New York City – June 14th, 2012
“Hey, man,” Audrey watched as Joe shook hands with his friend Wilmer once they got to the club.
It was so crazy to her that she was standing in the presence of Fez. She grew up watching That 70’s Show and Fez was one of her favorite characters on there.
“Who’s this?” Wilmer smirked, looking over at Audrey.
“Hey, this is… uh, this is my girlfriend Audrey,” Joe said, smiling at Wilmer as he introduced them.
“Girlfriend? Joseph,” Wilmer laughed, giving Joe a cock of his eyebrow.
“It’s nice to meet you, Audrey. If you’re with Joe, you’re VIP in my eyes,” he said with a wink as he shook her hand.
“Thanks,” Audrey smiled and blushed from his charm.
“Can I get you a drink?” He asked.
Audrey looked over at Joe, who gave her a nod.
“A vodka cranberry?” She asked him.
“You got it, beautiful,” Wilmer smirked at her as he moved toward the bar, shouting at the bartender over the loud music.
“Wow. I’m star struck,” Audrey said, smirking at Joe. He tipped his head back, laughing out loud.
“You’re adorable,” Joe smiled, leaning in to kiss her lips.
“Dude, that’s Fez,” Audrey laughed.
“Once you get to know him, he’s just a normal guy. I mean, you’re not still star struck with me, are you?” Joe smirked at her.
“Well no, but that’s because I’ve seen you naked,” she said, smirking back at him.
“Oh!” He laughed out loud.
“And I doubt that I’ll be seeing Fez naked, so…” She said, trailing her words off.
“You doubt?” He chuckled.
“I don’t know. We’ll see where the night goes,” Audrey joked, smirking at him playfully.
“You brat,” Joe laughed, kissing her again.
Wilmer kept buying both Audrey and Joe drinks pretty much all night. And she was having a really good time with Joe and his friends. It was really the first time she had the opportunity to meet any of them. It was pretty much just the two of them hanging out with his brothers at Nick’s place. Which was perfectly fine with her – she thoroughly enjoyed Nick and Kevin. She just really liked seeing a different side of Joe.
“I think you’re really trying to get me drunk, Fez,” Audrey said to Wilmer. She was about five drinks in and she gave up calling him Wilmer, deciding that Fez was just so much better.
“Nah, I’m just trying to make sure you have a good time,” he said, smirking at her.
“Aww,” she smiled, sipping up the last bit of her drink.
“And I have to see to it that my boy gets laid tonight,” Wilmer said, laughing at his own joke.
“Oh! I don’t need alcohol for that,” Audrey said out loud, immediately clamping her hand over her mouth, realizing she said too much.
Everyone laugh at her outburst as she blushed, giving Joe a sympathetic look. He just smiled and shook his head at her.
“God damn it, Fez. Look what you’re doing to me,” Audrey giggled.
“It’s okay. It’s okay,” Wilmer laughed, throwing his arm over her shoulder.
“Why are you calling him Fez?” Joe chuckled.
“Would you rather me call him Handy Manny?” Audrey asked Joe seriously.
“No,” Wilmer said, pointing his finger out, his arm still around her.
Audrey burst out giggling again and Wilmer laughed with her.
“Let’s get this girl another!” Wilmer called out to one of the VIP waitresses.
“You two are nuts,” Joe laughed.
“We’re totally best friends now,” Audrey laughed.
“We totally are,” Wilmer smiled at her.
“I’ll be right back,” Joe leaned in to tell Audrey over the loud music in the club.
“Where are you going?” She asked him, letting her face go serious.
“Bathroom,” he mouthed as he moved away from the table. Audrey nodded, watching him walk away.
“Ah, here’s your drink, Audrey,” Wilmer smiled, taking the drink from the waitress.
“Why thank you,” she smiled, grabbing the vodka cranberry from him.
“Thanks,” Wilmer nodded at the waitress and she walked off.
“Let’s make a toast,” he said, picking up his glass.
“What should we toast to?” Audrey asked him, looking around to see who else they could get in on their toast, but all their other friends were heavy into conversations with everyone else.
“To new friendship,” he said, raising his glass with one hand and patting Audrey’s bare knee with his other hand underneath the table.
“Hear, hear,” she said, clinking her glass with his as she took a sip.
Wilmer’s eyes stayed on her as he drank from his own glass.
“So how long have you been seeing Joe?” He asked as he set his glass back down on the table.
“We uh… about a month,” she told him.
“Ah, so it’s still pretty new,” he said, heightening his eyebrows.
“Yeah. Yeah, it is,” she said, nodding her head.
“How did you meet?” He asked.
“I actually met Nick first,” she told him.
“That’s his little brother, right?” Wil asked.
“Yeah. We became really good friends – me and Nick,” she told him.
“And Joe just came and swooped you up?” He smiled.
“Well, I mean, there wasn’t anything going on between me and Nick. I mean, we were just friends,” Audrey explained.
“Either way,” Wilmer smiled.
“Either way,” she nodded as she took another sip of her drink.
“You’re a very beautiful girl. He’s lucky to have you,” Wilmer said, leaning in closer.
“Thank you,” she said, blushing as she felt Wilmer’s hand on her bare thigh again.
Her whole body froze, realizing he was thinking things that made her skin crawl.
“You must be a good girl, hmm? I mean, you’re with a Jonas Brother after all,” he said with a smirk, his hand still on her leg.
“What does that have to do with anything?” She asked, trying to squirm away.
“You’re a good girl with a naughty streak, aren’t you?” He continued on as his hand moved further up her leg.
Audrey put her drink down on the table quickly, pushing his hand away from her leg.
“Stop,” she told him, giving him a challenging look.
“It’s okay,” he breathed, going to put his arm around her again.
“Just stop it, okay. Stop,” she told him firmly as she caught a glimpse out of the corner of her eye of Joe walking back toward the table.
Wilmer sat up straight, noticing the same thing. Joe smiled at Audrey as he walked up and she quickly slid toward the end of the booth away from Wilmer, standing up in front of Joe.
“What are you doing?” He asked, knitting his brow.
“I-I’m not feeling well,” she lied.
“Oh,” he said, looking from Audrey to Wilmer and then back to her again.
“Can we… can we just go?” She asked him.
“Yeah, sure. No problem,” he said, rubbing her arm.
Audrey watched as Joe went to go talk to Wilmer quickly, saying goodbye.
“It was nice meeting you, Audrey,” Wilmer said to her.
“Likewise,” she said, giving him a small smile even though he made her fucking sick.
“Ready?” Joe asked Audrey, wrapping his arms loosely around her waist.
“Yes, please,” she said and he guided her out of the club with his hand on the small of her back.
Once they were through all the paparazzi, once we were shut up inside their cab was when Audrey began to fear that if she were to tell Joe about what happened, that he wouldn’t believe her. So she didn’t say anything.
“How are you feeling?” He asked, looking concerned.
“Better,” she said, still feeling kind of shell-shocked over what happened.
“Are you sure? You look… you look a little pale,” he asked, knitting his eyebrows together.
“I’m fine, I swear,” Audrey said, giving him a small smile as she leaned toward him, rest her head against his shoulder.
“Alright,” he said, kissing her forehead.
“Can I stay over?” She asked him. She didn’t want to be away from him.
“Sure, baby,” he said, wrapping his arm around her, squeezing her against him.
“Thanks,” she breathed.
Los Angeles – July 7th, 2013
Audrey sat on Nick’s couch with her head in her hands, tears still stinging her eyes. She was afraid of what might happen with Nick, with Joe. She was afraid of everything. She’d never seen Joe like that. And he never talked to her that way. It was like a knife to her heart.
She had no idea how bad his addiction was or what it was going to take to get him help for it. She tried to be optimistic, but her pessimistic thoughts took over when she realized it was Joe who needed to want to get better. They could all beg him to leave it alone, but he needed to want to get off of the drug instead of everyone telling him to.
When Nick’s lock clicked and the door opened with his return, all the air fled her lungs as she looked up to see her best friend’s defeated face. She knew with just one look at Nick that Joe tore him down like he did to her and it broke her heart further. The emotion Audrey felt was overwhelming and she dropped my head in her hands, crying once again.
“Audrey…” Nick breathed, making his way over to her.
She felt the couch cushions move as he sat next to her.
“We’re going to get him help,” Nick said, rubbing her back.
“What happened?” Audrey asked looking up at him with her tear-filled eyes.
“He… he told me to get out. I-I found his… his stuff,” Nick told her, swallowing hard.
“Did he… did he say why or… or how long?” She asked.
“No. It was a very short, one-sided intervention,” Nick said.
“God,” Audrey sighed as she shook her head, letting fresh tears break through.
“We’re going to get him help, Aud. Even if I have to get mom and dad involved, we’re going to get him help,” Nick told her.
“Is it—is it that bad?” She stammered.
A part of her was still hoping he wasn’t that far gone, but deep down she knew he was.
“Aud, he needs help,” Nick breathed lowly.
“This is… God, I can’t—” Audrey cried.
“You need to tell me everything, Audrey. When did you find out? How long ago?” Nick asked.
She looked up, trying to remember, trying to answer him as best she could.
“February. It was when… when I surprised him. When you flew me out here and I surprised him,” she told him.
“Shit,” Nick breathed, running his hands down his face in a distressed manner.
“He told me it wasn’t bad. He told me Wilmer just gave him some – that he only did it on occasion,” she said, optimistically.
“Aud, he’s bad. This isn’t something that just happened. This has to have been going on for a while,” Nick said, looking at her with a sympathetic face.
“Oh, god,” she cried.
“This isn’t your fault,” Nick told her.
“I could have prevented this,” she cried.
“Audrey, there’s really nothing you could have done to prevent something like this. It was Joe’s decision to do it,” Nick said, trying to comfort her.
“No, I could have,” she told him firmly, thinking about the first time she met Wilmer.
If she said something about what happened at the club with Wilmer, then Joe might not be friends with him still and Wilmer wouldn’t have supplied Joe in the first place. Audrey would still have the same boy she always knew, instead of the wrecked version.
“Audrey…” Nick breathed as he rubbed her back.
“Nick, I-I could have. Wilmer. He… he hit on me,” Audrey choked out.
“What?” Nick looked at her questioningly.
“The first night I met him. He… he tried to feel me up in the VIP booth while Joe was in the bathroom,” Audrey told him.
“What?” Nick asked more firmly, his eyes widened.
“I-I could have told Joe,” she said, shaking her head, dropping her eyes away from Nick.
“You didn’t?” Nick asked horrified.
“No. I just… I didn’t want to make a big deal about it. I just… I didn’t want to— Joe and I were barely together. We were only together like a month. I didn’t want to mess that up,” Audrey cried.
“Audrey…” Nick breathed.
“I should have told him,” Audrey said, dropping her head into her hands as her tears came out harder than before.
“This is not your fault, Audrey,” Nick told her, wrapping his arms around her back, squeezing her body to his.
“It is. It really is,” she cried.
“It’s not. And we’re going to get him help. I promise you,” Nick told her.
“I just want him back,” she cried.
“We’ll get him back, Aud. He still loves you, okay. Even through his addiction, he still loves you. It’s going to be okay,” Nick comforted her.
She knew something like this wasn’t going to make Joe forget he loved her, but she didn’t want all of this to come between them. She wanted so badly to be able to help him through this. He just needed to want her to. He needed to want anyone to help him and they’d be there in a second, in a heartbeat. She needed more than anything for him to get better and she would do everything in her power to see to it that he did.