Chapter Three

The plane had touched down three hours ago. The old Buzz gang had just gotten off the bus that looked like a palace on the inside, courtesy of Amanda's dad's money, as it had just pulled up to the palace that was outside.

Indeed, it resembled that of a castle, with it's cream-white walls and four storeys, complete with arched windows and two turrets.

"Isn't it amazing?" Amanda cried as she led the way up the winding, uphill path towards the large iron gates.

It was really something to watch three chauffeurs with three separate trolleys piled high with pink cases trail behind Amanda, who was pulling Wilder along; they'd only just started and sweat was pouring from their brows at the effort.

Rebecca didn't allow the chauffeur to take her one suitcase and dragged it along the uphill path herself beside Noah and Michael, who had two chauffeurs for his luggage. Wilder and Noah had followed Rebecca's example and towed their own cases too.

"Is all this really necessary?" Noah mumbled to Rebecca, but it was Michael who answered him from the other side of her.

"Of course! A chance to take advantage of Amanda's dad's fortune and to be waited on hand and foot for seven days in the glorious Barcelona sun! This is so necessary," he cried, grinning from ear to ear, his ecstasy radiating from every orifice.

Rebecca frowned slightly.

"It's all very well for you guys; you all live the life of a star. I own a one bedroom apartment and work for a newspaper-"

"Used to work for a news paper, Beccy," Michael then said, his face sympathetic.

Rebecca opened her mouth, then closed it, her face falling and her pace slowed and she dropped back from Michael and Noah and walked behind them with the panting chauffeurs.

It had been awful going into her little cubicle to collect her things. People hadn't stared, but maybe that was what got to her; that no one did care that she'd been fired, that she wasn't going to be missed.

She'd had to fight tooth and nail for that position and with a snap of her manicured fingers, Amanda had managed to get her fired by pushing her boss to the limit by asking for a weeks vacation.

Rebecca's heart sunk.

After this vacation, she'd have nothing to go back to apart from an empty, lonely apartment and her laptop.

That was it for her. That was waited for her at home.

When Michael got home, he'd have the press, the stardom, the money, the fame. When Wilder got home, he'd have Amanda, the press, the stardom, the money, the fame. When Amanda got home, she'd have Wilder, the money, the press, the fame, more money, the stardom, the clothes. When Noah got home, he'd have his loft apartment, his guitar, his money, his job, his friends... that mysterious girlfriend that Rebecca had been to chicken to ask about...

They'd kissed. But she'd known it was a mistake. Of course it was. Noah had moved on. He had that girl and Rebecca had had her career.

As soon as she'd pulled away, Rebecca had apologised and left without another word.

It was harder to avoid him on Amanda's private jet, but she'd managed to remain calm and keep a safe yet polite distance from him. She wouldn't suck him or any of her friends into her lonely life on this holiday.

Amanda had said that Rebecca would bring them down with her sensible shoes, or behaviour or whatever.

Not this time. She'd keep her head down, let them do as they please and possibly sit on the beach with a good book, or her laptop and write and read until her hearts content. As well as get a terrific tan. That was always a plus.

"R? You okay? You've been acting weird the whole journey?" Noah's voice sounded in Rebecca's ear and she realised she'd been dawdling behind them- quite a way behind them actually.

She was lagging behind the struggling chauffeurs, who just about looked on their last breath.

Although luckily they were about ten foot from the door, but the poor dears looked as though they needed a drink or two.

Rebecca blinked upon realising Noah had asked her a question.

"Oh, er, yes, I'm fine Noah. Really, I am. Come on, let's catch up to the others and get inside, otherwise we'll get lost just crossing the threshold," Rebecca said too fast and made to hurry her pace and place some distance between herself and Noah.

But he had other ideas and took a gentle hold of her wrist, preventing her from escaping.

"R? Are we okay? Did I do something?" He asked, frowning as he attempted to remember.

Rebecca tried to prise her wrist from his slim but strong fingers, but failed.

Although she managed to avoid his gaze by examining a ladybird hurrying along the hot patterned pavement under their feet.

"R? Come on, we're adults? If I've done something-"

"It was a mistake, okay? I know it was and you pretending we didn't do anything wrong is just... just wrong, okay!" She suddenly yelled at him all too fast, before yanking her wrist from his and stomping off up the pathway and then into the replica palace that belonged to Amanda.

Unfortunately, the interior of said place made her stop still in her track just upon passing the front door, giving Noah time to catch up with her.

But luckily, he stopped stock still too, looking up and around the vast doomed entrance hall in awe, as Rebecca was doing beside him.

The ceiling was high, doomed and has frosted glass panels that allowed the sun to beam in and fill the white marble room.

Stairs curved along the walls and met on a balcony in the middle directly opposite the front door, with large double doors that led to goodness know where.

"Whoa," was all Noah could say from beside Rebecca, who didn't realise she was nodding in agreement.

"Come on guys! It's even better behind these doors!" Amanda squealed, appearing on the balcony and leaning over it to beckon them with a long arm.

Rebecca left her suitcase and went up the right set of curved stairs, Noah following two steps behind her.

She tried to ignore how that made her feel, but it was difficult.

It was like he was trying to stay near her so he'd eventually have to talk to her. Odd, Rebecca thought, as she climbed some more stairs.

Rebeca's light was blocked by a shadow.

"Rebecca, you've been out here all day by yourself. Something's up."

It wasn't the voice she expected, but she was glad to hear it all the same.

She looked up from her book to find Wilder stood in front of her sun lounger out by the pool out the back of Amanda's dad's holiday home.

"It's fine- well, no it's not but it' not for you to worry about, Wilder. You go and enjoy yourself," she told him, making to read her book again, but Wilder swiped it out of her hands, before bouncing down on the sun lounger beside her, examining the book with a curiously confused expression on his boyish face.

"'The Inspirational Story of a Woman and her Pen'?" He read it like he was asking a question, but still managed to move it out of Rebecca's reach as her hands flailed in her attempts to snatch it back.

"Yes. It's recent. It's about a woman's childhood aspirations to become a top-notch journalist, and ending up married twice with five children, yet two best-selling fiction books under her belt," Rebecca explained.

Wilder frowned at the blurb.

"It says it's based on a true story. Is that true?" He asked and Rebecca had to smile.

"Yes Wilder, it's true that it's based on a true story."

Wilder frowned then looked up at Rebecca.

"You're not planning on copying this lady, are you? Cause, it's good what she did an all, but I think you're smarter than that Rebecca. I think you could go far."

Rebecca blinked at this unexpected compliment from her famous skater friend.

"No Wilder, I'm not planning on copying her. But I am thinking of changing my aim, like she did. She wanted to be a journalist more than anything, like I did. But then she wrote a book. About her life. And now she's managing a thriving career and comfortably supporting her family. I don't want to write about my life- it's too boring. And I haven't a family to support, apart from my dad and Bubba, and they're managing just fine. Maybe I'll write for a teenage audience, like we did for Buzz. I'm more attuned to them anyway, from experience," she said, getting lost in her idea and fantasy.

She then noticed Wilder grinning at her.

"That's great Beccy. I think you've found your calling in life. I can see it now; Rebecca Harper, author of worlds best seller, adored by teenage girls everywhere, because she can relate."

Rebecca beamed at Wilder, before leaning over and hugging him.

"Thanks Wilder. You always know what to say," she told him as she drew back and he handed her her book back.

"Awestruck. But... not always, you know. Hey, Rebecca, can I ask you something? But, you can we keep it between us?" He asked, his expression becoming sombre and a little worried crease appeared between his dark brows.

Rebecca sat up slightly, knowing Wilder to scarcely be this serious.

"Of course, Wilder. Shoot. What's up?" She asked.

Wilder took a deep breath.

"I'm thinking of asking Amanda to marry me," he said all in one breath.

Rebecca momentarily froze, but then she smiled and hugged Wilder.

"Oh Wilder that's amazing. Congratual-"

"Don't!" He suddenly cried, drawing back and shoving a hand over Rebecca's mouth. "Don't jinx it by saying anything... congratulaty," he added, shaking his head at her.

Rebecca took Wilder's hand from her mouth, her eyebrows raised.

"'Congratulaty'?" She repeated, but Wilder was too preoccupied to give her a definition and Rebecca shook her head slightly then looked at Wilder, who was scratching his head.

"So what's the problem Wilder? Are you afraid she'll say no?" She asked, knowing that Amanda wouldn't ever say that to Wilder, no matter if she was in a strop or not.

Wilder shook his head, stopped, shrugged, then nodded, then stopped, then shrugged.

"I have no idea! Honestly, I'm just worried about how to do it, when to do it- I haven't even thought about whether she'd say no or not!" He said, getting worked up.

He then leapt up and began pacing in front of Rebecca, the sun glaring down hotly on both of them.

Rebecca watched him for a moment, then sat forward and grabbed his wrist, stopping him mid-pace.

"Wilder, sit down!" She told him, pulling him back down onto his recently vacated sun lounger.

He looked at her blankly.

Rebecca smiled kindly at him.

"You don't need to fret over how to do this, or when. Just do what feels right and you'll know when and where and how. I know you think Amanda will want some huge presentation and more-is-everything proposal, but I know that she won't. Especially coming from you. Everything Amanda is about is big and bold and grand. Except you. You're Wilder. Her Wilder. You keep her grounded and keep her head on straight- and deflated!" They shared a smile before Rebecca continued. "So don't work yourself up over this, okay? When the time comes, you'll know," Rebecca finished, taking Wilder's hands and squeezing reassuringly.

Wilder nodded, then hugged Rebecca.

"Thanks Beccy. I might know what to say, but you always seem to know how to handle things. Thanks!"

Rebecca sighed into Wilder's shoulder.

Did she? It didn't feel like it. Especially when it came to her own life.

And then there was Noah.

Noah.

...