Ashton's calls and texts became more frequent after his visit. Like, a lot more frequent. I felt like I always had my phone in hand, even when trying to work, cook, and so on. As much as I hated to admit it, it actually got a little annoying after a while. If I didn't answer, he'd resort to sending DMs on Twitter or even tweet cryptic statements to get my attention. It was a little much, but I tried to overlook it, because if that was the only flaw he had, I could tolerate it. I was in such a fortune position and I wasn't going to jeopardize it by being picky.
I was anxious about Valentine's Day. Not that I was going to be able to spend it with Ashton, but I had a feeling he was going to make a big deal out of it, and I had no clue how I could make it special for him.
I had to work that day, so I knew to expect the usual flowers from my kids, which my mom always sent because she's awesome like that. But I didn't expect the two dozen pink roses that showed up first thing that morning. The card simply said, "Will". I assumed they had to be from Ashton, because the only Will I knew was the happily married ER doctor. But the card didn't make sense. And I was even more confused when I didn't hear from Ashton at all that morning. Not one single message or phone call, which was very unlike him.
I did, however, receive a text from Michael.
From Mikey: i don't have a valentine so i'm telling all my favorite people happy Valentine's day, so... happy Valentine's day
To Mikey: That is so sweet. Glad to know I made your favorite people list. Happy Valentine's Day, Mikey. I hope you find someone special soon. ❤
He deserved someone to share a special love with. I'd much rather see him be with one person who deserved his love than him being with one random girl after another, day after day.
It made my day that he took time to text me. I really had no idea he cared about me at all. It made me think back to our initial meeting, and I wondered if anything would have turned out differently if he hadn't been screwing someone when they were introduced. Ugh. I still hated to think about it.
But my train of thought was interrupted by a knock on my office door. It was partially open already, and I told the visitor to come on in. It was the same delivery guy who had delivered the roses earlier. He was holding the biggest box of chocolates I'd ever seen. There was a card attached, and like the first card, it had a single word written on it, but this one said "you".
I caught on to Ashton's little game. And I was curious to know what the rest of the question was going to be. Sure enough, an hour later another gift arrived. This time it was a huge stuffed gorilla. I guess gorillas aren't as loveable as a bears, but they're my favorite animals, and Ashton knew that. The card that came with the gorilla said "be". I was kind of relieved, because if it had said "marry," I would have pissed myself. We were so not ready for that.
By this time, my co-workers were giving me shit about all the gifts. They didn't know I was involved with anyone, and they couldn't get over it. They wouldn't leave me alone until I gave them details. So I told them his first name, and that he was a drummer I'd met on one of my trips to Chicago. And I prayed that they wouldn't Google "drummers named Ashton."
I still hadn't heard from Ashton, so I finally broke down and called him. Surprisingly, he didn't answer. I didn't think much of it. I just figured it was all part of his plan. And going by the cards, I thought I had at least one more gift coming to me. I was right.
The last gift came right before I was going to take my lunch break. My door was wide open this time, because there had been so many people in and out of my office. I heard someone clear their throat, and I turned to see who it was. The HR assistant, Addy, was standing there with a ridiculous grin.
"Hey, Addy. What's up?" I asked.
"Welllll... I found this gentleman wandering in the hallway, and he says he's looking for you." She stepped aside, and this guy holding a shit ton of balloons appeared. All I could see were his legs. "So, yeah, here she is, sir." She smiled at the guy hiding behind the balloons, and walked out. But when she was behind him, out of his sight, Addy fanned herself and silently said, "He's hot!"
I replied silently, "I know!" and fanned myself as well. I was trying to keep my cool and not squeal. I'd recognize the legs underneath those balloons anywhere. And I also recognized the hand that held out yet another card. This one said "mine?". I sat the card on my desk with the others. Then I parted the balloons, revealing his gorgeous face and the smile that I couldn't get out of my head. I whispered, "Yes," and without regard to who may be watching, I planted a kiss on his lips. I was reunited with the touch, taste, and scent that I craved more than anything in this world.
I couldn't believe he'd gone through so much trouble for me and that he was standing right there in the flesh. "What the heck, Ashton?!"
"Well, hello to you, too, Aubree." He teased, and kissed me again quickly. Then he sat the balloons down and hugged me.
"I can't believe you're here and that you've done all this." I motioned to all the gifts. "I don't deserve this." I was on the verge of crying.
"You're right. You don't deserve this. You deserve more. But I thought this was a good start."
"Start? There better not be more! I haven't even gotten you anything." I suddenly felt like such a loser. But I had no idea I'd see him that day. I was planning on getting something later to give him the next time we were together.
"I don't want anything, except to spend time with you. Seriously. You're all I ever want."
Out of nowhere, I heard a quiet high pitched "Aww" coming from the hallway. I held up my finger to let Ashton know I'd be right back. When I peered out the door, Addy was standing a few feet away, along with one of our mental health technicians, MJ, and the case manager, Rebecca. They'd been eavesdropping the whole time.
"Really, guys?" I tried acting annoyed, but my smile gave me away. They laughed and scurried off.
I turned my attention back to Ashton, who had sat down in my chair and was spinning around like a kid. When he stopped, he patted his lap for me to sit it it.
"Uh, negative. I'm at work, in case you haven't noticed."
He rolled over to the door and closed it, then scooted back to me, pulling me into his lap whether or not I wanted him to. He twirled my hair around his finger and stared at me. He looked as happy as I felt. I was about to give him a kiss when there was yet someone else knocking on my door. I promptly stood up and answered it, opening the only enough to sew who it was. This time it was my boss, Kendra.
She hardly acknowledged me as she pushed the door open and walked into my office. "I heard you had a visitor. Hello, Bree's mystery man, I'm Kendra. It's a pleasure to meet you!" He stood, and she shook his hand. Then she turned her head to me and wiggled her eyebrows up and down.
"Likewise. I'm Ashton."
Kendra was a talker, so I had to get her out of there before she got started. "Um, Kendra, I was just getting ready to take my lunch break. I think I'll take a little extra time, if that's okay." I never took more than the allotted 30 minutes.
"Take the rest of the day off to spend with your friend, if you want. You're my hardest worker, you deserve it." She told Ashton once again it was nice to meet him, and she left, but not before saying, "You go, girl," as she walked by me. I was a nice shade of red to say the least.
Ashton had that look on his face. The look that told me he was having inappropriate thoughts.
I rolled my eyes and said, "Go ahead and say whatever it is you're thinking. I know it's going to make me blush more."
"Have you ever had sex on a desk?"
"Oh my god. I knew it. And no. Have you?"
"No. But I'm down."
I just shook my head at him and leaned over the desk to turn off the computer. I should have known better. He stepped behind me and ground his pelvis into my rear suggestively.
I whisper shouted, "Ashton! The door is open!"
"Okay, okay. My bad. But are you ready to get out of here, because I sure am." He pointed to his groin with both hands revealing how ready he was. I was never going to stop blushing at that point.
I suddenly had a realization. "Aren't you supposed to be leaving for the tour like tomorrow? What the hell are you doing here?"
"Yes, I'm leaving tomorrow. That's why I had to see you today. Who knows when I'll be able to sneak away to see you again."
"Wait. Did you literally sneak away? No one knows where you are?"
"Yeah, it's fine, I swear. I'm a big boy."
"Okay. It better be. Will you help me carry all this stuff out so we can get out of here?"
"Of course." He went for the flowers, and took a vase of roses in each hand, then froze.
I asked, "What is it?"
All traces of enthusiasm on his face disappeared. "What the fuck is this?"