My name is Charlotte. Most of you know me as Charlie. In my life, especially the past few years, I have made some decisions that were extraordinarily wrong, ended up demonizing me, and in the process, hurt the people I loved the most.
If you don't know me, which is very unlikely, let me introduce myself. I am the girl that accepted money to become part of three brothers' lives for the sole purpose of destroying the band they worked so hard for.
I am the reason the Jonas Brothers split up for the final time.
This is my side of the story. You don't have to believe anything I say. If that is the case, please know I do not blame you at all, but this is nothing but the full-on, blatant truth.
Jonas Brothers, Jonas Brothers > Family, Jonas Brothers > Friendship, Jonas Brothers > Adventure, Jonas Brothers > Drama, Jonas Brothers > Humor, Jonas Brothers > Romance Characters:
Alena Jonas, Danielle Jonas, Denise Jonas, Frankie Jonas, Greg Garbowsky, Joe Jonas, Kevin Jonas, Nick Jonas, O/c Character, Paul Jonas, Priyanka Chopra, Sophie Turner, Valentina Jonas
Hey everyone! This story's timeline is based on the Happiness Begins Tour, with some adjustments. It was written while the tour was happening, so quite a while ago now. Sorry for any plotholes or grammar issues. I'll do my best to edit as I go. I hope you enjoy it! :)
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
1. Prologue by alluringlady
2. Chapter 1. Logistics by alluringlady
3. Chapter 2. Meeting the Boys by alluringlady
4. Chapter 3. Come Out to Play by alluringlady
5. Chapter 4. Reycled Advice by alluringlady
6. Chapter 5. A 40-Year-Old Man Tale by alluringlady
7. Chapter 6. Kiss-ginity by alluringlady
I don't have the actual statistics but I'm pretty sure a large portion of people at some point wanted to be rich and famous stars. The luxury, the love and the lifestyle that came with doing something you love is a dream everyone had at some point, myself included.
I grew up in Naples, a small city in Florida. Mostly a retirement community. Doesn't sound like the best city to become rich and famous, does it? All I had growing up was my mom. My dad passed when I was 4 years old after losing a long battle to cancer. Leukemia. I don't really remember him, all I have are some induced memories from watching old videos and pictures. That's all.
It is not an exaggeration when I say I had the best mom ever. She was kind, loving and always supportive of me and my dreams. She paid for dance, acting and singing lessons so I could become the star I had always wanted to be. For most of my teenage years, I was completely obsessed with the idea of being a Hollywood star and my mom always told me she was sure I would be. I did some commercials and small presentations in my town, but that was it.
After graduating high school, my mom decided I needed to move to Los Angeles if I wanted to make it. After a lot of debating and working out the logistics, I agreed to go on my own under the promise that she would join me next year.
Hollywood here I went! Land some jobs, get recognized and then I'd be what I always wanted to be, right? But just like that, five years passed. I was 23 and struggling. Every day, I lied to my mom about auditions and gigs when I was actually working as a waitress in a chain restaurant. It was extremely hard. I kept sending my demo to labels, but heard nothing back. My salary barely covered the bills, and my credit cards were still maxed out from recording my demo.
I remember that night. January 22nd, 2018. I was eating dinner with my roommate, Anna, when I received a call from the producer who helped out with my demo, who had also been giving it out to record labels.
"Charlie!" Robbie greeted me cheerfully on the other line.
"Hi JR," I answered nervously. "Please have some good news."
What he said made my eyes shoot open and almost throw up my dinner.
"I heard back from Gina, Don Grant's assistant," he fell silent. I waited. "From Universal Music Group!" he clarified.
I opened my mouth to say something, anything, but nothing came out of me. I stared at Anna in utter shock.
"Charlotte! You there?"
"Y-yeah.." I managed to mumble.
"Anyway, she said Don loved your work, and wants to meet you on Thursday at 10 AM. But it has to be just you. Clear your damn schedule."
"Okay, thank you so much." I said shakily before hanging up.
I don't know how much time passed before Anna started to shake me back into consciousness.
"Charlie! What the hell?" She scanned my face worried. "What happened?!"
"I got an interview with Don Grant from Universal Music Group." I said softly before repeating it again. "I got an interview with Don Grant from Universal Music Group!" I yelled loudly. Anna and I both squealed simultaneously.
"My friend is going to be famous!" Anna said excitedly as our wine glasses clinked.
This was truly a reason for celebration.
I honestly have no idea how I managed to make it until Thursday, because I barely had any sleep at all. This was it. This was my shot and it was right in my hands. I spent every day fantasizing about the meeting and how great it would go.
Thursday came and I had been sitting in front of the building since 9AM.
"So, are we clear?" JR asked on the other line. We went over every possible question they could ask and the acceptable answer at least a million times.
I nodded. "God, my hands are sweating." I said nervously as I wiped them on my pants.
"You'll be fine, just remember to be clear with what you want," he stated. "Go get 'em!" And with that, I stepped out of the car.
I made it to the fifth floor, my heels clicking with every step.
"Excuse me," I stopped a lady in a business outfit.
"At the end of the hall." She answered without looking up or stopping.
Awkwardly, I followed her instructions and walked into a glass door. There was a pretty young woman sitting behind a desk. She seemed to be pretty occupied with whatever was on her screen.
"Hi," I said softly to avoid startling her. "Are you Gina?"
"Yes, I am," she looked up, her bright green eyes staring at mine behind her glasses. "How can I be of assistance?"
"My name is Charlotte. I'm here to see Don Grant." I said nervously.
"Oh," she nodded knowingly. "Welcome." She said in a warm tone.
Gina went into the office with his name on a gold plate and came back a few seconds after. "Have a seat, he'll be right with you."
I complied, and waited for what seemed like forever. I was lost in thought while nervously playing with my hands when Gina's voice snapped me back into reality.
"He's waiting for you now."
My legs felt like jelly when I stood up. I carefully walked into the office, taking small breaths to calm myself down.
Don was a relatively young man. White man probably in his 40s. He was wearing a suit that looked like it cost more than everything I owned.
He smiled excitedly as soon as I walked in, which made me feel more at ease at the moment.
"Charlie!" He exclaimed as he stood up and extended his hand to me. "I hope you didn't wait too long out there!"
"Good morning, Mr. Grant," I greeted him. "No, not at all." I assured him as we both sat down.
"Look Charlie, I know this must be very nervewracking for you, and I'm a very busy man" He reclined back in his chair. "So, why don't we just get straight to business?"
I nodded in agreement, unable to say anything else before he continued.
He pulled a few sheets of paper from his drawer and slapped one into the desk. It was a picture and I recognized who it was right away.
"Taylor Swift," he clarified before slapping another one.
"Rihanna," and another one.
"Lana Del Rey."
He looked at me. "You've probably heard of these fantastic women," I nodded again before he continued. "All of their success started right here." He said as he tapped his desk. "I want to do the same for you." Now he was pointing at me. I swallowed. "I love your work! You're phenomenal." He exclaimed before continuing. "But nothing good in life comes easy, does it?"
"Thank you, sir." I smiled. "I completely agree. I am willing to put in the work and do whatever it takes."
"Great!" He laughed almost maniacally. "Now, let's continue playing, shall we?"
He slapped three other pictures onto the desk. "Joe, Nick, and Kevin" he pointed at their faces individually. "The Jonas Brothers." He announced with satisfaction. "I made them too, you know," he smirked proudly.
"The three little musketeers are everything to the label right now," he sighed dramatically. "When they decided to come back, we didn't think they would be successful. I mean, would young adults care about their dumb 13-year-old crushes?" He raised an eyebrow at me, now rocking in his chair.
"Except they were," he continued. "Turns out those adults are as dumb now as they were when they were 13." He huffed in disbelief. "You must be thinking that's great for the label. Well, yeah! The only problem is that out of our assumption, we negotiated a deal that is no longer... viable, you know?" He explained.
I furrowed my eyebrows in confusion. I was having trouble understanding what that had to do with me. I opened my mouth to speak, but he beat me to it.
"I know you're new to this business and your beautiful heart is filled with pure intentions," he said with a baffling tone. "But if you want to make it, you have to get your hands dirty." He was serious now. "Like you said, do whatever it takes."
I was starting to get anxious now. My heart was pounding in my chest.
"We need a deal that works for us, but they're in control now because we need them. The only way that'll change is if they're hit by the bad press storm. Scandal after scandal, all their secrets out in the open like Pandora's box." He explained. "And you, my dear, are the key element to my plan." The smile on his face was absolutely evil.
He must've saw the look of horror in my face, because he quickly continued.
"I just need one pretty lady to infiltrate herself into their lives. Spend time with them, make them trust you, get the details about their personal life, participate in one or two scandals, report back to me and voila!" He clapped his hands once, startling me. "You'll be as famous as you'll always wanted to be, and I'll get my precious deal!" He stood up, buttoning his suit. "And the best part is, I'll pay you to do all this. $5,000 a month. Plus a $10,000 hiring bonus. Just imagine getting paid that amount of money to be living every girl's dream." And with that he fell silently, looking at me expectantly.
I didn't rehearse this with JR. It all seemed straight out of a movie! "Sir, with all due respect, I don't think I'm the person for this."
He laughed. "Yes, yes you are dear," he nodded. "I've been looking into you, y'know..." he circled the desk as he spoke. "Small-town girl, beautiful beyond belief, moved to LA to be a star but ended up as a waitress at Outback while you lie to your mom, what was it, Carla?" He rubbed his chin, sitting down in the chair next to mine.
"You lie to her about getting gigs and all that fuzz, but in reality, you're struggling. And Charlie," he lowered his voice in a pitiful tone. "She's struggling too. Turns out you're not the only one who's been lying. Your mom has been unemployed for a year living off government checks. Just imagine what she has been going through." He clutched his chest for emphasis. "But now you have the opportunity to change it all, for her and for you. Your only worry from now on will be using your charm to get those boys to trust you, and I will take care of the rest."
By now, my legs were shaking. Don was back on his chair, looking at me with knowing eyes. Man, he did think this through.
"I.." I breathed out. "I can't." I shook my head, shocked from everything I had just heard.
"Think about it, Charlie. Sold out arenas filled with people chanting your name, world tours, interviews, platinum albums... worry-free mom. It could all be yours." He raised his eyebrows, playing with his pen. "Only if you're willing to do whatever it takes."
Hey everyone! If you're here, thank you for reading. I wrote this story a while ago and adapted it to the Happiness Begins era. I find that the characters are not as likable as I originally thought I made them out to be, so sorry about that. Regardless, it is a story I enjoyed writing (which I hadn't done in a while) so I wanted to share to see if others would enjoy it as well. Please let me know what you think and if you would like it to continue!
P.S. Sorry about any grammar mistakes, trying my best to edit through them. :)
Chapter 1. Logistics by alluringlady
Chapter 1. Logistics
That night after I came home from my shift, I called my mom.
"Hi, sweetie!" She answered. How could she be lying when she always sounded this happy?
"Mom," I breathed out, on the verge of tears. "Did you lose your job?"
The line fell silent for a couple of seconds before I heard her sigh.
"Yes," she said, defeated. "But I'm fine, Charlie. I'm getting help from the government and I'm actually thinking of selling the house. It feels too big for me now."
"Why didn't you tell me?" I sobbed to her.
"Oh, Charlie baby, don't cry." She comforted me in a warm tone. "I just didn't want to worry you. You're doing so well. I know you're going to be big and this will just be a bad patch in a road full of success."
My heart sank as I pulled the check Don gave me out of my purse. Did I have a choice at this point? I felt so guilty, so desperate, and so powerless.
"Yes," I grimaced. "You just should've told me. I would've found a way to help you."
"Hush, I'm so sorry for lying to you but please don't worry about me," Mom warned. "Focus on yourself. I'm doing fine, Charlie." She reassured. "On a brighter note, how did the meeting go?"
I waited a few seconds to answer.
"Great." I faked enthusiasm. "I actually got a gig I'm excited for! Mr. Grant says it'll help as headstart before our actual deal, and the pay is great."
"Charlie!" Mom cheered. "Oh, dear! That's amazing!"
I blinked my tears away. "I'll transfer some money into your account tomorrow. They gave me a bonus and I want to help out, mom."
"Mom, it's $10,000. I can afford it."
I heard her gasp. "W-what? Charlie!" She laughed in disbelief.
"Exactly. I'll call you tomorrow, okay? I love you."
"I love you, sweetie. Congrats! I'm so proud of you." I swallowed in order to hold back from bursting out in tears. Oh, mom, if only you knew.
"Say hi to Anna for me." And with that, she hung up.
As soon as the line disconnected, I started sobbing into my pillow until I fell asleep. I really thought today would be the happiest day of my life, but instead I got to feel dirty, guilty and ashamed. I was nothing but a puppet.
When I woke up that morning, something had clicked in me. If I wanted to make it in this industry, I needed to get my hands dirty. Probably Taylor, Rihanna and Lana did too. And I wanted this. God knows I wanted it. This was a job like any other, so I would go in, do what I had to do, and get the hell out to start living my dream. Or at least that's what I thought at the time.
So, I stopped feeling sorry for myself and called Don at his personal number that morning.
"Well, well, well..." he picked up, "Good morning, Charlie." He greeted me knowingly.
"I'll do it." I blurted out.
After a moment, his voice came on the line again. "Meet me at my office at 12. Did you tell your friends what I told you to say?"
"Great, see you later." He hung up.
I walked out of my room to find Anna making breakfast.
"Morning, sunshine!" What was it with everyone being a rainbow on steroids today?
"Morning." I answered as I sat down on the coffee table.
She placed a plate of pancakes in front of me before sitting down. We were silent a few seconds.
"So, are you going to take the job?!" She finally bursted out. I was expecting that.
"Yes, I am." I smiled at her as I poured myself a cup of coffee.
"Charlie!" She stood up to hug me. "Don't forget me when you're famous."
I rolled my eyes. "I am so ready to forget you."
"Oh pleaf, you can't lif withouf me." She said as she stuffed an entire pancake in her mouth.
I laughed in disgust and proceeded to eat my breakfast, suddenly feeling at ease again.
That is until of course, I had Don sitting in front of me again about to begin explaining the logistics of this scheme of his.
"Okay so, we will go over everything that is in this contract. Someone else is going to be working with you. She's their personal assistant and has been for years. You'll come into the tour as an intern. Her shadow, which means a lot of time with them, and she'll facilitate that too. Her name is Felicia Culotta." He explained.
"Your job is to spend time with them and make the most out of it. Get their dirty laundry, and we expect you to collaborate in the creation of situations that can make the headlines in a non-pleasant way, but don't worry, we will assist you with that. The tour lasts a year, so you have an entire year to become their best friend, especially Nick and Joe because they hold most of the public's attention. Clear so far?" He asked, raising an eyebrow at me.
"Why doesn't she do it?" I asked, referring to their personal assistant.
He shrugged. "Because you're lower risk."
"You have to leave your feelings out of this. You don't share details about your personal life, and I don't believe I need to tell you you're not to say a word about this to anyone." He warned.
"What if I take you to the police?" I asked nonchalantly.
"Do it," he replied in the same tone. "And enjoy being a waitress for the rest of your life while your mom starves to death."
I didn't answer, which was his cue to continue.
"You'll get paid on the 1st of every month. Use it however you find fit. Any money you're forced to spend that is related to the work you're going to be doing, I'll cover it. Just e-mail me the receipt. All that I explained today is in writing on your new email inbox. I created emails for us to communicate through and you'll also have a cellphone that you'll use to explicitly talk to me and Felicia about this. Absolutely no one except her is to read it. Here is where you'll receive instructions and pass on information." He pulled a BlackBerry from his drawer and set it on the table.
"If you have any questions, you call, email or text me here at any time and I'll tell you what to do. Keep it in a safe space where no one will have access to it. You'll receive another work phone for your internship. You can use your normal phone for other matters. Understood?"
I nodded again.
"We are going to meet again down the road. When that happens, we do not know nor have we ever seen each other. Is that clear?"
"Any questions before you sign?"
I looked at the paperwork in front of me, my heart feeling heavy in my chest.
"What if we get caught?" I asked.
"We won't." He answered, sounding annoyed. "It will only go wrong if you don't follow my instructions. If by any chance we get discovered because of something you did, I will demand a refund for the money I've paid you in full. Effective immediately." He said dangerously. "If it is mine or Felicia's fault, which is very unlikely to happen, you don't need to worry about it. I'm a very powerful man, Charlie."
I nodded again. "And this all looks legal here?" I motioned to the contract in front of me, skeptic.
"Read it." He demanded.
Section IV. If the job ends up failing naturally (i.e., unable to build relationship) despite following instructions, the job will be deemed as terminated and THE EMPLOYEE will receive the benefits stated in this contract.
I don't know how, but it did look legal. After reading it, I signed. And that's how it all started.
Chapter 2. Meeting the Boys by alluringlady
Chapter 2. Meeting the Boys
The following month was spent between training to get to know the profile of each brother and spending as much time as I could with Anna and my mom before leaving for tour.
Keeping up with the façade became easier the more I started to believe this was a job like any other. And quite frankly, I would've done just about anything to see my mom so stress-free and happy as she was at that moment.
The night before the first flight I decided to stay with my mom in Naples. I would barely see her for the next year, so we decided to spend as much as we could together, and Don's check allowed us to do so. We paid for flights back and forth, dinners, lunches, and other mom-daughter plans.
That night, we slept on the same bed.
My mom gently brushed a strand of my hair away from my face, her eyes meeting mine. "It's normal to be nervous, Charlie," she gave me a soft smile. "But remember how much you want this and how hard you've worked. This is just the start of everything you've ever wanted."
"I'm going to miss you, mom." I quickly blinked away tears.
"Me too, sweetie. But remember, wherever you are, mommy will always be here. And she'll always be proud of you." She pulled me in for a hug, and the last thing I remember from that night is falling asleep to her caressing my hair.
After a tearful goodbye, I was in the car Don had sent to pick me up and take me to the airport to New York, which was the last rehearsal spot. The crew was already gathered at a hotel to take off tomorrow.
As I sat on the plane, I took the opportunity to read up on the boys again. I pulled out my BlackBerry and started to read the email.
Nick was married to Priyanka Chopra, an Indian actress. He was apparently the bitchiest one of them all. Broke up the band, then got it back together. Youngest one. The most committed to music.
Joe was the laid-back one. Engaged to Sophie Turner, English actress, on very serious terms. Liked making jokes, hanging out and just being relaxed in general. Tour life tended to be especially tough on him.
Kevin, the nice one. Married to Danielle Jonas, the plain Jane next door. Had two daughters. Oldest one. His main priority was his family, since he was never the most successful band member.
Apparently, their partners would be on tour at least the first few dates. I was instructed by Don and Felicia to take it slow during the first month or so. To genuinely get to know them and the crew so it wouldn't be suspicious.
When the plane landed in New York, there was another car waiting for me outside the airport. I was due to arrive just in time for the last crew meeting before the first date on the calendar. They were staying at the Trump International Hotel and Tower, which is apparently where they always stay individually and as a band when in New York.
I arrived at the hotel and there were a quite a few fans hanging outside in hopes to see them, I imagine. I thought about Don's words about living every girl's dream. I wonder if any of the girls out there would've accepted a job like this in order to be close to the Jonas Brothers.
As I made my way into the entrance of the hotel, Felicia was already waiting in the lobby to meet me.
"Hi, Charlie," she extended her hand. "It's great to finally meet you."
I took her hand. "Likewise."
"Follow me, I'll give you a brief explanation of how things work around here."
She started walking towards the elevator and I followed her step.
"Entertainment Logistics is a very organized and controlled space. What differentiates it from regular logistics is the lack of room for delays, damage or errors in scheduling. Every single part of the process is key to the show." she explained as she walked.
"The bigger the act, the longer the process. The Jonas Brothers, as you know, are a very big act." She continued, "We travel with our own audio, lighting, video, maintenance, & even catering equipment. The stage sets also need to be built, dismantled, packed & transported from venue to venue." I listened intently as we walked into the elevator.
"But that's not what we're here for." She smiled at me knowingly as soon as the doors closed. "My job here is to look after the boys. Keep track of their agenda, make sure their activities get done, and attend to their personal requests."
"Each morning, I wake up the boys at 8 AM before the initial meeting, where we discuss that day's agenda over breakfast." I kept my eyes fixated on the red numbers changing on the elevator screen as I listened. "I discuss every possible thing that could come up at an interview, or a meeting, and remind them of the purpose of that particular activity. It could vary from a range of things from publicity to clearing up a particular topic. You name it."
The doors opened on the 12th floor and she immediately walked out. I followed.
"As an intern, you'll be expected to fulfill my duties partially as well as accompany me and the boys to our activities." We walked through two big wooden doors that read Trump Executive Boardroom.
"When touring, the boys have a strict schedule and there is no room for errors or delays. We take every measure possible to assure that happens. That includes no alcohol before a concert, and a bed time. 11PM. They specifically asked for this on their agreement terms because things went south quickly on their last tour. What they do after bed time is none of our business, but we have to make sure they're all in their rooms at that time. Understood?" She stopped to look at me.
"Understood." I answered diligently.
"Okay, let's meet the crew." She opened another door at the end of the hall.
It was a relatively big room. A meeting room. Sophisticated decor indeed. There were large windows surrounding the room which were covered by beige curtains, matching the color of the walls. In the center of the room, there was a 14-seat wooden table. A blue centerpiece arrangement gave the room some color. All of the seats were taken, except two. Ours, I assumed.
Head of the table was occupied by Phil McIntyre, the boys' manager. The next three seats to his left were taken by Nick, Kevin and Joe, in that order. Next to them John Taylor was seated. Around the rest of the table were other people I didn't recognize at the time but soon learned their names after Felicia introduced me.
I felt more nervous than I had ever been since I accepted the deal. I was there. They were there. It was all real now. Shaking each of their hands, I felt guilty as ever. The meeting was filled with pep talk and other administrative topics more than anything, and while Felicia took notes of everything, I was completely spaced out thinking about my mom and what she would say if she found out about any of this.
That night, we didn't interact much although they were friendly enough to say hi after the meeting was done.
I was standing close to Felicia, who was engaged in a conversation with Mr. McIntyre, when I saw them approach me.
"Hey," Joe was the first one to speak. He shook my hand again. "Thanks for accepting the internship."
"Yeah, tours are complicated and every help we can get is highly appreciated." Kevin followed.
Nick just nodded in agreement.
"Thank you, guys. I'm grateful for the opportunity." I smiled at them.
"How long have you been in the show biz?" Nick spoke up this time.
"Oh, uh, for a while now." That technically wasn't a lie.
"Cool, who have you worked for?" Kevin asked.
"Uh.. all types of artists." I stuttered nervously. "Very big and famous ones!" I nodded, trying to convince myself more than them as I cursed myself mentally. Great, now they think their new intern is stupid.
They smiled awkwardly, and before they could ask any questions, Felicia stepped in. She handed me an iPad.
"Boys, tomorrow is a busy day. Show day. You know what that means." They all sighed annoyingly.
"You must know by now Fel is our babysitter." Joe raised his eyebrows sarcastically.
Felicia forced a smiled at him. "We've been over this. So, your bags are already in your rooms. Sophie, Priyanka and Dani's flight is delayed, but they should be arriving later tonight. I have some things to go over with Phil so Charlie will take you to your rooms." She turned to me now. "Here are their rooms." She pulled it up on the iPad.
"We can find them ourselves. Charlie must be exhausted." Nick looked at me pleadingly.
"Very smart." She faked a laugh. "She's fine. Now go."
We were all headed towards the door before Felicia called my name which made us all turn around.
"Charlie, your things are in your room too. You have the information over there as well." She motioned towards the iPad and I nodded before heading out.
Turns out their rooms were all next to each other on level 34 and I was only three doors away. How convenient. Nick's room was the first one. After a quick thank you, we walked to Kevin's next. It had two beds. Joe joked about him getting the biggest room, when his was just as big.
"So, do you need anything?" I asked before heading out. Truth is, I was exhausted and unsure about how to do any of this.
Joe was already by the large window at the end of his room, taking a peak outside. He walked towards the bed and threw himself on it.
"A drink." He smirked at me, raising an eyebrow.
"Trying to get me fired on my first day, I see." I said with a laugh.
"Right, I forgot you're our Junior Babysitter." He chuckled as he stared at the ceiling.
I went to say goodnight before he spoke again.
"This is madness." He said, lost in thought. "I didn't think we would be touring again, yet here we are. Tomorrow's show has been sold out for weeks. It's crazy." At this point, I figured he was talking to himself more than he was talking to me.
"But that's good, isn't it?"
He grimaced and fell silent for a moment. "I guess so."
"Hey, it's okay to be nervous." I gripped the doorknob behind me, smiling sadly at him as my mom's words came back to me. "Just think about all the reasons why you decided to be here again. Grip onto them."
"You're right," he sat up and returned the smile. "That's definitely something to think about."
I nodded once. "Goodnight, Mr. Jonas."
"You'll have a hard time referring to me and my brothers as that." He chuckled. "It's Joe."
I nodded again. "Goodnight, Joe."
"Night, Charlie. Thanks."
After walking out and closing the door behind me, I let out a long sigh. It felt like I had been holding my breath the entire time I was in there.
I walked into my room and checked my phone. Messages from Ana and my mom were displayed in the notification screen. I pulled out the BlackBerry next.
"All good?" Don's text read.
Of course not, you insufferable bastard. "All good." I replied before heading for the shower.
Chapter 3. Come Out to Play by alluringlady
Chapter 3. Come Out to Play
Two weeks had passed since tour had started. Joe was right about one thing: it was madness. Things so simple as getting out of the car to the venue were turned into extreme sports due to the fans. M&Gs were crazy too. Each of those fans looked like their entire life had been made by just taking a look at them from up close. They wanted so desperately to be part of their lives. Even I got asked for pictures more than a few times. I was fascinated by all of it. If anything, it allowed me to become more motivated in getting close to the boys in hopes to have this for myself one day.
As for me, I found it to be easy to be around them. Don was right, we would be forced to spend a lot of time together. I made an effort to talk to them while we were on the flights, or backstage. Soon, they were initiating conversations with me too. Joe and I got along better than the rest.
The day it all began to change at a fast pace was in Toronto. Things were particularly tense in the crew because Phil told Priyanka, and in consequence Sophie and Danielle, that it's best if they went home. According to him, they were distracting to the boys, which wasn’t true. The real reason was because Nick and Priyanka wouldn't stop arguing with each other, which made Nick more irritable than usual. The boys were frustrated, and so was Phil. The rest of us were just collateral damage.
That night, the show ended early. They gave the fans an excuse about production error, but it was actually because Nick left the venue during change time.
I asked Felicia if I should share that information with Don, but she made sure I knew no information was to be passed until a month passed.
I was on the phone with Anna that night when I heard a knock on my door. I looked at the clock, it was 1:32 AM.
"Anna," I interrupted her. "I'll call you back." Before she could say anything, I hung up.
I opened the door to find Joe standing in front of me in a black shirt and a leather jacket. I furrowed my eyebrows when I saw him fully dressed.
"Did something happen?" I asked, confused.
"No, we're just going to head out with the guys. Do you wanna come?"
My eyes opened in surprise and horror. "You can't. Felicia will kill you!" I whispered.
He huffed. "Uh oh," he placed the back of his hand on my forehead. "Yup, Fel fever. She's definitely got you under her claws, which is why you should come out and have a drink with us. Doctor’s order." He chuckled. "Seriously, don't worry about her."
I was silent for a moment. I really didn't want to, but I had to. "I'm not dressed." I finally answered.
"Well, get dressed. I'll wait for you." Joe walked past me and into my room. Okay, then. He sat on the couch and his attention focused on his phone.
I awkwardly took some clothes out of my suitcase, all too aware of his presence in my room. "Is Nick going?" I finally asked, to break the unbearable silence in which he seemed comfortable in.
I walked into the bathroom to change and do my makeup. I didn't fully close the door so I could hear Joe.
"Yeah, he's the one that wanted to come out in the first place." I heard him answer.
I quickly got changed into a pair of black jeans and a white shirt and did my makeup, just doing mascara, eyeliner and lipstick. Should be good enough.
The boys were already in the car when Joe and I came downstairs. We both hopped into the backseat.
"Glad that you came, Charlie." Kevin greeted me.
"Thanks for inviting me." I answered, smiling at him.
"Have you been to Canada before?" He asked.
"Oh, no. Never."
"Well, we'll make sure to show you around before we leave." Joe added.
During the ride, I noticed Nick didn't say much while Joe and Kevin led most of the conversation. Our eyes met a few times through the rearview mirror before I embarrassedly looked away.
We pulled up at this modestly big house. Joe mentioned it belonged to Garbo's friend. What I got from the brothers' chat while we were on our way is that it would be just the members from the band getting together to have a few drinks. Boy, it certainly wasn't that.
Right after we entered the house, our phones were confiscated. The music was blasting loudly through the speakers as we walked towards the living room. This house was unlike anything I had seen before. It had a contemporary style. A living room with an indoor bar surrounded by glass walls that led to a deck where an infinity pool gazing over the city lights was the real show-stealer. There were people everywhere. The pool, the bar, the living room. Turns out it was friends of friends of the band and so on.
I felt my heart race. This was luxury as I'd never seen. As I stared at everything in utter amazement, I soon realized I was left behind. I noticed the boys were a few feet away from me greeting people. I walked over to the bar filled with people and sat down at a forgotten stool right at the corner, allowing me to have a panoramic view of everything. Over people's loud laughs and voices, I suddenly wished I had dressed better. Jeez, this place was filled with girls that seemed dragged straight out of a magazine cover. It almost felt intimidating.
I went to pull out my phone to text Anna, only to remember I didn't have it. She would've been thrilled to be there. As I got myself entertained with people-watching, I asked for a drink and let myself forget a little about nasty deals, stressing life-situations and everyone back home to enter my own little fantasy about a house like this being mine, filled with celebrity friends and people like this, probably celebrating after I'd won some award. I smiled a little to myself.
"Oh, shit," A squirming girl sat down beside me, mumbling something to herself as she tried to fix something on her dress.
"Do you need help?" I blurted out, and it was as if I had voiced myself back to existence after being invisible in this space for God knows how long.
"It's just the zipper of my dress, it won't go up and I'm really drunk!" She slurred.
"Let me help you." I turned her stool so her back was facing me and pulled it up. "There."
"Thanks." She hiccuped and gagged once. Oh, there it is. I saw the panic all over her face. She was going to turn on the gastric fireworks.
"Let's go to the bathroom." I stood up, grabbing her hand to help her steady herself.
We managed to rush to the bathroom just in time for her to let herself drop on the floor and hug the toilet bowl. As I held her hair, I managed to reach a few napkins to pass to her.
"Please don't tell anyone about this." She breathed out as she flushed the toilet.
"Don't worry, I won't." I smiled at her.
I watched her as she took a travel size mouthwash out of her purse, took a sip of it and after she was done, she put on lipstick, sprayed perfume on her and was as good as new. Holy shit, I thought. That was really that common in this scene?
"Thank you." And with that, she left and I was left alone in the bathroom.
While moving through people to find my spot over at the bar, I bumped into Joe.
"Charlie!" He exclaimed. "I've been looking for you!"
"Oh, I've been at the bar." I smiled at him.
"Alcoholic, I see." He smirked. "Let me show you something."
He put his hand on my back to lead me upstairs. We walked into two glass doors into a lounge that had a gigantic balcony overlooking the pool area and the city. The view was absolutely breathtaking.
"Meet Toronto." He said, extending his arm. "I know I promised a tour, but this is a nice headstart."
"It's beautiful." I distractedly said as I looked over at the city lights. "Just imagine living here and having this view all day every day. I mean, what does this guy do to even own a place like this?!"
Joe chuckled. "He inherited a huge fortune from his dad. He was apparently pretty important in the marketing industry here in Canada. So he's got a shitload of money to blow."
"You must be so used to being in places like this, maybe you've even got one, but this is absolutely crazy to me that people just have houses like this. Like.. their lazy Netflix days are lived in this huge mansion instead of a shitty apartment. It doesn't even sound right." I said in disbelief.
"I'm more of an apartment guy myself." Joe shrugged smugly. "My money is better spent on traveling. And eating while I'm at it." He chuckled.
"I haven't done much traveling. Well, in fact, I had never been outside the US." I laughed sadly.
"Wow," Joe sighed. "Anyone would've thought that working with celebrities would have you traveling around a lot."
I cursed myself mentally. Again. "Well, yeah, but domestic trips only." I looked away from him. "I was always more in the administrative side."
"There's some beautiful stuff out there, Charlie. This job has allowed me to visit some places I couldn't even imagine existed." He said as he gazed at the city, his voice almost sounding nostalgic. "You should travel more." He nudged my shoulder, smiling down at me.
"I plan to. Trust me."
"Where do you first want to go?"
I fell silent for a second while I thought of what to say. "I'd say Greece."
"Oh, good choice! Santorini is crazy beautiful. If you ever go, you can't miss Metaxi Mas. Best Shrimp Saganaki you'll ever have." That is true, I later learned.
I almost rolled my eyes at him. "I'll make note of that. Any destinations you recommend?"
"Australia. I love the fuck out of Melbourne..."
And that's how a conversation that lasted all night started.
The sun was coming out and the house was much quieter than when we arrived. We only ever stopped talking when it was one of our turns to get drinks. It surprised me how open Joe could be with a total stranger. We didn't talk about anything too personal, but he talked to me like I was a long time friend. Unafraid to express opinions, call me out, cracking silly jokes. I soon learned that talking to him was really easy.
He laid back on the lounge chair we ended up sharing staring up at the hint of the sun slowly starting to rise.
"I'm glad you came around, Charlie," he randomly changed the subject after I had been rambling on some movie about aliens I watched. "I love touring with my brothers. They're my best friends, but being surrounded by so much work, and a team of people constantly reminding us of what we have to do, we become coworkers more than anything. The free time we have is to be spent with our partners. And Sophie, she has her own stuff she wants to tell me about. So it all just ends up being about work.” He sighed.
"We've spent a lot of time together this past year, so getting back to that work tone is kind of weird. Nick just talks about Pri and Kevin has his family. So, I'm glad I found someone I can talk to about random stuff. Haven't done that in a while." He gave me the sweetest smile.
Well, I was in. Deeper than I could possibly imagine at that moment.
Chapter 4. Reycled Advice by alluringlady
Chapter 4. Recycled Advice
Well, we were in a lot of shit. We arrived at the hotel and we were extraordinarily late for the flight to Quebec. It was 6AM. Felicia was waiting for us in the hall our rooms were located in. While the boys looked significantly relaxed, I felt like I was doing the walk of shame. Christ, I was exhausted.
"Go get your things and be in the car in 5 minutes." She hissed at the boys. "You're grown ups. Stop acting like children."
"And you..." she turned to me. I swallowed.
"Leave her out of it, Fel." Joe said. "I basically forced her to go out."
"Yeah," Nick said, exhausted. "It was our fault."
"Come with me." Felicia snapped at me and we walked into my room.
As soon as we walked in, her entire expression changed. She looked... happy? I furrowed my eyebrows.
"Good job." Felicia said, smiling at me. "You saw that out there? He's already defending you. This is exactly what you're supposed to be doing."
"So.. you're not mad?" I clarified, just in case.
"Not at all. Don will be thrilled to hear about this." She pulled out a BlackBerry just like mine. "Get your stuff. Let's go." And with that, she walked out.
No more than an hour later, we were already at the airport. I stood by Felicia at all times while she made sure the jets were good to fly. Most of the crew had already left on a commercial flight an hour ago, and two jets were to transport the brothers and the musicians in one, and the executive crew in another. The latter is where we travel.
"Hey," Joe came up to Felicia and I. "If you don't need this one, maybe she can ride with us?"
Felicia glared at me. "Sure, I don't want to see her for the rest of the day anyway."
"Don't take it personal. She's just mad." Joe smiled. "Shall we?"
We boarded the jet and it was quite different from the crew jet. It was gigantic, for one. It was actually decorated like a house on the inside. Very 70s, by the way.
Joe gave me a small, quick tour as we all settled in. The first area had 8 large seats across from each other in each lane separated by a table in the middle. Behind the seats were two big couches. Further back there was a bedroom for each one of them with a curtain for a door. The lights were dim, and as soon as the plane took off the boys headed to their bedrooms. They looked like they could barely keep their eyes open.
We walked to Joe's room and sat on his bed. The last thing I remember is sleepily talking about his favorite breakfast food.
I opened my eyes and I was comfortably covered by the bed's blankets. Joe was nowhere to be seen. I blushed in embarrassment. Did he tuck me in? I stood up and found my shoes perfectly placed beside the bed. He took those off too. I smiled to myself.
After making his bed, I was seated at the front. The hostess came up to me.
"Do you want to see the breakfast menu, ma'am?" She politely asked.
"Just coffee, please. Thank you." She nodded and took off.
She came back a few moments later with a cup of coffee just as Nick came out of the back.
"Hey, Charlie." He said before asking the hostess for coffee as well.
"Hi." I replied.
He sat across from me, giving me a funny look.
"What?" I asked.
"You're all for safety, huh?" His eyes traveled to my fastened seatbelt.
"Oh," I smiled knowingly. "I guess so. I'm not used to being able to walk around on airplanes without the flight attendant on my ass about remaining seated with your seatbelt on at all times."
Nick chuckled. "So, you okay?"
I furrowed my eyebrows in confusion, then remembered about Felicia scolding me in front of them. I nodded. "I am."
"Fel is a sweetheart once you get to know her. She's just really passionate about all this, knowing the rollercoaster we've been through for the past couple of years." He smiled slightly. "I'm sorry if we got you in any trouble."
"Don't apologize," I shook my head. "I had a good time."
Earn their trust, Charlie.
"So..." I started. "How are things with Priyanka?" I asked reluctantly, my cheeks going red with embarrassment.
Nick sighed. "They're okay, I suppose."
Turns out he wasn't as open as Joe. I accepted his answer.
"I know it must be stressing," I started, unsure of what to say next. "I'm no celebrity and my mom gets mad at me because I'm not calling her as often." Nick looked confused. "For people outside of the business, understanding touring can change things for a bit can be hard to accept. I can't do much, but if you ever need to talk, I'm all ears."
My silly comparison made us both chuckle. As we were, Joe came out from the back.
"Is Kevin still asleep?!" He asked as he sat down next to me.
"It appears so."
"Crazy how you get more sleep on tour than you do being a dad." Joe joked.
"Where did you sleep?" I asked.
"Why do you think I'm awake?" Nick rolled his eyes at Joe.
Joe yawned and stretched, ignoring Nick. "I can't wait till we head back home tomorrow."
"Yeah, I miss the fuck out of Pri." Nick replied.
"How about you, Charlie? Is there anyone waiting for you for you on your two days off?" Joe asked, smirking at me.
"Probably her mom." Nick gave me a look that made us both smile simultaneously.
"Yeah, my mom and my best friend." I laughed.
"Where do you live?" Joe asked again.
"LA. But my mom lives in Naples. She's flying out to see me. I'm excited." I couldn't help but shake my shoulders a little in excitement.
We had breakfast a little before landing after Kevin joined us. As soon as we landed, the boys hopped into the car to move along with that day's schedule. I joined Felicia in making sure everything was set for that night's show. Felicia gave me the task to prepare their dressing rooms at the venue before they arrived at 5PM.
The day went by pretty quickly as I made sure to gather every item on the list and work with the crew on having it placed where it belonged. Felicia and I communicated through texting as she accompanied the boys on their preparation for the upcoming VMAs.
I absent-mindedly singing along to some lyrics while I organized the flowers on their dressing room when I was felt something pinch my side. I screamed and turned around to find Joe with an amused look on his face.
"Woah, I was not expecting that."
"What?" I said as I pressed my hand to my chest to calm myself down.
"You can sing." He stated.
"Well, you're not the only star around here." I jokingly flipped my hair over my shoulder, making sure it brushed him in the face.
"So, how was your day?" He sat down in a chair as he typed away on his phone.
I made a face at the question. That was really nice of him to ask. "Good, actually. It went by really fast. There's always too many things going on around here so it's easy to get distracted."
I looked at the time. "Joe! We have to go. Meet and greet time." He looked as startled as I was. I grabbed my things and we basically speed walked over there.
Kevin and Nick were already there and the fans were about to come in so we got there just in time. I went out to talk to the HostVIP worker as I always did, but that day I was getting more looks than usual. I felt intimidated by the fans on the line who seemed to be whispering about me.
When the M&G started, I went up to Felicia to ask what the hell was going on when I was finally fed up with the constant looks.
"The paps snapped pictures of you with the boys when you got out of the plane. They don't know who you are so it caused some fuzz. Get over it." She explained as she seemed busy with something on her iPad.
My eyes went wide in surprise. I blushed immediately and shot a look at the boys. I found Joe's eyes on mine. "Do the boys now?" I asked, panicking.
She sighed, annoyed. "Yes, Charlie. They know. They just don't care."
"But what about their girls?" I asked again, mortified.
She finally ripped her eyes away from the iPad to shoot me a glare. "Does that look like your problem? It's not what you're here for." Again, there was a hidden message in her words. "But if it makes you feel better, they probably don't care either."
After the boys were done with M&G, they had a very tight schedule to make sure they were ready to come out on time. They were faster than that, of course. So when they were ready, they usually had a drink before coming out. No ice to avoid the contraction of vocal cords, Nick explained.
I was sitting on the floor right outside the dressing room, reading about everything that was posted about me on social media. They got a lot of information about me pretty damn fast. I went from mystery girl to their personal assistant. Gosh, some of these girls could be straight up assholes. There were a lot of comments about them being jealous yadda yadda, but there were also a lot of fans going to town with everything they could pick about me. Logically, some questions came up as to why I was on the plane with them instead of flying with the crew.
Well, if you must know, because I have to earn their trust and I have one months to do that so they start spilling their beans out for me to sell it to the media.
I thought about Don and any trace of happiness I had on my face left with the thought. God, almost a month in. These boys have been nothing but absolutely nice to me. They're genuinely good humans, which didn't make this any easier. But if I didn't do this I could kiss any possibility of making it in the industry goodbye. I sighed audibly to ease the hotness I felt in my chest and put my face in my hands.
Someone clearing their throat snapped me out of my thoughts and I jumped a little before looking up. Shit! Joe was leaning against the doorframe with his ridiculous blue suit looking down at me. He had a concerned look in his face.
"Jesus! You've got a personal vendetta against me today," I said as I composed myself, in order to lighten up the mood.
He didn't answer, and just continued to look at me instead. I started getting a little worried I had said anything out loud.
"How long have you been standing there?" I asked.
He took a sip from his drink, and shrugged. "What's wrong?"
I nodded, giving him a smile. "All good, just tired."
He rolled his eyes and sat down on the floor beside me. "Charlie, I've seen you doze off during the shows millions of times but you never look as you do right now."
I smirked. "You should really be focusing on being a good singer on stage instead of me dozing off, which I do not, by the way."
"Very nice of you." He nudged my shoulder slightly and chuckled. "I'm serious though. What is it? Is it about today's pictures?"
I shook my head. "Although that was a little mortifying, it's not that. I just miss my mom, that's all." Well, I wasn't lying.
"I know it sucks." Joe nodded. "Good news is you can see her tomorrow." He gave me a hopeful smile, which I returned. "If it ever gets to overbearing, which it does at some point, you can always fly her in, you know."
I laughed at the idea. "Felicia would kill me."
Joe rolled his eyes. "You've got to stop worrying about her so much. Just let me know, I'll fly her in. Really."
"Just remember about all the reasons why you decided to be here," he said. "Grip onto them." He smiled at me knowingly.
I laughed. "You've got to come up with your own advice."
We were laughing when both of our earpieces said something at the same time.
Show time in 5.
"Show time?" He asked before standing up and offering his hand to me.
"Show time." I answered, taking it to stand up as well.
Just as they were ready to come out, before getting into position, Joe tugged at my arm. I got closer to him to be able to hear him.
"We've all agreed we like you a lot. You're a breath of normality in this world of schedules and routines. So, don't quit on us."
He ran towards platform, and I just stood there for a minute, holding my chest at the mix of feelings that spiked inside of me.
I genuinely felt like the worst person alive.
Chapter 5. A 40-Year-Old Man Tale by alluringlady
Chapter 5. A 40-Year-Old Man Tale
"The fan request tonight is for those out here who miss someone today. This is for you." Joe said into the microphone before they started singing Hello, Beautiful.
'Cause I could go across the world
And see everything and never be satisfied
If I couldn't see those eyes
It's an understatement to say I have thought about that moment at least a thousand times. That subtle detail meant a lot to me. That same night, I went home before the show was over. Up until the moment I walked into my apartment, I felt I was carrying a 500-pound weight in my chest.
"Hey, you!" Anna squealed when I walked through the door. The moment she pulled me in for a hug, I burst into tears.
"Charlie, what's wrong?" She pulled away to look at me, giving me that same concerned look Joe gave me earlier.
I shook my head, unable to speak. She walked me to the couch, and I laid down with my head on her lap letting the tears flow freely.
Something I really appreciated about Anna is that she respected the silence when something really was wrong. She was just there for me, even if she didn't know what was wrong.
The next morning, I woke up feeling horribly hungover. My eyes and my body hurt tremendously. I was still on the couch.
"You look like crap." Anna said from the kitchen, walking over to hand me a cup of coffee.
I gratefully took it. "Gee, thanks." I smiled slightly before taking a sip.
"How are you feeling?" She sat down beside me, placing her hand on my leg.
"I'm just.. overwhelmed, that's all." For a lack of better words.
"Charlie, we don't have to talk about what's happening, but if this job is making you come home like this after a few weeks, that's something to consider."
She was right. But what other options did I have? I hugged her. "I love you. I miss you a lot."
"I love you too. And I'm here for you. Whatever those stupid brothers did to you, I'm here. I’ll roundhouse kick them. They’re short anyway." We both laughed.
"They've been great. They're seriously amazing."
"I can't say I'm not jealous." She said excitedly. "I'd kill to get paid to see them shirtless. Have you seen them shirtless?"
I rolled my eyes at her. "They sleep shirtless, and I wake them up every morning. Plus outfit changes and such. Yeah, I've seen them shirtless a lot."
"You better tap one of those celebrity asses." Anna warned.
I made a face. "Anna! It's not like that. We've just kind of became work friends. And they are taken, you hoe."
Anna giggled. "So.." she rolled her eyes. If the slutty came naturally to anyone, that would be Anna.
"Shut up." I looked at the time. "We need to get ready to pick up mom."
We both went to our rooms to get changed. I put on a pair of jeans, a white shirt and sneakers. About an hour later, we were waiting for my mom at the airport while Anna squeezed any details about the boys out of me. We met her outside a while later, and I melted into her arms as soon as I saw her.
We spent the entire two days together except when Anna had to work. Being with Anna and my mom lifted my spirits up incredibly. I felt normal again. I really didn't think about the boys, or Don. I focused on the people that I loved the most in this world. Until those god damned words came to me once more:
"We've all agreed we like you a lot. You're a breath of normality in this world of schedules and routines. So, don't quit on us."
I looked at the time. 2 AM. And I couldn't stop thinking about Joe's words. I sighed, frustrated that I couldn't just go to sleep. The emotional implication of this was too high. I wasn't expecting them to be this welcoming, especially him.
I looked over when I found my mom's eyes on me. I smiled slightly.
"Can't sleep again?" She asked, brushing my hair with her fingers. "You have an early flight."
"I don't want to go." I complained, throwing the pillow over my face in frustration.
"Oh, sweetheart," she pulled me into her arms. "It's okay. Remember how hard it was when you first moved here? You didn't know anyone and you were scared. But you always knew why you were doing it, and you stuck through it. Now it passed and it doesn't scare you. It's going to be the same way with this." She gave me a comforting smile.
That night before I fell asleep, I contemplated ending it. Just going to Don and telling him I didn't want to do it anymore. Moving on with my life and maybe going back to college. But every time I thought about the feeling in my chest when I saw the sound and love that filled those venues, I felt a thug in my heart. I wanted that more than anything.
Even though my mom and Anna were reluctant, I decided to take an Uber to the airport since my flight was at 4 AM. I flew to New York, just like the first time, for the Buffalo show. I slept through the whole flight, and had a car waiting for me when I landed.
I immediately got to work after I arrived. Even though I wasn't really there to be working, Felicia did a damn good job at making it seem like I was. But I appreciated it, because it made time go by fast.
"The family is coming tomorrow so please make sure the reservations are set as well as transportation from the airport and such."
I nodded and got to work. I was at the front desk about to confirm the reservations before I realized I didn't know what time their family was arriving. One thing about rich people: They never plan things that normal people would actually plan. Wanna go to Paris? Sure, let’s leave tonight. And then their assistants handle the administrative mess. I ended up sorting it out with the Jonases and Danielle because I arranged their flights, but I had no information about Priyanka and Sophie's arrival time.
I didn't go to the show because I was busy preparing and hiring the proper staff to take care of everyone. Lunch, cars, venue seats. I don't know how Felicia managed to do everything at once. Things as little as diet for each individual person required a lot of time.
I sighed, realizing it would be the first time I was to talk to them them after I came back. I pulled out my work phone and called Joe.
After three rings, he picked up.
"Hey, it's Charlie, I'm just calling bec-"
"Who?” He interrupted me, and I could feel his sly smile over the phone. "Where are you? Why didn't you go to the show?"
I rolled my eyes at his attempt of a joke, holding back a smile. "I'm at the hotel. I'm trying to figure ou-"
"Did you have a good time with your mom?"
I sighed quietly. "Yes."
"I thought you'd say bye before leaving, but you're just rude like that."
I smiled, rolling my eyes once again. Joe Jonas had that effect on me. "Can you listen?"
"Yeah, what's up?"
"I need to know the arrival time for Sophie tomorrow so I can arrange pickup for her."
"Uhhhhh, Sophie flew to England today. She's coming for night two." he said. "I'll ask her what time and text you."
"Are you with Nick?" I asked.
"So where are you?" I asked while I was distracted cancelling Sophie's reservation on my iPad. My eyes went wide and my cheeks hot after I realized what I asked. Nosy much? "Uh, sorry. I'll call Nick. Thanks." I hung up before he answered.
Little smart me ended up cancelling everyone’s check-in when I went to cancel Sophie’s, so the rooms got messed up. I was so distracted fixing it before Felicia found out and killed me that I didn't notice my phone was going off in my pocket. I had 4 missed calls from Joe. I called him back.
"You're so intense!" I said after he picked up.
"Where are you? Come up. It's an emergency."
I hung up and basically ran towards the elevator. Heart beating fast in my chest, I arrived on the floor his room was in and knocked before deciding to open the door.
Joe was coming out of his bathroom with only a pair of jeans on. I immediately thought about Anna and her shirtless fixation on these boys.
"What happened?!" I asked loudly after I saw the state of calm he was in. I held my chest and took a few deep breaths until I was breathing naturally again.
He held up two shirts up that had bottles of beer on them. One white and the other one black. Was he serious?
I furrowed my eyebrows and let my arms fall at my side. What the hell? "Joe, what the hell?"
"I'm really feeling the black one, if you ask me." He nodded knowingly, examining it.
"Are you serious? I have work to do!" I scolded him.
"So, this is work. I need help and you're technically there for that." He smiled smugly.
I sighed, exasperated. "Black one." I said helplessly.
He threw it on. "You're amazing, Charlie. Thanks!"
I rolled my eyes at him as he sat down on his bed. "It was just an excuse to see your rude face." He smirked.
I mocked him by mimicking his words, which made him chuckle.
"Well, unfortunately I have quite a few things to sort out so you'll see my rude face later." I waved at him as I headed out.
"But wait!" He followed me out of the room, walking with me. "I'll help you." The resemblance to a 5-year old was uncanny.
I pressed the down button for the elevator so I could go to my room and get back to work. "You're bored, aren't you?" I looked at him knowingly.
"Look, I don't have a lot of free time and I'm choosing to spend it with you. So, be honored." He explained with a very Queen Elizabeth-y tone.
I huffed. "Okay then, Obama."
"You like Obama?" He made a face at me. "I didn't see you as an older guy kind of girl."
"You're so annoying." I opened the door to my room and Joe walked in behind me.
"Hey, you have a mini bar! How come we don't get one?" He immediately helped himself to a beer before laying down on the couch.
I sat on the desk and got to work as we talked. Joe was reading some fan tweets about the show and from time to time the room became filled with laughter at the ones he found funny. He was really hyper after shows for some reason. He FaceTimed Sophie for a bit, called his mom, talked to another friend I can't remember the name of. Eventually, I noticed he quieted down.
I looked over to find him passed out on the couch. I instinctively smiled. I got the cover from the bed and laid it on top of him gently before turning off the lights to use the bedside lamp as light resource.
I went back to work. It was about 1 AM when I had finally sorted everything out. Joe was still asleep, snoring lightly.
I leaned to rest my face on my hand, looking at him, while I debated whether to wake him up or not. He was starting to get really tired. Even though he didn't mention it, it was clear. They all were.
Instead, I hopped in the shower. One thing I hated when Joe was around is that I had to get ready inside the bathroom. The humidity had me ready for another shower before I even had my pants on! When I walked out, I heard a knock on the door. The only one knocking at my door at this time was Joe, and he was still asleep, so I was curious to see who it was.
I walked over and poked my head out. It was Nick.
"Hey, do you know where Joe is? I texted him but he didn-"
He trailed off when I opened the door and he spotted Joe snoring. He rolled his eyes.
"Really?" He made a face.
"I didn't know whether to wake him up or not." I shrugged lightly.
He sighed, running his fingers through his hair. His expression changed. "Uh.. do you um.. have a minute to talk?"
I mimicked his expression by looking serious as well. I nodded. "Sure, yeah, what's up?"
"Not here." He looked at Joe, which made me genuinely curious now. "Let's not wake him up."
I lightly closed the door and followed him into his room. I realized I hadn't been in Nick's room for more than 15 minutes at most ever since we met. I hung out at Kevin's more often than his.
We sat down on the couch overlooking the huge window after he poured us both a drink. Where he got it from? I have no idea. I decided against saying anything and just accepting it. His curtains were rolled open. This city truly never slept, I thought. All the lights on all the time, it always felt busy. Nick pulled me out of my thoughts.
"I'm sorry to bother you," he spoke nervously. "But Kevin's daughter just lost her first tooth and he's so stoked that I don't want to burden him with this. And Joe's, well, you know," he ran his fingers through his hair. "You've became kind of a good friend of ours, so, I thought I'd take you up on your offer and talk to you instead." He looked at me before looking down again. He looked nervous, and miserable. "If that's okay." I immediately nodded in response.
Pause. I just want to say that I have met very little people like Nick Jonas. This man was a 40-year-old trapped inside a 26-year-old's body. He was nice and funny in kind of an odd way. And most importantly, he had a very closed list of people he would open up to. At that point, I was more shocked by that than I had been at been anything in a while. Until I heard what he said next.
"I want a divorce."
I choked on my drink when he said that, so what was followed was an embarrassing attempt of me gasping for air.
"What?" I asked, not hiding the alarm all over my face.
He sighed. "It has been World War III with Priyanka and I ever since this band got back together. At first, everyone was like, 'whatever, it's normal', but it's not normal anymore. Every time we talk we end up fighting," He explained. "Like last night, our last night together alone for a while, she decided to fight me on a video of me interacting with a fan." He huffed incredulously.
"Today when you called about her arrival time, I thought about her, and how much I didn't want her to come. I look at Joe and Kevin and they seem so happy about Soph and Dani coming. But I just can't be." He sighed, defeated. "That's when I realized I rarely look forward to being with her lately. Well, never. And that's not how a recent marriage should work."
I listened, understanding every word he said until he fell silent. He looked lost in so many thoughts, so I prioritized the silence for a second before speaking up.
"I understand where you're coming from. Really, I do," I started. "But look, Nick, you love Priyanka and that just pours out of you. And she loves you too. This whole situation hasn't been ideal for any of you. But let's look at it from Priyanka's point of view," I suggested.
"For a couple of months, she got nothing but your attention all the time. Then she stopped getting it. What is normal for a recent marriage is for you guys to want to be together all the time. And that's not possible anymore. Instead, you're doing something you love, and she gets your absence in return. So maybe all the fighting is just a way for her to get your attention."
I put my hand on his thigh, which made him look at me. "A divorce should be the last thing on your mind. Talk to her about this first, and there's always therapy if you feel like it could help. But you're not getting divorced when there's this much love involved."
"I just want her to be more open about what she's really feeling instead of picking up random fights. I'm tired of it, everyone's tired of it."
I smiled at him. "Then you need to let her know that you're willing to put everything aside for a second and listen to her."
"You're right. Thank you, Charlie." Nick squeezed my hand for a second before pulling me in for a hug.
The unexpected movement made me spill my drink on him. We both quickly stood up. Nick laughed when he saw how red I must've been from how mortified I was.
Both of my hands covered my mouth. "Oh, God. I'm so sorry! Stop laughing. I'm sorry!"
Nick pulled off his shirt, still laughing. What was with these guys being absolutely comfortable being shirtless around me?
"It's fine. You're okay." He assured me.
Someone knocked on the door and Nick went to answer it. Joe walked in almost in automatic mode before noticing me. He stopped in his tracks.
"Charlie." He raised an eyebrow at me, then looked at Nick shirtless. He repeated that for a few times.
"Charlie knocked a drink all over me." He explained. I went red again.
"Yeah, it smells like alcohol in this place. What are you doing here anyway?" Joe asked.
Nick and I both looked at each other. He gave me a pleading look. To not say anything, I assumed.
"Uh.. I.." I started, scratching my head. "I just needed to talk to someone, I guess. I was missing my mom a lot, and yeah."
Joe nodded once, a serious look on his face.
"I should probably head to bed." I excused myself before hugging Nick goodbye. He mumbled a 'thank you' before I headed out.
Holy shit, that was intense.
Chapter 6. Kiss-ginity by alluringlady
Chapter 6. Kiss-ginity
The next morning, I went to wake up Joe first as always. I used my key to his room only to find him already awake. I made a face at him, that was odd. He was sitting on the edge of his bed.
"Good morning," I said. "MSG day! How are you awake? Did you even go to sleep?"
"Morning." He replied dryly as he walked into the bathroom, shutting the door behind him.
I walked out of the room a little taken aback. It was the first time I ever saw Joe like that. He was chaotically happy even when he didn't want to wake up.
I went to Nick's room after, but I heard the shower running, so he was also awake. I looked at the time to make sure I wasn't the one running late.
Kevin was the only one I got to wake up that morning.
"Morning, Kev." I ruffled his hair once he was awake, smiling at him.
"Hey, Charlie," he yawned, stretching. "I wonder when will you all start letting use our alarms."
"You should've thought about that privilege before sleeping on them all the damn time before." I shrugged. "Or so I heard."
He chuckled, sitting up.
"Hey, what's up with Joe? He seemed odd earlier." I asked casually, not to seem too interested.
"Uh... Probably our parents coming. They're on his ass a lot." He shrugged. "He's the one with the most tattoos. It's Christian law you have to watch out for that one the most." He chuckled as he sat up.
I smiled in response. "Yeah, probably. I heard Aleena lost her first tooth. Congrats!"
"Thanks," he answered excitedly. "She's so big now."
"I'm excited to meet her and Valentina." I answered.
After talking for a little, I let Kevin get on with his day. Today was night 1 of 2 at Madison Square Garden. A big deal to any musician. Both nights were also sold out. The boys had been talking about it for a while, they were pretty excited.
The Jonas family arrived pretty early. I waited for them in the lobby just like Felicia waited for me. Danielle, Valentina, Alena, Mrs. Jonas, Mr. Jonas and Frankie came in together.
"Welcome, everyone." I smiled at them. "Nice to meet you, Mr. and Mrs. Jonas."
"Denise and Paul, dear." Denise said, pulling me in for a hug. "We've heard wonders about you from the boys."
I smiled, blushing slightly. "That's great to hear." I moved on to greeting Frankie before squatting down to greet Kevin's girls. "And who are these two little ladies?"
They each said their name, and they were not shy at all. They talked to me all the way up to the room we were having our morning meeting in.
Everyone greeted each other. I stood back, and watched how Joe went back to his usual self when he saw his nieces.
"Alright, guys," Phil started to wrap up as everyone quieted down, "I think that's all for today. Your schedules were cleaned for the morning so you can have some family time. Big night tonight. Want you all on your best game!"
We all stood up, and I noticed how Nick looked at Joe with an expectant look. After not getting any kind of reaction from Joe being glued to his phone, he sighed and rolled his eyes.
"Everyone, come meet Charlie." Nick spoke up and I realized what he was mad at Joe about.
I gave him a smile. "Oh, we already met downstairs."
Denise and Paul smiled knowingly.
"She keeps us sane." Nick joked.
"Okay, guys," Felicia said as she walked up to us. "See you at 2."
Alena came up to me as everyone was walking down. "Do you want to come see my dolls?"
I looked at Dani and Kevin and both nodded in approval. We walked to Kevin's bedroom, where Alena's luggage was.
2 PM came by fast because I spent the whole morning playing with Alena, while Valentina seemed to be more preoccupied with being on Nick all the time. The whole family was in Kevin's bedroom talking to each other while Alena talked to me about all sorts of things. She was very outgoing.
"It seems like Charlie's not only famous around the boys," Denise said, talking about Alena's comment on how pretty I was.
I laughed and searched for Joe's eyes but he completely ignored Denise's remark. It was a weird thought, but he usually wouldn't have ignored a comment like that. I shook it off and went back to talking with the family.
Felicia came for the boys around 2, and I stayed with the Jonases to be there for anything they needed. They were extremely nice folks. Denise and Paul were absolute sweethearts. They talked to me and made sure I was included in their conversation, going out of their way to give me context for things they talked about.
"I'm happy you're here, Charlie," Paul came close to me. "The last tour was horrendously scary. For your sons to be so young, so tired, and so sad is heartbreaking for any parent. They were barely holding it together," the sadness in his tone was very evident. "They look so different now. I'm sure you have your part in that." He gave me a grateful smile.
I felt my heart warm up. I never had a big family, so being there, even though I wasn't a part of it, and how they were so welcoming made me feel so overwhelmed with emotions. These guys were truly a reflection of their parents.
The girls, especially Alena, apparently really liked my company. We did everything together that day from lunch to riding in the car to the venue.
We were in Kevin's dressing room during soundcheck and the girls were distracted with something else while I watched them.
"They really like you," Danielle stated, smiling down at them. "Alena jumps at the opportunity of bonding with strangers. Not sure how worried I should be." She giggled.
I followed her laughter. "They seem to do so, yeah." I smiled back at her. "Your daughters are amazing. They've made me have a blast."
By the time the band ended soundcheck, Priyanka had arrived. That woman was beautiful. She was so energetic — so happy— that the mood switched when she arrived.
"Charlie!" She pulled me in for a hug before quickly moving on to her in-laws.
I ordered them drinks and went back to playing with the girls. The boys came in shortly after already changed for M&G and each one of them greeted their wives. I gave Joe a sympathetic look as he helped himself to a drink.
"Do you like dolls with long hair or short hair?" She asked as she brushed her Barbie's hair.
"Hmm... It depends." I answered. "I really like long hair, but when it's hot.. Oof! It kills me." I answered.
Alena looked at my hair. "I really love your hair! I want to grow it as much as you."
I smiled. "And I love your hair. Look at these curls!" I brushed her hair slightly. "I wish!"
She giggled out loud.
"Well, now you're making daddy jealous!" Kevin walked over and picked her up. "You've been with Charlie all day!" He pouted as he kissed her all over, which made her laugh.
I stood up and excused myself before walking outside the dressing room.
Sound came out of my earpiece, jolting me out of my thoughts.
"Get the boys to the M&G booth. I'm not sure they have their earpieces on." Felicia said.
I hated to intrude, because the absolute joy coming out of that room was amazing to witness.
I knocked once before poking my head in. "Hey guys, Meet and Greet time." I looked at them apologetically.
They kissed their family. "See you in a bit!" Kevin said before they walked out with me.
"Alena and Valentina are obsessed with you, Charlie." Kevin chuckled. "They don't even like Pri and Soph that much!"
Nick joined. "Right, Valentina is just barely getting used to Pri."
"I'm obsessed with them too. Hanging out with them made my day." I answered.
We engaged into conversation as we walked towards M&G, but I noticed how Joe was completely silent the whole time. Yeah, this wasn't normal. I decided against telling him anything, letting him focus on their big night. Maybe he was just nervous and would be back to his usual self after the show.
But again, that didn't happen. Joe being the frontman, MSG got a really dull show. It wasn't as exciting as everyone thought it would be and the crew was talking about that backstage.
Since we didn't have to fly the next morning, the boys got a pass that night. We were arriving at the hotel when Nick pulled me aside.
"I'm talking to her tonight." Nick mumbled so anyone around wouldn't hear. "Fuck, Charlie, I'm nervous."
"Don't be." I grabbed his shoulders. "Just be honest, and keep your cool." I gave him a knowing look.
He nodded once. "I will. Thank you. Again."
He walked away and I went up to my room after making sure everyone was settled in theirs.
I tossed in bed for what felt like forever, not being able to read Joe all day was oddly uncomfortable. He was so annoying all the time that him giving me the cold treatment made me feel weird.
I whined audibly and dragged myself out of bed. I couldn't believe I was really going to do that. I walked out of my room in my pajamas and slippers before I had time to talk myself out of it. I knocked on Joe's door. A few moments later, he answered. His expression changed when he saw me.
"Yes?" He asked.
"Uh, just came to say goodnight." I said awkwardly. I didn't think this through.
"Goodnight." Joe answered with monotony.
He was about to close the door when I stopped it with my arm. "What is your deal?" I snapped at him.
"I don't know what you're talking about." He shrugged.
"You've been quiet and distant all day, which you and I both know is highly unlike you."
He shrugged again, leaning against the doorframe. "I don't know what you're talking about."
"Well, you better figure out what I'm talking about because I'm not leaving until you tell me." I crossed my arms in front of me, standing my ground.
Joe looked me up and down, making a face. He rolled his eyes. "You look ridiculous." He pulled me into his room and closed the door behind me.
"So?" I asked as he laid down on his bed, going back to his phone.
"So, if you're not leaving, you can't be outside my door looking that ridiculous."
"Okay, fine." I shrugged nonchalantly, sitting down on the couch. He wanted to play this game, then I would play it gladly.
It seemed like hours had passed as Joe just laid there using his phone while I expected an answer from him. If I wasn't technically working for him, I would've strangled him already. I was shaking my leg so hard I was sure my muscles would be sore in the morning.
"Are you seriously not going to say anything?" I finally spoke up, exasperated.
"Oh. I'm sorry," He tore his eyes away from his phone for the first time in forever. "Maybe you would be more comfortable in Nick's room." And just like that, he went back to scrolling on his screen.
It instantly clicked. I threw my head back in disbelief. "Is that what this is about?!" I laughed. "No way, Joe."
"What are you talking about?" He looked at me.
"You're mad because I was with Nick last night?" I was genuinely shocked. "You can't be serious. We were just talking, Joe. It's not a crime!"
He narrowed his eyes at me, sitting up on the corner of the bed. "It's not about that."
"You're being so childish." I huffed, rolling my eyes.
"I was right there, Charlie." Joe snapped at me. "I was in your room! You weren't feeling okay and you chose to talk to him instead of me. Those are the kind of things you talk to me about."
My face changed. He seemed... hurt?
"And then you spend all day talking to him like there's some sort of common secret you both share. You think I didn't see you when we came back? That's bullshit."
I wanted to tell him it was not like that, but I couldn't betray Nick's trust. I opened my mouth to say something, but nothing came out. He was seriously mad about me not opening up to him.
"Save it." He spat, going back to his phone.
To this day, I don't know what came over me but Joe's words moved me to the core. He wanted to be the one to make sure I was okay. I walked up to him and sat down beside him in silence, unsure of what to say.
"Those slippers really are hideous." He finally broke the silence. I lifted my foot to look at the huge pink pig slipper, and laughter filled the room.
"I'm sorry." I told him.
"I'm sorry too." He answered, giving me a sad smile.
"For what, being jealous?" I smirked.
He frowned. "I was not jealous."
"Yeah, you were." I huffed, rolling my eyes.
"No, I wasn't." He gave me a panicked look.
I nodded. "Yup."
"Fine. Maybe a little." Joe fell back on his bed, defeated.
"Think about that when you guys sing Jealous tomorrow." We both laughed.
"Alright, I should head to bed." I said, standing up. "Night, Jonas."
Being okay with him felt easy. Like it was normality. I cared about him more than I let myself admit at the time.
"Wait, talk to me for a little." Joe said, looking at me.
"What do you want to talk about at 2 AM?" I rolled my eyes at him.
He shrugged. "Anything."
"Hm," I said as I was thinking of what to say next, sitting back down next to him on his bed. "Are you excited that Sophie's coming?"
He nodded, looking up at the ceiling. "Damn right I am. I'm pissed that Kevin and Nick are probably having sex right now."
Disgust was written all over my face. "Okay, thank you for the mental image."
"Don't be a baby, Charlie." He rolled his eyes. "Even though you are a baby." He laughed when realization hit him. "You're 23! Can't believe I'm hanging out with 23-year-olds."
I huffed. "Well, I can go to bed and we can call it a day."
"I'm kidding! I love 23-year-olds. I'm even about to marry one." Joe chuckled.
I looked at him with wide eyes, feeling like my throat closed on me for a moment. "Sophie's 23?! Are you kidding?"
He shook his head. "I'm not. She really is. Why?"
"Oh my god." I laughed in disbelief. "She looks... old." I mumbled without even thinking about what I said.
Joe raised his eyebrows in amusement, but chuckled again. "I guess she does. I was as shocked as you when I found out."
"How did that happen? How did you guys meet anyway?" I asked as I sat against the headboard of the bed, crossing my legs in a butterfly position.
"We met three years ago through a friend of ours, Ryan. A few people were hanging out at his place and she was there. We ended up talking to each other all night that night, and we started hanging out more and more after that. It was bound to happen, us dating. We hit it off really well. She actually kissed me first." He smirked smugly which made me roll my eyes. "She's a great girl, really is."
"For how long have you guys been engaged?" I asked next.
"I asked her to marry me in 2017. But she was only 21 then. Even now, she feels too young." He chuckled. "She said yes when I asked, but then we sat down and had a conversation about it. I had a lot of pressure on me with my brothers getting married, and she's the perfect candidate for me to spend the rest of my life with. But we didn't want to rush it. The engagement would calm everyone down and we'd just keep at it until we felt comfortable. And that's where we are now."
I furrowed my eyebrows. "You asked her to marry you out of peer pressure?"
"Eh," he thought for a second. "Technically, yes. But she was aware, which is why the engagement has lasted until now. I love her, though. I really do. She's amazing."
"Are you going to marry her when the tour is over?" I looked at him.
"I hope I can." He smiled.
"Will you invite me to your wedding?" I raised an eyebrow at him.
"Pfff. No." He shook his head. "Awkward." He mumbled.
I gasped with fake indignation. "You jerk." We both laughed.
"How about you? You have a boyfriend back home?" He asked as he laid down again.
"No. The dating world is weird and so are men. I don't have time for that." I rolled my eyes.
Joe looked at me for a second. "Are you a lesbian?"
I let out a laugh at how direct the question was. "What? No." I shook my head. "I just feel like maybe I should just wait for love to come to me, instead of actively looking for it." I shrugged.
"But you have dated people right?" He sat up, his expression filled with curiosity.
"No." I said awkwardly. "What time is it?" I asked in an attempt to change the subject.
"So you've had casual relationships basically?"
Joe gasped, looking about as dumbfounded as I looked when I found out Sophie was 23. "Are you..." he trailed off.
"Yeah." I answered directly to get it over with.
"So just them steamy make-out sessions, huh?" Joe affirmed, but doubt was all over his face.
I shook my head, embarrassed now.
"Charlie!" He gave me an incredulous look. "No way! What the hell?!" He asked loudly, his eyes wide.
"What are you? 5? Shut up." I hit him lightly, looking away from him. "Not all of us have dated the entire population."
"That was low." He chuckled, quickly returning to the topic. "Not even a peck?"
I rolled my eyes. "Of course. When I was younger. But not a real kiss, I guess."
"You're a virgin in every sense of the word, aren't ya?" He chuckled, smirking at me.
"Alright. Show's over. I'm going to bed." I said in a frustrated tone. I stood up.
"Wait!" He grabbed my arm and stood up behind me. I turned around, glaring at him.
What happened next I was not expecting. Joe put his hand on my lower back, pulling me against him. His other hand cupped my face as his thumb caressed my cheek ever-so-lightly. He searched for something in my face, and I was staring at him in complete shock. He lowered his face, and pressed his lips against mine.
So.. Joe kissed Charlie. If you're torn about this, trust that I am as well. Lots of mixed feelings about this part. My main challenge with writing is to learn that my characters, too, make wrong choices. I'm trying to post the story as close to how it was when I originally wrote it, so I decided against taking this part out.
Not sure if there's anyone following the story but if you are, tell me if you hated it as much as I do, or if you loved it. I'd love to hear any suggestions or thoughts. :)
PS. Does anyone know how to keep a banner up? I've been trying to, but can't seem to figure it out. Any help would be appreciated!
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.