She wasn't sure how their friendship became something more or how their partnership was no risking his career.
Ally Dawson, for the first time in her life, was at a loss of what to do.
Was the high class manager right?
Was this Austin's best chance at achieving his dreams?
And was she holding him back from truly being the singer she knew him to be capable of?
Her heart was telling her that she was important in Austin's music career.
Ally wanted to believe that he needed her, but the more the agent spoke, the more she had to think it over.
Austin is a great singer.
She knows that.
Heck, everyone knows that.
So why did it throw her that she probably wouldn't be there by his side to see him succeed?
"Guess who got a job at Global Records?" her friend Trish exclaimed, walking into their private room.
"What happened to your job at Lionel's Stargazing Planetarium?" Ally asked, though she wasn't sure why she still bothered at this point.
"Uh...ha ha ha...there was a little mishap with the telescope and..." Trish shook her head. "Anyway, can you believe that woman? Trying to take my job as Austin's manager! UGH!"
"Trish...what...what if she's right?" Ally dared to ask. "If she can get Austin to where he needs to be in the music business...maybe..."
"No way! You're giving up?" Trish blurted out. "You're his partner! You can't give up on him."
"Its not like I don't want to be his partner." Ally sighed, walking over to sit at the piano. "But if Austin needs to be taken "to the next level" maybe its for the best."
"Have you been drinking loony juice?" Trish took a whiff of Ally's drink. "Nope...just orange juice. What's wrong with you?"
"I don't know." Ally snatched the sandwich from Trish's hands. "No eating in the store."
Ally walked out of the building, avoiding her father as she walked out to the new park.
She had to think.
Austin deserved everything. He deserves to have all his dreams come true.
Was it fair to hold him back from that?
"Ally?" the most familiar of voices called out to her.
"Austin." she turned to look at him. "Hi!"
"Hey...what are you doing out here?" Austin questioned, sitting beside her on the bench.
"Just thinking." Ally shrugged. "Cloud watching."
"Of course." Austin shook his head. "Look, I've been meaning to talk to you."
"Really?" Ally looked at him, curiosity getting the best of her. "What about?"
"This manager that wants me to sign with her." Austin shook his head.
"Oh...that." Ally shrugged. "You should sign with her."
"What?" Austin shot up from the bench. "You want me to sign with her?"
"Don't you?" Ally stood up, confused.
There was a look in his eyes she had never seen before.
Well, once before, but she didn't think she'd see it again so soon.
"Do you?" Austin challenged.
"Wha?...I..." Ally shook her head. "If she can bring you to the top...maybe she's the best thing for you."
Austin stared at her in disbelief and it made her uncomfortable.
"Are you crazy?" Austin exclaimed. "I don't want to sign with her!"
"You don't?" Ally looked at him confused. "But I thought..."
"You thought wrong!" Austin sighed, plopping back down on the bench. "I love how we do things. Trish may not be the most efficient manager, but she's my friend and I like having her around."
Austin ran a hand through his hair.
"She's loud and she makes everything fun...just like Dez." Austin stared at the squirrel that ran down the tree for the acorn. "Dez is my best friend and we've been through a lot together...they both make my life fun and I love that."
"That's understandable." Ally granted. "You love having fun and making everything into a game...but maybe its time for you to get serious about your career. Like all the other singers."
"That's just it! I'm not like those singers." Austin exclaimed. "I like having fun and I love having my friends by my side as we create my career."
"Just because you sign with them...it doesn't mean that you'll lose Dez and Trish." Ally pointed out. "They'll always be your friends...that won't change."
"But you writing my songs would." Austin finally looked at her. "Are you okay with that?"
"If it means your dreams will come true...yes." Ally admitted, to herself and to Austin.
"We're partners...doesn't that mean anything to you?" Austin couldn't believe she was trying to convince him to sign his career over to the manager.
"It means everything." Ally breathed. "But I'd hate myself if I was the one that held you back. You deserve this chance Austin...you should take it."
Feeling tears coming to her eyes, Ally stood up and walked away.
It was the right thing...letting him go.
Austin sat there for a moment.
He wasn't sure what he was supposed to do.
Later that day, Ally sat with Trish and Dez in the store.
They were all wondering what Austin's decision was since he had to make one that day.
That manager lady would be leaving on an evening flight and either Austin would be with her or he wouldn't.
Ally ran a hand down her face when Trish called out Austin's name and shot up from the steps.
Looking up, Ally found Austin standing in the doorway to the store.
"Austin." she breathed, walking over to him. "Why are you here?"
"Did you really think I'd take that deal?" he looked at her intently. "I've risked my career enough times for you...what makes this time any different?"
"I don't understand." Ally shook her head. "This was your chance! She can make you go viral!"
"We're partners." Austin took her hands in his. "We make it together or not at all."
"Austin..." she breathed, the closeness getting to her.
"Without you, they never would have noticed me in the first place." Austin said seriously. "Its you and me Ally. We'll make it...I know we will."
And in that moment she believed it too.
Austin pulled her into his arms, placing a soft lingering kiss on her forehead before allowing her to lay her head against his chest.
He could never leave her.
Not after all the work they put into their partnership to make it to where they are.
To make it to where hugging her was comfortable and easy.
"Thank you Austin." she breathed, hugging him closer. "Thank you for not leaving."
"I'll never leave you." he promised. "Ever."