................... I paced the floor in my room rubbing the back of my neck as, Elena's words echoed round in my head. Alfie Pete and Kerion were dotted around the room letting me have my space but close enough to be there if I broke down, the door swung open making us all look around.
"You want a drink?" Lukas walked in and closed the door behind him. He looked like he'd been through the wringer.
"No, I'm fine" I sat on the bed Next to Pete as he walked to the mini bar and pulled out a bottle of Brandy and poured it onto one of the cups and sank it before he looked at all of us.
"Well I thought she'd put up more of a fight than what she did" I looked up at him
"You are kidding right" I got up again and started to pace again
"No… Well she attacked you pretty hard, but I was talking about the bands contract" Lukas shrugged, I shook my head as the door opened and Nickelback walked in
"Talking of attacking me" I put my hands on my hips "Okay why the hell did you stop me from knocking her as back to the Soviet Union?"
"Chris the wall came down in 89'" Chad laughed as he perched on the edge of the dresser "its Russia now"
"No, how hard I was going to hit her she was heading back beyond that point" I looked at him "I take it everyone heard what was said" they all nodded "Does anyone want and explanation?" I owed them that at least with everything that had gone on.
"Chris it's none of our business" Ryan walked over to me and rubbed my arms "We know what happened to you when you went home before we started the tour, and we all understand that you trust all of us but only us" I nodded "We don't need to know everything unless something is printed and we need to get the lawyers in on it"
"He's right" Lukas smiled "I gave your dad my word that you'd be okay and I meant it" I frowned at him "What?"
"Okay, did you hit your head or something? Because… no offence but you being nice to us and Chris is really freaking me out" Kerion moaned shoving a cookie his mom had left into his mouth.
"Me too" Alfie agreed
"No… I wasn't sure of Elena's motives for how hard she pushed to get you on this tour. I just wanted to make sure you were good enough to open for these guys" he gestured round the room
"Oh" Kerion shrugged "Okay" he picked up another cookie
"So who exactly is our manager now?" Alfie asked sitting on his bed
"We are" Mike smiled "we've all got a vested interest in all of you" Lukas's phone rang he walked into the other room. Chad walked over to me and stopped me from pacing.
"She said some rough things, you sure you're going to be okay?" he looked worried
"She did and I guess I knew she was going to. I'm not scared to face what's happened to me in the past, it just makes it a little raw when it's brought up" I smiled as well as I could at him "I promise I can cope" Lukas walked back in
"Well you guys have made one hell of an impression" We looked at him "I was just talking to Jon Bon Jovi and he was blown away by the way you did the song. He said that if you weren't working with Nickelback they'd be after you" Lukas stole one of the cookies from Kerion. "You can use the song anytime and they're looking forward to meeting you at the awards in Germany next week"
"Well Damn" Kerion whistled as the four of us looked at Lukas like we were deer's in the headlights.
"Star struck are we?" Chad laughed walking to the door
"UH-HUH" I nodded
"You're round all of us" Ryan smiled
"Yeah but we live with you guys you don't count" Alfie laughed.
"Oh gee thanks" Ryan Gibbs slapped him 'We'll let you guys get some sleep and see you on the bus in the morning"
"Night guys" I got up and walked them to the door "Hey can I ask for something?" I asked leaning on the door
"Sure, but whether you'll get it or not is another thing" Mike grinned
"Can I get a hug" I felt strange asking but other than my guys I just wanted to know who really cared for me in the right way.
"Now that we can do" Dan put his arms round me and dropped a kiss on to my head "Night Chris" he walked out as Mike and Dan took their turn giving me hugs like I got from Xander like big brother hugs, Chad waited till they'd walked away, he wrapped his arms around me and pulled me to him.
"You want to back off from the press?" he asked as he let go of me but kept his hands on my arms
"Hell no, I like the being devious thing" I giggled "It passes the time" he high fived me and walked down the hall.……………
…………………….. The next week flew by, even with the fact we only did three shows but we were also pulled into a world of interviews and photo shoots alongside and independently of Nickelback. Record sales were soaring in the US and in Europe.
When it was independent there was always one of them standing in the background ready to jump in if we needed them to, we'd all become closer than before. We were heading to Germany for a music award ceremony and Lukas had informed us that we were actually performing which had us nervous as hell our first huge deal award show and then from there we were heading to Ramstein to board a military fight to Kuwait and the USO tour.
Lukas walked into the hotel room as I was having my hair and Makeup finished.
"Ready for the red carpet?" he asked sitting on the bed and looking at me through the mirror "Alfie, Pete and Kerion are walking up and down the hall throwing poses"
"Oh we've all been practicing all day" I laughed nervously as the Makeup girl smiled at me and packed her things away handing over a lipstick before she walked out of the room "I get on stage in front of thousands of people night after night… why is this killing me more than that?" I took a deep breath and tried to stop thinking about holing up in the bathroom and hugging the toilet bowl.
"Well it's a new thing for NeverWest, but it all goes toward people liking you. it's amazing exposure to a wider range of people when it's on TV" He got up and turned me to face him "How about if you have some expensive sparkly things for you for tonight"
"Oooo me like sparkly" I giggled clapping my hands, I'd heard about the perks you sometimes got for being famous I still never thought of us as Famous.
"Well they are on loan but it makes a change from the leather and the stuff you wear on stage" the door opened again and Chad walked in with Pete
"Okay take a look at these boys and tell me they weren't dropped as infants" Chad handed me his phone and hit play on the video while Pete grinned behind him. I watched Alfie and Kerion pouting better than Mick Jagger as Pete pretended to take pictures.
"I'm sorry I think they got in to the Pixie stix stash we have" I laughed handing him back the phone.
"Loving the robe Chris" Pete Nudged me
"She's going to get dressed and then the security guard will be here with the sparkly things" Lukas smiled pushing me to the bedroom and closing the door. "You still think it's a good idea rolling up in one limo?" he looked at Chad
"Yeah people know we're touring with them" Chad shrugged "and come on you have to admit the press are always trying to get more then they need… Chris and I are just having fun" Pete sat back and listened with a smile on his face
"and we know it's going to get right back to The Carpov Family and they're going to be Pissed' Pete laughed
"True" Lukas nodded and opened his mouth to carry on but I walked out of the bedroom "Whoa Damn you look…" Lukas tipped his head.
"Different" Chad butted in "not the usual rock chick but still… Damn" He took my hand and turned me round
"Nice Chris" Pete grinned "I hope to good they're watching back home" I felt my cheeks get warm with the compliments as the door knocked Lukas opened it and took a box from the Security guard.
"Okay as promised" he opened the vintage looking box I peered inside, I felt my jaw drop a little "All vintage art Deco pieces all picked out by…"
"All of us" Chad butted in Lukas looked at him "what if it was left to you she'd have been wearing something someone else wore two days ago on some red carpet" Chad took the bracelet and lifted my arm and put it on for me.
"Are those real?" I peered closer in the mirror as I put in the earrings
"All diamonds" Lukas laughed "and finally" He held out the ring from the box making me swallow hard I pushed it on to my finger in my right hand
Oh Wow" I held it out at arm's length utterly blown away I dropped my arm
"Now you can't see it" Pete said taking my hand and lifting it "too much sleeve takes the eye away from it" The three of us looked at him "Okay that made me sound like Sorrenson didn't it?"
"Oh just a little gay yes" I nodded, Pete pulled the ring off and pushed it on to my ring finger of my left hand "Er… Pete…"
"See perfect" he beamed "you can see the ring"
"He has a point" Chad laughed, he knew what I was about to say because Pete really had no clue the finger he'd put it on
"Yeah Chris Leave it… makes for a good picture" Lukas laughed picking up the clutch and handing it to me "time we left" He put a hand in the middle of my back and we walked out of the room……………