i need to plan a decent shoot

I’ve been testing out some exposure blending and different editing styles lately, I think this one turned out pretty well. I blended 3 different exposures in this image. This was my campsite at the Agua Fria National Monument before going up to Sedona for the weekend, I was lucky to have such a beautiful sunrise that morning. I wasn’t planning on shooting anything in the morning, just heading to work, so I was scrambling to find a decent composition before this amazing light disappeared. I was hoping to get some star-scapes in Sedona the next night, however the clouds rolled in. Milky Way season is back now so I’m hoping to get some more pictures and some much needed stargazing. 

10 Ways Rebel of the Sands Gives Us Han and Leia Feels

Rebel of the Sands is a desert fantasy that follows the escapades of Amani and Jin, two rebels with a relationship that’s hotter than the sun but not exactly candy hearts and roses. In fact, they totally remind us of another romance on the run – Han and Leia from Star Wars…except they’re gender-swapped. Read on for the 10 reasons why:

1. They’re technically on the same side. But one of them is a little bit more committed to the cause.

“So which one of those countries are you blowing up factories for?” I prodded the sun on his chest. The Xichian symbol.

2. While the other is a bit more focused on their own survival.

“I just need help getting anywhere that’s not here. Somewhere with a train or a decent road. Then we can call it quits.”

3. And doesn’t really think before acting.

“Do you have a death wish?” Jin sounded almost impressed.

4. And definitely shoots first.

My gun was in my hand in a flash, ready to execute some half-formed plan.

5. They seem to object to using each other’s real names.

“So, ‘Blue Eyed Bandit,’” I opened my eyes as the foreigner sank down next to me, propping his arms on his knees. He didn’t look at me when he spoke. “It’s better than ‘Eastern Snake,’ at least.”

6. They fundamentally seem to be at their best together when firearms are involved.

My shoulders felt tight, like my arms knew I couldn’t bear to miss a shot. But he was trusting me. So I nodded ever so slightly.

7. And when they’re bickering you can’t help but think “JUST KISS!”

We stood close, anger pulsing between us. My heart was beating fast – or maybe that was his.

8. But kissing always seems to happen in the middle of peril anyway.

There was no time to run and even less time to think. We needed to hide. Only there was nowhere to hide – except exactly where we were standing. I yanked Jin back towards me.

9. And it doesn’t mean that they’re any better at properly admitting their feelings for each other.

“You don’t believe in God,” I said. It came out half a croak just as he closed the last of the space between us with a kiss.

10. And finally, one of them is occasionally unclothed for no real reason, but no less badass.

“I can get you a clean shirt.” I managed. I was having trouble keeping my eyes on his face when there was so much else of him on show.

Gif credit: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Ready for more? Read the first few chapters of Rebel of the Sands here!

Criminal 2.0

A/N: okay, so since I posted this pref (read that one first if you haven’t) I’ve gotten quite a few like 60 omg requests to do the other two. I’ve been waiting for 5soaumemes to post her Ashton au, but it’s been a while and the account’s been dark so I just posted the little description she provided where the au link should be and kinda made my own story off it. Hope ya enjoy! xo

[ MICHAEL ]

au here }

“You coward! You cheating, lowlife piece of crap! You did this! She was my best friend!”

"That was a mistake. I admit it — we were drunk and I was horny and you and I were in a fight so I took her home. But it should’ve been YOU that assassin killed in bed next to me; that’s who he thought she was — you! I basically saved your life, y/n. You should be thanking me.”

“You didn’t even think of trying to save her? You just let her take my place? She was your friend too, you heartless bastard. If someone has it out for me they’re going to make sure the job’s done, and when they find out my body isn’t the one in the morgue, they’re gonna be after me again. She died for nothing.”

“Y/n, that assassin put that bullet through her temple before I could even register what was going on. And no, she didn’t die for nothing. Now you know someone’s after you. You can disappear; you have a head start. And of course I’m sad about her, but then I think about how that could’ve been you. I will always pick my girl above any one, any day.”

“Save your breath. I’m done listening to your shit. You’re going to pay for this, Clifford.”

“I don’t want things- woah, what are you doing with those matches?”

“Didn’t you think it smelled a little like gasoline in here?”

“Y/n. Don’t do anything you might regret.”

“We’ll meet again, Michael Clifford. Mark my words.”

“Don’t! Y/n—!”

A slow rock song drifts out of the old Camaro parked on the road in the middle of nowhere. Well, for Michael it was a very, very specific middle of nowhere. And coming back to the virtually unchanged dirt road and and miles of fields sprung open a dam of memories he wasn’t sure he wanted to revisit. 

He leans back with a heavy sigh and pulls out a pack and a lighter from his glove compartment. Lighting one, he holds in his first hit for a while before letting the smoke out in a lazy breath, letting his eyes slowly shut as the chemicals calm his nerves.

“You know those things will kill you.”

Michael jumps and his eyes fly open to see y/n crouching by his passenger door, arms resting across the half open window.

“True,” he admits, taking another drag, “but I don’t think cigarettes are the most pressing things on that list.”

She opens the door, sliding in as if it hasn’t been over two years since she’s sat shotgun. “Fancy seeing you here, Clifford.”

Michael smirks as he releases the parking brake, “cute, but you called me.”

“Just drive.”

He obeys, the loose gravel crunching under his tires, a cloud of dust picking up behind them.

“Nice location choice,” Michael comments mildly, nodding back toward the fields disappearing behind them.

Y/n smiles and watches her hand ride the wind out the open window, “I thought it was fitting; reuniting where we first met. Do you remember that day?”

“Oh yeah, I remember,” Michael chuckles, “I was trying disappear after a bank robbery gone wrong, and you were on the run with five grand worth of ecstasy.”

“Funny how we happened to run into each other in that wheat field, quite literally.”

“You scared the shit out of me. I probably would’ve shot you if my gun hadn’t flown from my hand when we collided.”

“And so our Bonnie and Clyde adventures began,” y/n laughs, sending a warm feeling through Michael that he would never admit he still experienced, “we were such amateurs back then: no idea how this type of life worked. Just desperate street rats with no other choice. Now look at us, a couple of seasoned scum-of-the-earths.”

Michael smirks, “speak for yourself. I consider myself a very special type of professional. So what’s been happening since er… last time we talked?”

Letting a puff of breath from between her lips, y/n replies, “well, I’ve spent the entire time dedicated to finding out who’s after me. I just got back a couple days ago, actually.”

“And…”

“I found them.”

“Yeah?”

“They’re all dead now.”

Michael blinks in surprise, “Oh. Well, I really shouldn’t have expected any less from you.”

Y/n makes a face, “you know I don’t like getting into the whole killing business. I’m perfectly happy with the conning and robbing and underground markets. But after playing cat and mouse for six months I decided this wasn’t going to end until one of us was dead. So, I found out it was my old drug boss who was after me; apparently thought I knew too much to be allowed to live. But he underestimated me. It took me a while, but I took care of him and his entire inner circle, including the one who killed her. I avenged my best friend and got rid of my problems.”

A smile cannot help but spread across his face, “you’re fucking ruthless.”

“Like you’re any better.”

Before long they’re standing in a sterile-looking hallway while Michael fiddles with the door to his flat. He swings the door forward and lets y/n walk in before following and closing the door behind him softly.

“Nice place,” she comments, looking around.

“Business has been pretty good. Besides, my last place got a little smoked out.” Michael replies, throwing his keys on the coffee table and following her into the kitchen. She hoists herself onto the counter and faces him, swinging her legs like a toddler waiting for her doctor’s check-up. He leans back against the island right across from her, holding her gaze.

“Why are you here, y/n?”

She stretches her legs out and wraps them around his waist, tugging him toward her. He allows her to close the gap between them, his arms automatically running along her back down to her leather boots. She sneaks a hand under the back of his shirt and wraps the other around his neck. Neither would admit it, but all this felt too familiar — they fit together perfectly, like one murderous, criminal puzzle. Their noses are millimeters apart, both of them waiting to see how the other reacts.

“For you, of course,” y/n murmurs, daring to brush her lips ever so faintly across his, “darling.”

Michael shuts his eyes as the traces of a smile play across his lips. He untangles her legs from around him and pushes himself away, retreating to the living room. A soft thud announces that y/n followed suit. 

“Cut the crap and tell me,” Michael demands, looking out of the large window making up two walls of the room. New York life bustled below, looking like ants from the 23rd floor.

“I need your help,” y/n says, and after Michael shoots her raised eyebrows, she sighs, “it’s nothing really, so don’t get too excited. Just a bit of recon. I’m sure you could use with a little extra spending cash.”

“How much we talking?”

“Well after taking in the other two in your crew, little more than a mill, each.” Y/n shrugs, “I haven’t been able to plan a decent recon in a while since I’ve had other issues, and my piggy bank’s getting a little too low for my liking.”

“Sounds like you’re coming back with a pretty big cake targeted. You got a plan?”

Y/n shoots him a look as she strides over to join him at the window, “do you really think I would’ve shown up if I didn’t have everything already set? I just need more pairs of hands, though you would know mine are pretty efficient.” She winks.

Michael rolls his eyes, “let’s hear it then.”

“So we have a deal?”

“Maybe.”

“Get your team in here, then I’ll kiss and tell.”

It doesn’t take long for Michael’s crew to show up after he texts them about a potential multi-million gig. 

A knock sounds from the door, and Michael disappears and reappears with Calum and Luke in tow. 

“Alright, so what this talk about- what the fuck?” Luke stops dead in his tracks as he spots y/n on the couch, tv remote in one hand and a glass of red in the other.

“Nice to see you too, Lukey,” y/n drones, snapping the reality show off and placing the remote on the table.

“What’s she doing here?” Calum asks Michael, his brow furrowing. 

Michael ignores them and instead focuses on the footsteps approaching from the front hall, “there you are Ash! Wondering where you’d gone.”

“Who’s this?” Y/n asks, eyeing the curly blonde who just appeared up and down.

“Ashton Irwin, top-grade hacker. Joined us ‘bout a year ago.”

Y/n smiles and nods in greeting, “well, he certainly brings your crew’s average up.”

Luke rolls his eyes and Calum pretends to yack.

“So what’s this grand plan?” Calum asks.

“A vault is being transported from midtown New York to Brooklyn tomorrow afternoon. We, my dear boys, are going to steal it. I’ve already scoped out everything: security, logistics, blah blah blah. Nothing’s advanced since I left, so if Luke’s still as good of a shot as when I left him and you still know how to handle a muscle car, this should be a walk in the park.” she nods at Ashton, “I’m sure there’s going to be some coding on the vault, so you could be handy.”

“Hang on,” Michael chimes in, “how have you already scoped everything? You said you just got back a couple days ago.”

Y/n sighs impatiently, “you’re kidding me, right Mikey? In case you’ve forgotten, I am the best recon artist you have ever and probably will ever know. I may have been gone for a while but believe me, I don’t get rusty. Besides, we’re dealing with an armored truck- much more vulnerable and simple than an actual bank.” she eyes each boy individually, “have we ever failed a mission in which I was the brains?”

Michael sighs as they all shake their heads reluctantly, except for Ashton, who’s looking at her with an awe-struck look that makes Michael want to punch him.

She smiles, “well now that we’ve got that sorted, lets get down to business.”

***

“Who is that?” Ashton asks him, Luke, and Calum stand on the street corner and watch Michael help y/n into a taxi.

“That is y/f/n y/l/n,” Luke replies, eyeing y/n disappear down the avenue and Michael watch the retreating cab, “Mike’s ex. They met when they were like, 18 and became quite the evil masterminds. I mean, every illegal thing you can think of they’ve probably done, and neither of them have ever gotten caught.”

Calum chuckles, “yeah, they’re both the best, but she’s the best of the best. She’s so smart it’s scary, and she can get into people’s heads and read them like a book. She knows what they’re gonna do before they even know.”

Ashton chimes, “and she’s hot as hell.”

Luke laughs, “yeah, that’s true, but she’s psycho. Apparently Mike slept with her best friend and a hitman took her out that same night thinking it was y/n and y/n swore he’d pay for it. Don’t ask him about it though, he gets really touchy; he’s never even told Cal and me the whole story. We think he’s still into her.”

The three let the conversation die as Michael saunters back to them, ruffling his hair. 

“So what’d you think of the plan?” he asks.

Cal shrugs, “brilliant and fool-proof, as always. But..”

“But what?”

“Are you sure we can trust her?” Luke asks, “I mean, you guys aren’t on the best of terms..”

“Well,” Michael sighs, “the last time I saw her she was burning my house to the ground. But I think we’re both over it. She avenged her friend and I think after over two years she finally realized it wasn’t completely my fault. Besides, I can usually catch on when she has ulterior motives, but I think she’s telling the truth: she’s been gone for awhile and needs money. And she may be good, but it’s a multi-person job and we’re the best in the business.”

Ashton nods, “so we’re meeting at the bridge tomorrow?”

Michael grins and nods, “hope you’re ready to get a little richer, boys.”

***

It isn’t until y/n pulls into a dingy gas station that she lets her guard drop. She pulls up to one of the pumps and looks in the back seat at the stacks of cash occupying most of the space. 

She grins and pulls a crisp $100 bill from one of the stacks and steps out of the car, attaching the pump and making her way into the store. “God bless the rich and the stupid,” she sings to herself.

As if on cue her phone rings. ID: Michael.

“That was quick. I only just emptied and ditched the vault.” She croons as she hands the cash to the clerk, motioning to the only occupied pump outside and placing a pack of M&M’s on the counter.

“Calum is in jail. Again.” Michael’s voice is quiet, but the slight quaking reveals his anger. 

“Not my problem,” y/n replies, smiling at the clerk as he gives her her change, “but good luck getting him out. Word on the street says this is his final strike, so he won’t be walking out for the next what, fifty years at least? Sixty? Such a shame.”

“You sociopathic bitch!” Michael snarls, “you set us up!”

“What? Little ol’ me?” y/n asks, “I would never! I think Calum just needs to pay better attention to his tires. Oh, and congratulate Luke on his shooting; it was more than impressive today.”

“You carried this too far, y/n. He’s my best friend, and even if I can find a way to get him out, it could take years. And he’ll never be able to walk the streets again, ever! You’ve ruined everything!”

“Now you get a little glimpse of what I went through two years ago!” y/n snaps, unlatching the gas pump and slamming it back in the holster angrily, “I lost the only two people I trusted in one night and in more ways than one. Not only was my best friend murdered while sleeping with my boyfriend, I found out someone wanted my head on a platter. And what did you do about that? You told me to hurry up and get lost, that losing my best friend was something I should be thankful for.” She gets back into her car and pulls out of the station, “yeah, I did set you up. I wanted you to know what it feels to be betrayed and to have your best friend taken from you. But the difference here is you can get him back. Sure it may take time and things won’t be the same and he’ll never be able to walk free, but at least he can walk!”

"So that was what this whole thing was about? Getting even?”

“No. It was about making you understand. And giving you a wake up call that you can’t just think that things like this will disappear with time.”

“This isn’t over. You’re insane, you know that? Completely fucking insane.”

Y/n smiles as she heads down the empty highway, away from the commotion in the city, “you’re probably right. But not for the reasons you think.”

“Oh, so it gets worse?”

“Yeah, because even after everything you put me through, I still give a damn about you.”

Silence.

“I’m in love with you, Michael Clifford.”

And before he can think of something to say, she cuts the call and leaves him on the phone. He knows this isn’t the last time he’ll hear from her, and he can’t decide whether he should dread or welcome the day they meet again.

_______________

[ ASHTON ]

{ out of luck and cash, you and your boyfriend Ashton start selling narcotics to pay the rent }

“Calum?”

“Y/n.”

“What’s wrong?”

“It’s Ashton. I think he’s- wait, don’t close the door. I just need to talk-”

“I don’t want to talk about him anymore. It’s been almost a year, I’ve moved on from him and that life. I made sure I cut every tie cleanly and without a trace, just like he did with me.”

“I know, I know. You probably don’t even want to see me anymore. But something came up yesterday.”

“I don’t think I’m going to care much, Cal.”

“Just hear me out. I was at your guys’ old place for a reason I don’t want to get into, and I was taking a look around and found this stashed behind the bookshelf you decided to leave with the house.”

“That’s Ashton’s journal.”

“I know.”

“He would never, ever leave that behind.”

"I know. That’s the weird part. I felt kinda weird doing it, but I read the whole thing. There’s even a loose letter stuffed in there he wrote to you. It looks like he planned on leaving it out with his journal for you to find after he left and decided against it for whatever reason. I think you should take a look at it.”

“That’s probably not a good idea.”

“I really disagree with that.”

“Why?”

“Just read it. You’ll see.”

***

12/28/11

Y/n just got me this journal for Christmas. She said I should start keeping one ‘cause it’ll help clear the jumble of thoughts in my head when necessary. At least she says that’s what it does for her.

I’ll give it a shot then. She’s usually right about everything, and it’s not like I have anything better to do.

~

1/1/12

Spent New Year’s at some dingy pub with y/n and a few mates because money is tight, as usual. Y/n said she didn’t mind not going somewhere nicer but it still frustrates me that I can’t give the very best to my girl. We’re still in the same disgusting flat downtown that has no AC and a faulty lock on the front door, but that’s all we can afford barely. We both work ourselves raw and save in every way possible, but we still can’t make ends meet. There has to be some sort of secret to this that we don’t know.

~

¼/12

Utility bills can burn in hell.

~

1/9/12

Our gas got turned off today, so we can’t even heat up the cans of soup we get from the discount shop. My manager had a luncheon over at the auto shop today though, so I brought home a bunch of really good Italian food; the first meal we’ve had in months that wasn’t out of an expired box or can. Y/n was so happy she set the table with candles and put out the only nice table settings we had. It wasn’t much, but seeing that smile on her face made it seem like I’d given her the world in a doggy bag. And it’s a good thing she put the candles out because our electricity also got cut. I fucking hate this dump.

I promised y/n I would find a way to get us a better life if it killed me, and she said she didn’t mind where we are as long as we’re together.

She’s my rock. I love her so much. 

~

1/12/12

Got fired today.

~

1/12/12… later

I told y/n and she didn’t get mad or yell at me or cry or anything, but I kinda wish she did. Instead she just sucked in a deep breath before nodding and saying “okay, it’s gonna be okay. We can figure this out, Ash. We always do.” She gave me a hug and went to our room to call her manager at the bakery to see if she could pick up any more shifts until I can find another job. She’s keeping it together, but when she was in the shower I think I heard her crying.

I don’t understand why she stays with me and puts up with all this. She deserves so much better than me. 

~

1/31/12

So I was out on the corner of Freedland and Argo St. today looking at the job ads and this kid comes up and asks me if I want Vicodin. I obviously didn’t, but I asked him how much, and he said $15 a pill. ONE PILL GOES FIFTEEN DOLLARS? And this kid pulled like six bottles out of his pockets! That’s more money in those bottles than y/n and I make in a month, and he says he goes through that much in a week. That bastard’s making $4,000 a month. 

I would never sell drugs though. Those things ruin lives and I will never, ever be apart of that.

~

1/31/12

Sorry I haven’t written in a while, but I’m working two jobs — day shifts at the movie theater and nights at the 24-hour market — and I’m always exhausted. Y/n’s working double at the bakery, so we don’t get to spend much time together. And when we do, we’re usually too tired to even talk.

Still not bringing in enough for the bills.

~

2/28/12

Got an eviction notice yesterday. We have three weeks to pay off our debts otherwise we have to leave. Y/n’s getting a tremor in her hand from all the stress and I hate myself for it.

~

3/1/12

I went back to that street corner and found the Vicodin guy again. I asked him who he works for, and he brought me to some back alley through a side door of a flat. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it was nicer than I expected — fully furnished, television, AC…

The kid brought me to the living room where a guy with an eyebrow piercing and electric green hair was sitting with a girl, grinding something into white powder. I felt really out of place when the kid (called Luke) told the green-haired guy (Michael) I was interested in dealing. He looked at me for a second and then asked me a bunch of questions about my personal life and stuff. I told him about my eviction issue and after another minute of scrutiny that felt like 10 years, he said I could start as a runner. Apparently that means I’m a delivery boy and get to keep 30% of what I get. He then made me swear to secrecy and warned me about how he handles backstabbers etc., so basically if I double cross him I can kiss most of my internal organs goodbye.

I start tomorrow. I haven’t told y/n.

~

3/21/14

Our landlord came to collect our dues today, and boy was he surprised when I pulled out a check to cover everything! Y/n was astounded, but I just told her I’d gotten promotions at both my jobs. She was so happy she cried and I took her out her favorite restaurant to celebrate.

I feel bad lying to her, but how do I tell her I’ve pulled in more than $2,000 in the last 3 weeks delivering weed and coke around the city?

~

4/3/12

It’s so nice having money. We don’t exactly bring in enough to be comfortable, but at least we aren’t drowning in loans. Y/n seems a lot happier. Her hair is shinier and last night when she was cleaning up the kitchen I heard her humming.

Also, Michael told me he wanted to promote me to dealing. Like, out on the streets making transactions and finding new clients, stuff like that. He said I’d make double what I am now, if not more. I told him I had to think about this one..

But it sure is nice having hot showers again.

~

 8/31/12

It’s been a while since I’ve written, and wow are things different. First off, I’m one of the top dealers in the area now: I’m one of Michael’s “prized salesmen” as he refers to me, and Luke and I are becoming good friends as well. He even came over to our place and had dinner the other night and y/n adores him.

Speaking of which, we also got a new flat. We’re in the better part of the city now and I’m closer to Mike’s so I can be on-call if we need an extra opinion on a big deal or extra hands in cooking. It’s weird, I’ve been around this stuff for months now and I’ve still never tried any of it.

Except for the occasional blunt, but weed doesn’t count.

Anyways, things are looking pretty good now! Our new place is lovely compared to our last setup: fully furnished, a nice view of the Avenue, and a working lock on the front door. Y/n only works in the mornings now and went back to school to get her last few credits to become a teacher. We’re so much happier now and take drives (yeah we got a car too!) around our new part of town every evening and the sex is so good holy shit.

I haven’t told her the truth about my new job. It kills me to lie to her, but I can’t find a way to tell her that won’t make her pack up and leave. Besides, it’s a dangerous business so the less she knows, the safer she is.

~

1/17/13

Y/n found a bag of crystal and a PCP in my jacket pocket the other day. I had no other choice but to tell her the truth. At first she thought I was making it up at first and that I actually was taking all that stuff, but then I explained it all from the eviction notice to today. She was dumbstruck and just said she needed to go for a walk. That was two days ago. She won’t pick up my calls or answer my texts and I’m getting worried.

~

1/19/13

Y/n finally came back! I was getting so anxious and was considering calling the police, but then she walked in safe and sound. Apparently she’d been staying at a friend’s to clear her head and think things through (she swore she didn’t tell anything to her friend), and she’s okay with it! I mean, she yelled at me about lying to her for a whole year, but she even understood why I did that too. I couldn’t believe it! And not only that, she said she wants to help. My jaw almost hit the floor; my y/n, my innocent, beautiful, pure y/n wants in on our drug business? I’m not sure how I feel about that, but I’m taking her to Mike’s with me tomorrow. It’s not like I can say no now.

~

6/24/13

Again, it’s been ages since I’ve written, and so much has happened.

First off, y/n and I are now 100% involved in the business, and boy are we fucking good at it. When I took her to meet Mike he was a little hesitant on taking her on (I don’t blame him, she seems too good to take on this type of job) but boy did she prove us wrong. It took her only 3 months to overtake me as Mike’s favorite asset. She knows how to work the system and the people in it like a science. And since we work together we’ve become known as the “deadly duo” around town. It’s so weird! It’s like we were destined for this line of work. Is that even possible? To be destined to work in a drug ring? Luke said it was because it’s just another form of business, but y/n and I aren’t too sure.

Anyways, we’re not even part of Mike’s ring anymore. After awhile it was clear that Mike had control of the entire region when it came to selling, thanks to the help of me and y/n. He’s got hundreds at his beck and call now, and an endless amount of clients. So after a bit of discussion, we told Mike we were moving out of town and starting our own business. He was definitely disappointed, but we’ve all become good friends so he sent us off with good wishes, to me and y/n’s relief. We still stay in touch and ask second opinions from eachother.

So, y/n and I packed up our bags and moved to LA. Los Angeles! It’s so much different from Detroit, and even after a couple months, we feel a little out of place here. But we’ve set up shop and are steadily making our mark in this big city. Michael has a friend over here who knows the system well and he hooked us up, so he’s been a real help in settling us in. Mind you, he’s a weird one. His name’s Calum Hood and he’s his own branch of psycho genius. When we first met I asked if he was Filipino or something and I swear to Christ I thought he was going to shoot me and y/n right there. But now that we’ve gotten to know him more he’s a really great guy, as long as you don’t set him off, which can be hard to do.

Oh, and we bought an actual house! It’s near Hollywood and it has the most incredible view of the city. Y/n and I sit on our bedroom balcony and watch the sunset almost every night and just forget about the business for a bit. It’s one of my favorite things, and whenever I’m stressed about a deal or something, seeing her laugh while she’s leaning against me, looking over a view almost as beautiful as her, it remind me why I’m doing this in the first place, and it’s worth it. Every last bit of it.

9/2/13

It is so fucking hard to remember to write in this thing regularly, I have no clue how y/n does it. But this morning I came down to the kitchen and saw her sitting at the table with a cup of coffee and her journal, so I decided to join her. She’s playing footsie with me as we speak and her toes are cold!

Okay, so my business has turned international… Calum called me up a couple months back and asked if I wanted to take up a deal with some guys in Mexico. I was hesitant at first because it added international borders into the equation but I took it, and now I’ve got deals all over the place: Japan, Germany, Australia, Brazil… It’s getting really dangerous because the people I deal with have violent means of negotiation, and I’m really starting to worry that they’re gonna start bringing issues here.

That’s another issue — y/n doesn’t know about any of the international business. When we’re not working on our LA sector, I’m on 3AM calls with the Italian ring and trying really, really hard to keep all of this separate from our home here. There’s no way I would tell y/n. She would dive in head-first, and if anything happened to her…

Y/n’s looking at me weird. Guess I’m pulling a face while writing this.

She’s really pretty in the morning.

~

10/26/13

I really regret going global. It’s getting out of hand.

~

11/4/13

I fucked up big time and managed to piss off an entire Chinese mafia. They’re coming after me, so I have to disappear otherwise they’re going to show up on our doorstep with god knows what on their agenda. I can’t take y/n with me. I can’t ask her to put herself in danger like that. She deserves the world kissing her feet, not stabbing her back. I can’t even tell her about leaving, so if they do come after her she won’t have much value to them so hopefully they won’t hurt her. 

This could all go so wrong.

~

11/6/13

I told Calum about the whole situation, and he agrees that dropping out for a while is the best option. He’s going to be the only person I stay in direct contact with, just so I have eyes and ears on the inside, but I don’t plan on even calling him much. He’s just too close to home and it’s too risky. He said he’d tell Mike because we know he can be trusted, and it’ll be good to have someone out east helping out too. I’m leaving tomorrow while y/n is out with Cal. He promised to watch out for her until it’s safe for me to come home.

I think it would hurt less to carve my heart out with a butter knife.

**

11/7/13

My y/n,

So I assume you read this whole book, and I am so sorry. I’m sorry I couldn’t provide you with everything you deserve; I’m sorry I dragged us into this mess of a lifestyle; I’m sorry I’ve lied to you so many times;  I’m sorry I abandoned you. If you hate me by now, I don’t blame you. 

But I want you to know that out of all the shit I’ve experienced, leaving like this is the hardest, most painful thing I’ve ever done. You are my world, baby doll. There’s very few things that could make me leave you like this, and the possibility of you getting hurt because of me is one of them.

I messed up darling. Big time. And now I have to fix things so they don’t even get the chance to get anywhere near you. I hope I’ll be back soon and I’ll explain everything if when I get home.

I’m going to make it home. I’m going to make it back to you. We’re going to grow old together and start a family and watch the sunrise and be safe. 

I love you, I love you, I love you. Wait for me. I love you. 

Ash

***

“Hello, this is Calum.”

“Cal.”

“y/n. So I assume you read the journal?”

“Cover to cover, and it changes everything.”

“I’m sorry y/n, I wish I could’ve hinted sooner, but I promised Ashton I would keep you out of it, but you were still hurting so much and once I read through it I couldn’t keep it from you-”

“It says you’re the only one in contact with him, so spill.”

“What?”

“Tell me everything.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A/N: so there ya have it! Sorry I’ve been so inactive lately but school’s currently kicking my ass. Please please please drop by my [ ask ] and tell me what you thought; hopefully you liked it as much as the first ones! Requests are welcome as well.

Check my [ masterpost ] if ya want