"I think I'm gonna puke." I had to stop walking and I bent over before I passed out. I wasn't kidding.
Traci and I had finally made it to Atlanta, the day before New Broken Scene. We had just met up in the hotel parking garage since we drove separately, and were headed to the elevator.
Traci stopped and sat her bag down so she could hold my hair back. I would have felt so much better if something had come up, but my stomach was empty. All I did was dry heave until my muscles ached.
Traci asked, "Fuck, Bree, haven't you eaten anything today?" I could only shake my head, still bent over with my hands on my knees. "Seriously? Nothing? It's mid-afternoon! No wonder you're sick."
I straightened up and moaned, "I couldn't eat. Just the thought of it made me gag."
"Are you really that nervous or what?"
"Yeah, I guess. I don't know." We started walking again, though at a slower pace.
We found the elevator and Traci pushed the down button. "Dude, you've got to calm down. You're going to be fine! Why are you so torn up over seeing Ashton? It's not like you two haven't already fucked or anything. There's no reason to be nervous."
"I don't know!" I was on the verge of tears. "What the fuck is wrong with me? This is so stupid."
Traci punched the down button for the elevator again. "Come on, motherfucker!"
I chanted quietly, "Fuck fuck fuck."
Traci's bag fell to the concrete floor with a thud and she put her hands on my shoulders to look me square in the eyes. Well, she had to tiptoe a little because she's a shorty. "Okay, first of all, breathe." I took some slow, deep breaths as she coached me. "There you go. You already know he cares about you. There's nothing to be afraid of. You're going to have a great time together." She picked her bag up and put it back on her shoulder. "And second of all, where's the goddamn elevator?!"
We waited longer than any sane person would have, but obviously there was something wrong, because the elevator never came. We ended up descending four floors via the stairs. When we finally made it inside, I sat down on a couch in the lobby and texted Ashton to let him know we were checking in. The guys had already checked in earlier in the day.
"Are you feeling better?" Traci asked as she handed me one of the room keys.
"Yeah, a little. I'll be okay after I eat something."
"Do you want to eat at the restaurant here, go out to eat, or what?"
I spied a Starbucks on the opposite side of the huge lobby. "Let's take our shit to the room and come back down to grab a little something from there, then we'll decide what to do for dinner later." Traci agreed with the plan so we headed to the room.
It only took about 20 tries to get the damn door to unlock, but we eventually got inside. What a relief. I put my belongings where I wanted them, and checked my phone. Ashton had asked what room we were in. I told him the room number, but also asked if it would be better if I went to his room. I didn't want anyone to notice him out and about. He insisted on coming to my room, though, and I'd already learned that if he wanted to do something, there was no point in arguing, because he was going to have his way. So I told him we were going to run down to Starbucks, and we'd be right back.
I couldn't believe I was going to be in Ashton's presence in mere minutes. Thankfully, I was starting to calm down. I'd never been that anxious in my life. I didn't know what had gotten into me.
Standing in line at Starbucks, I noticed there were a handful of what appeared to be 5SOS fans hanging out in various places throughout the lobby. They were trying to look inconspicuous, but that's what made them obvious. Well, it also helped that I knew what to look for: girls trying to look punk rock.
My phone buzzed and I saw that it was Ashton calling me. Traci knew who it was by my expression. "Hello?" I answered casually.
"Your ass looks exceptionally hot in those jeans." Oh my fuck. The way my body responded to that voice was ridiculous.
I turned slowly and looked around discreetly for Ashton, but saw nothing. "Where are you?"
Traci realized what I was doing, and she looked for him as well.
"Eighteenth floor. To your right a little."
The hotel was designed so that all floors were open to the lobby. All 70 or so of them. It was gigantic.
I whispered to Traci what Ashton had said, and I counted the floors until I reached the eighteenth one. I could barely make out what I thought was a head peering over the edge of the wall. "I think I see you." He waved so I'd know for sure. "Yes, I see you. Now quit waving before someone else sees you, silly."
My heart fluttered at seeing him in the flesh, even though he was so far away I couldn't even make out his gorgeous face. I held the phone away from my mouth and asked Traci, "Do you want me to ask him if Calum is coming, too?"
She shook here head adamantly. "Hell no. I don't want to look desperate, even though I am."
"What's that?" Ashton asked.
"Nothing, I was talking to Traci. I have to go, we're next. I'll see you in a minute." I hung up without saying bye, knowing he'd be perturbed and give me shit about it. What can I say, it was kind of hot when he was pissed.
An iced caramel macchiato and oatmeal cookie never tasted so good. I devoured most of the cookie before we even made it back to the elevators. I was feeling so much better already.
As our luck was, the elevator was taking forever. But we weren't about to climb up twelve flights of stairs, so we just waited. I was stuffing the last bite of the cookie into my mouth when three girls, probably 18 years old or so, came up to us. They were smiling, trying too hard to look friendly, so I knew something was up.
The tallest of the group, with deep purple hair and several facial piercings, did all the talking. The other two just stared. "Hi. This is going to sound weird, but do I know you?"
Traci and I looked at each other, then back to her, and we both answered, "No."
The girl looked deep in thought, but you could tell she was faking it. "Hmm. Maybe I know you from Twitter or something. Are you 5SOS fans?"
I didn't know how I should respond. Traci looked at me, but didn't say anything. I knew she wanted me to take lead and she'd follow. I tried my best to keep it casual, and said, "Yeah, we are. I'm guessing you are, too?"
"Yeah, I knew you looked familiar. You're those girls who gave away tickets at one of the last ROWYSO shows, right? I followed you when Ashton tweeted about it."
I nodded and smiled while trying to think of what to say next. But thankfully, the elevator arrived. I darted in and said, "Yeah, that's us. Thanks for following!"
We laughed our assess off all the way to our room. Though, I made a mental note to scold Ashton again for posting that in the first place.
We were mocking the girl and laughing about it (I know, that's mean, sorry), while Traci once again fought with the lock. After several failed attempts, I said, "Here, let me try. We need to remember to ask them for different keys when we go back down."
"Oh, you're not going anywhere."
I nearly dropped my drink at the sound of his voice. I turned around and he scooped me up and spun us around before putting me back on my feet. A little liquid managed to trickle down the side of the paper cup during the excitement.
Traci took my cup and said, "Give me this before you make a mess. Jesus."
Without another word, Ashton kissed me. It was so sweet and gentle and perfect, it literally made me light headed. Or maybe that was the residual sickness I was feeling.
Traci cleared her throat loudly, causing Ashton to acknowledge her and say, "Oh, hey, Traci." Then he kissed me again, this time a little more passionately.
When he ended the kiss, he licked his lips and said, "Mmm. Did you just eat something sweet? Because you taste delicious." It was kind of gross, yet weirdly erotic.
Traci had had enough. "Okay, good grief you two. Get a room or something," she said, acting annoyed, but her smile proved otherwise.
"I'm trying!" I said, turning around to attempt unlocking the door again. It magically opened on the first try.
Traci went in first, still carrying my drink as well as her own. Ashton scooped me up bridal style and laid me down on the first bed. Then he hovered over me like he was going to kiss me yet again, and winked. I knew exactly what he was doing: trying to get a rise out of Traci.
"Oh, hold the fuck up. Hell no. This is my room, too. Y'all need to go somewhere else."
I had to laugh at her, standing there holding the two cups, trying to be sassy.
Ashton got off the bed and struggled to pull a piece of paper out of the pocket of his skin tight jeans. "Oh, I almost forgot. This is for you." He handed the folded up paper to Traci.
She eyeballed him like she didn't trust him, then sat the cups down on the table between the two beds. She took the paper, unfolded it, and silently read it while moving her lips. I had a feeling I knew what it was.
She wasted no time grabbing her purse and rushing to the door. But before she left, she shouted, "Y'all stay on your side of the room. I don't want your DNA on my bed. Later." She flashed us a peace sign and she was gone.