I'm just gonna jump straight in... it's a doozy!
KEEP CALM AND FUCK MONKEYS
I seriously saw that on a T Shirt at one of the guys' shows in Vegas. Some stupid little girl thinking she could attract the attention of one of them. She was stood at the front of the stage shooting googly eyes and any of the guys if they happened to look in her direction. I was quite tempted to turn and punch her, but at the same time, was a little intrigued as to where she'd got the shirt in the first place.
Nah, I was just pissed that she was giving Ben the 'fuck-me' eyes, and he wasn't even trying to stop her. Luckily Jackson caught my death glare and as he danced around on the stage, I saw him say something to Ben, causing him to look up at me and pucker up his lips at me.
It was stupid things like that which made this all seem so worthwhile. I mean, okay, I really enjoyed going out to some of the venues with the guys, and coming back home, only to fall into bed with Ben's arms around me, when they weren't on tour. It was easy when they were in Baton Rouge, or even when they were in Texas, and it just wasn't far from where I needed to be the next day. It was hard when it came down to Ben being a plane ride away and the other side of the bed being cold.
We never fought about it, though. That was the strange thing - we were oddly civil when it came to the last few days before he set off for a show in... say Washington, and he wouldn't be back for a week, because then they were going to Vancouver and then somewhere else and I'd only see him the Sunday after. It sort of sent me a little crazy, because I worked my backside off during those weeks, and seemed to spend all my time sat in front of a computer, reading and proofreading, or calling people at god-only-knows-what time, just trying to keep my mind away from where Ben was, what he was doing, and who else was there.
I trusted him. Honestly, I did.
It was more that since Jackson's movies had become bigger than Rob Pattinson's ego, the band had had an explosion in popularity too - and that meant pictures, and interviews, and the occasional (read that as near constant) influx of gropey fans. It really was quite sickening to watch those girls and the way that they were almost shameless in their sexual... abuse of the meet-and-greets. Ben had called me more than once complaining about it, and the fact that he had just wanted to clamber into bed next to me and never let me go.
I just told him to shut up, get touring, and maybe cried a little in my bed when I realised that he missed me.
He. Missed. Me.
So I called him at three in the morning, and because he was Ben, and never answered his phone after a show or before ten in the morning, it went straight to voicemail.
"Don't bother leaving a message. I won't reply."
"I'll leave my message but good, asshole." I chuckled quietly, "I miss you, Ben, more than I can probably say - and I love you too, baby. I think you being so far away is sending me crazy, and just... well, hell, I miss you. Night, Benny."
I woke up the next morning, well rested and happy because it was Saturday, which meant I could sleep forever, if I wanted to. Checking my phone before I dared to get out of my bed, the most comfortable place in the world, I grinned as I realised I had a text.
You know not to leave a message, but I loved hearing your voice anyway. I think I may keep it until I get back - I miss you too much to delete it. Bx
There were definitely tears in my eyes. Not even a word of a lie, I could feel my eyes stinging as I watched my fingertips fly over the keypad on my phone and I tapped out a relatively legible reply.
I couldn't resist. You really miss me? x
Of course not. Just your Eau face. And maybe your voice... and your eyes...
I won't take the mickey, B. You can tell me the truth, x
I miss the shit out of you. And your beautiful eyes. x
If it helps, they've only just opened for the day x
Go back to bed, Crazy, lord knows you need your beauty sleep x
And so, for once, I did as I was told, curled up in bed and drifted off to another four hours of sleep with a smile on my face.
It was getting nearer and nearer to Ben's birthday - the first one we'd spent together, after my first Christmas and New Years away from home and my first eight months in America. I closed my eyes as I thought about it, dreading the thought of ever having to go home.
I loved my family, but I loved it here, too.
"What do you want for your birthday?" I rolled over and looked at Ben, who was leaning against my dressing table, wearing only a pair of boxers and staring straight back at me, grinning madly.
"Sex." He laughed, and I shook my head at him, wrapping the sheet around me and watching his eyes follow the movement of my hands as I ran them through my hair and stretched. "Or maybe you, covered in something I can lick off."
"Yeah, whatever, pervert." I laughed, patting the bed beside me, "How's it feel to nearly be thirty?"
"Well, when you put it like that, just fucking marvelous." He shook his head at me this time, and I stretched out, curling into his side as he laid down next to me, "Thirty? Really? As if I'm actually that old."
"Really, Ben?" But by that time, I was gently rubbing my nose across the stubble on his jawline, and running my fingers through his now-stupidly-long hair. "You need a haircut." As much as I loved his hair, it stopped me seeing his eyes.
"If I'm getting one, you're gonna stop dying your hair."
"Then deal with it."
"I'll cut it when you're asleep." And he had the sense to look terrified, making me laugh evilly.
"Ok...I'll get a trim. Will that do?"
"We'll see." I rolled my eyes and shook my head, "I feel like your mother."
"Nah, she got it easy."
"Why do I doubt that? Oh yeah, I've seen you and your brothers in action." I rolled my eyes. "And that's without your dad joining in."
"You're crazy." He shook his head, obviously sceptical.
"That's my name." I grinned, "Come on, you've got to be up for later."
"I don't want to!" Now he was wrapping himself around me and pressing his lips to mine, "Come on, Crazy," And he pressed himself against me, burying his face into my neck, making me giggle and - what was probably his intention - forget my original question.
I noticed that he was different in the week and a half leading up to his birthday. There were moments where I would catch him staring at me, a mixture of concern and upset in his eyes, and I didn't know what the hell was going on. He wouldn't let me touch him, which was fucking irritating, to say the least, because... well, my fucking vibrator was no good when Ben was lying next to me, staring up at the ceiling, was it?
To be honest, I was impressed that I had lasted nearly a week before calling for reinforcements. That was what Jack, my old flatmate and confidante, was doing on Skype at two in the morning UK time, two days before Ben's big day.
"I swear, I am going to kill him if he doesn't stop treating me like his fucking sister." I ranted to Jack. "It's beginning to piss me off, especially the... you know... the frustration." Jack rolled his eyes at me.
"I dunno," He shrugged on camera, "Maybe you're just... boring him."
"Do you think so?" I sat forward, "I didn't bore you, did I?"
"I didn't get to fuck you half as much as I would have liked to," My turn for the epic eye roll.
"Whatever shit for brains-" I spun round at the sound of Ben clearing his throat from the doorway behind me. "Jack, gotta go."
"Later, bitch." He laughed and ended the call quickly.
"Did I wake you?" I mumbled, wondering how much he'd overheard.
"It's ok. Couldn't sleep anyway." I followed him with my eyes as he walked over to me and sat down. The words he spoke next caused my heart to drop. "We need to talk."
"Great, I'll just pack my bags and leave now, then." I stepped past him.
"What the fuck?" He rubbed his eyes a little and looked at me, catching my arm as I tried to walk away. "I said we need to talk. Not you-need-to-leave."
"Nothing ever good comes out of that sentence." I stood in front of him, arms crossed.
"Yeah well. Since when have we ever done things the way others do? I just want to talk." He led me over to the sofa and sat me down.
"Ok, so talk." I couldn't help snapping, but if this was it, I wished he would just say it already so I could sort out my head sooner rather than later. I refused to mope. I was not one of those whiny bitches who complained and cried and always had to get their way.
"I want to know why you've been so distant in the last week." OK, didn't see that one coming. "You've hardly spoken to me."
"That's only because you've been distant with me. And there's been the looks." Confusion flashed in his eye, making me notice he had actually trimmed his hair.
"The ones where you look at me like you feel sorry for me."
"Why the fuck would I feel sorry for you?"
"Well, I don't know, but I'm sure there are a million reasons!"
"You know what? Sometimes, I just can't keep up with you-"
"Ben. Just tell me what's on your mind, and tell me straight. No more sly looks and mixed messages. Please." He took hold of my hand.
"I turn 28 in a few days. You're only 23."
"And I think you deserve better."
"Yeah, Better. Better than someone who is five years older than you, and never around." I stared at him. Was he really going to pull the age card this far into our relationship?
"Are you serious? Really, deadly serious?"
"Of course I am. Why wouldn't I be?"
"You waste all this time of us being together, fairly happily I may add, and then you pull this bullshit."
"It's no-" I cut him off.
"I wasn't finished. It is bullshit and you want to know why?" He nodded. "If I felt that I shouldn't be with you, I wouldn't be here. I've done the whole 'stay around just in case he's the one' thing and it never works. Ben, I'm here, with you because I want to be. Your age doesn't even factor for me. For some ungodly reason, I am in love with you, and want you around. For a long time."
"Really?" I nodded causing him to smile wide and throw me backwards. He rested his weight on his arms as he dipped his head and kissed me. "That's kind of what I was hoping you'd say." He mumbled against my lips.
I was really starting to stress out. I think I'd made a mistake in organising a surprise birthday party for Ben in Vegas the night of a gig. I must have been crazy to even consider it. Why did no one think to talk me out of it? Because they all thought it was a good idea that's why. Bastards. the only good thing to come out of my 'scheme' was the fact that Charlie was coming over for the weekend.
Ever since Jackson had surprised her at Christmas, she'd been down. I knew she found it harder each time to say goodbye to him. With himself moving across the globe, she felt like her world was flipping upside down. but, I'd made her promise to come out to Vegas and just live it up for the weekend. Frankie and Wade were coming down from LA too.
I was struggling to locate everyone to let them know about it, but thankfully, Ben's parents and brothers were helping a lot. They were emailing and phoning everyone they could think of, even the rest of the band were helping me, well, apart from Jackson. He was away doing the film star thing somewhere. It was extraordinarily lucky I was getting so much help, because I'm sure Ben thought I'd suddenly gained a penchant for browsing for porn because he kept coming into the room where I was plotting and I had to close the laptop so he wouldn't see the enormous monkey cake I was designing. Either that, or he thought I was searching for a hitman.
"Crazy, what the hell are you up to?" he asked me one night while we were snuggling on the sofa.
"I'm not up to anything. I'm just busy with work." Please don't figure me out! Five days left, just don't work it out.
"So why do you squeak and then slam your laptop closed whenever I walk into the room?" Shit! "You're not looking at dirty pictures of me on there, are you?" He teased, and I growled a little.
"I just don't want to bore you with work stuff." He grinned at me.
"Are you looking for a birthday present for me?" He was such a child sometimes.
"Yeah, you got me. I'm trying to find you the perfect present, so no more sneaking around trying to see what I'm doing. Ok?"
"Yes baby." I didn't even think I was convincing... He grinned as he pressed his lips to my nose and I looked up into his eyes, "Nothing too fancy, but I kinda want something practical..."
"Shut up, I'll get you what I want to get you." The laptop slid from my lap and I ruffled his hair as he pulled me into his arms and onto his lap. "Oh, don't try and seduce me to get what you want. You know it won't work." His lips hit my neck and I let out a little groan, "Okay, it might work, but you have to stop now."
"Awwh, do I have to?" He pouted, pulling back and brushing his lips against mine again. "Because I'm really quite enjoying myself here."
"Shut up, Ben."
"Once again, do I have to? You quite look like you're enjoying yourself there..." He paused and grinned, "You sure you weren't looking at porn?"
"Okay, now I'm just going to bed." I picked up the laptop, making sure he wouldn't be able to see the arrangements I had pasted into the document still shining onscreen.
"Wipe down your keys when your done. I don't need all of your..." He hesitated, "Fluids all over it."
"How the hell did you pass anatomy 101, Benjamin?"
"My good looks and bangin' body?" He smirked.
"Well, they can stay on the couch tonight." I turned away to walk out, then turned back. "Wait... are you saying you fucked your teacher?" The blush on his face worried me just a little bit, and to say I was jealous was... well, an understatement.
"Miss Copperman was... a thorough teacher, Bonnie,"
"I'm sure she was. And was Miss Copperman... actually, I don't think I want to know."
"Oh, no, do go on, I'm sure I can answer you."
"I'm sure you could." I gritted my teeth, trying not to picture a prepubescent Ben and a hot blonde on her desk, but I wasn't going to rise to his bait. He always loved it when I started to play his little game of fighting foreplay, but tonight, no. Not going to happen.
"Oh, is Crazy getting a little jealous of Miss Copperman?" he had a dreamy look on his face, as if reminscing. "I have to admit, she was the hottie teacher, but she... "
"Don't dare finish that sentence if you want anything other than silence and loud rock music blasting through this apartment for the next week. You'll be turning twenty eight without me, if you're not careful." He chuckled lightly as he stood up and walked over to me.
"The truth is baby, Miss Copperman was fifty, if a day. I just love the flash in your eyes when you get jealous."
"In case you haven't noticed, It turns up when I'm irritated too." He wrapped his arms round me and kissed the top of my head.
"I love it when you're irritated too. Put the work away now for the night and come to bed."
"I would, but..." I huffed now, more irritated than I had been before, "How do I know you won't be thinking of Miss Copperman while I'm lying next to you. Fifty? As if!" I snorted, suddenly determined to wind him up, to get him as frustrated as me.
"Right. Want me to prove it to you that I will, in no way, be thinking about Miss Copperman while lying in bed next to you?" I watched as he stalked across the room to the bookcase. He turned back to me, a yearbook in his hand, I couldn't help but stare at his hands as he flipped through the pages before thrusting it at me. "Miss Copperman." He announced.
True to his word, there was the proverbial old woman, long skirt, mildly ruffled blouse, and shorter, grey hair. What he had neglected to mention was the woman stood next to her. And I used the term woman loosely.
"What about..." I squinted at the page quickly, "Miss Hennessey?" His hands twitched and I smirked. My free pass to riling him right up. "She doesn't look like she's fifty. And look..." I grinned sardonically, "She's even signed your yearbook! Dearest Benjamin..."
He slammed the book shut.
"Oh, but I wasn't done reading!"
"Sure you were." He turned away, but I managed to pull the book from his hands.
"Dearest Benjamin..." I read once i found the right page. "It has been a pleasure teaching you for the last three years. I wish you well in ALL your endeavours, make sure you keep in touch. miss H." All I did was look at him, one eyebrow raised.
"Emphasis on pleasure and touch, Benjamin?" I backed up, laptop still tucked under my arm, trying to arrange my expression into something other than mildly amused horror. "My my, three underlines, and two kisses... you must have been a good... student."
"Oh please. She wrote that in all our yearbooks. Check Jay's if you don't believe me. She was a new teacher and wanted to be liked. Christ sake. You really are one crazy chick." He didn't sound amused.
"Crazy?" I quirked my eyebrow again, "Crazy? I don't think so." I pressed the book into his hands, turned around and walked out of the living room. "You know where the pillows are."
"You heard me!" To anyone outside of this relationship, I would have looked and sounded like a petty little whiny bitch, but if I had turned around now, Ben's eyes would have been sparkling with the challenge of getting back into bed with me, and there was no way that was gonna happen tonight. At least, not if he was going to carry on like that.
Ten minutes later, I was curled up in bed, laptop on the bedside cabinet, iTunes open and Regina Spektor exploding out of the tinny speakers. That'd show him. Ben hated the mood that her music put me in, because he knew that after the first song, he would have missed his chance. Crazy Bonnie would no longer be horny and frustrated, but sleepy and blissed out on the sound of the piano and flexible voice.
It didn't put me off hearing the creak of the door, and seeing Ben's shadow move through the room as he tried to sneak back into bed with me.
"Where do you think you're going, Mister?" I started as he suddenly cut off the music.
"Bed," He growled.
"I don't think so," I yawned, "Couch."
"Go fuck yourself."
"Now, why would I want to do that, when I've got you all laid down next to me, Miss Henness- Crazy." He laughed, and I knew he had done it deliberately, which pissed me off even more.
"Out Ben." I actually pointed to the door. He sighed and obliged without a fuss, only to return about twenty seconds later.
"Hey, Crazy, there's not something you want to tell me, is there? You're not pregnant or anything? Or are you just being all Hormonal Harriett... no, Hormonal Hennessey for shits and giggles?"
The pillow I hurled at him hit him square in the face.
"Love you, Crazy."
"Whatever." And I fell asleep with a huge smile on my face.
Sooner rather than later, I was rushed off of my feet and decorating a venue smaller than my living room, while trying not to get under the feet of the guys, and keep Ben from noticing that there were several, extremely familiar people piling into the venue.
Then again, that wouldn't really have been a problem. Since the night that I'd spent with Regina Spektor, rather than him, he'd been a little wary, and a little distant, but not as distant as before, when he'd almost determinedly tried to push me away. In fact, I think distant was the wrong word. It was more... distracted, as though something on his mind was constantly poking at him, not quite letting him go. It bothered me because I wasn't sure if I was the cause or not. Everytime I asked if he was okay, he said he was "fine" and changed the subject. Surely that meant that something was wrong? Especially because he was only about a tenth as chatty as he usually was, and his hands weren't as wandering.
Obviously, I wasn't as perceptive as I liked to think I was. Every bit of distance was wiped away halfway through the set, as the pounding beats of "Wings on Fire" coursed through me, sliding up the barstool I was sitting on and making me shiver with the feeling of sudden expectation.
"Ladies and Gentlemen," Ben's voice and the bassline of the song set my body on fire, as usual, as it always would, "This is your Captain speaking." My knees went weak, and I tightened my grip on the bar stool I was sitting on, "We have reached our cruising altitude of 35,000 feet, and the stewardesses have turned off the 'Fasten Seatbelts' sign," This was longer than the usual intro, but not unusual when Ben felt all talky like he must have done today, "And as your Captain, I'd like to direct your gaze to one very special lady still stuck in her seat at the bar."
I cringed as about four hundred eyes turned to me, and in acknowledgement, I raised my hand and gave him the finger. Fuck you, Benjamin Graupner.
"Flight 69, this is Ground Control," Jerad interrupted quickly, "You're heading toward potential turbulence, there," Another pause, "Are you sure you want to follow your intended flightplan?"
"Flight 69 to Ground Control, with great thanks, shut the hell up." I had absolutely no idea what the hell was going on, and wasn't sure I wanted to. "As flight 69 is plunging to the ground, I w-would like to take the chance to fulfil a... uhm... final dying wish." Ben suddenly jumped off the stage, ploughed through the crowd, guitar still in hand, and stopped in front of me.
"The fuck are you doing, Ben?" I murmured, staring at him as though he had grown two heads.
"Something I probably should have done a very long time ago." He whispered, grinning at me wider than I had ever seen him smile before.
"So, you're dumping me?" He snorted.
"As if." And then the mic was back at his lips, and I was hearing his voice from every corner of the room, "Crazy, though you probably set fire to the wing itself... Considering where this plane is going down... do you f-feel like m-marrying me?" He stumbled over the words, his face turning bright pink, then, as the crowd got behind him, he found his voice again, "This is Vegas, after all!"
I definitely dropped my drink. I remembered my feet getting splashed by ice cubes and the better portion of my Jack & Coke. I might have heard a wolf-whistle, but that probably wasn't meant for me.
"Bonnie?" Suddenly I was aware of his hand in front of my face, waving madly and trying to regain my attention, "Earth to Crazy?" As my hearing began to work properly, it was overwhelmed by the crowd shouting.
"Say yes! Say Yes!" Was being yelled from all corners, even the guys still on stage were joining in, straight into their mics. I blinked a couple of times and turned to look at Ben.
"On one condition."
"Er... ok." He looked nervous now, his smiled looked a bit forced.
"No drive through fat Elvises." He pouted. "Ok, drive through we can do, but no Elvis." I felt him take hold of my hand. "But, I quite fancy James Dean."
He stayed silent for a really long minute, staring at me as though I'd just landed from an alien planet. Finding my stride now, I leaned forward and stage whispered into his ear, hoping that I caught the mic at the same time.
"You can start celebrating, Ben," I grinned, my nose just brushing up against his cheek, "That was a resounding yes." The crowd and the rest of the guys registered my answer a full minute before Ben did. In fact, it wasn't until Lani appeared with a bottle of champagne and Jackson was doing a scarily good impression of Cliff Richard singing 'congratulations' that he began to grin.
"Does that mean..." I nodded as his voice filtered through the room which was getting quiet as he spoke. Ben turned to the stage. "Jackson! I bet you $100 I get mine knocked up first!"
"Get your wallet out, asshole, I'm way ahead of you." We both stared, trying to think of a response. "Nearly two months ahead. Drinks are on Graupner!" I could see Charlie and the kids stood at the side of the stage. I gave her my best 'we're gonna have words madame' look before Ben swung me up into his arms and pressed his lips to mine with a fervour I could easily get used to.
"Damn Rathbone." He growled, holding me easily off my feet as he pressed my back against the side of the bar. I punched him in the arm and he looked at me sideways, tilting his head. "What, Future Mrs. Me?" He paused, "Hell, I like how that sounds. Ben and Bonnie Graupner..." I let him kiss me again, then pulled back and glanced pointedly at the stage. "What, baby?"
"Haven't you got a song to finish?"
BPOV (Yep, Ben's getting his say)
"Jay, I need your help man." I spoke into the phone after Bonnie left the room to go and get Charlie to do whatever it was women did in stores.
"What now?" I could hear the kids in the background.
"I need rings, like now." I listened to him ask the kids to pick their breakfast.
"Can you give me a half hour, we're just getting food?"
"Where are you? I need food too." I hung up and made my way over to meet them at the nearest IHOP. After a decent short-stack of pancakes, I was shaking a little less with nerves and a lot more with excitement and a massive need for feeding. Seriously, in my head, it had been all about the rings, all about Bonnie, and then bang! Jay had to mention breakfast, and everything had gone out of the window.
No wonder dad had taken to calling me Homer. I sat next to the kids and stole a pancake from each of them as I waited for my own food.
"So, rings huh?" Oh yeah. Rings.
"Yeah. I don't know what to get." why did people roll their eyes at me all the time?
"You don't know what kind of jewelry your girlfriend, no, fiancee likes?"
"She likes silver and shiny, just like a Magpie." I grinned at the waitress who placed my food in front of me.
"I guess I better text Charlie then." I watched as he pulled out his phone as I slapped away little hands trying to steal food from my plate making them giggle. I thought back to the conversation last night. "She doesn't want kids yet." I blurted out.
"Who? The waitress?" My turn to roll my eyes.
"No dick. Bonnie." I looked up at him. "I don't get it."
"You're both young yet. She's just got over here and enjoys work. You're busy and all that. Just wait."
"You're busy too." I wasn't going to pout, but seriously? "And it's like she doesn't want them at all, the way she talks! I just... I just don't understand it, I mean..." Jay raised an eyebrow at me, "She loves these little things, and I know she'd be a good mother-"
"Dude. She's twenty three. Let her have some life before she pops out a couple of mini Graupners." Jay the sage. "Dude, when you were twenty-small, did you want kids?"
"Well, no, but-"
"Well, then, idiot, shut up, and eat before a couple of mini monkeys eat for you." I looked down into faux innocence. Yeah, maybe kids could wait for a couldn't handle people taking food off of my plate, no matter how cute..
"I wouldn't thank me. I'm just not being an idiot. Like you." Jay smirked, and I hit him. So he slapped me over the back of the head. Violence ensued, as usual, but this time, no ladies to break up the mess.
"Hey, you're gonna be a great dad... as long as you don't beat on it like you do me." Jay's face beamed.
"You think? I'm shitting my pants man. And, any kid of mine's gonna be better behaved than you." The kids had stopped paying attention to us and were sat staring out the window while drinking their milkshakes. "So wash your hands and wipe your face before we go, Benjamin, or no dessert." I flipped him off before throwing some notes on the table and standing up.
"Hey kids. Gonna help pick Aunty Bonnie a new ring?" Jay and I grabbed a kid each and left.
Twenty minutes later, I realised why I never, ever, ever went shopping. Ever. There were eighteen billion pieces of silver, shiny, golden, diamond-laden, engraved, embossed, oh-my-god-look-at-that-motherfucker pieces of metal, all over the place, and I didn't know even where to begin.
"That one." Charlie's daughter pointed. I bent down and grinned.
"Squirt, remind me to take you shopping at Christmas." I ruffled her hair and caught the eye of the saleswoman. "How much, ma'am?"
"More than you'll ever make," She didn't think I caught it, but the glare that I sent her quickly put her in her place.
"Excuse me ma'am. My friend here is getting married in less than eight hours and wants to buy his wife to be this ring. how much he earns wasn't what he asked." Jay sounded pissed. this was gonna be good. 5...4...3...2...1...
"Oh, I didn't recognise you Mr Rathbone. Of course, this particular piece is $600. If you'd like it engraved, the total cost would be $800." She simpered.
"Hm," He nodded, "Thank you, ma'am." Then he pulled me aside and watched me for a long minute, "You're sure that's the one?"
"Dude, the little one's got skills. If I didn't think Bonnie would wear it, I wouldn't have asked the price." I turned back to the counter and handed over my credit card. "Unengraved please. Oh, do you have a matching one for me?"
"Of course Sir." I noticed she didn't look at me, but was watching Jay horse around with the kids. I could almost pick her banal thoughts out of her empty head. She rang it up, and I kept the boxes in my pocket with the biggest grin on my face.
"Anything else you need?" Jay asked me.
"I need a shirt." He stopped dead in his tracks and looked at me. I half expected him to turn into a cockney and start asking me if I was a line short of the Underground, as Bonnie did most of the time. "What? I've got to look... right." He actually snorted.
"Come on then." So I did. Spending forty-five minutes looking around the shop of awesomeness, as I liked to call it, was definitely over-pondering. I had seen the shirt I wanted about ten minutes in, but weirdly, I didn't want to come straight out and say it. I got a lot of shit for liking skeletons, and I got a lot of weird stares when I came out wearing one of my many skeleton shirts.
"what about this one?" I held up some Blue and white hawaiian shit, and Jay simply laughed at me. "alright, what do you suggest?"
"Why break tradition, Ben? I know you saw the Skelly shirt, and I know you want it."
"Huh." I laughed a little, and looked at him warily, "You don't think I'll look like a douche?"
"Well, I doubt Bonnie'll go for the whole white wedding thing, so you'll most likely be ok." I swear Jay was sniggering.
"Are you suggesting I've been anything less than proper with Oh Crazy One?"
"And I was like Baby, baby, baby ohhhhh..." Jay sung quietly, and I knew I had gone bright red. What made it worse, was the fact that we had two young children with us. Two children who knew the words to that godawful, yet annoyingly catchy, song. Two children who decided to continue singing it. Loudly.
"Dude, please go take a walk. Off a pier. Or a building. Don't care which." I buried my head in my hands and sighed.
"Six hours and counting bro." He retorted, "just think about the wedding night." He threw the shirt at me.
"Oh, believe me, I am." I grinned.
BoPOV (Because we can't Let Ben have ALL the fun!)
I'm gonna be sick, I'm gonna be sick, I'm gonna be sick. I can't be sick on the plants but I'm gonna be sick.
"Honey, I've got you some water." A hand came down lightly on my forehead, and Frankie pressed a glass into my hand. "I'm going to go and find Wade now, okay?"
"Yeah, yeah, okay," I nodded and resumed my pacing and my panicking. "Oh, god, I'm going to die, I'm actually going to die."
"I doubt it." Uncle's voice made me jump as I turned to start another circuit of the tiny little hallway. "Unless you're going to choke on your own prettiness?"
"Thanks," I remained entirely unconvinced. "Thank you though. Seriously." I reached out my hands to hug him, and was quickly enveloped in the smell of pipe-smoke, and sunshine, as Larry tried to hug the stress out of me.
"Just think, in less than an hour you can have a drink, be the belle of the ball. Just remember this, you're joining a wonderful family and we all love you." Tears came to my eyes.
"Stop. You'll make my make up run."
"Ah, then I'm doing my job just right." He laughed, "If it helps, I've got liquor in my pocket?"
"Probably a bad idea, lets be honest?" he smiled gently at me.
"You're probably right honey." He patted my cheek as a slightly serious look came over his face. "I just wanted to thank you for giving me the honour of giving you away today. It truly means a lot to this Monkey's Uncle."
"As if I'd ask anyone else to stand next to me on the sunniest day of my life?" I looked up at him and nudged him with my elbow, "Even if you did pick Ben's bow tie over mine."
"I'll wear yours to the party. Promise." I gave him a kiss on the cheek.
"Let's get this show on the road, then," I laughed, "Before I throw up on a plant, scare the children and disappear down the strip."
As soon as I stepped into the stupid little chapel, and I set eyes on James-fucking-Dean, I was absolutely lost to everyone else in the world. Ben was stood next to me, body heat almost vibrating through me and making me shiver, and everyone else was somewhere else. All that mattered was him. Then his hands were on mine, and mine were on his and he was kissing me and I wasn't anyone anymore. I was Bonnie Graupner, and my fucking husband was stood next to me.
I held myself down on the ground until I could excuse myself to the bathroom quickly, where I found myself half kneeling on the floor, throwing up everything I had eaten all day, and shaking all over.
"Oi. Mrs Graupner!" I heard Charlie's voice through the cubicle door. "Aren't I the one supposed to be throwing up?" I flushed and made my way out to rinse my mouth.
"Oh hush!" I looked in the mirror. i didn't look any different, apart from the gorgeous band of silver on my finger. "Got any chewing gum?"
"I'll see what I can do." And I was left alone, staring mindlessly into a warped mirror for a while.
"Bonnie?" Not a voice I expected to hear at this point in my life, but I guess it was a nice change, "Can I come in?"
"Yeah!" I called out, and suddenly, I could see Jerad looking in the mirror at me.
"Smooth moves, kiddo, at least you made it to the bathroom."
"I threw up on Kris's shoes when we got married. Maybe I shouldn't have had that second glass of sangria, or whatever, but... well." He shrugged, "You look, and looked beautiful, by the way."
"Thanks." I nodded, "Ben send you in here to drag me back, kicking and screaming?"
"He thinks you've been kidnapped, or something, I don't know."
"Well, shit. I should probably tell him I'm alive, right?" Coupled with a nervous laugh, I must have sounded as though I was in the last place on earth I ever wanted to be. For a minute, I simply stared at the ring on my finger and felt my heart race all over again. That was the part of Ben I'd be carrying around with me for the rest of my life. That was him, giving eternity to me.
"Well, shit, I think you should, if it's going to put a smile on your face like that every time you think of it?" Reflexively, I touched my lips, and though I hadn't realised it, I was smiling so wide it should have hurt. "Breathe, Bonnie, it tends to help you settle your nerves."
As I passed him, I wrapped Jerad in a hug, then went to go and find my fucking husband.
Five hours later, Ben was fighting off a bunch of pretty girls, determined to steal the ring off his finger and possibly convince him that I was only after his fame.
Yeah, because his fame would be worth all of his bitching, whining and general Benness, wouldn't it?
"Yes. I got married, so what?" My head snapped up at his words, and, sipping my drink with a quiet sigh, I rolled my eyes and just waited, "No, she's not after my fame, so if you don't mind, I'm going to join my wife for a while."
Two strong hands wrapped around my waist, and I turned my head, only to have Ben's lips meet mine a little more possessively than I had expected. Faster than I could blink, I was pressed hard into the bar, and his teeth were nipping at my neck, pulling at the skin there and definitely leaving a mark.
"What do you say about getting the hell out of here?"
"Oh, but where would we go?" I grinned up at him, "I couldn't imagine..."
"Away from prying eyes," I raised an eyebrow.
"Does this come under the 'obey' bit of the vows?" I winked, and he let out a growl. "I'm not hearing a no," I grinned again, and he almost lifted me out of the seat I was in. "Ben!"
"That's going to sound like a broken record tonight." He grinned, "Bed, now."
In the end, it was me who was almost dragging Ben into the lift, pulling his lips down to mine as he slid his hand up my dress and pulled on my panties, his tongue delving into my mouth as he tasted every inch of it. He moaned as I grabbed at his ass and pulled him right up against me, then laughed pretty hard as our teeth clashed together and we pulled away from each other with a serious groan of pain.
"Fuck, Ben, that hurt."
"It'll all be good from now on, I promise." He grinned again, and I sighed, ducking my head to his chest as he pushed the door to the suite that Jackson had so kindly upgraded us to open, kissing me hard as he kicked it shut behind us.
"This wall, booked for three AM," I moaned as he lifted me up to the space between his body and the wall. "Bathroom, five."
"Fuck, don't make plans you'll be too sore to keep."
"Me, sore, with you around? Bullshit." I grinned.
"Go get naked and get on the bed."
"Wow, married life has already made you extra forceful!" I did as I was told though. I noticed the bed was huge as I walked towards it, leaving my clothes where they landed. Eventually, I was only in my underwear and garter in the middle of the bed. Minutes later, Ben was stood in the doorway, staring at me in the half-light, his shirt untucked and his tie hanging loose around his neck.
"I wish I had a camera," He growled, "You look perfect." Quickly, he was stalking toward me, shedding his shoes, his jeans and going to take off his tie.
"Throw me the tie, asshole." He grinned and did as I asked, and I quickly looped it around my neck, watching him watch me as he pulled off his shirt to stand, staring in his boxers as I drew one knee up to my chest and felt him slide his hand up my leg, following the path of his hand with his tongue.
"You taste even better as Mrs Graupner." He looked up at me, half smile to die for. His fingers reached for the garter, and I jerked my leg away.
"Teeth, or you're getting nothing," I grinned, feeling his lips press a soft kiss to my thigh before he ripped the flimsy thing from my body, and I gasped as he simply crawled up my body and covered my lips with his. "What, no foreplay?"
"Fuck that," He grinned, "I just want to fuck my wife, there's plenty of time for that shit later." I rolled my eyes, and they kept rolling as he tugged my bra down my shoulders and flicked my already hard nipples with his tongue.
"Boxers off, now," I managed to gasp out as his mouth moved up to bite at my neck, and I moaned even louder. Taking the precious seconds he had used to pull away, I pushed him off me and onto his back, straddling his chest and grinning as I pulled the tie from around my neck and fastened his wrists decisively to the headboard.
"Shit, Crazy!" He tugged at the ties binding him down and he moaned as I scraped my nails down his chest.
"My turn to get forceful," I grinned, and he gasped as I tugged my panties off and threw them into his panicked hands, "Hold onto those, you might want them as a souvenir."
Very slowly, I edged back down his body, following the path of my hands with my lips, and biting at the skin of his hips lightly, but enough to leave a tiny set of marks.
"You want me, huh?" I grinned as he shifted his hands and tried to reach out to touch me. "No, no, you'll get your turn." I smirked, slowly positioning myself over him and feeling him slide home.
"That's the plan." I whispered, trusting in my muscles and hoping that he'd love the feeling of being totally helpless as I tried my hardest to make him feel good. With every kiss to his chest, the corner of his exposed elbows, his eyelids as they closed tight, my inner walls deliberately squeezing his length, his lips as he moaned my name. Not "Crazy", not "Chick". Bonnie. Mrs Graupner. Fucking over and over again as I tugged on the tie around his wrists and he shot up, rolling us over, whispering I love you, my wife, mine. Mine, as he lifted one of my legs, Mine, as he moved my hips in a rhythm with his, mine as I came hard, screaming out his name as he kept pushing, kept pounding into me until he followed suit, my name on his lips, his lips over my heart, and his body wrapped around mine.
"Hello? Is this the Chick Jay was talking to?"
"Yeah, who's this?" As if I didn't know. My heart stopped as his voice echoed in my ears and I knew this was... something else.
"Ben Graupner, ma'am, at your service. And if it helps, I'm not wearing any pants."
"I..." Love you, can't believe you're talking to me, think I'm being punk'd, "don't know what to say to that..."
But I did now. Thanks. There really was nothing else to say - except, I mused, as I leaned my head back into my husband's chest and heard him mutter my name in his sleep.
"Bonnie, whereyougoin?" His arm tightened around me, groping my chest, inappropriate even in his sleep. I grinned, feeling every muscle in my face ache with happiness.
"Nowhere." I whispered, "Sleep, Ben. You'll need it."