A Very Darren Criss Love Story

A Very Darren Criss Love Story

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Chapter 28

It's no wonder that you're underneath my skin. I haven't let you out since I've let you in.

After we had finished eating, I dropped the boys off at their apartment (we had taken my car) and headed off to work. Sarah trusted me enough to open up and sometimes close the shelter, especially on days like this. The weather had quickly transended into a humid rainfall. The sun, still shining, had created a bright rainbow that shone wide across the sky. I snapped a quick picture of it under the safety of my umbrella and let myself into the cool air of the shelter.

The rainfall surely wouldn't hold up and I was actually thankful. Of course, I'm not too fond of rain, but usually I'd be in hopes of being able to close early. Although today, I had things that I wanted to get done while I had my mind set on them. Today, was a cleaning day.

I'm far from a person you could label as a "clean freak". I leave things around often, like the day of my high school graduation; right before I had left to go to the ceremony, I realized that I had lost my cap and robe and searched around for them frantically. I felt like such an idiot when I had realized that I had left them both in the bottom of my closet, which I had already checked, twice. That closet was spotless the very next day. So although I may not be the most organized person, I have days that I feel motivated enough to clean every single possible thing that needs to be cleaned.

So I set off, cleaning cages, watering the plants out in the sitting room, tending to the customers that entered at various times, feeding the pesky birds that annoy me to no end, and bathing 5 dogs, one of which who was terrified enough to run off and challenge me to catch him. Needless to say, my clothes were soaked in watery suds.
After that was completed, I sat in a huff at the front desk and checked my phone. I had one missed call and a text. Both from Darren.

The text read: Still cleaning? Do you want lunch? Because I could bring you something.

I decided to call him in return. It took not but 1 ring.


"Hello. You sound quite energized."

"Yeah! Since breakfast, I've been basically bouncing off the walls. It's kinda starting to piss Joey off."

"Oh, well that's not really something new," I replied with a grin.

He laughed. "Yeah, I guess you're right. Which is why I asked if you'd want me to bring some food over. I figured cleaning would make you hungry."

I hadn't actually thought about food, but now that Darren had mentioned it, I guess I was kind of hungry. "You should rest for your concert."

"But I can't rest, I'm too excited. Plus, I think Joey would be more than happy to have a little time to breathe."

I giggled, and my stomach made up it's mind, releasing a tiny grumble. "Okay, food sounds pretty nice right now."

"See? I knew that you couldn't resist that offer," he answered, smile apparent in his voice.

"Yeah, yeah. I don't want anything big, though."

"Damn," he said. "I already have a four-course meal in the oven, waiting. What am I ever going to do now?"

I smiled. "Shut up, you know what I meant."

"You're no fun. I'll see what I have in the fridge."

"Alright, hurry! I'm bored."

"Sure thing. Byeeeeeeeeeeeeee!"

"See you soon, Darren," I replied, rolling my eyes.

I set my phone down and made my way to the front window. I peered outside and yes, like I had assumed, the rain had subsided to a fine mist that lingered in the air, just kissing the faces of the individuals that ambled along the sidewalk. I sighed, heading back toward the cages to entertain the animals.

After almost 30 minutes has passed, the bell had sounded. I smiled and placed a cute Jack Russel back into his cage.

"Food!" I blurted, making my way to the front room.

"Excuse me?" an amused voice sounded.
I rounded the room to see Sarah approaching the desk, setting her bag adjacent to mine.

"Oh, I wasn't expecting you!" I exclaimed.

She smiled. "Well I hope you weren't expecting it to be a customer because if that's really how you welcome someone, then I just might have to reconsider your employment."

I laughed. "Darren is supposed to be bringing me lunch anytime now."

I had caught with the passing of his name that Sarah's expression had brightened just ever-so-slightly. "Oh, is that so?" she inquired.

I nodded, grinning. "Yeah, he worried that cleaning might have caused my starvation."

"Well, that does sound like him," she replied. "And did you really do that much cleaning already? Jesus, Chloe, it's barely afternoon."

I shrugged noncommitingly. "What can I say? I'm just a boss's pet." Sarah chuckled, bemused. I continued, "...or I'm just an excellent employee that hates cleaning but will do all that she can to make sure that she gets it out of the way as fast as possible."

"I knew that there was a reason that I hired you," Sarah countered with a smile.

Minutes later, after Sarah had compromised with me and began to wash yet another stinky mutt, the door had rung and in stepped Darren.

"Thank god," I whined indulgently as I rose from the chair.

Before going completely savage and frantically snatching the bag of food from his hand, I greeted him with a kiss.

"Well...maybe I should've made that four course meal, you look like you could eat not only a cow, but an entire family of cows," Darren quipped.

I rolled my eyes. "You are hilarious."

"Is that Darren?" Sarah bellowed from the back.

"Yes it is!" Darren called back brightly.

"Hi Darren!" she cried happily. "I'll be right out!" Almost immediately, the water was being turned off.

Darren smirked, a soft chuckle escaping his lips. "I told you that she loves me," he whispered into my ear.

I rolled my eyes and shoved him playfully, before sitting back in the desk chair, eating my lunch, and observing Darren's charm in action once again.

As it turns out, Darren was correct and Sarah had totally caved and allowed my premature exit from work that evening. Although, she kind of had an incentive. While talking with Darren as I ate my lunch, Sarah had learned of his concert that evening. And after Sarah had expressed her interest, Darren had kindly asked her if she'd like to accompany us there. Of course she happily obliged.

I convinced Darren to go back home and rest for just a little after I'd finished eating.
"Go take a nap. Cuddle with Joey. I'm sure he'd gladly accept your offer," I had teased.

He had then rolled his eyes with a "fiiiine", said his goodbyes, and skipped out the door.

I helped Sarah wash 3 more dogs and cleaned up the desk until she had finally ridded me off with a "get the hell out of here and go get ready". So without even a second thought I had gathered my belongings and made my way home to change.

Outfit: http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/set?id=49335088

The atmosphere of the concert was a mixture of exhilarating, comfortable, and light-hearted ease. The lighting in the venue was soft and warm, more intimate much like Darren's earlier gigs. The people were excited and provided a steady buzz of anticipation while waiting for Darren to surface. When he did, they went naturally wild.

As I stood, watching Darren from the side of the stage, I experienced a whirlwind of emotions. I felt cheerful, thrilled, and ultimately, overwhelmingly proud of this man that I was able to call my boyfriend. To think that just a short amount of time ago, I was watching this same exact person onstage and I was starstruck and amazed. I will always remain amazed, that will never change, but now Darren's not just the celebrity that I had a major crush on, he's just Darren. The goofy, endearing, wonderful guy that I'm lucky enough to spend time with. I could kiss him whenever I felt like it and I could tell him my secrets and he could tell me all of his as well. We could create memories upon memories and do whatever, just sit around in silence and not even care because we're with each other. So seeing that guy onstage sent my heart into a rush of splendorous pride. It took all of the willpower in the world and also the fact that Sarah was right at my side, bopping along to the music, to ground me and keep me in reality.

It seems that just as soon as the concert had started, it had ended. Darren made his way off of the stage and over to me.

"That was great! Come here," I gushed.

He smiled brightly. "You sure you want to touch me? I'm all sweaty."

I ignored him and pulled him in for an embrace, kissing his temple. "You did incredible."

"Thanks babe," he replied, returning a kiss to my forehead, before turning to Sarah and thanking her praises.

After all of the clean up was complete, goodbyes were said, and after that, Darren was kind enough to sign autographs and take pictures with the remaining fans waiting outside of the building. Ideally, I would have waited for Darren and accompanied him back to his apartment, but of course, some people would get a little crazy if they saw a girl with Darren. We had already discussed issues such as that a couple days ago. So I jumped into my car and drove to his apartment.

I giggled as Darren and I were eating our extremely late supper. We lounged on the couch, facing each other, legs intertwined.

Darren's eyebrows scrunched in confusion. "What?"

My giggles continued as I reached over and swiped up his cheek with a napkin. "Do you always miss your mouth?"

He smiled and rolled his eyes. "No, not all the time."

"Well it certainly seems like it," I retorted.

He pushed my leg off the couch, sending the halfway-to-my-mouth forkful of food skimming across my cheek.

"Hey!" I exclaimed, as he was set into his own fit of giggles.

"See? You do it, too," he taunted.

I rolled my eyes. "At least not on purpose."

He reached over and took the napkin from my hand, wiping my face free of food. "Fine, I guess you're right. I've always been messy with my food," he said. "Actually, my mom told me that when I was young, she would have to watch me closely when I ate because I would always attempt to pour my food onto my head or something weird like that."

I covered my mouth with my hand to refrain from spitting food everywhere. I could just imagine a little Darren with a big bowl of spaghetti piled onto his curly head, laughing as his mom ran over to scold and clean him up.

"Are you serious?" I asked through my laughter.

He chuckled once. "Yeah, unfortunately. She told me about this one time that her and my dad had this huge family get together at our house and I was fine throughout the entire meal...but when the cake was set onto the table and their attention was directed away from me..I, um...kind of stuck my face..into it."

My giggles increased. "Oh my god, no! That's horrible. How old were you?"

He chuckled more freely now. "Like, um...around 4 or 5."

My laughter was now reaching uncontrollable and I gasped out unapprehensively, "Oh my god, Darren. I love you."

It took about 5 seconds for me to realize the extent of what I had actually said. Those three little words that meant virtually nothing in reality, but were conveyed as strong and meaningful because of the feeling and emotion put behind it. Those three words that we had not yet exchanged.

I looked down to the floor, laughter forgotten in my thoughts and left ringing in the air. "I, um...." I trailed off.

It felt like minutes had passed before Darren had asked wonderingly, "Do you really?"

"Um, what?"

Darren let out a soft chuckle. "Chloe...do you love me?"

I did love Darren. I knew that for a while now. But saying it out loud was completely different from saying it in your own mind. I looked back up to see Darren's warm, comforting eyes, his gentle and caring smile, so tender and sweet. It was all I needed to relax.

I set my plate down and grabbed his free hand with the both of mine, laying one of them underneath, leaving the other drawing patterns across his palm. I smiled, more reassuringly.
"Of course I do," I answered simply.

His smile grew, his expression so full of emotion. Seconds later, he responded, "I love you, too."

And then his lips were suddenly on mine, our dinner far forgotten.

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