Sequel: If Only Until Morning

Pictures on Silence

Chapter 48

For Thanksgiving dinner Aromi and I went to a pizza parlour down the block from our hotel. Non-traditional and unexpected: that's just how we roll.

After that we went to a dance club and partied; the crowd was nicely sparse, which meant we both had a grand time: Aromi hit on cute guys and I wasn't surrounded by morons. Funny thing was, out of the two of us, I wasn't the one who got carded at the door.

The next morning I woke up at dawn, as our balcony faced East and I wasn't jet-lagged. Aero, on the other hand, slept until noon, and he only got up because I promised him coffee. We finally hit the streets of Chicago around one, strolling hand in hand like we'd lived there forever.

Only neither of us knew anywhere to go. It was a surprisingly nice day for the back end of November. So when Aero went to the men's room in some restaurant, I snuck his phone of his back pocket and scrolled through his contacts. I quirked a smile beneath my hat and pressed call.

"Uh... hello?"

Funny. I didn't remember Pete having the voice of Bozo the Clown.

"Is there a Mister Peter Wentz available, please?" I asked coyly. This was unbelievably fun, calling famous people.

"Yeah, hold on." He obviously moved the phone away from his mouth, because he yelled, "Pete! There's some chick on the phone for you!" I waited patiently, watching the people walk by. "How should I know if she's cute? She's on the phone!"

I covered my mouth and suppress laughter. "Yello?" came another voice flirtatiously. "Pete Wentz, at your service."

Now I couldn't help but laugh outright, making people stare at me like a freak. "Oh, Wentz, you silly skank," I mused, laughing.

"Wait, who is this? You're not Aromi Tropher."

"And thank God. No, this is Angie Callaghan, the bassist of the band Aero manages. Remember me?" Pete 'oh'ed in recognition and returned to his I'm-a-hot-important-guy-worship-me voice. "You doing anything right now?"

"No... why?" he asked suspiciously.

I smiled at Aero, having just exited the restaurant and now pouting at me, not having realised that I stole his phone. "Well, it may interest you to know that my manager and I are currently visiting your lovely state, and we have no idea where the hot places are in Chicago."

"I'm there!" he declared excitedly. "Where are you guys? I'll pick you up."

Thus, Aromi and I relocated to a place Pete could find easily. It wasn't that he wouldn't find us. Come on: smoking-hot Italian guy and six-foot redhead sitting on the shoulder of a statue. Not hard to spot.

...Shut up, I like climbing things.

After about fifteen minutes, a car with tinted windows pulled up to the sidewalk. I rolled my eyes as the passenger door opened. Drama queen. To my surprise, a mop of wavy brown hair emerged and a boyish grin shown up at me. "What're you doing all the way up there, princess?" He laughed. "Nice hat. Hanging out with Patrick much?"

Covering my excitement, I climbed and jumped down the statue slowly and straightened my shirt and hat before smirking up at Beckett. "Hey, Lamppost," I greeted. "Wentz didn't tell me you were coming."

"It was a surprise," he called from inside the car. "Now get in! This crazy old lady behind me is getting pissed."

So we piled into Pete's car and drove off. The next ten minutes consisted of lots of loud noises. Mainly: me yelling at Beckett to stop squishing me in the corner, Beckett yelling things like, "But you're sooooooooo comfy!" Aromi yelling at Beckett because apparently the squishiness of me is reserved for band members only, and Pete getting increasingly annoyed and yelling at all of us to shut the fuck up.

"Jeez, Wentz," I said, rolling my eyes at him in the rear view mirror, "Don't be such a drag." I winked at Bill beside me, who grinned and slid even closer to me. "Beckett! Personal space, dammit!" I shoved him and he slid across the seat into the door.

"Shopping?" I exclaimed, staring gob-smacked at Pete. He grinned behind huge sunglasses and pulled me along. "You're taking us shopping? Are you out of your tiny mind? It's Black Friday! Absolutely everybody is shopping right now!"

"Everybody who's anybody," Beckett added, slinging an arm around my shoulder.

Aromi turned around and walked backwards in front of us. "What's the matter, dollface? You don't like shopping?"

You know those moments in movies when someone says something and everyone around hears it and just stops to stare, and it's so quiet you can hear crickets even though its ten past one in the middle of November in Chicago?

Well, that didn't happen. But people definitely leered at us.

I lowered my head and tugged down my hat. "I hate you guys," I muttered as they dragged me into a store.

And then of course, the inevitable happened. Somebody recognised us. Well, Pete and Bill, technically.

"Oh my god, Pete Wentz!" I heard a shrill yell. With my ninja-like skills, I ducked out beneath Beckett's arm and hid myself amongst the clothing racks. Peeking out under the brim of my hat, I saw a swarm of girls hovering and squealing around the three. I snickered when one of them asked, "Who are you?" and her friend said, "Who cares? He's with Pete and William! He must be famous too!"

Shaking my head I turned to the rack of clothes beside me and idly flicked through the hangers. This could, and probably would, take forever. Might as well amused myself with disgustingly trendy clothes. Eew, lime green and orange stripes.

"Can you believe that?" I glanced up; a girl, even taller than I, stood beside me, smiling disdainfully at the throng of teenies. "People can't even shop anymore without getting mauled." She turned her eyes to me and smiled. "Though you seem to have escaped pretty well."

I scratched the back of my head nervously and laughed awkwardly. "Yeah... but I'm no one important." Yay acting?Boo lying.

The girl stuck out her hand, which I shook. "I'm Beth," she introduced.


"I know." I blinked at her, making her smile widen. "I saw you guys in July when you passed through here. Pretty great." I smiled uneasily. Beth glanced over at the group again. "Who's the other guy?"

I rolled my eyes when I saw Aero was soaking up the attention, smiling widely and talking to all the girls. "My manager," I replied dryly. "We're up on... 'business'." Beth laughed. I nodded my head towards the group, beginning to thin out. "Want anything?"

Immediately, her eyes became innocent. "Oh, no. I'm fine." I shot her a level look, and she redirected her blue-eyed gaze upwards. "I mean... I guess, you could get me a picture with Becks... Since you two are--"

"Done and done!" I pulled her by the wrist back to the group. Pete and Wills glared, annoyed that I'd left them hanging. "Gentlemen, this is my new friend, Beth. William, let's get us a picture with the young lady, eh?"

Beckett grinned boyishly and wrapped an arm around the girl as I messed with her camera. I counted down and at the last second, he snaked her head around and planted a big wet kiss on her cheek.

We walked back out of the store. Becks was grinning. "Slut," I muttered at him, rolling my eyes.

"Aww, it's okay to be jealous," Pete mocked. I made a face at the ceiling when Bill smacked a slobbery kiss on me cheek a second later. And luckily Aromi snapped a picture of it.

Ah, the joys of famous whores.

Later that night--much later-- Pete and I were sitting in the hotel room, watching 'The Breakfast Club' because it was on and he was too wired to go home. Aromi had slumped off to bed as soon as we got in and Becks was passed out in my lap.

"Pete?" I asked hesitantly, fingers shakily playing with William's hair.

"Hmm?" he grunted, not taking his eyes off the screen.

I frowned down at the mass of hair and gently twirled a piece. "...Have you..." I took a deep breath. "Do Jon and the guys talk to you much?"

He turned his head slowly, eyes glued to the television until the last second. He shrugged. "Once in a while, yeah. Why?"

My face started to burn up and I looked down, hair falling in my face. I can't take people looking at me like that. Aww, he's so cute when he's sleeping. Too bad he's not like that awake. I shrugged slightly. "Do they... ever talk about me?"

Tentatively, I lifted my eyes. A grin grew on Pete's face. "Occasionally." His grin widened. "Why?" I couldn't help glaring at him. You know why, damn it, I snapped in my head. Stop teasing me. He cackled. "You're blushing like a tomato."

"Shut up." I frowned down at Beckett, listening to the movie. Pete moved his head so I was looking right at him and fluttered his eyes. I fought a smile. "Goober," I whispered.

He gasped. "I've never been so insulted! I am not a peanut covered in chocolate!" I fell into laughter, careful not to wake the giant in my lap. Pete grinned and looked back at the TV; the last scene, with the awesome 80s hit playing in the background, was rolling. He glanced down at his watch. "Shit. It's almost one. I should probably go." He shoved William's shoulder. "Bill, wake up."

Beckett lifted his head and looked around, squinting. He looked up at me and put his head back down. "You're comfortable," he garbled. "Back to sleep I go."

Pete rolled his eyes, standing, but I smiled and shook my head. "He can sleep here." Gently lifting Bill's head and freeing myself, I stood up, turned off the television, and walked Pete to the door.

He turned to me as I opened the door; my eyebrows rose expectantly. He twitched back a piece of hair that had swept into my face and grinned. "Ryan talks about you a lot," he said casually, stuffing his hands into his pockets. "Accordingly to the guys, he likes watching videos of your shows." With one last crooked grin, he shrugged and strutted off down the hallway.

After I shut the door, I shuffled back into the room and pulled a blanket down from the closet to lay over Beckett. Then I sat down on the floor beside the couch, staring into space. A car alarm went off in the night and my head turned. Chills ran through me.

Someone somewhere was thinking of me.