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The bus couldn't get to the next town quick enough. It had barely been fully stopped before Fallon was down the stairs and out the door, running across the lot and beating her hand against the metal door until it finally opened revealing an obviously irritated Ashton.

"What?" He asked and Fallon felt the frown on her face grow. What the fuck was his problem?

"I need to see Cal."

"He's asleep." He replied but Fallon didn't have the time or energy to deal with him so she stepped to the side, prepared to simply go around him but he shifted his weight to block her entrance.

"Ashton what the fuck?"

"I just said he's sleeping." He clarified, his eyes squinting in disapproval and his voice low and almost threatening.

Fallon felt her fight or flight reflex begin to kick in but this was Ashton. He wouldn't actually dare hurt her...right? "I don't care. I need him."

She threw her body weight forward as she stepped but the dark haired man reached his arm out blocking her entrance. Her center of gravity was thrown off and she stumbled back a step, her body slamming into the side of the stairwell.

"Ashton!"

Calum's voice barely registered as Fallon gripped onto the handrail of the stairs and tried to wrap her head around the fact that Ashton could have just led to her being seriously injured.

"What the fuck, mate?" Calum asked, his eyes landing on Fallons as he reached a hand out to her and helped her up the stairs. She quickly moved to stand behind him, no longer feeling completely safe near Ash.

"I told her you were sleeping, she wouldn't leave."

"So you thought the answer was to fucking shove her? Who the fuck even are you, putting your hands on a woman?"

Ashton's mouth hung open like he was only truly realizing what he had done. "Fallon, I-I'm sor—"

"Save it." Calum said, his face heated in anger as Ashton fumbled over his words and he saw the bruise that was forming on Fallon's arm from where she had hit the side of the staircase. "I get that you're going through it because of you and Kay. But you can't take that out on fucking innocent people."

"I'd hardly consider her innocent."

Fallon's face fell and her skin turned a deep shade of red, nearly crimson.

"Shut the fuck up, Ashton." He retorted before turning to Fallon. "We can talk in the back. Go ahead, I'll be right there."

Fallon's gaze moved from Calum's eyes, cautiously over to Ashton and then back before she gave a small nod and rushed out of sight. When she was gone Calum no longer felt the need to hide the full force of his anger and his hands clenched into fists at his sides as he turned back to look at the man he considered his best friend in the world.

"If you ever so much as touch her again I will not be held responsible for my actions." He said through gritted teeth. "You're the last person on earth I'd have ever expected to have to worry about harming a lady. It's like I don't even fucking know you."

He turned on his heel and followed after Fallon leaving Ashton alone to contemplate his words.

*

Fallon was pacing the length of the back lounge when he found her. He could practically see the thoughts as they raced through her head until she turned around and found him staring at her bringing her movements to a dead halt.

"What the fuck was that?" Her face was skewed in complete confusion and her words came out as a stunned whisper.

"Um, well...Ash is a bit less than enthusiastic about the possibility of us getting back together."

"Wh-why?" Fallon's voice warbled as she forced out the simple question but she held steadfast, finally able to ask before nervously waiting for Calum's reply.

"I'd expect that a lot of his reasons are the same as Erin's."

"Erin is jealous."

"I'm not sure that Ash isn't as well. He and Kay are in a bit of a rough patch."

"Oh." She said in somber understanding, making a mental note to reach out to her friend.

"I wasn't expecting there to be so much push back from our friends if I'm being honest." Calum confided, his hands twisting nervously. "I thought they'd be hesitant but I definitely wasn't expecting Ash to be so adamantly against it."

Fallon didn't know what to say. She had never dreamed she would have a reason to fear one of Calum's friends, one she had thought was also her friend. When Calum said Ashton;s name though all she could see was the dark look he had in his eyes as he attempted to block her entrance to the bus.

"What do we do?"

"Fallon.." He sighed, his shoulders rising and then falling as he let out a heavy breath. He was slow to look up at her and that sent her heart racing, scared of whatever it was that he was thinking that he obviously knew she wouldn't like.

"What?" She asked finally, unable to restrain herself any longer and needing him to just spit it out.

"I think we need to tell them."

"Who?"

"Our bands, our friends. I think they need to know the truth."

"Calum..." His name came out as more of a sob, her eyes already brimming with tears and her throat tightening. "I—I can't..." Her head shook as she pleaded with him.

His lips settled into a thin straight line, the vein in his forehead prominent as he tried to keep whatever it was he had to say inside.

She gave him a look that begged him to just say whatever it was. They couldn't move forward by keeping things from each other.

"Fallon," His voice was soft and tender, his care for her clear in his eyes as he continued. "Don't you see? If they knew, they would understand, or well, they could at least see the whole picture. Right now they're in the dark and no one understands why we're both hurt or what we've been through. From the outside looking in it looks bad and truthfully I can't fault Ash or Erin for being hesitant. But Fallon we have to do something because I think you and I know that without their approval, without their support, you and I don't stand a chance."

A long pause stretched between them, Fallon's gaze drifted everywhere but his brown eyes. She knew if she dared to search their depths she would lose all of her resistance. "Do I have to give you an answer now?"

Calum rolled his bottom lip back and chewed lightly on his lip. He wanted to say that she had to make a decision, he hated this awkward in-between place that he was in not only with her but with his whole band, his best friends. He knew Fallon though and pushing her to make a decision of this magnitude wouldn't be advisable so he simply shook his head. Hoping that his willingness to give her time wouldn't come back to bite him.

An: so ashton?

Their talk?

What should Fallon decide?

Ily,
Sav 🖤

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