……. The car ate up the miles easily the sound of the engine was almost like a comfort to me as thoughts raced in my head. The one thing I was scared about was people thinking I was like Stephanie from the books that I was a junkie living on the edge and the truth about Arron was right on the verge of coming out. That was something I didn't want as public knowledge it was too personal. I pulled up to a gate and pressed the button
"Hello" Chad's voice came over the intercom
"Damn that was quick" Chad laughed "Come on up to the house" the gates swung open I drove in. Chad stepped out of the front door and stopped as I got out "Hot Damn girl, you weren't kidding about getting a car were you?"
'Nope" I smiled "and she's all mine"
"You know what it is right?" He asked with a smile on his face
"Yes it'll beat you're Lamborghini in a drag race without breaking a sweat" he looked at me shook his head, he lifted the door and peered in.
"This is hot" He touched the seats "wow"
"You want a play?" I held out the key
"I do" He sighed "but I'm more concerned with the TMZ thing I just saw" He stood up and closed the door on my car. "I've had all the guys on the phone and Lukas is literally screaming in New York because he's stuck there" I leant on the side of car hung my head
"What was it?"
"Inside of the dealership" he lent on the roof and looked at me "someone asked you about Stephanie Sanders and you mother" I at him and shook my head "I'm sorry Chris"
"It's not half of the crap that's gone down today… I'm so beyond done it's scaring me… I feel like I'm losing control right now" my hands were shaking as I tried to push the keys in to my purse "I knew going back home was going to be maybe strained, but I can't keep going with all of this" the tears started to fall down my cheeks.
"Come on" Chad walked round to me and put his arm round me and walked me into the house. He sat me on the couch a hockey game was playing on the large screen hung over the fire that was roaring away in the stone hearth. He walked away from me and came back with two bottles of beer, Chad sat down, he turned off the sound on the game. "What else happened? Did you see your sister?" I shook my head and put the beer down on the table and took off my jacket. "No?"
"She's on a Disney cruise with my Aunt and Uncle" I sniffed pulling a Kleenex from my purse and wiping my eyes "My parents walked away from her" I looked at him "…they just signed her over Xander's parents like she was some unwanted pet" my teeth were gritted it hurt to think about what hell Jess had been through "They got into a huge argument apparently and Dad ended up telling Mom about me getting pregnant" Chad choked on a mouthful of his beer.
"She knows that" I nodded "Damn we're going to need to get the lawyers involved in this" He looked at me
"Oh there's more" I picked up the beer and got up I walked over to the fire "Xander and Mir talked me into going into the school I saw Nikolai and he gave me some crap about Dimitri not being happy with Reba and we should be together" I shrugged as I looked into the flames
"You're kidding did you see Dimitri?"
"No… I left town as soon as I could I got the car deliver rerouted to Seattle so I could pick it up there" I rubbed the back of my neck.
"Have you spoken to Kellan?"
"Yeah, he called to tell me about a date he'd been on" I walked back to the couch and sat down. "And the press were giving him crap about me while he was on the date"
"A Date?" Chad raised his eye brows
"Yes… he's been on Date and he was warning me that the press might start saying things" I shrugged "but that's nothing I'm good with it… People need to know we're just friends" I lay back and pinched the bridge of my nose "But he cheered me up for a few minutes at least"
"But he's seeing someone else?" Chad sat back and put his feet on the table "I thought… I mean, the gift he sent you for Christmas"
"Oh come on not you as well" I groaned "there is nothing between me and Kellan other than we had fun" I was getting a little worn explaining this over and over "How many times have you guys teased me about the friends with benefit thing" I looked at him "We have fun, We HAD fun… but we can't and don't want to try to make a relationship, not when we won't see each other for months on end, I'm on one side of the world with you guys and he's on the other filming" I sank the last of the beer "Damn I just heard how bad that sounds"
"No it doesn't… We all kinda thought you guys were trying to keep it between yourselves" he drank his beer "and we saw the diamonds"
"It was just something sweet a friend giving another friend a gift Damn I sent him a watch he'd drooled over in Rome" I looked at Chad "Doesn't mean I'm marrying him"
"Glad to hear it" he smiled at me "So you think it's okay for a guy to buy diamonds for a friend?"
"Okay I don't know a girl who'd say no to diamonds from anyone" I chuckled it felt good to have talked a little and got some of the crap off my chest "What am I going to do Chad?" I looked at him "I thought I could do all of this… but the bad seems to be outweighing the good right now"
"Things will get better, like I keep telling you. You have to take the bad with the good, people will take the bad and try to destroy you" He sat forward "I've dealt with shit for years now, going into court when I stupidly gave the cops shit for pulling me over, the crap that went down when my ex left me and is still happening" he got up and fetched two more beers and handed one to me "lies about groupies on the bus" he shrugged "Why do you think with you, I had so much fun fucking with the paparazzi" he nudged me with his arm "We controlled it"
"We did screw with them didn't we?" I smirked nodding as I ran my fingers over the neck of the bottle
"Chris we will support you, and we will help keep the wolves from the door" He rubbed my arm "as long as you fight your ass off with us"
"I'm trying… I'm trying to learn from you guys… I feel like some crazy kid that brings nothing but crap to you… you give everything to help and I'm struggling" I admitted "I feel guilty"
"Aw…. Sweetheart, you need to stop worrying. If we weren't willing to deal with the crap we'd cut the contract we'd quit managing you guys" he laughed "Nothing like a good fight to make it feel good… come on you look beat, I'll show you to my… your room" He got up and offered me his hand I linked my fingers with his "Sleep now and tomorrow we'll see what the others have to say about your Mom and then how about I'll take you for dinner"
"You don't hav…" I trailed off as he looked at me
"I know I don't have to, but you're not going to sink I not a hole, you're going to be the you that we all love" he pulled me up the stairs "And you're driving" he laughed before he pushed open a door "There you go, I even made a fire for you" he chuckled pointing to the fireplace in the corner of the room. "Bathroom's through there" he pointed to a half open door to the right "and the bags that were supposed to come here from the airport didn't make it so I've put you one of my t-shirts to sleep in"
"Thank you" I smiled up at him "can I get a hug?"
"Anytime" he wrapped his arms round me and hugged me tight he stroked my hair before he let me go "now get some sleep Chris" he dropped a kiss on my forehead and walked out pulling the door closed behind him………