Status: in the editing process; expect updates every tuesday and thursday

Fangirl

Two: Rockstar or Diva?

Say what you want, say it right to my face. I wanna hear it all, c'mon, please. It's like music to my ears that I've been hearing for years.


I hadn't even made it behind the counter before Dave was thrusting a clipboard into my arms and giving me instructions on what to do. Judging by the line already forming outside the building and wrapping around onto the next street, we would break our sales record for the month just with the sales from today.

"We're opening the doors in half an hour, and they're gonna lose their minds when they find out we're going to have to postpone the signing," Dave muttered, giving me a sideways glance before checking the time. "Where the hell is Sammi? Did she text you?"

My eyes widened slightly before I shook my head, glancing down at the papers in my hands. "Uh, no, but she doesn't come in for another fifteen minutes. What do you mean we're going to have to postpone?"

"What do you think I mean?" He shot back, letting out an exasperated sigh before running his hands through his hair. "One of their guys didn't show up on time, and they don't know where he is."

Usually, I would've made an offhand comment, but I knew that wasn't going to help anything or the situation. We had at least a hundred people outside expecting to see this band soon, and if we didn't have an excuse as to why that wouldn't be happening, they'd end up being pissed. I told Dave that it was probably just a misunderstanding or that his phone had just died and that he'd be there soon.

I spent the next few minutes organizing their table and setting up a little bit of the merchandise they had authorized for us to sale along the small walkway we had set up by it. Just as Dave went to unlock the front doors, Sammi came in through the door at the back of the store.

"They just let anyone in now," I teased, smirking as she shook her head before going to clock in.

"You're lucky I can't say what I want to, Hailey."

As soon as Dave unlocked the doors, people started filing in and conversations of varying pitch and volume filled the store. I stood in front of the table and directed them to line up, Dave trying to make a few sales along the way. It wasn't until a little later that Sammi told me to go outside after she'd gotten off the phone with the band's tour manager.

"Hailey Abbott?"

I gave a nod of my head as I shook Danny's hand, smiling politely. "Thank you again for the opportunity."

If it were possible, he gave me an even brighter smile, shrugging. "It was nothing. I figured you could do a lot of good with it, and I know the boys need a little bit of stability."

He paused for a second to re-introduce me to each of the men, save for Alex, who I was correct in assuming was late. Danny explained that only Jack, Zack and Rian would be doing the signing while we waited on Alex to show up. It would keep everyone complacent until the show, at least.

But by then, Danny assured me that Alex would show. I only hoped that he was right, mostly for Dave's sake, but it would be a little hard to paint the guys in a good light if one of them wasn't pulling their weight. When Danny had mentioned that they needed a little bit of good publicity, I wasn't expecting the reasoning behind it to be so bad.

From personal experience, Alex wasn't the easiest to work with, sure, but I could've caught him on a bad day. But with being late a lot more than usual, and having an issue with alcohol, I wasn't so sure that a little bit of good publicity and a few blogs were going to fix the issue.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


"Bella, are you serious?"

The screams on either side of us were deafening and I'd found out through Danny that the band wasn't performing for another half hour. Bella wasn't at all phased by my yelling and the only part of her that I could see through the masses of people in the crowd was her bright pink ponytail bobbing up and down. I let out a groan, standing on my toes to see her near the makeshift barricades at the front, pushing my way to her as quickly as I could manage.

When Danny waved us over, I grabbed her hand and pulled her behind the main stage area. Thankfully, no one had found out yet that Alex still wasn't here. The signing had gone off without a hitch, and I didn't know what the numbers looked like, but we had managed to sell out of everything All Time Low related and a good chunk of other CD's and vinyl's.

Bella was trying to keep her composure, but I knew it was killing her. She loved the band, but she was especially consumed with Jack, who she'd met years ago at a party. Danny went over a few things with us, including procedure for the meet and greet after the show, but I doubted there'd be too much of an issue.

"Anyway, you guys are free to do whatever right now, but when the show starts, I'll move you guys to the side so you can get your pictures."

Right.

Bella moved to open a cooler and let out a sigh when she realized there wasn't anything with alcohol inside. She grumbled, unscrewing the cap and taking a sip before sitting next to me. "So...this is pretty crazy, huh?"

"What do you mean?"

"I mean, you're in classes one day and working on getting accepted for internships and then you're suddenly on tour with a band as their photographer?"

"I guess I'm more damage control. Keith wanted me here to help promote their album with my blog, and follow the tour and make sure they don't get arrested. So, technically, yeah. But also no."

I contemplated what I signed up for once flashes started from twenty feet opposite us. I wasn't really sure what tour life and busy schedules entailed, but I was almost positive it was going to drive me insane. And I didn't know if it was going to be a good thing or a bad thing. I knew that it was a far cry from what I was used to, considering I hid whenever I could because people just weren't my thing.

"Fucking hell," Danny cursed, walking back around to us almost just as quickly as he left.

Zack and Rian were behind him and Bella was trying to play it cool, but I could tell she was about two seconds away from losing her shit. It wasn't like I wasn't, but after completely embarrassing myself three years ago, I swore I'd never let myself act like that again.

The guys almost looked annoyed and even Jack, the one that was always running around or screaming obscenities, looked pretty upset, too. I looked over at Bella and she shrugged, obviously just as lost as I was.

"So the good news is that Alex is here, but apparently, he isn't ready to do the show," Roxie explained, glancing between the five of us.

"Does he do this a lot?" I asked, folding my arms across my chest.

"Why do you think we haven't toured in so long?" Rian asked, looking over at me. "Alex can't get his shit together."

"Oh," was the only way I could reply. I didn’t know that things had gotten that bad when Keith mentioned that they needed to reinvent themselves. "I didn't realize. I'm sorry."

And, as if having heard us, Alex walked right past us and near the side of the stage, adjusting his in-ears. The guys were close to follow and the techs handed them their guitars, all acoustic, and Rian grabbed a stool and his 'box'. Within seconds of them stepping on stage, the screams got louder and Bella had pulled me to the side of the stage to watch with her. I managed to snap all of the pictures that I needed, and focused the rest of my attention on how they interacted with the crowd and how they sounded.

The usual antics and banter played out, which honestly surprised me because it was an acoustic set, and thirty minutes in, their set was almost over. In that half hour, I was reminded of how I fell in love with the band and the music in the first place. They ended show with Dear Maria, as per usual, and met back with us over here.

Bella was animatedly talking Jack's head off, who didn't seem to mind, and Rian and Zack had disappeared behind the bus to talk with fans. A pang settled in my chest as I saw Alex standing by himself, a plastic cup in his hand. I hadn't seen him in three years and while I doubted he remembered me, I obviously remembered him.

Naturally, I debated whether or not to talk to him for five minutes before I eventually decided that he'd only gotten worse since we met, so what did I have to lose? His hair didn't have streaks in it like it did before, but I could only see what peeked out from underneath the beanie he wore. He was sporting a pair of ripped jeans and a grey shirt that had small holes in it, with a pair of black boots. He set his phone on the table before taking another sip, raising his eyebrows when he caught me staring at him.

I stuffed a hand in my pocket, rocking back on the balls of my feet. "Uh, hey, Alex, I'm—."

He cut me off, a small smirk on his face. "I know who you are."

I smiled slightly at that, grabbing a sandwich from the table behind him. "Cool. I just wanted to say hi and that it's going to be nice working with you and the guys."

He laughed, leaning against the edge of the table, setting his drink down. When he was close enough to me, he leaned forward, lowering his voice, his breath reeking of alcohol. "It's actually not so nice. See, Danny and the guys are convinced that I need some kind of help and he thinks that's where you come in. But here's the deal, sweetheart, some little girl isn't going to give me anything, other than a good time once or twice on tour. And I'll try to resist it because I decided to start over with my girlfriend, but you're pretty hot so who knows?"

"Okay, that's extremely inappropriate and—that's not at all who I am. What's wrong with you?" I blurted, my cheeks starting to turn a light shade of pink.

"That's how they all are, Hailey. And you're no different. I give it a few days, a week or two at most. Nice talking to you."

I blinked as he finished the rest of his cup, throwing it to the ground before he started towards the mass of fans that had gathered. I let his words sink in for a second, pinching the bridge of my nose.

I was beginning to wonder if I made the right decision in agreeing to do this.
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