Chapter 16-20

29/12/2011 15:49


The next two days were filled with meetings and plenty of shit that quite frankly, didn’t require my attendance, yet I still had to be there. Sacramento was always nice to come visit, but I didn’t understand why so many things were held there when a majority of Californian designers were in LA. I saw Bruno a few days later, just meeting up in the evenings after we both wrapped up our days.

I really wondered about our ‘relationship’, or what exactly it was even called at this point. I mean, neither him nor I said anything about dating and such; we just were together often. I don’t know if I could hardly consider that dating, although when I think about it, we had been on dates.

I was thoroughly confused on the topic, but I never really confided in Bruno’s opinions on the subject. Not that I didn’t want to know; it’s just I never really had any time to talk to him alone. I mean, I saw him often, yes, but every time we were together, we were around the guys.


I walked through the door of my apartment, struggling with ten grocery bags and my keys. I kicked the door shut, unable to use my hands at the current time. I was making my way down the hall until the shrill ringing of my cellphone caused me to jump.

“Shit!” I said, struggling to reach my phone in my pocket. I gave up, dropping the bags on the ground so I could answer the call.

“Hello?” I asked as I brought it up to my face.

“Hey sweetie!”

I smiled at the familiar voice on the other line. “Hey, mom!” I hadn’t talked to her in a while, and it was always nice to get a call from my parents.

“How’ve you been?” She asked, sounding strangely curious.

“I’ve been doing pretty great, actually.”

“Work’s doing pretty well for you I’ve heard?” She asked.

“Yeah, I’ve been keeping myself busy. We’ve gotten quite a bit of work since the BET awards.”

“Well that sounds pretty great then! How’s Ally doing? Is she still with Jake?” Asked my mom. She was always wanting to keep updates on everyone. Ally has always been like a second daughter to my mom anyways; beings as the two of us have been friends since grade school.

“She’s doing great as well; keeping busy herself. She and Jake are still together. It seems like things are getting pretty serious between them.” I replied, walking into the kitchen.

“That’s always good to hear.” She replied, her tone slightly changing. “And speaking of relationships,” She continued with a suspicious voice. “Bruno Mars?”

“Oh…right.” I said, not too sure what I should say to that. I could tell the direction this conversation was headed towards, and I didn’t like the thought of it.

“Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about,” She continued, her voice now serious. “I’ve seen a few pictures of you at events.”

“Well, sorry mom. I’ve been pretty busy lately and really haven’t thought about calling you or anything.”

“So are you two, er…serious?” She asked, sounding skeptical.

“It’s only been a couple of weeks; there’s no need to panic now.” I said, rolling my eyes.

“I’m not panicking, Abigail. I’m just having some…thoughts about this.” She said, seemingly trying to find the correct words to use.

I let out a sigh. I knew what she was thinking about, and it was best now she got it off her chest before some time critical. “Stop holding your breath, mom. Yeah, I know what you’re going to say.”

She let out a sigh, almost speaking, only to let out another sigh. She finally let her barriers go, speaking, “I don’t like it at all, Abby.” She said flatly, making me close my eyes at her words. And I knew it, alright. “I may not be up to date on a lot of things, but I do know about this Vegas-go-lucky smiley mugshot guy and—“

“Mom!” I yelled, cutting off the rest of her sentence. “How can you say that? You’ve never even met him.”

“Yeah, well I don’t have to meet him to know I don’t like the vibe he gives off.”

I let out another sigh, leaning my head over against the counter. My mom has always been an extremely judgmental person, and I absolutely hated it. Whether it had been kids from my old schools, or actors on TV, she would have something to say about the person at hand. “It’s been nearly a year, and I’m sure he wishes to forget about it and not be pestered and judged by my mother.”

“I’m not judging him, Abigail.” What a complete bullshitted lie. “I’m simply stating my opinion and your acquaintanceship with him.”

“Yeah, well his past doesn’t have anything to do with this relationship at all.”

“It does when it’s my daughter we’re talking about.”

I bit my lips back, closing my eyes as I tried my best to hold back from cussing at my mom. I loved her, I really did, but it was times like this when I wanted to just scream at her. “He’s really sweet, mom. He’s a nice and caring guy, and doesn’t mean any harm to anyone.”

“Well I’m sure he is,” She said, almost sarcastically. “But I just don’t feel comfortable with you being exposed to those kinds of things.”

Those things?! “Mom, you’re acting like I’m dealing with some kind of weapon’s manufacturer. Not a singer.”

“Mine as well be the same thing,” My mom mumbled through the phone, almost inaudibly.

“I can’t even talk to you reasonably without you making so many damned assumptions!” I replied, my temper starting to surface. “I’m not in middle school any more. You cannot tell me who I should and who I shouldn’t be around. I can make those decisions myself. I gotta go.” I finally said, annoyed by her.

She replied just as I was about to end the conversation. “Hold on.” She said, drawing my attention back to her. “I forgot to tell you that your father and I are visiting next weekend.” Great, just what I need. You to be on my ass about Bruno the entire time. “And, since you made the claim yourself,” She added, slightly causing my heart rate to quicken. “I want to meet him.”

I hung up with her, suddenly feeling really shitty. I couldn’t ask Bruno to meet my mom when she absolutely hated his soul. I couldn’t do something like that. But I knew she’d be persistent on meeting him, so somehow I’d have to break the news on what she really thought of Bruno Mars.




I decided to confide in Ally’s thoughts of the subject on our way to work the next day. It was a bright, sunny morning, despite the frost that covered the windows in Ally’s car. She had the radio on full, blasting the latest Rihanna song. I had to turn down the volume drastically for it to be quiet enough for her to actually hear what I was saying.

“I don’t think it’s something you should worry too much about,” Ally said when I finished telling her about the conversation I had with my mother the previous evening. “I mean, that’s just your mom. She’ll get over it before long.”

I shrugged my shoulders, bringing myself back into the current conversation. “Yeah, I mean, she’ll bitch all through dinner and then give up at the end. And I’m sure she’ll like him after she meets him.”

We continued our way to work, the only sound coming from the music on the radio. We both busted out the last line of Adele’s “Someone Like You” when the ‘no commercial breaks for an hour’ stream cut off to the radio host.

“Good morning, Los Angeles! It’s the first of August on a beautiful Monday morning! We’ve got some great new hits coming up this hour,” I reached my hand towards the tuner, ready for him to cut to commercial break. “But first, we’ve got the one and only Bruno Mars in studio this morning!” The last line made me freeze, turning my head towards Ally suspiciously.

“You put this on here on purpose. Didn’t you?” I said, knowing she’d do something like that just for shits and giggles.

She looked at me nearly shocked as I was. “No, actually I didn’t.”

I remembered he’d said he had some radio interviews this week, but I guess it slipped my mind as in what station and what day. But I suppose it wouldn’t hurt anything, so I decided to keep it on the current station.

“Alright, we’ve only got you for fifteen more minutes, so we’ll make it quick.” The host said. “So you’ve got your tour coming up in a few weeks, and your new single as well?”

I could see him nodding to the question in my head, seeing the expression that was probably on his face right now. “Yep, we’ve got all this good stuff lined up, and are ready to show the world!” Bruno said, sounding like a young child. “You know, I’m excited for this upcoming tour; we’ve added a few new things and switched some others around to freshen It all up.”

“And new music? Have you gotten any of that thought out yet?”

Bruno made a thinking sound, letting out a deep breath. “Ah, well you know. We’re working on some things now, but I couldn’t give you an exact date on when you’ll be seeing anything. I think we’re all still just settling in on all of this, so it may be a few weeks, years, decades, before any new music come out.” He said, laughing at his statement.

“Ooh, I think people may get a bit antsy waiting.” The host said, laughing along.

“Yeah, maybe just a bit. But ‘cha never know, ya might see something before the new year!” Bruno added with another laugh.

“So you’re just taking it easy for now, giving yourself a little break from the past year and a half.” The host said, making the sentence sound more as a statement rather that a question.

“Yeah, just a goin’ with the flow!” Bruno replied with a cheerful tone.

“Let’s see. It looks like we’re running low on time, so I’ve got some questions pulled from Twitter and we’re gonna crank out as many as we can. Alright?” The radio host said.

“Let’s do it!” Bruno replied, sounding quite energized for this early in the morning.

“Okay. First question, you’re stranded on an island and can only have three things with you. What do you choose?”

“My guitar, food, and Barak Obama.” Bruno replied quickly, slightly making me laugh at his random answers.

“Where do you keep your Grammy?”

“On a keychain on my keys.”

“Favorite movie?”

“The Sandlot” Bruno answered, keeping the quick pace with each question.

“Are you tall enough to ride the ‘Tower of Terror’?” The radio host asked, slightly laughing at the fan’s question.

“Ah, come on. Short jokes, guys? Really?” He asked, making his voice sound sad. “No, I’m not.” He quickly added in a soft voice. “Next question!”

“Alright, now we’ve got a couple more serious ones. Let’s see,” The host said, sounding as if he were looking for one of the questions. “Do you sleep naked?”

Bruno didn’t even laugh when he replied, and I was sure he didn’t even crack a smile. “Ooh, that’s a tough one. But I think it’s a YES!” I heard the others at the station laughing as he added emphasis on the ‘yes’.

“Only with a woman by your side, right?” The host laughed into the microphone.

I finally heard Bruno laughing on the other side for a moment, filling up Ally’s car. “That reminds me, I have to ask this question. It’s been spammed a dozen times. But the ladies want to know,” He continued, adding a slight pause. “Are you currently in a relationship?”

Bruno was silent for a moment, probably thinking about what he was going to say. I heard him take in a deep breath of thought before he spoke. “Ahh, you know,” He said as if pondering something. “As much as it pains me to let down the hopefulladies,” He continued, making a strange accent on the word ‘ladies’ and making me hold my breath for a second, “I actually am in a relationship. And I’m happy.”

I saw Ally sideways glance at me with a grin on her face. I ignored her, still listening to the radio. “Well, that’s always good to hear.” The host said after Bruno’s response. “You’ve got a name?” He asked, sounding curious.

I could almost see him smiling on the other side as he let out a sigh. “Come on,” He said in a soft voice, “that ain’t fair.”

“Alright, alright.” The host said, giving Bruno privacy to his life. “But that is always good to hear, and I’m happy for you.” He said, sounding sincere.

“Thank you.” Bruno softly spoke out.

“You know, a young man like yourself doesn’t deserve to be single these days anyways; especially when you’re going around serenading women like that.” I heard Bruno slightly chuckle through the host’s words, and I caught Ally sneaking a smiling glance my way.

“What?” I asked, trying not to smile.

I saw I had a missed call from Bruno when I got off of work. I dialed his number, calling him back as I gathered my things in my office, ready to go.

“Ay!” He said when he answered the phone, sounding quite excited.

“Hey!” I replied, smiling, still thinking about his interview on the radio this morning.

“And how’d your day go?” He asked in a more calm voice.

I shrugged my shoulders as if he could see me. “It was alright, nothing too exciting.” I paused for a few seconds before I remembered what I was going to say, “Oh, and I heard you on the radio this morning!”

I heard him slightly laugh on the other end. “Oh really? And what did you hear?”

I smiled, stepping out the door of my office and locking it. “You prefer sleeping naked.” I said, laughing.

He laughed along with me, replying, “And that’s all you remembered from that? Wow, Abigail, I had no idea you were so dirty-minded.”

“No,” I said, my voice slightly squeaking. “I just figured that’s what you’d expect me to remember.”

“What about the fact I let down millions of women today?” He said in a dramatic voice, emphasizing on ‘women’.

I rolled my eyes at his statement. “No name dropping, huh?”

“Well I figured it best to not draw so much attention to that.” He replied, mimicking my earlier statement.

I shrugged my shoulders, figuring he was right on that one. It would be easier for both our work if people didn’t directly know I was with him.

“So are you still on for dinner tonight?” He asked after a few seconds of silence.

I let out a sigh, not really in the mood to go out when I had a lot of work. “I don’t know about tonight. I’ve got a shit ton of work to finish up tonight, and I don’t think I’d be up to going out.”

“Well tonight’s my only free night.” He said, sounding a bit disappointed. He paused for a second, thinking. “But, I suppose I wouldn’t mind rescheduling for Thursday night.”

“I can’t. I got to be at a fashion show Thursday.” I said, feeling a bit disappointed myself.

I heard him let out a sigh on the other side. It was quiet for a few moments while neither of us spoke. Bruno finally broke the silence in an oddly positive voice. “Alright, well since you have to work, I’ll just come by your place tonight.”

“Are you sure?” I asked, not wanting him to be disappointed when he came over and I was working.

“Yeah, I’ll bring ‘The Lion King’ to watch.” He said with a small giggle.

I smiled into the receiver. He was truly still a kid at heart. “I love that movie.”

Hey guys, thanks to everyone who’s following and reading! Anyone want to give me some feedback, I’d love to know what y’all think so far! Thanks!


Hey so sorry if anyone noticed this, but I accidentally posted this on my other blog..hehe, so here’s where it’s supposed to be!

I stood in front of my full-length body mirror, turning my body at different angles, getting perspectives on the dress I wore. I still had plenty of work needed to be done, but instead I decided in taking a break from it and working on one of my own pieces. The champagne colored dress tapered from the knees downwards, leaving the back end longer. It had a slight shimmer to it along with a body-fitting shape, hugging the curves on my body. I admired it, finally having the measurements precise enough for the show on Thursday.

I walked into my bathroom, flipping on the light switch and tilting my head in the mirror. What the hell am I going to do with my hair? Normally I had a stylist, Pecco, but he was going to be in Atlanta for the next two weeks. I could always arrange to have a different hair stylist, but I wasn’t so sure on having a new person when I absolutely loved Pecco.

I began messing around with my hair, trying random up-do’s or low styles. I frustrated myself, wishing I had the magic touch of Pecco. Oh I wish I was good at hair. The buzzing of my door drew me out of my stance, reminding me that Bruno was coming over.

“Come in!” I yelled out the door of the bathroom, hoping I was loud enough. I continued to mess around with my hair, thinking I finally found the perfect style I wanted. I heard Bruno walk through the door, and I turned towards him, my hands attempting to shove some bobby pins in.

He looked shocked at my appearance, probably because I was wearing a formal dress. “Well, damn. I thought we were going to watch a movie.” He said, eyeing my body up and down.

“Don’t worry, we still are,” I said, preoccupied by my hair. “I’m just struggling with a few things.”

He walked closer, stopping when he stood behind me, sharing the view I had of the mirror. “God damn it!” I yelled, giving up on my hair. I dropped my hands down, all of my hair falling out of the attempted mess I was trying to make.

So much for doing my own hair. I’m definitely getting someone else. “Well I’ll just look like my shitty self,” I said, mumbling to myself.

I felt Bruno wrap his arms around me, resting his chin on my shoulder as he looked in the mirror. “Don’t say such shitty things about yourself, Abby.” He said, smiling. “You should be happy with yourself just how you are. Because you’ve got natural beauty anyways.”

I rolled my eyes, slightly laughing. “Oh save it, Bruno. I am happy with myself. I’m just trying to figure out how to do my hair with this dress, and it isn’t working. I’m not preaching about what I hate about myself.” I shook my head at his attempted use to make me feel better.

He smiled brighter. “Well good. I mean, as much as I love telling woman they’re beautiful, it does somewhat get old after a year of singing it, don’t you think?” He asked with a slight sigh.

I smirked back. “Maybe just a bit. Now do you want to watch the movie?” I asked with a raised eyebrow.

I saw him shrug his shoulders in the mirror. “I really don’t mind. I mean, I could stand here all day admiring you if I could.” He said, kissing me softly on my jawline.

I smiled again. “I do love cheesiness,” I said, implying to him. “But I really do love ‘The Lion King’ more, so give me a few and I’ll go change.” I added, breaking from him and turning to the door.

We sat stretched out on my sofa, both of us practically sharing one seat of it. I loved the feeling of being so close to him; he sat with one arm around my shoulder as we both watched the end of the movie, finishing up the bowl of popcorn that lay on his lap.

It was simple, yet sweet. I hadn’t done anything like that in a while, and it made me smile. Just like dates back in middle school. I felt just like a kid again throughout the movie; singing along to the songs that I knew. This movie was definitely my childhood.

When the movie finished, we sat and talked, flipping through the TV stations. Coming across an old episode of The Amanda Show.

“I used to watch this all the time in High school!” I said, remembering the old TV show. We watched a skit of an ad for a super toilet paper launcher device. Laughing when it finished, I was further reminded of when I was a teenager. “This reminds me of this one time my friends and I teepeed

“Oh really? You never told me that about you.” He replied, smiling at me as he shook his head.

I nodded my head, putting a piece of popcorn in my mouth. “Well, there are a lot of things I never told you.” I said, turning my head towards him.

“Alright then,” He began, giving me a smirk. “Why don’t I find out some things about you then, since I clearly don’t know much. How about twenty questions?” He asked, raising an eyebrow.

I smirked back. “Alright. Bring it on.”

We asked each other questions, each of us answering every one of them. I was sure we’d already been through more than twenty, but I didn’t mind. I enjoyed learning more about his life then what wasn’t out in the public. I learned about several of his high school friends, and all the shit that they used to do. I told him several things on my past as well, and how exactly I came to be where I was today.

“Let’s see,” He said, trying to think of another question. “Alright, how about something more personal?” He asked, giving me a questioning look.

“Okay…” I said, nodding my head at him.

“First kiss?”

I smiled to myself, thinking about the question. “Well technically I was six,” I began, laughing at the thought of what I did. “I was in kindergarten, and I remember I had the biggest crush on this kid named Christopher, and one day I kissed him under a table.” I laughed when I finished, and saw Bruno trying to hold back a smirk as well.

“Wow, Abby. You were a whore even in Kindergarten!” He said, finally laughing. I made a face at him, nudging him with my shoulders.

“Whatever. But if you’re counting technically, then I was thirteen, and his name was Jameson King. What about you?” I asked, smiling.

He took in a deep breath as if in thought, letting it out in one big huff. “Let’s see, I believe I was fifteen, and her name was Jessica Armstrong.”

“Aw, fifteen? Not getting a lot of action in your glory days?” I asked, laughing.

“What are you talking about?” He said with a fake, shocked face. “These are my glory days right here!”

I rolled my eyes, trying not to laugh at his goofiness. “It’s your turn.” He said after a few seconds.

“Okay,” I said, turning back to face him. “How old were you when you lost your virginity, and who was it to?” I asked, raising an eyebrow myself.

“Oh I see how it is.” He said with a smirk. “Let’s see…I was sixteen, and her name was Alison Richards.” He added with a shy smile.

“Oh, so you go from getting no action, to becoming a manwhore?” I asked, laughing.

“No.” He said with a confident smirk. “I was in love.” He said airily, looking up at the ceiling dramatically.

“So if you were in love, then what happened?” I asked, curious.

Bruno shrugged his shoulders. “We broke up after nine months.”

“What’d you do, get her knocked up?” I asked, laughing.

“No!” He said, almost too defensively. “She found a new love interest.” He laughed.

“Ah, so that’s the Grenade chick?” I said, trying to find connections between his songs.

“Nah, I wouldn’t hold a grudge for that long. And I’m pretty sure she has kids now.” He said, giving a scared look at the thought.

“Don’t be so sure one of those isn’t yours.” I said, laughing.

“Oh, I wouldn’t do something like that!” He said, giving me a shocked look like I had said something viral. “And besides, looking back on it now, I wish I would have waited for someone more, special.” He said, giving me a seductive smile.

I rolled my eyes. “Yeah, whatever Bruno.”

“What?” He asked, looking confused. “I was talking about Isabelle Braxton! Ow!” He said, reacting to the feel of my fist against his arm. “Aw Abbs, you know I’m kidding!” He laughed, rubbing his upper arm. “But I never did put it in with her…” He continued, drifting off into his thoughts.

I gave him a strange look, shaking my head. He finally snapped out of it, realizing he hadn’t asked me. “And what about you?” He asked, tilting his head. “Was that at six too?”

“Ew, that’s nasty.” I said, wrinkling my nose at the thought. “Actually, it was much later than that.”

He gave me a look, and I could tell that he was curious. “I was, let me think…” I said, looking up at the ceiling, pretending to count on my fingers. “…carry the one, and oh, yes, I was twenty-four and one month.”

I looked back down at him, expecting him to react. He stared at me, not moving anything. I looked at him, waiting for him to respond. “B-but, I thought you weren’t…Well, you didn’t seem like a virgin—“ I laughed out loud, watching his confused face try to comprehend what I said.

“Bruno!” I slightly shouted, actually shocked at how stupid he was. “You really believed that?”

“Well, you never know, I mean some people do wait a long time…” He said, shrugging his shoulders. “but then again, you did know what you were doing well enough to not be a virgin.” He added with a smirk.

I shook my head, choosing to ignore his comment. “No, actually I was 19. His name was Liam Johnson, and like you, I was in love.” I said just as dramatically as he had.

He smirked at me, shaking his head. “And..?” Bruno asked, expecting me to say something more.

“…and I guess he changed.” I said, shrugging my shoulders. “He broke my heart.”

“Aww, poor Abbs got her heart broken,” Bruno said, giving me a sympathetic look. I stuck out my bottom lip dramatically, making a pouty face. He giggled, tapping my lip with the end of his finger. “But,” He said, raising an eyebrow. “If it’s one thing I’ve learned from personal experience,” he continued, looking me straight in the eyes. “If you ever want to stay with a woman you really love,” He said, leaning in closer towards me. “Never break her heart.”

I smirked, trying not to shake my head at him. “Wow Sherlock, I never knew thatone.” I said sarcastically, laughing.

“Good,” he said, smiling back at me. “Because I promise I won’t break your heart.”

“That’s a big promise. Is that a risk I’m willing to take?” I said, looking at him skeptically.

He nodded his head simply, smiling without showing his teeth. “I sure hope so, ‘cause I’m already a part of your life now, whether you like it or not.” He spoke softly, leaning in until our noses touched. I felt the soft caress of his lips on mine, gently touching my skin. He kissed me softly, slowly beginning to lie down on the sofa. I kissed him back, reaching my hand up to touch the side of his soft cheek.

I finally laid my complete body weight over him, still continuing to kiss his sweet mouth. His hands weaved their way around my body, caressing me. I didn’t pay attention to how long it lasted until I was drawn out of my trance.

The chiming of my Grandfather clock that sat in the hall announced it was eleven o’clock. I pulled back, looking at his face, knowing he probably should get going.

“I should probably go now, huh?” He said with a smirk.

I shrugged my shoulders as I sat up, allowing him to sit as well. “Maybe.” I replied, glancing over to the clock despite the fact I knew what time it was already. He got up from the couch, walking over to grab his phone and hat, placing it on his curls. I walked with him to the door groggily, starting to feel tired.

“Oh, Bruno,” I said just as he was reaching for the handle. “I forgot to tell you. My, er, parents are going to be in town next weekend and,” I said, letting out a sigh as I thought about my mom. “They wanted to meet you, if that’s alright.”

He turned around towards me, slightly smiling. “Yeah, that’s no problem.”

“I know it’s sort of…early, but my mother is quite…persistent.” I said, trying to find the right words to say.

“No, I don’t think so. It’s fine. And besides, I’d love to meet the people that madeyou.” He said, giving me a reassuring smile that I really needed.

I forced a smile, still thinking of the things she’d thought of Bruno earlier. “Alright, then I’ll just figure something out then. Thank you.” I said, flashing my teeth to him.

He shook his head at me, trying not to laugh as he shone a grin at me. “There’s no reason to thank me for allowing your parents to meet me,” He said, taking a step closer to me. “I mean, that’s a given when you’re dating someone. You meet their parents, right?” He asked, raising an eyebrow at me for the five-hundredth time tonight.

I couldn’t help but smile. “Right.” I said, slightly drifting off into my own world.

I heard him laugh; he probably noticed me spacing out. “Well, Abby, I’ll talk to you tomorrow, okay?” He asked, reaching out his hand and gently touching my arm.

I nodded my head, agreeing to him. “Yeah, sounds good.”

“Alright. Goodnight.” He said, leaning in to kiss me again. It was a soft sweet kiss as he gently slipped his tongue into my mouth. He pulled back after a few moments, stating his last goodbyes before he actually left.




I paced back and forth in the kitchen, finishing up the food. I couldn’t control my nerves at this point, and I tried my best to conceal them from Bruno. My parents were due to arrive any minute now, and I was nervous as fuck. I never mentioned to Bruno what my mother had said; I figured it best he didn’t know so much about that aspect. Instead, I hoped and prayed she wouldn’t say something with him here.

I kept myself busy; constantly checking to make sure everything was perfect. I needed something to keep me busy while I waited so nervously. Bruno sat on a stool in the kitchen, propping his elbows up on the bar that sat in front of him as he watched me.

“You seem nervous.” He observed as I frantically looked for the ranch dressing in the fridge.

“I’m not nervous…”I said in a very unconfident manner. “I’m just hoping things go…well.”

“Rigghhtt,” He said, not looking too convinced. He was relaxed, of course. I mean, he really didn’t know exactly what to expect. And the truth was, I was mostly nervous for him.

“I’m excited to see your parents.” He said with a smirk.

“Yeah, well hold your breath…” I replied, almost inaudibly.

“Why are you making it seem like they’re bad?” He asked, clearly hearing my previous comment.

“I’m not…” I said, trying to find the right thing to say. “Its just, my mom tends to be a tad…judgmental.” I shrugged my shoulders, walking over to stand opposite of the bar from Bruno, facing him.

He nodded his head once in thought, looking down at his hands. “Does she not like me or something?” He asked, giving me a curious look.

“No, she likes you. She said she loves your music.” I lied, adding a soft smile. He seemed alright with that answer. “So then you have nothing to worry about.” He added with a soft smile. “Yeah, I hope so.” I said, resting my elbow on the counter.

After a few moments of silence, he looked back up at me with a cheesy expression. “But I think I can handle it…I mean mothers love me.” He said, laughing. I shook my head, smiling just as the doorbell rang.

He got up from the bar, walking with me to the doorway. Just as I was reaching for the handle, I turned around to face him. “And please try not to make fun of everything…mom doesn’t exactly have a great sense of humor.” I said, giving him a sorry look.

“Ah, its fine.” He said, reassuring me with a smile. I opened the door, coming face to face with both of my parents who had bright smiles on.

“Abigail!” My mother said, throwing her hands up for a hug. I smiled back at them, greeting the two and welcoming them inside. “This is Bruno,” I said, stepping aside so they could see him. My father and him exchanged a ‘manly’ hug, greeting each other. Mom, on the other hand, looked him up and down while this exchange occurred, making me want to smack her. When he faced her, she put on a forced smile, claiming it was ‘nice to meet him’. I found that must have been a lie to her.

We small-talked for a bit, catching up on things going on out here in LA, or things back at home. Every time Bruno would mention something, my mom would just stare at him as if he were speaking Chinese. I glared at her a few times, hopefully adding to the hint that she was being a bitch. But she didn’t get the idea.

“Oh yes,” My mom said during the middle of our conversation. “I forgot to tell you, Abby.” She turned her head towards me with a serious expression. “Bridger Long stopped by the other day. He said to give you his best wishes, and that he’s sure to stop by when he comes to L.A. next month, to catch up with you.” She smiled sweetly at me. I wanted to kill her.

“Who’s Bridger Long?” Bruno asked, looking at me with a curious expression. I opened my mouth to speak, but my mom got her words out before I did.

“Oh he was a young boy Abby used to date back in High School. A very sweet kid actually.” She replied, giving subtle hints on how she loved the kid. Which, in fact was completely untrue. She didn’t like Bridger any more than she liked Bruno right now. I felt an awkward air filling my living room. She let out a soft sigh. “What ever happened between you two? You seemed so happy, and he had a very cleanslate…” She said, drifting off.

I saw Bruno and my father both sitting silently, not knowing what to say. Bruno reached his hand up to readjust his hat, avoiding eye contact with my mother. “He cheated on me, mom.” I said flatly, disproving her previous statements of the kid.

“Oh…” my mother said, drifting off in her thoughts. “Well, he said if you were still single, he’d be more than happy if you gave him a ring sometime.”

My father coughed awkwardly. “Mom, can I talk to you in the kitchen?” I asked, trying to hold back my anger.

When we were both in the kitchen and out of ear shot from the living room, I turned towards her, trying not to strangle her. “What in the hell are you doing?” I asked.

She gave me a look as if she had no idea what I was talking about. “I was just telling you what I heard…” She said softly, acting oblivious to the situation.

“Oh, yeah…right in front of Bruno. That’s a nice thing to do.” I said sarcastically. “Can you at least have a conversation without bringing up my exes?” I asked, folding my arms across my chest.

“Honey, you don’t need to be angry with me. I just thought that maybe you’d like to know that about Bridger—“

“I’m with Bruno.” I said flatly, cutting her off.

“Well maybe you could at least consider the thought.”

“Yeah, and maybe you could at least consider getting to know Bruno before judginghim.” I said, grabbing a pitcher of water and the salad before leaving the kitchen.

Bruno and my father were talking about football when I went to go tell them dinner was ready. Strange, I had no idea Bruno even knew what football was, I thought, smiling to myself.

Dinner proved to be even more awkward. My mom still didn’t say anything to Bruno; even my words to her didn’t do shit. Bruno seemed to notice the tense air as well, and we mostly ate silently, none of us knowing what to say.

My dad and Bruno got into another conversation, and I watched my mom staring at him intently. I slightly kicked her gently under the table, causing her to peel her eyes from him to me. I nudged my head towards him, implying her to say something normal to him.

She took a deep breath, probably mustering up the courage to speak to him. “So, Bruno,” She said, glancing up at him. He looked up from his plate, slightly surprised at her words directed to him. “You’re a musician?”

I saw Bruno give me a sideways glance, catching me in my lie of ‘loving his music’. “Yes, I am.” He said, nodding towards her.

“So you’ve been quite successful I’ve heard?” She said while I praised the lord she actually was carrying on a normal conversation with him. I looked down at my plate, feeling bad about claiming my mom knew his music, when in reality, she’s only heard his songs once or twice.

Bruno smiled, nodding his head. “Yeah, you know I’ve been pretty blessed to have all this happening to me in a little over a year.” He said, looking proud of himself.

“Well that’s nice.” My mom said, smiling at him. “So do you keep yourself quite busy?” She raised her eyebrow at him.

“I’ve got quite a bit going on right now, yes. We have a tour coming up with lots of dates, so I’ll definitely be busy.” He said, glancing towards me.

“Just make sure you keep yourself out of trouble!” My mom said with a forced laugh. We all smiled awkwardly, and I sent another sideways glare in her direction.

“Speaking of,” my mother said, turning towards me. “You know John Walters?” She asked in my direction.

“Yeah.” I said, remembering the kid from my class.

“Well he got arrested the other day.” My mom replied, mirroring my surprised look.

“Really?” I asked, curious about what happened. He was a nice kid, a bit strange, but nice nonetheless. “What happened?”

“I heard it was drug charges.” She said, my face turning down at her words. She does this on purpose. Why?

“Oh that’s too bad,” My father said, shaking his head in what appeared to be sadness for the guy.

“Oh,” I said quietly, looking down at my plate.

“Yeah, he was downtown at some club, when he was suspected and searched.” She said, shaking her head. “It’s a shame; I really respected that kid…”

I didn’t dare look over in Bruno’s direction. My mom was being a complete bitch and there was no doubt about it.

“It’s a nasty habit,” My mom said, continuing to shake her head. “He’s lost a lot of respect…” She said, implying something else.

I had enough. I couldn’t handle sitting through this anymore. I pushed myself back from the table. “I think the desert is ready.” I said, standing up.

“I’ll help you out,” Bruno said flatly, almost irritated, quickly standing from his spot as well, following me into the kitchen with a pissed off face.




“Abby, what’s going on?” He asked when we both got into the kitchen.

I shrugged my shoulders, slightly panicked. “I told you she was really judgmental.” I said, biting back my lip.

He looked a little pissed off. “No, you said she didn’t have a problem with me. But by the looks of things now, you clearly know more about this then what you’ve told me.”

“She doesn’t hate you if that’s what you’re implying.” I said, grabbing the plate with chocolate cake on it.

“Then what is it? I’m not an idiot; it’s obvious she doesn’t like me. Why can’t you just explain this?” He said, crossing his arms.

I let out a sigh, feeling bad for him. Why didn’t I just tell him? I thought, thinking of how much easier it would be right now If he’d only knew why she was acting how she was. “Can we not talk about this now?” I asked, not wanting to get into anything while at dinner.

“Sure.” He said flatly, not sounding much better. “We can talk later.” He stated, grabbing a serving knife and walking from the kitchen moodily.

Great, you’ve managed to piss him off in the first two weeks. This relationship is going to last a long time. I thought as I followed him back to the dining room, acting as normal as I could.

The rest of the evening went by smoothly, and there were no more awkward conversations by my mother. I think her perspective of him changed as he talked a bit about his background and growing up. She actually looked like she was listening to him, unlike what she’d been doing when they first came over. She even smiled at him when he offered to help put the dishes away and clean up. Maybe things weren’t as bad as I expected.

We sat around the rest of the evening; my dad and Bruno back into their football talking. Bruno ended up leaving around nine, claiming he had a studio time lined up with Phil. Goodbye’s with my parents were less awkward than when they first arrived. My mom actually smiled, surprising both me, and I’m sure Bruno as well. But it was awkward when I said goodbye to him; I could still tell the conversation in the kitchen was still bothering him. But it wasn’t exactly a good time to talk about that, especially when my parents were staying at my place.

When Bruno finally left, I let out a sigh, glad I had survived the evening. I glanced over to my mom when I closed the door behind him, giving her a look. “I told you he wasn’t bad, mom.” I said, proving that he was just as I told her he’d be.

She shrugged her shoulders. I knew she was too stubborn to admit she’d been wrong. “He’s still short.” She said with a shrug, making me laugh.

Now I’ve got one of the two problems solved, I thought as I shook my head at my mom.

The next morning, I decided to call Bruno, remembering that he’d wanted to talk. He was busy all day, but said I could stop by the studio later in the evening when they were finishing up. The time worked out well enough for me, being as my parents planned on seeing some of their friends later at night as well.

I was a bit nervous when I arrived at the studio, being as I’ve never been to one. I felt a bit lost as I walked in the doors, finding no one in the main entry way due to the late hour. I followed Bruno’s instructions as to which room he was in, finally seeing the door he explained.

I opened it slowly, praying it was the right room, and that I wasn’t walking in on some random artist’s session. But to my relief, I saw Phil immediately when I walked in, a smile on his face when he saw me.

“Abby!” He said, walking over to give me a hug. Bruno was in the booth, just taking off his headphones when I walked in. I greeted Ari as well, finding it was only those three who were there.

“Well it looks like you came just in time,” Phil said, looking down at his watch. “We’re just finishing up now.” He added with a smile.

Bruno walked out of the recording booth, greeting me with a soft kiss on the cheek. He leaned into my ear whispering, “Do you want to go somewhere more private?” I nodded my head at his question.

Bruno announced we were leaving before leading me out towards his car. I sat in the familiar black Cadillac, wondering where Bruno was planning on going. We drove for around twenty minutes, a slight, awkward air filling around us. I stared out the window, the sun just setting over the ocean that lie next to the road we were on.

He eventually pulled into an empty parking lot on the beach, parking the car. I turned towards him, perplexed as to why he would chose such a place.

“The beach?” I asked curiously.

“Yeah,” He said, opening his door. “I come here a lot when I need to think. It sort of reminds me of home.” He continued as we both got out of the car. “I know that somewhere beyond that horizon and all that water is Hawaii. It makes me feel better when I’m down.” He shrugged, walking out onto the sand.

We walked side-by-side on the empty beach, only the slightest bit of sun still visible. It was quiet for a few minutes before Bruno finally spoke again, turning towards me. “So what was that all about?” He asked as he continued to walk.

I shook my head. “It’s just my mom.” I said with a shrug. “She tends to have a verystrong opinion, and I…” I paused for a moment, gathering my thoughts. “I guess I didn’t want you to feel offended.”

“Well I feel even more offended knowing I didn’t know the truth.” He said softly, kicking his feet in the sand.

“I know,” I said, miserably. “I’m sorry.”

“What was it even about?” He asked, looking back at me again. I hesitated, still not wanting to tell him. “Abby,” He said, causing me to look up at him. “I don’t care what it is, just tell me.”

I let out a soft sigh, embarrassed by my mother’s opinions. “She just got a bad vibe from you I guess…” I said softly.

He was quiet for a moment, his eyes fixed on the ground. He stopped walking, as did I, turning to face him. He looked up at me, his eyes filled with many thoughts. “It’s from what happened last September, wasn’t it?” He asked, looking into my eyes.

“Yeah,” I said, hating to admit it.

He nodded his head. “I figured that’s what it was.” He said softly. “But why didn’t you tell me?” He asked, looking slightly confused. I shrugged my shoulders. “I don’t know. I figured you wouldn’t want that to be brought up.”

“Yeah, not exactly.” He said softly, nodding his head. “But I kinda have to live with that, you know?” He said, giving me a soft smile. “People are always going to be thinking about that, and I can’t blame your mom for it, either.”

I nodded my head, knowing it was true about what he said. “You know I’m not mad at you, right?” He said, raising his eyebrow the tiniest bit. I smiled at him, nodding my head. “Thanks, I’m sorry.”

He smirked back, opening his arms out wide. I leaned into him, accepting his hug. His strong arms wrapped around my body, giving me a tingly feeling throughout. He pulled back, giving me a soft kiss on my lips. Leaning back from my face, he smiled at me, saying, “Come on, let’s go.”

We walked back to the car; the sun now completely set. The sky was still glowing a dark purple color, continuing to grow darker by the minute. We got into his car, pulling from the parking lot. We drove for a few minutes in silence, the only sound coming from the radio.

“Hey Bruno?” I said after a few moments, breaking the silence. “Yeah?” He replied, his eyes fixed on the road.

“I don’t want to go home yet.” I said with a slight smile, looking to him. He turned his head to face me, his lips breaking out into a smile as well.