"You wanna stay over tonight?"
"Ronnie, you know I can't do that."
"You can't? Or you won't?"
"Aww, why?" I looked at Ronnie.
"Because I am not your groupie, I am your band manager." As I turned back around to look over some papers, Ronnie walked up next to me and crossed his arms.
"You know, you don't have to work all the time Ashley..." Ronnie grinned as he twirled the ends of my chocolate brown hair. "You could have a personal life every once in a while." I sighed and looked at my watch, realizing the time.
"Ronnie, don't you have band practice now?" he groaned like a little child, and I gave a chuckle.
"Are you gonna come watch?" he asked.
"Of course, I do all the time." Ronnie stood up straight and looked me in my eyes, smiling. He stroked my cheek, and gave me a hug.
"Please...think about it, alright?" he whispered in my ear before letting go of me, as if it was a secret. I smirked as I walked by his side.
"Already have, and it's not going to happen."
"How long are you gonna make me wait, Ashley? I mean, I have feelings for you, and I think you may feel the same for me. So why can't this work out?"
"Because when it comes to love, I am interested in actual relationships, whereas you are interested in one night stands." I explained to Ronnie.
"Yes, but we've known each other for 6 years. Do you really think that I would do anything to hurt you?"
"Well, I guess not, but-"
"Then that should be reason enough right there!" He cut me off, smirking as we found the band room.
"We'll finish this conversation after practice, Ronnie." I replied, opening the door for Ronnie as he nodded and walked in, while I followed.
"Ronnie, you're late again." Monte sighed, finishing up tuning his guitar.
"At least I don't have to tune a guitar, all I do is sing!" Ronnie laughed.
"That's no excuse." he replied.
"Oh Monte, I'm sure he has a good reason for being late!" Max giggled and winked at Ronnie, and Ronnie just scratched his head, chuckling.
"Monte is right, Ronnie. Try to be on time from now on." I told Ronnie.
"But it's not like I was doing anything crazy! I was talking with you, Ashley!"
"I don't care, be on time." I tried scolding him with a stern expression, but couldn't help but giggling. Ronnie smiled and turned the mic on, giving a signal to Max, Monte, and Robert to start a song. They started off with When I go out, I want to go out on a chariot of fire.
"He had a plan to kill you all along, the evidence was hidden in this song. I was a ghost, I was there at the scene. As the embers rise, my hands smelled like gasoline..." Ronnie sang along with the instrumental background, and I stood against the wall to the side of them. I looked dreamily at Ronnie, but quickly realized what I was doing and stopped.
No! I can't be thinking such crazy ideas! I thought to myself. There's no way that it would ever be able to work out between the two of us, even if we have feelings for each other! C'mon Ashley, get ahold of yourself!
"So keep my casket closed, your heart beats under the floor, it haunts me in my dreams, and nothing's as it seems." Ronnie continued to the chorus. He turned his head to me and winked, and for the slightest moment, I felt as if I was flying, my body feeling completely weightless. Wait...what was happening to me?! I have never felt anything like I am now...could that mean that I am actually in love with my best friend? I gasped, placing my hand over my mouth, my eyes growing wide. When the song finished, Max ran over to me, seeming concerned, and waved his hands in front of my face.
"Ashley, are you alright?" he asked, and I just looked at him and quickly snapped out of it.
"Yeah, of course I'm alright. Great job you guys!" I gave them two thumbs up on the song, and Monte chuckled.
"And exactly how much of it were you listening to?" Monte grinned.
"Yeah," Robert added, smiling. "'Cause it looked to me like you were staring rather dreamily at Ronnie." Ronnie quickly turned his head to me, and blushed a little, trying to cover it up with his hands. I did my best to just brush off what Robert had said, but it wasn't working out so well. Ronnie looked as if he wanted to say something, but couldn't find the words to express his feelings.
"Nonsense, guys. I was listening to all of it." I replied to their cocky behavior. Refusing to look at the rest of the band, Ronnie turned to face his microphone again.
"P-pick the next song, Ashley," Ronnie stuttered a little. "I wanna sing your favorite one." A sheepish grin appeared on his face.
"Hmm..." I pretended to think, making sarcastic gestures to match. "As if you don't know already!" Ronnie chuckled and nodded his head as the rest of the band got into position. They then began playing the tune to The Webs We Weave, and I clapped my hands together in delight.
"So grab this statement, and read between the lines. I'm walking on an edge, that's how I stay alive. I need a fix now, the pills I have to take, it helps me live a lie and blinds all my mistakes." Ronnie began singing again in the familiar tune that I loved so very much. And then...that feeling...it came back. A rather unfamiliar twist on this favorite song, that made me feel a bit uncomfortable...and yet, in a way, I kind of liked it. I grabbed my stomach, as if holding the butterflies down.
"Oh the webs you weave, we are caught in the fame. The passion's dead, the life you've led has drown in your shame. Oh the webs I weave, I am caught in this game. My passion's dead, the life I led has drowned me in vain." I hummed along with the chorus, trying to avoid looking at Ronnie again.
While listening to the rest of the practice, I tried my best to not look up at the gorgeous man behind the microphone. I took notes on any unclear things I heard within the melodies, and drummed my fingers on my papers. Anything that could be done to help me keep my head down I tried, throughout the entire band rehearsal.
As practice finished up and everyone headed out, Ronnie walked over next to me and took a look at my notes, laughing.
"Haha, how bad were we?"
"You guys were amazing, there were just..." I looked up to finally face him, not realizing how close he was to me. I felt my face getting hot. "a few uncertainties..." Ronnie smiled, stroking my warm cheek with his cool hand. He wrapped his arms around my waist and brought my body even closer to his.
"So what were you really thinking about during practice? I know your head wasn't in it today."
"Nothing, I just began feeling weird, uncomfortable almost." I replied.
"Well, maybe I can fix that." He then leaned his mouth against mine and kissed me so passionately and lovingly that I never wanted it to end. I pushed away anyways, knowing better than to trust my emotions and allow Ronnie into my heart. I've been down that road one too many times before, and I certainly don't want to go down it again with my best friend.
"Ronnie, I'm sorry! This can't happen!" I cried, heading for the door rather quickly. Ronnie grabbed my hand, and I turned around, only to see the stern expression on his face. "Ronnie, please! Don't look at me like that! You know exactly why this can't happen!"
"Ashley..." Ronnie started towards me again, and took my hands in his. "I'm not like Craig. I love you, and wouldn't dare do anything that would hurt you in any way." That's when it hit me: Ronnie was telling the truth. He had never told any girl that he loved them before. Not one.
"But Ronnie, what if something like that really does happen? What then?" As tears began streaming down my face, I looked down and Ronnie just picked my head back up. He then continued to passionately kiss me, and once more, my body was overcome with joy and excitement. He released his lips from mine, and leaned his forehead on me.
"You don't have to worry about that with me, Ashley." Ronnie whispered. "I told you already, I'll take good care of you," he smiled sweetly, "And if I do anything that upsets you in any way, you officially have the right to hit me as hard as you possibly can." Ronnie's promise made me laugh, and his smile widened. Slowly, I wrapped my arms around him as he did to me, and I returned his lustful lip-lock, which only made both of us more prurient to be with each other.
The door began to open. I grabbed Ronnie's hands and took them off me, pushing him away. Ronnie was so mesmerized by the kiss that he didn't know what was going on.
It was Max. "Hey Ronnie, can I talk with you privately?"
"Uh, yeah, sure." Ronnie replied as he walked out with Max, waving to me. "Ashley, I'll see you later!"
"Alright, bye..." I replied as the two walked out. When I turned around to pick up my notes, I noticed a key and a letter under them on the chair. I put my notes to the side and picked up the letter to read it.
I'm not sure if you want this key or not, but if you do, I'm pretty sure you know where my apartment is. If you don't, just hold on to it for now. You really have no idea how much you mean to me, Ashley. I know that you think that I can't be a reliable companion, but I can; I've just never been with anyone that deserves the amount of love and compassion that you have. I've never felt so happy in my entire life since I met you, and I really hope that you can at least give me a chance. Because I want to spend my entire life with you. I'll be at my apartment later on, probably around 8:30. I'm hoping to see you there.
I looked at the letter, and then at the key. I slowly reached to pick it up, and I grasped it in my hand for a while before looking at my watch for the time. 6:45. I thought, and took my notes and walked out of the building, heading to my car to drive to Ronnie's apartment.
It felt like forever, waiting for Ronnie in his own apartment. I looked at my watch again, sitting on his luxury sofa. 11:13. I arrived here at about 8:30, and his letter said that he would be home then too. I took out my phone to see if there were any missed calls, texts, or voice mails. Nothing. I sighed, getting up and getting ready to leave, when Ronnie's phone rang. I didn't answer it and let it go to the answering machine, since I wasn't sure who it would be. But the voice on the other line was Ronnie's.
"Ashley, are you there?" he sighed, sounding a little down. "Please, if you're there pick up." It's like he knew I would wait for him at his house. I grabbed the phone and put it to my ear.
"Ronnie, where are you?" I asked.
"Ashley, could you meet me somewhere? I really need you."
"Are you alright? Where are you, I'll be right there!"
"...prison." He replied, his tone giving me chills. I stood still, unable to move a muscle.Ronnie? In prison? But how could that be?!