Sequel: Good Enough
Status: Finished: The sequel is up! Read this, then go read that! (That's how sequels work) <3

Strong Enough

Falling Down

I’d plopped back on the couch, giving Mia a ‘don’t make me do that again’ look. She smiled and said she’d gotten her shots and that we could move on. Whispering a thank you and an apology as she pulled me from the couch.

What she’d failed to mention to me was that my encounters with Bryden today weren’t over. Not by a long shot. The boys had ordered some Chinese food before we’d gotten there, so while we got everything set up, did wardrobe and make-up, we also got to eat. At least these boys were good for something.

Mia had gotten in touch with some connections and found wardrobe, hair and make-up people to come help out. While I was getting pushed into some tight ripped jeans and a black corset top, Tommy and Rylan had been pushed into a make-up chair. I could hear their whiny voices from where I was changing.

“Seriously? Why do you have to put this on my face? I’m a boy.”

“Tommy shut the fuck up. It’ll keep you from looking shiny in the photos.” Mia was not used to working with amateurs, but I could hear the laughter in her voice.

“Fuck that, I like shiny. Shiny is good.”

“Tommy, she’s been doing this for years. She knows what she’s doing, so pipe down.” I came out from behind the divider in my outfit, pulling on some black strappy heels.

“Damn girl, no wonder people pay you for this.” Rylan, who’d gotten over the make-up quickly came over and spun me around.

“Just wait until my hair and make-up is done.” I winked at the boys as they were pulled into wardrobe.

A half hour later, Ry and Tommy were placed in front of the white screen and Mia went to work. She had m posing with guitars and headphones and various other things from around the studio. I had to admit, every time I saw her work, I remember just how good she is at her job.

Once I got the clear from the team working on me, I made my way to Mia who immediately pushed me into the photos. I was hanging on the boys and stealing the guitars. Eventually, she’d gotten so many shots, I thought she’d run out of room on her SD cards.

That’s when I noticed the curve ball. Bryden emerged from wardrobe, decked in loose jeans and a leather jacket. That was it. And damn did he look good. I noticed a few tattoos now graced the skin on his chest and abs. Is it weird that I wondered for a second what it’d be like to run my tongue over them?

Mia grabbed his arm and a chair and pushed him down onto it in front of the screen. She gave him a guitar and started snapping, giving him small hints as she went. He didn’t seem to need a lot of direction. He gave off the sexy musician vibe pretty effortlessly.

Mia, once again, pushed me into the shots. I was supposed to be the groupie or something, I guess? I ended up wrapping my arms around his neck, or leaning my hand on his shoulder as he sat. Eventually, Mia positioned the guitar on the ground, leaning on the chair and I ended up in his lap.

I wasn’t one to question Mia’s articism, but this was getting out of hand. He was sitting, one hand on the neck of the guitar, one hand low on my hip. I was leaned back a bit, holding a set of studio headphones. All the while trying to keep my face sexy and calm, when inside I was freaking out. Bryden’s scent was invading my senses. His hand on my hip was radiating and unnatural amount of warmth.

Once again, I felt his eyes fall on me. I resisted for a while, but eventually my eyes moved to meet his. That may be the worst idea I’ve had in a while. As soon as our eyes locked, there was no going back. I felt like he was looking into my soul—like he could see everything I was feeling and thinking. He could see the pain and the desperation and the hope and the longing.

I tried to see into his soul. I tried to figure out what he was thinking. I tried to read his emotions, but I got nothing. He just stared.

“Okay, I think that’s a wrap. Great job everyone.” Mia’s voice pulled me from the trance and I bolted from the chair to where my clothes were behind the divider. I collapsed onto the chair behind the rack of clothes and tried to even out my breathing.

“She’s trying. Just give her time.” He voice was quiet, but I could still hear Mia’s voice.

“I just wish I knew what to say. I fucked it up, not her. But I can’t fix it if she won’t let me.” Bryden’s voice sounded a little broken as he replied.

I shook my head and cleared my thoughts, quickly changing into my clothes. When I finally emerged from the back, Bryden was mysteriously absent. I found Mia packing her camera and things and talking to Rylan.

“So, I don’t know if I told you, one of my photographer friends out here got me connected with a magazine writer who wants to do a story about the studio and everything. I figured I could send them some of the pictures from the shoot and give him your email so he could set up some interviews. If that’s alright with you, of course.”

“Are you kidding? That’s amazing. Mia, you’re a fucking rock star.” I smiled as I watched Rylan pick Mia up and spin her around, catching her off guard. She let out a small squeak at leaving the floor, but hugged him back once she regained her composure.

“That’s why she’s my best friend and chosen sister.” I wrapped my arm around her shoulder, smiling; the Bryden incident slowly slipping from my mind.

“Thanks again Jax for doing this. I know it wasn’t your favorite thing, but you’re an angel for helping out.” He wrapped me in a hug, which gave me a distinct feeling of home.

“Annie, you’re one of my best friends. I would do anything to help you out.”

Tommy suddenly appeared behind me, poking my side, making me jump out of my skin.

“You asshole. I’ll kill you.” The next ten minutes were filled with me chasing Tommy through the studio as everyone tried to clean up their various stations. I finally caught up to Tommy in the back recording room I’d met him in and tackled him onto the couch. I quickly found the strange spot on his ribs that made him squirm and tickled him until he begged me to stop.

“I’m going to pee my pants if you don’t stop.”

“Next time don’t mess with me.” I smiled down at the boy below me. This guy was possibly the strangest, most loving guy I knew. I forgot how much I missed him.

I moved off him, pressing my back into the couch and taking in some deep breaths. Tommy may be ridiculously tall, but he’s deceptively fast. He’d rolled into a sitting position next to me when I noticed someone standing in the booth.

“You know, he hasn’t been the same since you left. I know he fucked up, but you should at least hear him out. Everyone makes mistakes.” He patted my knee, walking over to the control panel and flipping a switch before leaving.

I was about to ask what he was doing when Bryden’s voice filled the room again. It sounded like he was trying to write out a song. Even the broken lines and the unfinished melody sounded good to me.
I really needed to stop listening to him sing, I felt like a stalker, but I couldn’t help it. It felt like the only way I could figure out what he was thinking.

I stood slowly from the couch and moved to the desk chair Rylan had occupied earlier. Bryden was facing the side of the booth, guitar in his hands.

“What’s happened to you? It’s obvious you’ve changed. Something deep inside you is probably to blame. Must be lonely up there with your head up in the clouds. Even though you got there what does your conscious tell you now?

“It’s never the same on the way down. How does it feel when your feet finally hit the ground? When all of your bridges aren’t around? And the sandcastles you built are falling down?” His hand left his guitar and rubbed down his face. I saw the notepad on the music stand in front of him. It seemed like he was completely focused on the words in his head.

“You had us all sitting right there in your hand. But you had to fall because that's how this life is. Got your fingers burned by burning candles at both ends. Now the table's turned and now your demons are your friends.

“It's never the same on the way down. How does it feel when your feet finally hit the ground? When all of your bridges aren't around? And the sandcastles you built are falling down?

“So now I question what you're gonna do—now that everything’s gone up with you. You believe the shit you say is true, but everybody's on to you. Life remembers everything you do. Your karma has caught up with you.

“It's never the same on the way down. How does it feel when your feet finally hit the ground? When all of your bridges have burned down? And the sandcastles you built are falling down?”

When he’d finally finished the song, he put the guitar down and rested his head in his hands. I could tell he was mumbling to himself, but I couldn’t hear the words. At that point, I didn’t want to. He was writing about me. And I didn’t know how I felt about it.

Was I really that different? Was I causing myself all this pain? No, it was him. He’s the one who broke me. He’s the one who fucked with my head.

Then why did I feel like I was two inches tall?

I flipped the switch Tommy had earlier and walked slowly out of the room. I didn’t need these reminders anymore. I needed to forget how screwed up my life was. I needed to stop trying to figure out my emotions. Mostly, I needed to stop thinking about the boy I’d just walked away from again.
♠ ♠ ♠
What's this like 3 days in a row? I'm spoiling all of you. :) But since I'll be gone next week on vacation, I'm making up for the lack of updates now.
So? What do you think? How do you feel about Bryden? And Jax?
Love you all!
Thanks to BlueEyedAngel2 and Rawrliz for commenting