I was thanking the alcohol gods at that moment, for I found the situation to be more humorous than humiliating, as my sober self would. I started laughing, and Ashton laughed back at me, still sitting there with his arms crossed.
"What's so funny? Or are you just that shit faced?" he asked.
I took a deep breath to calm my giggles. "I am most definitely that shit faced, dude. But I'm mostly laughing at myself because my worst nightmare is literally coming true at this very moment." I covered my face and laughed harder.
"I don't get it," Ashton said.
"Just promise you won't think I'm a weirdo, okay?"
"Okay, I promise. Because you're not." I cocked an eyebrow at him, and he asked, "Are you?"
"Depends on who you ask, I guess. So here's the deal: I'm a divorced mother of two, raising them on my own because their 'father' chose drugs and jail over them. But that's all good because I've never been happier, and I love being single. I'm a nurse, which I have a love/hate relationship with. I love music more than anything. I'm a bit of a concert addict. Traci is my best friend and enables my habit. I don't like myself very much for a multitude of reasons. Mainly because I'm too introverted, unless I'm under the influence, obviously. And, oh yeah, I'm a 21 year old living in a 30 year old body. So... anything else you'd like to know?"
I knew I'd just ruined everything and he was going to run away as fast as he could. But he surprised me when he said, "He must have been a real dumbass, getting rid of you."
"Um, well, he's a dumbass alright. A lying, cheating, manipulative, lazy bastard. Don't get me started, seriously."
"How old are your kids?" he asked, now leaning forward with his elbows on the table. If he was shocked by any part of what I just told him, he didn't show it.
"Molly is six, and my baby boy, Ashton, is three. I swear I didn't name him after you. He was born before I knew you existed. I'm not that obsessed." I held up a hand, pledging my innocence.
He grinned and said, "That's cool, though. Got any pictures?"
What the fuck even? I couldn't believe he hadn't acknowledged my age. He was acting like it was perfectly normal to have a 30 year old fan with kids. I knew that was definitely not the norm. But I rolled with it.
I showed him a few pictures on my phone. He said the obligatory "aww, cute," etc. Though, they really are kind of cute. Just saying.
What I wasn't expecting was for him to say, "So I take it you're a Mikey girl."
"Wh- well, I mean, why do you ask?" How did he know? I hadn't even mentioned Michael.
He nodded to my phone. Your lockscreen." Oh. Duh.
"Ohhh. Yeah. I guess so." I tried to act nonchalant about it. I felt kind of bad. Not that he cared who my favorite was. But then my mouth took over and said what my brain was thinking. "Or he was, until I met you." I gave my sweetest genuine smile, though I probably looked goofy as hell seeing as I was drunk as fuck.
"That's sweet. But you don't have to say that."
"It's true!" I insisted. Well, it was true, in a way. Ashton had always been my favorite as far as being the one I thought I'd get along with the best, or that I thought I could be good friends with. Michael was just my favorite to lust over.
There was a moment of silence and I couldn't stand it any longer. I had to ask. "Doesn't my age creep you out? Is it weird having a fan as old as me?"
"What? No. Not at all. I understand why you say you're 21 living in a 30 year old body. But, if we're being honest here, that ain't no 30 year old body." He actually looked around and under that table at me, from head to toe. I wanted to die.
"The fuck? You need glasses, Irwin."
"I can see you perfectly well. Own it, Aubree. Be proud. You look damn good. Especially to have had two kids."
"Wow. Okay. Thank you. You just made my life." Since we were being open, I guess my intoxicated mind thought it would be a great idea to ask, "Have you ever been with a mom?" I immediately cringed at my own words. He didn't even have time to respond before I started apologizing. "Shit. I don't mean that like it sounds. I'm not suggesting anything, I swear. I'm just curious, but it's none of my business. I'm sorry. Forget I asked that, please."
Much to my surprise, he grinned and said, "I haven't ever been with a mom. At least, not to my knowledge. I'm not opposed to the idea, if that's what you're wondering."
Did he just???
He must have noticed the question on my face, because he clarified just as I had. "Oh my god. Sorry. I'm not suggesting anything, either. Just being a little too honest again. So, how about we talk about something else?"
"Great idea. You choose the topic."
"Um," he looked around, searching for an idea. "I don't know."
"How long have they been gone, anyway?" I looked at my wrist as though I ever wore a watch.
Ashton pulled out his phone and checked the time. "About an hour. I'm guessing they're finished doing whatever they went to do."
Everything makes me giggle when I'm inebriated, and the thought of what Traci and Calum were likely doing was no exception. I still couldn't wrap my mind around it.
"What's your Twitter user?"
Oh no. That stopped my giggles abruptly. My assumption was that he was going to follow me. And if I wanted him to, I was going to have to tell him the embarrassing name I'd chosen. Well, it hadn't been embarrassing until that moment.
I leaned my forehead onto my hand and said, "CliffordsCougar."
He giggled while he typed it in. A few seconds later my phone dinged with the notification "Ashton Irwin followed you." Then I immediately received another one. He had sent a DM that simply said, "Come with me." Okay, then.
I put my phone away and stood up when he did. I didn't ask where we were going. Quite frankly, I didn't care, as long as I was with him. I followed him out of the restaurant and to the elevator. Neither of us said a word until we stepped off of the elevator.
"Wait," Ashton said. He looked both ways down the hall. "Fuck. I don't remember. Hang on." He laughed at himself and dialed someone on his phone. "Hey, man. What's my room number? ... Oh, yeah. Thanks." There was a pause, then he said, "Yeah, I'm right down the hall. Calum already went back... Okay."
"Sorry, I can't keep up with different room numbers every night." He led me to his room and let us in. It was exactly like the room Traci and I had. He excused himself to the restroom and said he'd be right back.
While I stood there waiting, I heard the vague sound of music coming from the room next to us. I wondered if that was Calum's room. But I quickly steered my thoughts, because, as much as I love my friend, I did not want to envision her banging Calum Hood. Though, I couldn't wait to hear about it later. I distracted myself by looking out the window. It was a beautiful view at night.
"You're welcome to the restroom if you need it," Ashton said, startling me a bit. Hell yeah I did. That's the thing I hate about alcohol the most, besides how I feel the next day. I already dreaded that flight home so badly.
I realized exactly how drunk I was when I nearly missed the toilet seat. I couldn't help but to laugh at myself.
Ashton asked me through the door, "Are you okay in there?"
I told him what I'd done and I could hear him laughing at me. When I was finished and left the bathroom, we took one look at each other and ended up in tears from laughing so hard. "Shit," he said, wiping his eyes. "I couldn't tell you the last time I've been this fucked up."
"Sorry for being a bad influence. But, it's your fault for ordering doubles."
"Meh. It's been worth it, though."
We were standing there, looking at each other for a minute. Since I was beginning to feel awkward, I asked, "Was there a reason from bringing me here, or did you just really have to pee?"
Suddenly, Ashton perked up and clapped his hands together. "Oh! The reason I brought you here!" He smiled widely, his dimples becoming very prominent. There simply aren't words to describe how gorgeous he is.
He held onto my arm and guided me to a door that was right behind the entry door. I assumed it was some kind of closet. But when he opened it, I realized there was another door behind it, which adjoined to the next room. He was still smiling when he cleared his throat and knocked on it rather loudly.
At first there was no response. So he knocked again, this time yelling, "Come on, man, open up. It's important."
A few seconds later I heard a loud "fuck" and heavy footsteps, then someone unlocked the door.
"What the fuck do you want?" a rather disgruntled Michael Clifford asked when he swung the door open. Let me clarify: a rather disgruntled and very naked Michael Clifford.