- Promise, Slash [feat. Chris Cornell]
[im back! YAY! collab with babs :3 that kind of rhymes i just realized. well, im too lazy to return my old faves but i will for this set.]

From down the hall I could hear the loud obnoxious pumping music and shouting party-goers pounding against the walls. The entire floor had been rented out for everyone at Toulouse - all communication with other guests cut off, and yet someone managed to throw a rager with over a hundred people. A few years ago I would've been there before it even started, hell, I probably would've planned it. But I was in rehab, I was supposed to be getting better not making it worse. Unlike most people here I was determined to actually do something with myself. My thoughts were concentrated on all this as I wandered down the long narrow hallways. Stopping short of the door where source of the noise was coming from I leaned against the wall, folding my arms over my chest in waiting. I stared straight ahead at the golden painted walls, matter of fact the whole place was covered in bright tacky gold decor. Gold mirrors, glass tables with gold trim and bright red carpeting. The 100 watt light bulbs weren't helping in the least bit. Several people rushed in and out of the room I stood across; laughing and shouting as they shut the door behind them. I only managed to get a slight glimpse at the chaos inside - surprising it hadn't yet spilled out into the halls but it would. My head leaned back against the wall to look up at the ceiling as I let out a long sigh. From a distance I heard a voice that made me straighten up and draw my attention to the direction from where it came. Arienette was muttering to herself as she came out of her room. She hadn't noticed me yet and she was headed in my direction. Leaning off the wall I started towards her. A smile appeared on her plush lips as soon as she saw me, tucking back a loose strand of hair behind her ear. 
"Arienette, looking beautiful as always." I smiled at her, finally falling into step next to her. She bit down on her bottom lip and what I thought was a slight blush flushed her face. Or maybe it was the heat, it was blazing hot in here and no one had turned on the air conditioner. Although I had hope for the former half, I wanted to make her feel happy and maybe just a little bit shy. 
"Not as handsome as you look," she chuckled, winking at me. "So are you going to the party?"
I shook my head, glancing over my shoulder at the now open door revealing the commotion inside; a few people starting to spread out into the halls. Then I turned back to Arienette, "No. I wanted to check out the city.. legally that is." 
"But that's never fun." she smirked, arching her brow at me. 
"It can be. Hey, come on, I'll take you to one of the best spots in New York." I offered, reaching out for her hand. She tensed for a moment before joining her hand with mine, linking our fingers together.
"Where are we going?" she she blinked, tossing her hair over her shoulder. 
I shrugged, wrapping my arm around her waist as we started to walk down the hall towards the elevator and I gave her a light squeeze, "Now that would be a surprise."
"You're not going to get us lost are you?" Arienette raised her brow at me as we walked down the hall. Her hand behind me, she slipped her hand in my back pocket.
"Of course not, I know how to use mapquest." I smirked at her, feeling a boost of self confidence that she had no qualms showing affection in public at the moment. Several others passed us when the elevator doors opened; an endless supply of kids rushing around to get by. I pulled Arienette closer to me, glancing around and I noticed the doors were shutting again just as we had made it past everyone. Extending my arm out to push the down button and it lit up in waiting for the next elevator car.
"That isn't exactly reassuring." Arienette chuckled under her breath. 
I glanced over at her, shaking my head "Relax. I've been here a few times before." 
"Well I guess being lost in New York City with you wouldn't be the worst thing in the world anyways." she bit down on her lip to conceal a smile. 
The elevator door dinged as it opened to a few who emptied it within seconds, brushing past the two of us. Arienette and I stepped inside as the door closed behind us. I reached out to push the button again to the bottom floor. 
"Glad to hear it." I nodded, leaning in to her to press a kiss to her forehead, grinning at her "And if you're worried about getting separated you can feel free to keep your hand where it is."
Arienette raised her eyebrow, squeezing my butt, "Good idea." 
I looked down at her, trying to conceal my obvious grin "Did you just pinch my ass?" 
Walking forward, I started to back Arienette into the wall leaving her cornered so she'd be completely in my control, giving her a feigned an angry expression. She giggled and nodded, dipping her second hand into my other back pocket. "Yup." 
I leaned down, smirking against her soft lips, pressing a long drawn out kiss to her. Arienette slowly slid her hand up my chest, her fingers brushing along my chin before reaching to grip onto my hair. Her mouth opened to slide her tongue into my mouth as my hand traveled down her sides. Feeling her curves beneath my fingertips. Stopping at her thigh I grabbed onto her, bringing her leg against my hip. 
She shook her head and pulled back with a grin, "I'm not fucking you tonight, Daniel." 
Again, I swooped down, speaking in between the sharp, quick kisses I laid across her lips, "We'll see about that..." 
Arienette placed both her hands against my chest, tilting her head to the side as if she had to think about it. She stood on the tips of her toes, edging in so close to my lips but not touching, "But I'm realllly stubborn."
Posed to press another kiss to her, my lips were already in position, I wanted so badly to feel that shiver her body made whenever we touched - to hear her soft moan grow louder. Her lips brushed against mine for a second, my eyes closed as I needed nothing more than her satisfaction to fulfill me.
She pushed me away with a smirk, straightening from the wall and standing in front of the elevator's door to ignore all that had happened.
I admired her from behind, running my tongue over my bottom lip. She stood there rocking on her back heel glancing up at the elevator meter that was slowly running down to the first floor. Suddenly I no longer lusted after her, I just wanted to be next to her. It was odd how one moment I could crave her so intensely and the next, all I'd want was to see her smile. I took a step forward, wrapping my arms around her waist from behind as I leaned into her; inhaling her intoxicating scent.
"I wasn't planning it it tonight anyways." I nipped against her neck. 
When she let out a small moan I felt satisfied. My lips grazed the back of her neck and I held her tighter, not wanting to let go. I was terrified that she'd disappear if I did. She turned her head over her shoulder to look at me, blinking as her dark green eyes glazed over. "You weren't?"
I shook my head, rubbing my thumb against the bare skin of her hips revealed by her low riding jeans. "I don't know. I kinda just wanted to take a long walk." 
"Mhmm." Arienette nodded, looking like she wasn't yet convinced. However, I already knew what I wanted and that didn't include sex. The elevator door dinged as it opened to the hotel lobby. No one was waiting to come inside the elevator and the white pristine lobby seemed to be completely void of life. I took a step away from Arienette and let her walk out first, following behind her before falling into step next to her and our footsteps echoed on the tiled floor. I heard the elevator door closing behind us as we started for the exit. 
"To where though?" she asked, in response to my earlier question. 
"66th Street, not too far from here." I answered as we approached the large glass revolving doors. 
Arienette pressed her palms against the large glass and pushed the door around with me following right behind her as the door revolved. She looked over her shoulder, grinning as she pushed the revolving back before I could get out, spinning us around. I narrowed my eyes playfully, "Nette..." 
She was teasing me as she always so enjoyed. Biting her lip, she let the door spin itself before stepping out into the cool night. Sighing heavily to myself I walked through the revolving doors as they made their revolving pattern around once more. As I stepped out Arienette bumped against my shoulder, then gripping my hand. She looked down, trying to hide the pink hue spreading across her cheeks. My fingers fell into the spaces of mine, as I grasped her hand. "I'm still dizzy from that." I looked down at her; she made me dizzy in general. 
I shook my head smiling and she frowned, "What?" 
With a shrug I smiled, knowing by now that my face must've been shadowing the emotions I felt - happiness, amazement, and wonder. Happiness I was with such a woman, amazement at her beauty both inside and out, and wondering why she chose me. "Nothing..." 
She pouted, "It's obviously something."
"Nothing," I shook my head with a wide grin, pulling her hand to my lips pressing a kiss to the back of her hand, "I'm just happy."
It was true. I was happier than I could ever remember being; I had a reason to get up in the morning, someone to express myself with, someone who probably needed me more than I needed them. In the end that was what I wanted, to be depended upon. 
Arienette smirked, leaning closer to me as we started down the street. "That makes one of us." 
Hoards of people passed us in every which direction on the sidewalk. If I could remember correctly we were only a few blocks away. I held onto her tighter, guiding us in front of a traffic light. The signal had just turned red and hundreds of cars halted, their flashing headlights lighting the way to the other side. 
"Well I think I can change that." I winked at her before we started across the street hand in hand. 
Looking both ways and then back at me Arienette blinked at me, "You can try." 
I nodded as we reached the other side of the road, stepping up onto the curb and taking a left. Even though the city was already bright enough as it was, 50 foot tall buildings glowing from the inside out, the path in front of us seemed almost as light as day. We were getting closer. 
"And succeed." I added, giving her side a nudge.
She shook her head playfully, "I'm holding you to that Daniel." 
The thought of the challenge made me glimmer with hope. Anything to make her happy. She seemed to have a permanent sorrow attached to her, just dying to be relieved. She could be so sweet when she was happy. And I wanted to be the only person to be able to reach that side of her. To make her lips turn upwards, her hard look of hatred disappear. Because she made me feel like I was someone, she understood me and I her. We knew that side of each other we were so afraid to show anyone else for fear of getting hurt.
Arienette reached for my hand, and my senses felt as if they were on fire as our palms met. I took a step closer to bring our bodies nearer to each other, our hands clasping between us. We stopped as the traffic light turned green for the cars, Arienette laid her head against my shoulder as we silently waited to cross. It was surreal the kind of excitement I got from just her resting against me. 
I swallowed hard, turning my head to look down at her. She was beaming still, her perfectly painted lips smiling ear to ear. Again, the crosswalk turned red and I squeezed her hand starting to guide her across the last Avenue before we would be in front of the square. A moment later we'd crossed the street and were walking down the smaller path. Arienette suddenly glanced up into the night sky which was illuminated with the golden sparkling architectural structures. Her eyes bounced from each corner, looking around. 
She shook her head, breathing a content sigh "Wow, this place is beautiful." 
I felt my breath finally let out. For some reason I'd found myself slightly nervous. I remembered the last time I was here, the last girl who had expected more. Letting go of Arienette's hand I reached around for her shoulder, pulling her closer to me. We started walking down the golden plated path, the first major building in the square, the opera house just several feet from us. 
"Well now, I doubt it's as gorgeous as you are, but it's nice." I smiled.
She gave me a side glance, rolling her eyes slightly but still biting her lip to conceal her grin. "You're full of flattery aren't you?" 
The giant water fountain in the center of the circle came into view. I sighed, wondering if she'd ever get used to me blurting out stupid shit like that. Then again, I wasn't used to her presence. I was living in fear she had none of the feelings for me that I had for her. The concept that someone could actually care about me was new in my mind. 
"You're the one who challenged me." 
Guiding her towards the large fountain, I saw a sparkle in her eyes, while California was where I lived now - if I even lived there anymore, I still remembered living here with my parents. While my dad was off in the recording studio or in dingy bars and clubs, producing bands he lived vicariously through since he never quite made it in the music industry, my mother and I were left alone. I remembered this place the most. Before I went to school I spent the days with my mom in the library where she worked, reading anything I could get my hands on, walking through Central Park on her lunch breaks, and every weekend watching plays and concerts at the Lincoln Center. This place had a special meaning for me and I wanted to share that with Arienette. I wanted her to feel the same way I had and always did whenever I was here. She gripped onto my hand as we sat beside each other, both of us staring off into the dark night air. We seemed to share a comfortable silence. She looked as if she were nervous now as I turned to her. Her palms were sweating and her lips trembled. 
She met my gaze, and I searched her face in confusion "Is something wrong?" 
Her lips parted, dry air coming out for a few seconds before she spoke, "I love you."
Did she say what I thought she had said? I blinked slowly for a second, studying the expression on Arienette's face for a few moments. Sound seemed to fall deaf on me, all I could hear was my rapidly thumping heart pounding against my chest and the rush of water behind me. Her face now twisted as if she were scared, or worried, or maybe just regretful. Before she could say anything else I smiled, leaning back against the bench as I stared up at the night sky letting out a deep breath, "Oh thank god." 
"Are you - " she started, staring intently at me. I sat up, turning to face her, not able to wipe the grin off my face.
"Nette, do you have any idea how happy you've just made me?" I shook my head, running a hand through my hair. "I mean.. I've been wanting to tell you those same exact words for so long now. I love you, Arienette. I love you more than I've ever loved anything ever before." 
I couldn't tell what emotion was displaying on her face, it was blank. This confounded me, she'd just confessed she loved me and I returned it - what now? She should've jumped into my arms, resulting in an attachment at the hip all the way back to the hotel, and maybe a night in her room just to be together. We'd just hold each other until the rose, because I was too afraid to do anything else. I didn't want to ruin the moment.Instead.. Arienette's hard countenance remained as she looked away. She turned away her jaw tight as she gritted her teeth, "You don't have to lie Daniel." 
My expression turned, dark and unknown as I glared at her, trying to grasp her arm, "Lying? Nette.." 
She stood up, crossing her arms as she started to pound down the street, brushing past passersby. I followed calmly after her. Although I was confused I had an idea what was wrong. She wasn't used to the idea that I, or anyone, could actually love her. But I did. Arienette needed someone to love her, someone who got her through her ups and downs - no matter how insane they may have seemed, they had a method. Finally I caught up to her, gripping her arm and forcing her to turn to face me. A few stray eyes glanced our way but I pretended to be unaware. 
"What is wrong with you?" I sighed, partially in anger and partially in sadness. My grip on Arienette's arm tightened just a bit as I tried to hold back. But all I wanted to do was yank her closer to me, press a kiss to those beautiful pouty lips, and make her realize how much I loved her.
I didn't understand why Arienette felt the need to push me away. She loved me, she didn't. Now I was more confused than ever. Why didn't she just accept that I loved her and be happy? Maybe she wasn't used to it.. but I wanted her to be. I never wanted her to be without someone who loved her, cared for her, even if she didn't love them back - even if that someone who loved her without getting anything in return was me. She narrowed her stormy green gaze on me, her lips pursing in anger. I knew I had said the wrong thing, but I didn't care. Why was she allowed to go off and be angry at me for no good reason and I was just supposed to accept it? Arienette struggled for her arm back, but I wasn't letting go. 
"You don't love me. You just think you do, you don't even know me. Because if you did - " she started, her voice harsh and indifferent, meaning to wound like a dagger. I stopped her before she could go any further. Shaking my head, I pulled on her arm, forcing her to take a few steps closer to me. Her heels scraping as she practically had to be drug across the concrete. She didn't understand. I did know her. I knew this was the real her. She was pessimistic, angry, bitchy, and moody. But she had to be like that to protect herself and it'd just ingrained itself into her system. 
"I do. Whether you want to believe me or not I love you." I blinked, my eyes not leaving her face. Hers darted around like a lost puppy looking for a place to hide. I sighed, "I'll love you even if you hate me. Because everyone should have at least one person who does. You remind me of me, but so much stronger. So that's it, take it or leave it."
I was setting myself up for an inevitable rise or fall. But that's the way it had to be. I was in love with Arienette, and I gave everything I had to her, I couldn't be with her if she didn't do the same. In the end that would drain us both. 
She bit her lip, unable to make eye contact with me. After a few unending moments she looked up at me at last and muttered, "I'm crazy." 
Pulling her closer and this time she relaxed as I told her again, "I love you." 
She laid her hand on my chest- a gesture that always sent chills throughout my entire body, grabbing onto my coat for support as she hid her face in the crook of my neck, "And I'm mean, and emotional, and a mess, and-" 
Hugging her to me I comforted her as best I could, "Nette." 
Her head titled up to look at me, "I'm just giving you fair warning what you're getting yourself into Daniel." 
"If I didn't love you, wouldn't I have left by now? Teasing's your thing, not mine," I reminded her trying to lighten the mood before I pulled away slightly to look her in the eyes, grasping onto her shoulders. And I offered her a smile, wanting to let her know I was sincere. Her eyes were wide, rapidly blinking, and just a bit wet. Then I pulled her back into me, her arms wrapping around my neck. My hands rested on her sides, rubbing the small of her back. No one and nothing else existed at that moment. It was just us in our own world as it usually was; so immersed in each other that everything seemed to fade away. Leaning into her ear I sighed, "I'm in love with all of you because you give me a challenge, hope, and a reason to live."
She whimpered, holding onto me tighter as I did her. We couldn't seem to let go of one and other, nor did we want to. Arienette's head was buried in my chest and I could feel my shirt becoming wet from the tears of her mixed emotions. She raised her head to look up at me, all the while I glanced down at her, and she nestled against my neck, "So what now?" she swallowed hard.
I gave her a squeeze, drawing in a sharp breath, inhaling the scent scent of her. Pressing a kiss to her forehead I smiled, "Anything we want, Arienette."
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