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The next morning the Jonas's were going back in the studio, and since I knew my work diary was empty until after lunch, I decided that I would join them, in a professional capacity obviously. The next few weeks were going to be crazy busy for us both so I was making the most of every second with Nick that I could.


 


Although I've been in the studio with a lot of the artists, being there and watching the Jonas Brothers work together was different. There was a certain magic at work and it was a privilege to watch their creative process. Nick was methodical and a perfectionist, Joe was impulsive and adventurous with sound and then Kevin brought the two sides together with some incredible lyrics and guitar riffs. 


 


The song they were working on was for their next album, despite the latest only just having been released. Kevin explained that since their reunion their creativity was in overdrive. That, however, didn't mean it was plain sailing. I watched as Nick and Joe locked horns over the lyrics for the chorus. Kevin stepped back. 


 


'Even my negotiating skills have limits, prepare yourself for bloodshed' he joked. They started to get really frustrated with each other. Voices were raised and things were banged on desks.


 


'Wait, wait! What about if you change the order of those lyrics and go up a key, that should work' I suggested. 


 


Nick looked at me, surprised, then tried it. 


 


'That works better actually, thanks' he smiled apologetically.


 


'I actually like that better too' agreed Joe, slightly embarrassed.


 


'Who knows, we might make it out of here unscathed after all' said Kevin shrugging. 


 


I stayed and watched as they took the song into the booth, it sounded incredible but Nick being Nick recorded his parts at least three times more than the other two. In the meantime Kevin and I sat and talked about the girls and what they'd been up to recently. Joe was busy talking to Sophie on the phone. 


 


'You know, this Sean guy has Nick shook' said Kevin suddenly.


 


'I know and believe me, I hate it too. I didn't expect to see him in LA, let alone have to work with him but Nick has absolutely nothing to worry about' 


 


'Nick has had his heart broken before and it was awful, my family and I just want to protect him, but I think he's found in you what I found in Dani. Just reassure him'


 


'I will Kevin, thanks for being you' I patted him on the back and smiled.


 


'And what are you two talking about?' Asked Nick coming out the booth and putting his arm around me. 


 


'I was just saying to Kevin that I need to get back to the office I'm afraid, please try not to kill Joe whilst I'm away'  


 


He pouted 'I hate when we have to say goodbye, let me walk you out to your car'


 


I said my goodbyes to everyone else and walked to my car with Nick. 


 


'I know I'm not going to be around much these next couple of weeks but knowing you'll be there when I get home makes it easier. I just wish you could come with us more' he looked so serious.


 


'I know but I promise I'll be with you every single minute that I can be' I put my arms around his waist and pulled him into me. We shared a kiss that sent shivers down my back, then he opened my car door, I got in and drove off towards work. 


 


As much as the goodbye hurt, I realised I felt more relaxed now than I had at any time since Sean arrived, and all because I'd blocked him out of my life for a few hours with Nick. 


 


 


As predicted, the next two weeks were wildly busy. Nick had a lot of tv and radio interviews across the country as Only Human was released. The sound of his voice on the radio, the sight of his face on tv and the empty bed next to me at night was a constant reminder of how much I missed him. The world tour was going to be a killer and we still hadn't discussed what I was going to do when my 6 months in LA were up yet either. 


 


Whilst he was away, I worked hard with Sean leading up towards his showcase. We appeared to have reached an impasse and he'd stopped being so in my face, although he still made the odd inappropriate comment. He actually seemed to be really into Aria which was a relief. I was glad to see him happy but it did unnerve me how much he could tell her about me.


 


The afternoon of Sean’s showcase, I met Aria early at the venue to set up but she didn't seem her usual self. I was rather concerned and asked if she was ok. She shook her head


 


'Can I talk to you in confidence?' She asked. 


 


'What's he done now!' I asked jokingly, worrying about what she was going to say.


 


'So last night Sean and I were out and he invited me back to his place. So you know, we got into bed and at first he was gentle and so attentive but then he started to get really rough with me. He tied my hands above my head and put me face down on the bed. Next thing he was being so rough, and pulling my hair. Then he started slapping my ass. It really stung but I didn't say anything. Then he came quickly and I mean he did finish me off but I'm so confused by it all. It's just not what I'd expected. I'm sorry for telling you about sex with your ex but I didn't know who else would understand. Did you used to do that together?'


 


'Yeah we did and more. That's just Seans thing. If you don't like it though then you need to tell him or if it makes you feel better then you need to agree on a safe word'


 


'And my ass feels like I can hardly sit down'


 


'Arnica helps that' I remembered that feeling well. I used to like it the next day, it always reminded me of what we'd been doing the night before.


 


'There's something else. When he came I'm pretty sure he said your name, he said that he didn't and he said 'Ari' but I'm not sure'


 


'He wouldn't say my name and anyway he calls me Abs, not Abbi so don't worry about it' I reassured her. 


 


'Thanks for listening to me, I know it must be slightly awkward to hear'


 


'Only because Nicks been away so long and I can't wait to jump on him when I see him tomorrow' my heart beat faster at the thought of him.


 


'Are you ok girls?' Asked Evan walking in


 


'Yeah, I was just running through tonight with Aria' 


 


'Perfect' he smiled. 


 


As soon as I could, I text Sean.


 


Sender: me


Safeword??? Asshole, she wasn't ready for that. 


 


Sender: Sean


Or were you just not ready to hear about it? It was funny, I said your name when I came but I covered it up. I guess that's what happens when I'm pretending it's you there. 


 


Sender: me


Keep pretending, it ain't ever going to happen again.


 


Sender: Sean


What is it Nicky boy says? 'I still get Jealous'


 


I busied myself with all the prep I needed for the night ahead, I was working hard to take my mind off everything. One more day and I'd be back with the real love of my life. 


 


Set up complete, Aria and I went back to the office to get changed and then took a car to the showcase, picking up Sean on the way. He sat in the middle between us, insisting he take a selfie with us for his social media. 


 


'Out with my best girls #showcase' and he tagged me in it. Almost instantly Nick commented on it, as if he'd been paused waiting for it- 


 


'Look after my girlfriend, for me. See you tomorrow Abbi x'  


 


Nick obviously didn't realise what Sean classed as looking after someone's girlfriend. I watched uncomfortably as Sean ran his hand up and down Arias leg. He knew it would get to me. Then he kissed her. I swear he'd have had sex with her there and then if he could have. 


 


'Keep it PG-13 guys' I laughed. 


 


'Sorry, I didn't think' he lied.


 


As we pulled up at the venue there were screaming girls waiting outside for him. I took the opportunity to lay down the law to Sean before we got out of the car. 


 


'We have 2 security guys waiting out there for you but we didn't anticipate such a big crowd so you need to be careful. Take as many pictures as you can and sign as many autographs as you can but you only have 30 minutes til sound check, no more than that, so don't get carried away! There will be some fans inside tonight, but it's primarily for journalists and people in the business so you can't muck about. Like a pre-launch, launch. You've got 6 songs to play. Now don't fuck it up'


 


He nodded.


 


'You two are so funny, it's like a mom talking to her child' laughed Aria


 


'I like a woman who takes control' he laughed 


 


'No, you need a woman who takes control' I scolded him.


 


We got out the car and things went crazy. The crowd were all over him and he was loving it. All the work I was putting in with his promotion was clearly working and I was delighted. There were a load of photographers there too and with so many camera flashes, I was glad I'd made an effort with my outfit. I'd worn Nicks favourite leather skirt with a white chiffon blouse- professional for the showcase, yet ready for going to the club afterwards.


 


One of the fans stopped me on my way in, since I'd had so many pictures published and shared of me, I was often being recognised now.


 


'will Nick be here tonight?' She asked.


 


'I wish he was, but he's not in LA just now' I explained.


 


'You're so lucky to have such good looking boyfriends' 


 


'I am aren't I, don't tell Sean but I think Nick is way better looking, don't you?'


 


She laughed in non-committal way. 'Can I take a picture with you?'


 


'Of course' I smiled, as she handed her phone to her friend to take a picture, Sean appeared  from nowhere and jumped in the picture with us blowing the girl's mind. I said goodbye and left him talking to her as I  continued into the venue with Aria. Sean came in not far behind us and started the sound check, I went to message Nick, but he'd messaged me first. 


 


Sender: Nick


How dare you wear that skirt without me there, especially when I know what's underneath it. Joking, you look beautiful. I'm stalking your insta and I'm starting to think you're going to be more famous than me. Good luck tonight, love you Nx


 


Sender: me


I'll sign your chest for you tomorrow since I'm the famous one now.  Love you more x


 


The night went well, and Sean behaved himself and focused on his music which went well and Evan was happy. Hopefully this meant that my chances of staying in LA were growing. 


 


A big group of people from work headed to the club afterwards with Sean. They were all drinking heavily but I was purposely careful, I didn't want to look like the walking dead when I saw Nick the next day and I wanted to keep my guard up around Sean. He and Aria weren't holding back though and I knew they were doing more than just alcohol. I just prayed that no one else would realise. A drugs scandal was the last thing he needed when things were going so well for him. 


 


'Do you want a couple of lines, you know what it does to you?' He asked


 


'Not anymore, I haven't done that in a long, long time, I don't need to with a man like Nick' 


 


'Ouch that stings, just as much as Aria's ass is going to tomorrow' he laughed. 


 


'Remember, safeword this time. Don't hurt her, she's not like you' 


 


'Or you, you mean' he smirked.


 


'You clearly don't know me anymore. You can't hold on to who I used to be'


 


'When you realise you still love me and come back to me, I know you'll be exactly the same as before' he shrugged. 


 


'Neither of those things are going to happen, so don't hold your breath ok? I'm going to go now, have a 'banging' night' I knew Sean on coke was unreal in the bedroom and I knew what Aria had in store for her.


 


I arranged a car to pick me up and left them all to it. At least I’d be fully functional the next day. 


 


I was at home waiting for Nick when Evan phoned me the next day. He sounded majorly hung over 


 


'Abbi, where did you sneak off to last night? What a success the showcase was, you should have stayed at the club and celebrated, you don't know what you missed' 


 


'Oh I think I've got quite a good idea how a night out with Sean goes' I replied. 


 


'He showed us some old videos and pictures of you by the way, very nice' my blood ran cold. What had he shown them? 


 


'Oh haha, which ones?'


 


'You two recording 'someone', you when you had your emo phase, and with your friend Carmen at Halloween when you went as the rocky horror show' 


 


'Listen Nick doesn't know that's me singing, and I'd rather be didn't for now, ok?'


 


'You'd better tell the whole office that then, Sean was telling everyone. I don't know why you want to hide it, it’s awesome’ 


 


'I just do, it was such a personal song that we write together, and it was never meant to be released then all of a sudden it's all over the radio in the UK and it's all 'who's that girl' and I was still trying to get over Sean so I told him not to mention that it was me. I thought I'd got away with it' I started to tear up. 


 


'I didn't realise it meant so much, listen I'll talk to everyone' 


 


'Thanks, I appreciate that' 


 


'Anyway, apparently there's been excellent feedback on the showcase so I'm going to check it out. You all ready for the album launch?’ 


 


'Yes it's all done. He's got a busy schedule in between but nothing his manager can't handle, so I'm going to crack on with all my other stuff' 


 


'Great, I don't know what I'll do without you if you don't stay!' 


 


I smiled, 'I have been thinking about it actually' 


 


'Well I think there's a position with your name on it coming up actually' 


 


'Wait, What? Are you trying to tell me something here?'


 


'Yes, there's a permanent job here for you if you want it. You can sign the contract as soon as the 6 months are up’


 


I squealed 'thank you so so much, you won't regret it' 


 


I emailed Nick straight after I got off the phone. 


 


Subject: surprise!!!!


I've got big news for you but because I like to tease you, I'll tell you when you're home later. Be excited! Love you! Xx


 


He replied almost instantly. 


 


Subject: re: surprise!!!!


Joe just read your message and is now convinced I'm about to be a daddy lol. I've also got a surprise for you too. It's going to be a good night tonight xx


 


Subject: FAO Joe


Dearest Joe,


No need to worry about being an uncle again, sorry for any fear caused!


With love from the unpregnant Abbi x


 


Subject: uncle Joe rocks 


Hi Abbi, 


I will have you know that I will make your future children an amazing uncle one day! 


Best wishes Uncle extraordinaire 


 


I laughed. It was also reassuring that Nicks closest brother and confidant believed that we had a future together. 


 


I couldn't help but notice Aria hadn't been in touch yet, I hoped she was okay. I was due to meet Sean for coffee soon for the follow up on last night, so I'd ask him then. I just hoped he hadn't pushed her too far. Not that it was any of my business of course. 


 


We met at a lovely little beachside cafe and I sipped on my latte and he drank a double espresso. 


 


'So how do you think last night went?' I asked


 


'It was good, she chose her safeword and only used it twice. I think she's coming around to our way of doing things' he smiled.


 


'That's literally not what I'm asking, you know fine well that I was talking about the showcase. From our point of view it's been really really positive and believe it or not I'm so proud of you, you killed it' I gave him a hug.


 


Evan arrived to join us. 'I've got good news and bad news, the bosses loved last night but they now want us to bring the album launch forward two weeks. Social media is off the hook and they want to capitalise on it'


 


'I'm supposed to be in New York that weekend with Nick, it's the Jonas Brothers video shoot and I'm there working. I said, checking my diary'


 


'New York ay? Here's an idea, let's do the launch there instead and you can combine the two? I know the perfect place. This way we can get Sean in front of more people and we can schedule tv etc there too. I'll tag along too and we can work between us. What do you think?' 


 


'Great idea, I love New York and can't think of anyone I'd rather be there with than you Abs' said Sean


 


'Brilliant, I’ll email the details of the venue I'm thinking of and I'll let you get on with sorting it. I'm now going home to die of this hangover. See you on Monday' he waved to us. 


 


'I'm going too, Nicks home soon. I'll see you later' I leant over and kissed his cheek


 


'I miss you Abbi' he whispered, finally showing his true vulnerability. 


 


'Bye Sean', I left him to it.

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