Chasing Alys: Alternate Ending

This is an unedited, alternate ending to Chasing Alys. Their reunion in the final version was much more private and suited to Alys. But I still love the idea of him ambushing her in the pub.


“Why don’t eggs tell jokes?” Dad asked as he made himself an omelette without so much as a grumble about the lack of bacon. This was a daily routine for him, sharing some new corny dad joke he’d figured out.

“I don’t know.”

“Because they’d crack each other up.” For the first time in a week, I laughed. He stared at me, stunned. His shoulders sagged and the tension around his eyes eased.

“You look much better, love.”

I woke up this morning and the tears had dried up. My mind was clearer, and I felt lighter. My chest was no longer crushed by debilitating pain. I’d thank yesterday’s realisation for it all. I hadn’t plucked up the courage to call Ryan yet, but it would come. Maybe when I was more awake.

“Your omelette, dad,” I shouted, as smoke billowed from the pan.

Spell broken, he spun around and turned the heat off. The omelette was charred black.

“Don’t suppose this means I get bacon now?” He asked, his lips pursed, a sly glint entering his grey eyes.

I gave him side-eye. “You did that on purpose.”

He chuckled. “Right, right. I’ll make another.”

“That would be best.”

“You know, I’m feeling much better. If you wanted to go out and about, I can fend for myself,” he assured, removing the box of eggs from the fridge yet again.

“Says the man who just burnt an omelette?”

“Hey now! That wasn’t my fault,” he cried, trying for serious but failing miserably as his eyes creased. “I just mean, if you wanted to go back to work, socialise, I don’t know, be a normal twenty-six-year-old who doesn’t have to care for her elderly father, you could. I’m good.”

“You’re hardly elderly,” I scoffed.

He shrugged, his piece said, he rinsed off the metal bowl he’d used for his last omelette and started cracking fresh eggs. He hummed along with the radio, pretending to ignore me. I wasn’t fooled, I’d become used to his need to keep an eye on me these last two weeks.

But he did have a point, he was better. He probably didn’t need a full-time nursemaid anymore. I could put out feelers for work, I could go back to Cardiff and get my life back on track. Yet despite my new clearer state of mind, I hit a wall when I tried to consider leaving.

“You’ve said no a thousand times, but would you please move closer to Cardiff? I would feel a lot better if you were within easy reach.”         

Setting his new omelette on a plate, he joined me at the kitchen table with a serious frown. “I’ve thought about it a lot since Christmas and I can’t see any benefit in it.”

“What! But you’d be closer to me, I could look after you if something happens again, that’s the benefit.”

Before I’d even finished speaking, he was shaking his head and holding up his hand for me to stop. “I wouldn’t see you any more than I do normally, love.”

“That’s not - ”

“Yes, it is. When you work, you work long hours and have one day off every six, if at all. Isn’t that, right?”

“Yes,” I answered, my tone sullen.

“And when you’re not working, you’ll be travelling the world.” Shaking his head, he ploughed on. “I wouldn’t see you any more than I did before. Here, I have memories, I’m surrounded by the things I love, and I have good friends who can and have come to my aid. If I sold this place and moved, I’d be alone and I’d be miserable.”

He stared back at me with earnest, calm eyes, determined to make me understand. My eyes dropped to my tea, unable to hold his gaze. His decision made me sad, but I could shake that off. I wanted him to be happy, even if I’d worry about him here alone. And he was right, I did and would work long hours for most of the year. I barely saw Emily when filming was in full swing and we lived together.

The sound of the front door banging open startled us both. And then Emily’s joyful shriek reached us.

“I’m home!”

My father smiled and released my hand. “And that’s my cue to leave.” He kissed me on the cheek and marched into the hall to greet Emily.

They whispered furiously. I strained to hear them but couldn’t pick up a word. Silence briefly fell, only to be interrupted by the front door opening and closing. I frowned. What was going on?

“Alys?” Emily shouted.

“In here.”

Emily shoved the kitchen door open so hard it bounced against the wall. With a crazed grin, she ran at me, screaming.

I braced myself for impact, but it helped neither of us. The chair went over and I found myself on the floor with Emily crushing me and her arms wrapped around my waist.

“I’ve missed you,” she laughed, showering my face with kisses. What the hell had they done to my best friend? I squirmed, trying to free myself from her.

“Enough! What’s got into you?”

“Can’t a girl show her bestie how much she’s missed her?”

“Not if it means another concussion and you kissing me!”

She laughed and scrambled off me. “Fair enough. You look much better than I was expecting,” she admitted, studying my face for the slightest hint of emotional instability, I assumed. “I’m relieved to find you out of bed. I was all prepared to kick your butt. Now, what am I going to do with all this energy?” She pouted.

“Persuade my father to give up dairy?” I suggested, taking a cautious step back in case she changed her mind. She’d taken kickboxing in uni, I wasn’t taking any chances.

“Nah, we’ve got catching up to do. We’re going out tonight and we’re getting smashed. St David’s won’t know what’s hit it.” She hooted, taking my arms and pulling me out of the kitchen and up the stairs. I tried to stall her, but of course, it didn’t work.

There was only one bar in St David’s. How much damage could she actually do?

* * *

The answer was a lot.

My father’s friends gathered at the bar grinning while Emily forced shot after shot at me and yelled orders at the bartender, Mike, who had served us our first legal alcoholic drink at eighteen. It looked like the entire town had crammed into the bar tonight. Even the priest, who’d caught us skipping school, sat in the corner, chatting to my amused father. I longed for the return of that numb feeling. Or maybe the floor would just oblige and swallow me up.

“Will you slow down?” I begged as the frowning bartender placed a jagerbomb in front of me.

She grinned at me, doing some kind of dance to her own internal music. She hopped from foot to foot.

“Nope. I’ve been stuck on a bus for a week with four men, one of them drinking himself silly and pitching a fit every single time someone picked up a phone.” She said, glaring at me. “I need to get really really drunk.”

She tapped the bar next to my bomb and picked hers up. Resigned, I followed suit and we threw the alcohol back.

It could be worse.

It could be tequila.

She tapped the bar and Mike reappeared, looking slightly harried.

“Do you want me to just leave you the bottle?”

She smiled at him brightly. “Would you?”

“Not a chance, if your parents find out I let you give yourself alcohol poisoning, they’d have my head.” He slammed a pint of water down on the bar and I smirked. “Drink some damn water!”

“Boo,” she cried, picking up the pint all the same.

“Not that I’m not happy to see you, but I thought there was another week to the tour.”

“There was,” Emily said, pulling a face.

“What does that mean?”

“They rearranged the dates. Turns out Ryan’s not so good at compartmentalising.”

Guilt slithered through me. What had I done?

A mic crackled, silencing the room and drawing everyone’s attention to the small stage shoved into the corner.

Emily smirked. “Finally.”

Slowly, I turned to the stage. My eyes clashed with a familiar pair of deep blue ones. My body reacted like nothing had happened. Electricity buzzed through my veins. I had an overwhelming urge to throw my arms around his waist and breathe him in.

Something about him must have cracked those impenetrable walls. Try and remember what that was. You might find life without it more unbearable than life safe from risk.

I swallowed hard, willing any lingering nervous energy away.

“Uh, hi,” Ryan said, leaning into the microphone. His eyes never left mine. He looked tired. Dark bruises shadowed his eyes and it looked like he’d dragged his hands through his hair one too many times. “I’m Ryan and if you don’t mind, I’d like to play a song for my girl. She’s not too sure about us and I’m hoping this song will set some things straight.”

The entire bar cheered and suspicion crept in. I scanned the amused faces of the people who’d watched me grow up. They all had the look of someone in the know. My Year Six teacher squeezed my shoulder as she wandered past, giving me a ‘don’t fuck it up’ look. What the hell?

I spun around to assess my father. He sat in his corner, failing to hide a massive smile behind his pint.

“They’re all in on it?” I asked, disbelief dripping from my tone.

“God yeah, easiest set-up I’ve ever planned,” Emily chuckled. “Don’t think about making a run for it. The boys are scattered about waiting for it and bouncer Jerry is guarding the door. I did tell him to lock it but Mike overruled me.”

Taking my shoulders, she turned me back to the stage. Ryan stood with his arms crossed, patiently waiting for my attention. The beginnings of a smile quirked his lips. Despite the sadness bleeding from him, he looked hopeful.

God, I’d missed him.

Taking hold of his guitar, the bar went dead silent as he strummed the first note. I was transfixed. With his eyes firmly fixed on my face, he sang to me about the fear and pain that had consumed him and his soul crying out for its other half.

It was both painful to hear and incredibly beautiful.

By the time, he strummed his last chord, tears flowed freely down my cheeks. Emily tutted half-heartedly at my side about the destruction of her masterpiece, but I couldn’t focus on anything else but Ryan.

He stopped in front of me and brushed the tears away. He stared down at me with a wary smile. “I’m sorry. I know you hate being the centre of attention, but I didn’t know how else to get your attention.”

Holding his hand to my cheek, I tried to smile. “It was beautiful.”

He relaxed slightly, taking a step closer to me.

“I’m so fucking sorry about the picture. I never thought our fans would do that,” he said, his voice guttural with regret. “She surprised me in a bar in Paris. I pushed her away immediately. I should have told you, but I didn’t think it was anything important.”

“It’s okay,” I promised, but he raced ahead, not hearing me.

“Emily said you might be wary of all the attention I get from fans. If you want me to quit the band, I will. I’ll find something else to do. As long as I have you, I’ll be happy.”


Panic filled his eyes. “Please, I can’t spend so much as another day without you. I’d do anything if you’d just give me another chance.”

Stepping into his body, I placed a hand on his cheek, making sure he heard me this time. “It’s okay. You don’t need my forgiveness.”

“Yes, I do. I -”

“No, you don’t. You didn’t make her kiss you. You didn’t make her tag me in it. You’ve done nothing but love me, scars and all. I’m the one that needs to apologise to you. I didn’t exactly make it easy for you. If I hadn’t rushed to conclusions, if I hadn’t left, I would have known.”

He stared down at me with a wet hopeful smile, his fingers stroking my face and neck.

“I don’t want you to quit the band for me. Music is too important to you and I would never ask you to give that up. I’m going to have wobbles, but for the first time in years, I feel like I’m finally seeing clearly. You’re a risk worth taking. I don’t want to be safe, I want you.”

Cautious joy lit up his face as he pressed his forehead to mine. “Just promise me, you won’t leave again. If you ever have reason to doubt me, talk to me first.” His eyes shone with unshed tears.

“I promise. And you need to warn me if anything like it ever happens again. I’d rather be forewarned than taken by surprise by some tabloid paper or social media.”

He nodded. “I’ll share it all, no matter how inconsequential it seems.”

“I love you,” I whispered, fully aware of our audience and not caring one bit.

“I love you too.” He wrapped his arms around me and pressed his lips to mine, repeating the sentiment with his body.

“About bloody time!” Someone shouted. It sounded suspiciously like Matt.

Ryan pulled back, laughing as our friends flooded into our personal space.

Emily hugged me, her smarmy told-you-so smile firmly in place. “You had better be coming back on tour! I can’t handle another two weeks alone with these assholes, let alone four months.” They all laughed at her, but from the press of her lips, I knew she was dead serious.

Ryan pulled me back into his side, his eyes fixed on me expectantly. I wanted to say yes but I had to work.

“I could use some help with the organisational side of things,” Matt piped up, understanding my hesitation far too easily.

Bartender Mike popped the cork on a bottle of champagne and everyone raced to the bar, abandoning us.

“What do you say?” Ryan whispered, pressing a kiss to my forehead.

I wouldn’t give up TV work but right now, all I wanted was more time with Ryan. If he had to be on the road then that’s where I wanted to be.

“It sounds like a great idea.”

With a sweet, understanding smile, he lowered his lips to mine. “Thank you,” he said against my lips. “Now tell me you love me again.”

He pressed a hard kiss to my lips.

“I love you.”

“Again.” His fingers danced along my waist, tickling me.

“I love you.”

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Morgana Bevan British celebrity romance author

Meet Morgana

Morgana Bevan is a sucker for a rock star romance, particularly if it involves a soul-destroying breakup or strangers waking up in Vegas. She’s a contemporary romance author based in Wales. When Morgana’s not writing steamy celebrity romances with gorgeous British rock stars and movie stars, she’s travelling the world, searching for inspiration.

She enjoys travelling, attending gigs, and trying out the extreme activities she forces on her characters