It isn’t until Cas has been human for almost fourteen months that Dean realizes that they’ve never celebrated his birthday. Now, the Winchesters have never been big on birthdays, but since they settled down, Sam and Dean have each had their proper celebrations. It’s only fair that Cas gets one, never mind that he doesn’t actually have a birthday.
Dean tells Cas he should pick a date himself, and Cas thinks on it for a while before telling Dean he’ll get back to him on it.
Three more months pass, and Dean has completely forgotten about it. Then one evening, just after they’ve gone to bed and gone through what’s hopefully only round one of vigorous, life-affirming sex, Cas turns to Dean as says he’d like today to be his birthday.
Dean asks, confused, if Cas really wants to get up now and celebrate. But Cas shakes his head and tells Dean that all he needs for his birthday is to be happy, and today has certainly been that.
Dean wracks his brain for anything particular they’ve done today to make it special - they had sex, but that’s pretty much par for the course. They went grocery shopping, and Cas picked up two boxes of strawberries, which are finally in season. He also spent a few hours tending the garden out back, and Dean made him some of that sweet ice tea he likes so much. Sam dropped by with some books he’d promised to lend Cas.
It’s been a completely unremarkable day and when Dean says as much, Cas tells him that that’s what’s so great about it. Dean opens his mouth, about to argue that Cas missed the point, but then it occurs to him that he didn’t. He closes his mouth and shakes his head at how goddamn sappy Cas has gotten, but he’s smiling when he pulls Cas in for a kiss and asks him if he’s up for another round.
1590 - Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone, agrees to abandon further attempts at extending his territory in the north, and undertakes to force his people to adopt English laws and customs
1713 - William Molyneux, the fourteen-year old son of Sir Thomas Molyneux, a former MP, is killed when a leaden image falls on him in a garden near Dublin
1779 - Poet and songwriter, Thomas Moore, is born in Dublin
1798 - In the first Battle of Enniscorthy, the rebels take the town
1947 - Róis Ni Ógain - Rose Mabel Young - Gaelic scholar and editor of Duanaire Gaedhilge, dies
1959 - The Howth Tram makes its last journey; not only is it the highest but it is also the last of the open top trams operating in the world
1970 - Charles Haughey, who will later be acquitted and become Taoiseach, is arrested with Niall Blaney for conspiracy to import arms
1974 - General strike by Unionists brings down the Sunningdale power-sharing agreement and Northern Ireland is returned to direct rule
1999 - The Provisional IRA produces the remains of Eamon Molloy, whom it killed in 1975; information from the IRA leads to several protracted searches in the Republic for the remains of other victims
2000 - A plaque to commemorate the first Irish meeting of the Orange Order is unveiled in Dublin - without a single member of the hardline Protestant group in attendance. The Dublin and Wicklow Lodge boycott the event on Dawson St in protest at its treatment over a march in the city, also planned for this date
2000 - The decision by Ulster Unionists to return to power sharing with Sinn Féin at midnight on 29 May is given a massive boost when the IRA pledges to keep their part of the bargain
2000 - Ireland’s National Aquarium is opened in Galway at the Atlantiquarium on the Prom in Salthill. Built in the shape of a fish, the £6m building contains direct water links to Galway Bay and has massive tanks on its roof which collect rainwater for use in many of the fish pools
2003 - James Plunkett, best known for his epic novel of Dublin, ‘Strumpet City’, dies at the age of 83
2003 - William Trevor wins the €10,000 Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award at Listowel Writers’ Week for his novel The Story of Lucy Gault.
10 things Brian May keeps in his wallet at all times:
- fourteen credit cards
- stereo photo ID
- pics of the kids & grands
- three dozen condoms just in case
- English soap
- secret portal to the 16th dimension
- dry shampoo
- Roger’s phone
- lock of Freddie’s hair
- a dormouse
i'm fourteen and i really like someone. i have had a lot of sexual thoughts lately. i know you're supposed to during puberty, but i really only want to do it with him. i think i might love him but we can barely talk without it being awkward, more or less kiss or have fucking sex. and i'm obviously a virgin and this really isn't my thing and i feel a bit out of my body typing this. i don't really think this is a question, but i need some advice.
Sense you’re 14 and can barely talk to the kid I’m just going to come right out and tell you that you’re not in love. I’m sorry to be so blunt about it. But trust me when i was 15 I thought I was in love too, than 2 years later I realized what love actually was and that I had never loved the kid I liked my freshman year. These thoughts are perfectly normal. But you’re a bit young so I would suggest waiting on the sex. Trust me it’s worth the wait. You want your first time to be with someone you trust and care about. So wait! Please wait. Wait till you meet someone you actually love. But if you want to kiss the kid. GO FOR IT! It’s just the kiss and if it sucks than at least it’s something to laugh at a year from now.
On 4th September 1939, fourteen Wellington aircraft from Nos. 9 and 149 Squadrons attacked the entrance to the Kiel Canal at Brunsbüttel, the first raid of the war. Two of the aircraft of No.9 Sqn were lost with all crew members. These were L4268 and L4275 KA-H, the first aircraft shot down on the western front.
You got a gf? Because you are hotter than my grandad when he was younger and he was pretty fit.
What if I am your Grandad? What if everything is your Grandad? What if we are all one single ultimately connected entity that may have once originated from a single point, but over the course of fourteen billion years has expanded to the kind of scale that makes it possible to forget we are all attached?
Disclaimer: As usual, thank you so much to those who read, reblog and support this fanfic! It wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for you <3!
“Wake up, Jen. Come on, honey, it’s time to wake up.”
At the sound of his gentle voice, my eyes fluttered open, immediately focusing on his kind, open face. He smiled, brushing his fingers lightly across my cheeks. “Guess where we are?” He murmured.
I pulled myself into an upright position, keeping my fingers laced through his. After fourteen hours spent airborne, I felt as though my muscles had atrophied from disuse. “Where?” I croak sleepily.
“We’re in New York.”
The effect of those simple words was instantaneous. All at once, I felt wide awake, adrenaline coursing through my veins. Opening the small circular window, I eagerly pressed my face to the glass.
Beneath the canopy of clouds that were illuminated by the light of the sun, was New York City. Even at a thousand feet in the air, it was still possible to distinguish the myriad of buildings. The cabs that weaved through the streets. The jade green Statue of Liberty standing guard over the harbour.
Yep, we were in New York alright.
“Hey, what’s the matter?” Josh asked anxiously, rubbing my arm. It took me half a minute to realise that I was the one who sighed.
Resting my head on his shoulder, I squeezed his hand reassuringly. “I’m fine, it’s just that I’m starting to miss the anonymity in Iceland.”
After a moment’s silence, he kissed my hair lovingly. “You’ll be fine, I promise.” He said, understanding the meaning of my remark. “The good thing is we have each other.”
He’s right about that.
“Good morning passengers, we are now beginning our descent into JFK International Airport. Please fasten your seat-belts. On behalf of the crew, we would like to thank you for travelling with Virgin Atlantic and welcome to New York City.”
Josh cleared away the contents of his collapsible table, whistling as he tipped them into his rucksack before placing it in the overhead bins. He took his seat next to me, smiling. “You should probably start getting ready.”
Sticking my tongue out at him, I fished out the bag from under my seat, repacking it with the items that were haphazardly strewn on my own collapsible table. After quickly brushing my hair, I leaned back in my seat, fastening the seat belt. “Happy now?”
“No, you forgot something.” He said, leaning in to kiss me. “There, you’re all set.”
I stroked his cheek affectionately. “Thanks.” I say, stowing my bag underneath the seat in front of me.
The aircraft shuddered slightly as it began to descend. With it, the veil of clouds grew thinner, the view of buildings became clearer. We were suddenly so close to landing that it was possible to discern the vast red steps in Times Square.
My stomach leapt when the wheels of the plane touched the tarmac at JFK Airport. The aircraft made a sharp turn, heading towards the gate.
“What do you feel like doing?” He asked, pulling a beanie over his head. “You know, after we’ve checked in at the hotel?”
“Can we get some breakfast? I’m sorry, it’s just plane food makes me feel iffy.” I answer, adding a pair of catlike sunglasses to my ensemble. With an enormous floppy hat on my head, I had enough to hopefully go incognito throughout the arrivals terminal.
“Sure, I’m a little starved myself so it works out well.” He said patting his stomach. “We can have a quick nap back at the hotel, then wander around until nightfall.”
“Good plan.” I murmur, undoing my seatbelt once the aircraft came to a complete stop by the gate. When it was deemed safe to disembark, he retrieved our bags from the upper compartments; handing my carry-on to me before sitting down.
We waited until the plane emptied to leave, crossing the runway flanked by security officials who’d somehow known about our impending arrival. I hooked my arm through his, head lowered as we stepped into the terminal.
Almost immediately, a horde of paparazzi descended upon us, like a cloud of angry bees. I didn’t notice Josh tighten his grip on my hand; absorbed as I was in attempting to block out the cacophony of voices threatening to burst my eardrum.
It seemed as if my stroke of luck, so wonderfully effective in Iceland, had run out.
Like magnets, the paparazzi easily attracted more onlookers, people now trying to reach us, thrusting magazines, posters under our noses; begging for a signature.
Dismayed, I unthinkingly threw my right arm in front of my face in a rather desperate attempt to protect myself. I realised, a second too late, that I was wearing my engagement ring on my right hand.
The cries of the photographers grew louder as they clamoured around us, eventually shoving each other aside in their haste.
“IS THAT A RING?!”
“Oh my god, are you two getting married?!”
“Are you pregnant, Jennifer?!”
“What kind of a ring is it, Josh?!”
Neither one of us said anything as we collected our suitcases from baggage claim, the paparazzi persisting in their onslaught of questions.
The security detail accompanying us changed formation in one synchronised action so that we were almost entirely shielded from view. I gripped his hand so hard that my knuckles turned white.
Yet another group of airport officials formed a protective barrier, stopping the paparazzi in their tracks as we were shepherded from the terminal into the backseat of a black SUV.
The sight of the photographs still vainly fighting to escape the grasp of the security guards caused red-hot fury to surge through my veins. A stream of profanities issued from my lips, each word betraying the deep seated anger I felt inside.
Once I closed the door however, my anger gave way to the exhaustion that adrenaline had suppressed only moments earlier. Angry tears gushed from my eyes as I buried my head in my hands.
All I wanted was to make it through life with just a little bit of grace. I knew what I was getting into when I chose a career as an actress but I wasn’t really prepared to sacrifice my dignity for it.
Josh’s hands shifted me so that I leaned back with my head resting on his shoulder. He rocked me from side to side, whispering soothing words in my ear, doing his best to calm me down.
“I lost control..” I gasp, still sobbing. “I’m sorry.”
He shook his head, lips buried in my hair. “No, you didn’t. Don’t you ever apologise for defending yourself, for protecting your privacy.”
“But I could’ve handled it better! I shouldn’t have sworn at them!”
“Honestly, I’d be a lot more worried if you weren’t swearing at all. You were badass considering that they literally screamed in our faces.”
“They … they saw the ring.”
At this, his voice became somber; for a brief moment, he sounded more helpless than I was. “I know. I know.”
“How do we deal with this?”
“Well, the way I see it, we just keep going. Keep living our lives like we always have. They might print shit like "wedding bells” or “publicity stunt” but you and I know the truth. I meant what I said when I gave you that ring; nothing is gonna stop me from spending the rest of my life with you.“ He said determinedly, his hazel eyes fierce.
He brushed his fingers across my wet cheeks, brushing the tears away. Grateful for his presence, I laced my fingers through his free hand, listening as my heartbeat returned to its regular rhythm.
There wasn’t much we could do to stop them from publishing those pictures. I’d read about other actors who paid the photographers a hefty amount of money in order to keep them quiet, resulting in a string of lawsuits, agreements. A hassle that neither Josh or myself wanted.
In time, the media would run out of mileage. Eventually they’d be forced to report on other things like floods, for instance. But for now, things would be a little rough; within the next day or two, our names will be emblazoned on the headlines of news outlets. At least on E! anyway.
The silver lining in this scenario was sitting right next to me.
But he was right. I won’t be forced into hiding, I have every right to keep living the way I always have. It isn’t any of their business anyway.
"Don’t worry, Jen. We’ll face it when it comes. Together.” He whispered, pressing his lips to my forehead.
EJ’s Luncheonette was a lovely place in which to have breakfast. According to their website, as he had pointed out, they were indeed a popular choice of dining for New Yorkers.
As of eleven o'clock, however, the morning rush was over; most of its usual patrons had already left for wok by the time we arrived.
We chose a booth furthest from the entrance or the windows of the diner. Our server was an elderly waitress who, despite the flash of recognition that spread across her features, did not faint at the sight of us sitting in the corner booth.
Instead, she treated us as ordinary patrons, for which we were grateful. With surprising efficiency, she delivered our meals; an eggs Benedict for me, a club sandwich for Josh.
The waitress, who we later found was called Fiona, retreated to let us eat in silence. For a while, we did; just savouring the taste of real food. Not the crap they serve on the air-craft.
“How’s your order?” Josh asked, a shred of lettuce caught between his teeth.
I fought off the urge to laugh as I swallowed a mouthful of the eggs. “It’s really good.” I say, suppressing an incoming burp. “So good that I inhaled it, I didn’t get anything stuck between my teeth, if you catch my drift.”
He blushed, picking up a spoon to examine his face; sure enough, there it was, a small green stalk. He managed to remove it successfully as I roared with laughter. “Well, I guess I should say thanks for pointing it out.”
“Yes, yes you should.” I say, still giggling. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean..”
“No you’re not.” He retorted, sticking his tongue out at me.
I opened my mouth to speak before closing it again. “Yeah you’re right, I’m not.” I answer with a wink.
Chuckling, he took a sip from his cup of hot cocoa, looking at me with quiet concern. “How are you holding up?”
“Great, considering I just ate so much.”
“No, you know what I mean.”
Yeah, I did.
“I’m.. okay.” I murmured honestly. “As long as we get through this together. I’m not going to be forced into hiding, no way. But, I’m not going to tell them anything either. They can take all the pictures they want but they won’t know what’s true unless I tell them. And that’s only when hell freezes over!”
Beaming with pride, he squeezed my hands. “That’s the spirit.”
We spent the rest of the time just enjoying each other’s company. Finishing our meals. Talking of nothing important, only the trivial things. By the time we settled the bill, any traces of anxiety left in my system had dissipated,
Just as we left the restaurant, my phone rang.
“Hello?” I say brightly, tucking my wallet back inside my purse.
The familiar voice of my publicist, Liz, issued from the receiver. “Hey, Jen. Listen, I’ve got some news.”
Because her tone sounded harried, I already knew what she’d say.
“They’ve got you and Josh all over E! News, TMZ, Celebuzz.. Literally, every single entertainment outlet. The headlines say something along the lines of ‘Whirlwind romance ends in marriage’ or 'Lawrence sports enormous diamond ring.. A little something from Hutcherson?’”
“Plus, there’s footage of you guys arriving at JFK. It’s a little worrying. What do you want me to do?”
“Liz, Liz.” I say reassuringly. “Calm down. It’s going to be okay.”
She paused, sounding confused. “Huh?”
“Trust me, I was more than a little scared at the beginning. But what can I do? It’s already out there. I’m not going to confirm or deny anything. I’ll handle it from my end.” I answered in a surprisingly calm voice.
“But it IS true! You ARE getting married!”
“Shhh! They don’t have to know that. They can just keep going on with stuff like 'rumoured fiancé’. Eventually, it’ll die down. Not today or tomorrow but over time, it will just pass.”
Liz remained uncertain; I could sense it in her abrupt silence. Then she spoke again. “Okay but the fallout could be huge.. The shit that these guys are capable of writing.”
“I know, I know. We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it, okay?”
“Did you eat something weird?” She asked dubiously, thrown off guard by my sudden tranquility. In all fairness, she was right. Normally, I would be the one freaking out.
Chuckling, I shook my head. “No, I didn’t. I mean, I’m still not okay with my face being plastered all over the fucking news but it doesn’t mean that I’m going into hiding. Fuck that. I just won’t say anything if they ask me.”
Liz still wasn’t convinced, ending the conversation by promising to call if there were any further updates. “Thank god for his calming influence on you.” She said before hanging up.
Smiling slightly, I slipped the phone back inside my purse, taking Josh’s hand in mine. He kissed each one of my fingertips before lowering our hands. “We’re front page news, huh?”
“Yeah, unfortunately. But, they’ll get over it. It’s just going to be hard to face the backlash or whatever over the next couple of days.” I answer, crestfallen.
He didn’t say anything, choosing to squeeze my hand reassuringly. All I knew was that as long as we were together, everything would be okay.
“Enough of all this negativity, where do you want to go?” Josh asked, opening the door of the SUV for me.
Sliding into the back seat of the vehicle, I yawned, suddenly feeling fatigued. Clearly, the fourteen hours of sleep on the plane did nothing to replenish my supply of energy.
He smiled, motioning to the driver. “I know where to go.”
The Greenwich Hotel was to be our temporary place of residence for the next couple of days; boasting a rather salient position, right on the northern banks of the Hudson River.
Given the day’s ordeal, the last thing we wanted was to attract more media attention. We didn’t feel so forgiving at this point in time.
Unbeknownst to either one of us, the driver had called ahead, making reservations on our behalf, telling them to expect the arrival of last-minute guests without directly revealing our identities.
We both left a generous tip with the driver once we found out about his unspoken deed. He left as quickly as he’d arrived, the black SUV weaving its way through the fleet of yellow cabs before disappearing completely.
It’s comforting to know that there were still good people in the world.
After quickly checking in at the front desk, we retired to our suite on the fourteenth floor. Within minutes of closing the door, we collapsed on the bed, falling asleep instantly, still fully-clothed.
Our nap lasted at least four hours.
At half past four, I awoke, squinting as sunlight streamed through the gossamer curtains. I was no longer fatigued, now I felt refreshed. Like a car leaving the gas station, with a full tank.
I extracted myself from the cocoon of luxurious cotton sheets, glancing at my phone. We had at least two hours before we needed to start getting ready for the New York premiere of The Flash.
Josh was still asleep, with one arm stretched over his face.
Taking a quick bath, I mused idly about tonight’s red carpet event. This was his film, the product of several months worth of hard work. I, more than anybody, wanted to be there to support him.
What I didn’t look forward to was being approached by avid journalists and their insatiable thirst for gossip. No doubt today’s events would be the topic in mind.
Sliding out of the lukewarm water, I towelled off as quickly as possible, deciding that I would still attend the event, I’d just skip the red carpet.
Putting on the plum-coloured custom-made Oscar de la Renta gown I’d managed to secure for tonight’s premiere was no easy feat. In the end, I somehow slipped into the dress with minimal damage.
With my hair still wet, I staggered back towards the main room, collapsing in front of the bureau. Just as I began to brush it, trying to wring out the knots, Josh stirred.
“Hi!” I say brightly as he pulled himself into an upright position, rubbing his eyes. “Almost time to go. It’s your big night, remember?”
He slid out of bed with a bemused smile, planting a light kiss on my shoulder. “How are you prepared so early?”
“Love, the difference is this. I’m a girl, you’re a boy. It’s harder for us to get ready. It’s easier for you.” I reply, winking as he shut the bathroom door.
“Ah, excuses, excuses.” He teased. Within minutes, only the sound of gushing water could be heard.
Suddenly, there was a knock at the door.
Gingerly holding the folds of my gown, I dashed across the carpeted floor, barefoot; wrenching it open to find Rachel standing on the other side, a cherubic young man with lustrous brown curls holding her hand.
“Skylar!” I chirped, bending down to embrace him. He wrapped his little arms around my neck, giggling happily. “I haven’t seen you in awhile. You’re getting so big!”
She shook her head exasperatedly, with the frazzled expression familiar to mothers everywhere. “Too big, I want him to slow down just a little.”
To my amazement, little Skylar went to sit on the bed, playing with a bear he’d brought. Rachel just smiled, patting him gently on the head before setting her cosmetics box on the bureau.
I sat down in front of the mirror while she polished, buffeted every part of my face, making me almost unrecognisable in a dazzling kind of way.
Josh emerged from the bathroom in a deep burgundy suit, steam billowing out from behind him. His hair was gelled to appear messy, which in my eyes, made him more appealing, more debonair.
He wrestled with Skylar for a few minutes before giving him a piece of candy. Of course with Rachel’s approval.
Rachel moved to my left, applying dark eyeshadow meticulously to my eyelid. “So how was Iceland, Jen?”
“Yeah, it was cold. Too cold. I’m happy filming’s over so I can go home. It’s been too long since I’ve seen my family or his. I mean, we’ve gotta get down to Kentucky for Christmas, New Years.”
“Oh, wow. Sounds like you’ve been pretty busy. How are you gonna fit a wedding in the schedule?”
At her words, my muscles suddenly tensed, as if I was preparing to flee. Ice flooded my body, immobilising it, trapping me where I sat. A bead of sweat broke out on my forehead. Oh of course, she’d seen it on the news!
Her hands patted my braided hair soothingly. “No, honey. You need to calm down. I’ve always known that this would happen for you. Ever since he walked into the room, and I happened to be there, your eyes would light up. It’s how I still look at Roger even after fourteen years. I was just waiting for it to happen.”
He leapt off the bed, squeezing my shoulder gently. I reflexively reached up to stroke his hand. “Really?” He asked.
“Really. I’ll admit I saw it on TV today but I didn’t find out that way. I knew from the very beginning. Don’t worry, I won’t say anything… There, you’re all done!” She announced, tucking a loose strand of hair back behind my ear.
The glamorous young woman I saw staring back at me was unfamiliar. Her lips were painted a luminous red, the colour of roses in bloom. Her golden hair was braided in a rather intricate, beautiful manner. The plum coloured silk gown clung to her figure invitingly, making her resemble a magnificent Grecian goddess.
“Shi– sugar!” I say more for Skylar’s benefit than mine. Rachel winked at me, understanding.
Josh nodded fervently. “'Sugar’ is right. You look amazing.”
Heat rose to my cheeks as I stood up from the chair, retrieving the matching Chanel clutch from the bureau. “I know!” I say, eliciting laughter from him.
I turned to embrace Rachel. “Thank you for coming on such a short notice. I just wanted to be here for his big night.”
“Oh, sweetheart, it’s fine. I was in New York anyway, working on a couple of things for my fashion line. You two have a good night okay?” She said, bidding us farewell with little Skylar right behind her.
When they left, I glanced at my phone. We had about forty minutes before he needed to be on the red carpet. “Hey.” I say as we headed into the elevator. “You know how much I love you right?”
“Of course. You know how much I love YOU.”
“Alright, I know I said I’d walk the red carpet with you but.. um.”
“Given today’s events, you’d rather make a separate entrance.” He murmured, his voice empty of any bitterness.
“No! I’m just a little scared. What if they ask me? What will I say? They will corner me, I’m telling you.”
“Hon, just relax. Calm down. I will not leave your side. Besides Andre will be coming too. So worst comes to worst, at least you’ll have him for company.” He said, giving my hand a reassuring squeeze as we walked across the lobby.
“Easy for you to say. You watch, they’ll corner me. I swear to god.” I say vehemently, sliding into the back seat of the black Lexus.
To my surprise, sitting alongside the driver, was Andre, looking quite refined in a coal black Prada suit, Josh’s signature colour.
He turned around, giving him a high-five before smiling kindly at me. “Not if I have anything to do with it. You’ll be alright, Jen. I’m your designated babysitter.”
I nearly lunged at him out of sheer gratitude. “Thank god for you, Andre I swear.”
“See? Things are looking up!” Josh said brightly. Ugh, ever the optimist.
When we pulled up a few feet away from the entrance of the Plaza, he squeezed my hands before getting out of the Lexus. As soon as the car door swung open, the cacophony of a hundred screaming voices, most of which were female, punctuated the tranquil silence we enjoyed on our journey.
Their excited shrieks were joined by the unpleasant flashing lights that belonged to the countless cameras assembled along the red carpet.
I watched proudly as he flitted off to join his costars for a group picture.
Taking a deep breath, I removed my engagement ring quickly, slipping it into my clutch before clambering out of the car with Andre following closely behind.
Immediately, I was besieged by several blinding camera lights, the excited screams of several fans. I suddenly felt relieved that my ring wasn’t displayed on my finger. It was tucked inside my purse, hidden away from the prying eyes of the media.
Josh and I made sure to walk the red carpet separately as a way of minimising the amount of attention that would surely multiply following the ambush at JFK.
As I predicted, most journalists made a beeline for me, scrambling to get interviews. I politely declined all requests, choosing instead to sign a few pictures from the crowd. But this was his night, not mine. I didn’t want to detract attention from his success.
So I opted instead to pose for a few official pictures on the red carpet before approaching Josh from behind. “Long time no see.” I joked, giggling, tapping his shoulder.
He beamed at me, wrapping an arm around my waist. “Well, it is nice to see you too.”
The lovely journalist who was interviewing him smiled at me, her brown eyes wide. “Jennifer! It’s lovely to see you here. Tell us, what can we expect from the movie?”
Chuckling, I shook my head. “I don’t know, I haven’t seen it. You should probably ask him since he’s the one in it. But it’s good seeing you too.”
She smiled, brandishing her E! News microphone. “Today’s been quite interesting for you. What do you have to say about that?”
I gripped his hand tightly, feeling a bead of sweat break out on my forehead. Her eyes drifted down to my right hand, evidently looking for the ring that was safely stowed away in my purse. God, they are nothing if not predictable.
“You can only get through the day if you’re surrounded by people you love. So I’m extremely thankful for that. I’m grateful that I get to see them do what they do best. In this case, I’m so proud to be here to support Josh. He’s done really well with this movie.” I say, turning to him with a gentle smile.
He rubbed my back soothingly while still flashing a megawatt smile at the journalist. When she opened her mouth, presumably to ask another question, he cleared his throat.
“Yeah, longevity in any career is only possible when you’ve worked hard, you’re surrounded by people who love you.”
In terms of Flash, longevity is, um, something that’s never really been present in his life. I mean, he’s an orphan. So I think it’s hard for him to open up because the minute he cares about somebody, they get taken away. I’m fortunate enough to never have known that in my life.“
I gently squeezed his hand to let him know I was moving forward. He cast a brief glance at me, nodded ever so slightly before turning back to the journalist.
Andre carefully steered me away while the reporter was distracted, accompanying me to an exclusive theatre within the Plaza, where a screening of the film would take place.
He sat with me inside, saving an extra seat for Josh. "Ugh, thank you. I knew that question was coming. Didn’t I tell you?” I say exasperatedly.
His deep, booming laugh echoed throughout the room. “The look on your face was hilarious.. It’s okay to laugh, right?”
“Totally. I’m just saying that I knew it was coming. Fortunately, they didn’t disappoint.”
Chuckling at the wry tone in my voice, Andre cleared his throat. “You know, he asked me to be one of his groomsmen. 'Chief’ groomsman is what he called it. Apparently so my feelings wouldn’t get hurt.”
“Aw, he’s always so considerate. I’m guessing Connor’s the best man?”
“Oh shit! I haven’t even considered my maid of honour or bridesmaids. Fuck.”
“Calm down, that’s what the holidays are for..”
Fifteen minutes later, Josh joined us, giving me a light, sweet kiss. He sat down, flinging his blazer over the seat. “Thank god, I was starting to freeze my ass off.”
“How’d it go?” I ask, scooting a little closer to him. “Anybody else give you a hard time?”
“What else would you expect? But I kept bringing the topic around to the movie. Come on, they’re there for the fucking film, not my personal life.”
“There’s the media for ya.” Andre said knowingly.
The three of us settled back in our seats to watch the film. For two and a half hours, I proudly watched Josh race around the city of Chicago, clad in a skintight red spandex suit with lightning bolts on either side of the mask.
He moved with surprising speed, something I’d seen during our Hunger Games days; running through walls, leaping off cliffs, rescuing the damsel in distress.
When Adelaide’s character died, his tears elicited something strong inside of me. I laced my fingers through his, moving forward to rest my head on his shoulders.
He instinctively glanced down at me, concerned. With his free hand, he stroked my hair. “Are you okay?”
“Nothing.” I whispered back. “It’s so moving. Really.”
“Does that mean I’m a good actor?”
Our trio joined the costars at the after party celebrating the release of the film. To a majority of those at the screening, it was a clear success. I must say, I thoroughly agree.
I played the role of photographer this time, eagerly shoving my phone in his face, capturing every moment. He blushed most of the time as I made my way through the sea of journalists taking pictures of the after party.
Pretending to be a crazed fan, I began sighing dramatically, hands flailing as he approached. “Oh my god, Josh, you are so gorgeous. I love you so much. My god!” I cried, eliciting delighted laughter from those around me.
Holding up my iPhone, I pulled him over to my side. “Do you mind if we take a selfie?” I ask; without waiting for an answer, I proceeded to snap several pictures. Launching myself into his arms, I pretended to cry.
To his credit, Josh played along, smiling widely. “There, there. Calm down, I hope you like my movie!”
Beaming at him, I lowered my phone, eventually joining him on the red carpet. “That, Hutch, is how ALL the girls react when they see you.” I say in my normal voice.
He smiled at me tenderly, hazel eyes shining. “I’m very flattered, thank you. Shall we go stuff ourselves with food?”
“Fuck yes, good sir.” I say, hooking my arm through his.
“So classy.” He murmured, shaking his head as we avoided the crowd of cameramen, who now resembled a flock of seagulls, trying to get our picture. Instead I buried my head in his shoulder, only looking up when we reached the buffet table.
We enjoyed ourselves immensely at dinner; eating, exchanging stories. For the first time in weeks, I finally felt relaxed, albeit a little fatigued. When the exhaustion reached a point where I could no longer ignore it, I excused myself politely from the table.
Both Andre and Josh followed closely behind me; the latter with his hand on the small of my back. “You okay?” He whispered anxiously.
“Yeah, I’m fine. I’m just tired.” I answer, rubbing my eyes. “Still not over the jet-lag.”
“We should go back to the hotel, get some rest.”
“No, you stay here. I don’t want to ruin your big night. I’ll go back, okay? I’m sorry, otherwise I’d stay.”
He took my face in his hands, leaning forward to press his lips very briefly against mine. “You didn’t ruin it. You’re the best part of it. Let me go with you.”
“Babe, it’s your big night. I’ll be fine!”
“Well.. At least, Andre will go with you. Is that okay, man?”
“Sure. I’ll call you when we get there. Come on, sleepyhead. Bedtime awaits.”
After giving Josh one last kiss, I sluggishly followed Andre back to the car, doing my utmost not to fall deeply asleep on the short journey back to the hotel.
It took everything I had not to collapse on the bed, still clothed in my shining Oscar de La Renta gown with its matching jewels. So I slipped clumsily out of the gown, hanging it on the back of the bedroom door.
My last thought before I drifted off into a state of dreamless sleep was comforting; today, life was kind. I had been able to support the love of my life, to see him grow before my very eyes. It’s almost intoxicating, seeing him so happy, so proud.
But that’s when I learned what it really meant. True love is when you put the happiness of the one you love before anything else. Today, by supporting Josh, I’d done exactly that.
Hours later, the muted sound of a closing door roused me from an otherwise very peaceful, dreamless sleep. Lifting my head from the pillow, I wondered vaguely about whether or not I’d forgotten to lock up after Andre had dropped me off.
Halfheartedly pulling myself into an upright position, I rubbed my eyes, trying to regain my bearings in the darkness. My god, what time is it?
Coughing slightly, I considered extracting myself from the snug cocoon of cotton sheets before lying back down. Too cold to get out.
“Is someone there?” I croak with my eyes half open.
“Hey honey, it’s me. I just got back from the party. Shhh, go back to sleep.” Josh answered, sliding into bed next to me. He pulled me close, wrapping his arms around my waist.
“Did you have a great night?”
“Yeah. Would’ve been better if you were there, shaking that sexy ass on the dance floor.”
He chuckled softly, tracing feather-light kissed along the nape of my neck, making my skin tingle with pleasure. “Go to sleep, beautiful. I love you.
"I love you too.”
We drifted off to sleep, comforted by a single thought; we were home.
Harrison is flying Mom, Dad and Tobias home tonight, and Chris and I have tickets on a commercial flight in the morning. The police apprehended Leah just after midnight when she finally went to a hospital for help. She’ll be treated overnight and then I’ll have to pick her out of a lineup. Chris cleared all of his meetings for the week to go back to St. Louis with me, and I’ll be packing up.
Yesterday was a great day for our families. Aside from Dad and Robert disagreeing on the best pitcher in the MLB, they got along great. Lisa and Mom toured Lisa’s theater, and Lisa throws a fit when she learns I can high step. Maimeó demanded one of the children carry the Irish heritage so the burden fell on me, and it’s a practice not forgotten once learned. This resulted in an impromptu recital in Lisa’s basement, but I made Chris tap for everyone as well.
Dave, K.C., Tori and Adam are the perfect examples of why they need to keep this cast short. They were all characters of great potential and they’re gone because the writers blackholed them, the portrayers got frustrated and LEFT or got killed off in the shittiest way. I’d count Connor and Jenna too but they’re technically “still around”. When the cast is over crowded, THAT’S the kind of ship that happens. Smh.
Fuck all these new characters they’re casting for season 15. When these seniors go, work with who the fuck you have. Bitch, let’s do the damn math:
Miles + Maya + Zig + Zoe + Tristan + Winston + Tiny + Grace + Jonah + Shay + Lola + Frankie + Hunter + Jack = FOURTEEN, in other words,E-goddamn-NOUGH. If I missed a character’s name by any chance, that only proves my point even more.