........................ I came out of the bathroom Marie was taking the clothes from Alfie who was talking 100 miles an hour to his sister who was wide eyed as she looked around the wardrobe room.
“Finally we’ve you been… you’ve got people waiting” He smiled reaching for my hand and pulling me out pausing to look at the t-shirt I was wearing “Since when have you been the cute one?”
“Hey I’ve always been the cute one” I smiled I always could rely on my three guys to make me feel better and to make life normal again. Alfie’s sister walked back into the noise filled dressing room I swear it was louder than the entire show, Alfie stopped me and turned me to face him.
“So what did Elena have to say?” his face was filled with worry “We hated she seemed to corner you alone”
“She’s a little pissed about what happened with Chad, but she’s also pissed with Dimitri” I wrapped my arms round myself “You know I hope to god that this all blows over soon, it’s making my head hurt alot”
“It will” he grabbed my shoulders with a big Alfie grin “Now get your ass in there” he pushed me into our dressing room Jess shot off Xander’s lap and wrapped her arms round my waist Squeezing me as hard as she could as Dad got up smiling and walked over.
“I don’t think I can tell you how proud of you I am” he beamed leaning in and kissing my cheek “Wow you’ve grown so much in the past three weeks as a person Chris” his eyes were pooled with tears “I wish your Mom was here to see it” he tipped his head “after everything…”
“Yeah well we both know that’s a long shot” I smiled huggin,. It felt strange. Yes I love my Parents but I felt so estranged from him right now, almost as much as I felt from my Mom all the time. “So Jess what did you think to being onstage?”
“It’s scary” she pulled a face “you do that for fun? You are all crazy” making everyone laugh
“Hell yeah” Kerion called over “And I bet you didn’t know your sister was a pirate did you?” I shot him a look making him laugh more
“Okay I heard that” Marie walked into the room and Gibbs slapped Kerion “There was nothing wrong with her stage costume” she put her hands on her hips
“Well apart from many more corsets and I think my ribs will permanently be realigned” I smirked this was what I needed after the chat with Elena
“What? You want to go and look like anyone else out there Missy or do you want to stand out in the crowd” Marie looked at me “… I know what the Nickelback wants for you and I know what the management wants so trust me and I’m borrowing your little sister” she took Jess’s hand and walked out with her, I looked over Dad’s shoulder to where Xander and Jackson were both standing with Pete talking. I walked over to them Jackson cocked his head to the side and smiled.
“Not too shabby for a hick from Wisconsin” he teased folding his arms over his chest while Xander just smiled
“Well I think there might be a veiled compliment somewhere in there from the super jock” I hugged him “Damn I missed you guys” I put my other arm around Xander and hugged them both tightly.
“School’s a little bit quieter without you guys at the football games” Xander said looking at me “and the halls seem a little less…”
‘Wisconsin filled” Jackson laughed
“Sorry it was either Riverview High or a yearlong tour with Nickelback” I held out my arms weighing them up and down “It was such a tough choice”
“Hey, are we going to go out and party” Alfie grinned “the parents are all going to go crash” he whispered making us all look round.
“Well I’m not going out dressed like this” I smiled “we need to make some sort of effort”
“As long as it’s not your stage stuff we’ll be okay unless it’s your FMB’s” Jackson winked throwing his arm round me again “and we’re not even going to mention Dimitri” Xander Gibbs slapped him as the door opened and Jess walked in wearing almost an identical outfit to the one I’d been wearing on the stage apart from the heels and the inappropriate for a seven year old corset.
“Wow I think we’ve just found your replacement Chris” Kerion called out “Hey Jess you want to travel round the world with us?” she frowned and looked like she was thinking about it
“I can’t I have a gym meet next week” she blinked at him making everyone laugh.
“Marie you’re insane” I chuckled “But she looks cute”
“Yeah well, I thought Jess could take it home with her so when she misses her big sister she can dress up like her and sing in her mirror” Jess turned and hugged Marie.
“We’re going to head out” Alfie’s Mom yawned “You kids have fun and we’ll see you all for breakfast” we said good bye to our families and watched as they walked out contented sighs coming from the guys as it left Jackson, Xander and Alfie’s sister with Kerion and Pete’s brothers.
“Hey Marie you wouldn’t happen to have a little something un-stage like but hot tucked away for me would you?” I asked as the guys all started talking about going out.
“Funnily enough Elena brought back some packages, I’d had on order in the US for all of you guys you have some award shows coming up soon” I raised an eyebrow “Oh right Lukas and Elena hadn’t told you yet” she hung her head “I have Four dresses for you two I know are total red carpet dresses and two I’m not so sure about” she tipped her head and was mentally picturing me in the dresses “Okay I got it” she tugged me behind her and took me to get dressed……
….. “Pink…. I mean I’m not really… I can’t stand… I hate”
“Chris it’s shoes a purse and earrings” she groaned pushing me out of the door as her phone started to ring “I have to get that I think there’s a hot marine wanting phone sex waiting on the other end”
“EW… thanks for the mental picture…” I trailed off as she closed the door I hung my head the dress I was in love with but urghhh…
“Oh god Pink… Chris Pink…?” Pete laughed
“I know Shhhh… come on lets go” I sighed as the others all looked around
“Damn Chris do you normally look this hot now?” Jackson whistled
“Dude that’s my cousin” Xander grumbled “Hey why’s the music stopped?” the sound from the arena had gone
“Probably because the band’s done and the gigs over doofus” Alfie teased.
“You mean Nickelback is back here somewhere?” Jackson squeaked like he hadn’t been through puberty as he looked left and right
“Yeah we’re behind you and in need of a beer” Ryan laughed wiping his face with a towel “Looking good Chris but pink?” they all knew I had an aversion to the color
“Oh not you as well, and if I wasn’t scared what Marie was doing on the phone in there I’d change” I held out my hands
“Pink looks good, Chris you’re a girl” Mike poked his tongue out at me as Jackson stood as wide eyed as Jess was on the stage earlier. “Where you all heading to?”
“The club that’s opposite the hotel” Pete smiled. “We have to have fun with the family and friends right”
“Well you’re Rock stars now so you need to party like them” Ryan nodded.
“I need to talk to you all remember” Lukas and Chad walked over. I swear Jackson was about to hyperventilate when Chad smiled at him
“Shit” Pete groaned “and we thought it was going to be a good night” he muttered making me laugh and link his arm
“It won’t take long and you have a limo to take you out tonight” Lukas smiled “Elena went back to the hotel to make sure your families settled in okay so…” he gestured back toward Nickelback’s dressing room.
“We’ll wait here” Xander said catching Alfie’s arm as we followed the others inside. I sat down on one of the couches.
“Pink Shoes Chris” Lukas cocked his head to the side and frowned
“Dude Shhhh don’t get her started” Kerion nudged him “or we’ll never get out to the club” Lukas nodded as guys were stripping off wet shirts.
“Okay here’s the deal we’ve added seven more gigs to the calendar” Lukas explained as Mike handed him a beer
“Seven how the hell have you managed that” Ryan choked as he sank half a beer
“Because your manager rocks” Lukas laughed taking a bow “This I didn’t think you’d mind” he pulled some papers from his bag and handed then out” Mike looked over my shoulder reading it
“USO?” I looked up
“Yep … I was approached by them to do a couple of shows in Germany when we’re there at the airbase…”
“Ramstein” Pete interjected “My Uncles serving out there” the smile of pride on his face lit the room
“You kept that quiet” Alfie whistled
“Yeah well don’t like to brag about the hero in the family” Pete laughed with a slight shrug
“Okay well we’re still going to do the two shows at the airbase, but we’ve also been asked to do three in Kuwait and two in Afghanistan” he looked round at all of us “I’m talking full shows well minus all the pyro and the ten million roadies we have but both bands… I have to let them know by tomorrow”
“I’m in” I stood up “if all we can do is help them feel a little more relaxed for a few hours then I’m sure it’s the least we can do” I looked round at the others
‘Well I think Chris said it all” Chad smiled “We’re all in”………………….
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