October 5; San Diego
Mob launches in: 2 days
"Just where do you think you're going?"

Michelle─who was in the middle of hurriedly throwing clothes into a suitcase─whirled around to find Simon standing at the door, arms folded, an eyebrow raised suspiciously as always. God, can't I do anything by myself anymore?

"I'm going to L.A. I just…need to get away for a while."

"And you're not bringing me?" he asked, his short fuse already flaring up.

"Sorry, Simon. I have to do this by myself. Not everything I do has to involve you─"

She was cut off as Simon strode across the room and seized her bruised wrists.

"This is about Max, isn't it?" he hissed. "Why else would you just pack up and go somewhere without telling me?"

"And what if it is?" she retorted venomously. "We're still friends, you know."

"No, you aren't." If possible, his hold on her tightened even more.

"Simon, that hurts," she said, calm but with the same venom.

"I'm not letting you do this, Michelle. You have to get over him. You're mine now."

"I'm not a thing, Simon. And my whole world doesn't revolve around you." A year of pent up anger and resentment at her abusive boyfriend was finally unleashed. "In fact, I don't even remember why I loved you in the first place. You're a monster. It's over."

"So that's it? You throw me off just like that? Like Max?"

That was the last straw. "DO NOT BRING MAX INTO THIS! He was a better boyfriend than you will ever be!"

"Why'd you break up with him, then?" Simon's voice was low, soft; the growl of a predator who knows he's got his prey trapped.

"You wouldn't understand. And didn't I just tell you not to bring him into this?"

Before he could reply, she zipped up her bag, shouldered it and pushed her way past him.

"Michelle, wait─" He caught up with her as she was halfway out the door. "I'm sorry."

"I don't want your apology unless you can permanently remove the bruises and scars you gave me. We're done."

She was halfway down the steps of his flat when she remembered something. "Oh, and Simon?" she asked in a voice dripping with sweet sarcasm, "Do me a favor and tell Sarah that you don't have to keep your relationship a secret anymore."

Not waiting to see the expression of shock and horror on her ex's face, she turned away and ran into the black night; never looking back until she had found a taxi that could take her to Los Angeles: right into Max's waiting arms.

The very thought of seeing him again made her smile. I know I broke up with you, but now I've realized that I shouldn't have. It was selfish of me, ending our relationship just because I couldn't spend time with you anymore.

But the truth is, I miss you: I miss your jokes, I miss your 'Good morning' texts, I miss the sound of your voice. I miss you even more every time Glad You Came or All Time Low comes on the radio. I even miss Tom, Seev, Baby Nath, and Bird. I've realized my mistake now, and I'm sorry. Will you ever be able to forgive me?

October 5; Los Angeles
Mob launches in: 2 days
"Can"t I just improvise on the day itself?" Max asked. It was the moment of truth; the first time they were going to rehearse the whole mob, and Max, unfortunately couldn't think of anything to say.

"Just say something!" Garrett hissed into his earpiece.

"Fine. Look, Michelle, I'm sorry and the truth is I've never gotten over you and I've been thinking of you 24/7. I'm sorry for not even trying to make some time for you, for being the crappiest boyfriend ever. There, that okay?"

"I know you can do better than that, but it's a start. So this is where Howie does his thing and after that, it's a wrap. Nice job for a first run-through, people. I'm giving you the rest of the day off, but make sure you're here at 7 A.M. sharp tomorrow."

"Anyone up for a trip to the bar tonight?" Jay asked eagerly.

Of course, no one objected.

"Looks like Harry's staying at the flat tonight," Louis said, messing up the younger boy's mop of curls.

"All of you are going?" Harry pouted.

"All of us are legal, and therefore all of us are going. Sorry Edward," Jay shrugged matter-of-factly.

"Considering that you have to wake up early tomorrow, I don't think it's a very good idea to hit the bar─" Paul interjected.

"Aww, come on, Paul. Lighten up! Since when are we ever hard to wake up?" Liam said.

"He's right, Paul. Give them a break," Garrett (the party boy part, not the director part) laughed. "And just which bar do you boys have in mind?"

"I don't think it matters," Tom answered. "As long as there's beer, of course," he added.

"Well, you're in luck. I know the perfect place."