Wow you guys! I cannot even tell you how sorry I am for being so stubborn and lazy! The truth is, I had about 3 chapters that I was reading over to post then one day, I was walking to my room, my computer in hand, and dropped it. Can you believe that? I dropped my computer! My hard drive broke and my computer crashed. Everything was gone. I'm not just talking about my story, but every single document, picture, video, and music file. I was so upset. I had to pull out hundreds of dollars of my savings to buy another one. By that time, I was so mad that everything had gone that instead of putting it all back piece by piece, I didn't even touch anything. I used the internet, that's all. Finally, I was feeling bad that I had gone so long without writing but I got a reminder from ShadyLady21, , and I finally decided to start writing again. The truth is, I'm actually nervous to start again thinking that maybe the coming chapters won't be as good as what I've written so far, but I'm throwing caution to the wind (who says that anymore? Well it's coming back!) and writing. So here it goes.
Thanks for sticking by me even though I'm such a snoozer.
Tommy stood, cup of tea in hand, braced for the impact of knocking on Jude's door in ungodly hours of the morning. Well, not exactly ungodly. It was about eight thirty but for the last couple of weeks, the two hadn't seen anything even close to eight. Let alone nine, ten, or eleven. Yet, here he stood, ready to defend himself from any foreign objects she could get her hands to throw at him.
He knocked gently on the door almost subconsciously hoping the softer the sound, the nicer Jude would be. The plan didn't seem to work.
"Go away." Jude yelled, muffled slightly by her pillow. Tommy knew it was going to be hard getting her up. Man, he even had trouble not pressing snooze on the alarm for the tenth time this morning.
"Jude," he started softly, "can I come in?"
"No." Jude said simply.
Tommy sucked in a breath and opened the door anyways. He held out the tea far in front of him and used his free hand to protect his face. Her room was dark and he was worried that one misstep over her clothes would send him flying into her dresser or back out into the hallway. Surprisingly, her room was neat. Not much was out of its place, let alone a few pairs of earrings on her dresser and a sock here and there.
It looked like the room of someone who lived here for a long time. Worn in and warm.
"Tommy, go away!" Jude groaned. She tried to block out the light coming from the hallway with her hand but, seeing as that was a failure, she turned over, facing the window.
Tommy, like any parent would do, set her tea on the dresser and swung open the curtains, the bright light streaming in on Jude's face.
"Asshole." Jude murmured, pulling the covers over her head.
Tommy smirked, "Good morning to you too, Princess."
"That's Queen Jude to you, sir," she responded as an attempt to be playful even under the haze of sleep she was under.
Tommy, completely over his fear of disturbing her, ripped the covers off of her bed. Jude stiffened.
"Tommy, if you want to keep living, get out," Jude threatened. "I mean it."
He laughed. "Come on, Jude. If I can get up this early, so can you. We made a deal. We promised we'd be back in the studio and today's the day."
"I don't want to go," she said into her pillow.
"Me neither," he replied. "But if you and I want to keep out jobs, you better start hauling your butt to the shower or whatever you do in the morning. Do your little voodoo magic and get ready."
Jude looked up at Tommy and frowned but quickly turned back into her pillow, smiling.
"I saw that," Tommy smiled. He walked up to the side of her bed. In a split second, he picked Jude up and threw her over his shoulder. She screamed.
"Tommy! Put me down!" she kicked her legs and beat down on his back, but his grip never faltered.
"You promise to get ready?" He asked. "Now?"
Jude's flailing stopped. "Fine." She huffed.
He set her down on the padded carpet and watched her grab her things and walk defeated to the bathroom. His phone beeped. He took it out of his pocket and looked at the lit-up screen. Darius.
Tommy sighed. "Jude, you better cut that three hours you planned to take into one. Darius wants us soon."
"Okay," she called from the bathroom.
"What?" he asked, surprised. "Okay? As in, you'll do it?"
Jude peeked her head out of the bathroom, confused. "Yeah? Why wouldn't I?"
Tommy smiled. "Because that's not the Jude I know."
"Shut up," Jude scowled.
"There she is," Tommy laughed.
Sure enough, an hour later the two were out the door and into Tommy's car. Jude was fixing her eyeliner in the car mirror and Tommy was messing with the radio dials.
"See, this is why I hate the radio," he frowned. "Nothing is on. Ever."
Jude smirked at him. "Hey, I'm on the radio. Watch it."
"Yeah, but I listen to you every day of the week," Tommy smiled. "Talk about torture."
Jude punched his arm. "You jerk!"
Tommy laughed. "I was kidding and you know it. Be careful, Sammy Sosa. You've got quite the arm. I hope tonight I still have one."
He rubbed his arm over dramatically in the place she had punched him which made her roll her eyes.
"You big baby," she teased.
"As long as I'm your big baby," he teased back, smirking.
As he pulled into a parking space he remembered the story he had to tell Darius to get him to let them off for so long. He had completely forgotten to fill Jude in. Jude's phone beeped.
"It's Darius," she said as she glanced down at her screen. "Let's get in there."
She opened the car door and started walking towards the entrance, but Tommy tried to stop her.
"Wait!" he yelled.
"Tommy, no time to talk," she replied. "He needs us in there."
She walked into the lobby, home away from home, Tommy trailing her.
"But there's something I need to tell you!" he yelled again. Just then, a flash of blonde hair appeared out of his peripheral vision.
"Jude!" Sadie screamed from behind her desk.
"Here we go," he said to himself as he entered behind Jude. He sucked in a breath and braced for what would happen next.
Sadie ran towards Jude and engulfed her in a suffocating hug, smiling brightly. She pulled back and held her at arms length by the shoulders.
"Tell me all about your trip to Africa!" she squealed.
"Excuse me?" Jude asked puzzled.
"Actually, Sadie," Tommy started. "Darius needs us right now, but I'm sure Jude would love to tell you as soon as she gets the chance. Let's go, Jude."
Jude, still confused, walked backwards with him, staring at Sadie. Tommy took her by the arm and began dragging her into the studio, ready to answer any questions that were about to be thrown at him.
"Africa!" she hissed as soon as Sadie was out of hearing range. "What the hell was I doing in Africa?"
"Visiting your friend who was sick," Tommy whispered back. "I wasn't exactly going to tell Sadie you weren't answering her phone calls because you were too busy shacked up with me!"
"But why Africa?" she asked again. "Why not Arizona?"
Tommy sighed. "I don't know! It's the only thing that came to my mind. I'm sorry, okay?"
The pair walked up the steps to Darius' office and knocked on the door.
"You better think of something for me to say or I'm sending you on a plane to Africa," she threatened.
"Sadie, this had better be important because I'm in another meeting about Jude's whole deal," he replied from the other side. Tommy pushed open the door. Darius looked up from his desk and smiled.
"Oh, Jude! Tom! There you two are! Ready to be back in action?" he asked, smiling his "Darius" smile.
"You bet," Tommy replied. "But what do you mean by Jude's "whole deal?" We're not losing our job are we?"
Darius laughed. "Not even close. You guys wait in Studio A while I finish this meeting. I'll be there in a bit to talk to you about something exciting."
"Can't wait," Jude said as Tommy closed the door.
Two hours later Darius was standing outside Studio A expecting to hear Jude behind the microphone and Tommy behind the controls, barking orders at her. Instead, he found the two sitting on the ground with their backs to the door. He pressed his ear to the crack to try and listen into their conversation.
"You ready?" he asked her.
"No," she admitted.
"I'm right here, you don't need to worry," he reassured her.
"Hold my hand," she said.
"Jude, come on," he replied. "You can do this."
"But what if something goes wrong?" she asked.
"Then we start again," he answered. "No big deal."
"You promise you won't get mad at me?" she asked again.
"No way, no how," he said.
Darius was more than curious by this time so he pushed open the door and walked around the room. Both of them were huddled around a small game of Jenga, the tower as high as Jude's head. She was reaching for a brick when Darius spoke up.
"What are you doing?" he asked. Jude screamed and jumped, her hand crashing into the tower, causing it to topple helplessly to the ground.
"You ruined it!" Tommy screamed.
Jude frowned. "You said you wouldn't get mad at me!"
"That was then!" he replied. "Before I knew you were going to smash it to smithereens!"
"It's not my fault!" she yelled back. "It's his!"
Jude jabbed a finger in Darius's direction and for the first time, they noticed he was there.
"Oh, Darius!" Tommy said, jumping up and dusting himself off. "Sorry, we were just—"
"Just getting back to work," Darius answered for him, his voice stern. Then, however, he smiled. "Don't worry, you'll have plenty of time to play as many games as you want after I tell you this."
Jude was silently putting the tower back together again when Tommy tapped her on the arm with his foot. He held out a hand for her and helped her off the ground. As soon as Jude was up, she leaned subconsciously into Tommy's body. The two didn't seem to notice but Darius sure did.
"Mind telling me what's going on between you two?" he asked.
Jude and Tommy looked at each other, puzzled. "Nothing?" Tommy answered for them.
"Uh huh," Darius replied, making a note to bring it up later. "Sure. Anyways, you both are going to want to sit down for this."
Jude looked around and found two stools for them to sit on. She handed one to Tommy and placed the other in front of Darius.
"Okay, what's going on?" she asked. "This is getting weird."
Darius steadied himself and then took at seat in the chair closet to him. He held out two hands in front of him, his pointer-fingers and thumbs touching the opposite, making a box.
"Picture this," he began, "while you were away, I got calls from different reps for music labels from France, England, Italy, Spain, Australia, Greece, you name it, I got a call from it. G-Major is thinking of expanding our venues to reach global success."
He rubbed his hands together and leaned back in his chair. "We would expand into at least twelve different countries in four different continents. Starting in two weeks, select members of G-Major's staff are going to head around the world to oversee some of these projects. Tom, since you are my right-hand man, I'm going to need you to head out as soon as you can."
Tommy started, "But what about –"
Darius laughed, "Let me finish. I knew you were going to want to take Jude, and since she's going to be recording her fourth album pretty soon, I figured what better time to start. All the downtime on the jets will give you a chance to write and once you hit up the studios, you can record. We can pitch it as, 'Jude's Global Tour.' Just think about how huge you'll become, Jude."
At first, she didn't know what to think. She watched Darius' eyes turn from excitement into dollar signs in a matter of seconds. Regardless, this seemed surreal. She could feel her breath becoming shorter and glanced at Tommy.
"What's the catch?" she asked, turning to Darius.
"So far, there is none," he answered. "Basically you're becoming my guinea pig for the next 5 months. We're sending you two out to see how it goes. The more you record and the more feedback we receive, the more artists and producers we'll have out there. You won't need to worry about studio space, seeing as many of the local studios are lending out their equipment and space for some recognition. If you say yes, I write the check today and you two are off."
Tommy sucked in a breath, "You want us to decide today?"
"Where would we stay?" Jude asked. "Who would we talk to?"
Darius straightened up. "All of that will be taken care of. Come on, you two are my best. Do you really think I'd send you out there without anything?"
Jude and Tommy glanced at each other, still in a state of shock. Darius, seeing as it this would go no further today rose up out of his chair.
"You have until tomorrow morning to decide," he said. "I need to start putting some zeroes on the checks to get everything set in. If you decide later today, head to my office and you'll sign the papers. You'd have two weeks to pack. We'll send you with money and whatever you don't bring, you can always buy."
Still, the duo sat still, staring.
"As far as you're concerned," Darius spoke again, "you two are done for the day. Head home, think about it, take some time to relax. Let me know as soon as possible."
He straightened his blazer and tie and walked out of the room. They sat there for a second, not being the first one to speak up. Darius had just dropped a bombshell on them and he was just going to leave the room? Jude glanced at Tommy from the corner of her eye. He was still sitting as motionless as she was.
Jude spoke up, "Can you believe this?"
Tommy shook his head, not saying anything, staring at the wall in front of him. She waved her hand in front of his face and then laid her hand on his cheek. The color had drained from his face.
"You okay?" she asked.
Tommy nodded and began to talk, "Do you know what this means?"
She tilted her head with interest. "Want to tell me what's going through your head right now?"
He looked up at her. "This is a once in a lifetime chance, do you not understand that?"
"Of course I understand that," she began. "but didn't you already do something like this with Boyz Attack?"
Tommy laughed and for the first time in ten minutes, began to show emotion. "In a way, yes we did. But I never got to really experience it, if you know what I mean. I was sixteen and had the world, and plenty of alcohol, at my feet. I wasn't even sobered up to remember half of the things we did. I didn't even know we were in some countries until we came back."
Jude thought for a minute. In the split second she glanced at Tommy, she could see excitement on his features. His eyes were lit up, almost imagining himself in those countries with Jude, his best friend. She wanted to say yes even before she saw him, but now, she felt like she needed to say yes. To give Tommy a second chance on something he wanted.
It was one of the only times in her life where she thought about someone other than herself about something this drastic. She needed to give him this opportunity back. She wanted to go with him, to be there with him. They could do it. All they needed to do was pack up their house and head out. All Darius needed was an answer, so Jude spoke up.
"Will you come with me if I decide to go?" she asked.
"Only if you want me to," he replied.
And with that, their decision had been made.
Teasers for the next chapter.
"There is no one in the world I would rather go with than you, Jude," he said.
Jude smiled playfully. "If you say so."
Tommy took her hand. "I mean it."
"You, me, and that stack of cards. We're doing this."
"Winner gets to pick the person the other one has to hit on."
"What, are we in 5th grade?"
"Worried you'll get your butt kicked?"
"Give me those cards."
Questions! 1.) What has everyone been up to lately!? 2.) What movie of 2010 are you most excited to see? 3.) Which place in the world would you most like to visit and why? Okay! First off, I just wanted to say, thank you so much to everyone who reviews and tries to put me back into the writing mood. I'm truly sorry I'm such a lazy bum sometimes. Haha. I know this chapter was boring, but I have to get ready to set up for the next chapters which will be a lot better, I promise. :) AND, I was thinking, that maybe on the next chapter, leave a review of your name and a short description of yourself and the country you'd most like to visit, (i.e. I'm Emma and I have wavy, reddish-brown hair and I love to sing. I'm Italian, so I pick Italy) and Jude and Tommy may run into you on their way around. :) I know that sounds pretty cheesy, but it'll be fun. But remember, not this chapter. On the next one. Be sude to read these notes at the bottom to see if anything has changed. Thanks so much you guys, again. It really means so much. 3 xoxo Emma :)
1.) What has everyone been up to lately!?
2.) What movie of 2010 are you most excited to see?
3.) Which place in the world would you most like to visit and why?
Okay! First off, I just wanted to say, thank you so much to everyone who reviews and tries to put me back into the writing mood. I'm truly sorry I'm such a lazy bum sometimes. Haha. I know this chapter was boring, but I have to get ready to set up for the next chapters which will be a lot better, I promise. :)
AND, I was thinking, that maybe on the next chapter, leave a review of your name and a short description of yourself and the country you'd most like to visit, (i.e. I'm Emma and I have wavy, reddish-brown hair and I love to sing. I'm Italian, so I pick Italy) and Jude and Tommy may run into you on their way around. :) I know that sounds pretty cheesy, but it'll be fun. But remember, not this chapter. On the next one. Be sude to read these notes at the bottom to see if anything has changed.
Thanks so much you guys, again. It really means so much. 3