(My Brothers Bestfriend) Looks Can Be Deceiving 18

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 "You're auditioning for a contract with Universal Records today." Savannah tells me, both her hands resting firmly on my shoulders.

"Yeah,"

"You're nervous." She informs me as though I don't already know this.

"Yeah,"

"And you're not going to eat those skittles." She states, patting my shoulder sympathetically.

"Yeah,"

She grins smugly, snatching the bag of skittles out of my hands.

"Wait, no," I shake my head, scowling. "I am going to eat those!"

"You were going to," She kisses my cheek. "We'll beat you there. Love you!"

Savannah, Adison, Breanna and Ella are meeting us at the Universal California studios. They decided to take one car to save gas, and of course Savannah's the driver. I considered going in the same car as my friends but decided in the end to ride with my family instead. The girls are fine with that.

"See you!" They wave in return to my called goodbye.

"They don't even know how to get there, do they?" Jason asks from behind me and I turn to see him smirking, his arms crossed.

I smile and shake my head. "They've no idea."

"So we’re ready to take off?" Mom calls from the front door and Jason and I nod.

"Are you two riding together or separate?" Jake asks as the adults pile out of the house, dad pulling the door closed behind him.

"Together," Jason answers, pushing me towards mom and dad's car. I trip over a twig, but I catch myself before I fall. I glare at him playfully before turning to Jake.

"Dayna just called," Stef announces. "They just left."

"Why don't we burrow Steve's Tarago? That way we can all go in the same car." I suggest.

Jake nods his head. "Good point. I'll go next door and ask."

Steve is my uncle and auntie’s neighbour. He's an elderly man, and he's really nice. He has heaps of grandchildren, and so about six months ago he invested in buying himself an eight seater Tarago. He's let us borrow it a few times.

"Right, let's go," Jake calls from the driver's seat of Steve's van.

"I don't think so," Dad laughs. "I'm driving, move."

Jake rolls his eyes before jumping over to the passenger's seat, being lazy and not bothering to get out like a normal person.

"Caleb," I watch in amusement as mom leans up onto the tips of her toes, planting a small kiss on the corner of dad's lips as she asks in a whisper, "Can I drive?"

"Mm," He mumbles, leaning down to kiss her.

"Yuck," I shout jokingly, turning away from the scene. I get into the van, choosing a seat at the very back next to Jason.

"Are the parents doing 'R-rated' things again?" He grins.

"Yeah," I shrug. "It's kind of gross, but more cute."

"Gross and cute are two different things, Alicia." He laughs.

"No they aren't," I defend myself. "You were so gross in kinder, but you were also the cutest boy there."

"I was?" A cocky smirk appears on his face.

"Yes," I admit sheepishly. One of many conversations shared with my dad suddenly finds its way into my head, and I blush while remembering dad’s investigation into Jason’s and my relationship.

"Let's get this show on the road," Mom suddenly says, starting the car. I didn't notice everyone had entered the vehicle. It looks like Jake has been forced into the back by dad; he sits grumpily beside Stefanie.

"Universal!" I cheer happily, throwing my arm up as high as the roof allows me to.

*

"I'm bored," Jacob sighs for the fourth time in less than fifteen minutes. "When will we be there?"

"Not for a while now," Dad answers before nudging my mom. "Turn right here."

"Can you turn some music on, dad?"

"Anything for my girl," He turns the dial up and 'Moves Like Jagger' bursts through the speakers. I immediately sing along.

"Little shit," Jake slaps the back of dad's head, scoffing. "You don't put the music on for me, but you don't mind doing it for her?"

"She's my daughter."

"That's absolutely no excuse to favour her over your best friend and brother-in-law."

"Shut up," Dad snaps and I look at Jason, shaking my head in amusement.

"Shut up," Jake mimics, kicking dad's chair.

"You're so immature," Dad groans. "Pull your brother up, Kace."

"Come on, boys," Stefanie begins. 

"Yeah," Mom pipes up. "Today is about Alicia, stop misbehaving."

Dad smirks at Jacob. "Maybe if we keep being naughty, we'll both get lucky and we'll be spanked later."

"That's likely," Stef remarks sarcastically, rolling her eyes.

"Whoa!" Jason raises his hands up in protest. "Kids in the car, kids in the car!"

Grinning, I shake my head. I love my family.

'Baby, baby, baby, oh,' Justin Bieber's voice begins ringing through my phone's speaker and I smirk, already knowing that it's Adie's ringtone.

"Hey bitch," I greet Adison, only to realize it's not Adie.

"Hey slut," Savannah laughs. "Where are you?"

"We've just passed Tyler's Trimming."

"The lawnmower place?" I make a sound of agreement and she sighs. "Okay, we passed that about ten minutes ago. Ask dad if I keep going straight down and then past the ice cream parlour."

"Hey dad?"

He stops his conversation with Jake and raises his eyebrows. "What's up?"

"Does Savannah continue up this road and then pass the ice cream parlour?"

He nods. "And then eventually she'll come to a set of lights, and there she needs to turn right. Universal is on that corner, and it's hard to miss, even for her."

"Cool, thanks dad." I turn my attention back to the phone call. "Did you hear that, Sav?"

"Yeah I did,” She laughs. “Thanks."

"No worries, I'll see you in about twenty."

"Bye, whore." She hangs up.

I nudge Jason, smirking. "I told you they'd get lost."

He shakes his head. "Only your friends would."

"Only your friends, blah blah blah," I mimic while rolling my eyes, trying to wipe the silly grin off my face.

"You're just like your uncle," He sighs sadly.

"You're just like my dad." I raise my eyebrows, waiting for his retort.

"It’s a good thing Caleb's better looking than Jake," Grinning, he extends his arm out to mess up my hair.

As his hand retreats from my shoulder it brushes against my thigh, resting there casually. I suddenly have the urge to hold his hand, and so I slip my fingers into the cracks between his.

"Alicia," He whispers, and I feel a blush rise on my cheeks. I refuse to look at him. Why would I do something so stupid like randomly hold his hand? We're not as close as we use to be!

"Sorry," I mutter, trying to pull my hand out of his. Instead, his grip tightens.

"Where do you think you're going?" He laughs quietly, his breath blowing across my face. His other hand reaches up and he takes a hold of my chin, turning my head so that I'm looking at him. A cheeky grin forms on his face. "Do you know the way you're currently holding my hand is referred to as the 'Lover's Hold'?"

I feel my cheeks redden as he raises his eyebrows suggestively. After overcoming my embarrassment I push on his shoulder playfully. As I pull my arm away my eyes connect with my dad’s through the rear-view mirror, and the knowing look he gives me makes my stomach turn. I force away my guilt and turn back to Jason, smiling. "Shut up."

*

Twenty three minutes later we finally arrive at Universal and Jacob jumps out of the car, immediately stretching out.

"Hey dad," Jason calls. "Think you could bring forward the chair?"

"Nope," He grins.

I quickly throw myself over the back of the middle seats, and surprisingly my landing is a decent one. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for Jason's attempt; he ends up head butting the back of the driver's seat. I try hard to refrain from bursting out in laughter but when everybody around me is laughing too, it's hard not to join in.

"Hey," Bre nudges me, an excited grin spreading across her face. I hadn't realized the girls had come over to the car.

"Hi," I greet back, my face matching hers.

Suddenly Dayna and Josh appear out of nowhere, both of them greeting me with hugs and kisses. "Thanks for coming, guys,"

"We wouldn't miss this for the world," Josh grins.

"Are we going in, people?" Mom asks, clapping excitedly.

Stefanie leads the way to the front of the building, and so suddenly my tummy erupts with butterflies.

"You okay?" Adison asks from beside me and I smile reassuringly.

"I'll be alright," Everyone's attention turns to me and I bite my lip. "I'm just a little nervous, that's all."

"You'll be fine," Jason assures me as his fingers brush against mine. He smiles cheekily, and, like before, my fingers unconsciously slide between his, fitting perfectly.

"Jason's right," Savannah says as she walks ahead. "You've got this."

As mum and dad, my uncle and aunty, Dayna, Josh and best friends all enter the building, I find myself falling behind with Jason by my side, his hand still firmly gripping mine.

"Aly?" He asks, turning to look at me.

"I'm good," I take a deep breath, closing my eyes for a moment as I mentally prepare myself. This is my time now; I'm here to show them what I can bring. I'm Alicia, I don't get butterflies. And I definitely don't let a moment of fear ruin anything for me.

"Ready?" Jason squeezes my hand.

"Yeah," I open my eyes, a grin falling onto my face after a moment. "Yeah," I repeat softly, the realization and understanding of this opportunity finally hitting me hard. "I'm ready."

Caleb's P.O.V

We wait patiently for Alicia, watching her through the glass door of the building as it looks like she prepares herself. And then she opens her eyes, slowly grinning. She speaks a few words to Jason before her usual confident-self returns and she strides up to the entrance, the glint in her eye proving that she knows what she’s doing; that she can conquer anything.

"Totally predicted that," I whisper to myself, smiling proudly. My daughter's really something.

Alicia's P.O.V

As dad, Jake and I walk to our left towards the front desk, I take in my surroundings. The whole front foyer is made up of black tiles, and hanging from the walls are rectangular canvases that showcase many different celebrities that Universal must have signed. To the right are two black sofas that are accompanied with a matching black coffee table, and from the roof fall blue, sparkling lights. It's a beautiful sight that creates a magical feeling.

"Hey, guys," A lady who looks to be in her late thirties says welcomingly. "Welcome to our California Universal Music studio, what can I help you with today?"

"Hi," Dad smiles. "My daughter has a meeting with you guys today."

"Oh!" She nods quickly. "Our only audition for today." She looks at me. "Alicia James?"

Smiling, I confirm her question. "That's me,"

"Right," She picks up a walkie-talkie and presses a button before speaking into it. "Hey Ryan,"

"What's up, Sarah?" A boy's voice replies. I look towards dad, my smile so wide it almost hurts. He pulls me into his side, leaving his arm around my shoulder as he hugs me.

"I need you to take Denis's fresh bait to him," She throws us a playful smile. "And the zoo that seems to be following her."

I laugh as she continues her conversation with Ryan. She's right, it must look as though I've brought my whole neighbourhood along, but I simply wouldn't be able to do this without the support from my family and friends.

"Right," Sarah says, bringing my attention back to her. "Ryan's coming now to take you all to Denis. He should be here any secon-"

"I'm here!" I turn towards a hallway where a boy with a mop of blonde hair who seems around my age emerges from on a skateboard, his face holding a grin. He stops right in front of dad, Jake and I and extends his hand out towards me. "I’m Ryan,"

"Alicia,"

He looks at the rest of my family. "You lot ready to meet Denis?"

"Yes!" We all cheer and his grin widens.

"Excellent! Follow me and keep up,” He claps cheerfully before turning around. “If you can…”

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