Simmer Down // 5SOS

“Why? What’s going on?” I looked over his shoulder and saw a bunch of girls outside the doors, singing something loudly. “...standing there, in my American Apparel underwear...” Ciara stood up and wiped her hands nervously on her skirt. “Oh my god.” Beck nodded, and grinned. “Don’t get too excited. They’re due to pull up-“ he looked down at his watch, “right about now.” As if on cue, a familiar black car drew up to the front of the Hilton, and Beck moved back to the door. Ciara brushed her hair out of her face and shot me a quick smile. “Just act normal,” she whispered. I frowned. What the hell? Wait on a second. Special guests, Ciara said. Fancy cars on the street. Screaming girls. Of course. I put the pieces together, knowing what was about to happen next but really, really, REALLY not wanting to believe it. Out of all the places in Sydney with vacancies for a summer job, I choose the one accommodating 5 Seconds of Summer. 'You.' 'Us.' Ashton walked up to the counter and grinned.

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9. Nudes?

hello pretty people i am so sorry for the long wait, dont hate me please but now its holidays which means updates okay? so anyways um yeah australia didnt actually win lol bc we suck, and the next chapter will be way more interesting! love you guys!

em x

keep favouriting, sharing, liking and whatevs yeah ok ily

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‘So what’s all this I hear about Calum nudes, huh?’

I snatched another piece of popcorn from the bowl in Calum’s lap and and winked up at him.

The 6 of us were sitting around the boys’ living room, Calum and I on the couch, Ciara and Luke sitting together on the armchair and Michael and Ashton wrestling on the floor for the TV remote. When Ciara and I arrived, everything was still set in crazy mode - Michael was trying to connect his Xbox to the hotel TV set and Luke was attempting to help but instead, tangling his long legs up in all the cables. There was broccoli being overcooked on the stove top and Ashton was chasing Calum around, trying to get his journal back. It was total mayhem, and it took another half an hour to unravel Luke, reconnect Mikey’s game, chuck out the mushy broccoli and get Ashton’s journal back. Even now, Ashton was semi-eyeing Calum from across the room.

‘Oh, my nudes? They’re hot as. Like nothing you’ve ever seen before.’

Calum wiggled his eyebrows and Michael laughed, muffled by Ashton, who was still on top of him, fighting for the remote.

‘Yeah, you haven’t lived until you’ve seen Calum’s ass.’

‘Want to see?’

Calum shot me an evil grin and leapt up, spinning around and slowly pulling down the waistband of his jeans. I just saw the logo for American Apparel before shutting my eyes tight.

‘Argh! No! It burns, it burns!’

I grinned, rolling around on the couch, pretending to be traumatised.

‘PG audience - keep it in your pants!’

Luke burst out laughing, his hands wrapped around Cee’s eyes.

‘Save the ladies, they’re still innocent! It’ll scar them for life.’

I snorted.

‘I’m still scarred from the first time I saw Calum’s face...’

Shooting Calum a victorious sideways glance, he stuck out his tongue at me. Michael giggled, still under Ashton.

‘Calum, I think you just got put in your place, actually.’

‘Hey! My ass is an object of beauty - a work of art, in fact. People make tumblr urls about my bottom!’

I smirked at Calum’s pretend-offended look.

‘I’m sure it’s very nice, Calum. Seriously. But maybe we’ll save its great unveiling for another time.’

Ashton, for the first time, surfaced from his struggle with Michael.

‘Or maybe not.’

I shrugged, ignoring his tone, but not missing the glance Luke shot Calum.

‘Maybe not. Can we watch now?’

‘Emma - catch!’

Michael took the chance while Ashton was distracted, and leapt up, tossing me the remote. I squealed as it landed on my lap and Ashton lunged for it, crashing down on top of me, his legs snaking around mine, arms on either side of my head.

The remote lay forgotten on my chest. Ashton’s face was centimetres away from mine. I sucked in a deep breath.

‘Hi,’ he half-whispered.

‘Hey,’ I giggled back.

His deep brown eyes were watching me closely, and I saw him glance at my lips. I had a sudden urge to curl my fingers up in his soft hair, pull him close and kiss him.

‘Guys, the game’s about to start.’

Calum’s voice drew me from my daze, and I heard a whistle blow on TV. What was I thinking? NO. No. It’s Ashton - yuck, remember?  Awkwardly rolling out from underneath Ashton, I could feel my cheeks going bright red.

‘So, what’re we watching again?’

I scooted over next to Calum and snuggled up next to him, but he shuffled away, leaving a small gap between us. I felt my stomach drop as I followed his gaze to Ashton. His face was sad, and contorted, as if fighting an inward pain. His eyes, no longer bright, were watching me and Calum very carefully. I reached out towards him.

‘Come sit-‘

Ashton spun on his heel and marched out of the room. My jaw dropped.

‘Ashton?’

Luke stood up, but he didn’t follow Ashton, and Ashton didn’t come back.

‘Leave him alone for a bit, he’ll be fine.’

‘What’s wrong?’

I looked confusedly at Ciara, who shrugged. Calum poked me in the ribs.

‘Em, just forget about it. He’ll be okay. Now look - the match already started!’

Pulling my eyes away from the doorway, I concentrated on the TV. Calum, being an avid soccer fan, had switched the channel to a FIFA World Cup match replay - Australia vs Spain. I couldn’t help but smile.

‘Caluuuuuum, really?’

Michael groaned, and rolled over on the carpet, before Calum pelted him with popcorn. I looked over at Cee and Luke, sitting intertwined together. Then back at the door where Ashton had disappeared.

Just forget about it. He’ll be okay, Calum said inside my head again.

I sighed and turned back to the match.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

‘Aaaaaaaand - FULL TIME! Australia wins!’

I applauded loudly with Luke and Ciara as the referee blew the full time whistle, and Michael joined in, showering popcorn into the air like confetti. Calum leapt up and I jumped onto his back, wrapping my arms loosely around his neck. We galloped around the room, cheering like maniacs, one of Calum’s hands up in the air, waving wildly. Ciara giggled, and took a photo of us as we charged around in circles.

‘You two look ridiculous,’ she chuckled.

Calum stuck out his tongue at her and moved closer to where she was sitting.

‘At least we’re - oh, fuCK!’

I squealed, and waved my arms, trying to regain balance in the air, as Calum tripped over one of Luke’s long legs, but it was too late. We both crashed to the floor, sprawled across the carpet infront of Michael, who gave a girly scream and leapt out of the way. Calum and I rolled over and over, laughing our heads off, tangled together in a lump.

‘What--the--fuck--Luke,’ I wheezed, trying to control my laughter.

He appeared over the top on me, holding the bowl of popcorn Michael had abandoned on the floor.

‘Hungry?’

‘Luke, no...’ Ciara smiled.

Oh. Shit.

‘Luke - ahhh!’

I screamed as he upturned the whole bowl over me and Calum, peppering us with the leftover popcorn, corn kernels and a shower of salt. Before I could hit him, I heard thudding footsteps, and someone burst into the room.

‘Emma? Are you okay? Who’s hurt? What happened?’

I sheepishly brushed the popcorn from my eyes, and looked up. Ashton was posed in a ninja stance in the doorway, looking worried. I giggled when I saw his defensive mode, which I probably shouldn’t have done. When he heard me laugh, he looked down, turning his big brown eyes on me. I saw him take in how close I was to Calum - our tangled bodies on the floor.

‘Ashton-‘

Calum sat up, brushing popcorn off his shoulders and untangling himself from me. Ashton bit his lip.

‘No. Don’t say anything, Calum.’

And for the second time that day, Ashton turned around and stomped out of the room, leaving us all in silence.

Except, this time, Calum jumped up and ran from the room.

‘Ashton, wait! Ash - please, come on, it’s not what it looked like...’

His voice was muffled for a second, and then I heard a door slam. I turned on Michael.

‘What did I do?’

He winced and tugged on a strand of his hair.

‘Look, Em, I’d better go help Calum sort this one out, okay? Um. I’ll talk to you later.’

He awkwardly got up and jogged from the room, leaving me mouthing wordlessly.

I just don’t fucking understand. Can someone please explain?

I rolled my eyes and slouched back on the couch with a huff. I turned my head and looked suspiciously at Ciara and Luke, who were sharing covert looks.

‘I suppose you’d better go too, Luke. Go sort out Ashton.

I scowled. Luke looked nervous but he shook his head.

‘No, Calum and Mikey will sort it out fine.’

I nodded slowly.

‘Of course they will. Well, does either of you want to fill me on what the fuck is happening, or am I going to stay out of the loop? Does Ashton have anger management problems?’

Luke laughed.

‘Nah, he’s just going through a, uh, phase. It won’t last. Hopefully.’

‘Why’s he so moody then?’

He looked at the door.

‘Don’t tell him I told you, okay? But I’m fairly sure he likes you. And he’s jealous, because he knows how close you and Calum are.’

‘Wait - he told me, and I quote, ‘I’m not attracted to you’.’

Luke raised an eyebrow.

‘Well, I don’t know, maybe he just thinks he should be what Calum already is.’

Looking unsure, he turned back to Ciara, who smiled at him before gently placing a hand on my shoulder reassuringly.

‘Em, seriously, don’t let it bother you. He’ll get over it.’

I stood up.

‘He’d better.’

‘What?’

‘I said, he’d better. I’m sick of this shit. Maybe I like Calum more than him! Maybe because Calum doesn’t throw a fucking hissy fit if I’m sitting next to someone other than himself! I am SO sick of Ashton’s shit,’ I spat.

‘I gotta go, I need some air. Say bye to Michael and Calum for me, I’ll talk to you guys later.’

Luke was frowning but he nodded.

‘See ya Em. Don’t let it get to you.’

I rolled my eyes.

‘It might be too late for that. Bye Luke - see you tonight Cee.’

She waved, and I turned around, walking towards the door. Suddenly I stopped, and looked back.

‘Use protection, you two.’

I winked, and grinned at their blushing faces.

‘Just go!’ Ciara smiled, and I gave her the thumps up.

‘I’m going, I’m going!’

I stepped outside, shutting the door, leaving behind my problems - and Ashton.

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