Chapter Twenty-Seven

"So he led me to my bedroom and then kissed me like he had been dying to do – or so he said. It was amazing. He was amazing. I can't believe we waited so long."

"Neither can I," Lorelei muttered without even bothering to look away from the schedules she was looking over. "And the last thing I want to hear about is you and Eric having sex.

Emily grinned and leaned back in her chair. "So nothing has happened on that front?"

Lorelei shot her a dirty look. "No. It's been nearly a month since we talked and nothing has changed."

"Does he still sleep in your bed?" Emily asked with a smile.

Lorelei groaned. She regretted ever having mentioned that to Emily. "Yes, sometimes he shows up after I get home and other times he's already waiting there for me. He doesn't say anything, just takes my hand and leads me to my room."

"So is that why you've hidden in here all night?"

Lorelei sighed and looked at Emily. "Do you want these schedules done or not?"

Emily smiled at Lorelei's obvious annoyance. "It's not a crime to watch the Spins play. I'm pretty sure Jason would actually like it."

"When my schedules are done."

A brief knock on the door was the only warning before Matt and Leo walked in. They both immediately sat down on the couch as if they belonged there.

"Hi Matt, Leo, to what do I owe the pleasure?" Lorelei questioned as Emily slipped out the door.

"It's been a month. We came to check on the Spins," Matt reminded her as he motioned her to come join them.

Lorelei sent a silent prayer out that the Spins had wowed Matt and Leo. She had worked damn hard with them. They had been resistant in the beginning, but when she brought Lennon in and he had pointed out the same weaknesses, they had agreed to some of her suggestions. She just hoped that would be enough.

She took a seat next to Matt and tried to relax. "Right, so what's the verdict?"

Matt grinned, while Leo laughed out loud. "You act like this is going to be horrible. They've really improved," Matt said seriously.

"But was it enough?" she asked.

Leo smiled warmly at her. "More than. Look, the Spins have always been a good band, but they're so much better now. There's no question that they'll go on tour with Decree of Fate."

"I should get them up here, so you can tell them."

"Oh, no. That's your job, Lorelei. You're fully in charge now."

She nodded and resisted the urge to run downstairs. "Well, thank you for giving them the chance to prove just how good they are. This is their dream."

"And how are things with you and Jason?" Matt questioned seriously, catching Lorelei off guard.

She took a deep breath. "Good. Better than expected, but he doesn't trust me."

"And you don't exactly trust him either," Leo pointed out.

"It's just things with Anne and my dad..." she started before trailing off unsure how to explain her thoughts.

"They did what they both thought was best for you," Matt responded. "They both loved you. You know that."

"Yes, but it doesn't change my feelings."

Matt smiled sadly. "You need to decide if Jason's worth the risk. I get the feeling he is."

Lorelei nodded. "We need to talk. I love him, but it's hard."

Matt laughed. "No one said it was easy. Why don't you go tell them the good news?"

Lorelei walked out of her office and was surprised to see Kaitlyn waiting there. Kaitlyn stepped out of the way so Matt and Leo could get pass. They both nodded at her in acknowledgement.

When they were gone, Kaitlyn turned back to Lorelei. "So what now? Are the Spins going on tour?" she asked eagerly.

Lorelei stared at her for a long moment. "Last time I checked, you made it pretty clear that we weren't friends."

Kaitlyn faltered slightly. "Jason said that you guys were back together," she said as if that mere statement explained everything.

"I don't know what Jason and I are," Lorelei admitted with a wave of her hand. "So you're only friends with me if I'm dating Jason?"

Kaitlyn looked away. "That's not what I mean. But you hurt Jason. God, he was so worried about you only to find out that you went to England and crashed in an ex-boyfriend's dorm room."

"What? How do you know that?"

"Drew told Jason. I didn't think it was a secret."

"Fuck. Well, that explains a lot. Just so you know, Iain, my ex in England, is gay and in love with a nice guy named Benji. I may be a bitch, but I wouldn't do that to Jason. Why didn't he say anything?"

"Because it hurt him and he's a bit too proud to let you see how much."

"I'm going to kill Drew."

Kaitlyn didn't say anything for a moment. "Look, I know I was a bitch to you, but ultimately my loyalty is with Jason. When Ash was dating Karen, Jason stuck by me. I owe him that much"

Lorelei nodded in understanding. "Ok. I guess I can understand that."

Kaitlyn smiled faintly. "I guess you and Jason needed to talk."

"That would be a start," Lorelei muttered. "Look, do you mind go getting the Spins? I'll tell them in my office." She motioned to the door behind her.

Kaitlyn nodded after a moment. "Ok." She turned to walk away and quickly turned back. "Oh, Lorelei, I always thought you and Jason were good together. He was happier with you than he was with anyone else, including Paiton. That's part of the reason I was so mad at you."

Lorelei smiled faintly. "Thanks." She turned and headed back into her office. A part of her wanted to get through this meeting and go and kill Drew. She couldn't believe he had told Jason that she went to England to see Iain, leaving out the significant fact that Iain was gay.

"So is it good news?" Ash asked as he entered the room followed by the rest of the band and Kaitlyn. Not for the first time, Lorelei noticed Paiton's absence. She actually hadn't seen much of Paiton in the past month. She knew there was some tension between Hayden and Paiton, but no one had talked about it in front of her.

"Well, you might want to sit down before I say anything."

"Shit," Hayden muttered as everyone claimed a seat on one of the couches.

"Matt and Leo were very impressed," she began slowly.

"Why do I sense a 'but'?" Ash asked with just a hint of dejection.

"No buts," Lorelei assured them. "They just want you to open for Decree of Fate on their tour."

There was a moment of silence as they all processed that bit of information. Then the shouting and cheers erupted. Lorelei stepped back slightly and watched as they all celebrated together. It was plain on their faces how much they had truly wanted this. She couldn't help but regret that she hadn't been there when they had won the Battle of the Bands.

Jason grabbed her suddenly and kissed her as if his life depended on it. Then the kissed morphed slightly and he was kissing her as if it was the only thing he wanted to do for the rest of his life. It made her knees weak and her pulse race. Just when she was quite sure she was going to melt into a pile of goo, he pulled back. "God, I knew there was a reason that I loved you."

Lorelei force a smiled at that. It seemed too flippant for the state of their relationship. "Because I convinced Matt and Leo that you guys should go on tour with the Spins?"

"No, because you backed us and fought for us even when I was giving you every reason not to."

She shrugged. "It had nothing to do with my feelings for you," she said dismissively.

He grinned. "No and that's what I loved. You truly believed in me and the Spins. It didn't matter how badly we treated you."

Lorelei smiled. "Maybe not, but I hear you had a reason to be an ass."

He frowned at that. "What do you mean?"

"Kaitlyn told me that Drew said I went to England to visit my ex-boyfriend and that I was staying in his dorm."

"Oh, that." He stepped back awkwardly. "Yeah."

"My ex, Iain, is gay. He broke up with me to date another guy. Sure, I stayed in his dorm, but he's in what appeared to be a loving relationship with his boyfriend, Benji. I went to England to get away. Not to reunite with my ex. I was scared and confused and I needed Iain to talk to me. He had nothing to gain by telling me what he thought. He told me that I should tell you the truth."

Jason was about to say something, but Ash pulled him away. "Come on, Jace, we need to celebrate." He dragged Jason to the door, but stopped to look back at Lorelei. "You joining us?"

Lorelei couldn't help but smile. They all looked so excited and happy. "No, I have to go clear some things up. Jason, I'll come by tomorrow. I think we need to talk."

Jason nodded and was about to say something when Ash clamped his hand over Jason's mouth. "Just imagine he said something suitably sappy." He turned to leave again, but said over his shoulder, "You might not want to come until the afternoon."

Lorelei smiled at them and nodded. She watched them walk out, before quickly grabbing her purse and stopping by the bar to tell Emily she was leaving. She headed over to Drew's place; she needed an explanation for what he had told Jason.

At his door, she hesitated before using the spare key he had given her. She slowly walked through the door and headed upstairs. She paused at the top of the stairs and was surprised when Drew seemed to quietly walk out of his room, closing the door behind him.

"Drew, what the hell?" she asked, moving to open the door he had just closed.

He groaned quietly, but made no move to stop her. "It's not what it looks like," he said quietly.

Lorelei gave him a disbelieving look as she opened the door. A part of her had expected it. Even after admitting that he loved her, Lorelei had never expected him to remain celibate. This was different though. Tucked into Drew's bed fast asleep was Paiton. Lorelei slowly closed the door and turned to Drew. "Please tell me that you're no sleeping with her."

Drew gave her an annoyed look. "Sorry, but I don't want to get involved with anyone else who's in love with Jason Wilde."

"Then what's she doing here?" Lorelei demanded angrily.

"She showed up on my doorstep totally trashed, saying that she couldn't go home like that. I took her in and put her to bed."

"Jason and Hayden might very well kill you if they find out about this."

"Well, they're not going to find out are they? I don't think Jason would be all that impressed that you showed up at my place in the middle of the night."

"Speaking of Jason, why the hell did you tell him that I was visiting my ex-boyfriend when I was in England?"

Drew rolled his eyes before heading back downstairs."It was the truth."

"Yeah, except you conveniently forgot to mention that Iain is gay."

He shrugged. "I didn't think it was relevant."

"You didn't think it was relevant? That's bullshit! You deliberately left that part out knowing what Jason would think." When Drew didn't say anything, Lorelei wanted to growl in frustration. "But that's just what you wanted, wasn't it? You knew Jason would think I had broken up with him. You're such a bastard!"

Drew spun around to face her. "I love you damn it! You presented me with the perfect opportunity. Jason isn't nearly good enough for you."

"And you are? God, Drew, you tried to seduce my best friend when you were still dating me."

It was an old accusation and she wasn't surprised that Drew ignored it. "He believed me, didn't he? He didn't even know you well enough or trust you enough to know you wouldn't break up with him like that. He picked up with Caroline rather quickly, too."

She sighed tiredly. Sometimes dealing with Drew was just too much. She could list all the things he had done to her and it wouldn't matter. He had his own reasons for doing what he did. "Enough Drew. We're going over the same arguments. I'm sick of this. What gave you the right to do that? Because you love me? That doesn't work for me."

"So what does then?" Drew demanded. "It's what you always wanted, isn't it? You wanted me to love you, to fight for you. Now that I'm willing to do it, you're not interested."

"You're several years too late, Drew. I grew up. I stopped seeing you as my white knight the first time you cheated on me."

"I was young and scared. God, Lor, you were practically family and I took your virginity at James and Lizzie's wake, Then you went back to England before I even had a chance to talk to you."

"Did you somehow manage to forget that you had asked me to be your girlfriend? I said yes, thinking that finally I managed to get you to see me as more than John's daughter. I went back to school and told everyone about my gorgeous boyfriend, who was in this awesome band. Imagine my surprise when one of the girls at school informed me that her older cousin had sex with you the weekend after I left."

Drew didn't say anything for a long moment. "That's how you found out?"

Lorelei took a deep breath and nodded. "That's how I first heard. Of course, I didn't believe her. I called your dad and he told me you were out on a date."

"He never told me you called."

She shrugged and looked away. "I asked him not to. I think he knew I was upset."

"You have to know, Lor that was a crazy time in my life. We were just becoming big and girls were throwing themselves at me. I just went with it."

"And when I came back? And we dated again? What was your excuse then?"

Drew looked away and sighed. "Ok, I get it. I'm an ass. I fucked you over. I wish to god that I could change that."

Lorelei merely shook her head. "I'm going to try and get back together with Jason, if he'll have me. You and I are over Drew. I won't date you again, but I do want to be your friend."

"And if I can't just be your friend?" he asked softly as if he was almost afraid of the answer. She couldn't blame him for that.

"That's all I'm offering. It's your choice, take it or leave it."

He stared at her for so long that a part of her was scared that he was going to tell her that he didn't want her friendship. She wasn't sure she could handle that. "Well, I guess I don't have much of a choice."

She breathed a sigh of relief and wrapped her arms around him. "I do love you Drew, just not the way I did."

He nodded as he pulled away. He glanced upstairs, where Paiton was still sleeping. "Look, can you not say anything about Paiton? Whatever's going on with her, telling Jason and Hayden won't help matters."

"Just don't mess around with her. She's not exactly over Jason."

"Trust me, I'm not interested. I'm just trying to help her out."

Lorelei smiled in appreciation and left. As she drove home she briefly debated going to join Jason at his place, but he was probably totally trashed and it would do no good.

As she pulled in front of her place, she was surprised to see Ash, Jason and Kaitlyn there waiting. She got out of her car and stared at Jason, who was throwing up in the gutter. He wasn't even aware of her presence.

"Fuck. Where the hell have you been?" Ash demanded as he struggled to get to his feet. He looked to only be in slightly better condition than Jason.

Lorelei merely shook her head. "I told you, I had some things to take care of. Besides, I was expecting to see you all tomorrow afternoon," she said, knowing she was trying to avoid mentioning exactly what she had been doing.

"Jason insisted on coming here," Kaitlyn said with a hint in her voice that clearly said that she was ready for bed.

"Taking care of something? What the hell could you possibly be taking care of?" Ash demanded, stepping towards her threateningly.

"I had to talk to Drew," she started to explain, but Ash didn't let her finish.

"Fuck this," Ash muttered and reached down to grab Jason's arm and hauled him to his feet. "Come on, Jace, you're not staying here."

"I told Drew that I wanted to try to make things work with Jason," she said loudly. "I want to be with Jason."

Ash had his arm around Jason's waist, holding most of his weight. Jason looked to be on the verge of passing out. "I want to believe you, but-"

"Look, come up to my apartment. You guys can crash on my futon," Lorelei said, cutting him off. "Kaitlyn, you look ready to crash and Ash, you're in no shape to drive. You'll see that I'm not going to hurt Jason or take advantage of him."

Ash seemed to consider her suggestion, but Kaitlyn spoke first, "Thanks Lorelei. That would be great." She motioned for Lorelei to lead the way.

As she led them into her apartment, she felt slightly nervous. She knew it was small, especially considering how much money she had. She just hated moving. Besides, this was her first place and she had grown attached to it. "Uh, just put Jason on my bed and I'll grab some sheets for the futon."

"Don't worry about sheets," Kaitlyn said through a yawn. "We just need a blanket and some pillows."

Lorelei grinned and walked over to her closet. She pulled out the blankets and extra pillows and handed them over to Kaitlyn, who managed to pull out the futon. "Feel free to anything in the fridge I'm going to go get Jason cleaned up and in bed."

"Thanks again," Kaitlyn said with a smile. "We'll try not to be here when you guys wake up. You and Jason really need to sort things out."

Lorelei smiled and nodded. She walked over to her bed and stared down at Jason. He slowly opened his eyes and grinned at her. "Lorelei," he breathed, reaching up for her.

"Come on, Jason, we need to get you cleaned up." She extended her hand and carefully helped him up. He leaned heavily on her as she helped him to the bathroom. She set him down on the toilet and handed him a glass of water. "Drink this."

He did so obediently and then held it out for her to take. "Please, just let me go to sleep. I just need sleep, Lor."

She smiled down at him as she pulled off his t-shirt. "Help me out here, Jason. The sooner I get you out of your clothes, the sooner you can go to sleep."

He struggled out of his pants and then leaned his head against the wall. "I didn't want to go to bed alone," he muttered as she pulled him to his feet and handed him some mouthwash. "I shouldn't have come." He rinsed his mouth out and then stumbled his way over to her bed. "I'm sorry, Lorelei, I just don't know how to be without you."

She watched him from the door of her bathroom and sighed. She walked over and sank down next to him. "I'm not mad. Just tired. Go to sleep."

She got up to change into her pjs. He turned to look at her. "Aren't you going to join me?"

She glanced back at him and smiled. "Yes, I just need to get changed."

About five minutes later she slid into bed. He immediately wrapped his arm around her waist and pulled her back against his body. "I love you," he murmured against her neck.

"I love you too," she said just loud enough for him to hear. His arm tightened around her in response.

A loud groan woke her up, Lorelei turned to see Jason sitting on the side of her bed, clutching his head. "I drank too much last night," he said into his hands.

Lorelei reached out and lightly touched his shoulder. "Are you going to be ok?"

He didn't say anything for a moment and then got to his feet. "Sorry. I shouldn't have come here last night." He went into the bathroom and closed the door behind him.

She laid back down on the bed and waited for him to come back. When he did, he was fully dressed and showered. He hesitated at the foot of her bed. "Can we talk?" she asked hesitantly.

"About what?"

"Us, our relationship. What we are. Because I don't know how much longer I can do this. We're sharing a bed and that's pretty much it."

"And you want more?" he said slowly, making it seem as if he was surprised.

"Jason, I'm not sure that we're dating."

He shifted nervously on his feet. "Do you want to?"

She managed not to groan in frustration. "If I wanted someone to warm my bed, I could pick up any guy at the bar. I don't want that. I want you and I want a real relationship where we talk."

"And what happens the next time it gets too serious for you? Are you going to take off again?"

"I hope not, but I can't make any promises. Anymore than you can promise that you won't leave me. I love you and at some point you have to trust that and me."

"And what about Drew?"

"Drew's a good friend, but that's all he'll ever be to me. I can't cut him out of my life though. No more than you could cut Paiton out of yours."

"So that's it?"

Lorelei stiffened at his tone. "I love you and I want to be with you. I don't know what more you could want. I can't change who I am. Sorry."

Jason sighed and sank down on the bed again. "I don't expect you to. I just want more then you're willing to give, I guess."

"What do you want Jason?" she asked, hating the fact that she sounded so defeated.

"I want to be with you and only you. I don't want to have to compete with Drew for your attention. I seriously think I could spend the rest of my life with you. I love you and I want you to be happy being with me. I'm not sure you're ready for that."

She stared at him in disbelief. She had never expected him to say that. He was right that she wasn't ready. Not yet.

Author's Note: I want to thank everyone who reviewed and marked this story as a favourite or for alerts. I am sorry it has taken so long to update this. I honestly had this chapter written before I posted my last chapter, so there is no excuse. I hope to finish this by the end of the year. Feel free to harass me if I don't.