We slept in until Ashton got that dreadful 10:00 a.m. wake up call. We didn't exactly rush to get out of bed, if you know what I mean. But soon enough, it was time for me to head back to my room.
Before I walked out the door, Ashton said, "You never did tell me if you two are wearing costumes tonight."
"Yeah, we've got a little something up our sleeves."
"Well, what is it?" he asked eagerly.
I smirked and answered, "You'll just have to wait and see." And with those words, I shut the door behind me, satisfied to leave him guessing.
Since it was Halloween, Traci and I, with lots of help from her awesome mother, had come up with these costumes that were sexed-up replicas of their superhero alter egos, Smash and CalPal. We knew there was bound to be multiple people wearing the superhero costumes, but hopefully Ashton and Calum would enjoy ours a little better.
When I got to the room, I noticed that Traci's bed was still untouched. That surprised me because she'd told me that Calum never allowed his hookups to stay the night. That was part of his and Natalie's messed up agreement or some shit. Maybe my instinct was right about him seeing her as something more than one of his groupies. I hated to use that term to describe my best friend. But essentially, that's what she was, and she was okay with it.
I texted her to see if she was up, and as soon as I sent it, there was a knock on the door. Correction: pounding on the door. I looked through the peephole and saw Traci digging through her purse.
When I opened the door I took in the sight before me and spoke without thinking. "Damn, girl. You look like you've been ridden hard and put up wet."
She gave me an extremely annoyed look and walked past me to the bathroom. She looked at herself in the mirror and said, "Holy fucking shit." Then she made her way to her bed and curled up in a ball, facing away from me.
I felt really bad for not sugar coating how bad she looked. I thought it was best if I gave her some space and left her alone. So I went on about my business, getting some clean clothes together for a shower.
Traci moaned and asked, "Will you give me a handful of ibuprofen? Every muscle in my body aches. I swear, if I'm gonna keep this up, I'll have to join a gym and get into shape. He wears me out."
"Yeah, I can see that." I laughed at her and she held her arm up, flipping me off. I dug out the requested medication and got a bottle of water to give her. "Are you complaining, though?"
She sat up and took the pills and water from me. She couldn't even unscrew the lid. "Jesus. I don't even have the strength to open a goddamn bottle of water. Help."
I opened it with ease and she rolled her eyes at me when I laughed at her again.
"No, I'm not complaining. But damn, you don't even know, Bree."
"Nor do I want to know."
She swallowed the pills and asked, "How was the rest of your night with Ashton?"
"Perfect. We just went to bed, but enjoyed some time together this morning. I was surprised that you weren't here when I came back. What's up with that?"
She rested her head on her pillow and closed her eyes. "I don't want to love him, Bree. I really don't. And I thought I was doing good. But this time, instead of giving me hints it was time for me to leave, he turned out the light and said goodnight and spooned me. Calum fucking spooned me. That's when I knew I'd lost the battle. And that makes me sad, because he's emotionally involved with someone else and that sucks. But the way he makes me feel is the best feeling ever."
She opened her eyes and we looked at each other in disbelief for a few seconds, both of us shaking our heads at the crazy situation we'd gotten ourselves into.
I broke the silence. "I'm going to tell you what you told me. Just go with it. You might get hurt in the end, but at least you won't regret that you didn't try."
"Yeah, but I couldn't deal with having an open relationship like him and... her. If I put my heart into the equation, I'd have to have a committed relationship. And he's obviously not interested in commitment, so I'll have to settle for sexual gratification. At least it's an ongoing thing. He didn't just use me once and throw me out. That's something, right? Anyway, I'll be alright."
I knew she would be, she's a tough girl.
Traci said, "Remind me what time we're supposed to be at the venue. I can't even think right now."
"I think we should leave here about 2:30, since the meet and greets start at 3:00."
"Sounds good to me. That's plenty of time for a nap."
"You take a nap, and I'll take a shower." I finished getting my stuff together and she looked like she was asleep before I even got in the bathroom. Bless her sexed-out heart.
We'd insisted that we didn't want any special treatment at the show. But Ashton said that he added us to the meet and greet list anyway. We decided we'd at least do that so we could get in early and get a good spot for the show, since it was general admission. He said we were also on the all access list, but we didn't plan on using that privilege. How were we supposed to answer when fans asked us how we got the passes? "Oh, I'm Ashton's new girlfriend, and Traci here is fucking Calum." That would go over so well.
Later on, when we were both ready to go, I questioned what the hell I was thinking when I decided to wear such an outfit. But it was too late to change my mind unless I wanted to go in regular clothes. I was pretty sure Ashton would like it, though, so I put on my brave face and went with the Smash outfit, comprised partly of booty shorts and a bustier. Yikes.
Needless to say, we got some looks on our way through the hotel lobby, as well as when we arrived at the venue to pick up our tickets. It was chilly, and I was freezing. But we only had to be outside long enough to get our tickets and meet and greet bracelets at the will call window.
After the clerk put the bracelets on us, she handed us an envelope with my name on it. "And here are your all access passes. Just show your tickets and bracelets to the gentleman inside the second door over there, and you're good to go. Enjoy the show, ladies."
I tucked away the passes in the small bag I'd brought, and we went inside. We were eventually led backstage to line up with about 30 other fans, most of whom were also dressed up for the occasion. We actually got a few compliments on our costumes, and everyone was really nice to us, even though we stood out like sore thumbs because we were the oldest ones there, as usual. They were already taking people in to meet the guys in groups of two, and we intentionally ended up being the last ones. The thought of us doing a meet and greet with them was absurd, really. But it helped us blend in a little. To everyone else, we were just two silly fangirls.
When it was our turn and we entered the room, Michael and Luke both exclaimed, "Damn" when they recognized us. Calum smacked Luke on the back of the head, but then reached out for Traci and said, "Damn" as well. Traci walked on over to him while I was still waiting for a reaction from Ashton. He stood there expressionless and motionless, except for a slight movement of a muscle along his jaw. I went for a hug, hoping to get some kind reaction out of him.
He hugged me back, but still didn't even do so much as smile. But then he spoke loudly, ensuring everyone in the room could hear, telling them, "They're with us, guys. We don't want this filmed, please." I hadn't even realized until then how many other people were in the room, let alone the fact that we were being filmed. But I appreciated that he stopped them.
I was about to ask him what he thought of my costume, when he pulled me aside, literally. "What are you doing?" he asked in a loud, stern whisper.
I had no idea what he was asking. "What do you mean?" He motioned to what I was wearing. "This? I thought you'd like it."
He ran his hands though his hair and down his face. "Yeah, I do. That's the problem. So will every other guy here. You heard Mike and Luke when you walked in."
"And your point is?"
"My point is, I don't want everyone looking at you."
"Are you serious right now? I don't care what other guys think. I just wanted to look good for you." I was so disappointed in his reaction. I felt ashamed, actually.
He must have finally realized that his reaction wasn't the nicest in the world, because he hugged me tightly and said, "You look great, babe. So damn hot. It's just that you're with me, and... you know what? It doesn't matter. Did you make those yourself or what?"
I told him how Traci and I designed them and she and her mom actually put together the final touches like the letters.
"Impressive. But I have an extra shirt you can borrow if you want. Just saying." I gave him a look of disapproval. He pulled me into another hug and said, "Come on, I'm just kidding. But seriously, you're going to keep that on when you come to my room later, right?"
I blushed intensely at the suggestion. "I was planning on it."
He kissed me softly once, then again deeper. And for a second I forgot about everyone else in the room. When I remembered where we were, I took a quick look around. Thankfully, it didn't appear that anyone was directly paying attention to us.
We rejoined the others and talked for a minute before they were told it was time to get ready. And when I turned to leave, Ashton swatted me playfully on my bottom. I didn't say anything, but I halfheartedly scolded him with my eyes.
We found a spot at the barrier on Michael's side, near the end of the stage. That kind of sucked, but we couldn't complain if we weren't going to use our all access passes. We could stand side stage if we wanted, but thought we shouldn't if we wanted to remain anonymous.
Once at our spot, I asked Traci as quietly as I could what Calum had said about her outfit.
She said coyly, "He said that I should to keep it on when we get together later tonight."
I giggled and told her that Ashton basically said the same thing. We laughed until we were crying. Not that what we'd discussed was funny. It was just that it was another one of those moments when we couldn't get over ourselves. I asked Traci, "What the fuck are we doing?"
She replied, "I still haven't figured it out. But I thank God for it every day. And yes, I realize how wrong that is." So wrong indeed.
After the show intro, I noticed Ashton looking around for me. It took a minute, but he finally found me and smiled. I took a chance and blew him a kiss, since I was sure no one was paying any attention to me. He noticed and "caught" it and put it in his pocket for later. It was the cutest thing ever.
After that, I got lost in my thoughts for minute. He was mine. Mine. There was literally nothing else in the world that I wanted. I had it all. My children were healthy and amazing. I had the best nursing job ever. My best friend supported me 100%. And Ashton fucking Irwin was my boyfriend. It was too good to be true. But you know what they say: if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. I hoped to prove that theory wrong.