holy moly goodness gracious mother mary guacamole
i’m so so so so so sorry for leaving you guys hanging, i went away for ages and i wasn’t allowed to bring any devices and now im feeling deprived but do not fear i brought my note book and have written up to 4 chapters ahead so thank me later ok
anyways i hope you guys are all good, im trying to put a bit more action into this story so buckle ur belts :)))
this is a double update yay
vote, comment and share bc TACOS!! LOTS AND LOTS OF TACOS FOr the bITCHACHOS!!1!!11!
The door banged open so hard against the Green Room wall that I was sure it left a dent there - but I didn’t have time to check, because suddenly, the room filled with people, flooding in from the corridor. At the front of the group was a stout blonde lady with a pretty face and bright blue eyes that looked very, very familiar.
She tackled Luke in a hug, and he buried his face into her hair, towering over here.
‘Oh my god, Mum -- I’ve missed you so much.’
I crossed the room to join Ciara as the rest of the boys’ families came into the room. Michael was practically choking his Mum in a bear hug, and she was rubbing his hair lovingly, eyes closed. Calum stood with one arm around his Dad’s shoulder and one hand in his Mum’s, chatting animatedly to them (I noticed how much Mali-Koa looked like their mother) and Luke had now disappeared in the middle of a family group hug with his brothers and parents, only the tip of his quiff visible. I turned around to see where Ashton had gotten to and almost melted into a puddle on the floor.
He had a little boy on his shoulders and a younger girl was hugging his spare arm, smiling up at him admirably. An older lady was wiping at her eyes discreetly, but as I watched, Ashton noticed and leant down, kissing her on the cheek. She wrapped her arms around him and he hugged her back before lifting his arms up and dropping his brother back to the floor. All of a sudden, he looked up, straight at me. Before I could glance away, he caught my eye and smiled. I blushed as he knelt back down and said something to his brother and sister, who both looked over at me with interest before turning back to Ashton. The girl nodded, and Ashton caught my gaze again, grinning now. Unsure of how to react, I lamely poked my tongue out at him, embarrassed, before turning back to Ciara.
‘Ashton’s telling his family bad stuff about me,’ I whispered.
She distractedly shook her head, waving at Luke who had finally emerged from the midst of the Hemmings’ hug and was motioning her over.
‘Em, I bet you 100% he was saying good things. It’s more like, oh yeah - I’d like to get in that girl’s pants rather than that’s the girl I hate, if you get what I mean. Hold on, Luke needs me...’
With that she left, leaving me all alone and walking off to join Luke’s family.
‘Yeah, I bet he does,’ I muttered, sighing.
Suddenly, someone tugged on my jeans and I looked down. Ashton’s little brother was gazing up at me, his curly hair falling into his face. Unlike Ashton, his hair was a shade lighter, his face rounder and a band of freckles ran straight across his nose and cheeks. Unfortunately, his eyes were identical to his older brother’s - as soon as I looked down, I felt myself melting into them.
‘Are you Emma?’
I nodded and crouched down as far as my pants would allow me to.
‘What’s your name?’
He gave me a toothy grin and answered very matter-of-factly.
‘I’m Harry, and I’m 7.’
‘Hi Harry. Are you Ashton’s little brother?’
He nodded, curls bobbing.
‘Uhuh. Are you my brother’s giiiiiiiirlfriend?
Harry gave me a cheeky smile and I couldn’t help laughing.
‘No, I’m not his girlfriend. We’re just, um, friends.’
‘Are you in looooooove?’
Undeterred by my last answer, he giggled and gazed up at me, eyes shining. Oh my god - he’s just like a mini Ashton. Before I could answer, he dashed off back to his Mum, who gave me a knowing smile. I straightened up awkwardly not knowing what to do, so I just smiled back.
‘So you two aren’t a thing then? He told me and Harry that you guys were dating.’
I spun around and came face-to-face with the girl who’d been clinging to Ashton’s arm before. Closer up, I noted she was definitely Ashton’s sister. Her pretty brown hair was the same colour and her nose and face shape matched perfectly. She smiled up at me, a little unsure.
‘Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you.’ She held out a hand. ‘I’m Lauren, Ashton’s little sister. He’s told us heaps about you.’
It was my turn to blush.
‘Oh really? Well, we’re really not dating, I’m sorry.’ I laughed awkwardly and she shrugged at me in a nonchalant way.
‘It’s okay. When he pointed you out, I knew he had to be lying - he couldn’t score a girl like you!’
Lauren made a face and I laughed.
‘Oh, thankyou but really. Ashton’s lovely, we’re good friends-‘
‘Man, you should hear him talk about you though! He told me all about that time you took him out to that café, you know, that one in the city? And he said he’s never felt this way about another girl befo-oooops.’
She clapped a hand over her mouth, eyes wide. I raised an eyebrow jokingly, pushing down the happiness I felt when I heard her say that. Lauren rushed to cover up what she’d said.
‘I didn’t mean for that to slip out, oh crap, Ash’s gonna kill me now. He said not to ruin any chances he had with you because they’re already pretty low on the grou-‘
‘Oooookay Lauren, that’s enough,’ Ashton chuckled awkwardly, coming up behind her and throwing a big hand over her mouth, blushing slightly. She rolled her eyes and elbowed him so he let her go.
‘Sorry,’ she looked up at him helplessly. ‘I didn’t mean to say anything, but...’
He sighed, smiling a little.
‘It’s okay Lauren. Anyway, uh, Mum wants to talk to you.’
He winked at her and she grinned back.
‘Ahh, okay! Nice to meet you Emma, I’m sure I’ll see you again when-‘
‘Just go,’ Ashton laughed, giving her a little push, and she waved to me before moving away. I turned to Ashton, smiling.
‘She didn’t tell you everything did she?’
‘Depends what “everything” is,’ I giggled.
Ashton moved closer, one hand placed on the back of his neck nervously. I could still see a faint red tint in his cheeks and decided not to tease him anymore.
‘But no, she didn’t say much. She’s really nice. Same with Harry. He’s just like you, I swear.’
Ashton looked a little more comfortable.
‘Thanks. I’m glad you met them. They mean a lot to me.’
He looked back to where his Mum sat, Harry on her lap and Lauren next to her. I followed his gaze.
‘Do you miss them?’
‘Well with my Dad gone, I’m the oldest in the family, and I know Mum needs my support. It’s my job to look after them, and protect them, and help Mum give Lauren and Harry a good childhood. So when I’m away,’ he rubbed a hand throw his hair and looked back at me, ‘yeah, I do miss them a lot. I think Mum gets a bit pissed off though, when I call her all the time.’
He grinned sheepishly and I laughed.
‘Lauren said you told her we were, like,’ I motioned in between us, ‘a thing?’
Ashton’s hand went back to his neck.
‘Yeah, about that. I’m sorry.’
‘It’s okay, I just wanted to know why.’
Acting on impulse, I reached out and grabbed his hand, surprising myself and Ashton. I kind of wanted to draw away now, but it felt nice, so I left it there. He looked up at me, pausing, and ran a finger down my cheek. I couldn’t move.
‘I tell my family everything - my dreams for the future, my life goals, what I want to achieve and what I aim for. But sometimes, something comes along that’s so great, so beautiful,’ he rubbed my cheek, ‘and I know it’s too far out of my reach or too impossible to have, so I tell my family it’s already mine.’
I looked up at him, confused.
‘Because it makes not having it so much easier.’
With that, Ashton squeezed my hand once before dropping it and shuffling off back to his family, leaving me frozen, mind working at full pace. What was that supposed to mean???
I looked at myself in the mirror and sighed. The concert obviously hadn’t done wonders for my looks - my makeup was smudged and Ashton’s bandana was tangled in my hair, which was going back to its normal wavy state already, and the more I looked at my belly button, the more off-centre it seemed. The families had left already, and the boys had gone back to their usual behaviour in the Green Room, still on a high from the concert. After Calum tried to wipe his gross sweaty towel on me for the 3rd time, I decided it was time to escape to the bathroom. Splashing some water on my face, I opened the door, almost colliding with Michael who was on his way out. He shot me a look.
‘I wouldn’t go in there now if I were you. Calum and Ashton are arguing again.’
‘Actually, maybe it’s better if you go in and see for yourself. Maybe you can sort them out.’
Oh yeah, figures, because I’ve been so good at coming between them lately.
But when I walked in, it wasn’t as bad as Michael had made out to be. They weren’t yelling anyways, and Ashton didn’t look too mad, just frustrated. They both looked up as I walked in (I noted that Ciara and Luke were mysteriously missing).
‘Emma, back me up here.’
Calum rolled his eyes slightly and shifted in his seat so he was slouched over. Ashton continued.
‘So Calum mouthed off that girl in the front row of the concert, right? You saw that?’
I nodded and Calum sat up again.
‘I did not mouth her off,’ he muttered indignantly, ‘I got defensive, that’s all.’
‘And singled her out in front of about 1000 people,’ Ashton pointed out as I sat down on the arm of his chair.
‘So that girl, the one you talked to - is that what this is all about?’
‘See? Emma knows exactly what I mean.’
Calum groaned as Ashton looked pointedly at him.
‘It’s not about “that girl” - she was just a random fan, and I was just clearing things up in case anyone else thought what she thought!’
He took a deep breath.
‘I didn’t mean to have a go at her, really. I didn’t mean it, mate. But come on, I’m never going to see her again anyway, if I did, I’d apologise. But we’re not going to meet. Ever.’
He shut his eyes with finality, as if to say, I’m so done with this argument, and I tried not to smile. He was kind of like a little kid.
‘But if you did see her? Would you say sorry then?’
One eye shot opened and glared at me suspiciously.
‘I don’t -- what do you-‘
Ashton sighed and cut in.
‘She means, if you ever saw that girl again, do you promise to apologise to her? Would you?’
Calum moaned and squeezed both eyes tightly shut.
‘Fine, yeah okay. I promise.’ One eye flicked open again and eyed us carefully. ‘But only because I want you guys to leave me alone. I’m never going to see her again.’
Ashton smiled at me and snuck me a fistbump.
He rolled over onto the floor, facedown.
‘Can we go now? I wanna get drunk,’ the muffled voice from the floor said.
Ashton stood up laughing and held out his hand to help me up.
‘Sure we can. Let’s go drink the night away.’