“I’m going to the bathroom,” I shouted at Danny. He was mid-conversation with the server and waved me off. I needed to tell him about our no-sex house.
I walked down the dark hall to the bathroom. Girls were in a huge lineup. I stood at the back of it for a second, but a door opened at the end of the hall. Gerry walked out, getting mauled by the girls. He pointed at me, “Hey! Help?”
I laughed watching them attack. Had they never noticed? Seriously, he was on our team. The lineup thinned out; I smiled at him, “No way, you’re on your own, but thanks for clearing a path to the bathroom.”
He gave me a look. I budged ahead and slipped into the bathroom. I finished and washed my hands. Gerry must have been in the hallway still. The bathroom was dead. I looked at myself, wincing. I was a hot mess. My curly hair was huge and my face was red and sweaty. Whatever.
I made my way back to the table, but Danny nodded at me and pointed at the stage. In the dark corner I saw Lochlan. He waved at me, trying not to get attention from anyone. I walked over that way.
“We have to leave through the back. It’s too nuts now,” he shouted at me.
I laughed and looked around, “I’ll meet you at the house.”
He shook his head, “No way, princess.” He put a hand out. I heard girls shouting behind me, over top of the DJ music. I looked back as they rushed us. I grabbed his hand and let him pull me up. He dragged me to the back of the stage and through an open black, metal door. He closed it, pressing his back against it. Hands started banging on it within seconds.
I looked up into his eyes, “They’re like a zombie movie.”
We were alone in the dark hallway.
The pounding of the crazed fans, matched my beating heart.
My mouth hung open, like I wanted to say something but I couldn’t.
The thing I wanted to say would have broken our deal.
“Stop looking at me like that,” he pleaded.
I shook my head, “I’m not looking at you like anything.”
He pushed me against the wall behind me, pressing my back against it, “You are. I saw you in the crowd.”
I shook my head, “You’re magnificent.” The words were a whisper.
He struggled with something and I could see it in his eyes when he lost the fight. He lowered his face, pressing his lips against mine.
It was like the moment when the lights came on, on the stage. It was explosions of sound and light.
His soft lips against mine was overwhelming. His hands ran down my body, tracing my bare arms gently. I shuddered but let it happen.
Then, like it was a second explosion of lights and sounds, I joined in. I wrapped my arms around him, pulling him down on me. He moaned into my mouth as his tongue caressed mine. His hands cupped my ass, lifting me up into his arms. He smelled like sweat and tasted like beer.
I wrapped my legs around his waist as he held me to the wall. His body pressed against mine was exactly how I’d fantasized. His lips were softer than I imagined. He kissed like he’d majored in it.
He pulled back, letting me stand on my own and backed up away from me. “Oh shit. Sorry.”
I shook my head, “It’s okay.”
We didn’t speak. We breathed and tried to comprehend what was happening.
We had really crossed the line this time. I didn’t want to stop but he had shut it off. I could see it.
“That was a mistake. I’m sorry.” His words burned, but at least they had the decency to kill the savage lust tearing through me.
I nodded, “I agree.” I opened the door again, letting the screaming fans in, “See you at the house.”
He didn’t hear me. He didn’t stand a chance.
Awkward as ass
Danny poked me again with his fork, “Stop scowling. You look moody as shit.”
I gave him the death stare. He knew it meant fuck off.
Gerry handed me a Danish. I tore a bite out and drank some coffee.
“Just tell him you like him too.”
I looked at Gerry with a confused look, “What?”
He looked over at Mike and Lochlan signing the breasts of the girls on the street outside the café.
“Who Mike?” I asked cheekily.
He kicked me, “You’re being difficult.”
I gave him a look similar to the one Danny had gotten, before he walked off to see the breasts. “He is signing the tits of a chick on the side of the road in Salem. That isn’t boyfriend material.”
Gerry snickered, “It’s all part of the show. You and I both know, that’s not him.”
I nodded, “If you like him so much, you ask him out.”
He gave me a heartbroken look, “Honey, I would but he doesn’t swing that way.”
It dawned on me then, that Gerry wanted to live vicariously through me. He liked Lochlan. I looked at Lochlan and nodded. What wasn’t there to like?
Gerry nudged me, his face had turned serious, “You know he’s the big ticket item, musicians like us need. The spark in him is huge; he could light the whole world on fire with it.”
I smiled, “I know.”
He leaned forward, “You could consider dating him and keeping him calm. I have noticed you keep him calm and relaxed. People like him are prone to emotional outbursts and addictions. They’re larger than life and their personalities are bigger than their bodies.”
I frowned, “You want me to consider dating him to help Thin Ice out?”
He shrugged, “We both know you like him, and if he loses it like he did before, he could ruin his whole career. Divas don’t get to have tantrums in the beginning. They have to earn their right to be a crazy artist.”
I didn’t say anything else. If I dated him, it wouldn’t be for that reason.
Gerry got up and left my side, and Mike took the chance to come over and sit beside me, “So, are you and Lochlan dating?”
I laughed, “Not a chance, roommates.”
“You seeing anyone?”
I shook my head, “No. I’m busy with school.”
“Wanna go on a date?”
I shook my head, “Thank you, but no.”
He grinned, “You have to eat, right?”
“Yeah?” It was starting to get awkward.
He shrugged, “We could just go have a meal?”
I looked at his lips as he spoke and nodded, “I guess.” It was a petty whorish thing to do, stare at the thing I couldn’t have, and say sure to someone I didn’t really want. I instantly shook my head, “Actually, no.”
He looked confused, “Which is it?”
“I would go for a meal with you, but only as friends. I don’t want to be the girl who broke up Thin Ice because I dated the bass player and lived with the lead singer. Then me and the bass player broke up and the lead singer took my side. Or worse, took your side and I ended up homeless. You know what I’m saying?”
He nodded, looking a bit down, “Yeah, I guess. I can ask him, if you want and see if he thinks it’s awkward for us to eat a meal together. We can go as friends.”
I agreed, “Okay. If he doesn’t think it’s awkward, I’d love to go for dinner, even as a group.” I knew Lochlan would say no. It would be easier to let Mike down with Lochlan telling him no way, than me doing it.
His face lit up. He stood and walked over to Lochlan as the group of girls left. The two of them talked. I tried not to watch as Lochlan’s cheeks flushed and his eyes flicked to me. Mike put his hands in the air defensively. Gerry gave me an evil look. I gave it right back to him. Danny started laughing. Whatever was happening in the powwow of doom, I assumed was bad.
Lochlan stalked over, “Not funny.”
I scowled, “It was nice of him to ask me out for dinner. I told him it would be awkward, since I’m your roommate. It could end badly.”
I could see he was fighting his anger. “What about last night.”
I took a bite of my Danish, “You said it was a mistake. I agreed. Did something else happen, I wasn’t aware of?”
He sat in the seat, “Why are you playing these games with me?”
“Me? Games with you?”
He nodded, taking my Danish and having a bite. I snatched it back and got up. I walked away from the group of them, and headed to a magic store in an old building down the road. I had spotted it when we had been doing our tour. The door tinkled from the bell attached to it, as I entered. An old lady in a cool old-fashioned dress with long, gray hair smiled at me. I was about to say hello when Lochlan entered after me.
I sneered at him and looked back at her.
She pointed at my pastry, “You can’t have food in here.”
I opened my mouth to ask for a garbage can, but Lochlan grabbed my hand and lifted the pastry to his face. He ate it from my fingers. I made the weird noise I seemed to make with him.
He licked my fingers, which I enjoyed more than I was willing to tell him. I contemplated the mace in my pocket, but he pulled me down a crowded aisle. The smell of herbs and candles were everywhere.
He looked down on me, running his hands down my cheeks, “You can’t date anyone, ever.”
I laughed, “What? Are you high? What was in that Danish?”
His eyes didn’t have any humor in them, he stroked his thumb across my bottom lip. He replaced it with his mouth, sucking my lip into his mouth. We both tasted like pastry. The kiss was slow and intense.
“I want you to date me,” he whispered into my mouth.
I shook my head, “But we live together. You were right. Think how intense that would be? Roommates dating is too much.”
He swallowed, “I want you.”
I bit my lip for fear I would return what he’d said, or up the ante and say something so much worse, “You said kissing me was a mistake.”
He shook his head, “I meant kissing you behind the stage with groupies everywhere, like we’re hiding in a corner, was a mistake. I won’t ever treat you like you’re just some girl.” He kissed me again, “Go out for dinner with me.”