A/N: Second last chapter! Woot! I'm trying to get it all out before I go back to school on Tuesday


The next morning Michael rang. I knew his silence was too good to last. I swore and cursed like a sailor as I picked it up. "You have impeccable timing, do you know that?" I asked, my voice scratchy.

"Yeah. I do. I'm sorry to bother you Ben but I really need to talk to you guys."

"Today?" I asked in disbelief.


"I thought we were supposed to be on holidays."

"I know, and I'm sorry but this is important and it can't wait."

I sighed and looked down at Hailey, still asleep and curled up against my side. "Alright. Just let me drop my girl home and I'll be right in."

"Oh." Michael sounded embarrassed. "I didn't mean to interrupt."

I smiled slightly. "Don't worry. It's ok." I hung up with a sigh and slid from the bed to the bathroom. Wow. I could get lost in here. The bathroom was probably bigger than my bedroom at home. When I was showered and dressed again, in the pants and white shirt cause that was all I had, I emerged to find Hailey sitting up. "Just woke up?" I asked with a smirk. She stuck her tongue out at me and tangled the sheet around her, running a hand through her messy hair. "That was Michael wasn't it?" she asked with a yawn. I nodded. "Sorry babe."

"I should cut his balls off." She muttered, wrenching the sheet from the bed and stomping into the bathroom. I smiled to myself as I gathered our stuff together. She's really not a morning person.

We left when Hailey was finished in the bathroom. I guessed everything must have been right between us again because she didn't let go of my hand the whole way out. The valet brought the Beamer around and I took great pleasure in pretending it was actually mine. Hailey yawned as we left the city. "Tired?"

"You wore me out." she said with a smirk.

"Of course."

"Brag much?"

"Hey, it's the truth."

She just shook her head and smiled. I dropped her at home and promised to come back after my meeting with Michael. Since I had the BMW for another day, I picked AJ up and we drove into Virgin together. He was majorly hung over and I felt even sorrier for him than I did for myself. We arrived at Virgin just before ten o'clock. Dylan and Braith were already there, as was Michael. Braith looked even seedier than AJ, but that's just normal for Braith. "Sit down." Michael said, gesturing to two empty seats to his left. We sat. Michael sat down on his desk and faces us. "The reason I needed to talk to you today is this. You all know how well the band has been doing. You've really taken off, the album's done amazingly well, better than we'd expected and Virgin are immensely happy that they've taken you on. But here's the thing; they think it's time for you to start work on a second album, and they're just about to release Stricken in the UK. They're thinking of sending you on an European tour."

Wow. I was so excited I forgot to breath. "But there's something else. For this, you'd have to relocate to Melbourne. The Virgin head offices are down there, and you know the music scene in Brisbane isn't as strong as it is down there. Melbourne is just a better place for you to be right now, career wise."

Live in Melbourne? Again? God no. Michael looked at us all, mulling it over. "There's one more thing. If you moved to Melbourne, I'd have to stay here. Mr Berryman has offered me a position higher in the company, talent scouting the whole of Queensland. So I wouldn't be able to manage you anymore."

I was a little bit alarmed by this. Michael and I may not get along, but we needed him. I sure as shit wasn't going to do all the work he did. Michael got off his desk and walked towards the door. "But don't worry. We've found someone to replace me already. I think you'll like him." He said, opening the door with a little smile. "Meet your new manager."

We all craned our heads around to look towards the door. And in walked Liam.


I got home, changed out of my dress and fell asleep again. I woke up a couple of hours later and came face to face with all the information about deferring my uni course. I sighed. Dad must have put it there so I wouldn't forget to do it. I pulled myself up grumpily, threw on a jacket and zipped it right up so no one could see the fresh marks Ben had put on me the night before and stomped downstairs. "What do I do about it?" I asked dad, coming to a halt in his study doorway. He turned in his chair to look at me. "Well what do you want to do about it?" he asked. "Do you want to pick up something else or do you want to defer?"

"I don't know." I replied unhappily. "I liked it, and it was a really useful course for what I want to do. I kind of need it to go in the direction I want to go in. on the other hand, I really like UQ and don't really want to leave."

Dad shrugged and took the paper off me. "Well you can't have it both ways honey. You need to pick; do you defer or do you pick something else up. If you defer, are there any uni's close to here you can defer to?"

"James Cook is at least in the state."

"That's in Cairns Hailey."

I shrugged. "It's in the state. Or Bond, which I am NOT going to."

"What about Griffith?"

"Yeah, they have it there. The other two are Deakin in Geelong or Melbourne Uni."

"Griffith is closest. You could still live at home."

"Yeah. I guess."

"Or, if you really wanted to stay at UQ, pick something else up. We can look and see if we can find a course that's like Media Discourse." He said, turning to his computer. I sighed. Stupid uni.


My head was swimming. We had to move to Melbourne. We were going to be doing a second album. The first album was just about to be released in the UK, they were looking at a European tour, and Liam is our new manager?

What the fuck?

Liam grinned at us all as he walked into the room. "Thought you'd gotten rid of me, didn't you?"

"What are you doing here?" I asked, being the first one to find my voice.

"I'm your new manager Benjamin." He said casually, sitting in the chair behind Michael's desk. "Now that I'm better, I wanted to be involved in the band. Except you're doing pretty damn well without me. But then Michael called and told me what was going on, and we both agreed that me becoming manager was the solution to all your problems." He said airily.

"I can think of one problem Liam. And it's pretty major." I said sarcastically. "You don't know how to manage a band."

"Who do you think did it all before Michael came along?" he snapped.

"You don't know how to manage us at this level!" I retorted. "Do you even have the first clue of how you're supposed to go about managing a huge tour around Europe?"

"Liam knows Ben." Michael cut in. "and he'll have people to help him. He'll do a great job, trust me. And he knows all your material, and he's know you three since high school," he added, pointing to Dylan, Braith and AJ. "And he's know you since you were born."

"Worst day of my life that was." Liam muttered. I made a rude gesture.

"What about this move?" Dylan asked. "When is this supposed to happen?"

"As soon as possible. You'll want to get settled before you go back into the studio." Michael said. "The studio can organise apartments of houses or whatever you want, or you can find you own." He smirked. "Or move in with your grandmother if you want to."

I bit my tongue to stop myself saying something I would regret. "Do we have to move?" I asked, suddenly thinking of a very important factor. Hailey. Michael nodded slowly. "It would be very wise. It would just mean less travel, less hassle, more exposure, more gigs, more publicity. If you're serious about this, you need to get out of Brisbane. Powderfinger did it. Regurgitator did it."

"Eskimo Joe still live in Perth, and that's a lot more out of the way than Brisbane is."

"You want to be bigger than Eskimo Joe."

Did we? I must have missed that memo. What was I supposed to do? Basically, I had no choice. I had to move to Melbourne. But if I did that would mean the end of Hailey and me. She wouldn't put up with any more shit from me. And we just got everything sorted out. "I'll let you think about it, and I'll be in touch." Michael said, getting off his desk to show us out.

"So you're the new manager. Why didn't you tell me?" I asked Liam as we drove home in the Beamer. He shrugged. "I wanted to surprise you all."

"Well you did. I mean, you didn't say anything about it at all."

"It was a surprise Ben. Do you know what that means? Do you get it?"

"Yes I get it." I snapped.

"Man, what's wrong with you today? PMS?"

"Oh yeah. Funny Liam." I shook my head. "I can't move to Melbourne."

"Ah." He said, reclining in his seat. "The Hailey thing."

"Yes the Hailey thing. I can't leave her again. She's not going to wait around for me anymore Liam, and I can't expect her to. If I go I'll lose her." I said helplessly. Liam sighed. "I know. I don't know Ben, could you do the long distance thing?"

"Oh yeah, that really worked out well for us last time." I bit back sarcastically.

"Don't bite my head off. I was just trying to help."

I shook my head. "I can't go. That's it."

Liam looked shocked. "You're going to throw away your whole career on some girl?"

"She's not 'some girl' Liam." I snapped. "I love her so much. You have no idea. And what are you going to do about Georgia?"

"I like Georgia a lot, but she's not 'the one' Ben. She understands. At the moment she's got her career, and I've got mine. If it's meant to be, then it'll work out. And if not, then great. I have a career."

"Yeah, well Hailey is 'the one.' I love her and I'm not going to leave her. You don't get it Li; I'm never going to get any better than her. She's it for me. I know there is not another single living person out there who would put up with my shit like she does."

"You really believe that there is only one person out there for everyone?" Liam asked with interest.

"Yeah. Only one. I mean, you could be happy with someone else, but it's not true love unless they're your soul mate. There is only one person out there for all of us. One person who we're meant to spend our whole lives with. And if you let that person get away, you're never going to find that again. "

"You really, really believe that?"

"Yeah. I do."


I decided to defer to Griffith. It wasn't UQ, but it was still in the city at least. And I could do media discourse and get into the career I wanted. I was sitting at the table beside the pool when Ben arrived. "Hey." He said, dropping a kiss on my cheek and sitting down beside me. "Hey yourself." I frowned when I looked at him. "What's wrong?"

He sighed. "Hails, there's something I have to tell you and it's going to upset you."

"Ok." I said slowly. "Well what is it?"

He looked me straight in the eye. "I have to move back to Melbourne. For good."

I blinked. "I'm sorry, I just hallucinated. What?"

He just looked at me. I began to feel light headed. "You're leaving?"

"The band is. The company wants the band to relocate because the music scene in Melbourne can do a lot more for us." He took a deep breath. "But I don't have to go."

"What? But you just said…"

"I'll stay here. For good. I'll leave the band and I'll stay here."

"Well why would you do that?"

"To be with you."

I blinked again. I felt like crying. "You love that band. It's your dream. You'd give it up for me?"

"You mean so much more to be that it does."

'But you worked so hard to get where you are."

"And you were there the whole time. I'm a smart boy; I can do anything I want. I could go to uni with you even."

I gave a sarcastic little laugh and looked down at the papers in front of me. "Right. Uni. Even that isn't working out."

Ben frowned and slid the paper towards him. "What?"

I sighed. "The Uni has cancelled my Media Discourse class due to lack of funding. I have to defer to Griffith if I want to keep going with it."

"Or Deakin, James Cook, Bond…or Melbourne." He read. He looked up at me, eyes suddenly bright. I just nodded. "Yeah." He kept looking at me. "What?"

"Come with me." he blurted suddenly.


"Come with me. Move to Melbourne with me. Defer to Melbourne uni."

I suddenly understood what he was talking about. "You want me to move to Melbourne with you?"

He nodded. "That way, you can still do uni, I can still be in the band…" he picked my hand up and kissed it. "And we can still be together."

"Fuck, Ben. I don't know. I've never even been to Melbourne. You want me to move there?"

"It's perfect Hail. We can get a place together, far away from my grandmothers…Liam will be down there too, since he's the new manager of the band. We can get somewhere close to the uni…"

I just stared at him. "But…what about my family, and my friends and…"

"What about them? We can come back, all the time. But what about us Hail?" he asked. Damn his eyes. I took a deep breath, my mind working overtime. "Say yes," he whispered, his lips just ghosting over my ear. Did I want this? I would miss my family and friends and Brisbane, sure, but ultimately, did I want Ben? I knew that I couldn't ask him to stay. But I also knew that if I left, that'd be the end of us. So did I want to be with him? Well that was easy. I already knew the answer to that question. I looked at him.

"So?" he asked urgently. I grinned at him.



"Yes. Yes, yes, yes. I'll come to Melbourne with you."

Ben let out a whoop, pulled me out of my chair and into his arms and spun me around like a maniac. He hugged me so tightly I thought my arms would snap off. "Oh baby. I'm so relieved." He frowned then, like he was confused.


"It's nothing. I was just remembering something Liam said earlier today. It was weird, cause its kind of coming true."

I arched an eyebrow at him. "Oh?"

He shook his head again and grinned to himself. "It's nothing."

He kept grinning to himself and I just shook my head and rested it against his chest. It's totally weird. If you'd told me a year and a half ago that that Bogan I'd met on the bus that day would turn out to be the one thing I loved more than life itself I would have slapped you silly. I hid a grin in the folds of Ben's shirt as I saw his Homer Simpson boxer shorts peeking over the top of his jeans. But now…I can totally believe it. I'm am so in love with him it scares me absolutely shitless.

If it's meant to be, then it'll work out. And things have worked out perfectly.

It's funny how things change, isn't it?