Silence » a.i.

Ashton had all the answers to every question Bridgette had, but he had to stay silent for her own good. copyright © 2014 kwrites&luketivity

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13. Meet the Family

My house was vacant - or that's how it seemed walking in. Both of my parents were at work while my brother was at school. There wasn't any noise coming from the house or even any sign anyone had gotten in. But with friends like Ashton's he would know how to get into a house without leaving any traces.

Michael grabbed my hand and led me down the hall to the living room. Ashton stood there with his sunglasses in his back pocket. In his hands was a picture of my family and I during a family reunion the year before. I hadn't really changed at all since then come to think of it.

He didn't notice us come in at all. Instead, he put the picture back down and put his fists to his head again. "Fuck." he growled, sitting down on the couch.

Michael shooed me into the kitchen with his hands. I gave him a quizzical look but did as he asked. I moved swiftly and silently into the other room, listening closely to what he was about to say to him.

"You know," Michael began. "It doesn't really make girls want to bang you when you sneak into their house and stare at their family pictures."

"Go away, Michael." Ashton sighed.

"You know your dumb gift doesn't work on me," Michael reminded him. "Plus, why are you even talking to me? You haven't wanted to talk - unless it was something important - since Calum gave you the gift."

"Why does it matter if I talk or not anymore?" he wondered. "I'll probably just end up screwing everything with Bridgette up like I did with everything else." What did I have to do with anything? How could he possibly screw up anything that had to do with me? I would do anything for Ashton - I thought he knew that. I thought all of them knew how much I cared about them. There was - almost - nothing they could do to make me leave them.

"Why the sudden sadness?" Michael inquired.

"You think this is all sudden?" Ashton raised his voice.

"You know what I meant," Michael said. "You usually try to look on the bright side of things. Why are you now giving up?"

Ashton sighed again. "The eviction thing is my fault. I was talking to myself and I wished that my family could be free from the house and the next day the sign was on the front lawn."

"Your gift doesn't-"

"I know," Ashton interrupted harshly. "It was the universe or something. I don't know. If I just say things to no one in particular, they still come true. And it got me thinking about everything else I fucked up."

"Doesn't mean it'll be the same," Michael said. "You've been doing good with Cooper - you're being cautious and protecting, and I honestly think she really likes you and cares about you too. Maybe even loves you. And what have you done to affect how she feels? Nothing. You've said no words to her."

"Then I guess it has to stay that way, huh?" he let out a sharp laugh. "You start to like someone and you can't even say anything to them. Some gift."

"What are you doing?" Calum whispered behind me.  

I jumped and spun around. "Jesus," I whispered harshly. "You almost gave me a damn heart attack!"

"Sorry," he smiled. "You know, Ashton's cooled down a lot. You could go talk to him if you want."

"But then he'd know I was listening," I pointed out. "Wait, where have you been?"

"Your brother's room." he shrugged.

I opened my mouth to ask why, but shut it. It was probably best if I didn't know. Calum walked around me and to the front door. He placed his hand on the knob and waved me over with his other. I tip-toed next to him before he opened the door and shut it loudly, causing me to jump. Then he pushed me into the living room.

Ashton and Michael locked their eyes on me. I waved sheepishly. "Hi."

"Bridgette," Ashton said in a lighter voice. Something inside him clicked and he went back to his normal self. He searched for his sunglasses until he remembered they were in his pocket. He slid them on. His mouth pulled down at one corner and he shrugged. Sorry.

I was slightly upset that he still wouldn't talk to me. I now understood why he didn't want to considering his gift - it had caused him hard times with the other people in his life in the passed. He just wanted to be careful about making me do things that I didn't want to do.

"It's fine," I assured him. "I mean, I know why you got so upset and I completely understand that. I'm really sorry, Ashton."

He shrugged and sighed. No one can do anything about it.

I nodded, not knowing what else to say to him. I couldn't say anything to fix his predicament. I didn't think anything anyone said to him would make him feel any better. He was losing his family twice in one lifetime. I didn't think it got much worse than that.

"Well," I began awkwardly, moving back and forth from my heels to my toes. "Jeremy will be home soon and he'll probably really confused and/or disgusted if he sees a bunch of guys in a house alone with me."

"Is that your semi-polite-ish way of kicking us out, Cooper?" Michael questioned.

"Actually," I began slowly. "Ashton, you could go up to my room if you want."

He pursed his lips before he shook his head.

"Irwin actually doesn't want to hang out with Cooper?" Michael gasped. "Are you sure you're feeling better?"

Ashton pulled out his phone and began typing.

"Ashton," I laughed. "Why don't you just talk to me?"

"I can't." he stated, still looking at his phone.

"Why not?" I quizzed.

My phone buzzed in my pocket. I pulled it out and looked at it.

From Ashton: Would you like to hang out at my house tonight?

I looked up at Ashton. "Seriously?"

He shrugged. "I figure you should meet my family before they're gone."

I took a breath and nodded. I was actually nervous about meeting Ashton's family even if they were dead.

"Well, I'm out." Michael stated right before he disappeared.

"Um, if your brother says anything about a dead possum, don't bring me up, okay?" Calum said before shutting the door as he left the house.

"Dead possum?" I repeated.

Ashton looked at me and shook his head. Don't ask.



~*~



Ashton led me through the front door of his house, holding my hand as he went. His sunglasses still never left his face. He kicked his shoes off by the door, so I did the same. He continued into the house to the kitchen.

"Mum!" he called. "Harry, Lauren! I brought someone here to meet you!"

By the stove stood a woman about my height with blonde hair and a warm smile. "Hello, darling."

Ashton kissed his mother's cheek before gesturing to me. "Mum, this is Bridgette Cooper."

"She's prettier than you said," Ashton's mom gushed. "Oh, Bridgette, we've heard so much about you. You're all Ashton seems to talk about! Must sound weird since he doesn't talk much outside this house."

"Mum." Ashton whined quietly.

"Oh, Ashton, calm down," she sighed, lightly waking him with a dishcloth. "I'm only teasing."

Dead or alive, mothers could still embarrass their kids. I made a mental note of that.

"Where's Harry and Lauren?" he questioned.

"Living room," she huffed. "They've been watching TV all day long. Those kids just won't clean their rooms at all. They're glued to that thing."

Ashton smiled at his mom and rolled his eyes before taking my hand again and leading me back the way we came. This time, he went passed the front door to the other room. A boy and a girl - I assumed were Harry and Lauren - lounged on the furniture watching SpongeBob, not noticing we were there at all.

"Thanks for listening to me." Ashton said.

The two turned around and laughed at him. "Hey, who's that?" Harry asked.

"Is that Bridgette?" Lauren guessed.

"She is pretty." Harry noted.

"Prettiest girl you ever brought home." Lauren added under her breath.

"Hey," Ashton laughed. "I thought you liked Chelsea."

"Doesn't mean I thought she was pretty." Lauren shrugged.

I actually really liked Ashton's family. They were completely normal. Not to mention they were nicer and seemed more understanding than my own. I felt terrible that they were going to be gone. I wished I could save them somehow. I knew that with them gone, Ashton would only get worse.

"I'll be in my room, then." Ashton said.

"What are you going to do?" Harry wondered with a cheeky smile on his face.

"Shut up, Harry," Ashton laughed at his brother as he led me out of the room. "You're too young."

Ashton led me through the living room down a short hallway. The second to last room must've been his since he opened the door and allowed me inside. He switched the light on to reveal a full sized bed, and a small amount of band posters plastered onto the creme colored walls.

"It's not much." he shrugged.

"I like it," I nodded. "It's very laid back. There's not too much going on."

He smiled. "Glad you like it. And speaking of liking stuff, I think they really like you."

"I like them," I said, returning his smile with one of my own. "Your siblings are so cute and your mom is the sweetest thing."

"She can really go...over the top when I bring friends over." he said, scratching the back of his head.

"You were just embarrassed because she said you talk about me a lot," I teased. "What exactly have you said?"

"Nothing." he defended, trying to hide a smile.

"Honestly," I began, changing the subject. "I'm glad you're talking to me right now. I like when you actually talk."

"I just don't want to mess anything up this time," he sighed. "You've probably heard stories from the guys. I've made people do outrageous things when I don't even mean for it to happen. I have to think over what I say incredibly carefully. I could end up sending someone across the country without intending to."

"I know," I breathed. "I'm sorry."

"Don't be, it's not your fault."

We were silent for a moment. I continued to stare around his room as he continued to watch me behind his dark shades.

"So, what exactly is up with the sunglasses?" I asked slowly. "I know I asked before and you said you didn't want to say, but I'm just really curious."

"It's," he began but cut himself off with a sigh. He ran his fingers through his curls. "It's complicated, Bridgette."

"You can trust me," I assured him. "You don't have to tell me, but if you do, I won't judge you or anything, I swear."

"Well, I-"

"Greetings, lovebirds," Michael smiled from the corner of Ashton's rooms with his arms folded and his legs crossed as he leaned against the wall. "Sorry to interrupt, but Cooper is wanted at home. Jeremy is freaking out."

----

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