Exactly three days after I returned home from the most crazy and amazing weekend of my life, New Broken Scene was announced. It was going to be a concert held in Atlanta, Georgia on Halloween, just under a month and a half away. What made this event different from other shows, was that you had to win tickets to attend, and they would be flying in fans from all over the world. So your chances of being able to go were slim to none. I was lucky that I had connections, for a change.
As soon as the official announcement was made, I stared at my phone, waiting for Traci to call or text me. It took a whole two minutes for her to send the first text.
From Traci: So, I guess I know where we'll be on Halloween.
There was no question about it. I knew we'd be there, come Hell or high water.
To Traci: Can you hear my credit card screaming in agony? It hasn't had time to recover from the last trip.
From Traci: LOL Same. But at least the show is free! Ash will give us tix, right? Because you know our luck with winning anything.
To Traci: Yeah, he already said there was a special event coming up soon and he'd hook me up. I assume he was talking about NBS.
From Traci: OMFG I can't wait. I'm in a meeting right now, but we'll discuss later.
Freaking work always got in the way of our fangirling. I was on a rare bathroom break when I got the notification that 5SOS posted about NBS, which was a blessing because didn't have to hide my excitement, other than being quiet. But, soon enough, I'd have my own private office where I could jump up and down, cry, squeal, or do whatever the heck I wanted, because I finally had the opportunity to transfer to a coveted desk job in the quality department.
I wasn't one to like change at all. But I was so done with patient care. There were many days I'd find myself on the brink of tears, or even full on crying, because I was so overworked and frustrated at the lack of support from management. So when that job presented itself, I was all over it. Of course, it helped that the quality director asked me personally to "interview" for the job. Basically, the job was mine before it was even posted.
There were so many perks that came along with the job. Just ordinary stuff that patient care nurses didn't always get to experience. Besides having the luxury to sit down most of the day, I'd get to pee whenever I needed to instead of holding it for 12 hours. And I'd get to eat lunch every single day. What a concept! The job even paid more, which was icing on the cake. Truth be known, I would have taken a pay cut if I had to, but I was going to get more money for working a less exhausting job. I couldn't argue with that. And another perk was that I could pretty much take off work whenever I wanted, within reason, because I didn't have to worry about someone being available to cover the shift. The only downfall was that I'd have to work five days a week. But five 8-hour shifts had to be better on a person's body than three 12 hour shifts. I was so down.
I couldn't wait to share the news with Ashton. And that bothered me when I thought about it. Of course I wanted him to know. But the fact that I'd thought about telling him before anyone else is what bothered me. Until then, the first people I wanted to share any kind of news with, good or bad, was my mom and Traci. It was kind of unsettling how deep I'd gotten already, and I scolded myself for it. Think realistically, Bree. Remember the people who will always be there no matter what. Once again, I had to remind myself that, while whatever it was I had with Ashton felt promising, it probably wasn't. No way could I picture us together in 10 years, or even five for that matter. I'd be showing my age soon enough, and he'd surely want no part in playing dad to kids who weren't his. And if things got serious, what if he wanted kids of his own one day? I couldn't have any more, so that would definitely be an issue. But those thoughts were interrupted soon enough by the call bell at the nurse's station. It was the patient in room 104, calling out for assistance to the bathroom for the fifth time in the past hour. Praise God, I wouldn't have to put up with annoying patients like her much longer.
I saw that I had a message from Ashton when my shift ended, saying he'd just woken up and he ask how my day had been. I replied to him when I got home, telling him it was a shit day as usual, but I did have some exciting news to share. He didn't answer right away, but I went ahead and sent a second message, telling him that I was hoping to see him at New Broken Scene, if he could get Traci and me in. I only hoped he was okay with us going. I didn't see any reason why he wouldn't be, but my stupid insecurities made me question it.
While waiting for a response, I called Traci to tell her about the job change, and to discuss our plans for our trip to Atlanta. Since it was within a reasonable driving distance for both of us, we decided we'd drive instead of meeting up in Nashville and flying together as we usually did. We'd save a few hundred dollars that way, to put toward our next trip. Because, even though 5SOS had just finished a tour, we knew that there was going to be another tour announcement soon, which meant we were going to need more money. Lots of money. My new job couldn't have come at a more convenient time.
I heard from Ashton right before I went to bed. As suspected, he was fine with getting us tickets for NBS. As a matter of fact, he once again told me he missed me and said that he was going to ask me to go anyway, and of course Traci was welcome, too. And when I shared the news about my new job, he sounded genuinely happy for me.
The next few weeks were so hectic, they seemed to go by in a blur. After officially getting the new job, I still had to work my old job until someone could be trained to replace me. And at the same time, I was working one or two days extra every week to start learning the new job. I didn't mind too much, because what I made in overtime was nice.
However, it made things difficult at home. I could never seem to spend any quality time with my kids. Even on my few days off, it was rushing here, going there, cleaning this, fixing that. So that really sucked. And with the time difference, communication with Ashton was difficult. I ended up going to bed really late most nights, because that was usually when we'd talk, after the kids were asleep. But even on the days we didn't talk on the phone, we still managed to sneak in a quick "Hello, how has your day been?/Hope you have a great day" text. And every time, I wondered how I got so damn lucky. No matter how much time passed, it was still hard to fathom.
Ashton gave me a heads up the day before the big tour announcement was made. It was a Thursday, and I was off work that day, surprisingly. He called me as soon as he woke up, his gravelly morning voice making that apparent. Every time I heard it, it stirred up memories of that perfect morning we spent together. It seemed like it had been ages since I'd touched him and I craved it more and more with each day that passed. Even though I tried so hard not to, it didn't help when he'd get a little frisky on the other end of the phone.
"What are you doing?" he asked when I answered.
"Umm, just got done wiping a three year old's butt, because he still doesn't have the hang of it. Typical fun mom stuff. What about you?"
He chuckled at my answer, and it sounded like he was stretching when he said, "I just woke up, which pissed me off, because I as dreaming about you."
"Oh, it must have been a good dream, then," I teased.
His voice was deep and quiet and so damn sexy. "Mmm, yeah. So fucking good. I wish you were here so I could show you what it was about."
I instantly became flustered at the thought, and I'm sure I turned 20 shades of red. "So do I," was all I could say, as my Ashton was listening to every word I said.
"I can tell you about it if you want," he said suggestively. I could picture what how he must have looked: cocked eyebrow, his lips curled into a smirk, lying naked in the bed, with a sheet barely covering the important parts. The image in my head was enough for that all too familiar yearning feeling to return.
"As much as I would love to hear it, I can't exactly participate in that kind of conversation at the moment, if you know what I mean. I have a child sitting in my lap. Kind of a mood spoiler."
"I'd like for you sit in my lap," he said, then laughed at himself.
God, I loved his dirty mind, but I still reprimanded him playfully. "Stop it! You're so bad."
"Okay, okay, I'll behave. But you're in for it when we're together again. Just a warning."
Oh, damn. Yes, please. "I'm counting on it. There's what, three weeks left? And it's been three weeks since last time. I wish there was a fast forward button to speed things up."
His tone suddenly changed from seductive to excited. "You know, I'm heading back to LA in a couple of days. We can always do something before Atlanta. I can come to you, so you wouldn't have to worry about work and everything."
I wanted that so badly, but had to be realistic about it and remind him once again. "Yeah, I wish. You know I want to see you, too, but it wouldn't be worth the hassle for you. I'd still have the kids and everything. We've already talked about this, Ash."
He groaned and sighed. "I know. I just need to be with you so badly. Like, my body needs you, baby."
Well, fuck me. Really. Hearing him talk like that had me needing him as well. "Three weeks, Ash. It's not that long." I said that more to convince myself than him.
"Oh yeah!" he exclaimed, remembering something. "The tour! That's why I called you. I wanted to tell you that dates are going to be released tomorrow, and I don't want you to buy any tickets when they go on sale. Whatever shows you can make it to, I've got you covered. And before you protest, I promise you'll get the best seats."
That actually lifted such a burden off of my shoulders, because it was still going to be a couple more months before I could pay off what I'd spent on the last tour. I thanked him profusely, while he insisted it was his pleasure. I told him I wished I could pay him back, and he gave me a few suggestions on how I could do so. I was more than willing to oblige when we met again.
So the next day, while I was at the dance studio, chasing Ashton around while waiting for Molly's class to end, the Sounds Live Feels Live tour dates were announced. I quickly skimmed the dates and saw that the closest cities to me were Nashville and Cincinnati. I was excited about the prospect of at least two shows. But by the time Traci and I talked and chose some dates, we'd planned two weekend trips just like with the ROWYSO tour. Except, we were going to six shows rather than four. God help us.
A/N: I apologize for what I feel like was a shitty chapter. They all can't be mind blowing, I guess. (I'm 100% kidding. LOLOL) This really is going somewhere, I swear. We'll get there soon. ;)