AHA! Yes, yes, I know it's been WAY too long, and honestly, I wasn't planning on it, but here it is! the next chapter to dreaming with a broken heart! I'm REALLY sorry, but please forgive me and review! :)

The lyrics in here are from "All At Once" by the Fray


He spent too much time sulking in that diner, thinking and frowning. The amount of coffee he drank sitting there was enough to keep him up for the next three days, and he dreaded having to go back to the hotel and face the darkness alone as sleep abandoned him. His phone was a constant motion of vibrations in his jacket pocket, but he ignored it, growing frustrated after the fifteenth call and shutting the annoying thing off. He didn't want to talk to anyone, much less Hawk, who he assumes found out of the flight to Germany that carried one less passenger and was seething. He didn't care at this point, he was a musician, and he had the right to be shallow and selfish. That's how he had been his entire life, right?

No, not right.

She was one of the few people that were able to push past his shallow personality and see the real him. She was able to help him look past his reflection and love something besides himself, even if he didn't want to admit it. She had whispered those words so many times, waiting for some sort of response, but she would receive a simple dismissive smile or curt nod. He forced himself not to notice the disappointment that would flash in those dark eyes, not to notice the way her smile would falter. She would forgive him soon enough, because she knew him, and she knew that he was far from capable of having an intense relationship that would require that specific emotion. When they went out with his friends, they would comment on how he had never been in such a long relationship, how his love for himself and his desire for fame wouldn't let him have a healthy relationship, and he would laugh along with her, not noticing that sad look in her eyes, almost as if she knew that what they had wouldn't last for too long.

He kept his head ducked and his eyes on the ground, glancing up every once in a while to make sure he wasn't going to crash into anything. His hands were shoved deep into the pockets of his jeans, seeking warmth and escape from the bitter cold that season carried into the town. Dead leaves crunched under his shoes, and he tried not to remember how she used to prance around and stomp of the brown leaves just for the simple satisfaction of hearing the sound of them disintegrating under her feet. He used to tease her for liking the sound of crunching leaves, his smile reflecting hers as their eyes would meet.

Once again, he failed at pushing his memories away.

He continued to walk throughout the town that he used to know so well, distracting himself by surveying all the changes that had occurred since he had last been there. He had spent the last three years touring the world, forgetting his roots and divulging himself in the wonders of being famous. He spent his money like it was nothing, because he knew there was more in the stacks. He sang his heart out on stage and awed thousands and millions of fans with one glittering smile or flip of his hair. It was ridiculous really, how easily entertained his fans were, but that's how he lived. That's what he wanted…

Right?

He wasn't sure anymore.

He walked past his mother's house without a second look. As much as he'd like to visit his family again, see his friends again, he doubted that they will even want to look at him. He didn't blame them. Kendall told him to move on, that's what he did, but he didn't think his friend meant to move on and forget everything he was leaving behind.

Now that he looks back, he realized that's exactly what he did.

He sighed, a cloud of white fog rising in front of his face. He wasn't sure what he was doing, or where he was going. He wondered what exactly he was doing here, back in Minnesota, and the answer comes to him easily:

To torture himself.

He can't get her out of his head, and he's pissed about it.

He clenched his jaw tightly in annoyance. What the hell was he even doing? Was he seriously beating himself up over some dysfunctional relationship that was bound to end eventually anyway? Now that he thought about it, they spent good portion of their time arguing. She had different views on everything and wasn't afraid to voice her opinions, as harsh as they seemed. Her sarcastic remarks got tiring after a while, and annoyed him to no end. She was stubborn and harsh and didn't understand him sometimes. She had a short fuse too, and would blow up on him without warning, yelling and screaming and flailing her arms around like a madwoman. He hated that look she gave him when she thought he was doing something wrong, like she knew everything and how to be perfect.

She was far from perfect.

So why was he even there? If he was going to start beating himself up about romances that didn't work up, he might as well just shoot himself on the spot. James Diamond wasn't known as the most perfect boyfriend on the face of the planet, and yet he had girls lined up at his door just waiting for him to set eyes on them. He didn't need her. And judging by the happy couple he had witnessed from the diner a couple of hours ago, she didn't need him either. She had Carlos now. And Carlos could deal with her. He was pretty sure that the poor Latino would grow tired with her attitude soon enough and get rid of her anyway.

He stopped dead in his tracks when his eyes landed on that familiar soft face through yet another window. Rose's Flower Shop was printed on the glass, and a smile pulled at his lips when he recognized the old shop that her grandmother used to own. He couldn't count how many times he had bought her flowers from here, listening to the hints the old woman would throw his way on what flowers her granddaughter enjoyed.

The way her eyes would sparkle when he would hand her the bouquet of flowers, her plump lips stretching across her teeth. He could never get enough of her smile, or of her, when she would set the vegetation in their respective vase and surrender herself over to him. Her skin forever smelled of roses, and he loved to drag his hands across that soft skin and marvel in her beauty. He could almost taste her lips, a strange combination of coconut lip gloss and cinnamon chewing gum. He could almost hear her whisper in his ear, whispering the words he had refused to respond to, choosing instead to continue in his ravishing of her.

Then he realized that no matter how much they argued, it was worth it when they would make up.

She stood right on the other side of the glass, behind the counter, speaking with a smile to different customers and filling in orders and simply working. He stared for a while, the inner battle of whether he should slip inside roaring violently inside his head. He tried to picture the scenario in his head. What's the worst that could happen?

There were countless of vases lying about, as well as scissors to cut off over sized stems. What was the chance that she would choose to hurl one of those things at him the minute she saw him in hopes of killing him?

Going back to her short temper, it was a pretty big chance.

What would he say anyway? It was too big of a risk, he'd keep his distance, observe her from afar, make sure she's doing okay, and then be on his way.

The small bell hanging above the door rang as a familiar helmet head exited the shop, hockey duffle hanging from his shoulder and ice skates bumping against his leg. It wasn't hard to guess where he was going, and James wondered where his other hockey friends were.

It didn't seem to matter anymore. He knew how pissed his friends were at him. What mattered now is that now she stood in that flower shop practically alone, doodling on a writing pad, just waiting for him to walk in.

Before he had a chance to make up his mind, he found himself pushing the door open and stepping through, the mixed aroma of different flowers hitting him straight in the face. She didn't look up from her station, and he wasn't sure if he was relieved or not. He kept behind some large and abundant displays scattered about, taking deep breaths and looking around. The flower shop was almost the same, besides some new paintings hung up on different walls, paintings that he knew were painted by her. Each flower had its own station, colors grouped together at the far ends of the room while multiple tables toward the middle of the gallery held different assortments with an array of different colors and shades. Rose Valastro was the biggest florist in Apple Valley, and everyone knew how committed the old lady was to her little shop.

After a while of staring at her from behind an assortment of roses and lilies, he decided it was time to approach her. If it was anyone else, he would have whipped out his comb and sported his famous flirty grin. But this wasn't anyone, and suddenly he didn't know how to go up to her.

His legs carried him on their own, and once he stopped in front of that counter, the only thing he wanted to do was high tail right back out of there. He swallowed the lump rising in his throat and pushes his fists deeper into his pockets, nervous for the first time in his life. She still didn't look up, her attention devoted to whatever she was scribbling down on that pad. "How can I help you?" Her voice was music to his ears, and as soon as she speaks he was bombarded by all those nights he spent with her those three years before. He could see her cheeks rise, and hear the smile in her voice. A ring that he hadn't noticed before rested on her finger, and a pang of envy rages through him. This was anything but a good idea.

She finally raised her eyes when he failed to answer, and her eyebrows came together in confusion.

No one was there.

He chickened out at the last second, ducking behind an extravagant vase, waiting until she was looking the other day to slip out of the door just when a small family decided they wanted to come in. He glanced back to make sure she wasn't looking as he escaped.

Their eyes met for about three seconds, and he cursed under his breath before practically sprinting down the road.

…..

The door slammed behind him as he stormed into his rented room, his fist flying toward the wall. He'd pay for the new hole nestled in the smooth wall, an illustration of his anger.

He'd been so close. He was so close to talking to her again, to making her smile again, to hear her voice again and gather her in his arms again. But he panicked and took the coward's way out and ran away.

And the worst part:

She saw him.

He ruined everything just by those few seconds where their eyes met. He saw the shock expressed in her gaze, the hurt, the betrayal. In those few moments he knew what he had done to her, and he hated himself for it.

Maybe you want her
Maybe you need her
Maybe you started to compare
To someone not there.

He threw himself on the bed and buried his face in his hands, his fingers pulling at his hair. All that time he wasted worrying more about his career than her, all that time he spent comparing her to the girls he had glimpsed in California, all that time he thought he could find something perfect, she stood right in front of him, waiting for him to look past all of it. Sometimes he would, temporarily, before relapsing right back into his selfish ways. And yet, she still loved him.

Maybe you want it
Maybe you need it
Maybe it's all you're running from
Perfection will not come.

But she grew tired of waiting around for him, she found someone else that loved her and made her happy. He had witnessed it himself. They were happy together. That ring on her finger meant something to both of them, and who was he to ruin that? Despite everything, Carlos was still like a brother to him, even if the feelings were no longer mutual. The Latino deserved love, and James needed to accept the fact that he missed his chance. She fell in love, she fell out of love, and back in love with someone better.

He didn't deserve her, he saw that now. He abused her emotionally, left her without warning, never even tried to keep contact. How could he simply expect to walk right into her life and assume that everything would just go back to how it was before? His selfishness screamed for him to run back to that flower shop and grab her and reclaim her, no matter the circumstances. She was his first and he wanted her back.

But there was another side to James Diamond. One hidden under all the self praise and mirror talking and selfishness. It was the side that she was able to help build up in the short time they were together, the side she fell in love with, the side that was slowly showing itself as the years went by. James Diamond was growing up and starting to see reality.

Who was he to destroy her happiness just to feed his own? Who was he to reclaim her when he never owned her? She was her own person, she had her own life, and she deserved to live it. He now realized how much he loved her, and he regretted never telling her. As much as he wanted to go back and tell her everything, he knew it would never be enough. His heart was heavy in his chest and his eyes watered.

And all at once the crowd begins to sing
Sometimes
We'd never know what's wrong without the pain
Sometimes the hardest thing and
The right thing are the same.

She would simply have to be another girl in the past.

…..

He's wearing dark sunglasses that cover half his face, as well as a baseball cap. His scarf is tight around his neck, and his hands are deep in the pockets of his coat. His back is stiff against the hard chair of the airport gate, and he sighs in relief when the flight attendants announce that they will be boarding the plane to Germany in five minutes. He isn't looking forward to the few hours he has left to himself before he is forced to face Hawk once more and sit through the man's accusations and yells about the show they were forced to cancel.

Once James revealed his location, Hawk went crazy and started gushing about how good this was about his repuatation. "Heartbroken Soul" was the next image for "Jamez" apparently, and the girls were to go crazy. James didn't care anymore. Hawk could do whatever he wanted with his image, the contract was almost over anyway. And when it was, James would launch his own record label, produce his own music, and actually sing. He would clear up his name, right after correcting it, and make his own image. In the meantime, he just had one condition.

Her name would not be mentioned in any story that the label would decide to make up.

He stands as they announce first class boarding and hauls his duffel bag over his shoulder, stepping into the line leading to the plane that would take him far away from here, from her. His life would go back to how it was before.

He's not sure if that's what he wants anymore.

After his passport and boarding ticket are returned, he begins his entrance to the plane, glancing back at his hometown that he's leaving behind.

Then he sees her.

On the other side of the glass, she stands, dark eyes searching for him. She frowns when she doesn't find him anywhere, and raises a hand to run through her dark curls. He drops everything and begins to push past the crowd of people walking the other way toward the plane, desperate to get to her in time. He waves an arm over his head to get her attention, but she's already turning around. "No!" he exclaims, trying to push past more people, but they're pushing him back and ignoring him.

He's almost out and able to run to her when another person runs up behind her, and he freezes when he sees them.

Carlos gathers her in his arms and rubs her back, his face just as disappointed as hers. He sees her shoulders rise as she sighs and looks up at the Latino. He gives her a comforting smile and whispers something that James can't hear before pressing a kiss to her lips.

All at once, his world comes crashing down.

Maybe you want her
Maybe you need her
Maybe you had her
Maybe you lost her to another
To another.