"Bruno! Bruno! Get your lazy butt up! Now!" I started to shake him. "Huh? What? What is it?" I pull his arm. "Read this! Read this!" He rubbed his eyes and took my laptop. He adjusted the screen and started reading. He got the biggest smile on his face I've ever seen. "Oh my god you did this?!" "Yeah I emailed them probably 20 minutes ago. They love you Bruno!" "Wow....they want me to help them write a song for a rapper.....this is amazing! Thank you so much Brooke. Without you I wouldn't be reading this email. How can I ever repay you?" I just shrug my shoulders. "I dunno." Ask me to date you. "You've agreed to stay, so that's enough for me." He smiles and hugs me. I love the feel of his body pressed against mine. His muscular arms arms wrapped around my back, and his pecs pressed against my chest. I realize we've been hugging for a really long time again. "We should probably let go, huh?" He let's me go and his face is red. "Uh, sorry." My stomach growls. "You hungry?" I smile. "Umm, I think if my stomach growls I'm hungry, but I'm not sure." He looks at me and busts out laughing. It's really magical. It's loud and rich just like it's always been. I love it. "Alright let's go down and get something to eat." I check my brace to make sure it's locked, grab my crutches and we head into the elevator. As I'm stepping into the elevator, someone spilt water or hopefully it was water, and I slip. Bruno, who was behind me, catches me. I threw my arms around his neck, and he puts his arm under my thighs, so his arms basically a chair. I look at him, and our noses are touching. I look at his hazel eyes then back to his lips. Should I do it? But he just dumped Maria, how do I know that he even likes me anymore? What happened, happened 5 years ago. I just decide to give him a quick peck on his cheek. He helps me stand up but the distance between us stays the same. "Your very beautiful." "Are we going to talk or are you going to shut up and kiss me?" He smiles and kisses me. At first it was soft, gentle, but at the end it was hard. When we finally pull away were both smiling. "You really shouldn't kiss someone who only has one leg to support herself." He chuckles. "Are you complaining?" "Psht! No! Now can you hand me my crutches so we can go downstairs and eat before I starve?" He hands me my crutches and I carefully step into the elevator. "Your personality hasn't changed any Brooke." "Is that a good thing or a bad thing?" "It's good, it's good." "Well good, now when are you going to sell that song?" "Well, tomorrow. Your busy, so I figured I would do it then." The elevator opens and we go to the food court. We ordered pizza, subs, and spaghetti. We finished everything. "Oh my god! I'm stuffed!" "Yeah me to, I can't believe you wouldn't let me pay though." "Bruno, really? You must of forgotten the fact that, your broke!" "Yeah......." I stood up and started picking up my trash when Bruno's phone rings. He talks on the phone and I finish picking up the trash. "Who was that?" "Maria. She wants me back." My head snaps up. "Oh..." "Brooke I'm not going back to her, you should know that. Ever since I've dumped her I've been the happiest I've been in 5 years. I would never go back to her. I'm completely happy with you." Did he just say that? To me? I just reply with a smile. "I gotta got pick up some clothes I'll be back, I'll text you." "Wait how'd you get my number?" "Oh....I....your phone was out so I put my number in it and I put your number in my phone." "Oh, ok. Well I guess I'll see you later then." He comes over and hugs me. As we pull away he kisses my forehead. I feel my face start to redden. "See ya beautiful." "Bye Bruno." He walks towards the door and I walk towards the elevator. When I get up to my room I change into a Tennessee shirt and a pair of softball soffee's. A nurse walks in and gives me some medicine. I turn the tv on and plop down on my bed. I grab my phone and unlock it, to my surprise it's opened to my note pad.
Brooke, Thank you for everything you've done for me. I have no idea how I could ever repay you. To take me under your wing after all these years, and helping me through this tough time is amazing. When I first heard you were going to be in LA I almost couldn't believe it, although this isn't how I wished it would happen. I imagined you being here playing softball. Either way I just wanted to tell you as soon as I walked into this room, I fell in love with you all over again. Whenever your ready, I'll be waiting for you. Just say the words and I'm yours. -Bruno
"Aww!" I saved the note and exited out. I look through my contacts until I finally saw his name. I texted him and while I waited for his reply I turned on ESPN. Even though I know I'll never be able to play again I just love to watch the sport. The clip of me sliding comes on and something catches my eye. Since the hospital has direct-tv, I paused and rewound the clip. Standing in the background is a man, dressed in black, smiling, and taking pictures. Seems harmless enough, but I've seen that man before, but I have no idea where from. I shake it off and blame my hallucinating on the medicine. I turn the tv off and start thinking about what Bruno wrote. Am I really going to go back into the relationship and risk a heartbreak that I faced earlier? He must like me if he kissed me by the elevator? What if something happens and it ruins what we have? But nothing happened before to ruin what we had? My thoughts are interrupted by a knocking. "Sup?" I yell. Bruno walks in and smiles. "Sup?!" "Well I was about to fall asleep, but then you walked in." "Oh, sorry." "It's ok." Hs sits down on a chair. "Nite." "What? You can't sleep in that uncomfortable chair!? Your neck is going to be so sore tomorrow!" "Well where am I supposed to sleep then." I pat my bed. "I have plenty of room left, and it gets really cold in here at night." He gets up and lays down on the bed so he can see me and I can see him. "Thanks." "Your welcome." He pushes back a stray piece of hair and kisses my forehead. "Nite." "Nite." I turn over on my side and I feel him slip his arm around my waist. I put my hand on top of his and enlace my finger with his. I fall asleep with and smile on my face, and hand in hand with the man who stole my heart years ago and refuses to give it back.
Bruno woke up in the morning to find Brooke still asleep. I slowly got up and changed. I changed into my yellow checkered shirt and a pair a black skinny jeans. I decided to just let my hair stay in it's curly form. I walked out of the bathroom and looked over at Brooke. She looked so peaceful. I walked over and kissed her forehead. "I'll be back." I whispered. I slid on my converse and walked out of the room.
I woke up and looked at the clock. 10:45. I looked over my shoulder to find Bruno gone. I rubbed my eyes and a nurse came walking in holding a cup with pink liquid and a cup with a red liquid. I kicked both the foul tasting liquids back and got up. I checked my phone and found a message from Bruno. 'Morning beautiful, left for the studio, be back soon.' I texted him back and said 'Good luck hope the song selling goes good =D' I grabbed my camera and crutches and headed downstairs. I hobbled over to the table by the waterfall where I told the photography agent I'd meet her. Her and another woman arrive at the same time as me. "Hello you must be Ms. Conley." I hold out my hand and she shakes it. "Hello Brooke, this is Martha Shallows, I invited her to take a look at some of your work." "Oh, alright." We sat down at the table and I handed Martha my camera. "Wow, amazing, you took these yourself?" "Yes ma'am." "Wow, how long have you been doing this?" "Well I majored in photography in college, but then I blew out my knee playing softball, so about 4 days." "Oh your like that softball legend Brooke Daniels." "Yeah, well I was a legend anyways." "So, what would be your main material that you would like to photograph?" I think about it for a minute and then I get an amazing idea. "Ok, this may sound crazy but what if I told you one of my good friends, just got a deal, he wants to be a singer and when he gets found he's going to make it big, I could take pictures of before the fame, and during the fame, him and his recording group and whenever he goes on tour and the places we go and sights we see?" Ms. Conley nods her head and smiles. "Sounds great! What would you think about doing entries to go with some of the photos?" "So, in some ways you basically want me to be a journalist?" "Yes, but you could still take photos of other materials if you wish." "Alright! Sounds great, so what paperwork do I have to do?" She hands me some papers to sign. I hand them back to her and smile. "So, Brooke, how much would you like to be paid?" "Excuse me? I....Uh....isn't that up to you to decide?" "Well, looking at the work you've done in only 4 days, how's 10 grand a month, if you send us 20 pictures and 10 short entries." I swear my mouth dropped to the floor. "10 grand a month? 20 pictures and 10 short entries?" "Yes, is the price too low?" "Too low? Oh my gosh, that's a fortune to me!" Both the ladies laugh and Ms. Conley pulls out a check book . "Well were very excited to see your up coming work, here's your first check." She rips out the check and hands it to me. Then she pulls out a piece of paper and writes on it. "Here, when you have your pictures and entries ready, and if your still in the area, this is the address of our studio, if not then here's our numbers and emails." "Thank you, so much. I should be here for a while, I promise I wont let you down!" "I know you wont Brooke." The women stand up and leave. I look at the check and I just want to scream and jump for joy. Ten thousand dollars! That's crazy! I wonder how Bruno did? I pick up my phone but decide not to bother him in case he's still in the studio. So I sat back down and waited for the complex owner.
Bruno parked his car in front of the studio but didn't get out. He was nervous. He was going in to sell a song but it was his first time in an actual studio like this. He usually was just in a room in his apartment. He looked at the clock and sighed. His appointment was in 3 minutes. He grabbed his keys and stepped out of the car. He walked into the studio and was greeted by a man dressed in a suit. "You must be Mr. Bruno Hernandez." "Yes sir." I shake his extended hand and he leads me to a fancy looking room. I motions for me to sit. He pulls some papers out and sits across from me. "So, Mr. Hernandez, how much were you thinking about selling your song for?" "Ah, geez, I don't know.....how much were you thinking?" "2....." "Hundred?" "Thousand." I think my heart stopped beating. "2 thousand dollars?!" "Is that too low?" "No, that's amazing." He smiles. "Good." I sign the papers and the man gives me 2 thousand dollars. Cash. I walk out feeling amazing. I looked at the money in my hand and smiled. I knew exactly what I wanted to spent some of it on. I got in my car and started driving.
After I met with the complex manager everything was set for me and Bruno to move in a week and a half. I started walking back up to my room when my phone vibrated. Bruno. 'On my way back. Can't wait to see you.' I replied 'This days been so boring w/o you =L' I stepped onto the elevator the same time as another man. He was wearing a plain light blue V-neck, kaki shorts and flip flops. When he saw me he smiled. "What happened to your knee?" I pushed the button for my floor. "You watch softball?" "Yeah.......Oh wait your Brooke Daniels aren't you?" "The one and only!" "Wow, your like a legend!" "Yeah I guess, a lotta people say that about me." "Uhh.....maybe cuz it's true!" "Well, thank you." I stepped off the elevator. "I guess I'll see you around." "Wait Brooke, can I see you again?" "Uh....not now......it's complicated.....it's better if you don't understand." His face fell. "Yeah, alright, bye." I turned and started walking to my room. I plopped down on my bed and started thinking about what Bruno wrote on my phone. I just decide to wait until the time is right. Until I'm sure this is the right thing to do. I pull the check out of my pocket and just stare at the numbers. Ten thousand dollars. Un-freaking-believable. Bruno walks in and smiles. He has roses in his hand and a smile on his face that I've seen before and I know exactly what it means. "Peter Gene Hernandez I swear if you spent that song money to get me something expensive I'm going to kill you."
Bruno laughed. "What makes you think I got you anything?" "That smile. I know what the smile means." He handed me the roses and they smelled amazing. He sat down in the chair beside my bed and reached into his pocket and pulled out a long black box. "Bruno! I can't believe you spent your money on me!" "Brooke, would you quit worrying about my money! I have two thousand dollars! It's fine!" I smiled. "You got two thousand dollars! That's amazing Bruno!" He hands me the box and I just stare at it. "Well, are you gonna open it?" "Yeah." I open the box and in it is a silver necklace with two hearts encrusted in diamonds. "Wow.....Bruno.....this is amazing.....it's beautiful.....I....I don't know what to say, no ones done anything like this before. Thank you." He smiles. "I'm glad you like it." I take the necklace out of the box and put it on. "Why'd you do this?" He shrugs his shoulders. "You deserve nice things. You deserve to be happy." "Well, I don't need stuff like this is stay happy, I'm perfectly happy with you, just seeing you makes me happy." "But you deserve nice things." "Bruno, no I don't. I never had nice things growing up as a kid and you know that. But guess what, I was happy because you were always around, you were always there to make me laugh. You made things not seem as bad. You always have." I hug him. "Your all I need in my life to stay happy Bruno." "Will you date me?" I kiss him. "I've waited 5 years to hear those words again." "So is that a yes?" "Yes!" He gets a huge smile on his face. "So how much money did you get." I grab the check and look at it. "I'm not sure, I think I'm reading these numbers wrong." I hand him the check and he just stares at it. "Holy shit! Ten grand!" "A month." "Damn! What are you taking pictures of?" "Well, I'm taking pictures of you and the smeezingtons, that's the name of the group of people your going to be working with, before the fame, and during the fame. I have to take 20 pictures and write 10 short entries to go with them." He looked at me quizzically. "So kind of like paparazzi?" "Not really because I won't be all over you invading your personal life. Just 20 pics a month." "Well how do you know were even going to make it?" I shrug my shoulders. "I dunno I just do. Oh and your meeting the Smeezingtons next thursday, and I'm coming with you." "God, your like me personal assistant. Helping me keep my life on track." "Yeah I guess so huh?" The rest of the week flew by. I started therapy for my knee and finally was able to start flexing my knee again. The doctors told me that I could wear a simple knee brace but I'd still have to use crutches, or wear the big bulky brace and be content walking with a slight limp, either way I would have to have the brace because the doctors want me to sleep in it. I have to take some meds but just for a few weeks. It seems everywhere I turn I see the man I met in the elevator. He's always sneaking around, but I figure I'm overreacting. When I was in Tennessee I did some police and forensics work so I figure that I'm just itching to get back to it. Finally at the end of the week as said, I was released. I had already sent a moving van to Bruno's apartment and he had already started moving stuff in. I was packing my things when Bruno walked in. "Hey baby." I just melt when he says that. "Hey Bruno." "You bout ready?" "Yeah." I zipped up my suitcase. "Alright let's go." Bruno took my suitcase and I hobbled out carrying my crutches and wearing my bulky brace. We stepped onto the elevator and when I turned around I saw a familiar face behind a camera. Mystery man. Please don't tell me I'm going to be working with him! The elevator closed and we went down to the parking garage. "So which one is your car?" "You'll see." We kept walking until I finally saw it. "Which one do you think it is Bruno?" "Hmm.....the blue Honda?" "Nope." I pressed the unlock button on my keys and the headlights flashed. "You have a mustang?! You've gotta be rich." I smiled and walked over to my mustang. It was yellow and had a thick black pinstripe down the middle. "Yeah, I got it shortly after I left Waikiki." "What exactly did you do in Tennessee to get this much money?" "Police and forensics work." "Awesome so you got to arrest the bad people and see all the gore." "Yup." I unlock the trunk and Bruno puts my suitcase in the back. "I'll meet you at the apartment babe." He kisses me and walks to his car. I sit down in the drivers seat and look at the picture that's taped beside my radio. It's the last picture me and Bruno took together before I left Waikiki. He has his arm around my waist and I have my arm on his shoulder. With his free hand he's doing a peace sign and with my free hand I'm pointing at him. I smile and start to pull out when a guy walks out in front of my car. I lay on my horn and flick him off. He turns around and glares at me. Of course it's mystery man. When he sees me he smiles and walks over to the drivers side. Great. Just my luck. He motions for me to roll down my window and I do. "Look dude, I gotta get outta here, my boyfriends waiting for me back at our apartment." "It's Tyler, not dude. Who's your boyfriend?" "What's it to you?! Your kinda stalker-ish." "Hey, don't talk to me like that, I can easily tell Ms. Conley or Ms. Shallows, I've worked for them for five years." "Look Tyler, get off my car before I call the cops on you." He stands up and steps away from my car. "Fine. Have it your way. I'll be watching you at work, just remember that." "I'll try not to." I roll up my window and pull out. I've seen him somewhere before, the first time on the elevator but I've seen him before that. I look in my rearview mirror and sighed. I grabbed my blackberry and called Bruno.
Bruno pulled out onto the main road and smiled to himself. Never in my life have I been this happy. Whenever I see Brooke my whole mood changes. All my problems seemed to melt away. After 5 years she was finally mine again. I swear I'm going to be the best boyfriend I can be. I don't want to mess this up, I don't want to loose her. My phone started to buzz in my pocket and I looked at the caller ID and smiled. "Hayyy Brooke." I said in a really girly voice. She laughed. "Hey Bruno listen, this cars following me and I have a pretty good idea who it is, I'm gonna shake him and I'll be at the apartment later alright?" "Who is it?" "I'll explain everything later I gotta go." "Wait, Brooke be careful." "I will Bruno I know what I'm doing." "I love you Brooke." Silence. I looked at my phone. She had already hung up. "Please be safe Brooke Daniels. Don't let me loose you again." He parked his old beat up car in front of their apartment building, sat the the steps and waited for Brooke. Praying she would stay safe.
Brooke looked in her rearview mirror. He was still behind me. I pulled down a side street that was totally abandoned and gunned it. The car behind me did the same. I started weaving in and out of streets but the blue corvette wasn't built to go this fast on dirt roads. The car spun out and went into the woods. I turned my car around and waited. I saw a very angry Tyler get out of the car. He ran out in the middle of the road and stood there. I revved my engine and took off. I stopped when I got about 20 feet away from him. He jumped out of the way and I rolled my window down as I drove by. "Geez you really shouldn't of followed me, I hope you learned your lesson. Never mess with a cop." I flicked him off and drove off. He just stood there with his hands on his hips and a scowl on his face. I pulled back out onto the main road. When I pulled into the complex, I parked and Bruno ran over and opened my door. "Are you alright Brooke? Are you hurt?" I popped the trunk and locked my car. "I'm fine Bruno." "Who was following you?" "It's a long story." "Well I'm here to listen." He grabbed my suitcase and he helped me inside. It looked really nice. All of it was Bruno furniture of course but he had a leather couch, a flatscreen tv, 2 side tables and a coffee table. In the kitchen there was a nice wooden table. The bedroom was nice too. It looked like Bruno had a kingsized bed, 2 nightstands, and huge dresser with another flatscreen tv. "Wow, how'd you afford all this?" "I was signed for about a year when I was 19. They didn't really pay me any attention though. I was too young then anyways." I finished looking around and found an empty bedroom. It was about as big as the master bedroom but a little smaller. It had a few guitars, keyboards, a desk, some amps, a ukulele, a sound board, and a drum set. "I take it you bough these too?" "Yeah." He takes my suitcase and put it on his bed. "Now tell me what happened." I tell him everything. From the elevator meeting to the meeting in the parking garage and I tell him about the chase. "Why didn't you tell me about this creep earlier Brooke?" "Because I can take care of myself. I've done it for 5 years." He walks over to me and grabs my arms. He looks deep into my eyes. "I just don't want you to get hurt." Then I remember what happened along time ago, probably my second year in college. Jessica and the rest of the team went to a party but I decided to stay at the dorm because we had practice the next day and I didn't want to be wasted. It was around midnight and I had just finished studying for a big exam I had fourth period. I put my pajamas on when I heard a knock at the door. I looked through the peep hole and it was Tyler, my current boyfriend. He looked really upset about something. I opened the door and his face was red and it looked like he'd been crying. "Ty, I thought you'd be partying? What's wrong?" "It's Jon, he's suicidal again." My first guy friend I made here was Jon, he'd suffered from depression shortly after I'd met him. His parents passed away in a car wreck and he felt it was his fault because he'd blown them off to go partying. "Where is he? Where's the rest of the gang?" The 'gang' was the football team. They were all really nice to me and were like my big brothers. "Some are with him but most of them are partying, he said he really wants to talk to you." Tyler led me to the other side of the dorms where the guys were. I walked in and it looked bad. Jason, Wilson, Mikey, and Xavier were all holding him down and Jon was kicking and screaming. "Hey! Let him go, I'm here now, he won't do nothing stupid while I'm around." Jon stood up and came over and just started hugged me. "It's all my fault! I shouldn't have blown them off!" "Jon, let's sit down." We sat of the edge of his bed and he just put his head in my lap and cried. "Why won't you people just let me die!" "Because everyone in this room cares about you, no one wants you to get hurt." We went on and on like this for an hour. "Look Jon, it's one in the morning and I'm tired. You've said you were going to do this before but you never have ok? I have to go to bed I have practice and a big exam in the morning. Just get some sleep ok?" "Alright." Me and the guys walked out, me and Tyler started walking down the corridor and I started thinking about Bruno. Tears started to roll down my cheeks. "What's wrong babe?" "Just thinking." "About?" "People." "Bruno again?" "Yeah." "Why are you always thinking about him?!" "Because Tyler! I know how Jon feels! When I left Bruno I just wanted to die! I knew all those years he would be there for me but now he's not! He would be here now helping me to decide what I should do. I don't even know if I'll ever see him again!" "How come you care so much about him!" "Because Tyler..........I still love him." Tyler stops walking and glares at me. He looks around and I get scared. When he gets mad you better stay out da way. "Tyler......" He starts striding closer to me. I turn and take off running. I round a corner and slip. I hit the floor and the wind is knocked out of me. I try to stand up but I can't, it's impossible. Tyler grabs me and pushes me up against a wall. "What'd you say?" I look him straight in the eyes and say with a steady voice. "I still love him. I love Bruno. He would never hurt me. If he was here he'd be kicking your ass for hurting me." He slaps me across my face so hard I see white. "Say it again!" "I. Love. Bruno." He slaps my again. "Wanna say it again?" "I love Bruno!" He raises his hand to slap me again but he's knocked over. It's Xavier. I fall to the ground and Jason, Wilson, and Mikey all help me up. Jason carries me to my room, Xavier and Mikey take Tyler to the headmasters office and Wilson goes to get a first aide kit. Jason sits on the edge on my bed and we rock back and fourth until the rest of the guys get here. They fix me up and ask me what happened. "I told him I still loved Bruno and he snapped." They just nodded their heads because they knew how much I cared about Bruno. At 3 they all walked out and said goodnight. I laid on my bed and thought about what just happened. Tyler used me that whole time. For the popularity. He said he loved but he's a liar because he never ever did, and I never loved him. After that night no one ever saw him again. "Brooke? You ok?" Could that be the Tyler that I knew in college? "Brooke?" "Tyler Reeves." "What about him?" "I went to college with a guy named Tyler Reeves...." I put my hand up to my cheek. "....he slapped me, he has anger problems, he got mad because he knew I still loved you." His expression immediately changes from worry to anger. "He hurt you?!" "Bruno, there's nothing you can do now. It was 3 years ago. It was my fault anyways, I was running from him and I slipped, but I was friends with the football team, they looked out for me the whole time I was in Tennessee, they stopped him before things got any worse." He started to caress my cheek. "It's not your fault Bruno, so don't even think it is because there's nothing you could've done." He just pulls me in and hugs me. When we pull away I smile. "I should probably unpack my things." "Yeah probably." I go into the bedroom and Bruno sits on the couch and watches tv. I unpack and put all my things away. I start getting curious about Tyler so I pull my laptop out and set it on the bed. I go to a police data base and type in Tyler Reeves. One picture pops up. It looks just like the Tyler I saw in the elevator. I click his name and my jaw drops.