30 Days Of Summer

One year. Twelve months. 365 days to find myself and live on the wild side in Australia. It seemed like a long time at the start. I made friends, learned how to surf, got a nice tan. The usual. Then I met five crazy Australians who changed my life. It wasn’t just the fun, the laughs, the risks, the love. They showed me a part of myself I didn’t even know existed. And suddenly, one year didn’t seem so long anymore. {http://www.wattpad.com/story/11732664-30-days-of-summer}

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8. Chapter 8

{ A/N - Drama in the any fandom escalates very, very quickly. We thought we'd touch on that in this story, to make it more realistic. Vote, comment and enjoy. }

♥ ♥ ♥

The blazing Melbourne sun beat down on the dark tarmac of the clearing. It channelled energy into me, radiating on my skin. In front of me stood Beau, James and Skip; chatting animatedly and preparing for their latest video. Jai stood at my side, continuously running his hand through his hair and tweaking his fringe. Luke was a few feet away, fiddling with the camera. 

“Does my hair look okay?” Jai asked. I chuckled and glanced at him.

“It looks fine,” I sighed, accustomed to Jai’s trait.

“Fine?” he questioned.

I sighed again. “It looks great.”

“Good,” he grinned and reached for my hand, squeezing it reassuringly and dropping it again – so briefly no one could catch it. “It’ll be fine.”

It had been two days since the incident at Shake Shack. Jai had assured me everything would be alright, but I wasn’t convinced until he suggested that I came along to them filming their new video and they could introduce me properly to their fans. The boys thought this was a great idea as well, and I didn’t feel like they were annoyed at me anymore for making their fans angry at them.

Plus, I was dying to see what happened behind the scenes. I had no idea what to expect – besides something wild and crazy.

“So,” I nudged Daniel. “This is where the magic happens.”

“Nah, this is where we all get sick,” Skip laughed, wiggling his eyebrows. “The magic happens upstairs.”

“You dirty pig,” I scoffed, winking at him playfully.

“We haven’t done a Daresundays in ages,” Beau claimed, dragging out the syllables in ‘ages’.

“I still have the mark on my knee from where Skip shot me with the BB gun,” James crooned.

“No you haven’t, you dick,” Daniel replied, spitting on the ground for effect.

I rolled my eyes. “Sometimes you guys are just disgusting.”

“Sometimes?” they all chorused. I broke into a fit of giggles, just as my phone vibrated in my pocket. I pulled it out, scanning the screen curiously.

Twitter: ‘@BrooksBeau – Having a great time filming with our new friend @Lilly_Clarke. Can’t wait for you guys to meet her!’

I glanced at Beau, shooting him an awkward mix between a smile and a grimace. “Thanks...”

“No problem,” he smiled reassuringly, as if he could read my nerves through my smile. “Alright, so you ready to get slayed by the master of Daresundays?”

“I’ll think you’ll find always win,” Luke corrected. He signalled that he was ready to start and the boys took their positions – Beau shoving his way into the middle immediately. Then the camera was rolling and I was sucked into the world of the Janoskians officially.

“Three, two, one...” Luke muttered.

“Hey guys, we’re Daresundays!” the boys said in unison. “And today...we’re doing...the Baby Food Challenge!”

I hovered on the spot awkwardly, Luke’s shoulder brushing against mine. I glanced up at him nervously and he snuck me a reassuring smile.

“Actually guys, we have an announcement to make first...” Beau said, his voice solemn.

“Firstly, we’re sorry for not doing a Daresundays in months. We’ve been very busy and also we’re just very lazy,” James excused with a small chuckle.

“And we know there were all those rumours going around about Luke hugging that girl at the mall...” Beau continued. “Well, we’d like to introduce you to our friend Lilly. She’s from London and she’s staying in Melbourne for her gap year. And before you jump to conclusions – nothing like that happened between any of us, okay? Please don’t give her grief or hate because she’s our friend and we love you guys so much. If you really respect that and you are a true fan then you won’t hate on Lilly.”

An uncomfortable silence settled amongst us, masking us. Our faces were grim as we stared at the camera.

“Right. Well now that we’ve got a few things straight, let’s proceed and watch Beau throw up!” Jai added. But his smile couldn’t mask the hollow sound in his voice.

His words were the kick the boys needed though, because instantly they jumped into action, making strange noises and heading towards the camera, arms flailing and legs kicking. Luke hit the pause button and I let out a long breath I didn’t realize I was holding.

“Okay...” I breathed. “Hopefully they won’t hate me now.”

“No one could possibly hate you, Lil,” James smiled sweetly. He opened his arms and pulled me into a tight bear hug, squeezing me tightly.

I smiled into his warm shoulder gratefully and inhaled his scent. Then I cringed. “James...you stink,” I said bluntly.

He snorted. “Thanks,” he replied sarcastically.

I pulled away, blowing him a kiss. “You know I love you really.”

“Come on, guys!” Luke yelled, hitting the play button again. They rapidly explained the challenge to the camera as I eyed the jars of different flavoured baby food lined up before us. My stomach churned nautically.

“Actually, guys. I think I might pass on this one,” I wrinkled my nose.

“Awh, come on, Lil. Don’t be a pussy!” Skip teased.

I scowled at him. “Fine. But expect the worst...”

“Wholemeal rice and chicken,” Luke said, examining the jar gingerly. He took a spoonful and stuffed it in his mouth, grimacing before swallowing. “Ah, fuck. How the hell do babies eat this shit?”

I was becoming accustomed to how much the boys swore by now.

My stomach struggled to digest the spoonfuls of baby food I fed myself – along with the gulps of water I downed after swallowing the mush. The Peach & Strawberry one was particularly vile, but unlike Beau, I managed to keep it inside of me.

“Disqualified!” Jai screamed as Beau bent double at the edge of the clearing, clutching his stomach. I grimaced and turned my head away, clapping my hands over my ears to cover the sound of Beau gagging.

“You’re not allowed to throw up!” Daniel clarified the rules.

“It’s not a Daresundays without Beau throwing up,” Luke added sourly.

“Is this what all boys find entertaining?” I glanced at James. “Because if so, I’m starting to think you’re from a different planet.”

James chuckled. “Not all boys. Just the Janoskians.”

“Hmm,” I frowned. “Makes sense.”

“And our fans find it entertaining,” he added.

“Do they find it entertaining or can they not stop watching by some secret Janoskianator-law?” I said. It sounded blunt but I meant it light-heartedly. James glanced at the camera edgily and suddenly I regretted my words. “Cut that bit out! I didn’t mean it like that!”

“I don’t think McDonald’s and baby food mix,” Beau grimaced.

“How many times?” Luke replied, putting his thumb and index finger together, the others fanning out. “One simply does not eat before Daresundays.”

Beau laughed weakly. “Pop a trace.”

In the end, it was Luke who emerged victorious. Daniel spat his out and vomited; James drunk water before swallowing a mouthful of mushed Pasta & Lamb; Jai cheated by using a tea spoon instead of a table spoon and I ‘took a microscopic bite’.

“I think I’m officially the King of Daresundays. Where’s my crown?” Luke announced, drumming his fists against his chest proudly.

“Sorry, Your Majesty,” I joked, curtseying.

Beau turned to the camera, still clutching his stomach. “The moral of the...Daresundays is, guys, don’t eat baby food.”

“Unless you’re a baby,” Skip added, smirking at the lens. I laughed, blowing a kiss to the camera before Luke stopped it.

I was smiling, soaring high on happiness, messing about with my new friends. I felt invincible. Yet it was at that moment that the truth unexpectedly came crashing down on me again. Weighing down on me, haunting me. Following me around like there was a thunder cloud looming over my head, dark and heavy with condensation. It would spurt lightning at unexpected moments, striking me suddenly.

I said I’d tell Jai tomorrow. I could trust Jai. The boys just wanted to have fun but Jai...he would listen too.

I glanced at his smile, the precious smile I knew his fans adored. I couldn’t steal that from him – from them, not right now. Right now wasn’t a good time to tell him.

“What’s the matter?” Luke murmured as we boys began to pack up. I glanced at his face; his brown eyes sparkling with concern.

“Um...” I gulped. “Nothing. Thanks for letting me be a part of your video. I had a great time.”

Luke glanced at his watch. “Come back to mine? Mum’s making lasagne tonight.”

I glanced over at where the boys were packing the remaining jars of baby food into a bag, smiling and laughing and shoving each other playfully. I wanted to join them. But I couldn’t.

“You know what? I think I might head home. Thanks for the offer though,” I mumbled. I turned back to the rest of my friends and waved, but they didn’t see me. “Bye.”

“See you tomorrow,” Luke said.

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