"Now there's an aching in my back;
a stabbing pain that says I lack,
the common sense and confidence,
to bring an end to promises,
that I make in times of desperate conversation,
hoping my night could be better than theirs in the end.
Just say when.
"
-Jasey Rae by ATL


Chapter 6

My head thumped up against the glass window, causing a loud smack to occur, ringing through my ears. I sighed, "Explain to me why we allowed Jack to drive again?"

Alex laughed and kicked me with his foot, "Just try to sleep, he's too energetic to sleep. I mean, the 3 5-hour energys didn't help too much either."

"So let's use it to our advantage?" I muttered, wrapping the pillow around my head as I tried to drown out "17 years" by Ratatat that Jack was playing in the front of the tour bus.

Yup, tour bus.

We had graduated smoothly, no one failed, and we were officially done with highschool. I mean, it was the end of the freshman year that I met Alex and now almost 3 years later, I'm on tour with him and the boys as we head to the east coast.

"Manwhores and Open Sores Tour," Alex said as he told me the name of the tour they were performing at. "Every Avenue, Mayday Parade and Just Surrender on are tour with us too."

I couldn't believe it.

It kept getting more surreal everyday as I counted down to this date. I mean, I couldn't even process that I was able to go with them.

Even though Alex literally passed out within minutes, I still couldn't fall asleep. Deciding that it was inevitable to do so, I stumbled to my feet and made my way up to the front of the bus where Jack sit driving.

It was night, and he was wearing sunglasses.

I would never understand Jack, but he was adorable none the less. "Hey," I said, plopping down in the passenger seat. "How's the driving?"

"I haven't driven in years!" He said, gripping the steering wheel, "What does this thingy do," he questioned, starting to reach for the emergency brake.

"Jack!" I yelled, reaching for his hand.

He laughed, "Chill out, I was kidding. What's with everyone doubting my ability to be serious?"

"Oh yeah, you serious? That word doesn't exist in your character." I murmured, resting my head back and closing my eyes a little. "So, how do you feel?"

Jack's whole expression softened, and he glanced at me, "This isn't even real for me. Alex and I never thought that us just playing music in Rian's basement would ever amount to something this huge."

I nodded my head, stiffling a yawn.

"You're tired. We'll talk later." He said, reaching for the knob to turn up the volume.

I must have dozed off because I blinked back the haze that had formed over my eyes when I opened them. Suddenly my vision was blocked, and a scruffy looking Alex appeared before my eyes. "Get uppp," he said, shaking me slightly, "we have a sound check for our first show tonight in 2 hours."

I stretched my arms above my head, "What time is it?"

Alex looked at his cell, "Almost 2."

I sat up, "Two!? How late did you plan on letting me sleep?!"

"Until you missed the show," He scoffed, "I tried to wake you up. Jack insisted on throwing you off the bus, but Rian wouldn't allow it."

I mentally thanked Rian for setting the ground rules, but I really didn't want to have a confrontation with...the ground. After Alex shook me once more, I ran to the bathroom to wash my face, and try to look decent. We were in New York for the first day, and it was incredibly hot so I wasn't too concerned with getting all dressed up. After taming my blond, wavy hair, I slipped on dark-wash shorts, and a navy blue tank top with my brown moccasins. I made sure to grab my sunglasses before I walked out of the tour bus.

The sight around me was overwhelming. 3 other tourbuses were parked around us, and just beyond us was a fence that blocked our area off. Probably from the people who were attending the show today. There were flyers taped to the fence, along with banners and posters of all band names.

All Time Low was placed right across the fence straight infront of me, in dark, bold letters and I snapped a picture with my phone. After walking past the tourbuses, I could see the long line that was already forming out the gates. It looked as if a million or more people were here already.

After almost getting lost for a few minutes, I spotted Jack jumping in circles around Zack as Rian was fighting him off with his drumsticks.

"Where's Alex?" I asked, approaching them.

They shook their heads, and continued with their little brawl.

I peeked around the corner, and headed up the stairs to the stage. There he was, sitting on the edge, just looking out at the empty seats.

"Hey," I said, taking a seat down next to him.

He looked over at me, but didn't say anything.

"What's wrong?" I asked, pulling on his arm.

"Oh, nothing. I'm so nervous Cambria." He said bluntly.

I laughed, "You'll do fine. You do shows all the time."

He shot me a look, "Yeah, but this is a tour, it's different."

I didn't want to push it, so I just pushed myself to my feet and walked away from him. I don't get upset over it, Alex gets like this before he performs and I understand. I couldn't even begin to imagine how he feels. I could never just get up there and play infront of thousands of people.

After walking back down the steps, Matt called the boys to the stage to begin their sound check. I sat down on the stairs and listened.

"Cause I got your picture I'm coming with you
Dear Maria, count me in
There's a story at the bottom of this bottle
And I'm the pen
Make it count when I'm the one
Who's selling you out
'Cause it feels like stealing hearts
Calling your name from the crowd
."

That was their song Dear Maria. It was the most popular from their Party Scene album.

It's a funny story, actually. In our Physics class, there was a girl named Maria that we were good friends with. Right after graduating, she told Alex that she was going to become a stripper, and she was dead serious. Alex was amazed, and was like, "I need to write a song about that!" So, he did, and that's her song.

I was a little bummed actually. I mean, what girl doesn't what a song to be written about her. It's udderly cute, and overly cliche but when a guy writes a song about you, you feel a little bit of joy inside that he cares that much about you to put his feelings into music for you. As much as I hate to admit it, I wish he would do that for me.

The sound check went by smoothly, and the brawl between the boys ended after I pulled Jack away. We took a walk, and Jack stuck his hands into his pockets.

"Are you nervous?" I asked, tugging on my bracelet.

He shook his head, "No way, I have nothing to be nervous about with I'm with them, Cambria. If we mess up, we mess up. We'll laugh about it later ya know?"

I agreed, "Yeah, just break a leg okay?"

"Why did you say that! Great," He said, putting his hands out, "I'm going to trip over Zack's bass chord, stumble into Rian's drums, breaking them, and then I'll somehow end up on Alex in a compromising position."

A giggle escaped my lips and he shot a look at me. "And what are you going to do about it then, just laugh at me?"

"You bet, and put it on YouTube," I said bluntly, then quickly gave him a beaming smile.

We went our separate ways, both actually heading back toward the stage. I took a seat in the secluded tent behind it, while the boys set up on stage, the growing crowd going crazy. I sipped my water, and watched as Alex breathed in and out. He was so nervous, and there was nothing I could do about it.

The sun was beating down on me, and the crowd was getting restless. Soon, it was time for them to start, and Jack played a quick guitar riff to signal the starting point of the show.

"Hello Buffalo!" Alex said, running up the edge of the stage, leaning out slightly to become "one with the crowd," as he calls it. "Before we start, say it with me. WE! FUCKING! RULE!"

The crowd repeated after him, "Okay this is Dear Maria!"

Jack stood on the speaker and counted out to the crowd as they began to crowd surf. It was incredible, and my heart began to beat faster inside. What the hell was going on with me?

Alex isn't supposed to capture my heart. He's supposed to be my friend and I'm just a friend of the band, nothing else. But how can you resist a guitarist who writes about real emotions, and doesn't let fame go to his head?

I can't resist, and I'm a horrible person.

Nonetheless, I made my way through the crowd, continuing to record the sight before me. People were crowd surfing all around me and I headed up toward the VIP stage area, where a raised box was located in the center of the crowd where only people were allowed if they had a pass. It was the perfect place for recording and I was able to get a good video of their first tour performance.

As the song ended, everyone went crazy, and I could tell Alex was so incredibly in awe at how everything went down. When everything quieted down, and after I saw the rest of the bands play, I made my way back to the tour bus, completely exhausted.

Alex was passed out on the couch, almost, and Jack was spread out on the floor, texting away on his sidekick.

"What are you doing?" I asked, sitting down next to him.

"Damnit! I fucking ordered my shag carpet and it hasn't been shipped yet!" He said seriously, then burst out laughing.

I smacked him, "So what's going on tonight, any celebration?"

"Of course, after party in the parking lot in," He glanced at the time on his phone, "15 minutes."

"15 minutes?" I exclaimed, "Alex is half dead on the couch, Jack." I sighed, "And wait, where are Rian and Zack?"

He didn't look up from his phone, "Already mingling with the girls they invited I'm sure."

I pushed myself to my feet, and sat next to Alex on the couch, overlapping my legs with his. I shoved him lightly, whispering, "Alex, get up, you're going to sleep while everyone else celebrates?"

He groaned, and pushed me away, "Go."

Not a chance. I grabbed his arm, and persisted on draggging him off of the couch. He was heavy, but I made slight progress as he slid about an inch. Peeking one eye open, he sighed loudly, stretching his arms above him. "Alright, let's go."

Alex and I linked arms as we headed to the white tent where everyone was busy drinking and scrambling around, a mismatch of instruments playing in different areas.

I think I somehow got lost in a mix of being handed cups of liquids, dancing with random strangers, and attempting to play guitar because I began to feel woozy. I'll admit, I have never drank anything alcoholic before in my whole life, and I'm not sure what made me tonight. It could be the celebration of the tour, or maybe I just wanted to fit in with Alex and the boys.

"So," Alex said, wrapping an arm around my shoulder, "Did I tell you how pretty you look?"

He was obviously drunk.

"Alex, cut it out," I said, equally as drunk as I pushed him off me.

Alex ran his hands through his hair in an irritated manner, "Come on, let's go for a walk."

"I dunnoooo..." I drifted off, mentally smacking myself for not being able to grasp what was going on.

Shaking his head, he linked my hand with his, and we walked out of the tent. The air was slightly cold, and I gripped onto my cup in my hand tighter.

Somehow, I don't really remember, but we ended up leaning up against the side of the tour bus, Alex pressing against me. I couldn't read his eyes, and I didn't know whether to push him away, or pull him closer.

Alex chuckled lightly, "You like Cambria, I know it."

Ugh, of course I like you. I'm drunk, and unaware of my actions. I wouldn't remember this in the morning.

"Alex..." I began to say softly, but he pressed his lips to mine, as I placed my palms on his chest. He shivered in response to my touch. I hooked my fingers underneath his shirt and began to pull it off.

"Cambria," He murmured, trying to protest but he didn't.

Alex pulled away from me. He gulped, and hesistantly removed his shirt, exposing a slightly toned torso he'd gained from attempting to work out.

"Wow," I sighed as we somehow made our way up the stairs into the tour bus, standing near the couch, "You're cute..."

God, I hated how flirty of a drunk I would be.

Alex's breath hitched as I began tracing the outlines of his abs with my index finger. My other hand, accidently, brushed against a lower region of his jeans.

"Cambria," He said once again.

Unable to resist, I reached up, threaded my hands through his hair, and pulled his face towards mine.

He was startled, and so was I. I guess we pushed back our worries, and he wrapped his arms around my waist, pulling me plush against his body, kissing me back enthusiastically. As cliche as it is, I swear I felt a shock go through my body.

Our lips moved together in perfect timing, and we headed towards the back of the bus, my knees buckling as I fell back onto the bed. Alex ran the tip of his tongue over my lower lip, requesting entry. Me, not being able to stop it now, happily obliged, parting my lips slightly. His tongue caressed mine, as I moaned into his mouth.

He pulled his lips away from mine, and began to leave kisses down my neck. I ran my hands over his back and around to his abs, enjoying the feel of his muscle pressed against me.

The last thing I remember was hearing him moan my name into my ear, and I was awoken when sunlight forced my eyes to peek open. Sitting up, I felt a sting of pain run through my head and I groaned loudly, opening my eyes fully. As I looked around me, my eyes nearly popped out of my head.

These aren't my blankets.

These aren't my pillows.

This isn't my bed.

Daring to look to my right, there lay Alex, half asleep and shirtless.

"Oh...my...fucking...god," I muttered outloud, smacking my forehead so hard that I winced at the pain caused from a mixture of my self-abuse and being hungover.

Hesistantly, I slowly got out of his bed, and sighed a breath of relief when I realized my clothes were still on, including my jeans.

But I really wasn't too sure what had happened.

Would Alex remember?

"Fuck my life," I said outloud again, not caring anymore about someone hearing me. The door was shut, and I quietly walked over to it, peeking out.

Rian was sleeping on the couch, and Jack was passed out on the floor. Zack was no where in sight, and I was utterly thankful for that. I really didn't know if they realized I was in bed with Alex, and I didn't need a confrontation from them.

Sneaking past them, I walked out of the tour bus and headed outside. Slumping down to my knees, I laid my head in my lap, holding it.

We were apparently in Minnesota now, I was guessing since I didn't recognize my surroundings.

What was I going to do? If I was lucky, Alex would have drank too much to even remember kissing me,...and God knows what else. From what I'm aware of, that's all we did but I couldn't be sure.

And what if he does have the same feelings for me that I have for him? It could have been the drinks talking for him, but isn't there the possibility of being a little truth somewhere mixed in with the Vodka?

I wish I could find the answers.

I felt tears forming at the corners of my eyes, and I didn't bother to stop them as they made their way down my cheeks and onto my shirt. I continued to clutch my head in my hands.

I had fucked up and I knew it.

This was the first time I had drank anything, and I messed up. I never wanted to actually kiss Alex. Atleast, not in that situation. I wanted maybe for it to be a perfect, mutual thing, but it wasn't anywhere near that.

God, I'm an idiot.

He had kissed me back, though. But then again, males aren't exactly known for being able to control their impluses. Things were bound to be awkward for us now. We'd spent nearly 5 years being friends, and then we got drunk, and made a bad decision.

Well, I know I made a bad decision.

My headed shot up as I heard the bus door open, and Rian came hopping down the steps. "What's up?" He said, pushing me with his foot, probably not aware of the tears streaming down my face since I was cleverly concealing it.

I shook my head slightly, and his voice softened as I felt his kneel down next to me. "Cam, what's up?"

"Get me out of this place," I said quietly, "before I cause more damage."

Rian laughed loudly, "Cambria! Don't quote our song lyrics in a time like this when you're a wreck. Wait, this is a good sign."

"Rian, I messed up, badly."

He tilted his head slightly, "What did you do? Drink too much and take advantage of somehow?" He said with a laugh.

"Yes," I confessed, turning his joke into the truth, and I ran back inside before he could even question it.

Locking the door of the bathroom, I turned on the tap and took a good look at myself in the mirror.

Yes, I looked horrible.

I slipped off my clothes, and stepped into the shower. For a few good minutes, I did nothing but stand there, letting the warm water erase my feelings for awhile.

Nothing could erase what had happened though. How could I be so stupid? Why did I leave with him?

After my shower and slipping on clothes, I opened the door slowly, and was greeted by Alex.

I nearly fell backwards into the shower.

He stared at me, rubbing the back of his neck, and winced as he rubbed the side of it. I looked, and there was a hickey there. Oh god, I had given him a hickey.

I could guess that he was reading my emotions on my face, and he grabbed my hand, "Can we talk Cambria?"

Without saying a word, I nodded, and followed him outside. We walked in silence for a few moments, and he stopped suddenly, taking a seat on the hot concrete. I held my knees, not exposing them to the burning sensation.

Alex breathed in and out a few times. "What exactly happened last night?"

"Good question, Alex, I was going to ask you the same thing."

Alex raised an eyebrow, "Well, it didn't mean anything. Just so you know."

My heart fell to my stomach at that instant. Where did that come from? Did I give off the vibe that it meant something to me even though deep down inside I hoped it did. And the way he just said it, like I was just a random girl he had a sort of "one night stand" with.

"Oh...alright then." I shifted uncomfortably. "I agree."

The truth was, I couldn't believe that he had even said that to me. I should be glad, since it wouldn't be awkward I guess, but how can I just be okay with it?

"We just had too much to drink," He said, smiling sheepishly.

I smiled slightly, even though I was shattering inside. Without another word, I got up, and began to walk away as I tucked my hands as deep as I could into my pockets. Tears were pushing their way back into my eyes, and like before, I didn't bother fighting it.

It's not like I could expect it to mean anything to Alex. He's just my friend, and we can't pass that line. I mean, I never admitted it to anyone that I liked him deeply. I never really even admitted it to myself.

Rian was walking out of the bus as I shoved past him. "Cambria!" He yelled after me.

If the circumstances had been any different, I would have stayed and depended on Rian to make it all better for me, but I honestly needed to just get away to clear my head.

And that's what I did.

I made my way from place to place in the venue, hiding myself from everyone's eyes, like the little baby I was. I glanced at my phone, and realized that I had been away from them for almost 4 hours. Rian, Zack, Jack, and...Alex, were supposed to be playing in one hour, and I could hear them doing their next soundcheck in the distance.

I didn't want to see them play.
I couldn't look at Alex.
There was just no way.

As the hour slowly passed, I made my way through the crowd, and felt secure since it was getting dark out. Alex wouldn't be able to spot me in the crowd.

The crowd was chanting, "All Time Low! All Time Low!" and the boys made their way out onto the stage, full of energy. Alex didn't even look effected by what had happened. I guess it really didn't mean that much to him, just like I had assumed.

"Thanks for coming to see us tonight. Without you guys, we would be nothing," Alex began, "But, the first song I want to start with, is a song I actually wrote earlier today that I have been working on dillegently. So bare with me if I mess up."

What was going on?

"The lights out,
I still hear the rain,
These images that fill my head,
Now keep my fingers from making mistakes,
Tell my voice what it takes,
To speak up,
Speak up,
and keep my conscience clean when I wake
."

I had never heard this song before, and how did he manage to write this all today?

"Don't make this easy,
I want you to mean it,
Jasey, say you'll mean it,
You're dressed to kill,
I'm calling you out, don't waste your time on me
."

He didn't...

"Now there's an aching in my back;
a stabbing pain that says I lack,
the common sense and confidence,
to bring an end to promises,
that I make in times of desperate conversation,
hoping my night could be better than theirs in the end.
Just say when
."

What was he trying to say?

"Don't make this easy,
I want you to mean it,
Jasey, say you'll mean it,
You're dressed to kill,
I'm calling you out, don't waste your time on me.
"

My heart was falling again, and my knees were going weak as I tugged frantically on my blond hair.

"I've never told a lie,
and that makes me a liar,
I've never made a bet,
but we gamble with desire,
I've never lit a match,
with intent to start a fire,
but recently the flames,
are getting out of control.
Call me a name,
Kill me with words,
Forget about me,
It's what I deserve,
I was your chance,
to get out of this town,
but I ditched the car,
and left you to
,"

The tears started to fall again.

"Wait outside,
I hope the air will serve to remind you,
that my heart is as cold as the clouds of your breath,
and my words are as timed as the beating in my chest
."

The song ended, and Alex began to talk. "I wrote this song for a girl, and I didn't mean to hurt her, but I care alot for her, and I hope she realizes it."

When I said I wanted a song written about me, I never wanted it to be this type of song. I didn't want to feel like I could cry everytime I heard it, and I didn't want him to actually have to change my name if he were to write a song about me. That's how I knew he didn't really care.


Author's Note:
Sad chapter, sad event. But, don't fear, there will be more. There is also another video to go along with this chapter, go to youtube[dot]com/watch?v=PezxOjkNv-g&feature=related
and watch their live performance of "Dear Maria"! Hope you enjoyed this long chapter, and reviews are appreciated :)