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Old 02-12-2006, 04:04 PM   #1
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Up Close & Personal - Chapter 6

Had a wee break from writing, but here's the next part! Hope you still like it and I'm thankful for all the comments!


Chapter 6

Well, you won’t be surprised to learn that I’ve spent the rest of the weekend thinking about Larry. He has occupied my head non-stop since we parted on Saturday. I’ll be reading the paper and suddenly I’ll remember the way he smiled at me. Even when I’m asleep I can’t escape. I’ve dreamed of him coming to rescue me again, except this time the ending is x-rated and we end up in a myriad of sexual positions. And neither of us gets tired.

See? Borderline obsession. So you’d think. But I’ll protest and say it’s not that bad. He’s the one who wants my number so we can meet up again. And I’m no different from any other girl who fancies someone and wants to picture his face all the time.

It’s just… I can’t help worrying as well. What if something does happen? Okay, okay, I know it’s not likely but just suspend disbelief for two seconds. Say we meet again and we do like each other, properly, and um, he wants us to, well, go further. Eventually. Now, quite apart from the obvious elation I would be feeling if this did occur, I would be absolutely terrified. As I may or may not have mentioned before, I have never had a proper boyfriend. I know that might sound a bit pathetic but the truth is, I’ve never been confident enough or met anyone who’s really respected me. I have this old-fashioned notion that I’d quite like a man to treat me well. Not too out-there, right? And for all my chat and fun, I am honestly not very sure about myself. I just pretend half the time to cover up the fact I don’t really like being alone when my mates all have someone.

Sigh. Y’see? All this would crop up if, and it’s a big if, if Larry showed interest.

But let’s get back to reality. It ain’t gonna happen, Rachel. Larry = big amazing talented gorgeous rich Irish rock star. You = boring, plain, unattractive, untalented, unemployed blonde girl who lives with her parents and cat.

On paper it’s not exactly the dream match.

It makes me wonder, therefore, why I am heading into town on this rather dreary Monday afternoon (the rain hasn’t let up all weekend) to hand in my phone number at U2’s management, as Larry had requested. I realise there is every chance he might not have been 100% serious, but I have to try anyway, right? Despite my misgivings, I know I’d absolutely hate myself if this was real and I messed it up. At least, sooner than I normally would mess it up.

The bus bumps and grinds to a shuddering stop and I get off, barely repressing my scowl at the driver who doesn’t seem to care if he gives his passengers whiplash injuries. Pushing the subsequent images of whips, lashing and Larry to the back of my mind (hey, I might be inexperienced, but that doesn’t stop me having a filthy imagination!) I head along, piece of paper with number in pocket, to Principle Management.

It’s only when I’m right outside do I realise I have to actually explain myself to whoever’s behind the desk, without sounding like an obsessed groupie. You and I both know that’s precisely what I am, but let’s not spread that around.

Once I get inside and navigate my way to reception, I encounter a pretty, dark-haired woman at the desk, who gives me a much nicer smile than I think I deserve.

Nervously, I approach, my fingers clutching the small piece of paper so hard I’m sure it’ll disintegrate and then Larry and I really will be doomed, because he’ll be unable to read my damn number.

“Hi,” I begin, and the women continued to smile benignly. “I, um, well.”

“Yes?” She doesn’t sound quite as patient as she appears. My courage falters, but I remember this is what I have to do if I want any chance of meeting Larry again. And I definitely do!

“I, uh, I met Larry and he had to leave and he wanted me to leave my number. For him. Um, to call. So, yeah. Here it is.” I place the crumpled bit of paper on the desk. Both the receptionist and I look at it, then at each other. Neither of us is impressed.

“I’m sorry,” she says, and would you be amazed if I told you she didn’t sound the least sorry? “You’re saying Larry wants me to pass on your phone number? To him?”

I feel like screaming, mainly because she is speaking in the exact same tone of voice – sceptical and slightly sarcastic – that I have to myself about the whole issue. She’s not doing much to reinforce my dwindling self-confidence, but I have to persevere.

“Yes,” I reply firmly, or as firmly as I can when my legs are shaking a little. “I’d be grateful if you could. Please.” Politeness can’t hurt, I figure, no matter how icy the opposition.

“Right.” She arches a perfectly-drawn brow at me and picks up the paper with something close to disgust. I want to point out that my pockets aren’t that dirty, but instead I shuffle my feet and wait in case she wants to say anything else. Turns out she does.

“And, hmm, what’s your name? Just in case he’s forgotten.” She smiles again, so sweetly I’m surprised her teeth don’t melt with the effort, although it’s all extremely false. Unfortunately, I can’t be sure that Larry hasn’t forgotten – it is only me, after all – so I shrug and try not to take offence.

“My name’s Rachel Grant.”

“Rachel Grant?”

That’s funny. I didn’t know I had an echo.

Wait a second. That wasn’t my voice. It was a soft, lilting voice laced with an Irish accent.

I look towards the right, where the voice came from, and my heart almost skids to a stop in my chest when I see Edge standing there, watching me intently. God, I’d never paid enough attention to photos before or else it just doesn’t come across how absolutely amazing his eyes are. He’s wearing a cowboy hat plus simple jeans and a shirt, in contrast to his more flamboyant stage outfits from the tour. And he looks really, really good.

I am speechless. Seriously. Even more so than when I met Larry and Bono, because that was weird circumstances and just, well, it’s EDGE! He’s a genius! I’ve never met a genius before.

He’s coming over. Oh my God.

“Are you the Rachel Larry went for a drink with?” Unlike the receptionist (who is now shooting me horrible looks) Edge’s question isn’t accusing or scornful. He’s gentle and interested, and I feel at ease with him already.

I nod. “Yeah. That’s me. I, uh, came to hand in my phone number. Larry told me to,” I add quickly, for fear of a bad reaction, but Edge only smiles. And his smile is genuine.

“I know he did. He was telling me about you yesterday, actually.”

Oh my GOD. Larry was telling Edge about me? Two members of U2 were discussing me?

Note to self: you have got to stop thinking about them as ‘members of U2’. They’re just guys! They’ll see right through you if you act like a stupid fangirl instead of treating them like real people.

For once, I pay attention to my sensible side.

“Really? I hope it was all good.” Feeble attempt at some sort of humour, but Edge is sweet enough to indulge me with a laugh.

“Of course. Listen, why don’t you come through and have a coffee or something? You can get warm and dry off. And I can take your number and pass it onto Larry when he gets back.”

Well, that’s another fantastic offer I’d be mad to turn down. I agree and follow Edge through a maze of corridors until we reach a small, cosy room complete with sofa and a TV in the corner.

“Have a seat, there’s plenty of room,” Edge says, removing his guitar from where it’s lying on the sofa. “I’ll get you a drink. What would you like? I can only manage tea or coffee, I’m afraid.”

“Oh, that’s fine. Um, a tea please, no milk and two sugars.”

Edge leaves the room and I take off my damp coat, placing it over the armrest of the sofa, not sure where to put it or indeed myself. I wonder if he’d been practising a new song before I arrived. I wonder if he’ll show me if I ask nicely… Nah, better not push my luck!

Within five minutes Edge is back, two mugs in his hands, one which he places in front of me on the coffee table, the other he holds on to as he sits down beside me. I feel a funny shiver run down my spine; it’s not every day you get to sit beside The Edge with tea! And, apparently, biscuits, which he has produced from somewhere and is offering me.

“Thanks,” I say, gratefully accepting a custard cream because I haven’t had breakfast or lunch today (I was way too nervous about coming here) and now I am feeling the effects. “Sorry to bother you like this.”

Edge shakes his head as he swallows his tea. “Don’t be silly. You’re not bothering me at all. I’ve been waiting for Bono to show up but sometimes that can be like waiting for death.” I laugh. “Anyway, I had the feeling Caroline wasn’t being very helpful.”

I blush. I don’t know why. “I can understand why not. It must seem weird, a girl appearing and claiming to have met Larry. It must happen a lot.”

“All the bloody time, unfortunately,” Edge smiles. “He’d mentioned that to me, though, so I told him I’d keep an eye out in case you did come by.”

“Did he get to New York okay?” I blurt out, unable to keep my curiosity at bay. I’m dying to know where Larry is, what he’s doing, if he misses me and wishes he was with me. I ignore the little niggling voice in my head pointing out we hardly know each other and of course he doesn’t miss me, and concentrate on what Edge is saying.

“Yes, he called earlier. He and Adam will be back on Friday. Then I’ll give him your number – you’d better write it down there, by the way – and he can give you a ring.”

I’m blushing deeper, because Edge has a knowing smile on his face and I wonder just what Larry’s said to him. Not that I mind, if it’s been to my advantage.

I scribble down my number on a nice clean piece of paper and hand it to Edge. “Don’t lose it,” I say, only half joking, and Edge laughs.

“Just be glad it’s me you’re giving it to and not Bono,” he points out with a tiny wink, making me smile, at which point a phone rings somewhere outside the room. “In fact, that’ll be Bono now. With any luck.” He gets up to answer it and I drink the rest of my tea, my mind spinning with possibilities and more thoughts of Larry, only some of which are clean…


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Old 02-12-2006, 04:48 PM   #2
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I really like this! I can't really put my finger on exactly what it is, but you have a way of writing that makes me feel what Rachel is feeling. I just about melted when she saw Edge... It's really great!

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Old 02-12-2006, 04:57 PM   #3
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drinking tea with the Edge

thanks for the update, hope to see another chapter soon
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Old 02-12-2006, 05:56 PM   #4
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Yay! I really enjoyed reading this one as well, chickadee, and am looking forward to more...I know I've said this before, but you are really talented! Keep up the good work.
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Old 02-12-2006, 06:42 PM   #5
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Great chapter, chickadee! I love this story so far. Hope you can update again soon.
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Old 02-13-2006, 01:22 AM   #6
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Wow, good chapter. Can't wait to see what happens next
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Old 02-13-2006, 05:02 AM   #7
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I always start smiling goofly when I read this I LOOOVE this story..if I haven't already said that
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Old 02-13-2006, 04:36 PM   #8
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Ah you guys ROCK with your lovely comments! Seriously, they mean so much to me and you make me smile whenever I log on and see you like my silly fic, haha! Anyways am about to post more so yay!

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