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Old 09-10-2010, 11:44 PM   #1
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The Next Best Thing - 22a

Disclaimer: Fan fiction.

OK, now that's out of the way, this chapter has been split into two parts because I believe the 2nd section may be a bit... questionable... for the forum. Anyone interested can PM me their email & I'll forward Chapter 22b that way. (If anyone who's already written a fan fic sees Part B & doesn't think it violates the forum rules, then I'll post it separately later.)

Hope this has been worth the wait...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Raye dismantled her lights, reflector screens and stands in record time was sitting cross-legged on the floor in front of her camera case, inspecting the lenses and camera body when she realized she was still grinning like the Cheshire cat. You’re absolutely ridiculous Raye, she thought. Ridiculous maybe, but well informed. She giggled and continued securing her camera and most recently used lens into their foam nests inside the camera case. Surveying the rolls of exposed film that had accumulated in the case, she decided it was time for a trip to the photo processing lab and to see if she’d caught anything worth keeping – or not.

She drew a deep breath and gently bit her bottom lip as she considered what that meant. Getting the film developed was the final, true test of whether she had any talent. She was willing now to admit that she absolutely adored being behind a camera but Raye knew that alone wasn’t enough to produce quality work. What if everything looks like crap, she wondered. What if not a single shot turns out? Leo would be disappointed and she’d look like an idiot. Raye pulled the spent rolls from the case and placed them into a small satchel she kept stored with the film. Closing the case, she remembered that she’d just promised Sandra and herself to make a new start in her life, particularly in regard to her opinion of her own talent. Changing long-standing habits wasn’t going to be easy, but Raye knew it had to be done and began working damage control on herself immediately.

These pictures are going to look spectacular, she vowed. They’re going to knock Leo’s socks off and they’re going to open doors for me that I never expected. Raye set the bag with her exposed film next to the camera case and just sat quietly for a little while, soaking in her Zen moment and the good vibes that she’d just created for herself. Not particularly a believer in the whole “New Age” movement, Raye nonetheless had to admit that she felt better after her impromptu affirmations.

She was still on the floor, marinating in her new healthy self esteem, and counting off the equipment she had brought up versus what was in front of her when she heard someone clearing their throat. Expecting that perhaps Leo had come back to make sure she wasn’t cheating on their deal, Raye was slightly surprised to see Adam standing in the doorway, apparently waiting for her permission to enter the room. Reminding herself of what she’d told Bono earlier – that Adam had been nothing but cordial to her all weekend – Raye took a deep breath, and reassured herself that she could be in the same room with him without becoming an emotional wreck. Looking at him with her head tilted slightly and one eyebrow arched, Raye spoke as normally as possible. For some reason, her throat was suddenly dry.

“Hi, there. Why are you just standing in the doorway and how long have you been there?”, she asked him playfully.

“Hi,” he answered quietly. Raye thought she saw just the slightest hint of pink pass over Adams cheeks as he spoke, but quickly discarded the idea and warned herself to stop imagining things.

“I only just came around the corner”, he went on, “and saw you counting. I didn’t want to interrupt you.”

“Counting?” Raye asked, a bit confused. “Oh, no – I wasn’t counting, per se. I was just going over what I brought upstairs versus what I had ready to go back downstairs. That’s all. Come have a seat.” She motioned with her left arm as she spoke, inviting Adam to one of the club chairs that sat across from her.

Adam accepted the invitation and with three long, graceful strides arrived at the chair. Lowering himself into it, he settled in by casually crossing his legs and leaning forward, resting his right arm on his knee. Raye saw now that Adam had changed from his beach clothes into an ivory V-neck sweater with a pair of dark washed jeans and black loafers. From her vantage point on the floor, Raye found it easy to admire how well the jeans fit Adam’s form. She was trying think of the last time she’d seen him wearing denim when the silence in the room became obvious. Looking up to his face, she found his eyes were on her and that he had the smallest hint of a smile on his lips. Raye was beginning to feel the room had gotten way too warm and way too small when Adam finally took his gaze off her and motioned with a long index finger at her equipment.

“Were you ready to take these things back downstairs?” he asked her with the same smooth tone he’d used as he greeted her from the doorway. His eyes were back on her now, waiting for her reply.

Either the volume or the manner in which he was speaking caught Raye off guard. It was just so… sexy. Immediately, warning bells sounded in Raye’s mind. Why do I turn into such a head case when he’s around? she demanded of herself, silently. Determined that she could have a normal conversation with the man and not imagine ten different smutty things she wanted to do with him, she took a deep breath and slowly unfolded her legs, stretching them out in front of her to stall for a second.

“I’m ready for them to go”, she finally answered, “but I promised Leo that I wouldn’t do a thing beyond break it all down and pack it back up. He informed me there’ll be plenty of manual laborers available after dinner to take it all back to the great room. I guess he knows some people.” She smiled and shrugged her shoulders while leaning back on her arms, elbows locked in place.

Just as Adam opened his mouth to respond to her, the intercom by the doorway crackled and came to life with Paul’s voice, announcing that dinner would be ready in about fifteen minutes. In one swift movement, Adam rose from his chair and stood leaning over Raye with his hand extended to her.

“May I help you up?” he asked her.

“Oh, thanks”, Raye reached out to accept his hand automatically. “I think I sat with my legs crossed for too long – they feel like lead weights.”

The smile on her face was replaced with wide-eyed disbelief the second his hand touched hers. There was no denying this time that the space immediately around them was instantly alive with electricity. Raye knew she should let go of his hand; she wanted to let go but the connection between her brain and the rest of her body had been terminated. She could barely perform involuntary functions, much less anything that required conscious effort.

Adam’s eyes never left Raye’s during her entire transition from sitting on the floor to standing upright. The vague sensation of the furniture in the room growing shorter was Raye’s only indication that she was now on her feet. Not clear at all on how he managed it so quickly, Raye’s next flash of cognizance was that Adam’s left hand was laced palm to palm with her right, which was behind her own back, and that his right hand had found its way to the base of her neck and was becoming gently entwined in her hair.

For a millisecond, Raye thought maybe he was just performing an exotic hugging ritual that he’d picked up in some remote area of the globe where there was no regard for the personal space of others and that any time now he’d be releasing her from his python-like grip and explaining the custom in detail. But with her head already tilted to keep direct eye contact, when Adam began to gently but firmly tug her hair and lift her head even higher, Raye knew - this was not a culture lesson. Adam Clayton was going to kiss her.
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Old 09-17-2010, 11:49 PM   #2
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Thanks for sending that Blu - I'm really enjoying this story, and I love how 22b adds to the story, rather than just being gratuitous (not that there's anything wrong with the occasional bit of gratuitous )

If anyone has been following this, and hasn't seen 22b, I'd advise you to pm Blu pronto!
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Old 09-18-2010, 10:51 PM   #3
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oh my god! i'm so behind on my FF reading but this chapter is total win! you can send part B my way!

OFF TO READ MORE! God your writing skills are just...

...i hate you...



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Old 09-18-2010, 11:13 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by LoveandLogic View Post
oh my god! i'm so behind on my FF reading but this chapter is total win! you can send part B my way!

OFF TO READ MORE! God your writing skills are just...

...i hate you...



Thank you? PM with Part B has been sent.
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Old 09-18-2010, 11:26 PM   #5
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Yes that was compliment. Big time.
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Old 09-18-2010, 11:39 PM   #6
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Yes that was compliment. Big time.
No worries - you were very clear that the comment was a joke.

And thanks for the confirmation on the content.


So for anyone interested: Chapter 22b will not be posted in the forum. If you'd like to read that section, you'll need to PM me.
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Old 09-18-2010, 11:41 PM   #7
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and yes, it's very frustrating...these PM's...

But totally worth it!
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