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.