Corey and Joe walked slightly ahead of everyone, and spoke with the restaurant hostess quickly. Apparently they were checking out the place before the guys entered, making sure it was fan-free. It was, so the hostess led us to a table for four in a quiet corner. I was surprised when Joe told the guys, "You know where we'll be," playfully pushed Calum as he sat down, then left with Corey.
"Will anyone be needing a menu this evening?" the waitress asked.
Calum answered, "No, thank you. We'll just be ordering drinks." He looked at Traci dead in the eyes when he said that, and I'll be damned if he didn't smirk again. Traci sat directly across from him, and I was sitting across from Ashton.
"Okay, then. What can I get for you?"
We all placed our drink orders, and I couldn't believe that the lady didn't bother asking us for IDs. Well, I mean, I was old as fuck, but still. When she walked away, Calum leaned forward and whispered loudly, "See. It's cool."
"Hmm. I see," Traci replied, leaning forward as well.
She and Calum seemed to be in a flirtatious stare-off. I looked at Ashton to see his reaction. He was just looking down at the table, tapping out a rhythm on the shiny surface with his fingers. To say I was feeling out of place would be an understatement.
I think Ashton was feeling the same, because just a few seconds later, he cleared his throat and interrupted the silence. "So. I assume you two went to the show this weekend?"
Traci looked at me, signaling for me to answer. I hated when she forced me to talk. When I was too slow, she tapped my foot with hers under the table.
I squirmed and straightened up in my seat. "Um, yeah. Both shows, actually." I offered a small nervous smile. God bless, I needed that drink so badly.
"Cool. I hope we didn't suck too bad," Ashton laughed quietly.
Traci answered this time, "Oh, please. I don't think y'all know how to suck." That statement was met with a quiet chuckle from Calum. I could only imagine where his perverted mind was going.
But then he asked, "Are you from around here, then? I'm guessing not, because you have southern accents."
Traci was now the one squirming in her seat. Revealing how far we'd traveled for a 5SOS show was a dead giveaway of how far up their asses we were. "Well, you guessed right. We, um... we traveled from Alabama and Kentucky. Do you even know where those states are?"
"Yeah, I do," Calum answered. "We're actually playing a show in Kentucky tomorrow, right?" he glanced over at Ashton.
"Yep. We'll be leaving in a couple hours. Gonna be riding the bus through the night."
We got into a little discussion about how hard it was to sleep on the bus because Dave snored so loudly, and also because Michael was up and down all night. He was a bit of an insomniac, apparently. And not a very quiet one.
Eventually, Ashton realized we hadn't told them our names. So we introduced ourselves properly, handshakes and all. It was kind of silly, but cute.
With the casual conversation and resulting laughter, I felt myself beginning to relax. It's always like that. I'm a basket case when meeting new people, famous or not. But as long as the focus isn't put on me, I'll calm down after a bit. I still have to force myself to participate in conversation, which isn't easy. That night, I knew I'd never have the chance to be in that position again, so I tried with every ounce of my soul to just be myself. It definitely helped that both Ashton and Calum were so down-to-earth and cool about the whole thing. They really were just normal guys in extraordinary circumstances.
Our drinks arrived and Calum went ahead and told the waitress to bring another round when she got a chance. I certainly wasn't going to argue his request. I drank my Crown and Coke probably a little faster than I should have. I've always had a bad habit of doing that. I'll drink three or four drinks, one right after the other, and not realize how quickly I've consumed a fair amount of alcohol until I'm flat out drunk. But the way I see it is, what's the point of drinking unless you're doing it to get drunk? Am I right, or am I right?
As we finished up those second drinks, the conversation had somehow forked off into two separate topics. Calum and Traci were sitting as close as they could possibly get with a table between them, and they both kept reaching over and touching each others' hands, faces, and hair. If it had been anyone but Calum, it probably would have made me nauseated. I'm not down with PDA at all. But to be honest, each time I saw it happen, the fangirl part of my brain squealed for Traci. I had lost track of what they were talking about. But Ashton and I were discussing our mothers. I have no idea how we ventured onto that topic, but we were comparing our mothers to those of our friends when we were children. We both surmised that we had some pretty cool moms. But the deeper we got into the conversation, the more I silently prayed that I wouldn't say something to give away my age. It would be absolutely humiliating.
The waitress interrupted us and asked if we'd like another round of drinks. I was down, as was Ashton. He told her to make his a double. But Calum said, "None for us, thanks," as he gestured to himself and Traci. Traci cocked her head to the side slightly and furrowed her eyebrows in question.
After the waitress walked off, Calum sat back in his chair and casually told Traci, "I thought maybe we could just get another drink back in the room." Cocky ass motherfucker. Damn, I was envious. Though, I'd completely lose my shit if something like that happened to me.
As if I didn't feel awkward earlier, I surely felt out of place at that moment. I quickly peeled my eyes from Calum, trying to pretend I hadn't just heard him invite Traci to his room. But how does one unhear that? I know my eyes were full of shock when I looked at Ashton instead. Ashton looked back at me with pretty much an expressionless face. Judging by his lack of reaction, I had a feeling it wasn't the first time that had happened. I couldn't bring myself to look at Traci, so I couldn't tell you what her reaction was, other than she said, "Well, what are we waiting for?"
There was no, "I'll catch up with you later," "Excuse us," "fuck off," nothing. Calum stood and offered his hand to Traci, and they were gone. It was as though Ashton and I didn't exist. But I wasn't complaining. I was freaking the fuck out for my friend. Hell, yes, Traci!
But then I realized I was alone with Ashton. Holy shit. Where was that third drink?