Coming into work on Monday was one massive come down after New York. It was also weighing heavily on my mind that time was running out for us, both before he went on tour and I went back to London. I couldn't help but wonder how it would all work itself out. My romantic life had never been a walk in the park to be honest. Why couldn't I just for once pick someone who would be an 'easy option', Nick definitely wasn't and Sean certainly hadn’t been either. That's what I'd loved most about him at the time but what I loved at first soon became what I hated the most.
Mid morning I received a massive bouquet of flowers, all my favourites. Nick had a way of just knowing these things. The card simply said
'My darling Abbi. I love you. See you soon x'
I had to laugh, I was seeing Nick that afternoon, he was coming into the office to at the end of the day discuss the release of Only Human in a couple of weeks, so yes he would see me soon. I decided to send him a quick email to thank him for them though, so he knew that they'd arrived.
Subject: floral sex
Thank you for my beautiful flowers. You're such a gentleman. See you this afternoon
Subject: re: floral sex
I'm afraid they weren't from me this time, didn't they have a card?
Love you Nx
Subject: silly me
You're right, silly me didn't read the card. They were actually for Aria.
Love you too xx
So they weren't from Nick.
Did you send me flowers?
Yes, did you like them? I chose them especially.
Please don't do that again.
See you soon Abbi x
Why did he keep saying that to me? I wasn't going to engage him further but it was starting to unnerve me.
'I need to find me a man who sends flowers like that' laughed Aria.
'They're nice aren't they? But I'm allergic to them so you can have them if you like otherwise I'll need to throw them out' I lied, I just wanted them gone.
'Waste not want not' she said taking them to her desk. Good riddance.
I was so busy catching up with the calls and emails from Friday that the day flew by. It was soon 4pm and I was sat down with the man who had stolen my heart, his two brothers plus Phil, their manager. Evan had let Aria and I take the meeting as he had someone important coming in to see him and he knew that we could handle it.
'So Mr Jonas, I believe you're releasing a new track, and you're here to discuss how we shall be promoting it' I joked in my best proper English accent.
'Abbi, no word of a lie, you sounded just like Soph when she gives me a row' said Joe.
'Ooh kinky' I laughed.
We did eventually get down to business, as well as having a laugh, then Evan knocked on the door.
'Hey guys, I just wanted to introduce this guy to you, this is Shane O'Leary, absolutely massive artist in the UK at the moment, as you'll know Abbi, and he's just agreed to sign for our label here in the states'
My mouth dropped as he walked into the room. He was 6ft 4inches tall, tanned yet freckled skin, blond surfer looking longish messy hair and a smile to die for. His muscular physique would make almost any woman weak at the knees.
Phil, Nick, Joe and Kevin stood up to shake his hand and welcome him to the label, but his eyes looked past them and fixed on me.
'Hey Abbi, nice to see you' he said completely overly enthusiastically.
'You too, it's been a long time' I replied in a salty tone.
'You guys know each other?' Asked Nick, looking between us.
'Oh Abbi and I go way back, and I hear you're dating now. So look after her, she's special to me' his words were just laced with poison.
'Yeah, We grew up together and moved in the same circles for a long time' I explained
'That makes perfect sense then, Shane has asked for you to work with him Abbi' explained Evan.
'Oh with all of these guys different projects I'm not sure I'll manage Evan, I'm sure someone else could give him a lot more attention than I could' I was inwardly having a panic attack.
'Don't be silly Abs, I know you, you'll do the best job for me possible, you’ve always done your best for me' Shane said.
'It's fine, we've looked it all over and once the Jonas's are off on tour, that's when he'll will need you most so it will all work out' Evan was firm in his tone and I could tell I didn't have a choice.
'Well it was good to see you, but I just need to get back to this meeting now' I smiled falsely.
'It's ok Abbi, we're good, we've got everything we need' said Phil.
'Hey Shane, before you go. Abbi and I are going out for dinner when we're finished here, do you want to come and join us? You and Abbi can catch up and since we're going to be sharing a label, it would be good to get to know you too' offered Nick.
'I'm sure he's busy' I tried to hint that I didn't want him to come with us.
'Don't be silly, I'm never too busy to catch up with you Abs!'
I did my best fake smile.
'Sounds great then'
Evan took him back to his office whilst we finished up and I got my coat.
'Did I detect an issue between you two?' Asked Nick looking slightly suspicious.
'No, not at all. I was just very surprised to see him here'
'His music is really good, but I'm guessing as a friend you'll know that already' Kevin said.
'That song about his lost love, the lyrics are unbelievable. Whoever she was must really have broken his heart, you can really feel his pain' added Joe.
'Is that the one that goes-
Nick sang his lyrics and I felt sick
'Yup but believe me, he's not as nice as he makes out' I said quietly.
Shane and Evan came out his office and shook hands.
'Who's ready for dinner then?' Asked Shane rubbing his hands together.
'Aria, why don't you join us too?' I had a brainwave.
'Sure, dinner with two of the hottest men on earth, who could turn that down?' She laughed.
I popped to the bathroom to text Carmen straight away
Never guess who has signed to my label and guess who he wants to work with? And I'm currently going for dinner with him, Nick and Aria from the office. Brilliant.
Tell Nick, I'm sure it will be fine.
Easy for you to say.
I put my phone in my bag and looked at myself in the mirror. I was all over the place, how was I going to manage to eat dinner with those two together?
I came back out the bathroom to find everyone waiting for me. Nick as always went to take my hand but Shane got in first with a big hug.
'I've missed you Abs, it's been too long. Imagine making me come all the way to LA just to be able to talk to you!' He smiled but he meant it.
I pulled my way out of the hug and took Nicks hand.
'Imagine!' I replied sarcastically.
'I've got my car downstairs, I'll drive' said Nick.
'I’ll need my car for the morning though so I need to take mine too' I explained.
'I'll come with you then Abs and we can catch up on our way to dinner then' said Shane not even asking.
'I'll come with you then Nick if that's ok, I don't want to get in the middle of an emotional reunion' laughed Aria.
Nick nodded but I knew he was noticing something odd was happening.
Shane and I jumped in my Audi and followed Nick and Aria ahead. It was a 45 minute drive to where we were going to eat and this was the first time that I'd spoken to him in over a year.
'So, dowant to tell me what the hell is going on?' I asked. Shane was his stage name. I only ever called him his real name- Sean.
'Well apparently writing an album of songs about you, that got to number one in the UK , didn't work. Flowers didn't work, I saw them on Arias desk by the way. Phone calls and texts didn't work, so I'm here in person to tell you I still love you and I want you back'
'Are you kidding me? Like for real kidding me? You're coming out to dinner with my boyfriend and I and you're saying this to me?' I was making sure to keep a fake smile on my face because I knew Nick would be looking in the rear view mirror.
'I messed up before, I messed up badly and I realise that now. I wanted to sort things in London, then I found out you were here and then all of a sudden you're like a bloody celebrity all over magazines and tv with HIM in that car there. Do you know what that's doing to my head?'
'You messed up? You make it sound like an one off thing. What you did, what we did was wrong. I just want to move on and leave all of that in the past'
'You still love me though, I can tell'
'Sean, I love Nick, not you. I'm sorry but it's true'
'If that's the case then why doesn't he know who I really am?'
I paused. Why hadn't I told him the truth?
'Because when you get involved in my life things always get messy. We had a good 4 years together but look at you now. You've got the world at your feet. You could have any girl, so move on'
'Did it ever occur to you that I can't? Tell me though, apart from my existence, what else haven't you told Mr Purity-Ring?'
'That's none of your concern'
'So he doesn't know the good stuff then, might be interesting if I have a couple too many drinks tonight and my mouth starts opening'
'I am warning you, keep your bloody mouth shut'
'Just remember now I'm signed to your label, all the lovely alone time we'll get together' he winked and placed his hand on my thigh. His touch was always electric to me, but he wasn't the one I loved. I hesitated for a second and then pushed his hand away.
'Seriously stop It' I told him through gritted teeth
'It took you long enough to tell me there. I think maybe you were enjoying my touch a little bit too much there for a girl I'm a committed relationship'
'Just because you still turn me on, it doesn't mean anything'
'Do you think Nick would let me join you two for a little ménage a trois?'
'I wouldn't let you, so get that idea out of your mind'
'But Abs se could remember the good old times?'
'I try not to remember. All that was a long time ago, you know that'
He placed his hand on the top of my thigh and grabbed it hard, he knew I liked it rough.
'Just remember though Abs, I know the real you. How about I ask Nick if he would like me to tell him what his girlfriend really likes in bed'
'How about you take your threats and piss off?' I asked, ignoring the vice like grip on my thigh.
'Because if this coming to LA to get you back thing doesn't work, Ill need to find another way’.
'Fuck you Sean'
'With pleasure' he grinned squeezing my leg and then finally letting go.
‘Seriously though, can we change the subject now. You’re doing really well right now, I’m proud of you, I can see you’re really going places. You have the potential to go stellar in the industry. Don’t let the past, our past, stop you.’
The rest of the car journey was in near silence. My brain was working overtime, how could I get rid of Sean and how could I keep all of this from Nick? I even considered murder but with an insanity plea.
We pulled up outside the restaurant and I took the chance to warn him again.
'Just keep out of my relationship with Nick, ok?'
'We'll See' he stuck his tongue out childishly.
Argh he was so irritating.
Nick and Aria were just ahead of us as I handed the key to the valet. Yet again there were photographers lurking and Sean grabbed me to have a photo with him. I wasn't impressed at all but smiled anyway. We caught up with the other two at the table.
'Sorry about that Sean here decided he wanted to get papped with me' I explained.
'Sean? Sorry, I’m confused, I thought your name was Shane?' Asked Nick, clearly putting two and two together.
'Yeah my real name is Sean but for some reason I decided to call myself Shane for a bit and it just stuck so that's the name I use for my music now'
I saw Nicks face, he clearly now knew that he'd invited my ex out for dinner with us.
'So you grew up with Abbi then?' Nick asked
'Yeah we did, then I moved down to London with her when she got her job there but our friendship didn't last long once we got there because she got so busy with work and I really focused on my music'
'Yeah I've heard some of your stuff, it's really good. You must have had some heartbreak to write some of those lyrics though' he was fishing for details.
'I did, I went through a hellish break up with someone I still loved but you know it gave me an excellent first album so I can't complain'
'That's tough, it's hard to have a clean break when you still love someone isn't it' Nick persisted.
'It depends if you're the one still in love or not doesn't it?' I said pointedly.
Aria sat as if she were in the audience of the Jerry Springer show watching digs and unsubtle references fly between the three of us.
Eventually we ate dinner and conversation became less intense but I felt Nick watching every single interaction I had with Sean. At every opportunity Nick held my hand, as if to send a signal to Sean.
Once we finished I offered Aria a lift home but she declined and took a car home with Sean who has half drunk.
I followed Nick to his house in my car. I was dreading the conversation that was about to take place. I parked in my usual spot and turned off the ignition. I took a deep breath and Nick opened my car door for me to get out. He held his hand out to me, but his expression was serious.
We walked in to the house and I went straight to the wine rack and grabbed us a bottle of red and two glasses and took it through to sit with Nick.
'So I'm assuming that "Shane" is actually your ex, Sean, the one that was looking for you?'
'And when were you going to tell me? You know before I made a fool of myself and invited him for dinner with us might have been nice' he took a drink.
'Look I honestly didn't know he would be coming to LA. I have zero feelings for him now. He is literally insignificant to my life'
'Except he's not, is he? He's your new client at work. You know the same place we met? How am I not supposed to think the worst?'
'Because you know me, and you know I'd never cheat on you'
'Do I though Abbi? Do I really know you? It's all been galas and flights and shows, have we skipped a part or something? I just don't know how my girlfriend could forget to tell me that someone so well known was her ex. I don't like this. I don't like it at all'
'I promise, he's my past and you're my present and future, you've got nothing to worry about at all. Now if it's ok with you, I'm going to go and change into my pyjamas'
He nodded clearly unhappy with me.
I was back within 5 minutes wearing my short and tee PJ's.
'What's that red mark on your thigh?' Asked Nick.
I quickly realised that it was the marks from where Sean had grabbed me in the car.
'Oh, I'm an idiot and banged it on my desk today' I lied
'Hmm' he replied
There was something about Sean that just made me have to lie to people and I hated it.
That night in bed, I pulled Nick towards me, he'd barely spoken to me since he discovered who Sean was and had turned his back on me as soon as we got into bed, which I didn't like at all.
'Please don't be angry, I'm sorry I didn't tell you. I can promise you, nothing will happen between us'
'Just tell me the truth in the future. I felt so stupid back there. Don't do that to me again'
'I won't, I'm sorry' I replied, cuddling in to him. This was going to be some rollercoaster ride with Sean in town.