Friends Forever

Amber's best friend is Luke Hemmings from down the street. They have been super close since they can remember. She's going to make sure that his dreams come true. Even with some rough patches here and there.
(Cover art is by Deviant Art artist Ribkadory)
[Trigger Warning: It isn't throughout the whole thing but it does pop up here and there, abuse and self harm. If that bothers you, read with caution or check out some other stories of mine.]

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23. Forgiveness

*Two Years Later*
It’s been two years since that fateful day when I lost two good friends and a boyfriend. Two years since I've stepped away from everything and blocked out the world. Two years since I moved out of the Hemmings home and have been living on my own. Two years since I fucked up.
Over these two years, 5sos has become even bigger. Two headline tours of their own, and two more albums. They've won so many awards and I know 2017 is gonna be just fantastic for them. As for the members, it’s been hard.
Luke and Laurel stayed together, like I told them to. I didn't want what was more a mistake of mine to hurt their wonderful relationship. As for Luke and I, we haven't spoken much since that day. His texts, calls, and even tries to video message. But I can't face him. Not yet.
As for Laurel, Emily, and I, we still hang out quite a lot. They hang out at my flat a lot, and we go shopping more than I care to admit. We are still good friends, Laurel has forgiven me and understands the reason for why I've become a little distant.
Anyways, the big thing anyone ever wants to talk about is me and Ashton. I was mad at him for some time, but I never stopped loving him. I still love him to this day. And I know he still loves me. He texted me every day for a few months saying 'I love you' and saying he forgave me. But every time I told him it was my turn to think. After a while, the I love you's stopped being every day and went to every week. And now it’s down to a couple times a month. The only thing that hurt me though, was when he dated other girls. And they all had my physical features. Though, those relationships never lasted more than a few weeks, and after they ended, Ashton would text me all the time for about a week.
As for Michael and Calum, I've been in contact with them for the past two years as much as ever. Michael and I go video game shopping and even have video game nights. Just us, video games, and food. It’s been nice getting to know him even more. In fact, we tried dating for a little bit. But we both knew it was probably better if we didn't. Now he has a girlfriend named Isabel. She is from Australia and actually a huge fan, but a normal girl when we met her at the mall. She's a year younger than Michael and I can already tell perfect for him. It’s been just a few months now, but I can just tell by how they look at each other. Jordan has dark red, wavy hair, dark green eyes, a little shorter than Michael, and tanner than Michael.
As for Calum, Emily and he are still as close as ever. When we hang out, all we really do is talk. He says I need to get a dog to keep me company. I know he just wants more of an excuse to visit me. I know how much he loves dogs. We've been planning a date to the animal shelter. It’s happening next week. I can't wait.
As of right now, I'm designing some merch. Two years ago I gave up my position as manager, and am now just designing merch. It gives me more time to draw for myself, but I do miss bossing the boys around.
My phone starts buzzing as Michael's dorky face pops up on the screen. I know why he's calling. There's a party tonight for 5sos and he wants me to come.
I pick up the phone and accept the call. "Michael, I'm coming."
"What?" Michael asks.
"I'm coming to the party. After I decide on a dress," I giggle.
"Oh, good. I can't wait to see you tonight. There's two people who can't wait to see you as well."
I take a deep breath, "I guess it’s time I see them. It’s been two years now. I feel as close as strangers to them."
"Don't quote us!" Michael laughs.
I smile. Tonight is going to be interesting.
*That Night*
I smooth out my tight, dark blue dress before enter the bar. There's a ton of people dancing and drinking. It’s loud because of the music but there's also a lot of people talking.
I have my hair half up, exposing my dyed hair underneath. At the moment, it’s a bright purple. I've also gotten a tattoo that is exposed tonight. On my upper arm I have something I drew. It’s a simply teddy bear that when I drew it was so cute I had to do something with it. So now it’s on my arm. I also have the bands logo, which I created to long ago, tattooed on my left wrist.
Two hands come from behind me and cover my eyes.
"Michael, is that you?" I smile.
"It is, shall I say you have a lovely tattoo on your upper arm," Michael’s hands pull away from my face and he turns me around to face him. Then he pulls me closer and wraps his arms around me for a hug. "I'm glad you came tonight," he holds me out by my shoulders.
"Where are the other guys?"
"Calum is hanging with Emily on the dance floor. Um, Luke and Laurel are talking at a table. And Ashton is at the bar."
"Thanks, Mikey."
"Don't do anything you don't want to. Okay?"
I smile, "I won't. I'll be fine. Don't worry about me."
*An Hour Or So Later*

After dancing with some people I had forgotten over the two years ago, I also danced with Calum and Emily while also holding a conversation with them. Then I had a couple of drinks so I could calm down. And now I'm heading over to the table where Laurel and Luke are seated.
"Um, hi guys," I smile as they both look at me.
"Amber, I wondered when you were gonna say hi," Laurel stands up and walks over to me to give me a hug. "You look so hot in this dress."
"Same to you," I hold her out by her shoulders. "Little black dress. Loving it."
"Amber, it’s been a long time," Luke stands up.
"Two years."
He holds out his hand, "I hope we can be friends again."
I grab his hand and pull him towards me so I can give him a hug. "We never stopped being friends Luke. I just, couldn't be near you for a bit. Or else I felt we might relive our mistakes."
"Oh, okay. Good. I've missed you so much. Let's hang out super soon. Just us. No drinking. Just watching movies with lots of popcorn."
I giggle, "All right. Sounds great."
We break away, and then we all sit down.
"Have you talked to Ashton yet tonight?" Laurel asks.
"Not yet. He's been at the bar all night," I answer. "I know he must be watching me. Waiting for me to go over to him and talk to him. I'll go, in a bit."
"That sounds good," Luke says. "I bet he'll have a similar reaction as me. We've missed you a lot. Two years. It’s a long time."
"I know. You probably won't believe me, but I missed you guys too. Even if I didn't make it seem that way."
"So, Calum was telling us you're thinking of getting a dog," Laurel says.
"I am. There's a dog at the shelter I'm gonna go pick up later next week. It’s black and white. I'm not sure what kind of dog it is, but it’s super cute."
"I always thought of you as more of a cat person," Laurel shrugs.
"I like cats too, but dogs can do a few more for me. Maybe one day I'll get a kitty," I smile.
"Excuses to go and visit you then," Luke smiles.
I giggle, "I do need a little company. Every now and then."
*Two Hours Later*

After talking to Laurel and Luke for quite some time, I head back to the bar to drink just a few more shots. Then I head over to Ashton.
"Um, hey, Ash," I say as I sit down on a bar stool next to him. He's leaning up against the bar with a beer in his hands.
"Amber, how have you been?" Ashton looks up at me. A smile forming on his lips as he takes me in.
"I've been better. I miss you. I know I've been kind of an ass these past two years. You deserve better. I bet you've moved on. I guess, I just wanted you to know, I still love you."
Ashton reaches out and places his hand on top of mine. "I haven't moved on. I know I dated girls since our breakup. But I never stopped loving you. All the girls I dated since us meant nothing. I was hoping if they looked like you they would act like you. That was never the case. I never stopped loving you. Please, forgive me. I'll do anything if you just take me back."
"You don't have to do anything, Ash. Just be yourself. Maybe, come back to my flat tonight. Let's just hang out. Watch some movies. What do you say?"
"That sounds great. I'd like to go right now, if we could."
"Calm down, the party isn't over yet. Let's go dance."
*A Few Hours Later*
"A dog?" Ashton asks.
"Yeah," I smile. "I'm getting him later next week. I've been trying to think of a good name."
"It’s a boy? How about Buster?"
"No," I laugh. "No offense or anything. But no."
"All right. How about, Wolf?"
"Aw, that's so cute. Any other ideas though?"
"Bear?"
"That's cute too. I guess I'll have to think it over. I've got time."
"Did you make an art room here?"
"Kind of. Not really. I'm waiting until I buy a house of my own to do that. Are you trying to grow a beard?"
Ashton strokes the stubble on his face, "I've just been busy. And a tad lazy."
"Well, I kind of like it," I lean up and make it so our lips are almost touching. "Actually, I like it a lot."
"Are you sure we should kiss?"
"Ashton, it’s been two years since I last kissed you. I've been thinking about what would happen if I ever decided to get back together. If you don't want to kiss me, I'll understand. But, I've missed you so much."
"Just making sure you knew you wanted to," he pushes me down on the couch and smiles down at me. "I promise, I'll never push you away or let you walk out of my life ever again. It was a huge mistake."
Before I can respond, he connects our lips. Instantly I kiss back. There's a wanting between us. A longing for the other. It’s not surprising. Two years away from the one you will always love. For the one you will never give up on. Love is a crazy thing. Sometimes it’s not real, and other times it’s so real it never goes away.
Ashton pulls away and kisses my nose. "How far do you want this to go?"
"As far as I want. I'll tell you if I want you to stop. Don't worry."
"How about a safe word?"
"Bubble," I giggle. "All right, that's the safe word. For both of us."
"I love you, Cupcake."
My breath hitches in my throat and I feel tears prick my eyes. "I've missed you calling me that. I love you too, Ash."

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I'm sad that this story is ending. Hope you liked it! :D

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