She wants to help, but can’t see the risk she’s taking.
Shannon is thrilled to be along on tour with Wilder Side. As the official band photographer, she begins to grow closer and closer to the band. But how close is too close?
He can’t see through his jealousy.
When Julian sees Shannon in Asher’s arms, he retreats to his old ways – self-loathing and self-destruction. He aches for Shannon, but thinks she’s abandoned him. He should have seen it coming. He shouldn’t have opened his heart up. Not to anyone.
Will a dream come true turn into a nightmare?
Julian walked to the tour bus quickly, his arms prickled with goosebumps. After sunset, the temperature had dropped fast. San Diego was part desert, after all. The fog coming off of the ocean rolled slowly through the streets and gave the streetlights strange halos. The tour bus too, parked alone in the back parking lot of the building, threw shadows from the curtained light coming from inside.
Julian was walking alongside the bus when he heard noises coming from inside. Talking. Strange. He had thought Shannon would be alone. He peered into the open door, not wanting to bother her in case she was on the phone with her mom. Maybe she was talking to that Jason friend of hers to see what was up.
As he looked into the bus, Julian’s heart dropped into his stomach. Shannon had her arms around Asher and was hugging him tightly, her eyes closed. He was hugging her back.
No. Not Asher. Julian froze, unsure of what he should do. He wanted to scream, to run in and hit Asher across the face, but every muscle in his body had turned to lead and his breath was shallow. As Shannon opened her eyes, Julian shifted back so that they couldn’t see him.
“Will you come with me tomorrow?” Asher said. Julian craned his neck to see the two of them better.
“I can’t,” Shannon said. “I have to go somewhere with Julian.”
“That sucks,” Asher said. Shannon reached out and put her hand on his shoulder, and Julian inhaled through his teeth, seething. He had never thought that Shannon would betray him like this. And Asher? Asher, the good guy? Asher, who didn’t have a single negative thing to say about anyone, ever? How could he do this to his bandmate?
“I wish I could be there with you,” she said.
“Me too,” Asher said. “But I understand. Thanks. And thanks for tonight.”
Shannon leaned in for another embrace, and Julian forced himself to keep his eyes open, watching as her hands moved slowly along Asher’s back, caressing his shoulders. Those hands that had held him just the day before, those hands that had run through his own hair, stroking his skin…
“You’re a great guy,” Shannon said.
“And you’re a beautiful girl.” Asher cupped one hand to Shannon’s cheek, and Shannon giggled. It was that sound, the peals of her sweet laughter, that broke Julian’s heart. He tore himself away from the bus door and bent over, his head between his legs. He stumbled to the front of the bus, gagging on the roiling pain in his stomach. His mind was blank with anger and betrayal.
Shannon. Asher. How could I have been so blind?