Taking a long pull from your bottle of water, you take in your surroundings in the blistering heat. You could faintly make out the Hollywood sign through the hazy rippling air as the you felt the sun beat down on your skin. Lifting your head up to gaze at the piercing blue sky completely clear of clouds, you couldn’t help but grin at the thought of your newly adopted city.
For years you had always wanted to do something adventurous, something no one that knew you expected and four days ago after months of planning - finally - you had followed your dream, upping sticks and moving from the U.K to the sprawling metropolis of Los Angeles. You did a little jig as the sense of freedom flowed through your veins, uncaring if anyone saw you.
Taking a deep breath, you shoved your water bottle back in your rucksack and continued on your journey, exploring the hike trails you had looked up when you had arrived at your apartment.
Hoping you were nearing the summit of the trail you had chosen, you heard low thuds and voices coming closer from behind you. Surmising that a jogging group were coming your way, you hugged as far to the edge of the trail as possible to allow room for them to pass you.
As the group passed, you wondered how on earth they could jog uphill on a roasting day like today; just walking you felt uncomfortably sweaty, droplets covering your brow and you could feel the trickling sensation of moisture between your breasts.
Pausing again, you took out your bottle of water again and cursed when you realised you had already drunk it dry. Sighing, you decided to call it a day as the thought of going further uphill without water made your mouth even more dry than before. Looking out over the horizon again, you hauled your rucksack back on and turned, not realising that while engrossed in your own thoughts the jogging group were heading back your way.
Tripping slightly on an uneven part of the trail, you stumbled into one of the joggers as the group passed you again. As you tried to catch your balance, you realised with lack of water and being unused to such sweltering heat you were feeling the affects of dehydration and felt dizzy. A large tanned hand gripped your arm as you tried to straighten up and guided you to a large rock to sit on near the edge of the trail.
“You alright honey?” A male voice rumbled at you, and looking up you couldn’t make out the figure in front of you with the sun shining in your eyes.
“Em yes I think so, shit was it you I stumbled into? I’m awfully sorry, I didn’t take enough water with me, not used to all this fecking heat!” You stammered as you waved your hands at your face in a fruitless attempt to cool down.
“Eh yeah, this is actually kinda cool for this time of year actually,” the man answered, pulling out a bottle of water from his own rucksack. He offered it to you and you grabbed it from his hand gratefully, the thought of water making you forget your manners.
“Thank you!” You gasped when you finally remembered, after a hefty draw out of the water bottle. You could already feel the dizziness fade as the water worked it’s magic on your body and senses.
“I should of brought more water with me but didn’t realise how long the trail was! The trails back home are a lot shorter but then again even if they were longer it’s barely 10 degrees back home so wouldn’t be as gasping as I am now if I didn’t have water!” Realising you were babbling, you cleared your throat and stood up, shifting slightly to the side so you could finally make out the features of the kind man that helped you.
Eyes widening in shock, you took in the dark blonde slightly curling hair, tanned smooth skin damp with sweat, the slightly raised eyebrows over clear grey eyes and the gently curving mouth of Jai Courtney once the sun was positioned behind you.
You cleared your throat as you realise by his expression that he knew that you knew who he was, and you could feel the blood rush to your already red and sweaty face. ‘Fuck!’ You thought to yourself, ‘I must look like a right fucking tool right now, a sweaty stinking tool!’ Wiping your face on your sleeve you tried to gather your thoughts and control the expression on your face.
“Obviously by my expression there I guess you realise I know who you are,” you venture with a slightly bashful smile, looking up into his eyes.
Jai laughed as he pulled his rucksack over one shoulder and half turned, indicating that he would walk with you.
“It’s a hazard of being in the acting industry,” he joked as we began walking down the trail.
“Your reaction was pretty tame actually compared to some of my fans, really subdued!” He sounded slightly miffed and after a quick glance at his face you both started laughing as you realised he was joking.
“How you feeling now? Need any more water? I got a coupla more bottles in my rucksack if you need?”
I shook my head declining his offer, still a bit awed that THE Jai Courtney was walking with you and even speaking to you in such an open and friendly manner.
“Thanks but I’m fine now, you can maybe catch up with your group now if you wanted to? I don’t want to hold you up anymore than I have already,” you ventured. Conscious of how sweaty you were, you half hoped he would go, paranoid that in the heat you might not be smelling your freshest.
“I could, but I would really like to hear more about where you’re from, sounds pretty cold from what you said earlier? I’ve spent some time in the U.K but not as much as I would of liked,” Jai smiled at you, and feeling the dizziness return, you knew it had nothing to do with lack of water but everything to do with the man striding next to you.
Shrugging your shoulders, you spoke haltingly to begin with, about your hometown and the scenery. Soon forgetting who you were talking to, you found yourself regaling Jai with anecdotes about your youth, friends and drunken nights out that had you laughing so hard you could barely continue.
“Sounds like my kind of fun!” Jai quipped as you continued to snort, trying to control yourself but seeing the shake of your shoulders as you tried to suppress the laughter soon had Jai laughing too, and without realising it you were at the bottom of the trail where Jai’s group were stretching out after the jog while waiting for him to rejoin them.
You watched as Jai joined them and feeling a bit dejected you hovered unsure of what to do. Luckily Jai turned round and beckoned you over. Mood picking up, you tried to keep your face neutral but inside you were jumping for joy, you couldn’t believe how easy it had been to talk to him!
“We always go for a bite to eat after a jog, wanna join us?” Jai offered, and accepting gladly you followed him to his car while he chattered away about everything he was going to order. Seeing two other members of the group get in the back of his truck, you went to skip around to the passenger side at the front when Jai caught your arm.
“Before you get in, I wondered if you wanted to go out sometime? You know just me and you? I had a blast today, I think we’d have a great time.” Looking up into his grinning face, you grinned back and knew he knew you were going to say yes.
That was one of the worst workouts of my life. I felt sick the entire way through, my heart and head weren’t in it, every move was just a struggle. But I did it. And it’s done. And I’m starting to feel better now.