I wake up with a start, shocked to find myself next to a warm body.
"Holy fuck!" I whisper-yell, and Michael looks up at me.
"Wow, either I'm great at drunk persuasion or you secretly can't resist me." He smirks, and I roll my eyes.
"You're a loser. I felt bad for you because you were shaking like a scared chihuahua when the bus started driving. Now get off." I snap, but he doesn't get off.
"I don't think so, you're warm and comfy."
"I'll throw you off if you don't get up."
And so, I grab his side and roll him over top of me (with a brief 'oof!') and keep him at an angle at which if I chose to let go, he'd fall to the ground. But he doesn't panic. He just flips himself so that he is facing me, and his hands are on the mattress, on either side of my head. My breath stops in my throat and my eyes widen. His nose is two inches away from mine, and I can feel his hot breath on my face.
"You're cute when you're scared." He smiles, and swings his feet to the floor. My lungs refuse to breathe as I lay there, looking into his eyes.
"What the fuck was that?!" I force the question off of my tongue, and he raises an eyebrow, paired with a smirk.
"I don't know, but you started it." And with that I hear him leave and close the thin sliding door. I stare at the ceiling. What the fuck?
I crawl down from the bunk, and walk through the doorway, still dazed and very much confused.
Calum and Luke have taken the couches, groaning and holding their heads. We don't even have pain relievers, so they'll have to deal with their decisions. Ashton cheerily sits at the tiny table beside the smaller couch, drinking a Starbucks coffee.
"We got a jug of coffee, so help yourselves." He smiles, and I stare at the brown cardboard jug in disdain. I hate coffee. Not that the caffeine would keep me up from sleeping, because I can't sleep anyways. It's the flavor.
Just then, realization hits me like a blow to the head. When I was in Michael's bunk, I slept. The whole night.
Michael goes to get his laptop, and I crouch down in front of Calum.
"I did it!"
"Did what?" He groans, and I look around. Luke's complaining is louder than our talking, so our conversation goes unnoticed.
"I slept the whole night."
And with that, Calum sits up properly, alert suddenly.
"Wow! Congrats!" I sit beside him, and am about to speak, but hesitate. There's no way I'm saying that aloud.
"What?" Calum pries, and I shake my head. Just then, Michael walks into the room.
"What's wrong?" He looks at me, puzzled.
"Noelle's not saying something!"
"What were you going to say?" By now Ashton is in on the action.
"I'm not saying it. Not around you guys." I say, feeling dread fill my gut. I forgot tampons, and the danger days start next week. And there's no way in hell I'm going to buy them in Walmart, because no doubt the guys will be with me. There's no way to discreetly get them. I breathe in.
"Please?" Calum begs, but he could be kissing my feet and peeling me grapes and I still wouldn't tell him.
It's when they all plead in unison that I break down and make a noise in exasperation.
"I get my period next week and I forgot tampons, okay? Happy? Lay off!" I yell, and stomp into the bunk area, slamming the door against the magnet that keeps it closed. I curl up in a random bunk on the bottom, with my back against the wall.
Minutes later, the door slowly slides open and closes, Calum cautiously standing outside my current location. He slowly gets into the bunk with me, sitting cross-legged on the opposite side of me.
"I have a sister. Y'know. I'm used to those problems." He says quietly. My screaming must have been torture for his headache. I've never broken down like that before. I'm usually very neutral-expressioned and emotioned.
"I'm sorry I freaked out like that. I'm not sure why I did that."
I whisper, and Calum hesitantly pulls me into an embrace.
"It's the stress." He breathes into my ears, and my breathing slows. Calum has a kind of gift, it seems, to soothe and understand people in a way. I have a feeling he doesn't use it often.
"Thank you." I close my eyelids, and feel flames licking the back of my eyes. I will not cry. Not here.
Oh, what the hell. I always end up doing the opposite of what I say anyways.
I let the tears fall, and press the side of my face against Calum's. As the hot, salty droplets descend my face, I feel them make his cheek wet as well.
"I can't believe I'm crying in front of someone. What's next, an insane burst of happiness? I haven't felt this many strong emotions since I was eight." I sigh, making Calum half-heartedly chuckle.
"You've probably been through a lot to have such a cold personality. Then again, you really aren't that unlikable, are you? That's just how you show yourself to the world, so you won't accidentally let someone in and they can't hurt you." He strokes my hair, and I let out a quiet laugh.
"Am I crying over tampons or my sad life?"
I feel Calum smile.
"Well if I knew there was going to be gallons of blood pouring out of me then I would cry too." I laugh, and hug him, hard.
"Promise me something Cal."
"Ooh now I get a nickname. I have to sell my soul to the devil now, don't I?"
"Never get out of my life. I haven't known a friend in a long long time." I lean back, to see him grinning like an idiot. "You feel really special don't you."
And with that, we go back out there, to find Michael twiddling his thumbs on the couch, his laptop beside him. Luke has decided to stop whining, and Ashton stares at his empty coffee, expressionless.
"I-I'm sorry." I stammer, and Michael looks up.
"Don't be. It was our fault." He reaches his hand out, and I touch my fingers to his palm. He grabs my wrist, and pulls me to the couch
"mICHAEL!" I shriek in surprise, and I fall onto his lap. He chuckles, and I sit up, beside him. Nope, not here, not now, and probably not ever.
I scoot away from him, more towards Calum, who took a spot on the other end of the couch.
"So I guess we have to go buy tampons." Luke awkwardly plays with his hair, with is half pressed down from laying down on the couch.
"And painkillers." I add, and Calum gives me a grateful glance.
And so, we venture into Target as soon as we decide to stay in our tour bus instead of a hotel. I shoo them all away to get painkillers, after they fix their appearances and change clothes. I only bother to change my shirt, because Michael would probably try to peek at me if I took too long.
As I'm picking out a box, someone comes up behind me.
"Are you lost?" I sigh, unamused.
"What are those?" Michael asks, reaching above me to get one of those period cups.
"You stick them up your vagina and it fills with blood." I state, and he makes a grossed out face.
"Who the fuck invented that?!"
"Someone who got tired of wearing diaper things and sticking things up their lady parts." I frown, and grab a box.
"Put that down!" I swat his hand, and he puts it back, still trying to figure out why someone would want one.
"Do you really stick it up there?"
"I have no fucking clue, I've never used one. Stop asking questions, you're being embarrassing." I put the box on the counter for the cashier to deal with. She gives us an amused smile.
"Guys, eh? So annoying. I'm surprised she hasn't beheaded you yet." She comments on our bickering, and I smirk at Michael.
"Don't tempt her, because I think she actually just might attack me with an axe in my sleep."
"Damn straight." I smile at the cashier, pay, and take my bag.
"You won't actually behead me, will you?"
"What if I did something crazy?"
"Like what?" I ask, as we walk out of the doors.
"Like this." He replies cheekily, then grabs my ass and starts running.
"ASSHOLE!" I yell, and chase him, all the way into the bus. I find him using Ashton and Calum as human shields.
"Why did you have to use them? You know I can't hurt puppies. That's not fair." I whine, and Luke looks up form his phone.
"That's why. If he used me, I'm pretty sure you'd throw me through the wall."
"Hey! I haven't said a single mean thing to you this entire time!" I say, slightly offended.
"No, but Calum and Ashton are muscled. I'm like a noodle."
I glance briefly at Calum and Ashton's arms, and realize that their arms really are muscled. I bet the rest of their bodies are quite fit too.
Uh...forget I said that.
I try to push past them, but Calum picks me up and places me on his shoulders.
"No beheading my bandmates." He scolds me, and I fight to get off.
"He grabbed my ass!" I complain, and cup my hands under his chin. Man, his bones are defined.
"Michael did you actually?" Ashton turns in shock.
"Yeah." He sheepishly grins, and Calum sighs.
"I half want to let her down to see what your fate is."
Instead, he sits down and puts my feet on the ground. In my moment of freedom, I try to jump at Michael, but Calum wraps his arms around my waist. Gently, but his arms are too strong for me to break free from. And so, I sit on his lap, pouting. He brushes my hair away from my ear and whispers.
"It's for your own good. I'm trying to make sure you don't make any bad decisions."
I feel a chill run down my side as his lips brush my ear.
"Please don't suffocate me." Michael raises his hands up to protect his face, and sits beside Calum.
"If I let you go can you control yourself? Calum asks, and I pause, then slowly nod. He carefully removes his arms, and I lay down across their thighs, my head on one arm of the couch and my feet on the other arm.
"Hey stop that." Michael tries to move me, but I stay put.
"No. This way I can kill you whenever I want, and Calum is satisfied that he can still try to stop me." I say, a smug grin on my face. Michael gives me a nervous look.
Suddenly, Luke hands Calum two pills, and a bottle of water. Calum thanks him, and swallows the painkillers, with a swig of water. I watch his Adam's apple bob as he swallows.
I 'm not creepily starting at him, I'm just...admiring him. Shut up, you've done it before too.
"Noelle, stop staring at me, it's unsettling."
"Hey guys, I have something to tell you."
"Noelle isn't my name."
"What are you talking about?" They all give me confused looks, except Michael, who looks away, pretending not to notice.