A/N: Greetings my little aca-darlings. Let me start my apology right now. I am so sorry it's taken this long to update. I'm not even going to lie to you guys... I was seriously going to retire from fanfic writing, but the support and love that I continued to receive from you guys gave me the kick in the butt that I needed to continue. I owe you guys a huge thank you. So, here is the new chapter. You can expect regular updates from here on. I promise. As always, feedback is always welcome. Thanks for all of the . Welcome to all the new followers. Much love, my little aca-darlings.
Guest: haha. As you can see, I'm a huge fan of fluff. Can't get enough of it. ^_^
RizzlesReads: As do I, my friend. I love writing fluff more than anything else. It's addictive. haha
mymindisonyou: haha. I know, I know. It's an unusual pairing, but I adore Ashley and wanted to work her into the story somehow.
lilbit1016: I'm glad you liked it, love. These reviews make me happy. :D
cburton1995: Thanks, love. I'm afraid I've been a bit of a jerk and haven't updated in a ridiculously long time. Hope the new chapter makes up for it.
XxXlost-loveXxX: I'm glad I could make you smile, love. Your review made me smile. :D
BG-13: She is indeed very very whipped. *insert whipping sound effect here*
Acceptance For All: I'm glad you're liking it so far! :D
katt12: Thank you so much, love. :)
Guerilla Warfare: hahaha. Your reviews never fail to make me laugh. Hope you had enough time to piece yourself back together. ;) If not, I hope your ghost enjoys the new chapter. xD
auggy1984: Thank you! :D
Sammy McCallister: Awww. I'm glad you're liking it so far. :D
writting is love: Yay fluff! ;)
Brookester27: haha. I don't even attempt that app. Knowing my luck, I would break the app or something. xD
Daffusizers: Not weird at all. That means I'm doing my job right. haha ;) I love Chloe so much... she's my baby. ^_^
Guest: Here you go, love. :)
Beca squinted against the bright rays of sunshine streaming in through the windshield of her SUV as she slowly made her way down Willow Lane, carefully inspecting the numbers on each mailbox. It was Saturday, the day of the cookout. She had been anxiously awaiting the weekend so she could once again see the redhead who haunted her dreams. There was no denying it, Beca Mitchell was smitten.
She took a deep breath and released it as she pulled up in front of Chloe's house. She smiled as she inspected the place. It definitely suited the teacher well; exactly the way Beca would have imagined it to look. With it's pale yellow siding and white trim and shudders, the quaint little cottage mirrored the redhead's sunny disposition perfectly. It was apparent that great care had been taken with growing a flower garden along the border of the front porch. Beca's smile grew wider as she pictured Chloe working out in her garden, nurturing and caring for each flower, just like she did with her students. The brunette's heart overflowed with warm feelings as she imagined what kind of mother that Chloe would make. Wait, what? What the hell Mitchell? Don't you start with those thoughts. That train of thought can go nowhere good.
She shifted the SUV into park and unbuckled her seatbelt, shading her eyes against the sun as she opened the door and exited the vehicle. She walked up the pathway and up the stairs, hesitating momentarily before she rang the doorbell. It wasn't long before the door opened and Beca's breath caught in her throat. Chloe was breathtakingly beautiful in a simple white sundress and sandals. Her flaming red locks fell in loose curls, framing her flawless face perfectly. The sunlight glimmered in her crystal clue eyes, mesmerizing Beca as she stood wordlessly. Chloe giggled softly.
"Would you like to come in?" she said, amusement obvious in her voice. Beca nodded dumbly, still unable to formulate anything resembling real words. She followed the redhead in the house, silently observing her surroundings.
Like the outside, the inside of the house reflected the kind of person that Chloe was. It was warm and cozy, with a welcome and comforting atmosphere.
"I just need a few more minutes and I'll be ready." the redhead said brightly. "Make yourself at home."
"Take all the time you need." Beca said with a smile. The teacher returned the smile before disappearing down a hallway. Beca's eyes wandered around the living room, taking in the many picture frames sitting around the room. She walked over to the fireplace mantle and looked at each one of them closely. The first one was obviously a family Christmas photo, judging by all of the red hair. They all looked so happy. Beca felt a small but sharp tug at her heart. She couldn't help but feel a little envious.
Her own home life had been anything but happy. Thinking back, she could only remember fights and cruel words being thrown around constantly. Definitely not the happy and loving home life that Chloe had experienced. After her mother left her father for another man, things didn't get much better. If anything, they just got worse. Her father went into a downward spiral, drowning in self pity and alcohol, and she was basically left to fend for herself. After she turned eighteen, she left home and moved to L.A., where she started doing her DJ gigs. She hadn't spoken to her father since.
She released a small sigh, shaking off the sad feelings. She moved down the row of pictures, smiling at each one. She paused slightly as she came to the very last one in the row. The picture was of Chloe and a guy, with a child in her lap. It was quite obvious that it was Chloe's child. The little girl was practically the redhead's clone, with those same piercing blue eyes, red curls, and a smile that could rival the brightness and warmth of the Sun itself. Beca picked up the picture frame to inspect the picture closer. She jumped slightly as a voice spoke up from behind her.
"Her name was Grace." Chloe said sadly. "When I was seventeen, I got pregnant with her. That's her father, Tom, in the picture. We got married after we found out I was expecting. We ended up really happy together. Somehow we both managed to juggle college and raising a kid at the same time."
"What happened?" Beca asked softly.
"We were on a camping trip." Chloe began, her voice shaky and eyes brimming with tears. "She was playing next to the river and I turned my back for one second. I heard a splash and her scream. When I looked back, she was gone. Tom went in after her, but the river had already pulled her under. By the time we were able to pull her out, it was too late." Tears were streaming down Chloe's face as she told her story. "After she died, Tom blamed me for not watching her closely enough. He started drinking… he turned abusive. It got really bad. Finally, one night he started hitting me and he didn't stop. I was in the hospital for a week recovering. They sentenced him to five years in prison. His sentence ends in four months. I'm terrified of what might happen once he's out." Chloe broke down and began crying.
Beca clenched her fists until her knuckles were white in attempt to keep her anger in check. The thought of anyone harming Chloe in any way infuriated her. She wrapped her arms around the redhead and pulled her in close. "Hey, it's okay. I'm here and I'm not going to let anyone hurt you anymore." She pulled back and peered into Chloe's watery eyes. "Okay?"
Chloe sniffled and nodded her head wordlessly. Beca brought her hand up to wipe away the redhead's tears and leaned forward to place a gentle kiss to her lips. "Now, let's go to this cookout and have a good time. Let's not worry about anything right now."
Chloe nodded once again and allowed Beca to lead her out of the house and to the SUV. As they got into the vehicle, the producer glanced over at the redhead and smiled as she reached over and intertwined their fingers. Beca started the car up and pulled away from the curb.
The ride over to Jesse and Ashley's house was spent in comfortable silence, each woman simply enjoying the reassuring company of the other. Beca found herself lost in thought as she drove. One thing was for certain. She was falling in love with Chloe. She couldn't lie to herself. The more she learned about the teacher, the deeper she fell. She couldn't help but wonder if Chloe felt the same about her.
The cookout seemed to be in full swing as they pulled into the crowded driveway. They exited the vehicle and walked hand in hand towards the others. As they approached the crowd of people, Jesse spotted them, waving a smiling as he walked over to greet them.
"Beca! Hey! Glad to see you could make it." he said with a big grin. He glance over at Chloe. "And who is this?" he asked with a smirk as he glance back at Beca with his eyebrow raised.
Beca glared at him, mentally screaming at him not to say anything stupid. "This is Chloe. Chloe, this is Jesse. He's my partner at the label and a fulltime pain in my ass."
Jesse grinned over at Chloe. "Don't listen to her, she loves me." he said with a chuckle.
"It's nice to meet you, Jesse." the redhead said politely, extending her hand to him.
He grinned mischievously before pulling her into a hug. "We don't do handshakes around here." Beca rolled her eyes. He pulled away from the hug and looked around the crowd. "Ashley's around here somewhere. Let me go find her so she can come say hi." her said as he walked away to find his wife.
Beca glanced over at Chloe apologetically. "Sorry about Jesse. He's just… being Jesse." she said with a light laugh.
Chloe chuckled. "I like him. He's sweet." She smiled over at Beca and rejoined their hands. "Thank you for inviting me to come along."
Beca smiled shyly at the redhead. "There's no one I'd rather be here with."
The cookout turned out to be a lot more enjoyable than Beca expected. She suspected it probably had more to do with the redhead that was beside her, talking to her friends like she'd known them for years. The brunette watched with fascination as Chloe easily commanded the attention of the majority of the partygoers. The redhead had a natural presence that drew people to her. That was yet another thing that Beca could add to her list of reasons why Chloe was perfect.
As the evening drew to an end, they said their goodbyes and headed home. Beca could feel Chloe's eyes on her as she drove them home. She smiled and glanced over at the redhead with a smile. "What?" she asked, grinning.
Chloe's eyes crinkled as she smiled. "Nothing, I was just thinking about how lucky I was to run into you at the coffee shop that day."
Beca smiled, keeping her eyes on the road. "I think I'm the lucky one. The burns were totally worth it." she teased. Chloe's laugh was like the most beautiful music to the producer's ears.
They pulled into the driveway and Beca parked the vehicle. She smiled as she walked Chloe to her door. "Thank you for coming with me today. I really enjoyed myself." She leaned in and kissed Chloe slowly, bringing her hand up and cupping the redhead's cheek. The kiss continued until they both had to pull away for air. Beca craved for more, but didn't want to rush things. "Okay, I should get home." she said, slightly disappointed that the night had to end. She smiled as Chloe unlocked her door. "Good night, Chloe."
"Good night, Beca. Thanks again, for everything." the redhead said softly.
"Anytime." the brunette said with a smile. "Don't forget what I said." she added. She watched as Chloe disappeared behind the door. She sighed. She could definitely get used to this love thing.