FACT: Jon and Cassia weren’t the only pair to meet in Vegas that night.
FACT: Jon and Cassia weren’t the only pair to meet in Vegas that night.
In celebration of a successful hometown Vegas show, Brendon Urie had convinced only one of his three band mates to hit The Strip for some gambling, a few drinks, and the possibility of a couple of girls who were above the median age of their fan base. No sooner had he and his wingman Jon Walker, arrived at JET nightclub had Brendon spotted a girl who would hold his ever-shifting attention for more than just that night. He swaggered over with confidence beyond his normal presence and rested his elbow on the bar just beside her.
She smirked at him pouting her lips around the straw in her glass. He grinned foolishly but she spoke before he mustered up anything witty. “Just a warning, if you even try some lame pick up line, I’m walking away.”
“I was about to tell you the same thing.” He shrugged, turning to the bartender and holding up two fingers. Her brown eyes warmed him but her expression was puzzling. He took the moment of silence to observe that her hair was pulled into a sleek bun; the dress she wore didn’t seem appropriate for a night at a Vegas club. The material was a shiny forest green that nearly invited his fingertips to analyze its texture. He concluded she had attended an event far more important than this earlier that evening.
“I was at a wedding.” She explained to him before he even formed the question to confirm his theory, “I skipped out of the reception with the maid of honor. It’s quite the story, really.”
Brendon chuckled as she empty the rest of her glass, “Really? You’ll have to share it sometime.”
“You’re pretending to care with all intention of getting in my pants, aren’t you?” She asked raising an eyebrow at him in suspicion. The bartender placed two drinks on the bar in front of them and she traded one with the empty glass in her hand almost immediately.
Brendon raised the other glass to his lips and shrugged, “Nothing gets passed you now, does it?”
Then without even a warning, the petite girl hopped off her seat, threw her arms around his neck, and introduced herself as Regina Keenly. “Let’s go have an adventure...” She tempted him only barely looking back at the friend she was leaving behind. And that was how it began...
As Regina stirred in her sleep in the bunk they had taken to sharing, Brendon caressed her cheek with the back of his index finger. When he had approached her that night in Vegas, he had no intention of ever seeing her again. He could have never even begun to imagine the world wind romance that would result in buy her a drink, but as he tucked a lock of chocolate brown hair behind her ear he thanked the universe, fate, God, serendipity, or whatever coincidence had placed them in the same place. Never in his naïve 21 years of life had he ever known someone he felt he’d stop breathing without. And he was sure, were she not presently on tour with his band he would be completely and irrevocably useless.
“I’m never going to fall back asleep if you keep staring at me like that.” Regina joked, her eyes still closed in feigned slumber.
“But I don’t want you to go back to sleep.” He whispered pressing his lips gently against hers. Regina smirked, opening just one eye, and kissed him again.
Had Regina met Brendon two or three drinks later that evening, a trip to a wedding chapel may have been her idea of an adventure. Luckily, while still maintaining a moderate grasp on her sobriety the decided on alternate plans. They spent the night sitting on a cement block in a Mini Mart’s parking lot sharing a package of Oreo cookies, a gallon of milk, and their life stories. Disappointment only rose when the intriguing new patterns they had found in the stars disappeared as morning approached. And while Regina frequently interrupted Brendon to call her best friend’s phone (only to hear the same voicemail message over and over), she hoped Cassia was somewhere feeling the same butterflies that filled Regina every time Brendon looked at her and grinned. Long before Regina and Brendon said their goodbyes in a parking lot, she was sure she would see him again; she had too, she had obviously fallen in love with him.
Brendon’s head hit the top of the bed with a loud clunk as he attempted to shift positions in the small space. Regina twisted her fingers into his hair, gingerly touching the spot on his scalp where a lump and permanent bruise had formed. Her sign of affection in no way numbed the dull roar of pain that shot through his head.
“I hit the same spot fucking day.” He grumbled placing his lips softly along Regina’s jaw and neck. She giggled suggesting they should find a space a bit bigger. In an overdramatic attempt to fulfill this wish Brendon tore open the curtain on the bunk nearly causing both of them to tumble to the floor only partially clothed.
“Careful you two.” Ryan advised as he moved pasted them on his way to the back lounge, “We’ve already got one baby breaking up this band, we really don’t need another. It would be SO much more difficult to find you a replacement anyway.”
Regina readjusted her tank top, stood to her full height, which still hardly compared to Ryan’s 5 foot 11 inches, and balled her hands up in fists at her sides. Noticing her frustration, Brendon attempted to coax her back into bed. When she tore away from his grasps looking as though she would tear Ryan’s head of if he even considered uttering another word, Brendon grabbed two hoodies from the near-by junk bunk. Disregarding the fact that neither belonged to him he handed one to Regina and sighed, “Come on, I bet there’s still breakfast left from catering.”
Reluctant to follow Brendon off the bus, Regina pulled the sweater over her head and took his hand. “When is he going to get over it already!” She fumed squinting at the morning’s brightness.
Brendon shook his head, they had had this same conversation multiple times a day for the past two weeks. In that time, Ryan had yet to accept the fact that Jon was approaching fatherhood and the tension between the two was palpable in any space they occupied at the same time. If and when the situation exploded Brendon was fairly certain it would end with the loss of one of his friends. He knew no one more stubborn than Ryan Ross and Jon Walker would currently go to the absolute ends of the Earth if it meant protecting Cassia.
Jon’s Macbook slowly warmed his legs as it sat idly on his lap. Unable to siphon Internet access from the network the venue had promised him, he resigned to moving his thumbs quickly over the touch screen of his iPhone. The late morning had yet to fabricate any events that were worth sharing so he chose to write an unimportant but cryptic message on the band’s blog. The frantic comments from an Internet worth of fans trying to figure out what this could mean for a new song or album would sure entertain him throughout the day.
Cassia lifted her head from the cushion where she had briefly dozed only to get a better look at Jon beside her. His hair was shorter now so it no longer fell in his face, but he had a way of biting his bottom lip as he tapped the screen of his phone. He furrowed his brow, a crease appearing just between his eyebrows as he paused in thought. She had only recently starting noticing these small subtleties about him, now that she was no longer trying to avoid all human contact. Each passing day revealed a bit more of the fact that had fate not forced them together again, Cassia would have seriously missed out on getting to know an incredible man. If their situation didn’t require (at the very least) their cooperation, Cassia might have very well never given Jon a second look. But not because he wasn’t attractive, and funny, and sensitive, but because she had lived previously been shallow and determined her “type” could be ordered out of an Abercrombie catalog.
When Jon stole a look at her out of the corner of his eye they both smiled. Blush filled Cassia’s cheeks as she looked away. Since becoming public enemies 1 and 2, the pair had been spending a great percent of their conscious time together (which led to a lot of stolen glances and moments aflutter with butterflies).
“I should probably get to work,” Cassia sighed standing up from where she was curled beside Jon and stretching her arms above her head. Fatigue had become a constant fixture in her day; some told her it was told it was just part of touring, others claimed it was just part of pregnancy. Either way, she wiped sleep from her eyes and attempted to tame her hair. Unable to run her fingers through the knots she found she used the guidance of one of the dressing room mirrors to pull her hair into a ponytail.
Between her smudged make up and the oversized hoodie she wore she felt positively grungy. With a sigh she pulled the zipper down and tossed the sweater towards Jon, who, since she had stood, hadn’t looked up from his phone. Attempting now to make herself the slightest bit presentable without doing much work at all, Cassia rubbed the eyeliner away and straightened her crew t-shirt. Pulling down, once, then twice, she was surprised by the slight strain around her mid-section.
Finally satisfied with the mystery constructed in pointless words, Jon submitted the blog and abandoned his phone on the couch. “You look beautiful.” He told Cassia noticing her prolonged hesitation in front of the mirror.
“Do you see this?” She asked pointing to her barely swollen abdomen. She had pulled up the black shirt far enough to view the slight bump that had appeared virtually overnight.
Jon mirrored her actions pulling up his shirt and carefully observing each of their bellies in the mirror, “Yeah, I think you’re right. We’ve got to lay off the All-You-Can-Eat Burrito Bars.”
“Jonathon!” She scolded playfully hitting him. She could only pretend to be mad at him because they had found a Mexican Restaurant near the venue the past three days in a row. He grasped the spot on his arm where she had struck him sticking his bottom lip out in a pout.
“Promise you won’t really be mean to me when this becomes it’s own planet?” She places a gentle hand on her stomach, part of her was still joking, part of her was developing a fear of mirrors. Despite the fact that she appeared nothing beyond bloated, this was the first moment Cassia ever had to face the physical changes she knew accompanied pregnancy.
Brendon had abandoned Jon almost immediately upon entering the crowded nightclub. It always surprised him how easily Brendon managed to slink into the oblivion of a crowd. With a gulp of confidence Jon scanned the dance floor pulsing with an endless mass of bodies and the perimeter of red couches in search of his friend before succumbing to the bar in the back of the club. He was always braver alongside his good friend Captain Morgan.
On his never-ending weaving through the crowd Jon spotted Brendon whose hands snaked around the back of a petite brunette and chose not to interrupt them. That’s when he saw her, however cliché it may be sitting on a tall stool with a drink almost as pink as her dress. Jon had never been one to buy into all of that crap about love at first sight but the way her curls fell in her face told a sad story he wanted to hear. From across the bar he debated if he had the proper training to be the knight that would ride off into the sunset with her. While his internal monologue continued, she ordered another drink.
“I like your shoes,” had been the most clever comment he could muster as he approached her. He regretted it the mere seconds between when the words left his lips and she tried to collect her high-heeled shoes from the floor. Intoxication leaving her unsteady, he was already sweeping her off her feet.
Jon cupped his hands around both of hers and held them like a delicate gifts between them, “Cass, I knew you were the prettiest girl in whole wide world the first time I saw you and you have yet to convince me otherwise. And I wouldn’t suggest even trying, because it’s going to be a near impossible task.”
“Just near impossible?” She smiled looking up at him. He leaned his head down so their foreheads were just nearly touching.
“Well, I mean if you grow a tail, I may have to reconsider.” His smirked, his warm words brushing across her cheeks. With their lips only a breath apart, Goosebumps ran rampant up Cassia’s spine. In near slow motion, Jon ran his hands down her arms. A trail of heat blazed beneath his touch. Cassia tilted her head tenderly as his hand gently cupped her cheek.
“It’s a good thing then, I’m pretty happy tail-less.” Cassia cooed her eyes fluttering closed instinctively.
From the hallway Regina and Brendon watched the moment enfold in slow motion. Although the door had only been left open a crack, the lights that surrounded the dressing room mirrors on the far side of the room illuminated their figures. They were silhouettes in the dim light, standing close in an embrace. “I don’t think we should interrupted,” Regina whispered to Brendon, leaning her head on his shoulder to admire the gentleness of the scene.
“He’s gonna kiss her. He’s gonna kiss her. He’s going to kiss her!” Brendon chanted. He had actually attempted a quiet voice, but it wasn’t something that came natural to him.
Both Cassia and Jon turned their attention to the doorway with a chuckle. “Not with you two watching,” Jon insisted shaking his head. Cassia rested her head on Jon’s chest only briefly, smirking about the almost-kiss and then quickly checked herself in the mirror once more before beginning her responsibilities for the day.