Chapter 27- Checkmate
Time skips forward, and three years have gone by since the band signed their deal and hit the road. They’ve become one of the hottest trends in Southern Rock music. Things have continued to change where they’re an international sensation.
They’ve made such an impact that every West Virginia radio station plays the latest song like wildfire.
On her way home from work, Ally’s satellite radio buffers on her favorite station. Frustrated, she flips it over to a local radio station and catches a new song she’s never heard.
“Wait, that voice sounds familiar.” Ally tells herself, turning up the volume.
“Hey there Tri-State, this is Serena Fisher, your DJ for the drive home, and that song was from one of West Virginia’s own. Especially here in the Tri-State area. That was Disgrace Thru Grace’s new hit single, ‘We Are Finished.’ In case you haven’t heard by now, they are on tour, and this weekend they’ll be close to home performing in Lexington, Kentucky.” The DJ continues to promote the tour.
Unable to think clearly, Ally sits at the red light with her jaw dropped open for a moment. When the car behind her honks to go, she snaps out of the trance and rushes to pick up her toddler daughter, and rushes home. Aiden picks up her little girl from the back seat to hurry inside to call Addie.
“Oh, hey girl, what’s up?” Addie answers, unaware of Ally’s excitement.
“You never told me Aiden and them got signed to a music deal. You bitch, how could you keep that from me?”
Addie chuckles to keep her cool.
“Listen, after what happened to Vickie, I promised myself that I would keep Aiden’s life distant from yours when it comes to me. I love you, Ally, but you’ve done so much damage it’s unreal. When Vickie got hurt over trying to come after you, I knew I had to cut the mutual ties. His life isn’t part of yours and hasn’t been for some time now.” Addie explains, hoping Ally will understand.
A drawn-out sigh into the phone as Ally feeds her daughter and begins trying to break down those walls, “Well, the radio said they’re going to be in Lexington this weekend. I’m going to check out tickets. If there are any left, would you wanna go?”
“Rey already sent me a few backstage VIP passes. If you swear to be on your very best behavior, I’ll let you tag along. No funny business chick, I’m dead serious about this.” Addie says.
Ally replies sweet and innocently, “I’ll be on my best behavior, I promise.”
Not buying how she says it, Addie, against her better judgment, agrees to take Ally along to the show, “Be here Friday evening, I have a hotel room when I get to Lexington. I’m coming back Sunday. If you can’t afford the room, you’re not going.”
Not wasting the opportunity, Ally speaks up, “Oh, I’ll start calling hotels now! I am not missing out on this!”
After she hangs up with Ally, Addie huffs and returns to her reports for work before she heads home for the evening.
“I have a bad feeling about this…” Addie admits to herself out loud, trying to focus on the last of the shift reports.
Every old feeling begins to return when she sits and ponders over their time together before and during the time they were dating, realizing it’s been too long since she last saw Aiden.
“I wonder if he’s still hot?” She asks herself, picking up a photo album to search for some old pictures.
“There it is! She squeals seeing her favorite photo when they had them taken professionally.
“Wow, I was so pretty back then. I had my hair all shiny and poufy, my pre-pregnancy toned tummy. Aiden, my first love, how I regret my mistakes with you. I hope you didn’t marry that redheaded skank.” Ally wipes away a single tear then begins to play with her daughter.
In her free time throughout the week after school, Ally hits the tanning bed and gets her hair highlighted, and picks out a couple of new outfits in hopes to impress her old flame.
She’s packed up a day early, and on Friday after school, she rushes to pick up her little girl to drop her off at her mother’s house in Nitro.
“Hey, mom, thank you again so much for watching her.” Ally expresses, ready to meet Addie.
“I love spending time with this little bundle of joy. Please tell me you’re not going back to her father. I’ll disown you and keep her if you even think about it. Knowing Sam beat you almost every day nearly killed me.” Ally’s mother expresses bouncing her granddaughter in her arms.
“No, mom, I’m not going back, I’m going to Lexington. Aiden and his band are playing, and I’m looking forward to it.” Ally reminds her mother, smiling at the thoughts of Aiden.
“Oh, yeah, that’s the guy you dated in college from Huntington. Yeah, I liked him, too bad you two broke up. He seemed very sweet and kind from the few times I talked to him.”
Ally’s mind returns to the day she was caught cheating with Sam, “Yeah, I know, mom, don’t remind me, please. Anyway, I need to get going before Addie heads there without me.”
Ally blows her daughter a kiss goodbye and waves as she darts for the car.
“Say bye to mommy, bye-bye mommy, bye-bye.” Grandma Newman says playfully.
Finally, at Rey and Addie’s house just in time, Ally struggles to get out of her car. Laughing, Addie goes over to help put Ally’s bags in the Armada before they take off.
“Ready to go?” Addie asks, starting up the SUV.
“Hell yes! I can’t wait to see them.”
“Them or him?” Addie asks, knowing the answer.
“Okay, I am thrilled to get to see him again. I’m sure he married that redheaded bitch by now.” Ally admits feeling defeated already.
“Um, I don’t know how to say this, but they split up last year. Vickie got tired of waiting around to get married, and she took off. Aiden gave her the house in Ona and moved away from here. Where he moved to, I have not a clue, but he’s changed.” Addie divulges on the way towards the interstate.
Ally hears that, sees the light at the end of the tunnel, “Hot damn it then, he’s mine! I’ve been waiting forever for this chance. Wait though. You said he’s changed; how has he changed?”
Addie points down to her purse, “Get my phone and see for yourself. Rey sends me photos all the time. I love that man! He’s an excellent husband.”
Shocked at first, Ally takes her time searching for the phone, “Ah, there it is…” and begins to flip through the photos until she comes across the guys in Houston.
“Oh wow, his hair is styled, and oh my gosh, look at those muscles and tattoos. Holy smokes, a goatee, talk about hotter with age!” Ally lets out, nearly drooling over Aiden.
The only thing Addie can do is laugh and fight to keep her focus on the interstate. She flips on the radio and switches it over to CD, where they listen to the current album the band released and cruise the few hours arriving in Lexington.
After they’re checked into the hotel, the girls order out for food and enjoy some time with each other since it’s the first time in years they’ve been together.
“Ah, now this is the life. Time in the hot tub and no child for the night. I’ve forgotten what freedom feels like.” Ally babbles on and sinks further into the steamy bubbles.
“Once Rey is finished with this tour, they’re taking some time off the road to produce a new album and then head over to Europe for a little while. While he’s home, we’re going to try to get pregnant finally. I envy you already since you have a baby. I can’t wait to be a momma too.” Addie tells Ally.
They relax until the hotel employees come to close the pool area. The girls wrap a towel around themselves and head back to their rooms. Settled in for the night, Ally drifts to sleep, picturing Aiden in her mind.
Her senses return after a long peaceful rest. Ally heads down to grab a bite to eat before the continental breakfast ends. Taking everything back to her room, Ally begins to get herself dolled up, hoping to impress Aiden all over again.
“I can do this… I can do this… I CAN do this!” Ally convinces herself as she waits on the curling iron to warm up.
Ally’s already laid out her clothes on the bed. She takes an extended time in the shower. From shaving and washing her hair, she stands there as her hopes surge for the first time in ages but not without doubts lurking in her mind.
“I forgot how much it hurts. Why does it still hurt?” She asks herself as old wounds reopen that never fully healed in her heart.
Dried off and blow-drying her hair, Ally begins the long task of pampering herself. She takes her time curling her hair just right. When applying her makeup, she checks to ensure it’s smooth and even.
Walking out to her clothes on the bed, she drops the towel, picks up her bra, fastens it, and adjusts the straps. Ally slides a thong up her silky-smooth legs before sliding into the green princess mini dress and steps into it.
“Perfection!” Ally whispers to herself posed in the full-body mirror, “If this doesn’t work, nothing else will.”
She looks at her watch and realizes it’s only a couple of hours until the doors open at the arena. Ally collects her things and heads down to the lobby.
“You ready to see your ex?” Addie asks.
“Now or never…” Ally utters with her hands barely trembling.
“Looking fine must be trying to get his attention. Listen, but uh, when we get there, I have permission to be in the dressing room so I can see Rey. You don’t, and I am not about to tell Aiden that you are here. You wanna get to him; then you draw his attention.” Addie suggests as they walk out arm-in-arm to the SUV.
She nods as her nerves continue to unravel at the seams. Ally takes in quick, short breaths to regain her composure. Her emotions run raw and deep all over again as her chest feels like an anchor.
“We’re here!” Addie calls out, creeping up to the gate to hand the guard their passes.
“Alright, ladies, pull on up and enjoy the show!” He says and confirms the backstage passes and waves them on.
“Thank you,” Addie answers and rolls up the window heading for the front row of the arena.
“We’re here; I’ll get us backstage, and then I have to meet Mick to get escorted to Rey’s dressing room. You sure you’re to be alright on your own?”
Ally stares out her window as a simple “uh-huh” escapes her lips.
“Just checking…” They pull up to the front row and follow the first few people inside the arena.
With access to the backstage area, Addie is taken away when Mick walks up and signals to follow.
“See ya when the show starts,” Addie tells Ally and jogs away.
Ally stands around and watches from an angle as the arena fills every seat. She stands alone as the other backstage patrons gather around a booth to get the first glimpse of the band.
“Hey lady, yeah, you standing there. First time seeing them live?” A guy calls out from the booth.
“No, I used to know these guys and dated one of them.” Ally admits struggling to keep her nerves in check.
“Yeah, right…” The guy calls out, waving her off to return to the party.
“I did; I used to date Aiden Hart. When I was in college, we met at a club, and we dated for about 45 days. Best month and a half I ever had with anyone.” Ally rips into him and crosses her arms.
Almost two hours pass by as the opening band gets the crowd ready for the main event. Ally hears security approach the area. Turned around, she sees nearly a dozen guards escort Dakota, Eddie, Rey, and Aiden to the stage.
Barely recognizing any of them, Ally waves to get their attention. Seeing an arm in the air near the stage, Aiden glares over to see Ally.
“Hey, Ally!” He shouts as they stop by the curtain for the opening band to get off the stage.
“Aiden, hi!” She yells, bouncing on her toes.
“See, I told ya dipshit!” Ally turns and flips the guy the middle finger.
“Holy shit…” He mutters in a state of shock.
“Alright, they have three more songs, then when the curtain falls on the stage, get in place before the fog machines make it difficult. Let’s not repeat what happened at MSG, cool.” Rey shouts over the music and the crowd.
“Yeah, that was a bad day, but let’s stayed focused and pumped, bro’s!” Eddie yells, ready to hit the stage.
Aiden can’t take his eyes off Ally. He’s hypnotized all over again. At least until Dakota pops him in the shoulder.
“Get focused dumbass! We’re about to go on stage!”
Aiden nods, “Right, let’s rock!”
Once the curtain drops, they hurry into place and listen as the screens throughout the arena begin the show with a video package keeping the crowd in a frenzy.
“Good luck!” Ally screams as Addie joined her by the edge of the curtain.
The curtain lifts as the fog dances into the front rows.
Aiden takes to the mic, “Hello, Lexington, are you ready to hear some rock!”
The crowd cheers as he repeats his statement, “I didn’t hear you! I said… ARE… YOU… READY… TO… ROCK!”
The crowd roars as the decibels soar.
“Then let’s do this!” Aiden says into the microphone as Eddie begins with the first song.
The girls stand there cheering as the show carries on. Together they smile as the concert goes along, and Ally keeps her eyes glued to Aiden.
“Hey, when did Dakota and Rey start singing?” Ally asks when Aiden takes to his keyboard.
“It’s from the first album. They don’t do it often, but it’s their way of getting close to the end of the show.” Addie enlightens Ally as they stand there.
“Well, normally, this is where we’d wind things down and say goodnight. Although this very evening, I have a special treat for all of you. Someone special is in attendance with us tonight. Now in honor of this person, I have a song only on the pre-order album. Those of you who bought it and should know it well. Tonight, and tonight only, I’m going to perform this song just for her.”
Looking back, Aiden addresses her personally, “Allyssa Newman, this one is just for you, babe.”
Aiden heads over to his keyboard, punching in the number for the grand piano sound. Placing the microphone in a stationary position, he begins with the piano riff, “This is, We are Finished” the crowd comes alive even more for the encore song.
“What matters in our lives is what we feel, not how we strive… For some, it’s a battle to survive, Hoping that in the end, we will thrive… Along comes the pain. In a downpour of rain, Nothing’ll ever be the same We whither and cry, Waiting for the day we die Praying the black clouds will part To unthaw your heart Cause your heart is ice…”
Aiden pauses as he leads into the chorus.
“Dead in your eyes, You got nowhere to hide. Seeing with my eyes, I was paralyzed. The green envy had me terrified. By now, I hope you’re satisfied. No more lies, no more disguise. You’re dead in my eyes…Walking out the door Leaving my heart sore My soul cold in the core Believing that I can’t live without you, But as of now, We are Finished...”
Dakota slowly joins in with an acoustic guitar, followed by Eddie, and Rey slowly plays as the song continues into a repeat of the chorus.
“Dead in your eyes. You got nowhere to hide. Seeing with my eyes, I was paralyzed. The green envy had me terrified. By now, I hope you’re satisfied. No more lies, no more disguise. You’re dead in my eyes…”
Feeling the shame crawl over her skin again like it did the day she tried to seduce Aiden. Ally begins to draw back into herself.
“I think I’m ready to go.” Ally says to Addie.
“Hey, he wrote it after you all broke up. Don’t take it personally, Ally. He’s just letting you know he made it with this song. Remember you once told him that he sucks, from my phone, you know.” Addie reminds with her arm around Ally’s shoulders.
Finished with the show’s final song, Aiden gets back to his feet, walking to the edge of the stage.
“Hey, thank you, Lexington. We love you, be safe heading home and see you again soon. Good night Kentucky!” Aiden says and bows with the others as they place everything back in its place before they go off stage.
Strolling up to his ex, Aiden takes her by the hands, “I got her, Addie, thanks. What are you doing here?” Aiden says, ready to get to the bottom of things.
“I heard your song on the radio. I haven’t stopped thinking about you ever since. Can’t I come to see a concert and an old friend?” Ally barks out, squeezing his hand.
“We’re ex’s Ally, and we have a fucked-up history, but if you wanna go talk, we can. Just talk, nothing more, nothing less. I will admit, it is good to see you.” Aiden says, interlocking their fingers.
“After all these years, it looks like nothing has changed.” Eddie blurts out, wiping off the sweat from his bald head.
“Hey, his life, man, I say we hit the buffet table and get a shower.” Dakota proposes resting his towel on his shoulders.
“Yeah, let’s get going.”
Rey and Addie don’t waste time heading out to the tour bus to be alone. Aiden takes Ally back to the dressing room, where they sit in silence for a bit. Once the tension hits the breaking point, Aiden breaks the silence.
“Alright, I have a rental car to get to the hotel. We use the tour bus as a decoy to keep the fans from overcrowding us when we arrive. I just got a text it’s here, so if you wanna go, then let’s move now.” Aiden orders reaching for Ally’s hand.
Guided through the building, Ally and Aiden make it to the rental car and speed away.
“I’m sorry if I ruined your night. I just had to take the chance to see you. Ally explains, rolling down the window.
“It’s fine, and I think about you too from time to time. It was a shock to see you tonight. Speaking of which, you look really good, even after having a baby, and yes, I know, Addie told me a while back.” Aiden mentions in a calm tone.
Speechless, Ally doesn’t know how to react or what to say at first, “Th-th-thanks Aiden, yeah a little girl, she’s wonderful and happy. I’d be lost without her honestly, she’s my world, and even now, I miss that little booger.”
Aiden chuckles at her words just as they pull up into the hotel parking lot.
“We’re here…” He states, placing the rental car in Park and rolls up the window.
Stopped by the desk, Aiden picks up his room key and walks with Ally to the elevator. They make it up to the floor, trying to resist the urging physical tension between them.
“I won’t keep you long; just let me get a shower, and I’ll drop you off back at your hotel.” Aiden offers Ally.
“Take your time. I’m enjoying just being here with you.” Ally discloses following him into the room.
“Luckily, our road crew already brought up my stuff. So let me get a change of clothes and cleaned up, and we’ll head out.” Aiden suggests taking off his shirt and tosses it in the chair.
He stands there covered with sweat as his body glistens. Ally can’t control herself any longer.
She lunges in his arms as they land on the bed. Ally presses her lips against his, and to her surprise, she’s met with a kiss.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t help myself.” Ally whispers, brushing her curly hair behind her ear.
“Shut up and scoot up on the bed,” Aiden demands, placing his hands on her ass squeezing it firmly.
In unison on the bed, Ally and Aiden continue kissing. He reaches down to grab the end of her dress, pulling it up and over her head.
“If you don’t want to tell me,” Aiden mentions after they break the kiss as the dress flies off the bed.
“Shut up and just do it!” She offers, giving him complete control over her body.
Ally’s placed on her back as Aiden unsnaps her bra. He kisses down to her breast and puts one in his mouth—ally shutters at his touch.
“I’ve missed this…” She mutters, rubbing her hands on the back of his head.
“Shhh…” Aiden hushes; he creeps down along the side of her ribs, lightly and gently kissing, working her body’s desire more.
Hooking each index finger on her orange thong, Aiden slips it off her hips and finishes undressing before he crawls back onto the bed, kissing her body all over again, which causes Ally to arch her back with anticipation.
“God yes…” She whispers, digging her hands into Aiden’s back as he slowly begins to insert himself into her body.
“I’ve always loved this feeling.” Aiden lets slip, lowering his face above Ally’s.
Moaning as she loses control, Ally sinks her fingernails deep into Aiden’s skin, “ah yes, baby doll, don’t you stop… Ah, not yet… Oh… Yes… Fuck, me…” She groans, grinding her hips to match the rhythm.
“Oh my God, yes, uh-huh, holy hell…” Ally continues curling her lips, feeling her body about to explode with ecstasy.
Picking up the intensity, Aiden rocks her body harder with each stroke and shuts his eyes seconds before unleashing everything into Ally.
AIDEN!” She screams when she can’t hold back any longer.
Clamped tighter to him, Ally can feel him shove everything into her womb.
“Oh, God…” Ally creams wrapping her legs around him.
“I’m sorry, I couldn’t hold back anymore,” Aiden admits.
“Don’t be; I’m not sorry at all we did this.” Ally confesses, gently stroking his cheek with her hand.
After a couple of minutes, Ally breaks the silence, “Mind if I stay here tonight? I want you to hold me at least one more time.”
“Absolutely.” Aiden answers.
Aiden and Ally slip under the sheets where she’s nestled on his shoulder.
“For what it’s worth, I am sorry about the past. I’ve cried so many times over you it’s not funny.” Ally tells Aiden as she gets comfortable.
“It’s in the past Ally, leave it there.” He says, to comfort her, “I’m the one who failed you. If I had been more assertive and more dominant, you might’ve stayed longer.” Letting how he’s viewed it as his fault for all these years.
Ally quickly puts his doubts to rest, “Oh no, you were nearly perfect. I just couldn’t let go of what I thought I wanted. Sam might be the father of my daughter, but he’s never been as good as you were to me.”
With a kiss on her forehead, Aiden lays there in silence. With the effects of her body’s actions, Ally slowly begins to fall asleep. Combined with the familiar comfort of listening to Aiden’s heartbeat, she’s out cold in no time.
Aiden lays there playing with her hair lightly. He stretches, kissing her one more time.
“I still love you…” He declares in a soft tone before falling asleep.
In the morning, Ally finds herself alone. She looks around the room and finds a folded piece of paper on the nightstand with her name written on it.
Going over picking it up, she flips it over, “We’re no longer unfinished,” written in Aiden’s handwriting. Ally smiles, believing they are well into the long-awaited second chance.
“Finally, something’s gone right for me.”
After she gets dressed and calls Addie, she’s picked up. They make it back to the hotel and rush to get cleaned up to head home.
“Have fun last night?” Addie begins when they’re on the highway.
“I did, and yes, we did sleep together. Aiden left a note saying that it’s no longer unfinished. I’m back with my man, and it feels great.”
Addie smiles for Ally as they make the drive home with barely another word said the entire way.
That Monday, on the way home, Ally turns on the radio, hoping to hear any of Aiden’s songs. When one finally hits the airwaves and finishes, her world suddenly crashes.
“So, sad news to those of us hoping to bag lead singer Aiden Hart. It seems he’s finally found someone to call his own. Total Entertainment News, T.E.N., has confirmed the rumors. Aiden has finally asked his long-time girlfriend, Vickie Myers, to marry him, and she said yes.”
Ally’s heart crumbles into billions of pieces and nearly wrecks when she hears the news.
“That bastard!” She screams as tears fall like fallen angels from Heaven.
“He finally got me back!” Ally continues saying beating her hand against the steering wheel.
Once she’s home, Ally waits for her daughter to go to bed before finally bringing herself in front of a mirror.
“You got what you deserved, I guess.” She convinces herself to stare into the glass, finally seeing the other side of the reflection.
It’s not until that moment that Ally views the world the way Aiden from the perspective he suffered through and how he wanted her but couldn’t commit to him and him alone.
Ally closes her eyes to see Aiden standing there looking through the glass. She can’t touch him. Her every desire is there before her, and she’s incapable of grabbing it as much as she tries. After a few deep breaths, she realizes that she can’t afford to chase after him as her daughter means more than anything else.
“If it’s meant to be, I’ll find him again. I know it’s there, and it’ll always be there…” Ally tells herself and prepares for the next day, determined to stand strong through the eye of the storm.
Continuing to stare into her eyes, Ally finally realizes how it feels to suffer the agonizing defeat with the news shoved into her face. Without feeling the sensation of revenge, Ally realizes what’s happened. Aiden has finally placed his final pawn in position, and she fell for the trap as he served her with the infamous checkmate…