Ashton's hand had found it's way to the bare skin under my shirt, and his thumb was lazily rubbing back and forth, which was what woke me up. It tickled, making me squirm and giggle. I rolled onto my back to find Ashton propped up on his elbow, smiling down at me. He was simply beautiful.
"Good morning sunshine," he said cheerfully, now with all fingers trailing up and down my side, but it gave me goosebumps rather than tickled.
"Mmm. The first good morning I've had in forever," I said.
I wanted him so badly. He must have sensed it, because the next time his hand headed downward, it kept going all the way to my thigh. He gently guided my leg over him, and rolled us until I was sitting on top of him. My heart was already racing so fast I was sure I may pass out.
"I'm all yours, baby," he said in a voice that turned me on even more, and he ran his hands up my arms. When he reached my shoulders, he pulled me down to him, presumably for a kiss. But just before our lips touched, he said, "And you're mine."
I suddenly couldn't breathe because his hands were around my neck, squeezing tightly. I struggled to free myself from his grip, all the while he was laughing loudly. But it was useless. The world was going black.
Thank God the hotel phone rang and woke me up. I gasped for air, but felt paralyzed otherwise.
"Nooo," Ashton mumbled into my back. "Go away."
When I realized it was a horrific nightmare, I relaxed, my chest no longer so tight I thought I was going to suffocate. We hadn't moved since going to sleep, except our legs were entangled, and his hand was on my abdomen under my shirt, just like in the dream. I would have given anything to stay just like that and savor the moment. But the annoyingly loud ring of the telephone wouldn't allow it.
"Should you get that?" I asked Ashton, who hadn't moved a muscle. I was still breathing a little heavier than normal due to the adrenaline released during that dream.
He rolled over and blindly reached for the phone. When he found it, he picked it up and groaned, "Yeah?"
The skin on my belly suddenly felt cold without the warmth of his hand. I wanted to punch whomever was on the other end of that phone.
"Mmm hmm... Okay... Okay... Yeah, bye." It took him a couple of tries to get the phone hung up correctly, as he still hadn't opened his eyes. "Shit."
I had turned over to watch him in all his just-woke-up gloriousness. It was quite a sight for sore eyes. I had the urge to cuddle back up to him and lay my head on his chest, but I didn't dare.
He rubbed his eyes and yawned, then he laughed. "That phone must have scared you to death. I thought you were going to jump out of the bed." He finally opened his eyes and looked at me.
I was so embarrassed, but I went along with his assumption, because I didn't want him to know what an awful dream I had about him. I laughed as well, because afterall, it was funny. "Stupid phone. Who was it? I wanna have a talk with them."
He chuckled at my lame threat. "It was my 10 a.m. wake up call from Zoe. That's our routine. If she hasn't heard from us by 10:00, see calls until we answer, so she knows we're up."
"Well then, I guess I'll let her live. But I was quite comfy. And shit, it's 10:00? I haven't slept this late in years."
"Well, it was like 3 when we went to bed." He turned over so he was facing me completely. "I was comfy, too. Thanks for that."
I had no words that wouldn't sound stupid, so I just smiled back.
He reached over and touched my cheek. "I love your smile."
Typical me, unable to accept a compliment graciously, said, "Too bad my laugh lines show when I smile."
"What? How is that a bad thing? It just means you smile a lot. And that's good. I want you to be happy."
"No, it means I'm getting old."
"Whatever," he said, and he sat up, took his pillow, and dropped it onto my face, laughing.
I removed it and watched him stretch from behind, another glorious moment. "I guess you have to get going?" I asked, reluctantly.
He stood and reached for my hand when I sat up. As I squirmed my way out of the bed, he explained, "We don't leave for the venue until noon. But yeah, I have to get ready and make it to our morning meeting that probably only I will show up for, as usual."
"Okay. I guess I'll get changed and head out so you can do what you need to do."
He pulled me into a hug and said, "Don't change. You look too cute."
I wasn't going to object.
Then he added, "Just bring them back next time."
He let go of me and went to his bag for something to change into. My mind lingered on the words "next time." I gathered up my few belongings, and checked my phone. The battery was about to die, but I saw that Traci had answered my text after I'd gone to bed.
From Traci: I'm back in our room. Can't sleep. I'll see you in the morning, or whenever, lucky bitch.
It was followed by the middle finger emoji.
I'd fixed my ponytail and put on my shoes by the time Ashton decided what he was going to wear. He saw that I was ready to go and frowned.
"I'm sorry we can't spend some time together today. I'm pretty sure we'll be heading to the last city after the show tonight. Are you staying here or what?"
I curled my lip in disappointment, not at all liking that we weren't going to be together that night. "Yeah, we'll head to West Palm in the morning."
"Dammit. We should have coordinated our schedules better. But what about tomorrow night? You're not going straight home after the show are you?" I shook my head. "Then you and Traci can come to the party?"
"Ooh, there's a party?"
"I guess so. Michael and Luke are insisting on it. I have no idea where, if it'll be at the hotel or what, but I'll let you know. You'll come, right?"
I knew Ashton and I weren't going to be staying at the same hotel in West Palm Beach. But I was willing to go wherever I needed to be with him. Though, I could only imagine who all would be there. Probably a bunch of groupies. But that actually motivated me to go, so maybe I could keep their claws out of Ashton. I silently laughed at myself. Who was the jealous one now?
"Consider us there."
We hugged once more before I left, and that was that.
When I got to my room, Traci was in the bed, the top of her head barely peeking out of the covers. I smiled at her and spread out on my bed, trying to not wake her.
"So, late night?" she asked, startling me.
"The fuck, T? You scared me." We laughed for a second, then I sat up and answered, "You could say that." I couldn't help the huge smile that accompanied the answer.
Traci threw off her covers and sat up. "I knew it! You can play that innocent bullshit all you want, Miss He's-Sleeping-On-The-Couch. You slept with him, didn't you?!"
Literally, yes. "Yes, I did, actually." Traci gawked at me with her mouth gaping open as though she couldn't believe it. I asked her, "You remember in the beginning when you thought you liked Ashton the most?"
"I'm glad that didn't last."
"Because I think I'm in love. Okay, maybe it's more infatuation at this point, but still, it would be bad if he was still your favorite."
Traci looked as confused as I'd ever seen her. She shook her head. "Wait, you're talking about Ashton?"
"Um, yes. Who else would I be talking about?"
"Well, fuck, Bree. I thought you were talking about Michael all this time! So you slept with Ashton?!"
"No!" I was laughing so hard I could barely answer. "I mean yes, but no. I - shit. I literally slept in the bed with him, but no, we didn't have sex. The fucker didn't even make a move. Calum didn't tell you?"
"Tell me what? There wasn't actually a whole lot of talking going on, if you know what I mean."
"Stop it! I don't wanna know! But Ashton asked Cal if you were with him, because he figured if you were, he could find out where I was. Cal told him I was with Michael."
"Oh. No, he didn't tell me Ash was looking for you. But wait. What about Brandi?"
I explained everything from playing games with Michael, to Ashton getting in the bed with me. I omitted the part about my dream, and I didn't exactly go into detail about Ashton's jealous moment.
"No fucking way!" she exclaimed, dumbfounded that Brandi would cheat him. "Is she really that dumb? There's not a person on Earth I'd dump Ashton for. Except maybe Cal."
After I finished my story, I asked if she and Calum were hooking up again the next day. She said she didn't know. "He mentioned an end of tour party and said he'd let me know where, if it happened. I gave him my number. Again. I actually saw him put it in his phone this time, so maybe he'll actually use it, I don't know. What about you and Ash?"
"Same. Though, he insisted he'd see me either way. We'll see, I guess."
She threw her pillow at me and said, "Ugh. I'm so jealous of you two."
"Huh? You're the one getting some action!"
"Yeah, but that's all it is. I think Ashton really cares about you."
I certainly hoped so. He really did seem to. But I was trying so hard to keep my head out of the clouds. That way it would be much easier when my fantasy world came crashing down, which I fully expected could happen at any moment.
We were lazy the rest of the day, until we had to get ready for the concert. We didn't have soundcheck, so we didn't have to be there super early. But we did arrive a little ahead of time because we wanted to scope out people to give away those extra tickets to.
We ended up choosing a mother and daughter seated near the back of the amphitheater. But it didn't go nearly as planned. The mother looked at us like we had two heads. I can't really blame her, because who randomly walks up and says, "Hey, want sixth row seats for free?" It took her a lot of convincing that we were serious. She even asked, "What's the catch?" When she finally believed us, she asked her daughter (who was probably 11 years old, and hadn't cracked a smile the entire time) if she wanted them, and the girl just shrugged her shoulders.
Traci finally said what I was thinking. "You don't have to take them. We'll find someone else to give them to." I almost laughed out loud. The lady finally took the tickets, which were in an envelope with our Twitter names on it. And we did see them in the seats before the show started, and waved to them. But even then, they hardly smiled. I mean, really? They sucked every bit of the excitement out of the situation.
But we pretty much forgot about it after the show started. We were in the front row, directly in front of Calum. As soon as he took the stage, he spotted Traci and winked at her. And the rest of the show, well, I'll just say there was a lot of nonverbal communication going on.
Once, when Michael walked by, we screamed his name like idiots, until he acknowledged us. He stuck his tongue out and flipped us off. Typical.
This girl beside me asked us what the trick to getting them to notice us was. We couldn't exactly say it was offering to buy Calum a drink, so we just shrugged and smiled as though we were clueless. If they only knew...
We played the part of hyped up fangirls throughout the show, because when it came down to it, that's exactly what we were. We just happened to have a few perks that 99.9% of the rest of the crowd would never have. And no one was ever going to know.
A/N: I know, I know. I'm sorry to tease you with a dream like that. I hate when that happens. 😜