I’m Not Perfect (Chapter 1)

“James! Jamie, wake up! Come on, James, we don’t have a lot of time to get ready!”

An annoyed sigh left James’ lips the moment his eyes cracked open. Through the fogginess of his mind, he could make out the figure of Kendall’s face hovering just mere inches above his own. He emitted a not-so-manly squeak from somewhere down his throat at the sight, because he really wasn’t expecting to be greeted by that the moment he gained back his consciousness from a dream-filled sleep. Then again, who would? But this was Kendall, and Kendall could pretty much invade his personal space without really meaning to. The blond was just a naturally friendly and clingy person, who tended to do that with pretty much everybody.

“Get ready for what?” James asked, right hand moving to rub the sleep from his eyes.

“Time to get ready, so we don’t arrive late at Rocque Records, and Gustavo doesn’t kill us for the billionth time this week!” Kendall explained in a high-pitched voice. James couldn’t help rolling his eyes at his best friend.

“Relax, dude.” James pushed gently on Kendall’s chest, forcing the smaller boy to stumble to his feet. “Get yourself ready. I’ll be out in a bit.”

“Okay,” Kendall said in response. “Just don’t take too long, because we roughly have over twenty minutes, then we have to catch the limo.”

“Will do, mother!” James said jokingly as he watched Kendall back out of the room.

Suppressing a yawn, the brunette rose on both feet, kicking his wrinkly blankets to the side, and went to gather his clothes from his closet. Staring at every piece of clothing he owned, for a little past a couple of seconds, James decided on a blue t-shirt lying at the bottom of the closet and on a pair of sweatpants. He gathered them into his hands and walked into the bathroom connected to the bedroom he shared with Carlos.

Trying to be as quick as possible, James changed into his studio clothes and got himself ready for the day that was awaiting him. He looked into the mirror as he combed his brown locks of hair, tired eyes staring back at him through the glass. He was tired out of his mind, but there was not much he could do about it. He had to suck it up if he wanted to keep his job, which was to him the best job in the world.

Stumbling over his own feet, James ran out of the bathroom. He had thirteen minutes left according to the digital clock on his nightstand. Quickly, he slipped on his shoes and ran all the way to the kitchen. To his surprise, everybody was up and about. Kendall, Logan, and Carlos were sitting on the bar stools in the kitchen, impatiently watching Mrs. Knight, who was standing near the stove, preparing what appeared to be eggs and bacon, judging by the smell.

“Morning guys,” James said with a smile as he sat down beside a drooling Carlos and Logan.

“Morning,” Logan and Kendall said simultaneously, Carlos apparently being too busy dreaming about the food that would soon be sitting in front of him, to even mumble a reply.

“Did Gustavo say what we were going to be working on today?” the brunette asked curiously, eyes shifting between Kendall and Logan.

“Yeah,” Kendall answered, “he said we would be recording that new song he was writing last week. Said something about it being done, and Griffin wanting a new single out soon. And by the way he said it, I’m guessing he wants it by some time this week. I mean, you know how Griffin can be. Once he sets his mind on a date, there’s no changing his mind whatsoever.”

“True,” James and Logan said at once.

And it was true. Griffin expected a lot out of them, and since they never gave him a reason not to, his expectations on the four boys had only increased as the time flew by. They had now been living in LA for a little over a year, meaning that his expectations were a lot higher than when they had first been signed to work with Gustavo on some demos.

“Boys, breakfast is ready!” Mrs. Knight shouted happily, knocking the boys from their previous conversation. All four boys grinned happily, Carlos jumping up with a cry of joy. The surrogate mother of five smiled at the joyful gesture, being used to it after knowing James and Carlos for eleven years now, and Logan for nine.

“Here you go, guys,” she said as she started to pass around a plate for each boy. Soon enough, the four boys were digging into their meal, kind of like starving animals. Mrs. Knight watched them, shaking her head at the eating boys. “You’re all going to end up chocking on that food if you eat any faster,” she sad warningly. However, the boys paid no attention to her. “Boys!”

“Sorry mom,” Kendall apologized between a mouthful of food. “We don’t have much time left. Gustavo is gonna murder us if we’re late again.” With that being said, the blond got up from his seat and placed his empty plate on the sink. The rest of the boys followed suit right after him.

“Bye mom.” With a smile on his face, Kendall leaned forward and gave his mother a kiss on the cheek. By then James, Carlos, and Logan had already exited the apartment. With one final wave, Kendall walked out of the apartment in search of his best friends. To his surprise, James was standing outside of the apartment with a goofy smile adorning his tan face.

“Hurry up, squirt,” James said jokingly, wrapping an arm around Kendall’s shoulders and giving him a sideways hug. With a laugh, he wrapped the same arm around Kendall’s neck and gave him a nuggie.

“Don’t call me squirt!” Kendall yelped as he pulled away from the giggling brunette. James only laughed even harder at the playful glare the younger boy sent in his direction.

“I’ll call you whatever I want to call you,” James retorted. He grinned evilly at the pouting blond and stretched out his arms in front of him, fingers wiggling freely in the air. As soon as Kendall noticed this, he bolted towards the stairs, knowing they were much faster than the elevators. Behind him, he could hear James laughing away. He just hoped he could reach the limousine or Carlos and Logan before James could reach him.

“Guys, h-help!” the blond yelled out desperately as he ran out of the Palm Woods lobby and through the pool area. Several curious eyes turned to the boy with confused eyes while he ran past, but no one made a move to help him, so he kept running until he reached the black limousine waiting outside for him. To his relief, one of the doors was cracked open, giving him the chance to jump inside, only to land on an unexpected Logan and Carlos.

“Got you!”

Kendall let out a squeak when a hand wrapped around his ankle. He heard the door of the limousine close, followed by the sound of the engine coming to life. It wasn’t long before he was a giggling and squirming mess in Logan’s and Carlos’ laps, while James’ fingers busied themselves ticking the blond boy’s sides.

“No… James, p-p-please! I c-can’t breathe!” Kendall cried out, eyes watering up with tears from laughing so much. Soon enough, Logan and Carlos had joined in on the tickling fight; Carlos tickling Kendall as well, while Logan decided to help the gasping boy by tickling James.

By the time the limousine halted in front of Rocque Records, all four boys were on the floor, all on top of one another with Kendall on the bottom and James on the very top. Carlos was on top of Logan, who was on top of Kendall.

“Guys, I would greatly appreciate it if you all GOT UP FROM ON TOP OF ME!”

Chuckling, James reached for the limo’s door handle, succeeding in opening the door. But as soon as the door was wide open, he fell out, followed by Carlos and Logan. Kendall crawled out of the limo with a grin on his face.

“Losers!” he shouted over his shoulder as he ran inside Rocque Records. The other boys followed after him, dreading the exhausting hours that were to come their way.


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