......................... "Would it help if I said sorry?" I looked over my shoulder at Chad as he zipped up his Jacket "I didn't use my brain" He pulled up the collar, I looked back to the river
"You guys shouldn't have to deal with my shitty life… well I'll rephrase that you shouldn't have to deal with the shit I bring to the tour"
"Hey, what's a tour without drama?" He put his hands on my shoulders "I don't like to see you hurt Chris" I leant back against him
"Could you screw your kids over?" I turned and looked at him he kept his hands on my arms "How can you turn your back on a kid when…" I looked down
"No I couldn't" He pulled me to him wrapping me in his arms "I couldn't do it to my friends let alone family… Well Mike maybe" we both chuckled as he tried to lighten the mood a little "I keep saying this too you, but you have to grow a damn thick skin in this business because people will take you down in a heartbeat"
"Yeah but did you ever think it would be family that would do it?" I sighed
"No I guess not" he smiled
"I can handle giving the press ghosts to chase like we did with the ring and the clubs in Spain" I pulled back from him and put my hands into my pockets and began to walk; he caught up to me matching my pace. He put his arm around my shoulders "I can handle going on a date and having the press in your face as you leave a restaurant… I can't handle is feeling scared that people will put two and two together and think everything Mom writes has happened to me"
"People won't" Chad sighed
"Really, my friends in Wisconsin know what Arron did, and all it took was a few wrong words in the book and it made him snap" I stopped walking and pulled up my sleeve roughly. I held out my arm and pointed to the faint scars on my skin. Chad gently took my arm and moved it into the light coming from the street lamps. "He used a knife to cut me because someone had made a joke that he was a red neck country idiot, all because of the way Mom had made him sound in the book" I pulled my arm away and tugged down my sleeve
"You're just broken aren't you?" Chad stopped me from walking away "You're a broken woman that just needs acceptance for who you are?" I looked down. "What are you going to do in ten months time?" he lifted my chin and touched the side of my face before dropping his hand
"I don't know" I shook my head "I'm scared to end the tour"
"You're career will carry on I'm sure of that" He smiled "I'm talking about where the hell are you going to end up Christine Sommers?"
"I hope I'll have earned enough to get a house" he started to laugh "What? You have a huge one I saw it on Cribs"
"Huge what…? Oh the house" he hip checked me I groaned and shook my head "Chris you've already made enough to buy 3 houses the size of mine" he offered me his arm "Where will you go?"
"I don't know... I love Wisconsin with a passion, I love weather like this and the smell of a really fire in the winter and then hot summers swimming in the lake" I closed my eyes and could almost imagine myself lying on the dock at my friends parents cabin I smiled.
"But… I sense a but"
"The rest of the band are Florida kids and how can we make records and all the other stuff if we're 1500 miles apart" I opened my eyes and looked at him "I could by the house next to you and be the neighbor from hell" I laughed
"Okay yeah… that is going to be a no" he groaned "Think about where you want to be and who you want in your life you have to cut away the people out to hurt you Chris. Friends, Family, whoever it is be selfish, be sure you keep your true friends as close as possible because guys come and go…"
"True friends stay" I narrowed my eyes at him "You said that to me once before about Dimi" he nodded "You knew there was…"
"Chris I don't take people at face value anymore I don't trust people I don't know" he shrugged
"You trust me"
"Ahhh you're different"
"You're lost Chris you were lost when I saw you the first time on stage, You blew me away and I wanted you then as part of us and when I got to know you I know you have a whole lot in there" he held his hand over my heart
"Yeah hence the underwear contract" he groaned and then shook his head
"I'm talking about…"
"I was trying to make a joke Chad" I swatted him "Thank you"
"Being my shoulder to cry on… letting me vent and letting me tell you more" I felt shy now I'd actually pointed out the scars that were normally hard to see. I'd not even told anyone else about them but he was easy to talk to
"Anytime" he pressed his lips to my forehead "Now I know we're tough assed people, used to weather like this, but hell I want to soak in a tub and you look like you need a week of sleep"
"Oooo hot bath" I sounded like Homer Simpson drooling over a Do nut
"Hey I'm first" he laughed
"I wasn't talking about sharing" I hip checked him "I need to call Kellan and try to work out what to do?"
"You miss him?" there was hesitation in the question
"I knew him for less than 3 days Chad" I linked his arm as we crossed the street "It was more physical than…" oh there goes the color in my cheeks again "He's sweet, he's a friend nothing more?"
"You looked cute together even I he was a little big" he chuckled as the doorman opened the door to the hotel
"Have you been looking at the pictures on my phone?" I frowned
"Er… nothing" I pressed the button for the elevator the doors slid open and we stepped inside "Thank you"
"You've said it already" he pushed the button for the top floor "Please if you feel like you did before come get me... or come get Mike, Ryan or Dan we all love you and…" he pulled me close to him wrapping me in a perfect hug "We don't always give shit hugs when you need them"……………