Loving Ash

Bandfic for Fanfiction Royale

•BOOK 1 IN THE LOVING 5SOS SERIES•

Ashley Clifford spends her spare time coddling her camera and dancing to classic rock. After her high school boyfriend dumps her, she spends most of her time hiding out in her room and blasting pop breakup ballads. But what happens when her brother comes home? She hasn't seen him or his band in months.

Ashton Irwin spends his spare time banging on his drums or playing video games with his friends. Lately he's been hanging with his band, playing gigs all over. Returning home, he didn't expect to find Michael's little sister all grown up. And he definitely didn't expect her to join them on tour.

What happens when these two get put together in a small space? Will they bite each other's heads off, or will sparks fly?

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41. Chapter Forty: Look Like Death

Chapter Forty: Look Like Death

[ashley]

I stared blankly at my phone. The screen was lit up and the special ringtone sounded. It was the song Contagious by Boys Like Girls. He had programmed it as his ringtone soon after we started dating.

"Would it be that hard to just give me one more minute? The story's far from finished! We could fill in all the pages. I'm feeling sick--"

I silenced the ringing, ignoring the call. He had been trying to call me for two days. My heart hurt, but I refused to talk to him. He sent me away. He didn't want me.

I fell backwards, my head landing in the plush pillows of my bed. My ceiling was white and covered in little green glow in the dark stars. I laid there just staring at the constellations I had formed on my ceiling years ago.

The phone started ringing again and I didn't even have to look at it to know who it was. The stupid song started playing again, making my heart clench. I forced my fingers to loosen on the small device, refusing to look at it. I wanted to hear his voice. I wanted to hear my name roll from his tongue, and hear him say he loved me. But I couldn't.

A loud banging sounded at my door, indicating a frustrated someone on the other side. I rolled over, pulling a pillow over my ears.

"Go away!" I yelled, the stupid ringtone playing again and the loud banging continuing.

"Ashley Mae Clifford, open this door right now!" I heard a female voice yell through the door. I peeked towards the door, the lock firmly in place. Good, I didn't want to see anyone ever again.

"Go away, Sadie!" I screamed back, pushing the pillow over my ears in an attempt to muffle my phone and Sadie's loud knocking. Why was he calling me?

"Ashley, I will break down this door if you don't let me in in five seconds," my best friend called from the other side of the door. I sat up a little. She wouldn't do that, would she? "One! Two!"

Maybe she would.

"Three!"

I jumped up from my bed, stumbling and falling to the floor as my legs got tangled in the bedding. "Ow!"

"Four!"

I stood up, rubbing my hip bone as I made my way to the door. Flinging it open, I didn't even look at the tall blonde standing in the doorway. Instead, I stumbled back to my bed. My phone had gone silent when I stood up, but it started ringing as soon as I sat back down.

"Why won't you stop calling me!" I cried, plucking up the smartphone and dumping it into a drawer. I rubbed a hand over my face, warding off tears. I had been crying for two weeks. I hated crying.

"Oh, sweetie," Sadie cooed, entering the room slowly. She eyed my mess, the clothes scattered across my floor and the books strewn across my desk. Then her eyes landed on me, sprawled on my bed. I'm sure I looked awful. I hadn't left my room in 14 days. My hair was oily, my skin was grimy and my breath stank. My eyes were probably red and puffy, my cheeks pale. "You look awful."

I glared at her. She smiled lightly at me, her blue eyes staring sympathetically at me.

"What do you want, Sade?" I asked, pushing myself up. She gingerly sat next to me, placing her hand on my arm.

"You've been locked in here for long enough," she started, looking around the room again. "God, it smells in here."

"That's probably me, Sadie," I informed her with an embarrassed smile. She wrinkled her nose with a nod.

"Okay, first things first," my best friend stood up, clapping her hands. "You need to shower. You reek. Go."

I furrowed my brow, glaring at the blonde standing in front of me. She pointed towards my door, her perfectly manicured fingers directing me out of the room. She lifted her perfect eyebrow, waiting for me to do as she told me.

Grumbling, I stood up and stomped away, heading to the bathroom.

"Take your time, love!" Sadie called after me. I groaned, slamming the door shut an locking if. I tried to avoid looking in the mirror as I turned the water on, but as I turned around I caught sight of my reflection. When Sadie said I looked awful, it was an understatement.

The girl in the mirror looked undead. She had dark circles under icy blue eyes and they were rimmed in a deep red color. Her cheeks were hollow and pale. The once voluptuous curls hung around her face limply, the roots greasy.

I sucked in a deep breath, biting the inside of my cheek to keep from crying. I looked like death.

Turning around, I stripped out of my soiled clothes and stepped into the hot water. Letting the water cascade over my shoulders, I stared blankly at the shower wall. The heated water soothed my sore muscles, and calmed my racing heart.

I stood there until the water turned cold, sending me into action. I quickly scrubbed my body with a rejuvenating lavender body wash and hurried to shave my legs. It took longer than I wanted, but it needed to be done. It took me another five minutes to work the green tea shampoo into my mess of curls and another five minutes with the conditioner.

Once I was finished, my body had adjusted to the cold temperature and I scurried out of the shower. Wrapping a spare towel around my body, I grabbed a smaller version of the towel and began to drag it over my hair.

Discarding my dirty laundry in the hamper, I scampered through the hall and into my bedroom. Sadie was waiting perched on the foot of my bed, her hands skimming over an outfit laid out on the bed. I glanced around the room, noticing the neatly stacked books. My floor was free of any clothes and the bed was made. She cleaned my room.

"Oh, good! You're back!" She exclaimed, pushing to her feet. I nodded slowly, tugging the towel closer to my chest. She gestured to the bed. "Get dressed, sweetie, and then meet me downstairs."

"Okay," I muttered as she moved to the door. She patted my arm as she passed, a soft smile on her lips.

"You'll be okay, Ash," she whispered, before slipping out the door and closing it behind her.

And for some reason, I believed her.

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