Song 24 ♪ The Everlasting Craze

10.3K 1.2K 351

"Holy shit."

That, ladies and gentlemen, was my best friend after the song finished.

She jumped to her feet and started clapping frantically. I threw a look at Ashton and he didn't seem the least surprised at the reaction.

Then DeAndre also joined Leti, eyes wide like he'd seen a ghost but clapping like his favorite team had scored. Link threw his head back and started to laugh.

"Well, no fucking wonder those girls were jealous of you," Addy said, smacking the table with such strength that the drinks rattled. "V you're amazing. You too, Ashton. You're both out of this world."

I hadn't known until that moment, as I wiped away a sweaty curl from my forehead, that this was what I'd chased for years. This approval. The feeling that no matter where I came from and how I looked, I had one thing that made others accept me. My cheeks hurt from smiling so hard. My heart felt like it was about to gallop its way out of my chest.

I'd never felt more alive.

In retrospective I could suddenly understand why, in a moment charged with adrenaline and giddiness, people did crazy things like marrying in Vegas or bungee jumping. Because at that moment the only thing I could think of to cope with the high was jumping into Ashton's arms, which easily came around me, and I would've kissed him if it weren't for the hooting audience.

I jumped back and hid my face in my hands. "I'm sorry."

He ran his fingers through his hair. "You won't hear me complaining."

Ayrton jumped to the rescue. I didn't know whose. He took the microphones from us and pushed off the stage.

"Now that the opening act is over, it's time for the real diva to shine. Me!"

I excused myself to the bathroom, where I splashed my face with cold water. I looked at myself in the mirror. At my wide brown eyes that stared back at me with shock. What the hell had I just been about to do? Kiss Ashton Winters in front of everybody? What would that accomplish?

I breathed in deeply for a minute, trying to calm myself down and the warring feelings inside me. The horror that I somehow thought I was entitled. And the hunger that, to quote Leti, holy shit, I wanted him. I wanted him bad.

I redid my pony tail with all the difficulty that came in dealing with a heavy mass of curls that had a mind of their own. It distracted me and when I came out of the bathroom I felt a little more myself. I still sat on the opposite end from Ashton, though. Just to make sure I could keep my hands to myself. DeAndre was beside me, looking at me in a way I'd never seen before.

I did a double take. "What?"

He shrugged and smiled a little. "I mean, I've heard you sing before. Just... never like that."

I rearranged myself on the chair. Yeah, he'd heard me sing at parties here and there. Things like Shakira and whatever the latest reggaeton there was playing in the radio. But none of that had been like this. This was next level. It was also wildly different from anything he was used to and I didn't know exactly how he took it.

"Is that a good thing?" I asked him, eager to hear that just because I wasn't singing a Latin song it didn't mean I was a sell out. "I know it's white people music and all but-"

"Fuck that," he said, cutting me off and though it worked I didn't feel irritated. "It might be, but you made it your own. That was incredible."

My smile was wide. "Thank you."

A movement from the corner of my eye caught my attention but I just saw Ashton shift toward Link and Addy in conversation. Ayr finished his George Michael song then and thanked us all for joining him that night.

The Rich Boy in a Rock BandWhere stories live. Discover now