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Do You Ship Us? - 78. Long Distance?

“Only Blake would release his new album in the middle of a house party.” Jasper holds Ryan’s hand as they try to navigate their way through the crowd of people between the fence and the doorstep, the blasting of music loud enough that they could already barely hear each other.

“I feel like I am at a frat party.” Ryan laughs and holds Jasper’s hand extra tight. Jasper turns around to Ryan and puts his arms around his neck, leaning in close so he doesn’t have to shout so much.

“We don’t have to stay too long and don’t let me get too drunk. I am going to have A drink, maybe 2 but drag me out of here if I go for more than that. Promise me.” Jasper asks desperately. Ryan wraps his arms around Jasper’s waist and nods then kisses his shoulder.

Enjoy yourself, I’ll take care of you.” Ryan says back.

“You have my permission right now, while I am sober, to take care of me however you like.” Jasper says suggestively, swaying his hips a little as he spoke to ensure Ryan got what he meant. Ryan laughs and moves one hand up to hold Jasper’s chin so he could kiss him passionately, while the other hand slipped down and groped his ass. When their lips part Jasper leans against Ryan for a moment, enjoying the thought that somehow, Ryan not being in the band had made him more comfortable in public. There was some power in knowing that if anyone had the nerve to post photos or make comments now then Ryan had the right to take action against them as a breach of privacy. That power was going a bit to Ryan’s head and he was definitely flaunting himself teasingly in situations that the media would froth over, if they had half a chance.

On the flip side Jasper knew a photo of them making out at this party would almost certainly surface, and honestly he was hoping it would because Blake’s new album was this week’s big announcement but next week it would be Jasper’s music video which was perfectly misleading to match the lyrics but the reveal of Ryan at the end would probably come as much more of a relief if they were still looking strong in the lead up.

“Lets go find Blake.” Ryan suggests. Jasper takes his hand and holds it tight, not wanting to lose him in the crowd. It took them nearly an hour, and the whole tour of the house before they found Blake outside on the veranda, with Beth, Luke, Fi and Simon.

Hey! There you are! Took you long enough! What do you think of my house?” Blake asks, throwing his arms around Jasper and hugging him then reaching to shake Ryan’s hand.

“Honestly, it’s probably nice when it doesn’t smell like way too many people. You know you’ve made it as a celebrity whe there’s people doing coke in your bathroom and I’m pretty sure I almost walked into an orgy in your bedroom.” Jasper tells him.

“Hey as long as it’s all consensual. Not my bedroom anyway, I locked that shit. It’s the only room I’ve actually moved my things into. The orgy room would be your bedroom whenever you crash here.” Blake shrugs. “Anyway, now that you are here, lets do a round of shots!” Blake orders, signaling one of the waiters he’d hired for the event. He starts handing out the drinks.

“No thanks.” Fi rejects him.

“Oh come on, you deserve it for all you’ve done for us.” Blake insists.

“I can’t.” She smiles and leans back a little against Luke who looked absolutely smitten as he put his arms around her, gently resting a hand on her tummy.

“Oh no fucking WAY! I thought you guys couldn’t?!” Blake gawks, giving Simon her shot.

“Trust me we were just as surprised. Keeping it quiet though, it’s very early.” Luke answers.

“Congratulations.” Ryan was the first to say it, and everyone else quickly joins in congratulating them.

“Well here’s to us for making it through this year, here’s to Chris getting smacked in the face with Karma and paying up at last, here’s to you guys.” He gestures to Fi and Luke, Luke raises his shot and gives Blake a nod as a thank you. “To you guys.” Blake turns and raises his shot to Jasper and Ryan, who raise their back. “To Simon for putting up with our shit.” Blake raises his glass to Simon. “And to me of course because this whole thing is about me finally having an album out. And of course to this wonderful gem of a human finally having a decent boyfriend.” Blake comments as he puts his arm around Beth who laughs then gives Jasper an apologetic look. “Cheers!” Blake shouts.

“Cheers.” Everyone shouts back then throws back their shots making varied expressions of disgust at the taste.

“Alright, I’ve gotta go and do my thing now, but I’ll catch up with you all in a couple of minutes.” Blake says, disappearing inside to get a microphone, the music goes slightly quieter so Blake could be heard. “Thank you all for being here tonight, I’ve had the best time putting this album together and I’m so excited to be playing it for you all. Party hard fuckers!” He says before the music cuts out, a moment of silence before his first track starts playing, with a roar of encouraging noise from everyone in the house as it begins. Ryan starts talking to Luke and Fi about their surprise announcement, and Jasper turns to Beth, giving her a hug.

“How have you been?” Beth asks.

“Good, you?” Jasper asks back.

“I’m really sorry about my parents.” Beth answers, shaking her head and giving a heavy sigh.

“Your parents?” Jasper frowns. Beth looks at him confused then sighs again.

“Blake didn’t tell you?” She shakes her head then looks back at Jasper. “My parents were the ones that told your parents about the ‘therapy’ place.” Beth admits sadly. “I’m just so, so, sorry you had to go through that. I know I wasn’t good about it when you first told me about Ryan, but whenever I ask Blake about you he says how great a guy Ryan is and how happy you are with him and I really am happy for you. I was horrified when I found out about what happened to you, and I’ve been feeling so guilty. I just cannot believe they would actually put you in a place like that. I’ve cried so much to Blake because I do still love you Jasper, in a different way but you still matter so much and I don’t want you to hate me.” Beth tears up as she talks.

“I thought your parents liked me.” Jasper comments surprised.

“They did, when you were straight.” Beth replies, rolling her eyes.

“Oh right, yeah I keep forgetting that, weirdly enough.” Jasper nods to himself. “I don’t hate you, or your parents actually. It’s mine that took the step of sending me there.”

“Blake said you won’t talk about what happened there. Was it that bad?” Beth asks.

“It’s not really party conversation. It was traumatic but I’ve managed to compartmentalize it and just move on.” Jasper shrugs.

“That sounds healthy.” Beth replies sarcastically.

“Anyway, enough about me, are you moving in here to live with Blake, is that where you are up to?” Jasper asks.

“Yeah I’m moving in soon, but it’ll be weird because that’ll be when Blake is away on tour. How are you feeling about that with Ryan? Or is he going with you? Blake said he’s doing some work with your boss these days.”

“Yeah he’s not coming on tour with us, he doesn’t want to be a manager or anything, he is kinda just helping Mark out for now, but he’s hoping to end up doing choreography work. He really loves dance he just doesn’t want to be in the public eye, so he’s just going to kinda freelance I think? Do some work whenever he can. Dance with attractive fit people that share the same passion while I die a little inside and sing about not being good enough for him. That kind of thing.” Jasper looks over at Ryan as he speaks, he was being cynical and exaggerating his feelings, truly he wasn’t that worried about Ryan being around other people for work. He had to respect that Ryan was trusting that Jasper being on tour wouldn’t cause any problems, so likewise Ryan working with other people shouldn’t be an issue.

“Can I get your opinion on something?” Beth asks. “I know this is weird to talk to you about, but, I’ve overheard Blake talking about proposing and my other friends don’t like him so I kinda only have you to talk about this with.”

Proposing? Wow that’s so exciting! Congrats!” Jasper grins and hugs her. “Blake seriously wants to treat you like a Queen. He would be so good to you.” Jasper assures her.

Thanks, yeah it took me a while to get use to him but I also know he was texting me a lot when I thought I was talking to you so I guess I knew him better than I thought all along. He is really sweet to me, despite his music taste and his style. He is really charming.” Beth giggles to herself.

“He is good quality, that’s for sure. I am so happy for you.” Jasper grins.

“And you are happy, with Ryan?” Beth asks.

“Unimaginably.” Jasper smiles over at Ryan who happened to be looking at him too. Ryan winks and Jasper gestures him over. Ryan excuses himself from Luke and Fi and makes his way over to Jasper, kissing his cheek swiftly.

“I feel like getting lost in the crowd and dancing with you.” Ryan tells him, wrapping his arms around Jasper’s waist and kissing his shoulder softly.

“You go. I’m good.” Beth waves them away with a smile, walking over to Fi and Luke. Jasper turns around to Ryan then glances back at Beth.

“Something wrong?” Ryan asks.

“So, Beth just told me she’s overheard Blake talking about proposing but Blake hasn’t mentioned anything to me. I’m his best friend, why wouldn’t he tell me?” Jasper asks confused and a little offended. Ryan raises an eyebrow then smiles.

“Well, maybe he thought it’d be weird because she’s your ex?” Ryan suggests.

“I don’t think so.”

“Or maybe he thought you might be judgy about it?” Ryan tells him bluntly, Jasper looks at him shocked.

“Excuse me? I’m not judgy.” Jasper scoffs, then chews his lip as he thinks about it.

“You have been bringing up the whole Harley and Damien thing at least once a day...”

“Because it’s ironic! Your ex and the guy that wanted to sleep with me, it’s funny that they somehow end up being together.” Jasper tries to defend himself.

“You also didn’t want to go to Luke and Fi’s wedding because you thought it was stupid.” Ryan points out.

“They had been dating for like, 3 minutes. It was stupid. It’s working out for them and that’s great and all but marriage shouldn’t be something people just rush into, it’s meant to be a commitment, how can you commit to someone you’ve barely experienced any of their worst moments with? You don’t know who they are if you haven’t seen them at their worst.” Jasper states with a shrug.

“See that’s you judging them based on your beliefs. No one else’s relationship has to make sense to you, because it’s not your relationship. They can do what makes them happy and you can be happy for them, that’s where it ends for you having your say on it.” Ryan tells him bluntly.

“So, ok Beth and I grew up really close, our families were practically shipping us from birth. I care so much about her and then Blake, I don’t know what I’d be without him. I cherish him. All I want is for them to be happy. Have I been a shit friend? Blake has been so supportive of me, and yet here I am not even aware that he is getting that serious with her. We had a conversation recently about how I thought you were planning on proposing on that sunrise date and that was the perfect moment for him to have said that he wants to propose to Beth but he didn’t say anything. He just talked about me and us. I have spent the last almost year being so self absorbed that I don’t even know when my best friend is planning on proposing.”

Wait, you thought I was going to propose?” Ryan asks with a smile.

“See! You are doing it too, focusing on us and not other people.” Jasper points out.

Right and in any other context that is good in a relationship.” Ryan shakes his head with a smile.

“Am I a self absorbed jerk?” Jasper asks.

“I think you’re thinking way too far into this, maybe he’s still deciding whether it’s the right step for them, maybe he’s not sure yet if it’s too soon, or how to ask or he might not be sure if she is ready to take that step so maybe he’s just not mentioning it to you because he’s not actually ready yet.” Ryan tells him and Jasper considers it for a moment.

“Nah that sounds like you.” Jasper teases.

“True, so about you thinking I was going to propose.” Ryan sighs as he holds Jasper a little tighter while they dance.

"Oh hold on, there’s Blake. I’m going to go and chat to him. I’ll come and find you again soon.” Jasper kisses Ryan and quickly leaves him to follow Blake up the stairs. By the way he nudges his way through the array of strangers taking up the stairs and every possible walking space he had no idea where Blake had ended up.

“Jasper? Hey!” Someone calls out and Jasper turns confused to a see a couple of ladies staring at him. “You don’t know me, I don’t think, but I just wanted to thank you for getting people to start speaking out against Chris.” One of the ladies says, smiling and raising a glass to him.

“Oh.” Jasper nods and gives them a polite smile. “Did you work for him too?” He asks.

“No. Although it did feel like it some times. Just, when you meet a guy at a party that tells you he’s a music producer, make sure you don’t let him get you pregnant until you know if he’s pure scum or worth committing years of your life to.” Her reply takes Jasper off guard. “I kinda hated you to be honest.” She continues with a sigh. “He’d always come home and be annoyed about something you had said or done and for a long time he had me convinced that you were out to ruin him. I am sorry that I didn’t know better, that I didn’t see what was really going on. He was very good at manipulating people though, but I don’t need to tell you that I guess.”

Oh wait you’re his wife?” Jasper asks surprised as he looks her up and down. “Wow, I am sorry, music producer or not, you are way too gorgeous to be married to a man that looked like, him.” Jasper states, earning him a laugh.

“And yet he managed to make me feel like I wasn’t good enough for him and that no one would ever love me. Gaslighting at its finest.” The lady sighs and gives a shrug.

“Jas, I see you met the lovely Pheobie.” Blake grabs Jasper’s shoulder. “Who is having her first night out since finally getting away from the abusive and controlling shithead that is Chris. Hope you’re having a great time.” Blake leans in and gives her a hug.

“Thank you so much for inviting me.” Pheobie grins as Blake hugs her.

“The least I could do is offer you free alcohol, you need it more than most people. Have fun.” Blake tells her then steps back and nudges Jasper away from her. “The fact that he’s losing everything in his life is giving me so much joy I think I have another album to start on straight away, just full of happy revenge songs.” Blake comments.

“Yeah wow, I didn’t realize what a can of worms I was opening when I started calling him out.” Jasper shakes his head bewildered. “Anyway I was coming to find you because now that Beth is moving in with you, I’m assuming things are getting pretty serious...” Jasper starts but Blake cuts him off.

“I really respect her alright, there’s no amount of alcohol that’s going to make me forget that and sleep with her tonight.” Blake tells him quickly.

“Uh, not what I was concerned about but, good.” Jasper nods slowly. “Is it getting like, marriage serious?”

“Is that what you two were talking about earlier?” Blake laughs. “Lets just get tour sorted out first, then we’ll see. She and I haven’t even talked about our timeline for that.” Blake replies with a shrug. “Anyway, I need another drink, what about you?” Blake asks.

No I’m good, I told Ryan I wouldn’t.” Jasper shakes his head, despite the temptation he wanted to show himself mostly, that he didn’t need to drink. Blake pats him on the shoulder and gives him an impressed nod then leaves him and makes his way back towards the downstairs. Jasper turns to find the bathroom, more for a moment of peace and quiet than anything else. After allowing himself a few minutes to relax, he sends Ryan a text to find out where in the sea of people, he was. Ryan was back outside talking to Beth, Luke and Fi. Jasper heads out of the bathroom but before he gets to go back downstairs he notices Pheobie disappearing into one of the spare rooms with a familiar person holding her hand and leading her in. Jasper follows confused about what he’s just seen, mentally planning to just play dumb if he was wrong about who he thought he had seen. He opens the door and sees them sitting on the end of the bed kissing. Simon breaks the kiss and makes eye contact with Jasper who mutters a surprised apology and just walks out quickly, closing the door.

“Jasper wait.” Simon calls as he quickly follows Jasper down the hall. He catches up to him and gives a heavy sigh. “Wild party hey.” He says casually. Jasper stops and turns to him.

“Simon, your relationship is not my business so whatever is going on, you don’t need to explain yourself to me.” Jasper states. Simon looks at him curiously then shakes his head.

“Payback is a bitch though, don’t you reckon.” Simon shrugs. Jasper stares at him bewildered.

“Excuse me?”

“Well Chris’ ex wife.” Simon shrugs.

“Simon that is pitiful. Don’t be that guy, you’re not that kind of guy. She has just left a manipulative abuser, the last thing she needs is someone sleeping with her for ‘payback’.” Jasper states disgusted.

“I am so drunk, just wasn’t thinking.” Simon rubs his head.

“Maybe you should go home then. Jasper suggests.

Yeah I guess.” Simon hesitates.

“Want me to go with you?” Jasper offers, he didn’t really want to leave but he felt responsible now for making sure Simon didn’t do anything else while he was inebriated. Simon agrees so Jasper reluctantly helps him make his way out of the house and into the fresh air. Jasper organizes an Uber then texts Ryan to let him know where he was going. Simon was silent the whole time, he had a look on his face like he was in a daze. It was thankfully not long before their ride arrived, and Jasper and Simon climb in the back. Simon gives the driver his address and they begin the trip in an uncomfortable silence.

“Long distance relationships don’t work.” Simon sighs. Jasper stays silent, he knew soon enough Simon would try to engage him in this self loathing and negative conversation but he wasn’t going to bother arguing with a drunk person about why his relationship would be fine while on tour. “Sooner or later someone cheats. It’s too hard to commit to one person especially when that person is so far away, and you barely get to talk to them. You end up emotionally empty and you can’t fill the emptiness with nothing. It’s the truth. You know what I am talking about because you felt it when Ryan was away. How good it feels for your soul, to have someone say things and do things and touch you in a way you are so starved for. It feels right even if it’s not. People are meant to be given love and affection.” Simon turns his head and stares at Jasper for a response.

“I am sorry you are feeling like that. It’s hard being away from someone you love.” Jasper says in the calmest way he could manage, not wanting to give even a hint of concern in his voice and trying his hardest not to take any of it personally. He was also achingly aware that he was indeed very judgy about other people’s relationships, so he was holding back the lecture that was running through his mind about his opinion on cheating.

How will you handle it? We will be on tour for 6 months at least, how will you and Ryan handle it?” Simon asks and Jasper feels well and truly annoyed.

“Don’t project your drama on me Simon, I’m not in the mood.” Jasper sighs and looks out the window, avoiding giving Simon any more attention while he gets him home.

“Don’t tell anyone, ok?” Simon asks once they get to the front of Simon’s place.

“It’s not my business.” Jasper shrugs, crossing his arms and looking at Simon. “I am sorry you’re having a hard time right now.”

“It’s just, you have Ryan, Blake has Beth, Luke has Fi and they are married and pregnant, and I have missed calls and a shitty time zone difference and being surrounded by everyone else’s happiness just kinda shows me how much I am missing. You are all happy and doing things and living with the person you love and what am I doing?” Simon asks. Jasper knew he was asking that rhetorically, and regardless, ‘hooking up with your old boss’ ex wife’ wasn’t the least judgemental answer, though it was the only one that was coming to his mind.

“If you’re not happy, then that’s something you should sort out in a way that works for both of you. No matter how hard it is to accept.” Jasper suggests. Simon nods and sits in silence for another moment.

“Thanks for sending me home.” Simon gives Jasper a forced smile then gets out of the car and heads inside. Jasper gives the driver his address and sends Ryan a text letting him know he was heading home, the vibe for being at a party had well and truly faded. By the time Jasper got back to his place he was ready to lie down and in the quiet privacy of his bed and recharge from the draining night. He usually loved events like this, but he was feeling quite empty on social energy after having had so many serious conversations in such a short span of time.

Jasper opens the door and takes a step inside before hearing a moan. He pauses and has a moment of panic as his brain instantly goes to the worst case scenario before a hand gently takes his, he turns and sees Ryan, then follows as Ryan leads him out of the apartment.

“Oh my god thank god, I thought that was you.” Jasper says as he throws his arms around his neck relieved. “Wait. If it’s not you.” Jasper pauses and looks back at the door.

“Don’t think about it.” Ryan warns amused.

“My sister.” Jasper whispers mortified. Ryan just smirks at him and holds up a room card.

Yeah I got home a few minutes before you, realized what I was walking into and thought it’d be better to get us somewhere else for tonight. I did send you a text but figured I’d meet you in the hallway at least. Save you the trauma.” Ryan says as he heads towards the elevator with Jasper quickly following him. They get in and Ryan picks the floor their room was on.

“How is Simon?” Ryan asks.

“Missing his wife.” Jasper shrugs.

Yeah I can’t even imagine how hard it must be to live in a different country to the person you love.”

“He said long distance won’t work and we should break up.” Jasper tells him, looking into Ryan’s eyes.

“Oh, that’s nice of him. Don’t take his advice please, I love you.” Ryan takes his hand and kisses his knuckles.

“I mean if I was nice, I would. I’m going to be gone for a long time and I feel bad that you’ll just be here waiting for me.” Jasper moves closer and leans his head on Ryan’s shoulder.

“We’ll be fine. I believe in us. Things aren’t going to be the way they were last time.” Ryan assures him.

“Can you tell me when you’re struggling? Even if I can’t do anything about it at the time, so I at least know that at the nearest opportunity we need to organize something.” Jasper asks, looking into Ryan’s eyes as the elevator stops. Jasper and Ryan get off and head up the hallway. “Even if I’m too far away and the best we can do is meet each other halfway in a random country in a shitty last minute hotel room for an hour before I have to go to be back in time for the next show. Promise me we’ll do our best to make sure we don’t fall apart while I’m away.” Jasper pleads as they reach their room, Ryan opens the room and holds the door open for Jasper to walk in.

“You know flying to a random country to spend an hour with you in a shitty hotel actually strangely sounds really sweet.” Ryan smiles at Jasper, Jasper pauses in the doorway and leans in, kissing Ryan lovingly. His hands hold Ryan’s shirt and he takes a few steps back, bringing Ryan into the room with him.


@Copyright (2018), Claire Rosalind; All Rights Reserved.
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Well it looks like a more mature version of Jasper is here he didn't drink at the party and was there for Simon.Will there be another temptation? I believe he'll handle it if there is.

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6 hours ago, chris191070 said:

Jasper seems to be a more mature person now.

I think he’s just catching up with Ryan now that the stress of dealing with Chris is gone.

Stilllooking forward to the reaction to his video.  😉

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