The story isn't over...yet.


9. thick and thin.

I couldn't wait until I got back to California to see Adrian, I couldn't stop thinking about our conversation over the phone. It sounds as if she had doubts about getting married and, I understand it was an out of the blue thing for me to do. I knew marriage was going to scare her away, but I wanted to make her mines and let the whole world know that. I got onto Instagram and added a picture of the both of us claiming the rumors were true. We were getting married. I thought it was time for me to tell the world instead of paps taking pictures of us asking us billions of questions. I landed in LAX, of course, paparazzi were there. I made my way through the cameras and hopped into the Escalade.

"Where are we going, Justin?" The driver asked.

"Adrian's. I need to see her, it's been two days." I said. He nods his head and starts the engine making our way to her place. I knocked on the door hoping she would answer. When there wasn't an answer I climbed up to her bedroom going inside. She was nowhere to be found. I went downstairs, no one was here.

"Who the hell are you?"

"Dan, it's me. Justin. No one answered the door so I climbed up Adrian's window. Where is she? Is she at school? Maybe I should've checked there."

"No. I haven't seen her since yesterday morning. We've been trying to find her and there's nothing." 

"What do you mean trying to find her? Is she- is she missing?" I asked.

"I don't know. Every time I ask Kathy, she gets all sweaty."

"Hey guys, any good news?" Kathy asked coming inside.

"Where the fuck is Adrian? Dan can't find her, and I'm sure you know where she is." I said.

"I don't know what you're talking about. The last time I saw her was at school yesterday, she asked me if I needed a ride I told her no. Don't look at me, you think she tells me everything?" She says, I sighed and pulled out my phone to call her.

"Why isn't she answering? Is her phone on? Does she have it?"

"No, she left it here. I just got back from school. Calm down, I'm sure she'll come back."

"Don't tell me to calm down! This is my fiancé."

"Yeah, she is your fiancé and maybe you're the reason she ran off. With your pressuring and bossiness."

"Oh really, says the friend that told her to get over what happened to her. The friend that obviously didn't do shit when Jason beat the hell out of her in front of the whole school." I said.

"Okay, can we just all calm down, and stop yelling at each other. She will come back, she just needs some time to herself. There's no need for you two to hate each other now. Apologize." Dan says. I rolled my eyes, taking a deep breath.

"I'm sorry, alright. I'm just worried about her. If you know where she is, why can't you just tell me? She could be anywhere, hurt even." I said.

"She's not hurt, let her be. She's coming back. I know exactly where she is and I'm not telling a soul. Leave her alone, aren't you two tired of pressuring her into doing something she doesn't want to do. Yes, I admit I didn't do anything and it haunts me till this day. But I will always be there for her and support her in whatever she wants to do. This case is going to tear her apart, and if you don't realize that then you're selfish. Have you ever noticed how sad she is? That she needs help? And those pills aren't doing anything but making it worse. She's been through enough already so stop trying to add to it. She's damaged enough. God, I can't wait until this is over." She says walking out.

"Well, she isn't wrong. Maybe we shouldn't do this. What if she doesn't get justice? It'll still haunt her, the only reason I went along with it is because it made so much sense when you told me about it. I never thought about how she felt, now my baby girl is gone and I don't know when she decides to come back. But wherever she is, I hope she takes all the time she needs. She deserves it."

"I talk to her about her burdens. I've noticed how sad she was but it didn't occur to me that she would leave. Maybe being married is pressuring her, I shouldn't have given her that ring. I should've waited. I'm so stupid." I said sitting down.

"You're not stupid, you just do dumb things. It's nice to know you're willing to marry her. But if you're trying to prove the world your love for her, it's too much for her to handle. You don't need to prove that to anybody but yourselves. And maybe being married to a celebrity is a bit of a shock too, have you ever thought about that?" He asks.

"No, not really. Once she gets back, I can call it off."

"Or just wait until she's ready. Marriage is...hell. I have to admit that, she's always told me she never pictured herself being married. She just wants to focus on her education and being successful, doing independent things. She's never imagined another person being with her for the rest of her life. I hope she comes back before graduation though."

"Yeah, me too. She was excited when I told her I was valedictorian."

"Congrats man, that's huge. Is your mom proud?"

"I didn't tell her, but she'll be there. So what now? We wait until she comes back?"

"Yeah, we wait. Just give her time, she needs it."

"Okay. I can do that." I said. I've been waiting for a few more days until she comes back. I'm not going to stress or worry about her because I know she wouldn't want me to. Here it is Sunday, sitting on the couch with Dan, Kristie, and Kathy waiting on Adrian to come through the doors.

"I don't want Adrian to come home to any bullshit between us, I told you I was sorry, you were right and I was wrong. Could you accept my apology?" I asked.

"Yeah, sure. And I'm sorry too." She says with a slight smile. We heard the doors open, we quickly got up from the couch waiting for her to walk into the living room.

"Hey," She says happily putting her bags down hugging Kathy. "Thanks for the tickets. I had an amazing time."

"No problem, those two were worried sick about you but don't worry I calmed them down."

"Were you being a bitch to them?"

"Yes, yes she was." Dan, Kristie and I both said. Adrian laughs and hugs Dan and me.

"I missed you. I had to leave and you have to understand that."

"I know. I'm happy you got away and enjoyed yourself." I said.

"I did enjoy myself thanks to Kathy. She sent me off to Hawaii, she says I needed time to myself, but I feel a whole lot better now."

"I'm happy to hear that, so I've been doing some thinking and I know we decided to hold off the wedding and everything until you graduated college but..take all the time you need. I'm not rushing."

"And Kristie and I have been thinking to forget about this whole case. It's not going to end well and, it's definitely not going to end well for you." Dan says.

"Wow, um...okay. If that's okay with you. Are you sure? I was looking forward to telling my story and getting justice for me, and also looking forward to marrying you in the future."

"It's okay Adrian, we've noticed how depressed you've been and you have better things to worry about," I said.

"That was the whole point of me going away, but now since I'm back and I feel a lot better, I'm ready. I know I was coming back home to something and I don't want to call off getting married or call off putting Jason in jail. I needed some time to think things through and I've enjoyed myself in Hawaii. I needed a vacation away from everything and everyone. I'm ready to do this."

"Adrian, we aren't pressuring you into doing something you're not sure of doing. It's okay, and we've all talked about it as a family. All you have to worry about now is going to college and focusing on school. I know thinking about marrying a celebrity is a headache, and they can be headaches but Justin would give up his career just to satisfy you. But he can't because the label owns him. I'm sure once he's done with touring and you've finished college, he's going to take a break from the famous life and he's told me that. I know you don't want him to give up everything he's worked for but, he's already decided what he wants to do just to be with you." Kathy says.

"You don't have to do that."

"But I want to like I said everyone in the music industry is sad individuals, and I've hidden my pain for so long that I even had to take antidepressants. I just thought that your pain and suffering mattered more than mine so, I didn't tell you about it. You were already going through a lot so I kept it to myself. You needed to figure things out for yourself and the best solution was not saying anything."

"Are you kidding me? I didn't want you to think that your problems didn't matter, you've talked to me about everything and I've made it about myself. I am so selfish."

"No, you're not. You did right leaving, it caught me by surprise. But I'm glad you're back and better."

"I'm happy to be back. So, about that basketball game you told me about, are you still up for going?"

"Yeah, of course."

"Great, let me get settled and then we can all go." She says grabbing her bags going upstairs.

"Basketball game?" Dan asked.

"Yeah, since this is our last time all being together I thought it would be nice to all go out. It's already paid for, no need to worry."

"I'm down, what are we waiting for let's go, I'll meet you guys in the car," Kathy says leaving. Being at the basketball game with everyone felt amazing. We had a good time being there as a family.

"Thanks, Justin for bringing us to an amazing game, who knew it would be that exciting to sit front row," Kristie says.

"No problem seems like everyone else had a good time also. Especially, Kathy, you'll get used to her surrounding herself by guys. She kinda does that to every event I bring her to." I said laughing.

"Oh please, Kathy is like another daughter to me. She's always over for dinner when Adrian was spending time at your place. Her parents are rarely home, so she comes over just to keep us company. Excited for the big day tomorrow? You're reading a speech to your whole class, are you up for that?"

"Yeah, I'm up for it. What I'm not up for is leaving Adrian. Sucks my manager is dragging me back into the fame. I honestly forgot I was famous for a sec. But, we made a deal, I go back to school and graduate, we get back to business."

"Awe, I'm sorry Justin. I know that life is hard for you, barely getting time to yourself without the media knowing every single thing about you. But, isn't it what you signed up for?" She asks.

"I was just a kid, wanting to just do music. I didn't know about everything else. But, I'm keeping my head up high."

"Well, it's okay to keep your head down. Take care of yourself first, can't make money if you're tired right?"

"Yeah. Wish you could tell them that. I'll be okay, I've made it this far. I'm a big boy, I can handle it a little bit longer."

"Are you sure? You'll end up having a mental breakdown soon if you keep this up. Maybe you need a vacation too, they always help. Go ghost for a while."

"I wish. Trust me, I wish I could. It's not that simple. Soon as I'm finished with touring, I'll take a break; I told myself I would and I'm doing it."

"Alright, well I hope that works out for you. Are you coming to dinner, Dan is making steak."

"I would love to, but first I have to show Adrian something. It's something I've been wanting to show her for a long time."

"Okay, well thanks again for bringing us here."

"You're welcome," I said hugging her.

"Hey sexy, ready to go?" Adrian asks wrapping her arms around my waist.

"Yeah, but first I have to show you something."

"Okay, what is it?" She asks concerned. I grabbed a bandana from my pocket putting it over her eyes. She giggles to herself, I turn her around guiding her to my car putting her inside. I got into the car starting to drive as she sits in the passenger seat clueless. "Where are we going? I hate surprises."

"I'm not telling, you'll like this one," I said stopping the car. I jogged around opening the door for her, helping her out. We went inside the building, walking down the hall, through double doors. "Are you ready?" I asked stopping her.

"Yeah, I'm ready." She replies, I removed the bandana from her face. She turns around and looks at me. "A music studio?"

"Yeah, where your boyfriend comes to make music. I want you to listen to something." I said pressing play. She smiles at me as the song begins. I'm sure she's surprised by how awesome I sound. "So, what do you think?" I asked turning it down a little.

"Didn't know you were an amazing singer. Sorry for thinking you weren't. I love it, is this song old? What is it called?"

"It's called If You Want To, it's not old. I've been working on it for a couple of days, remember when you asked me if I would write a song about you, this is it. In my dream, I dreamt about this same song and..I thought it would be perfect. I've been working on another song, the other one is called Change Me but that one isn't finished. Feels like it's missing something."

"Can I hear it? I have a great ear, I'm sure I can tell you if it's missing something or not. But if you want it to be a surprise, I understand. Tell you what, why don't you sing it for me, when I show up to one of your shows. I would love to keep hearing that beautiful voice of yours. I was joking about writing a song for me."

"I wasn't. I think you should go into the booth."

"Oh no, I'm good, really."

"Alright, no pressure. But, you shouldn't keep your voice a secret. Everyone was tweeting about your performance at the fashion show. It was amazing, one day we can do a song together."

"Yeah, maybe." She said smiling. I smiled too, bumping my shoulder into hers. "Thanks for bringing me here, isn't it weird that I've never listened to your music?"

"Yeah, it's actually weird, but that's okay, no judgments. Just happy to see you're back."

"Happy to be back." She says, I grabbed her face and kissed her. She smiles between kisses, shoving her tongue down my throat. There we were making love to my songs on the studio floor. I kissed her shoulder, snuggling up to her.

"Remember when you first told me you loved me? I was talking about getting an abortion and you just told me you loved me out of the blue. I mean, how could you fall in love with someone that fast?"

"Easy, if a girl is amazing as you. Anything's possible. I meant it, and from that moment, I started believing it, and so have you. I'm really going to miss you, Adrian, I didn't know I would meet a person like you. Now I'm second guessing my career because I don't want anything to jeopardize us. If you ask me, you ruined my a good way." I said, she smiles getting up sitting on top of me. She grabs her phone and records me. "What are you doing?" I giggle.

"No, no. Just stay right there and relax...I missed you." She says rubbing her hand all over my chest.

"I missed you too baby. Why are you recording me?"

"Just keeping it for safety purposes." She says. I sat up and stopped recording, begging to kiss her again.

"Oh, hey didn't know you were here. I heard music, thought someone was stealing your song." Scooter says. I quickly got up tossing Adrian my shirt to cover herself up with.

"It's just us. I was showing her the studio."

"Seems like you've been showing her more than just the studio. Glad you're here, we have to talk."

"Alright, can we get dressed?" I asked. He closes the door, giving us some time alone.

"I think he hates me." She laughed getting dressed.

"He doesn't, he just have his moments. I'll be back." I said putting on my pants walking out. "I know you're pissed-"

"Beyond pissed. This isn't some kind of brothel you can fuck bitches in Justin-"

"Wait a minute, she's not a bitch, that's my girlfriend you're talking about. Have some fucking respect, god you've been breathing down my fucking neck since I decided to go back to school. Cut me some slack, I'm doing the tour, isn't that what you wanted me to do? You disrespect her, you disrespect me. Got it? It won't happen again." I said going back into the booth.

"Everything okay? I'm sorry about this-"

"Everything's fine, nothing to worry about. It's just Scooter being Scooter."

"If you're lying to me to protect me or my feelings it's not working. Be honest to me."

"He's just upset we had sex in the booth, that's all."

"Wow, he acts more of a dad than your manager."

"Tell me about it." I agreed.

"I'm sorry you have to go through this,  it's tough I've noticed that. I wish there was something I could do."

"It's fine Adrian-"

"It's not, he's treating you like shit and I don't like it. You're a human being, he should start treating you like one. I know he doesn't like me because of the fact that you got me pregnant. That's why he never asked how you felt or never came to see you because he's ashamed of what happened. Don't you think that's why he's giving you such a hard time?"

"I don't know, alright. Can we drop this?"

"No, I'm going to talk to him." She says. I blocked the door before she ended up going out.

"Leave it alone, I handled it. It's taken care of."

"How long are you going to put up with this?"

"Not for long, just until the tour is over. Then I'm firing him like Kathy and I planned. She wants to be my manager and I thought she was insane but, she's a bitch and she gets things done. She's management material, plus she's just in it for the money and at least she was being honest." I said, she started giggling.

"I'm sorry but, Kathy? Kathy Daniels? A manager? Okay. It's funny but, I believe she can handle the pressure. You'll have to remind her a few times before she actually gets things done, but she can do it. What about college?"

"She can do that too."

"Alright, but if she fucks up don't be afraid to fire her because she's my friend. She can handle it."

"She'll do fine; I got faith in her. Tomorrow's the big day, ready?"

"Of course, I know you have to leave right after but, I at least want us to spend some more time together before you go. I shouldn't have left the way I did, having you guessing and worrying to death about where I went, was I hurt, was I okay. I'm sorry."

"You did right Adrian, it's called self-care. You have to take care of yourself first. I would do it too if I was in your predicament. Don't apologize for doing what you need to do." I said, she smiles and hugs me. "And don't worry, you'll be able to spend time with me. Instead of a party, how about a dinner celebration? Everyone can come if they want to, I invited my mom and she's coming to the graduation, not sure what she's doing afterward. What do you say?"

"Okay, that's fine with me."

"Awesome, but are you sure about giving up the case? I know I'm the one that talked you into it, but he shouldn't get away with it even if he's dead. I fucked up when I shot him, I might regret it later."

"You're just trying to protect me, thank you."

"Don't thank me, it's my job. Ready to go? I promise I will be there for you through thick and thin. No matter what happens to us. Alright?" I said. She smiles, nodding her head. I held my hand out wanting to hold her hand, she intertwines her fingers through mine. We left the studio, I went back to her place and had dinner.

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