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Rise & Rise Again

will you help me find the right way out?

No matter how much I wanted to fight against the hold Austin had on me, it felt wonderful to have his warmth surrounding me again. We sat together, alone, under a tree on a wooden bench. The rest of the guys were off to the side, talking quietly as Tino tried to get on of the Pierce boys to pick up their phone. After a few times I heard Tino begin to talk.Mike.

"I've missed you, Zoe," Austin says to me softly, his nose pressed into my lilac hair. I have my head resting on his shoulder, staring at his tattooed neck. My arms are tight around his waist, fists clenched in his black shirt. "The apartment has been so lonely. I hate sleeping there, I have to go to Alan's. I can't go in her room."

My hands tighten while new salty tears make a dark spot on the shoulder of his shirt. His hands rest against my lower back, keeping me against him. I just want to rewind my life back a year to keep that night from happening. If I hadn't agreed to a few more drinks than I usually do, we wouldn't have found ourselves hot and naked between those sheets. We could have waited a day or two, or a month. But not, that faithful day brought on all of this. I haven't dare touch a bottle since the new year.

New Year, new you, right?

"I've missed you, too," I reply. A deep exhale warms over the top of my head. He shifts his arms to lock his fingers against my back. "I still miss you. Even now. I miss this, just us simply together because that made me the happiest I've ever been."

We were silent. Off in the distance I could hear worried voices and fast foot steps. One of thePierce boys was close, I knew that. The rest f Mice was beginning to walk back over. Austin's fingers lightly drew circles against my spine.

"Please don't eave me again, Zoe. Please."

From the corner of my eye I watch as Mike hurries up, his phone pressed to his ear as he talked to his brother. He saw me, surprised at who I was with, before ending the call and pushing the device back into his pocket.

"I'm sorry, Austin," I say, before pulling myself from him and stand. Mike wraps an arm around my shoulder, asking if I'm okay. He keeps the arm around me and steers me to the front of the park. I glance back, watching as Austin's expression of sadness transforms into one of anger. He leaves my line of vision as Mike has us turn down a side path. I can't talk. I don't know what to say. So much for thinking the medicine was finally working.

Mike takes me out of the park and over to the SUV. I quickly wipe away the wet tracks running down my face and run my fingers through my hair. We lean against the vehicle, taking a few deep breathes while Mike smokes. We're waiting for the rest of the guys to get through the park; Vic as the only key.

"What happened, Zoe?"

His voice is soft, trying to keep from another attack triggering. I wrap my arms around my shoulders, suddenly feeling cold, and don't move. I regret leaving Austin now. He was my crunch during all of this, even when I left. I read all of our old texts and emails and looked through all the photos we had gathered over those almost-two years. It felt like I was in an elevator, again. Everything it right and too close and I can't breathe.

"I saw her, Mike," I whisper. He leans forward to hear me over passing traffic.

"Saw who?"

"Her," I say again, staring at the ground under my shoes. "I saw Julia, standing beside me. She was so tall, Mike. She was going to look just like Austin. She was going to be just like me. I saw her."

I feel Mike's eyes on me, and I know he wears a look of sympathy. I've gone crazy. Feel sorry for the cray girl with the dead baby and rockstar ex-fiance.

"C'mere, Zo-zo," he mumbles, wrapping his arms around me and pulling me to his chest. "You just saw a girl, Zoe. It wasn't Julia. It was just some girl and-"

"No!" I push him away roughly, taking a few steps back. "It wasn't just a girl, Mike! I twas Julia! I saw her! She was beside me, she talks to me, she was my Julia and she made me realize that my life is so screwed up right now, tat I'm seeing hallucinations of my dead daughter!"


The few other people in the parking lot had stopped and were now staring at me. Mike was staring at me. He didn't know what to say or how to react. I didn't know what to say because everything had been said. I just turned and walked in a random direction down the street in front of the animal sanctuary, trying to find a taxi. Did they even have taxis in Australia?

I may have gotten three miles (what's that in kilometers?) down the road before a black car pulls up beside me and slowly rolls along as I keep walking. I don't dare look over, scared that it may e some strange Australian man thinking I'm some whore.


I stop walking, look over at Austin, and then start walking again. Austin eases the car along, getting a few angry horns blared at him.


"Go away, Austin! Just let me rot on my own!"


I'm surprised by his tone of voice. Austin never talks like that - he's only done it once when I got kicked by a fan at Warped Tour by accident in 2011. I stop walking and look at him. He's stopped the black car and gotten out. He walks over to me. My eyes dared him to touch me. Just imagine my surprise when he picked me up and carried me over to the car. By the time he had me at the passenger door, I was kicking and demanding he put me down. I was sat inside the car, and the door was slammed to keep me inside. Austin got back in the driver's seat and his foot pressed down on the gas.

Pissed off. That's the best way to explain how I felt.

"Stop the car," I demand of Austin but he simply ignores me, keeping his eyes on the road. "Austin, I'm serious. Stop the fucking car." He ignores me again and just keeps driving. Huffing in annoyance, I cross my arms and sit in the passenger seat with my knees against my chest. I stare at the side of his head, eyes falling on his geisha and the only visible part of the Roman numeral date. His hair is gelled back out of his eyes with the sides shave down to a soft buzz. The curl of his hair falls just above his eyebrow. I see his sunglasses sitting in the cupholder.

The ride to the hotel is quiet. I'm not all too surprised when I realize we're booked at the same hotel. Starting tomorrow all the bands will be on their buses while Nick and I and the rest of the crews will be in reserved rooms at hotels near the venues.

As soon as Austin is parked into the side parking lot of the hotel, I opened the door of the car and walked away. Austin wasn't far behind me and takes it upon himself to grab my upper arm to keep me from running away. I pull my arms free, but his hand simply cuffs tighter. He doesn't hurt me - he would never hurt me - but I'm still not happy. I glare at him, standing in front of the elevator, waiting for the doors to open. There's a ding, and they do. I step in, set on locking Austin out but he's right behind me. I huff.

"Talk to me, Zoe," Austin starts. I take on corner of the elevator as he stands in the middle of the elevator, in front of the doors. He watches me, the floor counter dinging slowly. "This is going to be a long tour if you can't even talk to me like I'm not your best friend. We've known each other since we were kids, Zoe. You've been there for me since the very beginning - the least you could do is let me be there for you."

I laughed sarcastically. "The least I could do? Austin, I don't need you! I'm doing just fine on my own-"

"You showed that very well earlier at the park," he interrupts. I have no retort. "Please, Zoe, just talk to me-"

Somewhere between the nine and tenth floor, the elevator suddenly makes a gurgling sound and the lights flicker and it stops. Both of us stumble, grabbing onto the railing on the wall. The elevator has stopped moving, and the lights are gone. There's a small back up shining down from the middle ceiling panel. My breathing starts to pick up immediately.

My worst fear has finally come true.

"Help!" I scream, banging my fists on the wall. Austin grabs my hands to stop me from hurting myself and hides me against his chest. My breathing gets faster and faster, as does my heart rate. "Help!" I say again, but it's just choked words. Austin tries to keep me calm, slowly sitting us on the floor of the elevator.

Small spaces are my worst enemy, but when in Austin's arms, I was the most comfortable.

"Sh, Zoe, shh, calm down. You're okay, you're going to be fine. We're going to get out of here."

"You don't know that."

His hand brushes through my hair softly, rubbing small circles in my back. This is the second time in just an hour that I've had a mental breakdown. I think I have a new record. And to think, today started out so well...

"Yes, I do," Austin whispers to me. "I won't even let anything bad happen to you again, Zoe. I love you and I will always protect those I love."

Something in me snaps as I finally realize-

Austin, after all this shit, still loves me. Even after Gielle's betrayal, and our still-born child on his twenty-fifth birthday, and me leaving him out of no where, and--

He still loves me.

And in the end, I still love him, because nothing could make me stop loving him, even if he stopped loving me. After all that has happened, the part of us that still loves each other is fighting to come out and fight for our bleeding hearts.

"I love you too," I tell him, admitting to not only him but also myself. His arms tighten, as do mine, as we hold each other in the broken down elevator. My heart has finally calmed down, and I'm breathing easy. I'm not sure of how long we were n the elevator, but there was a sharp squeal before the lights flickered back on and we began to slowly rise. When the doors opened at my floor, I just stared down the empty hall, not daring to move from the grip Austin kept on me.

"Is this your floor?" Austin asks me softly, just as the doors begin to slowly close. I nod. The elevator goes down again, going through the twelve floors gradually. There's a short ding when at the lobby level. As the doors open, a flustered group of employees stare at us before spouting out apologies.

Two hours. That's how long we were stuck in there. The manager tried to talk us into a room upgrade and free meals in the conjoined restaurant but I simply shook my head and told them I wanted to take a nap. Austin made them go away so we could go back up to the twelfth floor.

Austin was my crunch. I leaned against him the whole time, even when I was walking to my room. He left me there, alone, with a kiss on my forehead and said he would check up on me in a few hours. He had press to do at the venue. I tried to fall asleep, but I spent most of the three hours he was gone, staring at the wall beside my bed. He still had my room key since I had no plans of ever leaving the bed again.

When he walked in and saw me awake, staring at the wall in just a night shirt, he stripped down to his boxers like he would always do when going to bed and climbed in behind me. I turned to rest my head against his chest, wrapping my arms around him as he did the same with me.

I missed this; what we used to have, how we used to feel. I missed this most, and I wasn't sure if I could ever get it back.


this is perfect. <3

christinaannxo christinaannxo

Just read the whole story in 2 hours cx its 12:30 in the morning and totally worth it xp

Aw! The nusery scene was sad :( but I can't wait for the marriage scene next!

amazing update! your writing is crazy! specially in this chapter! ;) ;)

taxigerm taxigerm

Oh hot damn. This chapter is fabulous Dahling. :3

WhiskeyPrincess WhiskeyPrincess