Author's Note- Hey guys! So, as I have been announcing in Forbidden for a while, I finally moved and got myself comfortable enough here in Pyeongtaek, South Korea. :D Anyways, I was working on chapter 18 when I remembered this idea I had while at the Seoul/ Incheon airport for a Chlerek short. Not really a One-shot, as it'll be a few chapters, but not really a full story either. We'll see how it goes. But here's me giving it a shot to see what you guys think of it. :D
The movie industry, as much as I love my job- or the beginnings of it really- is a tiring and demanding mistress. I couldn't help but curse my co-producer and event managers as I rushed my way through the mini-shop clad lobbies of the Seoul airport towards security.
Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled by my time spent in Korea as my team and I gathered footage for our very first indie horror short film that we- myself mostly- were hoping to debut back in the States to make a name for ourselves among cinematic royalty. Though there were several rough patches during filming, such as whether inconveniences- it being yellow sand season and all- travelling illnesses filtering through our actors and a low budget, our mission here had been a success and it was time to head back home to New York for the editing phase.
But there lied my current problem.
I was messaged by a studio who seemed interested in our film's trailer that we had uploaded to YouTube with the footage we had been able to take back in the States. They were intrigued by our ideas and one of the talent scouts wanted to meet with the screenwriter and producer while they spent some time in Seattle.
Coincidentally, I was both and with such a great opportunity being dropped into my open hands, I accepted the nearly impossible challenge of flying out of Seoul the day before we were scheduled to leave in order to make it to the meeting.
Unfortunately, the best flight that my event coordinators could find was one for four in the morning. Considering that as well as the lack of communication between myself and the hotel concierge, an argument with my cab driver and my unfortunate amount of won left for a minimal tip, and my less than savvy skills with technology as I dealt with the ticket kiosk, it would be an understatement to say that I was cutting it pretty close to my flights boarding time.
Oh, and how could I forget that I had to make it all the way to gate 132, which just had to be the farthest gate from the parking lot of the airport.
Thankfully, the only thing I had going for me was that the airport was bordering on deserted and getting through security was effortless.
Once I was through and had my shoes back on, I made sure that everything I needed was still in my carry-on bag. Ticket, wallet, driver's license, smart phone, laptop, passport-
Wait, where did my passport go?
I stopped in my tracks, anxiety bubbling uncomfortably in my gut. I could have sworn I had put my passport back into my bag after security had handed it back to me. I really didn't have time for this. This being where I frantically opened up my bag wider to get a good look inside while also considering that I may have to go all the way back and ask if I had forgotten it.
I also really didn't have time for the person barreling into me from behind once I stopped.
I yelped and shot out my hands to catch my fall, dropping my bag which spilled its contents in the process. I cursed, ignoring the slight sting I felt from my right wrist and pulled myself up so that I could collect my things.
"What the hell are you stopping in front of the moving walkway for?" A man snapped, voice a low rumble.
I glanced behind him to see that I had, in fact, stopped right after disembarking the horizontal-like escalator. I was in such a daze and hurry, making sure I had my things that I hadn't even noticed stepping onto it. That would actually explain why this man was following so close behind me when there was plenty of hallway for him to have kept his distance. However, that didn't mean that he had to be so rude. It was only an accident.
Of course I reacted maturely- by throwing the man a glare before opening my mouth to retort with something along the lines of, 'Why don't you watch where you're going?'
However, my words caught at the sight of the stranger.
My eyes escalated all six foot something of him, noticing that he was quite broad and large. Not in a husky middle-aged man sort of way, but a stereotypical bouncer-I'm-a-big-guy-and-just-need-a-job-right-no w sort of way. He also had the look for it. As he straightened his exquisitely fitting white dress shirt and tie, I met the scowl on his face as he glared down at me.
Though the look he was giving me was less than flattering, I found myself at awe by how this giant of a man could have such soft features. Sure his jaw was rugged and peppered with a dark stubble and his cheek bones were pronounced, but his lips- again pulled down into a unattractive scowl- were plump and tender looking. His dark hair was long enough to barely tease his eyelids, daring to tangle individual threads among his lush lashes. And then there were his eyes.
Vivid and sharp, his deep green eyes held mine aggressively and I found that I was at a loss for words. Not because I was enchanted by them or anything of that nature. If only that were the case.
It was because I knew those eyes and had long since wished that I would never see them again.
Question touched those eyes. Those beautiful, jade eyes that I wanted to hate with every fiber of my being. Unfortunately, the more I looked at them, the more things I saw that I had desperately locked away years ago.
Suddenly, the question became recognition and his features softened. I steeled myself and abruptly looked away, noticing an old pain zing through me at that look.
As much as I wanted to tell myself that this wasn't happening or turn on him and give him a piece of my mind- one that has been building up for years- I took solace in that fact that I really, really didn't have time for this and I could use that as an escape. So I ignored him, and went back to picking up my things. I cursed myself once I spotted my passport sticking out of my wallet for not looking more thoroughly the first time and having been able to avoid all this entirely.
I should have known that it wouldn't have ended as easily and cut throat as I wanted it to.
"Hard to recognize you without the red streaks in your hair."
Don't. Please don't do this.
A nervous chuckle. "You might have even grown a couple extra inches."
Stop. Please, just go away.
Leave me alone.
"Here, let me help."
I snatched up my boarding tickets before he could grab them and met his eyes angrily.
I wished I hadn't.
"Don't bother. I can take care of it myself. Now, if you don't mind, I'm in a hurry and I have a flight to catch."
Derek Souza's eyes became steel at my tone and I almost wanted to lash out and tell him that I had every right to be harsh and he knew it.
I didn't, though. Instead, without another word, I hoisted my bag over my shoulder and turned away, powerwalking my little legs as fast as they would go without breaking out into a jog towards the tram station that would take me to my gate, to my plane and away from him.
I couldn't tell if he followed- he had always been so quiet- and I didn't look back to see if he did. All I needed- wanted- was to get onto the tram, board my flight, go through with the meeting in Seattle and forget the fact that I had even seen him after God knows how long.
I never had the best of luck.
I boarded the tram, subconsciously grateful for the lack of crowd that usually donned the vehicle during regular business hours. It was enough to have to rush and fret about my unpleasant encounter without the addition of lost American tourists and unaware of the concept of personal space locals. Even that comforting fact couldn't suffocate the horrid squirm from bubbling in my gut when I turned back to the door and found that Derek had, in fact, followed me to the tram.
"Why are you following me?"
Derek cocked his head and gave me a pointed look. It seemed like he had cut the nice guy act. Good, it was easier to remain frustrated with him that way.
"You're not the only one who needs to catch a flight, Chloe. Why else would I be at an airport? In Seoul, no less."
"Not to see me, that's for sure." I muttered under my breath.
I thought I had been quiet enough for him not to hear me, but as soon as I uttered those words, his stern look broke and his eyes clouded with pain. My throat went dry.
"I already said don't bother." I snapped, crossing my arm and turning away from him as the tram doors slid shut and the machine jerked to life. "Just let me suffer the next two and a half minutes I'm stuck with you on this thing in peace. Then, we'll both get to our flights and forget this ever happened."
An amused snort. "You may be stuck with me longer than two and a half minutes, Chloe."
My head whipped around and I threw him a questioning gaze. As much as I didn't want to meet his eyes, the distraction from the underground tram ride was graciously accepted. Being who I am in an enclosed space, travelling rather quickly and underground in a dark tunnel was not a healthy combination for me.
"I caught a look at your ticket before you picked it up. You're boarding flight 1346 to Seattle aren't you?"
I didn't answer, anxious of his reaction if I confirmed him correct. He seemed to find the answer in my expression though, for he gave me that smirk I knew all too well.
"Looks like you and I are going to be stuck together for way longer than a mere two minutes."
Before I could scream, or lash out, or drop to my knees and start crying- before whatever reaction I might have had could occur, the tram gave a vicious jerk then screeched as the breaks cut in. I hadn't originally been holding onto the pole, so when the tram jolted the inertia racked my balance and I was thrown backwards towards the front of the machine. I let out a small cry and threw out my hand, trying to grab the pole before I fell. However, Derek gained his balance quicker than I did and his eyes widened with panic. He lunged and grabbed my outstretched hand before yanking me back against him, just as the tram shuddered to a halt.
The tram and tunnel lights went out.
For a minute, I remained still, brain still too jarred to process what just happened. When a cool breeze licked my ear, I froze, the hair on the back of my neck standing on end. I tried opening my eyes, but when I did, I found that I couldn't see anything. Panic started to gurgle and squirm inside my chest and I couldn't find my breath. There was a low whisper and I shut my eyes again, tight, telling myself to calm down, that there wasn't anything here and it didn't have anything to do with the tram stopping.
The whisper sounded again.
Whatever I was holding onto, my grip tightened and I swallowed the whimper that threatened to escape.
Don't be a wimp, Chloe. If there's one here, just send it away.
Damn it. Of all the crazy shit out there in the world, why did I have to get stuck with seeing and hearing the dead?
I buried my face deeper into the soft, strong, whatever the hell it was that I was using as a life line and mentally pushed against the whispered breath sounding in my ear. My life line's arms constricted tighter around my waist and I could feel myself relaxing and-
"It's alright, Chloe. Everything's going to be okay."
I glanced up, following the sound of the whisper until I met glowing green eyes. My stomach plummeted and I realized that I wasn't trapped on this unmoving tram with a ghost.
I was trapped with my ex-boyfriend.
Alrighty, there you go! So I think this will be about 7 parts if you guys would like me to continue. Depending on the demand, it may take some time to finish as I have to keep up with Forbidden as well. But, if you guys want more, I'll do my best to finish it quickly.
Also, really quick, is anyone else here a Naruto fan? How thrilled are you guys that Sakura is finally kicking some ass again in the latest chapter?
Anyways, I'm going to go work on chapter 18. Leave a review and let me know what you guys think!