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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18. Chapter Seventeen: What is air?

Chapter Seventeen: What is air?

{ashley}

Have you ever held your breath under water until your lungs were screaming, begging for air? That's what I was feeling right now.

It had been three days since Louis had taken me shopping. Three long days. Unfortunately for me, I got food poisoning which meant no club for me. Instead, I stayed in with my leather bound copy of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. It didn't take me long to become bored. The lads didn't stay out very late and imagine my surprise when Ashton walked in with a pint of my favorite ice cream. I didn't even know he knew my favorite. But all the others denied telling him.

Anyway, back to why I'm so breathless.

We were standing in the biggest arena yet. Luke, Michael, Calum, Ashton and I were standing in a row on stage, all of us marveling at the enormity of it. There were thousands upon thousands of seats, and I could only imagine how many there were in actuality.

"I can't believe we're actually here," Michael breathed out, his voice echoing around the arena. My brother was hard to impress, and he was currently very impressed. "We actually made it, mates."

"This is incredible," Luke agreed as we all looked out. I could feel the excitement running through the boys as they realized where they were.

"Guys, we're playing arenas!" Calum grinned over at us from his spot on the end. I stood between him and Ashton, while Michael stood between Ash and Luke. I grinned back at my friends, my heart soaring as I took in their faces. They all looked so happy. "Can you believe that just a couple years ago, nobody knew who we were?"

I felt someone take my hand and glanced down to see Ashton's tanned hand wrapped around my smaller one. It surprised me to say the least. Looking at his face, I found that he wasn't even looking at me. But he wore a contented smile as he held my hand and stared out at his dream turned reality. He looked so happy, I couldn't bring myself to pull away.

"It's amazing," Michael giggled. Yes, my brother giggled. "We're going to be stars!"

"You are stars you idiot," I chuckled, peeking around Ashton to see my brother. He glared playfully at me, but said nothing about Ashton holding my hand. I saw his jaw clench, but nothing. He didn't blow up. What the actual hell? "Will you play something for me? I know you've been working on some new stuff."

The boys looked at each other, grins forming on their faces before they scurried off to get ready. Ashton squeezed my hand, drawing my attention. Lifting my eyes to his handsome face, I only had seconds before he lightly kissed my forehead and ran to follow his bandmates.

What just happened?

Ashton has been far too friendly, always considerate and caring. He'd hold open doors, let me pick the movie, bring me ice cream. He got worried when I was sick, getting me anything I asked for. What was he playing at?

My mind went back to the day they came back, the night I agreed to join them on tour.

His soft lips on my skin as he pulled me closer. "You smell good."

His face buried in my hair as he whispered to me. "You're so beautiful, Ashley."

His worry when I screamed the next morning. His mumbled apology.

What was up with him? Ever since he got back he'd been acting strange. Nice even. I didn't know how to handle this new Ashton, and I was scared. I was scared because if he didn't stop, I might--

"Okay, Ashley. This is something we've been working on." Calum said into the mic, his eyes dancing with amusement. "Ashton actually wrote the lyrics."

My eyes flickered to Ashton's flushed face, his eyes meeting mine. Why was he blushing?

"It's not finished yet, and we're not releasing it for a while. You are the first person to hear it." Luke stated, eyeing me warily. "No telling and don't you dare leak it."

"It's going on our album." Michael said with a proud look. I raised an eyebrow at that.

"Album?" I asked with a smirk.

"Yes, album," Michael glared at me. "It may be another year, but it will happen."

"I believe you," I giggled, batting my eyelashes. "Now, are you going to play me the song or what?"

As they all started playing I instantly fell in love with the song.

"Don't talk, let me think it over, How we gonna fix this? How we gonna undo all the pain?"

It awed me how perfect they sounded. The way they could create music that would move millions.

"Tell me, is it even worth it? Looking through a straight line, Taking back the time we can't replace."

It took my breath away. The sounds echoing around me as I sat in front if them. I couldn't think about anything other than their voices.

"All the crossed wires, just making us tired, are we too late, to bring us back to life?"

They sounded so amazing, it shocked me. They had come so far since we were making videos in our living room.

"When I close my eyes and try to sleep, I fall apart, I find I hard to breath. You're the reason, the only reason."

Ashton wrote this song? Who was he thinking about when he wrote it?

"Even though my dizzy head is numb, I swear my heart is never giving up. You're the reason, the only reason."

My eyes met his as he joined their singing. He never looked away from me. I could feel my cheeks heating up, my heart racing as he sang.

"I feel you, burning under my skin, I swear I see you shining, brighter than the flame inside your eyes."

How could I feel so good when the person making me feel that way was my enemy?

"Bitter word spoken, everything's broken, it's never too late, to bring us back to life!"

Were we enemies really? I didn't know anymore. He was so confusing.

"When I close my eyes and try to sleep, I fall apart, I find it hard to breath. You're the reason, the only reason."

He was smiling, his hazel-green eyes focused on my face. If I wasn't dead yet, I'm sure I would be soon. My heart skipped a beat.

"Even though my dizzy head is numb, I swear my heart is never giving up. You're the reason, the only reason."

What is air?

I couldn't think. My heart raced, my hands grew clammy, my face flushed. What the hell was wrong with me?

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