Ring Ring Ring
"Annika, its been a while..."
"Hey, Ashton, you still into drumming?"
"Yeah, why?" his voice crackled, echoing slightly throught the phone. I let out an exhausted sigh, walking in to Luke's kitchen. Ashton always exhausted me, I don't know what I had ever seen in him...
"You know Luke, right? Well, he is starting up a band and they sound pretty good, but they need a drummer and your the only person I could think of who played drums, was close to their age and had hair as big as theirs, so you in?" I asked rather quickly, wanting to get this call over with as soon as possible.
"Umm, sure why not. Give 'em my number and we'll work out when to meet up and stuff." His voice had risen slightly in pitch, I was either guessing excitement or someone had hit him where it counts. I was hoping for the latter.
"Okay, text me when you guys are gonna' meet up and I'll introduce you guys. Bye, Ash"
"Hey wait-" Ash intoned before I could hang up, "It-it was nice to hear from you again, Anni." Then a beep sounded and he was gone.
"Wish I could say the same to you, Ashton." I spat into the phone, but it didn't matter, he couldn't hear me anyway.The nerve he had to say that to me, who does he think he is?
I trudged back down the stairs, attempting to pull what would seem like a genuine smile on my face.
"He said he'd do it, guys! I think you've got yourselves a drummer!" I called, walking down the stairs; only to see what looked like a tense stand-off happening from their seated positions on the couches. Shrugging it off, must be a boy thing I though absent-mindedly. Luke was first to response, breaking off from his glare at the two other boys.
"Thats great, Anni. Who is it, anyway?"
I looked at my feet shuffling on the ground, shrugging my shoulders I mumbled, "Ashton Irwin..." Luke's reaction was instanteous, he jumped to his feet and grabbed my arm and dragged me up the stairs just descended. Once out of ear-shot of the other boys he let out a huge bellow,
"No way in hell, Anni! I'm not having him anywhere near my house or near you ever again!"
"Luke, I swear its fine, he would never try anything again; he knows I would never forgive him for what he did to me..." I rebuffed instantly, I wasn't going to let Luke destroy his chances of being in a half-decent band because of his overprotectiveness of me. Luke's face still remained uncertain as he slowly sank bank into the sofa.
"Okay. Fine. But if he tries anything I swear I will kill him, got it?"
"Got it, Anni"
Sighing, "Yes Luke."
I swear that boy was more protective of me than my own parents...
"Your shitting me, right, Anni?" Megan shouted at me from my bed.
It was two days since I last saw Luke and the whole band argument. Today was the day Ashton was joining band practice as well. Standing in front of the mirror, putting on mascara I say back as calmly as possible,
"No, Ashton is joining Luke's new band, and I'm the one who asked him to, after all he owes me-big time."
From my peripheral vision I see my best friend shaking her head, scowling with her nut brown hair flying in all directions.
" I still don't like it..."
"Neither do I, Megan, neither do I... But I can't let Luke miss out on a chance of even possibly making his dreams become reality." Turning away from the mirror I face Megan, one of my few best friends. Her face was pulled into a slight scowl with her lips pursed and tawny eyes narrowed. Her face changing completely from her usually toothy grin. Megan and I had been friends for just over a year now, though it felt like longer. She knew everything about me and my past, just like I knew everything about hers.
Plopping down in the bed I feel her eyes on me, I turn to face her and pull my legs up to my chest. She continues to stare at me
"What?" I ask, "Do I have something on my face?" I brush my face frantically trying toremove the imaginary substance.
"No you don't hav anything on your face, Anni."
"Then why are you staring at me?" I raise my eyebrow
She sighed, "Are you upset that Luke started a band without you- I mean it has practically been your guy's dream since you were little kids..."
I thought about it for a while, when I finally answer I am surprised by the amount and speed of the words flying from it- kind of like word vomit.
"I mean I guess I am kinda pissed off that he did it behind my back. But he was always that little bit more serious about it than I was, ya know? I feel like I should be angrier with him than I am but I am not. I guess I am just worried that he'll become closer friends with them than he will be with me and that I-I'll lose him..." As I say all this I begin to shake a little and with the last sentence I feel a small tear slide down my cheek. Quickly wiping that away I look back at Megan, who is staring at me with a small, sad smile.
"Anni, you and Luke have been best friends for as long as you can both remember, I don't think he is going to let you go anytime soon. Now come here." She opens her arms and I dive into them, wrapping my arms around her small body, she is shorter than me but she certainly makes up for it in the boob department, that is for sure. Laying my head in the crook of her neck I start to feel a little bit more myself. After several long minutes I pull away,
"Come on, we have to go meet the boys...and Ashton."
*45 Minutes Later*
"So...Austin isn't it?" Luke asked. Oh god, he was deliberately getting his name wrong; I begged him silently to let go of the grudge he had against him. Looking back at Ashton, I grimaced slightly. This was the first time I had seen him in about eight months, but he was exactly the same Ashton as he was then. Except maybe taller, yeah definitely taller, close to six foot. God, if he made it into the band they would almost certainly be known as the band of giants, with them all being so tall.
"Uhh, its Ashton actually..." he mutterd looking down at his hands playing with the bracelets surrounding his wrists.
"Oh, sorry." Luke said, not sounding sorry in the least.
The rest of us sat in silence around the kitchen table, all except Mikey and Calum who were playing FIFA in the living room. So far Ashton had made a bad impression on all the boys; he'd turned up on a push-bike, even though he had a car, and was wearing a purple shirt. Then when the boys invited him to play FIFA he said he didn't like it, why did he say that? Didn't he know that was, like, the only video game the boys played?
Ashton kept peering up every once and a while to sneak glances at me, but would look down as soon as his eyes also travelled to Luke's blatant glare. A yell of victory from Mikey was heard from the living room, he must have scored against Calum because I then heard Calum let out a curse. The awkward tension was still mounting so Megan tried to diffuse it,
"Why don't you guys, uhh, practice with Ashton for a bit- I mean that is what he is here for, right?"
Mikey strutted into the room, with Calum trailing behind him. "I agree with the gorgeous Megan here." he announced, standing behind Luke's shoulder, clapping it lightly.Megan went slightly pink at his comment. When she looked over to me and I waggled my eyebrows at her she blushed redder and made kissy faces at her. Looks like somebody is already in Mr. Clifford, I mouth at her. Shut up, she mouths back, not bothering to deny it.
Pushing back my chair I stood and walked over to where Calum stood,
"What are you guys waiting for, a personal invitation? Get your arses down to the basement and strum away!"
Don't waste your time on me you're already
The voice inside my head, I miss you, I miss you
Don't waste your time on me you're already
The voice inside my head, I miss you, I miss you
As the last sounds of Ashton's cajon drum and the guitars faded out, Megan and I let out a slight cheer.
"Guys, that was brilliant, so much better than last time! Told you all you needed was a drummer!" I shouted giddily. I couldn't believe how great they actually sounded. As much as I hated to say it, Ashton's drumming skills was exactly what they needed to balance out the other boys guitar playing. Pulling the strap off from around his shoulders, Calum looked at me smiling saying,
"Really? That's awesome- thank you so much, Anni"
I waved him away, going crimson. In an attempt to take the attention away from me I suggested something I knew for sure that would get the boys attention.
"I believe in order of celebration we order some pizza! My treat! " The sounds of the boys (and girls) cheers could have been heard from kilometres away. Chuckling I pulled out my phone for the pizza place. Putting my phone to my ear I slowly dawdle off into the kitchen, away from the racket that was Megan attempting to play Mikey's guitar, much to his and everyone elses, amusement.
I heard footsteps following me, and turned to see Luke following me. When I made it to the kitchen, I leaned onto the island bench, with Luke watching me attempting to make me laugh with the faces he pulled. Holding the phone away from my ear I finally let out a giggle and tell him to knock it off. This only makes him more determined, and by the end of the call I feel myself red with the effort of me not trying to laugh.
"Luke, your such an idiot,I swear!"
Luke let out a loud chuckle,
"But I already knew that didn't I?"
"Oh you'll pay for that comment there Miss Evans!" He began chasing me around the kitchen in an attempt to tickle me, with me letting out high peals of laughter and the occasional squeal. When he eventually caught me he spun me around so I was pressed against his solid chest.
"Luke, let me go!" I chuckled.
Oh god, his tone of voice was deadly serious,
"I really want Ashton to be in the band, but I don;t want him near you, either."
I sighed, "Luke, we've been through this several times, I am never going to repeat what happened between Ashton and I, I wouldn't- no, couldn't let myself be hurt like that again... You should let him in the band, you guys sound amazing together!"
Luke's arms tightened momentarily around me before releasing me,
"Alright, I'll let the boys know, they were wanting him in the band anyway; but they let me have the final say..."
I nodded, easily appeased.
"Good, go- I'll wait here till the pizzas arrive, they should be here soon anyway..."
Luke nodded before spinning around and skipping away; his head nearly knocking the roof. I let out another small chuckle, but quickly stopped when someone else walked into the room.
"Umm, can I talk to you?"
"You already are."
"I meant about what happened between us..."
I narrowed my eyebrows but waved for him to continue.
"I am really sorry for what I did and I know I don't deserve it but I was wondering whether you could possibly forgive me for what I did? I know I don't deserve it but I can't stand having you hate me, we even possibly try just being friends..."
Closing my eyes I respond very mutedly, " I don't hate you Ashton, but I don't exactly forgive you either. I mean you broke my heart, what did you expect?"
From the silence that followed I thought that he may have left the room, opening my eyes I see that is not the case. He continues to stare at me with the sadddest smile I have ever seen grace his face.
"I didn't expect you to forgive me anyway, but I am so glad to know that you don't hate me..."
I smile a little at his comment, slowly approaching him I hold out my hand for him to shake,
His face turns into a genuine smile, and he jumps forward, grabs my hand and pulls me unexpectedly into a hug. Lifting me slightly he whispers small 'thank you's" in my ear. Yep, definitely same old, cuddly Ashton. I giggle and lean back to look at him properly. While I stare I notice that the chubbiness has left his cheeks, giving him a strong jawline. Even his eyes still twinkled in all their hazel glory, I have to admit he is very attractive. I remember how it felt to be looked at with those eyes and feel loved. His face slowly transforms into a more serious one, his eyes flutter and we both begin to lean in,
Ignoring the door bell, which the pizza man is most definitely waiting behind we continue to slowly lean into each other. I felt my eyes flutter and close, then his lips began to barely brush mine, familiar and warm.
" Hey did I hear the doorbell ring for the- WOAH!" A voice interrupted, pulling me back into a sharp reality. Snapping my eyes open, I realise that I nearly kissed Ashton.He quickly drops me and I shove him away, taking a step back. I then notice Calum standing awkward and red in the doorway to the kitchen. He is already backing away slowly, probably going to tell everyone what he just walked in on. He was going to tell Luke. Oh god, I promised him
"No, Calum, don't tell-" It was too late, he was already racing back down the hall to the basement staircase.
"Fuck, fuck, fuck!" I swore, "Ashton I am sorry but that can't ever happen again, okay? I'm sorry".
I grab my wallet from the bench and go to the front door to grab the pizzas. Wrenching the door open I snatch the awaitng pizzas, shove money into the shocked pizza man's open hands, shout keep the change and a thank you before slamming the door shut, all within three seconds.
Panting, I run towards the basement pizza still in hand. I burst into the basement and run down the stairs to find shocked face's surrounding me. Placing the pizzas on the table, I try to act normal; hoping that maybe Calum hasn't had a chance to tell them about what he saw. Opening the pizza box, suddenly a large hand reaches out and grabs my wrist, pulling me upright. I look into the angry face of none-other than Luke. I guess Calum did have enough time after all.
CHAPTER 4 COMING SOON
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ANNIE + MORGAN