Tuesday, November 19, 2013

"Finding Infinity" Teaser - Part Six

A week from today... "Finding Infinity" will be live on November 26.

Then Brad slightly gestures his head toward Colin. I look up at the man standing next to me. He’s staring down at me with a look that I can’t place.

When the elevator reaches the ground floor, I ask everyone to get off. I hit the elevator’s close-door button, and turn to Colin. It’s the first time that we’ve been truly alone without others hanging around in earshot since we got up this morning.

“What’s wrong?” I ask, in my sweetest, most non-accusing voice possible.

His eyes are wide, and Colin has a light sheen on his forehead. “Nothing’s wrong, Caroline. Let’s go.”

I’m only Caroline when I’m in trouble, or he’s serious. Even when we’re playing his favorite game in bed, I’m Caroline McKinney. Not just Caroline. He moves to hit the open-door button, but I block it. I’ve got all night.

He moves his hand up to start running it through his waves, but I grab his wrist, and ask again. “What’s wrong?”

Colin looks down, as if the elevator floor is going to give him the answer. Finally, he says, “I’m not ready to give them what they want.”


“Them. The public. The fans. Everyone there. I don’t want to let them see us together, exposing ourselves to their shitty comments. To see what we have between us. They don’t deserve to have their morbid curiosity fed.” He tightens his grip on my hand.

Caroline of a couple of months ago would analyze Colin’s words to death. What if he’s ashamed of me? What if there are other women? Is it because I’m not pretty enough, like a model, or actress, or a certain entertainment reporter? However, I know exactly what he means, without asking him to explain. He doesn’t want to share our relationship with the world yet. The interview taught us that we’re much more private people than even we realized.

“How about I don’t walk the red carpet with you? I’ll just meet you inside.” It seems like a great compromise. He can interact with his fans and the reporters without worrying about me, but I can still be his date during the actual awards ceremony.

I watch his face pass through a variety of emotions. There’s confusion, angst, nervousness and, finally, agreement. “It’s not because I’m not proud of you, Charlie. You are so beautiful. And lovely. And sexy.” He whispers to me as if these are the most important words ever spoken.

I place my perfectly manicured finger on his lips, silencing him. “I know what your reasons are. Let’s get out of this elevator. It’s getting stuffy.”

I press the button to open, take Colin’s hand once more and lead him out of the elevator, through the lobby, and into the limo that’s already filled with our friends.

I slide in first—as gracefully as possible—and Colin folds his body in behind me. When the limo starts moving, Colin turns to Jenny and says in an authoritative voice, “Find out how Caroline can enter the theater without walking the red carpet.”

Aiden and Brad both shoot me a look. I smile brightly and say, “I don’t feel comfortable walking the red carpet, and Colin isn’t going to make me.”

Jenny jumps into action, and whips out her phone making the necessary calls.

Colin squeezes my hand, acknowledging and thanking me for my small lie. I’ve come to understand some things about Colin. He might be strong and tough as nails on the outside. He might be cocky and self-assured to the world, but I think that I’m the only person who gets to see the other side of him. His tender side. His blinding need to protect our relationship. Us. Him and I. I get it. We’ve been through too much together to take a chance on anyone taking it away from us.

After Jenny hangs up with whomever she was speaking with, a new plan is hatched. Jenny, Aiden, and Colin will get out of the limo together, and walk the red carpet. Jenny and Aiden will field reporters’ questions.

The limo will pull up to a side entrance for Brad and me. I’ll meet Colin in the lobby after he’s given himself to everyone who expects so much out of him.

When the limo stops, Colin leans over and whispers in my ear, “Don’t go all Charlie on me.”

I brush my lips against his cheek so I don’t leave lipstick. “Same for you, mister.”

We break hands only when he steps out of the limo. I can hear the roar of the crowd screaming his name. There are cheers and shrill screams. I can see him smiling his winning smile, and waving to his fans as he buttons his black tuxedo jacket.

Next out of the car is Jenny, and then Aiden. As the door is shutting, I hear someone yell. “Where’s Charlie?”

The limo pulls away before I can hear his answer, or if he even does.


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