Platinum Heart

Winter Rose Ridland has always been rich. She's used to the maids cleaning for her, the butlers fetching her food, the kids at school bowing down before her, and the constant spending money--but what she isn't used to is surprise road trips. When her dad decides that it's time to send her to boarding school, the family packs up and leaves. What they weren't expecting was a freak car accident, and what Winter wasn't expecting was to survive--and more importantly, she wasn't expecting herself to be found. Will she find a way back to her old life, or will the boy who saves her show her a different one? © 2013 by beliebervision. All Rights Reserved.

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14. 14: The Decision is Made

I wake to the sound of loud music and laughter. In fact, it sounds like Justin's music, which makes no sense. I furrow my eyebrows and rub my head before I get out of bed, grab a change of clothes from the suitcase I managed to save from the crash, and go into the bathroom. 

I squint at myself in the mirror. My light brown hair is tangled, I have horrible bags under my eyes, and I wonder what the hell happened to me and how it happened. My hair used to be so wavy and short--and now it's past my shoulders and the waves would only be visible if I brushed the clumps out. 

With a sigh, I turn on the shower while I carefully start to brush out the tangles. By the time the water is warm enough, I'm smiling because I can see my waves again. I make sure to shower and dress quickly before I make my way downstairs. 

As I walk into the kitchen I see Justin talking to someone. The music had been turned off when I was in the shower and now all they were doing was talking--until Justin sees me. He smiles faintly and invites me over. After a moment of deciding, I finally agree to go over and meet his friend. 

"Ryan, this is Winter. Winter, that's Ryan." he says as I lean on the counter top behind me. Ryan offers his hand and I hesitantly shake it. When that's over there's an awkward silence. I cough, hoping to ease the tension a bit before I speak. 

"Soo...when did Ryan get here?" I ask Justin. 

"I picked him up just a little bit ago." he answered. Which wasn't really the answer I was looking for, but I guess it was fine. I don't know why, but I really want to know why Ryan is here in the first place. Though I knew I couldn't ask Justin that. 

"Oh," I say. "Cool." 

"Yeah." Justin says and averts his gaze to the floor. I swallow. I know that I have to change the subject, but there's only one other thing I can talk about. It also might explain why Ryan's here. 

"There's five days left." 

Justin's head snaps in my direction. "What?"

I manage to glance over at him. "You know that deal you made with Scooter? Yeah, the deadline's in five days." 

His eyes widen for a moment and then he runs a hand through his hair. "I'm so stupid. I thought I had longer than that." 

"What do you mean?" 

"I mean," he says. "That I want more time. It's not fair. Don't you agree?" 

I look over at Ryan who is standing there quietly. He's smart enough not to talk, but some part of me wishes that he did. I don't want to tell Justin what I think, because the truth is: I don't agree. 

"Actually..." I say nervously and stand up straight. "I was kind of thinking that...maybe it would be best if you, I don't know, make a comeback?" 

Justin, who had been pacing back and forth, stops dead in his tracks and looks at me. He's not mad, I tell myself, he's just trying to process what I just said. It took me a while to process it too, and for a long time, I wasn't sure if I wanted it for him or myself. He probably thinks that I'm only saying this because I want to use him for his fame, which is understandable, even though I don't. 

His eyes shift to Ryan, who shrugs and says: "I think she's right." 

Justin takes a deep breath and sits down on the corner of the table behind him. "So now both of you are in on it too." It wasn't a question, and Ryan and I both knew that. "Which also means that I don't have any real friends after all."

"Justin-" I say but he cuts me off. 

"Don't." he says, the anger in his voice very clear. "I thought...I thought that," his voice trails off and I assume that I know what he's trying to say. Very slowly, I drop to my knees in front of him and look up. His eyes are fixed on mine. 

"Can I explain?" I ask. Justin nods. I take a deep breath. "Okay. I really thought this through, honest to god. I spent every minute since we saw Scooter thinking about this and just now I realized that a comeback is a good decision. Want to know why? Because you miss your old life. And I don't mean the life before fame, I mean fame. You miss your fans and you miss those precious moments of time where you can still hang out with friends.

"Take Ryan, for example. I know you still care about me as your friend, but you missed Ryan and you still wanted to see him. You just have so much free time that you don't know what the hell to do with. Plus, you're basically living in hiding. I can see how much you miss going places and making people happy, so I think you should call Scooter and tell him you want back in. That would make me happy--seeing you happy." 

I finish, and for a long moment he's silent. Then he says: 

"But I am happy." 

I shake my head. "Not as happy as you could be. I mean, come on, think about it." 

Justin rubs his face and sighs. "I guess you're right."

I smile from ear to ear and start to say something, but he cuts me off again. 

"But," he says. "If I call Scooter, I want you to be in the room with me so you can tell him that I want you to come with." 

I open my mouth to protest and I don't say anything. I can't say anything, except, "Justin, I don't know about that." 

"Well I do. That's what I've been thinking about since we saw Scooter last. If I make a comeback and go on tour, you're coming with me because I know that you'll keep me grounded. And you'll be good company. I won't get bored on the tour bus with all the old people around me." he smiles and I manage a small smile and a giggle. 

"The fans are going to hate me." I say while I stand up. Justin stands as well. 

"No, they aren't. We just wont introduce you until a couple shows into the tour." 

I raise an eyebrow. "So does this mean that I have to go into hiding now? We're switching places?"

Justin smiles again. "Just for a little bit." he answers, and when I groan, he adds: "Hey, at least it's not two years." 

I nod. "Good point." 

I walk into the hallway and wait while Justin says something to Ryan. I hear some kind of apology but I know that Justin is just being polite. He doesn't care one bit that he's leaving Ryan alone while we call Scooter. A moment later, Justin comes out of the kitchen. 

As I start up the stairs he says, "Thanks for doing this with me." 

"No problem." I say without looking back. 

"Oh," he adds. "And I like your hair." 

Instead of answering, I smile and blush, all the while hoping that he didn't see.

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