I’ve decided this isn’t necessarily fanfic for a particular band. It could be any band, whichever one the reader loved or loves. Many of us harbored secret fantasies about meeting the band member of our desire and an instattraction was formed to the point where we’d ride off into the proverbial sunset. So, this is for that.
If you haven’t yet read Chapter One, you can find it here.
Chapter Two: His Side
Fans are a funny bunch, they either throw themselves on you or play nonchalant while stalking you with their body language. It can be an unnerving situation to be on the receiving end of those affections. And quite overwhelming, especially when all of it happens at once, the way it did whenever we arrived anywhere. Sure, after awhile we got used to it but it still hurt on reentry.
I saw her huge almond eyes through the window the minute I stepped onto the sidewalk. The way they widened and then looked away made me think she wasn’t like most of our groupies, there was something, I don’t know, safe about her. Then again, maybe I was having ‘ridiculous romantic notions” as Stephen liked to call them when I pointed out girls that I thought wouldn’t be like the rest of ‘them’. He figured them to be all alike and, on the most part, he was right. Hooking up with band members was to them what playing my bass was to me. Satisfying a passion. And stupid us, we inevitably fell into it. It was hard not to.
Stephen was engaged to an actress. She knew and understood the lifestyle the band had and it wasn’t that she was okay with it but she loved Stephen enough to allow him his freedom but only when we were on tour. He was one of the lucky ones. Relationships during tours met untimely deaths due to suffocation. I chose to remain free. That way, the only one to really get hurt was me. I kept it simple, sex for sex. No strings, no chains, no heartache.
As to be expected, we spent quite a bit of time signing various body parts and taking photos. It was just another thing that made each city and day blur into the next. Each new stop, I had to write on my hand where we were. Tonight, we played the Motor City. Detroit. One of the warmest welcoming cities. These people loved their music.
The Joint, a bar at the hotel, was swarming. I needed to sit down, I was tired and really just wanted to be left alone. She was there, sitting alone while her friends joined the fray. Without the glare of the glass skewing my vision, it was hard not to notice how understatedly beautiful she was. Her curly hair was so black that it looked blue and those eyes, those were what sucked me in from outside.
I broke away from the crowd and ordered two beers, hoping she liked beer. She was so engrossed in her phone that she didn’t notice when I approached her, even though there were quite a few sets of jealously blazing eyes watching me. And then tearing through her. Let them stare, maybe they’ll see how ladies should behave instead of throwing themselves out there the way they do. Yes, I felt a bit ashamed thinking that way, it’s our fans that made us who we are. Even though sometimes I don’t like what I’ve become. I want to trust, I really do. I just find it hard to believe that any of these women could really love me for me, instead of what I am.
When her elbow made contact with my ribcage, it shocked me, “Hey, not nice!”
Those eyes, so impossibly green, looked me up and down before recognition registered and a blush swept prettily across her cheeks. Without a word, she awkwardly motioned for me to take a seat. I offered her a beer, which she accepted and then I sank into one of her friends seats.
“Hey there.” I lifted my beer, toast-style, before pouring the cool liquid down my dry throat.
She cleared her throat a little, “Hey.” Her eyes flitted over to the bar and I could only assume she was looking for her friends.
There was something so fragile about her, so in need of protecting. “I’m not gonna bite, I promise.”
Letting out a little laugh, she brought the beer to her full lips and took a swig that rivaled mine, “Sorry about that rib punch, I thought you were someone else.”
Her voice was low and soothing, showing no signs of the shyness her face wore. I rubbed the spot her elbow had made contact with and mock grimaced, “No worries, I’ll heal soon enough.”
She looked mortified and reached out to me, “Oh my god, did I hurt you that badly?”
Not wanting to scare her off, I grinned, “I’m just teasing. It didn’t hurt, it just surprised me. I’m not used to being elbowed in the ribs as a warm welcome.” She flushed and then color crept back into her face. She was really outstanding looking except I had a strong feeling she was clueless to that fact, “I think I’m at a disadvantage. Or maybe not. I don’t know your name. I’m Jesse Martins.”
“I know.” Then she stuck her hand out, and I took her long fingers into mine, “I’m Brooke Tolbert. Nice to…er..meet you.”
Her hands were warm and fit so perfectly into mine that I was tempted to just keep holding it, “It’s nice to..er..meet you, as well, Brooke Tolbert.”
She laughed shyly and shook her head, her curls running amok over her shoulders, “I’m sorry, I just wasn’t really expecting this.”
“Is this unexpected turn of events a good or bad thing?” I was hoping she wasn’t going to ask me to vacate the seat, I really wanted to be right there, right now.
“No, no. It’s definitely a good thing. Just, well, unexpected is all.” The blush was back and redder than it had been. She lifted her hands to her cheeks, “Damn, that’s so embarrassing.”
I couldn’t help myself, I reached over and pulled her hands away from her face and kept them in my own, “It shouldn’t be, it’s cute. You’re cute. Actually, you’re more than cute.” Now it was my turn to do the blushing, which was a rarity. This girl, she had some sort of effect on me.
We chatted for a bit before her friends came back to the table, each carrying a napkin with autographs scribbled on them. They were doing that fan-giggle that only girls can do but stopped short when they noticed me. I waved to them and suddenly, there they were, hanging on me. It ruined the magic that the table had held when it was just Brooke and me, I felt the urge to flee. I just didn’t want to break the connection I felt with her. She was the real deal, not a one-night stand kind of thing. Probably a romantic notion again but I had no choice, my entire being was telling me to stay in that seat despite the fangirling friends.
Brooke introduced me to Alicia, Jill and Melanie. Each girl was pretty but none stood out to me the way Brooke did. They were pleasant enough, despite the one-upping each other that they did with the primping and posing. Through it all, Brooke sat and watched them without engaging in similar behavior. She sat back and finished off her beer while I signed their napkins and flirted back.
Alicia seemed to be the most outspoken of the bunch and for some reason that I wasn’t sure why, I immediately didn’t like her. She flipped her straight blonde hair over her shoulder and tilted her head seductively, “Why don’t you have your friends come join us?”
I forced a smile of the sincerest kind, the toothy one I used during photoshoots and interviews, “They seem a bit busy at the moment but maybe when they’re available they’ll come on over here.” I knew they wouldn’t, each of them already had their eyes on various ‘prizes’. We were experts at that, scanning the mob of faces and bodies to pick which one we’d take back to the hotels with us. None of us really had a ‘type’, variety was definitely spicy. None of the girls standing in my personal space were the chosen ones and there was nothing I could or would do about that, unless one of the guys got rejected. Then I would probably suggest that Alicia, she seemed to be more of a groupie type than the rest of them, even though they probably would argue otherwise.
I had my eyes on Brooke but I didn’t want to sleep with her, I wanted to know her. I wanted to know why her eyes shone with pain and what had been done to cause it. I wanted to twirl my fingers into her dark curls and…well, I was getting ahead of myself, not to mention I was leaving the city in four days. We had a three-night gig, each one to sold out crowds and then we were taking a day off to relax before finishing up the tour. I was looking forward to that one day off, exhaustion was settling heavily into my mind and spirit. It had been a long year.
I stood up and offered my seat to whomever wanted it and perched myself next to Brooke. My hip touched her thigh and I watched that blush creep across her face. I grinned at her and received a wide smile in return, “Another drink?”
Nodding at me, “Sure but then I’ve hit my limit. I’m not a big drinker, I hate the morning after.”
I had too many morning afters, myself and I could only shake my head in agreement, “Don’t give away my spot, I’ll be right back.”
Making my way to the bar, I was circled by a female formation of jutting hands stuffed with pens and papers. I half-heartedly flirted and scribbled my autograph but all I really wanted to do was get those damn beers and get back to that table. It took about a half hour, the minute I would finish with one group, another one would show up. Stephen and the other guys looked like they were getting ready to leave with their flavor of the night. I wondered if Brooke would just come and hang out back at the hotel. I ordered the beers and wandered back over to the table where I had left them.
They were gone. In their place were two couples looking over the drink menu. A lonely piece of paper caught my attention, “Excuse me.” I grabbed the cocktail napkin and inspected the writing, “You can call me, if you’d like. -Brooke” The first three digits of her phone number were smeared and I could hardly make them out.
I ran through the bar and bolted out the front door. I stood there, on the sidewalk, scanning to the street to find her.
I stared at the napkin in my hand.
She was gone.
And, I had no clue why I was so profoundly upset.