AN: Glad to be back! This story is over 3 ½ years in the making. My inspiration for this story is not you-know-who, but Chris Cornell, who left us so suddenly a few months ago. RIP Chris… This is for you… (Notes at the end).
All things Twilight belong to Stephanie Meyer. The remainder of the perversion is all mine. ;)
"Fuck off, grandma."
I turned my back to the fat, old lady behind me.
She had a friend with her, equally fat and old - I had seen them both at a couple of my previous gigs, but tonight, they had pushed their way to the front, singing and giggling and trying to get my attention, then they followed me to the bar after my first set. It was distracting and fucking humiliating.
If they kept it up for the second set, I was going to get the bouncer to throw them both out on their saggy, well-padded asses.
I took a long, last pull on my cigarette, letting the hot, nicotine-rich smoke fill my lungs and calm my nerves. I exhaled slowly, then flicked the butt in a high, orange-tipped arc to the other side of the bar.
My break was over, so I downed the rest of my cheap bourbon and slipped backstage. My old beat-up acoustic was lying on the couch where I had left it earlier, so I grabbed it, adjusted the strap, and checked the tuning. I dragged my hand repeatedly through my long, messy hair as I ran through the first song in my head. Women loved my hair, which is why I kept it long, but they were starting to mention the increasing strands of gray. If it kept up, I was going to have to change my chick-banging demographic.
I loved what I did. I loved music and performing. But right now, all I wanted was to fuck the tall, leggy blonde who was licking her lips and eyeing my dick during my first set. It wouldn't take much effort on my part - all I had to do was lock it down. I hadn't had regular pussy for almost a year, and it wasn't that I wasn't getting it, it was just that I was growing tired of the chase. And I was too fucking old for the whole fucked up scene.
I walked back onstage.
It was a pretty good crowd for this shitty little club, and I was a little surprised that they stayed through the break. Sometimes, no matter how great the response, I almost always lost half the crowd between sets.
A few of them clapped when they saw me, and one drunk guy in the back howled, long and loud.
"Hey," I said into the mic, as much a sound test as a greeting. "Thanks for, uh, hanging around."
I wasn't much of a talker. I just wanted to get up there and do my thing, share my music, perform. I was almost 32 years old and had been doing this - writing, playing, singing - since I was 14, but I had long ago given up on the idea of being discovered, being famous, locking down a contract. It just wasn't in the cards for me.
Fuck it. And fuck them.
"Uh… this is one I wrote."
There was more polite applause and another howl from the drunk guy in the back, but as I started to play, they quieted, and I fed on their reaction, their energy, their growing attention.
It was a great song, and I really liked playing it first in the set – a slow, teasing start, a hard-driving climax in the middle, then a soft, sweet finish. It was supposed to be like really good sex, and it always got the crowd worked up. My voice was generally deep and gravelly, but I could hit high notes too, notes that surprised people. When I played the last chord of the song, the audience erupted in mad applause and supportive yells.
The intensity of their response surprised me a little, and I almost smiled. They weren't that loud in the first set, but then again, they weren't that drunk then either. There was a fine balance between being lit enough to be open and responsive and being offensively drunk, rude, and disruptive. The latter tended to get me into bloody, painful fights that always ended with me in the ER. Or in jail. Or both.
"Thanks," I mumbled into the microphone, my eyes searching out and finding the leggy blonde. I gave her a quick wink and my lopsided smirk, the one my ex-wife said used to make her panties wet. Of course, that was before the vicious fighting that ended our short marriage. The blonde batted her eyes a few times to let me know she received the message, and then she licked her lips in an almost obscene display of agreement. Oh, hell yeah.
It was hot as hell in the small room, both from the burning lights and the sweating crowd, and I pushed the sleeves of my t-shirt up to my elbows, exposing the faded colors of years-old tattoos on my forearms. My chest and arms were generously covered in ink as well, some deep and meaningful and thought out, others the unfortunate result of an excess of drugs and liquor.
I worked my way through the set, an intricate balance of soft and hard, slow and fast, sweet and cold perfected over the years. The energy in the room was fucking incredible, and by the time I reached the end of the last song, both the audience and blonde were mine.
"Thanks… ah… thanks," I said, over and over as they continued to applaud. "Really, thanks… Wow." I ran my hand through my sweaty hair. "Seriously, thanks."
Finally, the noise started to wane, and I took the opportunity to grab my guitar and head backstage. Just as I turned the corner, I looked over my shoulder and met the blonde's eyes. I cocked my head towards the door I was walking through, a small, subtle movement, an invitation for her to join me. I hoped she got it, and I walked backstage.
Backstage. That was a fucking joke. It was more like a storage closet, a room next to the men's room with worn carpet and water stains on the ceiling, but it had - in addition to a wall of shelves filled with supplies - a couch, a table, and a small fridge. It was basically just a place to keep my stuff while I performed and to hide between sets if I needed it. I grabbed a beer from the fridge - Garrett kept bottled water in it for everyone else… for me, he kept Heineken. I barely had the cap off and taken one long swallow when the blonde walked in.
AN: Hi again! This story will contain short chapters, about 2 pages or so each, and I'll try to post every other day or so (except weekends might be hard, so please forgive me in advance.) It's 24 total chapters.
Please note that although inspired by Chris Cornell, it's obviously not really him, so please don't take offense to the asshole-like qualities that you might see in Rockstar's Edward - at least for now.
Feel free to ask me questions, which I reserve the right not to answer :)
I really hope you like this one. I sure do.
Special thanks to my beta, LibbyLou862, for always being there, dotting my i's and crossing my t's, and being game for whatever I have in mind. There is no better beta, or friend, on the entire planet.
Okay, see ya in a few days!