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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33. Chapter Thirty-Two: Well, do you?

Chapter Thirty-Two: Well, do you?

{ashley}

"So wait, his ex showed up?" Dani asked, brandishing the hot pink nail polish brush in the air. I grimaced as I nodded, staring down at my toes that Vanessa was currently painting a dark red.

"Well, what happened after she showed up?" Grace asked, popping a piece of popcorn into her mouth. A random chick flick was playing on the television, a kind of background noise to our chatter.

"He hugged her," I mumbled, hugging my knees. The image of Laurie and Ashton's reunion playing over in my mind. "I freaked out and ran away."

"Oh, sweetie," Perrie cooed from her perch on the sofa, her fingers wound up in Eleanor's long curls. She was braiding it. "I'm sure it was nothing. Maybe he was just being nice."

"You didn't see the look on his face," I groaned, hiding my face in my knees. All of us girls were lounging in the living room, the lads out of the suite for a guys night while we had a girls night in. It was the night after they had arrived, all of them curious about mine and Ashton's relationship. They had practically forced the boys out. Now they were prying the story out of me. "I mean, it doesn't matter anyway, right? He's dating me, not her."

"Right!" They chorused with encouraging grins. I smiled weakly, knowing what was coming next.

"So what happened when you got back? Lou said you were in tears and Ashton was following you like a puppy that was in trouble," El said, her eyes narrowing on my face in curiosity. She was a sweet girl, her personality matching Lou's so well it was scary. We were fast friends, and the same goes for Perrie. "But you looked perfectly fine when we saw you."

"He - uhm - he may have, sort of toldmehelovedme," I rushed the last words, avoiding looking at any of my friends. They all looked slightly confused, only Grace being able to understand what I said. Her jaw dropped, her eyes widening.

"He did?" She squeaked, a smile playing on her lips. "Oh my god, you guys are do cute! You're my OTP, seriously. Team Ashtley all the way!"

"Wait, what?" Vanessa asked, capping the nail polish. Her long brown hair was pulled up on top of her head like mine in a messy topknot. She quirked an eyebrow at me, waiting for me to translate.

"He said it!" Grace giggled, clapping before pulling her phone out. "I have to tell Niall! I told him it would only take two months, but he insisted Ashton was too "smooth" for that. He said it would be three months, at least. And he was wrong! I knew I was right, I knew it!"

"Whoa, slow down!" I reached for her phone, knocking it out of her hand. "You can't tell Niall!"

"Why not? Didn't you--?" Grace stared at me, her words trailing off. "You didn't say it back, did you?"

I shook my head, earning a disappointed sigh from the tiny brunette. She flopped backwards onto the floor, her head landing on a pillow.

"Why do you two have to make this so difficult?"

"I think I'm missing something," Perrie whispered to the other girls, her eyes flickering between Grace and I. They nodded in agreement.

"What did he say?" Dani asked, screwing the cap back onto the hot pink nail polish.

"He said it," I hinted, emphasizing the word 'it'. "The three little words every girl wants to hear. He said them."

"For real?" Dani asked, excitement brightening her cheeks. The others all looked excited as well, their eyes glinting with mischievousness. I nodded, not meeting their eyes.

"You didn't say it back?" Grace confirmed, propping her head up on her hand. The girls watched me carefully, waiting for an answer. My hand instinctively went for my phone which was lying on the floor next to me.

"No," I breathed out softly, clutching tightly to the small device. I don't know why I was so scared, but I was. I was scared of my feelings for Ashton. I was scared of his feelings for me. I was scared of what would happen. "No I didn't."

"Well, do you?" Vanessa asked, flipping over onto her stomach. "Love him, I mean?"

I stared at her, my heart racing at the question. Did I?

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