Zane seemed to sense my panic, however, and gripped my sides tight, holding me down.
“Not the time, Rick.” His voice was short, and clearly dismissive. I couldn’t keep my eyes off the intruder, feeling my face flush a scarlet red.
Rick narrowed his eyes at me, and sneered. “Alrighty, then.”
He slammed the door, hard, on the way out.
“Oh, god…” Jumping up too fast for Zane to stop me and stumbling backwards, I looked around frantically for my shirt… and promptly remembered what I had done with it. Lost, I just stood there for a second, looking anywhere but at Zane.
Honestly, I was more embarrassed for him than anything else, and thus pretty afraid he was going to be freaked out. I’m going to be kicked out, and quickly, I thought, steeling myself was well as I could. Might as well slip out with as much dignity as possible.
However, I had to put the problem of my dignity behind the small issue of having a shirt covered with cum.
“Here.” Zane handed me the red shirt that he had worn on stage. “You okay?”
“Um, sure.” I buttoned up the shirt as quickly as possible. “I’m so, so sorry about that, Zane, I…”
“I wouldn’t be.” He said, and I could hear the smile in his voice. “Rick’s seen a lot worse than that in dressing rooms, believe me. He’s DONE much more then that, to be exact.”
There wasn’t any reason in the world for me to be surprised by this information, but my pride still died a pretty fiery death. Naturally, this happened all the time to sexy indie rock stars. I’m sure they’ve seen each other in all sorts of compromising situations, positions, etc. I could hear the casual note in his voice and it struck a chord.
This was nothing more than what he did.
It made me pretty pitiful that I was disappointed. Disappointed that the strange and intense feeling of comfort I had had with Zane was nothing but a sexual illusion, most likely honed by the experience of talking and seducing many a dazzled groupie.
Well, moping about it it’s not going to get you anywhere, darling, you certainly have nothing to complain about.
Zane had moved towards me, and once again I was looking at his beautiful strappy boots. He wasn’t that much taller than me but at that moment it was as if he was looming, his presence and his heat was so close it hurt.
I put my hands in my pocket and I willed my eyes to his.
“Hey, thanks.” I said quietly. And I meant it. What we had done was amazing and there was nothing within our encounter that I could lay blame on him for. Except the whole being sexy and asking to kiss me part. Did I really have a choice?
Yes. But also no.
Expelling a small breath from his nose he turned away and seemed to be thinking. I watched his legs in dazed fascination the whole while, painting in my mind what they had felt like underneath my body, my hands.
“You don’t need to thank me.” He said quietly without turning to me. “Come on, I’ll take you home.”
“You can just put me in a cab; I have enough on me. It’s not too hard to find one in this area.” This was so excruciatingly uncomfortable I just wanted to bolt, honestly, and was lying more than just a bit. It would take a while for a cab to come on a Friday night in a city that didn’t use them overly often, but I’d rather wait outside alone then stay in here with this bizarre tension. How did sex and intimacy disappear so quickly and completely? Damn, I was new at this.
Zane paused, as if he wanted to say something else, but gave me a half-smile instead. “Actually, that was what I was offering; to make sure you got home safe in a cab. Honestly, I don’t really have my own car here.” Something glinted in his eyes, maybe humor. “I don’t think I’m allowed to drive the bus. Something to do with insurance. But I’ll be back.”
I felt like an idiot, and it must have shown.
The smile dropped and he turned away. “I’ll just call one for you so you can get out of here.”
And then he disappeared.
For 10 minutes. I sat on the edge of the couch and twitched nervously as the time passed like hours. Curling up on the couch itself I almost dozed off as it hit me how dead tired I was. Up at 7 to swim and then the coffee shift at work, I was suddenly aware how long I’d been awake, and of all the screaming and bouncing I’d done during the concert.
And then there was another five minutes that passed like years and I had to stand up not to completely zonk out on the couch, which wasn’t actually very clean when you put your head on it.
Not being able to take it anymore I walked out and headed down the hallway, confident it would get me to a door out. Leaving the dressing room was a bit shocking, like I was leaving some dimly lit theater for the blazing lobby after a particularly affecting film. Leaving the scene of something I’d never felt before.
Some very hipstertastic people were standing around talking near the end of the hall, smoking and chatting amicably outside of a doorway leaking music and conversation. They looked at me as I tried to streak past them as unobtrusively as possible– and ran straight into Zane flying out of the room.
We collided, and he put his hands on my upper arms to steady me while I put out a hand on his chest to keep him from falling forward. We looked at each other, startled, and I stepped away – with his hand still on my arm. I stared at him, deer-like.
“I called you a cab.” He said quietly. “Sorry to disappear, I had to deal with something.”
“Zane!” A slurry, festive voice spoke up behind him. “Come back!” The dirty-blond bassist stumbled to the door, his hair askew and a sloppy grin on his face. “I promise I won’t say inapproriate things to the girls anymore, I really do.” Zane rolled his eyes and guided me out the door.
“Zane!” The bassist called. “You know you llllllllllllloooooveeeeee me!”
The heavy metal door slammed shut behind us. The street behind The Blow was quiet, although we could hear voices and cars from the bars that surrounded it. It was a strange little strip, not far from downtown but right on the edge of neighborhoods, and we found ourselves staring at a dumpster, a chain link fence, and behind that, someone’s backyard.
“You don’t have to wait with me.” I really was feeling like an idiot. Obviously, he felt guilty or he wouldn’t go through this much trouble to get me home. It was sweet, but it just made me feel worse and worse. Guilt is not a flattering emotion from someone you just hooked up with.
He just looked at me out of the corner of his eye, and shook his head. “Don’t worry about it.” His long arms had moved around his body, and I could see the goosebumps rising. Suddenly it hit me that it wasn’t exactly warm out here.
Stepping back from him a bit gave me a chance to stare at him a bit more, before I disappeared from this whole stupid mess. God, he was beautiful, the way his dark hair fell around the planes of his face, the line from his back down to his ass, perfect slight, long curves. I felt my arousal return, and I cursed at my hormones and concentrated on the fact that his curves were starting to shiver. How could someone go from so warm to so chilly so quickly?
It was chilly, but I rarely got cold. Perhaps from years of swimming and definitely from growing up in a pretty cold climate my body was very good at regulating itself. It was keeping me awake, at least, which was saying a lot.
“You’re cold out here.” I pointed out plaintively, breaking the painful silence.
“And you’re not?” He asked archly, tilting his head slightly at me. A large hand snaked out and lightly grabbed my arm, and his eyes widened. “My god, you’re like a million degrees!”
I sorta smiled at that. “It’s not that bad. I like it cold.” The hand had tightened a bit. My breath caught, hopefully not noticibly, and somewhat vexed by the whole situation I looked at him. “Please go inside, I’ll be- oof!”
He’d pulled me forward so suddenly into his chest my hands had nowhere to go, except, basically, around his waist.
I gaped at him and the intense look upon his face. But only until his lips hit my throat and I gasped as he nibbled lightly upwards to below my ear as his other hand pulled me forward from behind. Automatically my grip tightened, clutching at his T-shirt, and I stiffened beneath my jeans.
“So warm.” His voice whispered into my ear before he pulled his head back. A hand moved up the back of my shirt and I arched into it, wondering at my inability to stop from responding to the man.
But as he pulled my head forward by the pressure of his fingers at the nape of my neck my lips met his halfway and an involuntarily hand clutched at the hair at the back of his head.
“MmmMMmm” I said intelligently as his lips mashed into mine and my body lit up again. A leg (I wasn’t controlling it, I swear) hitched itself up his side a bit, and I felt his body heat up underneath my touch. Surprising myself I responded by leaning into him so he was against the cold brick wall, nipping at his lips and feeling his hand grab my ass and pull it forward. A satisfied noise came from him as I kissed down his long neck, and with a confident motion on his part we had switched and I was suddenly beneath him against the wall, riding him even as he pushed me upwards into his groin with his hand.
We kissed like we were drowning and clutched at each other with little grace until we had to come up for air, and he stood over me, leaning on an arm over my head even as neither of us was willing to pull the lower parts of our body apart. My hands were clutching at the top of his jeans, and they wouldn’t pull back even if I told them to. We were both breathing noticably.
“Sorry.” Zane said with a small smile, his gleaming eyes heavy lidded. I was entranced by his lips, red from kissing. My own felt bruised and even a bit numb. I think I had hit my head. But what I could feel even more was my erection through my jeans meeting his, and it felt very good. My exhaustion made everything exist through something of a haze, but it gave the encounter a dreamy quality that made all my past resistance seem pretty useless.
Not knowing what to say, I said the first stupid thing that came to mind. “You’re not sorry at all.” Petulant, but directed at me, not him.
“No, probably not. Ugggh…” He let out a tense breath and pulled me closer, his lips in my hair. “You won’t seem very sorry either, Ethan, if you keep grinding against me like that.”
Grinding? Was I grinding? The involuntarily motion of my hips and the powerful feeling of his erection confirmed his assertion.
I hadn’t even noticed, and I think I turned a very bright red.
“That’s NOT helping.” Zane growled. “God, you’re so warm.” He started to snake a hand down the back of my jeans and come in for the kill with a look in his eyes that had me mesmorized….
And then we were bathed in a blinding light, and the exeedingly loud noise of a car horn made me wince. Zane pulled back and threw an arm over his eyes as the black and white taxi pulled towards us.
“Hey!” A man leaned out of the front seat, a chubby geezer (And I don’t use the word lightly, I mean OLD) with biker dude mustache and chops. “You queers call for a cab?” He asked casually.
“This hasn’t gone very smoothly tonight, has it?” Zane pulled me up off the wall. “This is getting a bit old, this interruption. Ethan.”
I was already pulling away from him and heading towards the cab, and he caught my wrist. “Ethan.”
I smiled at him. “Thank you.”
“Ethan.” He said insistantly. “Come back to the hotel with me.”
Feeling very tired and goofy-like, I tilted my head at him. “The heater in your room doesn’t work?”
The cab driver honked his horn impatiently.
“You always such a smartass?” Zane smiled briefly and then looked serious again. “You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. Just… come back with me.”
“Uh…” At this point, I couldn’t really think straight about what I did or didn’t want to do, honestly. Alarm bells were ringing in the back of my head, reminding me of, oh, the fact I didn’t want to feel like total trash.
“Get in the cab, damn it, or I’m running you over!” The cabbie bellowed in frustration. “We’re two men down tonight and the damn dispatcher has me signed up for two more pick-ups!”
My body made the decision for me. “Uh. Okay.”
“Hustle!” The driver said, and we scooted in.
And thus we got in the cab, and I was riding towards the swanky place of my employment with this sexy rock star who I couldn’t say no to and probably for the sole purpose of doing very dirty things and I didn’t know what to think of this and we hit the expressway in the cab, the city looking even slightly pretty at night compared to day as the rhythm of the road smoothed out, and the smell of Zane’s body and his jeans and his hand on my thigh….
At this point I promptly fell asleep.
The rest of the evening is a blur, although I remember stumbling upstairs through a back door with Zane (I wasn’t too tired to not want to be seen by the desk staff, we did all know each other), falling down into one of the Stafford’s astoundingly comfortable beds, and trying to sit up again. I tried to kiss him in a vain attempt to not be a complete loser when at one point he took my shirt off, but it was clearly not sexual and he just laughed and pushed me down while I apologized like an idiot. And I was out.
Much more comfortable than my bed, the Stafford beds. I knew instantly I wasn’t home. My eyes flew open, and I stared blankly for a bit at the outline of a hotel room, one of the modern asian-themed ones. It was only 5 AM, but I was wide awake. I could see through the drawn curtains that the sun was considering coming up; it was Spring, and the days were getting long.
I turned over very, very slowly.
Zane was beautiful, sleeping there naked. He was on his back, arms thrown out and his head on his shoulder. He had taken a shower, his smell clean, and his hair was a bit frizzy around his face. The sharp planes of his cheekbones contrasted with the perfect curve of his lips, and his arched, dark eyebrows were relaxed. His lean, tight stomach rose and fell, and I wanted to trace down from his nipples to his navel. I wondered if he was Italian, or what ethnicity he was to get that strong yet fine nose. It was so tempting to trace it with my finger, what would happen then?
But I didn’t feel at all anymore like I had the right to touch any part of him. The embarrassment last night was nothing to this sense of cold, stark reality, and how I’d pretty much failed on all points. I certainly didn’t have any pride, because I didn’t actually exercise any restraint. Oh, the thought had crossed my mind, but less the actual actions of resistance. Also, I was dirty. The smoke and sweat from last night seemed so horribly strong.
Dude, you’re also a total failure as a cheap slut. I chided myself to attempt to not take the situation so seriously. You FELL ASLEEP in a rock star’s hotel room before he could even touch you. Not one for the debauchery record book.
Zane must have thought I was an incredible loser and a complete waste of his time. He obviously hoped he could salvage the evening when he took me back to his room, and I’d in no way made that worth his while.
Many of these thoughts came clearly later, but they were germinating in that room: What I thought of myself as being was bullshit. I wasn’t sexless, I wasn’t incapable of over-the-top lust, but with both Zane and Mike I was no good at it at all. No cookies in bed for me. I know he just took me back to his room as his conquest of the night, but hell, I was chosen to be his conquest of the night, and I guess there was an honor in that. But it made me scum, both for allowing it and failing at it.
But everything had been amazing for me.
My shoes and Zane’s red shirt were neatly lain on a chair by the door, and it took everything in me not to dive for them. Looking at him, and at the pad and pen on the bedside table put there for every guest, I had to do one thing I’d been wanting to do since he’d stepped on that stage.
And then I, and my non-existent ego were out of here.
“Zane!” Rick pounded on the door impatiently. “Zane, we’re supposed to be at breakfast in 15 minutes with that chick from the record company!”
He heard a muffled reply, and shuffling. The door swung open, and Zane stood there with a towel thrown casually around his waist, looking less than pleased at his unceremonious awakening. “I thought that was lunch.”
“It was moved to breakfast. We’re also leaving for Cleveland at 11 now.” Rick give his band mate a leer. “You know, you went to bed much earlier than I did… or at least, got back a lot earlier. That rough a night?” He was very curious about how the night had ended up, but decided he’d rather harangue it out of Zane. There were so few chances to pester the unflappable singer.
“Fuck off, Rick.” Zane shuffled back into his room but left the door open for Rick to follow him, and started to rummage for clothing in his suitcase.
“Ah. But you’d already kicked that pretty thing out, ‘eh? That’s not very nice, you know. At least give them the option of sleeping in. Classier. Unless they get whiny.” He casually ran a finger over the top of the chair, and sat down in it, crossed his legs and watched intently as Zane got dressed.
“I didn’t kick him out. Nothing happened.”
“Didn’t LOOK like nothing was happening. Or is that code for not enough for your liking happened? I’m pretty sure he came home with you. You slipped out back with him and magically, never came back in. I’ve claimed your eyeliner for my own, by the way.”
Zane pointedly ignored Rick and pulled a shirt over his head.
Smirking, the guitarist stood up. Sitting in one place for too long had never been a skill of his. “I didn’t know you had it in you, picking someone up like that. Always seemed… below you. What would Charice think?”
Zane’s silence continued, and Rick’s grin widened – when his eyes fell on something on the bedside table, a piece of paper with the hotel’s logo on top.
“Hmmmm.” He practically bounded forward and picked it up, studying it curiously. “Wow, that’s pretty fucking good, I have to admit. The piece of ass is talented.”
Zane’s head snapped up. “What’s that?”
“You didn’t see it?” The guitarist’s eyebrows flew up and he held it out for Zane to take. “Made you look like a pretty sexy sleeper.”
The singer looked at the uncanny pen sketch of him sleeping from the waist up and a scribbled “thank you” underneath. It was beautifully done, the outlines dark and defining, with the details light and fine. His brows knit together.
“Gives good art.” Rick joked, but backed towards the door with a look of highly sarcastic innocence when he caught the scathing glance Zane gave him.
“It’s cute.” Zane said dismissively, and threw it on the bed to turn back to getting dressed. “Whatever. Now get the fuck out of my room.”
“Frustration’s made you a complete prick today, obviously; I’ll warn everyone to leave you alone. You’re the one who’ll have to deal with Erica’s bitching if you’re late. Be careful of Jarod; as usual, he’s likely to puke on your shoes.”
He slipped out and closed the door slowly, but not before looking back and noting with bemusement that Zane was starring down at the picture with a strange look of vexation.