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American Attraction

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It had been over a week of radio silence by the time Max finally heard from Chloe again. A simple ‘Come over’ text that couldn’t help but make her anxious. That’s how she found herself sitting at the back of the last bus of the night headed across town toward the Price household. She absently fidgeted with the strap of her ever present camera bag and tapped her foot, the anxious energy making it nearly impossible to sit still.

She found herself at the bus stop entirely sooner than she was prepared for, and started the short walk to her best friend’s house. While she walked slow as molasses, her mind raced at a somewhat impressive speed. Coming up with all of the different horrible scenarios that could account for the avoidance. Maybe Chloe was onto her, had noticed her maybe a little bit more than friends feelings. Maybe she just didn’t know how to let Max down easy, maybe she was weirded out by it. Maybe she was walking into her worst fears.

Before she knew it she stood on the doorstep of the half blue house. She took a deep breath and let herself in, like she had gotten used to doing over the past few months. David would be at Blackwell doing his rounds, Joyce was most likely at the diner for another hour or two at the least. She slunk up the stairs, took a deep breath, and pushed the door to Chloe’s room open.

Chloe sat at the end of her bed, scraped knees poking through ripped jeans, slouching forward with one elbow propped up on her knee holding up her head. The other arm rested lightly on the opposite knee with a lit cigarette hanging loosely between bruised knuckles. Her eyes followed the trail of smoke upward and scanned her face, adorned with a split lip and black eye, a sharp contrast to her beautiful porcelain skin. Max couldn’t help herself, she had to have a picture of this. She dug her camera out of her bag and took a quick shot before tucking them away again.

Chloe scoffed and rolled her eyes, dropping her still lit cigarette in the ashtray next to her. “I didn’t call you here to take pictures hippie.”

Max nodded sheepishly and made her way to the nearby desk chair, plopping down and bracing herself for what was to come. “What happened to you Chlo?” She asked as she fiddled with her camera bag.

“Well clearly I’ve been on a bender” She says with a smirk. It’s classic Chloe Price avoidance.

“Chloe I’m serious, I haven’t heard from you in over a week. What happened?” Max got up then, moving to sit on the bed next to her best friend. She looked even worse for wear up close.

Chloe sighed and hung her head for a moment before flopping backward on the bed to stare at the ceiling. “I was just trying to work though some shit Max, don’t worry about it.”

“Chlo, you know you can talk to me about anything right?” Max asked as she flopped down next to her.

Chloe sighed and looked over at her “I know Max it’s just… I don’t know. I don’t know what to think anymore. I just can’t stop thinking about something, and I don’t know how this person would react to it. It could ruin everything.” She rambled, turning her attention back to the ceiling above her.

Max nodded and remained silent for a moment, contemplating what she should say. “Chloe, what’s this about? Is this about the other night?” She asked as she took hold of Chloe’s hand.

Chloe bit her lip and glanced back over at Max. “Fuck okay” She said as she sat up and turned toward her friend. “Saturday, before I went MIA, you came over remember?”

Max nodded and sat up, sitting across from her. Nodding was all she could force herself to do in response. Her heart was in her throat, racing with anticipation.
Chloe continued “Well we watched that stupid final fantasy movie again, I still don’t understand why you like it so much, but you were like….so close to me.”

Max’s stomach dropped, this was it, her worst fears being recognized. Chloe had to be on to her now, maybe trying to find the words to let her down gently. Would she even still want to be friends if she knew how Max felt? Max’s mind was racing at the idea.

Chloe looked away now, unable to maintain eye contact. “You just kind of cuddled up to me, traced patterns on my stomach, held my hand and stuff like that. I mean it’s nothing that you haven’t done before, but I just kept looking at you. You were just…” Chloe stopped and searched for the words, but Max was already breaking the silence.

“Chloe, I’m sorry I didn’t mean to make this weird, I just thought that—“ Max began to anxiously ramble like a train speeding down its tracks toward disaster.

“Max.” Chloe tried to cut in, but Max continued over her.

“When we were kids we used to always watch movies in pillow forts and we would always kind of curl up together and I wasn’t thinking about it I just—“ Max continued unable to stop herself now.

“Max seriously” Chloe tried again to no avail.

“It was cold and I was tired and I must have just subconsciously done it and –“ She was finally cut short by Chloe’s finger being pressed to her lips.

“Caulfield, you are making it really fucking hard for me to confess my love for you.” Chloe said with a grin.

Max’s eyes got as big as saucers, she sputtered a few times, trying to form any kind of words to respond with. She found herself opening and closing her mouth like a fish out of water. It only made Chloe’s grin grow wider, threatening to reopen her already split lip. Chloe closed the distance between them and pressed a soft kiss to Max’s lips before pulling away again to study her face.

“So….feelings mutual or..?” Chloe asked.

Max still couldn’t find words, but the giddy feeling in her stomach gave her enough courage to do the next best thing. She moved her hand to the back of Chloe’s neck and pulled her in for another kiss. Max didn’t have very much experience, but Chloe didn’t seem to mind as she kissed her back firmly. Chloe placed a hand on her cheek and deepened the kiss for a few short moments before pulling away, nipping Max’s bottom lip playfully.

“Now you better show me that picture you took earlier, and I better look like a badass Maxi-pad or I might have to rethink this whole making you my girlfriend thing.” Chloe said with a playful smile.

Max couldn’t help but return one of her own. “I don’t think I’ll have anything to worry about then.”

“You’re right, I always look badass don’t I?” Chloe teased.

Max rolled her eyes and swatted Chloe’s arm playfully “Yeah whatever you say Chloe, you’re softer than cookie dough.”

“Only for you though Caulfield, only for you.” Chloe said with a smile.

Max smiled back and retrieved the photo from earlier, though she didn’t hear much of Chloe’s feedback. She was far too lost thinking about the feeling of Chloe’s lips on hers to care. A feeling that returned soon after. Time travel may have been exhilarating, but nothing could hold a candle to Chloe Price.