Now what did I say wrong? I swear that girl is so confusing! I apologize for earlier and she accuses me of hurting her? Huh?~

Upstairs in Belle's room, Chloe and Belle are getting ready for bed.
Belle: So you gonna tell me why you and Brady aren't getting along all of a sudden?
Chloe: No reason, I guess.
Belle: Um hello? I'm his sister, who he adores and trusts. You could put me to better use, you know!
Chloe laughed a little.
Chloe: Ya. I guess I could, couldn't I? Ok, why does Brady want Philip out of my life so badly?
Belle: That's easy. Brady cares about you. He is very protective over people he cares about. He thinks you and Philip are ill-suited. He cares about Philip too, and he thinks you two bring out the worst in each other. That's about all I know.
Chloe: Thanks, Belle. That actually did help. Maybe I'll try to make up with Brady tomorrow.

Later that night, everyone at the Black residence is asleep. Chloe is dreaming a very vivid dream.
She is running but they are gaining on her. She's trapped in a corner and her assailants are approaching slowly with evil grins.
Chloe: STAY AWAY FROM ME! BRADY HELP ME! PLEASE BRADY? WHERE ARE YOU? BRADY? BRADY? PLEASE DON'T LET THEM HURT ME!

Philip: I'll rescue you Chloe...if you come back to me.
Chloe: No! I don't want to be with you anymore, Philip. Brady won't let me down. Brady!?!
The assailants were reaching out to grab her. She struck out at them- her hand came into contact with a muscular forearm, a very familiar muscular forearm. The assailants and Philip evaporated.
Chloe: Brady! I knew you'd come for me! I love you so much, Brady! Please Brady, why can't you love me back? I'm so in love with you! Please don't let me go! I just want to be Brady's Diva for always!
Chloe looked up and saw the Marquee Sign. It read, "Now Playing: Internationally acclaimed Chloe Black LIVE at the MET". Holding Brady's hand, she entered the building with him. The concierge wouldn't let them backstage.
Chloe: You have to let us back there! That's my name up on that Marquee Mister! My name is Chloe...that's right. C-H-L-O-E. Yes, like the color... Black ... that's right, I am Chloe Black.

Belle was awakened by Chloe's cries for help.
Belle: Chloe? Chloe, wake-up! Chloe?!
Chloe: BRADY HELP ME!
Belle leapt from her bed and ran into Brady's room.
Belle: Brady! Wake-up, NOW!
Brady: What? Belle what are you...
Belle: Chloe is in trouble! Come on, she needs your help!
Brady was instantly awake and he jumped out of bed and raced to Belle's room.
Chloe: WHERE ARE YOU? BRADY? BRADY? PLEASE DON'T LET THEM HURT ME!
Brady rushed to her side.
Brady: Chloe! I'm here, it's okay.
Chloe: No! I don't want to be with you anymore, Philip. Brady won't let me down. Brady!?!
She continued to thrash, flailing her hands in front of her. Her hand came into contact with his muscled forearm. She stilled. Her hand travelled up his arm. She wrapped her arms around Brady's neck like a drowning victim.
Chloe: Brady! I knew you'd come for me! I love you so much, Brady! Please Brady, why can't you love me back? I'm so in love with you! Please don't let me go! I just want to be Brady's Diva for always!
Brady and Belle looked at each other in surprise. Belle smiled at Brady uncertainly. Brady shrugged his shoulders to show how at a loss he was. Brady tried to disentangle himself from Chloe, but she was having none of it. Brady sighed in resignation.
Brady: Tink? Mind if I crash on your floor tonight?
Belle: Looks like we don't have much choice! That is one intense dream she's in. I'll get you an extra blanket and pillow. Belle left the room to get them from the hall linen closet. Brady tried to assume a more comfortable position in spite of Chloe's near death grip on him.
Chloe:You have to let us back there!! That's my name up on that Marquee Mister! My name is Chloe...that's right. C-H-L-O-E. Yes, like the color... Black ... that's right, I am Chloe Black!
Brady froze and tried to look at her face, unsuccessfully. Belle returned with the extra bedding for Brady.
Brady: Thanks, Tink.
Belle put the pillow on the floor beside Chloe's. Brady somehow managed to lay down with Chloe still firmly attached to him. Belle put the blanket on them both, and returned to her own bed.
Belle: Hey, Brady? Do you think she really feels that way about you or is it just dream confusion?
Brady: I honestly don't know what to think, Belle.
Brady couldn't get the name Chloe Black to stop reverberating in his head.
Belle: Should we ask her about it in the morning?
Brady: Ummm, I think maybe we shouldn't ... it might only embarass her.
Belle: Brady? You responded very quickly when I told you Chloe was in trouble, and you are willing to spend the night comforting her, so I guess what I'm wondering is if you have feelings for Chloe as more than a friend?
Brady opened and closed his mouth lost for words temporarily.
Brady: Goodnight, Tink, I love you. See you in the morning.
Belle shook her head, smiling.
Belle: Fine, Brady, goodnight! I love you too! One more thing, though? She might remember everything tomorrow and she will definitely wonder why you are, ahem, sleeping with her ... just some food for thought!
Brady contemplated this as Chloe breathed a sigh of content, loosening her grip finally. Her arms moved to wrap around his middle instead. She snuggled in closer to him. Brady smiled in the dark. He wrapped his arms tighter around her, took a deep breath, and allowed himself to drift back to sleep.

To Be Continued...