……………………….. I closed my eyes and tipped my head up to the roof with a smile plastered on my face as we all took our final bow and walked off the stage Chad and Ryan were both wide eyed and open mouthed.
"You killed it" Mike high fived all of us
"It was awesome" Dan hugged me
"It felt good" Alfie laughed taking a towel and handing one to me "really, really good"
"I've got goose bumps" Ryan smirked "Wow" I looked round Lukas was gone and so was Elena
"Okay so where did she go?" Kerion asked taking a drink of water
"Oh she stormed off just before the end of the song" Chad laughed hip checking me "That was a really fuck you moment wasn't it?"
"Do you blame us?" Kerion shrugged draping his arm round my shoulder "The new us take no shit and have a blast"
"Amen to that" Chad nodded as Lukas came back over.
"Well I sent a recording of that to Bon Jovi because they wanted to see what you guys did with their song" he smiled "And Elena has gone to the hotel to I think either pack or regroup"
"Yeah, don't let these guys go there without at least you" Mike said looking at Lukas, or preferable all of us"
"Oh they're staying here till you guys are done" Lukas nodded they have an MTV interview. We all looked at him "I pulled in another few favors we have to do what we need to, to get your name out there as a band and not just Chris and Chad messing with the press" he looked at the two of us both of us looked away
"Okay, did he have a personality transplant?' Pete whispered in my ear making me have to cough to cover up the giggle
"Okay guys you're on" the stage manager called over, Lukas walked with us back to the dressing room as the noise started with the intro to Burn it to the ground.
"Lukas, how pissed is she?" I asked as we walked into a film crew sitting in our dressing room.
"Oh she's beyond pissed" he said quietly pulling me to the side "It's taken a lot to break the contract you had with her ,but she'd got a little lazy when she had it drafted and I don't think she actually read it properly, so she can only take a finder's fee for NeverWest, just a lump of only $100,000" my mouth fell open making him laugh "Chris nothing's cheap in this business but believe me we'd have paid a Million for you guys" he smiled and took a deep breath and walked over to the film crew Alfie walked over to me with a robe and put it round me.
"Yeah, I'm getting there" I nodded…………………..
…………….. The film crew packed up and left us to shower and change you could feel the nervous tension in the air the closer it got to the end of Nickelback's Set. The door knocked and we all jumped and looked at each other.
"Yep" Alfie called out it opened, Jess walked in wearing the costume she'd gotten the night before
"Hey you" Kerion smiled hugging my little sister as I closed my purse and turned around
"Dad said we have to leave tonight" she looked so sad
"I know honey" I sat down and pulled her to me "But as soon as you're on vacation from school you can come and join us again for a few days" I promised her
"Aren't you going to be home for Christmas?" she scowled
"No we talked about this before remember… I'm going to be in a place called Afghanistan singing for all the people in the Army" I tucked her hair behind her ear " they aren't going to be with their families so I'm going to go with the guys and give them a show for a Christmas present. But I promise there will be a huge package in the Mail for you" her face lit up "And I know you're going to have way too much happening over the holidays to even think of me"
"I'll still miss you?" she looked down again
"I know and I'll miss you" I hugged her tight "I love you Jess"
"Okay Band hug" Pete called out because he knew Jess loved group hugs. She squealed with laughed when they all piled in for on group hug. When we all broke apart the rest of our families were there, it was time to say our goodbyes. I could hear Far away being played on the stage which seemed appropriate for what was happening right now.
"Any message for Dimitri?" Jackson asked after he put me down from hugging me.
"Tell him… that doing what he did made me take control of my life and for that I want to say thank you" Jackson raised his eye brows "What's the point of being Bitter" I shrugged "I have all of this" I gestured around to the guys "I have a life where I don't have to put up with crap like that. I can take a deep breath dust myself off and get on with it"
"The old Chris is back" Xander draped his arm round me "I haven't seen the tough ass don't piss me off Chris since before you and Arron got together" he dropped a kiss on my head "Love you girl"
"Love you too" I smiled "Look out for Jess for me" he nodded and we watched as they all left Lukas saying goodbye to them as they walked by him. He stepped into us as the four of us stood side by side with our arms around each other
"You all okay?" he tipped his head
"We're fine" Alfie nodded "its hard saying good bye again" Lukas put his hand on Pete's shoulder
"Well the guys are just coming off stage in twenty minutes we'll be out of here" he turned round and walked out. The nervous silence falling over us again Alfie was Humming no apology making us all more nervous and more excited for what was about to happen.
We all piled in the limo leaving the crew behind dismantling everything to move to the next venue. Ryan and Lukas were poring over papers and handing them off to Chad and Dan to go over as the limo cruised through the streets heading toward the hotel.
"Chris you'll ruin your manicure if you keep chewing on your nails" Mike said leaning over and slapping my hands, I looked at him and felt sick
"Yeah don't be nervous" Lukas said looking up from the papers "It's covered… it's taken care of"
"Yeah but it's not just about her managing us is it" I looked at Chad "What did you say to me last night about here being the Momma bear" he nodded "I'm the hunter shooting at her cub right now"
"Damn only a mid west girl could come out with shit like that" Kerion laughed
"Mid west and proud" I smiled making everyone relax a little in the car. We pulled into the parking garage under the hotel. Lukas got out and offered me his hand to help me out; there was a rumble of thunder rolling round making me hope that it wasn't an ominous sign. We all walked into the hotel and to the elevator Chad put his hands on my shoulders and gently massaged them
"You're chewing your lip now" he chuckled looking at me through the mirrors in the elevator "What can she do or say that you're not expecting"
"I don't know" the doors opened "But she's bound to say something that will hurt"……………………..