Read My Unexpected Forever Online

Authors: Heidi McLaughlin

Tags: #Romance, #Music, #Contemporary, #Young Adult, #Adult

My Unexpected Forever (19 page)

BOOK: My Unexpected Forever
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"A
re
you nervous?” he asks as his lips find my now bare shoulder. The dress I chose for tonight is champagne in color with barely off the shoulder straps. I fell in love with the sweetheart neckline, but it was the back – cut low and swooping – that sold me.

We stand in front of his bedroom mirror. I’m trying to put in my earring and he’s trying to take off my dress. If we don’t hurry, we’ll be late. I know it’s expected to be fashionably late for Hollywood events, but the long drive into L.A., together with the traffic will make things worse. I had suggested we leave earlier and get ready at the hotel, but he had other plans for us. I conceded once he showed me what he was talking about.

“Harrison,” I say, quietly. I want to look good for him, but he’s making it difficult. I don’t think he understands the magnitude that tonight holds. The red carpet is something he’s accustomed to. For me, it’s a night of firsts, and with those firsts come the jitters and extreme anxiety. What if I fall or trip for all of national TV to see?

Harrison sighs heavily and replaces my strap. He takes a step back. I watch him candidly through the mirror, as he looks me up and down. I want to shake my head, but rather like the idea that I turn him on.

“My hand is staying right here all night,” he says as he places it on my back, his fingers inching themselves under the fabric. “Yeah, I do believe this dress was made for me.”

“Incorrigible,” I murmur, adding a wink. He kisses the top of my head before disappearing into the closet. I watch his backside as long as I can, secretly hoping that he’ll come back out and hypnotize me once more. It seems that I can’t get enough of him and part of me dreads returning to Beaumont and to our lives. In one short day, I learned so much about him and us, maybe this is what we needed from the get-go.

When Harrison steps out, he’s dressed in a black and white pin-striped suit. I honestly didn’t know what he’d wear. I’ve never seen him out of his shorts and classic t-shirts and felt incredibly awkward asking him, but figured it wouldn’t matter, because he’s beautiful enough to pull anything off. I am pleasantly surprised, however, to find out he isn’t wearing a tux. I know he’ll be wearing one for Liam and Josie’s wedding; and as stupid as it may sound, I want that to be the first time I see him in one.

He comes over and stands next to me. I watch him do up his tie, and can’t help but think of Mason and the countless times I tied his. He never could grasp how to make the knot look just right. I didn’t mind and I’m hoping that Harrison has some trouble so I can help him. Sadly for me, he masters it perfectly on the first try.

I slide in front of Harrison and brush some imaginary lint off his shoulders, anything to touch him to straighten out his already straight tie. I’m being sentimental, I know. I can’t help myself. I miss this part of Mason. Harrison stands there, I can feel him staring as I pinch the silk. I sweep my hands over his chest and shoulders, clasping his hands with mine.

“There, now you’re perfect,” I whisper for my own benefit.

He leans down and crushes his lips to mine, pushing me hard against the dresser. His hands slide down my sides and over to my ass as he picks me up. He sets me down on the dresser, urgently. My dress pushes up as he pulls me the edge where he stands. My legs are spread, welcoming him. He moves against me, rubbing up and down.

Teasing me.

Testing me.

He knows the decision is up to me. He doesn’t care if he walks the red carpet, but I care enough for him and the band. I won’t be the Yoko Ono of 4425 West.

“The car… shortly.” I can barely speak, let alone string together a complete sentence. Harrison smiles against my mouth, enjoying the torment he’s bestowed upon me. I try to push him away, but my fingers have a different idea and find themselves entwined in his hair. It’s already been styled with wax, so I can’t do any damage.

He grinds against me, making it impossible for me to say no. My fingers seek out the buttons on his vest, then his shirt. I start at the bottom and work my way up. I throw his tie over his shoulder and unbutton the rest of his shirt. My lips are blazing a trail down his chest. I pull hard on his nipple ring just as he pushes up my dress and rips my panties off, the ones I bought especially for tonight.

“I’ll go fast,” he says, dropping his pants. He slams into me once before pulling out. His green eyes are blazing, a fiery pit of lust. I hitch my knees over his hips, holding onto him as he thrusts again. I moan as he fills me instantly. He grips my ass as his knees bang into the drawers. The dresser has become our own earthquake as we shake the contents onto the floor. The mirror bangs, loudly, against the wall.

“Harrison,” I say breathlessly, as he moves with such fluidity. He pulls away from my neck, his hand coming up under my knee. His other hand pushes my dress up more. I watch his eyes as they bear down on us. He watches himself as he rocks, working to reach his peak.

“Fuck, baby,” he grits out. His head falls back. His movements are faster, harder. I lean back, my head rubbing against the wall and let out a sound I didn’t know I had in me. He looks at me and smiles, pulling me up to his chest. I meet his thrusts eagerly as we ride out our orgasms together.

He kisses me deeply, cupping my face. I love that he holds me to him when he kisses me, afraid that I’ll disappear if I’m not in his hands. The doorbell sounds, causing me to pull back. I’m afraid of what I look like now. Ripped panties, a bunched up dress and hair that is surely messed up. I don’t want to look, but know I’ll need a few minutes to get ready.

He kisses me again before stepping away. He pulls up his pants, but doesn’t bother with the buttons on his shirt as he leaves the room. I slide off the dresser, tentatively. My legs are shaky, my knees locked. I take a deep breath and turn around. My mouth drops as I lean forward and observe my red swollen lips. My mascara is smudged from the light sheen of sweat on my face. My hair – I want to cry – but thankfully it’s fixable. I stand back and look at myself, shaking my head.

“I guess I know what it means to be thoroughly fucked.”

“I say we stay home and do it again.”

I follow his voice and realize I want to cry out in agony. He stands there with his hand in his pocket, leaning against the door jam. His shirt is still unbuttoned and now his tie is undone as well. He looks delicious, edible.

I have to tear my eyes away, demand that I focus on anything but him. He’s a temptation. A risk.

He’s my reward.

I bypass him without a second glance. He chuckles and even though I smile, it frustrates me that he has that much power over me. When did I let this happen? I shouldn’t question myself. I’m done doing that. I’m where I want to be.

T
he
car door finally opens. The screams are deafening. We are in between Liam and Jimmy’s cars. I understand why we couldn’t ride together, something about making an entrance. Harrison kisses me quickly before he steps out. He stands by the door and extends his hand, waiting for me to grab hold of it. His name, along with Liam and Jimmy’s are yelled loudly. The guys stand together and chat, pointing at some of the fans. When they do that, they erupt. Josie and I stand behind them, both of us mocking Jimmy’s date. She looks bored and only half dressed, and leaves no doubt in my mind that what Harrison I did before we left, they did in the car on the way here.

The guys walk over to the fans that are barricaded by a steel fence, each one of them starting in a different location and moving down the line as phones and pens are shoved in their faces. They sign everything and pose in the most awkward ways, but do so with a permanent grin.

“You know, I’m surprised you’re not at the hotel with us.” Josie moves closer, away from Jimmy’s date so we can talk. Even in my four-inch heels I have to look up to see her.

“Harrison has a place on the beach. I’m staying there.”

Josie nods and tries to hide her grin. She looks at the guys, then back at me. “Are things good?”

“Things are great.” I never thought I’d be in a position to say that about my life, but I can, especially with how I feel about Harrison. If having a little bit of bliss can make me feel good about things, then so be it. I’m going to embrace it. Soak it in and hopefully share it with my children.

“Harrison looks really happy, Katelyn. That’s because of you.” I give him a once over and smile when he leans in for a picture with a fan. If things hadn’t changed with us, I’d be wondering which one he’d want to take back to his place tonight. But I know after everything that has happened since we arrived in Los Angeles, that he only has eyes for me.

“We’ll see,” I say. “I’m trying not to get my hopes up. Everything, right now, seems too good to be true.”

Josie nods. “I felt the same way about Liam, but you have to let your heart lead you. No one is saying that you need to run off to Vegas and get married, just be happy and have fun.”

“Speaking of… What’s our plan?”

Josie’s eyes light up. We’re now going to talk about her favorite subject. “Tonight we have a music industry party to go to, and tomorrow we’re going to just hang out and sightsee, but tomorrow night is when the fun will begin.”

“What kind of fun?” I ask, but Josie’s not paying attention to me. She’s watching the guys as they walk across the road to where the red carpet starts. Liam veers toward us, but Harrison doesn’t. I try not to let it hurt my feelings. It’s not like we can hold hands or anything, the kids are watching.

Harrison turns just as I step forward to follow Josie and Liam. His expression is unreadable. I can’t really tell if he’s happy or not right now, even though he’s grinning from ear to ear. I surmise that it’s an act and that he really wants to be someplace else right now and I’m going to agree with my assumption, because I’d give anything to have his hand in mine.

The moment the guys reach the media section, they are ushered to a radio station. Microphones are pushed into their faces and questions are fired off.

“How was your tour, Liam?” A sense of dread washes over me. Josie grabs my hand and gives me a squeeze. I lean a little closer to hear his answer.

“The tour was great. We took the kids and made it a vacation.” I exhale heavily, thankful that he didn’t tell the disc jockey what a colossal fuck up the tour was.

“How’s the new album?”

“It’s coming together nicely. It should be out by Christmas.”

“I hear you’re debuting a new song tonight?”

“We are, Harrison wrote it.”

“What’s it about, Harrison?”

He looks around everywhere except at me. I wait with bated breath for his answer. He runs his hand through his hair twice before he opens his mouth to answer. “I met someone and she’s very special to me. I wrote it for her.”

“Well, we’re looking forward to hearing it. Thanks, guys.”

Just like that, they’re dismissed. The guys step away and maneuver through the crowd. The flashes are instant. Their names are yelled. It’s very disorientating. I don’t even know how they know where to start. I have a feeling this was supposed to be my job. Yet, another reason why I can’t be their manager. I don’t know what I’m doing.

Josie and I stand in the middle of the red carpet, watching the guys as they go from photographer to photographer. They pose for individual pictures and group photos. We follow behind, content with being observers.

Harrison brushes by me and gives me a look. I’m not sure if I should follow or stay where I am. He steps up to a reporter and kisses her on the cheek. I instinctively step toward them and try to hear what they’re saying. I know I shouldn’t, but I can’t help myself.

“Harrison, you’re looking good,” she says this in a tone that I don’t like. She’s too sugary for me when she should be professional.

“Thanks, Emily, so are you.”

They’re on a first name basis and it makes me wonder how well they know each other. I know I have no right to be jealous, but I am. All these people know this Harrison better than I do. She’s not asking him any questions and whatever he just said to her made her laugh. I roll my eyes when she throws her head back and her hand lands on his chest.

“Who finally captured your heart?”

Harrison looks at me. I try to smile, but I don’t succeed. He looks down at ground as he puts his hands in his pocket. I want to know what he’s thinking, but don’t dare step forward and ask him. “She’s someone special.”

I step away as quickly as I can. I don’t want to hear what else he has to say. This was a mistake. I should’ve stayed back at the hotel and let him do his thing tonight. This scene is not for me and I don’t know how Josie can handle it.

Easily, I decide when I see her. She’s standing with Liam and giving an interview while I stand in the middle of this big production with Jimmy’s one-night stand.

T
he
moment I look over expecting her to be there, she’s not. In fact, she looks like she doesn’t want to be here or with me. I know it’s my fault because I’m an idiot. I panicked after I got out of the car and couldn’t recover fast enough. I forgot how to act around her. Putting my feelings aside, she’s my friend and I failed to treat her as such.

“I gotta go,” I say to Emily, skipping out on her guaranteed interview. Emily and Yvie have been friends for years and I’ve always interviewed with her, tonight being the exception. My head hangs in shame when I step away from the media line and stalk toward the retreating Katelyn. She’s far enough down the line, standing with Josie that she doesn’t know I’m coming.

“Come with me,” I say close to her ear. I don’t give her an opportunity to say no. I place my hand on her back; the same spot I deemed mine earlier and lead her through the crowd.

Members of the media and fans yell my name, trying to get my attention. I hate ignoring my name being called. This is my job and I love it, but right now, she’s far more important. There’s something wrong and I need to know what to do to fix it, because seeing her face fall like I just broke her heart doesn’t sit well with me.

Once we’re away from the fans, I slip my hand into hers. She has to walk a bit faster to keep up with me, but this can’t wait. I need to know what’s going on in her head. One minute we’re fine and the next… I don’t even want to think about what just happened back there.

I take Katelyn backstage, the only place where I know we’ll have a bit of privacy. I won’t have much time, but hopefully enough to fix this. I open a few doors until I find an empty room and pull her inside. I shut the door, locking it for safe measure. When I turn, she’s facing away from me. I step forward until I’m pressed against her back. My fingers trail down her arms, my fingers interlace with hers. I bring her closer to me, holding her against me. My face rests against hers.

“What’s wrong?”

She shakes her head. Her body sways. She cries silently, her tears dampening my cheek. “Talk to me, please?” I beg.

“I can’t,” she says in barely a whisper. She steps away from me and while I’ve desired her touch since the day I’ve met her, I now feel empty with her only a foot away.

“I’m overreacting,” she says, taking a deep breath and wiping away her tears.

“About what?”

Katelyn covers her face and shakes her head. She lets out a long sigh before looking at me.

“I got jealous back there. That reporter kissed you on the cheek and when she asked about who stole your heart the look you gave me… it felt like you were ashamed that I was there with you.”

“Are you kidding me?” I roar, stepping closer to her. “I want everyone to know that you’re the one. Jesus Christ, Katelyn, I’ve been fighting for you to notice me for almost a year and now you finally have, do you really think I’m going to fuck that up?”

I step away and start pacing. My hand finds my hair and starts pulling. “Don’t you want us to be the ones to tell the kids? Hell, Quinn is waiting for me to tell him, he knows how I feel about you, but the girls… they lost their dad and I don’t want them to hate me and they would if they found out on TV that we’ve decided to give this a go.”

I walk back over to her and cup her face. “I want you on my arm. I want everyone to know that I’m head over heels about you. That look I gave you was because it was killing me not to tell Emily that you’re the one who has stolen my heart.”

“Emily?”

“The reporter? I kissed her on the cheek because I’ve known her since she was like three or something. She’s friends with Yvie. I will never disrespect you.”

“I’m scared.”

“I’m scared too, Katelyn. I’m so damn scared that I’m going to do something to fuck this up or you’re going to realize that you can do so much better than me. I’ve been so patient and now that I’ve had you, I don’t want to let go, but I’m going to make mistakes. You’re the first woman I’ve brought to any event. I freaked out too.”

“I’m sorry. I know I’m being stupid. I let some petty moment ruin your night,” she says as her lips find mine. I hold her to me, savoring every bit of her.

“Baby, my night is perfect as long as you’re with me.”

W
e
didn’t tell the girls that we’ve been nominated for best single with
Painkillers
. Once it was known that Liam was off the market, the song shot up the charts. When we were told, we decided to keep it a secret.

I pull Katelyn’s hand into mine as soon as the presenters step onto the stage. Clips are shown of the nominees and when 4225 West is shown, the girls gasp loudly. Katelyn turns to me, her eyes full of excitement. I wink and fight the urge to lean over and kiss her.

“And the award for Best Single goes to… 4225 West!”

This is not our first award, but right now, it feels like it. Everyone is cheering, but I tune them all out and focus on Katelyn. I lean over and kiss her not once, but twice. I know I just told her that I wanted to be able to tell the kids, but this moment called for it and I don’t want any lingering questions about how I feel dancing around in her mind.

We stand and man-hug each other before walking to the podium. Liam is handed the trophy as he steps to the microphone. He looks at it and shakes his head.

“Who knew that being such a fuck up would win us best single,” Liam says earning him a solid round of clapping. “There are really only two people I have to thank for inspiring
Painkillers
. The first being my buddy, Mason; had he not left us so early, I wouldn’t be standing here; and the other is Josie. I needed to find a way to show you what I was feeling when we weren’t together. I have to thank Harrison and JD for helping make it the hit that it’s been.”

The warning music comes on, causing us all to laugh. Liam holds the trophy up and says, “this is for our kids; Noah, Quinn, Elle and Peyton, we love you and we’ll be home soon.”

We walk off stage and are ushered to the green room to get ready for our performance. The room is busy, but relaxing. Liam is being interviewed and that’s fine by me. It gives me a chance to take off my jacket and loosen my tie. I’m tempted to change, but failed to bring extra clothes with me. My mind was definitely someplace else earlier.

Loud clapping catches my attention. I turn and instant dread washes over me as Sam stalks toward us. I turn away from her, determined to ignore her, but she steps in front of me, brushing her breasts against my chest.

“What are you doing here?” Liam asks from behind me. I roll my eyes and move away from her. I have no history with her other than the fact that I can’t stand her.

“This is an industry event, is it not?”

Sam steps closer to Liam. He moves back a step, keeping space between them.

“What, no kiss hello?”

“Why the fuck would I kiss you?” Liam asks. I have a feeling this is going to get ugly very quickly.

“Because you know you need me.”

Liam shakes his head. “I don’t need shit from you.”

“Well we both know that’s not true.” She runs her long, red dagger of a fingernail along his jacket. He bats her hand away, but that doesn’t stop her from moving closer. Liam sidesteps and comes to stand by me. I hope he doesn’t think I’ll protect him from her. On second thought, I wouldn’t mind slapping the bitch a few times.

“4225 West’s contract with Moreno Entertainment has been severed, Sam. You no longer work for us.”

“We can fix that easily enough. The band needs me, as evidenced by your failed tour. Besides, you and I have unfinished business.”

Liam runs his hands over his face in frustration. I look at JD, who is shaking his head.

“How do you know about our tour?” I ask.

Sam shrugs. “I have my sources.”

“Called DeVon,” JD adds sourly.

I watch her face for any sign that she was behind the double booking, but she’s stoic, mechanical even.

Liam’s face turns red. He steps toward her with his finger directed at her face. “I’m going to find out if it was you, and so help me, I’ll sue the shit out of your company.”

“Is that going to be before or after you tell your little wifey that you knocked me up? Or should I tell her?”

Liam screams, his hands curling into fists in frustration. “You fucking bitch, I’ll –“

“4225 West you’re needed on stage.”

Our name is called before Liam can finish his sentence, which I’m very thankful for. I have a feeling the ending would be a threat that Sam would make sure he paid for. JD pushes Liam away from a laughing Sam and out the door toward the stage.

Liam is worked up, agitated. I set my hands on his shoulders to try and calm him down. “You gotta block it out. We have to perform.”

“I’m going to kill her.”

I know, I want to say, but I don’t. “She’s grasping at anything to hang onto you. You can either tell Josie or wait Sam out. My suggestion is to tell Josie, because hearing it from you is going to be a lot easier than hearing it from Sam.”

“She’ll hate me.”

“For what? You weren’t together. It’s not like she wasn’t planning on marrying someone else.”

“Besides, you gave her Noah, so, happy days, it’s a win-win for her,” JD adds. I look at him and shake my head.

“Jesus, JD, where do you come up with this shit?”

He shrugs and downs a bottle of water just as we’re told we can go on stage now because it’s a commercial break.

“You good?”

Liam nods, but I know he’s not. He walks on stage slowly and picks up his guitar. He’s going through the motions, but something’s missing. He’s back to being the Liam Page of old.

“Hey, Page,” I yell from my stool. He turns and looks at me.

“Do you have this or what, because my girl is out there and we’re about to show the world this song and if you fuck it up, I’m going to be pissed.”

He looks at me for a minute before answering. “Yeah, I got this.”

He fucking better or I’m going to be pissed.

We get the cue that we’re back on TV and that the presenter has just announced us. I bang my sticks together four times, one for each kid watching from home, and bring my sticks down on the drums to start us off. As soon as the spotlight is on us, Liam Page is wooing the crowd like he’s been known to do. I wish I could see Katelyn and watch her face as Liam sings about her, but it’s impossible to see anything with all these lights.

JD plays out the last riff much to the crowds delight. When the lights go down, I can finally see again. I have to blink through the black spots, but it’s nice not to be blinded. We go back to the green room to get something to drink and freshen up. We have to look somewhat decent when the camera pans over us.

“You okay?” I ask Liam as he sits down.

“Yeah, I’m just stressing and Josie is going to know something’s wrong.”

I sit down next to him and polish off a couple of bottles of water. I don’t envy him. Even though he and Josie weren’t together, she took their break-up hard, and to find out the love of your life got someone pregnant isn’t going to sit well with her, especially when that person is Sam.

“I’ll tell her. I have to. If she finds out from Sam… I don’t know what she’ll do.”

“Just remember that she was engaged, so it’s not like she didn’t move on.”

Liam shakes his head. “Somehow I don’t think it’s the same thing.”

He’s probably right, but what do I know? I’m tired of being away from Katelyn and tell him as such. I leave him and JD to do whatever and head back to the seating area. I tap my seat filler on the shoulder and motion for him to vacate. Josie looks at me questioningly and I nod toward the stage. I don’t know if she understands or not and hopefully I won’t have to explain myself. I don’t want to be in the middle of this showdown.

I sit down and put my hand on her lap. She looks at me and smiles before sliding her hand under mine and locking our fingers together. At this point, I need to be done caring about who sees us. We’ll just have to tell the kids when we get home. Simple as that.

BOOK: My Unexpected Forever
4.49Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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