ellis scans

The After Party.

TAYLOR POV

The after party was in full swing. Taylor had quickly changed into a shorter black dress with various cut out panels on her way from the arena to the party. The 1989 era had given her a confidence she hadn’t had before. She felt sexy, strong and happy. Her life was exactly the way she wanted. She had an amazing group of friends, huge success with an album she was really proud of and the media were finally talking about something that wasn’t her personal life. Everything was perfect.

The atmosphere of the room was electric – the loud music was vibrating through her and the champagne was circulating the room just enough to keep her on a happy level of tipsy. Whilst dancing wildly (obviously) with Ellie and Karlie, she scanned the room. She told herself that she wasn’t looking for him. That she wasn’t seeking out his green eyes in the dark room.

She was.

Ever since Ellie introduced them she had been drawn to him. He laughed when he teased her about his past interview and they chatted through the final performance of the Brits, agreeing to see each other later at the after party. But she couldn’t see him. She shook her head and told herself to stop being so ridiculous. They had only just met and she’d been steering clear of relationships for a good reason. She’d been burnt before and she wasn’t ready to run back into that fire.

She focused on her surroundings instead – enjoying the party and celebrating her win. She started swaying to the music that was booming from the DJ booth, losing herself to the dance rhythm beating through the floor. Ellie and Karlie by her side. She loved to dance – she didn’t think she was good but she didn’t care – this was where she could forget about everything around her. And forget she did, she forgot about everyone else in the room. Except him.

CALVIN POV

He left the Brits in a hurry – in the crowds of people all leaving at once he had lost sight of her. They’d tentatively agreed to meet at the after party but was she just being polite? Was she even interested in seeing him again? He wasn’t usually this worried and uncertain – he didn’t like the feeling.

Watching her perform had changed something in him. Sure, she looked stunning and he actually caught himself laughing out loud at the fact he said she wasn’t his type before. She was everyone’s type. But, it was something else that caught him off guard and he wasn’t sure what it was.

After her award win he’d casually suggested to Ellie that she text her to come and stand over with them – she’d given him a knowing look but had text her without comment. He was curious about this girl. He had heard about her – everyone had. She wasn’t dating anymore; he knew that from the barrage of press intrusion into her life. They analysed and obsessed over every relationship she had and inevitably it had destroyed them all. He knew how damaging the press could be to relationships that weren’t strong enough – it crippled them before they even had a chance to grow.

When she came over he studied her intently – she was stunning up close. Alarmingly so. He found that he couldn’t even focus in on the names that Ellie was quickly running through with Taylor until she leaned in and said to only him…‘Do you still think I look lovely?’ He just stared at her before joining in with her laughter. She was teasing him and he liked it.

He was running over every small exchange they had shared after her joke whilst he walked into the after party. He caught sight of her, dancing in the centre of the room totally oblivious to everything around her. He was enchanted. Her watched her for a few minutes, enamoured by her free and careless dancing. She was drinking from a champagne flute, holding it carefully in her delicate hands. He realised she had drained the glass dry so before he could convince himself not to he grabbed two glassed from a nearby waiter and moved over to her.

*

She drank the last few drops of her drink and placed it down on a table next to her, before she could even think of taking her next step a full glass was placed in her hand. She turned and was suddenly face to face with Calvin. He was here. She couldn’t help the smile that spread across her face and blushed when she saw that his face was mirroring her happiness.

‘Calvin, nice to see you again! Thanks for the drink.’ She quickly breathed out. He was standing so close to her she couldn’t concentrate. He was tall, very tall. And so handsome she almost couldn’t breathe.

‘I just couldn’t stay away.’ Her breathing paused momentarily and she could almost hear her heart racing above the music. ‘Do you want to move over to somewhere a little quieter?’ He was feeling bold and he would have no bigger regret than leaving this party without getting to know her better. She nodded in agreement, a slight blush reddening her cheeks, which only made her more endearing to him. He guided her over to a seated area to the right of the bar – secluded from the view of the party. It was small and enclosed, their long limbs grazing each other’s as they sat down.

‘So, Calvin, did you enjoy the show?’ She was making small talk – she was too nervous for this. She started looking around cautiously to plan an escape. He smiled at her

‘Please, call me Adam. Calvin is just a stage name.’ She looked up at him surprised but touched that he would trust her with something so intimate so quickly. ‘And, yes I did. You were magnificent and congratulations on the award – very well deserved.’

She beamed at him. Her megawatt smile filling him with a warm feeling in his chest. ‘Thank you! That’s so sweet of you to say.’

The more they talked – about friends, home, music, family – the more comfortable they became with each other. They had subconsciously moved themselves closer together; his arm over the back of the chair they were sharing and her face leaned in to hear his voice clearer. They instinctively began reaching out to each other, animated in conversation. She would touch his arm with a laugh at one of his jokes and he could have sworn he felt the heat of her touch there for the rest of the night. It was comfortable – he made her comfortable. The party was beginning to wind down and they had spent most of the night laughing and whispering to each other. She had butterflies, the good kind, and didn’t want the night to end. Karlie was motioning to her from the distance and she knew she had to leave him. He noticed her attention had moved on to something else and glanced over his shoulder.

‘You have to leave?’ he said, not even hiding the sadness in his voice. She beamed again. It was all she seemed to do in his presence.

‘Unfortunately, yeah. I had no idea it had got so late. We’ve been talking for over an hour!’ she looked down, nervous about her next question. His hand reached over to hers and gave her a reassuring affectionate squeeze. She could do this. ‘Adam, I know I’m being forward and trust me, I don’t normally do this but I’d really like to see you again. Can I have your number?’

Now it was his turn to beam. Talking with her had been the best part of his night – his week, if he’s being honest. He was completely enthralled by her and the fact that despite her past it had been her that had asked him to take this further had completely surprised him. He could only think of one response to her question.

‘Ms. Swift. I thought you’d never ask.’