Sequel: Black and White
Status: complete;;


chapter one;;

The rain pounded against the window in almost horizontal streaks, and flashes of lightning split the sky in brilliant streaks. Headlights appeared at sparse intervals, men and women leaving their lovers' homes before their partners woke up or people in search of something better somewhere else along the highway. I sighed and rested my forehead against the cool pane of glass, a bead of sweat slipping down my neck with the movement. The road stretched out toward the darkened horizon in an ever-thinning ribbon. With another heavy exhale, I shifted my seatbelt until I could pull my phone from the pocket of my oversized hoodie.

To: Lambchop Heyyy

From: Lambchop Ho-laaaaa. What's up, boob?

To: Lambchop Nothing much. Figured instead of being bored alone, I'd be bored while texting you :P Jem is being mean and won't tell me who this other band is going to be.

From: Lambchop Well Jem is a dick then lol. But promise to send me information and updates and pictures. You know how I go all crazy without my fav whore.

To: Lambchop I will. You're already crazy enough, don't need you going any crazier.

My phone vibrated again in my hand, but I ignored it in favour of unbuckling my seatbelt and stepping out of the van. Stretching my arms over my head, I turned my face toward the sky and smiled at the rain still pouring around us. We'd been in the van for less than an hour, but with four people sitting in close proximity of one another, the space had felt cramped and stuffy rather quickly. My spine cracked and popped one last time, and I brushed my dripping hair from my cheeks, shivered as a rivulet of cold water snaked down my back. Jem knocked on the passenger window and grinned widely at me once I looked back at him; I stuck my tongue out at him before making my way up the sidewalk and knocking on the door.

"I got it!" I heard a voice call from the depths of the house, and feet pounded down the stairs I knew were just inside the entry hall. The lock slid out of place with an audible click. "Erin, what the fuck? You're supposed to be on your way to the airport!"

I laughed as Amber hugged me tightly, disregarding the fact that I was soaked with rain. "Yeah, but as you can see, we had to make a pit stop."

"I'm glad you did! I didn't think I'd get a chance to say goodbye before you went and left me here all by my lonesome."

"Ha. I'm glad we did, too. I thought letting you see this gorgeous face would make the sting out of the fact that I made a rash promise that I can't keep." She raised an eyebrow, and I shrugged. "I won't be sending you any information."

Her lips turned down; she crossed her arms over her chest and leaned against the door frame. "But you... you promised! Why not?"

"Because there's really no point when you'll be right there with us. You're going!" I announced, giggling at her dumbfounded expression.


"Go. Hurry up and pack! We have to be at the airport in less than three hours!"

She squealed and turned quickly, feet sliding against the hardwood floor in her rush. She flipped me off as she ran up the stairs more quickly than I had ever seen her go. Well, except for the time we were being chased by the cops, but that was a different story.

"So she's going?"

I rolled my eyes, buckled my seatbelt, and ran my fingers through my hair. "Yes, Brett, she's going."

The bassist nodded once, stiffly, and we resumed waiting for Amber to reappear with her stuff. Alan slid out of the driver's seat to help her load her suitcase and duffel bag into the back of the van; it took a few minutes to get her luggage situated amongst the six other suitcases, but eventually, her belongings were secured and they were both getting settled into their seats. Alan started up the van and pulled away from the curb. The windshield wipers swiped across the glass with an unwavering rhythm, and eventually, everyone besides the drummer and I quickly took advantage of the two-hour drive to the airport and dozed off. I stayed awake and stared out the window, watching as the black sky melted into a deep pinkish-grey.

Getting through security was a nightmare. Between the people who recognised ー mostly teenagers coming back from wherever their parents had dragged them to for vacation ー and the fact that the agents working security were far surlier than they needed to be, it was a slow process, but we made it to our flight right on time. We shoved our carry-ons into the overhead bins and buckled into our seats. The flight attendant gave her instructions before sitting down, and the plane started taxiing down the tarmac. Amber nudged me from her seat, but I chose to ignore her, pulling out my Kindle to finish reading the Hunger Games.


A fluffy object had hit me in the face. I glared at my best friend, and she whistled innocently, readjusting her neck pillow. I rolled my eyes at her facade. Jem laughed and closed his eyes to sleep the next eleven hours away. A stewardess came by an hour later to pass out meals; I shared mine with Amber, as I wasn't hungry enough to eat everything I had been given. Flights had always upset my stomach and ruined my appetite ー something about being over 31,000 feet in the air in a giant metal tube with wings had never settled right with me.

We encountered some turbulence a handful of hours into the flight, and I regretted ever eating anything when my food threatened to make a reappearance. Amber clung tightly to my hand, though I was grabbing just as securely to her, until the plane smoothed out. I tried focusing on my books, even attempted to work on a new composition for the band, but my thoughts didn't want to settle down.

Finally, the flight was over, and, after a rather bumpy stop, we unboarded the plane, smiling politely at the flight attendants who wished us a good vacation, and hailed two taxis to take us to the hotel. We stumbled into the lobby at nearly two in the morning, and the staff members behind the large reception desk barely stifled their disgust at the sight of five dishevelled young adults wearing wrinkled, and very casual, clothing. Thankfully, checking in was easy enough. I followed the others to the elevator, leaned against the gleaming walls, and closed my eyes as the silence echoed in the square box. Jem unlocked the door to our suite and stepped back so we could file in; I ignored their talking and went to one of the closed doors, pushing it open and staring at the two beds inside. With a mental shrug, I toed off my shoes, padded over to the bed furthest from the entryway, and flopped face-first onto the mattress. A phone rang loudly from the main room, but I ignored it, burying my head with an overstuffed pillow, and fell asleep.

"Erin, c'mon, hun, time for food."

"Not hungry," I mumbled in response, rolling over on the bed and curling up into a ball.

"Fine. Coffee then."

I groaned at Jem's insistence on my consciousness, shoved myself up into a sitting position. "Fine."

"Thank you ever so much for your cooperation. Let's go."

Rolling my eyes, I rose to my feet and shuffled after him. Amber smiled at me when I appeared; I waved a hand in her direction and yawned widely. Thankfully, she was used to my behaviour when I was tired, so she just turned toward the others.

"Are you meeting the other band today?"

"Yup," Brett muttered from where he was standing by the door; his gaze never left the screen of his phone, and his tone made it clear that he was not pleased with my best friend being with us.

"Yay. I hope they're cute."

Alan and Jem didn't even look at her when they said, "I couldn't care less."

By the time we got to the restaurant ten minutes later, I was no less grumpy about being woken up, but now my head was pounding. Amber gasped at the decor of the building, and I could see Brett shaking his head to my left. Alan scanned the dining room before setting off toward two enormous tables pushed together in the back. Five males already sat on one side of the combined tables; I trailed after my friends and stopped when they did.

"Hey, guys, sorry we're late. We had someone who didn't want to wake up." Alan gestured in our direction. "As you probably guessed, we're Complete Irrationality. I'm Alan. This is my brother, Jem, and that's Brett and Erin. Amber's our tag-along."

The curly-haired boy at the end of the table grinned happily, dimples on display. "No worries! I'm Harry. Louis, Zayn, Liam, and Niall. One Direction."