Hey kiddies :)
This is my first fanfic, and I really hope you all enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it... hehehe
I just wanted to give a little shout-out to unique.normality, becuth you rule, in the words of Dane Cook's mom. Love yoou. ;)
Also, go read shinyvampire620's Your to Hold. It's my favorite story, and since that's my other best friend I must proMOTE. haha.
OOH! One more thing. Continuation of this story depends on the number of reviews I get... say I get a LOT of reviews, what would that mean? Hmmm... lol. You know you want to :)
Here we go.
The lights cut off completely all over the arena. The crowed started screaming their lungs out, and vibrations were rumbling through the floor from people jumping. People back here were talking frantically talking about going on soon, equipment, and counting down seconds until performance time.
My eyes were closed, my head down, and my hands were on my sides, clenched into loose fists. I breathed in and out slowly, trying to block out every noise surrounding me but these breaths. It was the calming process I took before every show.
Trust me. Performing in front of ten thousand people twice a week was not the easiest thing.
Hi, my name is Edward Cullen, and I'm the front man/singer/bassist for System Rage, apparently the hottest new metal-rock band since Metallica. Yeah right. The whole band thing was supposed to be a garage pastime just for kicks. But no, that kid at Lemon Records who pulled our tracks together for us just had to send it off to Madmother, the company who only caters to the most talented in music. Ugh.
I'm not saying I don't enjoy having a career in music. I mean, I've always wanted one, ever since I was a kid in Huron Elementary Choir in Detroit. Once I met my best friends and future band mates, Jasper Whitlock (the guitarist) and Emmett Coff (the drummer) during my freshman year, we hit it off and decided to pull an indie-garage-metal thing that really just started as a hobby. We never intended for it to get this big.
It started off a little awkward, with a ton of conferences, meetings and recording schedules. Over time, our music got released, including tons of heavy drum beats, heated guitar riffs and rough, low singing that weaved with borderline shouting. I generally wrote the songs, sometimes co-writing with Jasper, which resulted in some pretty sweet lyrics. Once combined with the instruments, however, we became more noticed for our insane guitar and bass, awesome drumming or deeply cool vocals. Never really the lyrics, though. Not that they were based on personal experience or anything, but I really liked them, because they reminded me of how crazy-ass cool my emotions were when it came to writing time. I just wrote based on my mood, most of the time.
We've had two albums, the first self titled and the second one was entitled Burn. We've had eight number-ones, including songs entitled My Control, Self Induced, Beyond the Shadow of a Doubt, and Theory. My favorite was Late to Drown, but that was probably our least popular song everywhere, and I doubted people knew about it. We haven't performed it yet, even though it was off the first album. It was my favorite one to write, and it was a bit mellower than most of our outraged, melodramatic songs. I loved it because of that.
This song was based on a personal experience, because it was one of those times where I shut everyone off and dug really deep. Corny as it sounds, it was really the most meaningful song I had written to this day because I had gotten so far down into my inner self. What I thought was so cool was that we were probably the only drug-free band to write good songs with actual substance. It made me feel good to know that.
I never, ever let Emmett even get his hands on a pencil, because when he wrote a song, it was usually about how hot a girl was, or the things he would do to her. It's not like I hadn't ever done that stuff, it's just that I didn't want that kind of stuff tainting the music I sang. I preferred to keep those words behind closed doors, instead of for everyone in the world to hear. Besides, my mom, Esme, would have been ashamed of me saying anything like sex-related in public, music or not. Ha ha.
It was kind of fun, having been booming in the music business. We had gotten picked up in our senior year of high school, and our first album had come out a year later. Fast-forward three years, and you now have twenty-two year old Edward, Jasper and Emmett, on the road performing, appearing, getting paid year after year. We all had had pretty wealthy families before any of this started, so the extra twenty-five mil a year didn't do much to our attitudes. We had all been guys who didn't like to showcase our money and had been modest before this whole thing started, and things hadn't changed a bit. Well, except for the endless hot girls who threw themselves at us night after night, which was not a bad advantage.
Speaking of girls, Jasper was engaged to the lovely-but-perky Alice Brandon. They had been together since she moved to Detroit sophomore year, and they balanced each other out perfectly—Alice was always hyper and crazy, but Jasper had a calming and collected demeanor that was unmistakably infectious. We all felt calm around Jasper when he was calm, when he was happy, we were happy, and so on. It was a strange dynamic, but it was also pretty cool to experience.
It really was sweet that no matter how many girls threw themselves at the charming, southern Jasper Whitlock, he remained faithful to Alice. She was always really sweet to us, buying us anything from guitar picks to t-shirts whenever she sensed we were running low. We never even had to ask her.
She was cute, even though she was a bit annoying at times. Alice was less than five feet tall, contrasting greatly with the six-foot-three, blond, lean and gray-eyed Jasper, and she had short and spiky black hair, ice-blue eyes, and sharp but pretty features with pale skin. She had a passion for fashion, I could tell you that much. The girls dressed in clothes that you could tell were expensive, and she always looked good in them. Jasper was a pretty lucky man to have her.
Emmett, on the other hand, was always sleeping around. If a girl had big boobs, was STD-free, and was over the age of 18, they'd be in bed with Emmett by that night. He was wild and reckless, but also boisterous, funny and playful. He was quite the character, with his massive figure and shaggy, curly black hair, you could say that much. He drank lots of beer, ate lots of food, lifted lots of weights, cracked lots of jokes, and had lots of fun. When we were kids, he took pleasure in beating up the bad kids. Emmett was too loved to ever be considered a bully, just a hero. People might think he might be stupid, but he'd never made below an A in his life. He was just…blunt. He never hesitated to blurt out whatever thought crossed his mind at any given moment. The people who knew him well enough were never surprised by the incoherent thoughts that Emmett would speak of.
I was kind of a mix of both of my brothers, but I was also very different. I was melodramatic in difficult situations, and I accepted that. I was very musical, obviously, and I liked to be alone most of the time. I had been valedictorian of my class, and I was really modest. My only real friends were Jasper and Emmett, but I had a few other friends along the way, like Seth and Sam, who were buddies with me in high school and took the time to contact me a few times each year. My parents, Carlisle and Esme, loved me very much, considering I was their only child. They considered Jasper and Emmett to be their other children, since they had been over at our house almost every day from kindergarten to senior year. I was very quiet, but I knew how to open myself up in front of a crowd of people. My famous doctor father and highly requested interior-designer-to-the-stars mother told me that this was what made me such a good performer.
It was fun being famous, because even though I was quiet, I apparently still had a way with women. I didn't… do stuff with nearly as many women as Emmett had, but I wasn't a one-woman guy. I hadn't found the right person yet, so a week of the same person was usually enough for me, then a month's break before the same routine started again seemed like a good way for me. I was glad to be somewhere in between Jasper and Emmett in the women category.
Speaking of women again, all of our assistants, which had all been female, had either hooked up with Emmett or not been able to do things as nimbly as we would like before they quit or we had fired them. We had gone through at least twenty in the past two years, and maybe a total of forty-five since we started our career. All of them were just hot girls that were trying to be behind-the-scenes with famous musicians and get really good money, and they had the IQ of a piece of Dentyne Ice. It really wasn't enough to keep up with a job that had as many things to take care of as the one we provided, so they dropped like flies. I hoped we could find a lasting assistant in the girl we'd be meeting after tonight's concert, especially since that bimbo Cassie had left with a scene right before the concert. Let's cross our fingers, shall we?
All I could hear around me was my breath now, deeply running in and out of me.
"Time to go, Edward," Austin, the supervisor, said, clapping my shoulder after another second of breathing. I opened my eyes, looked up, and released the loose fists. I nodded at Austin, and turned to look at Jasper and Emmett, a guitar gripped tightly in Jasper's hand and drumsticks wagging excitedly in each of Emmett's hands. My bass was onstage already, so I just needed to walk out into the loud blackness and speak those two quiet words before the lights came on to start the show.
I nodded at my two best friends. We walked onto the dark stage, knowing that nobody could see us. It was out signature thing to turn off all the lights abruptly, wait a few minutes, and then we'd inconspicuously walk out onto the stage, getting into our positions, and I'd utter those same words every time, replacing the name of the city depending on location, that would bring the light back into each arena and start the cheering all over again.
Jasper came and stood to my left as I went and stood in front of the turned-off microphone, knowing exactly where it was. The cheers were softening the smallest bit in confusion and wonder, not knowing when we were coming on. Emmett was already positioned in his seat, shirtless as always, only to flaunt his beyond-washboard abs and arms. Psh. Show off.
Jasper had his guitar on, strapped and ready. We nodded at each other again, as if to say, let's do this. I looked over at Austin, giving him the thumbs up to turn on the mic. He nodded, pressed the mic button, and winked at me. It was time to go. Time to start. Time to quietly say those two words in a low voice and begin this all again.
"Hello, Seattle," I said deeply, and the screams increased exponentially as my words echoed through the auditorium. The lights cut on, revealing the thousands of people waiting for us to begin the show.
Heavy guitar, blaring drumbeats and a potent bass line filled my head indecently. This music was unnecessarily piercing. Why couldn't people just settle for acoustic, for cryin' out loud? A rough, low voice began to ring annoyingly through my ears.
You can't deny
That you never know until you try
It's my mistake
I didn't intend for everything to go this way
I've always had to be the one to learn
And I'm so sick and damn tired
Of all the mind games you've been playin' and
I'm through with your behavior towards me
Don't sit back, get up and listen carefully
You're under my control now
I'm not your little slave anymore
So know that
The tables have turned, the roles have switched
It's all under my control
The screeching guitar and beating drumming had started again, sprinting and thumping through my head like a bad migraine. I pulled out my earphones with a heavy sigh. Why had I ever agreed to do this job?
Ugh. I looked at the time on my cell phone. It read ten o'clock. I pulled myself up off of my comfy bed that I had gotten on mega-sale at some mattress store in the middle of nowhere, because, of course, it was the only one I could afford.
Now I remembered why I had taken this job.
I had just barely made the rent this month (you want to call two dollars above the price close or what?) and it wasn't the first time. I didn't want to ask of anything from my mother, Renee, who has become very distant with me since I moved to Forks my freshman year of high school when she married the young, dashing, and slightly rich Phil. I came to live with my police chief father, Charlie, who was like me in so many ways, and I didn't want to borrow any money from whatever flimsy amount of his retirement fund he had left.
I had gone to Seattle College on scholarship when I was only a junior in high school, so I was finished with college with a major in English. That was good to have, considering many jobs required you to actually have an education. Hah. It didn't really help when you wanted a job with actual substance. Since I had just left my job as a waitress at the bustling café down the road to take this one, I felt pretty lousy being unemployed, even if for the moment.
I rubbed my temples, which were still sore after listening to this crap these people called music.
I didn't even know these people's names, or the name of the group I'd be working for. I knew that the name of the "song" they had put together so horribly was called My Control.
I walked into my small bathroom in my small, two-room apartment that was right in the middle of the Seattle city. Again, it was all I could afford. Luckily, this new job paid extremely well, and I knew I'd be able to handle it. Charlie's best friend Bert had a son that was the supervisor for the band; Austin was his name. He was two years older than me. We'd spent many weekends together when Bert and Charlie would go fishing. We always had fun playing Texas Hold 'Em and watching Family Guy reruns when the dads would go off to fish for the day. That stopped soon after Austin had gone off to University of Washington and gotten married to a sweet girl named Megan, and they had met working on the staff for this band, so they never had to be separated. So cute, isn't it? I know, I know. Austin and I kept in touch and he and Megan met with me once every month or so for lunch.
When I had met her at their simple wedding, she was so kind. Maybe if there were more people like her on this staff, I wouldn't have as bad a time as I was anticipating.
I realized that I could take a shower at this point and be able to get ready to meet Austin at the arena at eleven forty five. I was supposed to meet these people at midnight, so I definitely had plenty of time.
I stripped of my clothing and turned on the water. Once it was nice and toasty, I climbed in, letting the steam and the warm water take me in. After a few short minutes of enjoying myself, I washed my hair with my vanilla-honey shampoo and shaved. Once that was finished, I turned off the shower, wrapped my towel around me, and stepped out. I brushed my teeth, combed through my wet hair, and washed my face. I skipped into my room, right over to my dresser. I pulled out the only clean pair of undergarments, only to find that they were the one pair I never wore: the black push-up bra with the boyshorts. This was the "special" pair, and they probably would never be used. Sigh.
I reluctantly put on my bra and underwear and went to blow-dry my hair. It was naturally wavy-curly, plain brown and went down to right past my chest, which was now a set of huge, smushed-together boobs. Thanks karma; way to make a great first impression. Now they'll think I'm a whore. Psh. If only they knew that I've only kissed one guy before…
Anyway, we're not here to talk about this twenty-one-year-old loser that has lousy jobs and only one "boyfriend" in her life, along with no friends and early college.
I put on my black v-neck tee, which unfortunately showed my new—and extremely ample—cleavage, my skinny jeans, and my round-toe, extremely comfortable black heels that were ten dollars at Target, but could have passed for ninety dollar ones at Nordstrom. I put on a teeny bit of mascara, a touch of black eyeliner so as not to look too slutty, and some nude lip gloss. I wouldn't need blush, knowing my cheeks had a mind of their own. I fluffed my hair a little bit at the top for a bit more volume up there. I sighed, knowing I'd probably look like a whore anyway.
However, what I saw in the mirror was not a whore, at all. I saw a sexy but conservative woman who looked rocker, yet smart, and had a look of confidence and independence about her. I had to remember that this was me we were talking about. I smiled and turned to walk out of the bathroom, my heels clicking on the tile floors. I grabbed my cell phone off of my bed and shoved it in my pocket.
Walking out of my bedroom door, I grabbed my small handbag with my wallet and keys inside and exited my apartment. I locked the door and went down the elevator to the parking garage. I found my new black Toyota Highlander (a present from Renee and Phil for my birthday, both of them knowing that my old Chevy had broken down), got in, and drove out. I turned on the radio, finally finding a good channel with some Slightly Stoopid on, one of my favorites, playing. In between every song, they kept talking about a band named System Rage that was playing in Seattle tonight. I guess that was who I was going to work for.
System Rage? I thought. Whatever, my mind repeated again. I felt bad for Austin and Meg, having to work for people who called themselves System Rage. I laughed out loud as the name played through my mind again.
I finally pulled into the overflowing arena parking lot and miraculously found a front parking space of someone who was just leaving early. Good, get out while your ears are still intact, I thought to myself. I parked and grabbed everything I had taken with me earlier. I got out and headed to the curb. Once I was about to ask one of the security guards where the doors to the back were, I heard a cat call whistle. I looked around, suspecting some drunken perv had been watching me, but I only found Austin, who winked at me and waved. He was tall and slightly skinny, but also lightly muscled. He had brown hair that had auburn accents in it and big brown eyes. He was cute, but we'd always just be really good friends.
I smiled warmly at him and walked toward him, and he met me to share a friendly embrace. He kissed me on the cheek, then pushed me away gently, lifted my arm and spun me in a three-sixty.
"You look awesome, Bells," he complimented. I blushed slightly in spite of the confidence I was still holding.
"Thanks, bud," I replied, linking my arm in his playfully, like we always used to. I knew Megan wasn't worried because she knew what good of friends Austin and I were, and it would never be anything more than that. I was thankful for this fact. Once we were approaching the doors, he handed me a laminated card with a long, thick thread looped from the end. It said "System Rage Employee", followed by a barcode at the bottom. We walked up to the hefty security guards and flashed our cards. They scanned them with one of those laser things that they have at CVS, then handed them back to us and separated. We dropped our arms so that no one else would get the wrong idea.
"Be careful, Bells," Austin cautioned teasingly in a dropped voice. "Emmett, the big sweaty drummer, always has his shirt off. Just preparing you. Also, Jasper, the blonde one, has a fiancée that will jump all over you and tell you that you're her new best friend. She only does that to certain people, and I believe you'll be one of them," he assured with a wink. I blushed slightly and laughed at him. He nodded forward the slightest bit, silently telling me to look forward.
Once I did, I saw three huge men.
One, as Austin had warned me, was shirtless, sweaty, and massively tall with an eight-pack and arms that were impossibly muscular. He had curly black hair that hung down in his eyes and damp with sweat and a chiseled, angular face. He had playful sapphire eyes, a slight tan that could only be natural, and black gym shorts on with white Etnies. His mouth was wide open, almost like he was speechless. He was looking at me, so I was puzzled about his gaping. I almost looked down to see if my shirt wasn't on or something, but I remembered that it was. All in all, he seemed to have a playful, big-bear but bodybuilder look about him. This must be Emmett.
The man next to him was almost as tall as Emmett, and he was lean with slightly shaggy blond hair that reached his eyebrows. He had grayish eyes and a calm look on his face, which was not as rugged and chiseled as Emmett's; only a little bit softer or slimmer than big Brother Bear's. He had on a white undershirt and khaki cutoff cargo shorts with checkered Vans on. He had the same skin tone as Emmett, too. His arms were folded lightly across his chest, and a slight smile played on his lips. This had to be Jasper.
I turned to the last man. Austin hadn't told me anything about this one. He was muscled well, but not even close to Emmett's enormity. He had untidy hair that was a strange… almost bronze color, and the most peculiar tawny… or… ocher eyes. His face was perfectly angular; not as hard as Emmett, but hard enough. He had long black eyelashes that framed his weird eyes, and his skin was not tan, but not pale. It was a normal, beige-y color, his cheeks were pink. Was he blushing? I let that one get past me. He was wearing a gray muscle tee that showed every bit of his obviously well-defined chest and abs; his exposed arms were also nicely worked. There were darker spots on the chest and underarms that showed where he had been sweating. He was wearing jeans with a huge hole in the right knee and old converse. He was pretty…. good-looking, I let myself think, holding back a blush. They all seemed like really nice, attractive guys, which was a plus.
I remembered I had a job to take care of. I stuck my hand out to Jasper first, since he was in the middle.
"Hi. I'm Bella Swan, your new assistant." I said firmly, meaning nothing but business. I wanted them to know that I took this seriously.
Jasper quickly took my hand, shook it once firmly, and dropped it back down.
"Nice to meet you, Bella. I'm Jasper Whitlock," he said, even his voice being calm. I smiled at him and turned to the mystery guy. I stuck out my hand again, still meaning business. The guy seemed to blush harder once I turned to him. After a second, he shook my hand just as Jasper did, only quicker. The heat of his hand was almost overwhelming. It almost shocked me like a fork in an outlet. I tried to ignore it as I wiped his sweat off my hand and onto my jeans.
"Hey, I'm Edward Cullen," a low but somehow pleasantly musical voice said. Hmm… interesting name. "Pleased to meet you, Bella," he said with a smile. I smiled back, secretly trying to find out whether or not he was a man whore.
"You too," I said, keeping the authority in my voice still. I then turned to Emmett, whose mouth was still hanging open at me. I stuck my hand out, and he flinched like he'd just been struck by lightning.
"Uh…. Hi there," Emmett said, seeming to recover from his state of shock or whatever it was. "I'm Emmett. It's really nice to meet you, Bella. How old did you say you were?" he asked in a tone that almost had a flirtatious edge to it. My nice thoughts of Emmett had just vanished. I tried to hold back a gag from his corniness. He was probably trying to get some tonight and I was the slut du jour. Please.
"I'm twenty-one," I said as I shook his massive bear paw of a hand. "How old are you guys?" I was truly curious. They couldn't be much older than me.
"We're all twenty-two," Jasper said calmly. I nodded in acknowledgement.
"So, um, Bella, you want to come see the tour bus with me?" Emmett asked with that same tone in his booming voice. I looked at him with my eyebrow raised, my arms bent and my hands on my hips. I knew what he was trying to do. Time to put him in his place.
"No, Emmett, I actually don't. I came here because I have an actual job to do, not to sleep with some show-off for the fun of it," I almost yelled. Emmett looked incredulous and put his hands up in front of him defensively.
"Whoa whoa whoa, little lady. I just wanted to know if you wanted to come, uh, see it. I-I didn't mean anything like, uh, that—" he stuttered.
I cut him off. "Sure, mhmm." My arms were crossed over my chest at this point. I could hear Austin clearing his throat in an attempt not to laugh. I almost forgot he had been standing there. "Anyway, I—"
I was suddenly cut of by a high, trilling scream.
"JASPER!" I looked over at him to see him stumble over, bracing himself, and a girl who looked like a raven-haired Tinkerbell on his back, wrapping her arms around his neck tightly and smothering his cheek in kisses. I stifled a laugh at the look on Jasper's face, which was flushed, eyes wide in surprise. He gathered himself and grabbed her from behind to put her in front of him. He bent down—a lot, considering their height differences—to plant a sweet but brief kiss on her lips. I assumed that this was Jasper's fiancée.
"Hey, baby," he said in his pleasant voice. She beamed and smiled a huge smile. Then she looked over at me, her eyes searching every part of my body, almost as if I was worth her time or not. She then smiled brightly again, revealing perfect white teeth.
"Hey there! I'm Alice Brandon, Jasper's fiancée! You must be Bella Swan!" She stuck her hand out, just as I had done to the three men earlier. I could feel the confusion contort my face. How did she know me?
She laughed a laugh that sounded more like the high tinkling of a bell than actual laughter. She was very beautiful, and her voice and giggles only matched her looks to perfection. She was wearing a seafoam green silk halter dress and silver heels and an enormous princess-cut pink-and-white diamond ring on her left hand. Like I said, she was simply gorgeous.
She continued to laugh lightly.
"You're probably wondering how I know you. Well, you can thank Mr. Matthews over there," she explained, nodding over to Austin next to me. He smiled widely. "He told me you were coming to be the new assistant, and he told me all about you. Oh!" she exclaimed suddenly.
"All about me?" I turned to look at Austin suspiciously, eyes narrowed, arms crossing tighter over my chest. He smiled even bigger and shrugged. I looked back over at Alice, only to find Emmett and Edward drooling at my chest. I remembered that I had a push-up bra on, and crossing my arms only enhanced this wonderful situation. My good thoughts about Edward blew away at that second, just as Emmett's had. I fought the urge to say, "My eyes are up here". I quickly put my arms down by my side.
Alice ignored my question, continuing with her sudden explanation she had tacked on the end of her last sentence. "Bella! We're going to be best friends! I just know it!" As my eyebrow raised, Alice suddenly leapt up at me and captured me in a tight hug, swinging me from side to side. I remembered what Austin had said, and as he chuckled lightly next to me, I stifled my own laughs and patted Alice on the back.
I didn't exactly know what to say to that. Alice finally let go of me after for a second.
"I hope you aren't as stupid as the other ones, 'cause sugar, these boys need someone smart to help them! Besides me, of course," she joked with a wink. I chuckled lightly, just as Austin had. Megan had told me that the other assistants had only lasted about a month each because they couldn't handle it. I, on the other hand, was intelligent, prepared and determined. This would be easy.
Alice went to stand next to Jasper again, a smile lighting up her pretty face. I saw two girls coming up to us on my right. One was a bleach-blonde with a System Rage shirt that she had cut to show her whole stomach and a black shirt so short that it looked like the bars that they use on reality TV to cover people eyes or certain body parts. She had caked-on makeup and too much eyeliner, making her look more plastic than those fake boobs she had.
The other girl had light brown hair and looked so drunk she might fall over, but she was not as dirty looking as the blonde one. She probably had fake boobs too, but she was tall and actually not bad looking. If you discounted her white tank top with the purple bra showing through it, her micro-mini leather skirt and white heels.
I guessed that these two girls were for Edward and Emmett's… entertainment. I almost cringed, and Alice obviously thought the same as I did because I saw her grimace and shudder with disgust.
"Hey, Mary," Emmett called, walking over to her and wrapping his arm over her shoulders. He started to walk away, but before he did, he looked at me, winked, and said, "See you tomorrow, Bella." He laughed as he walked away. I shook my head and laughed, and stifled an eye-roll when the girl said, "My name is Lizzy…"
Edward started to walk over to the other girl and grabbed her hand. I thought I could see him glance at me from the corner of his eye as he murmured an almost unintelligible "hey" to the drunk chick. He then looked me straight on and waved once. I nodded to him in acknowledgement. I really did not like him at this point; I could see that he and Emmett were the two man-whores of the trio.
Once he was almost at the door I turned back to Alice, Jasper, and Austin. Alice was frowning in Edward's general direction, while Jasper was looking down at Alice's hand, drawing mindless circles on it with his finger. Austin was on his Blackberry, typing something frantically.
Alice suddenly looked up at Jasper, and he looked back down at her.
"Sweetie, you need to get rest. You had a pretty vigorous performance out there," she smiled. "Let's get home," she said sweetly. He nodded and kissed her forehead. She grabbed his hand and started pulling him toward where Emmett, Edward and the two girls had exited. Alice came up and kissed my cheek.
"See you tomorrow, Bella," she said brightly. Jasper nodded at me, and it reminded me of a cowboy tipping his hat at a lady in a western film.
"See you, Bella," he said kindly in his southern accent. I smiled at him and waved. He was the only decent one of the guys, and I liked him for that. Alice was sweet, but peppy, which would take some getting used to, but I liked her very much as well. Having them along with Austin and Megan here with me made me feel as though I would be much better off here than I thought. I turned to Austin to see what my next task was. He was looking expectant; almost like he knew what I was going to ask.
"Like what you saw?" he joked as he started walking to the left. I followed and snorted, knowing he'd take that as a no. I looked around the wide peach-colored hallways and saw people in red and black System Rage t-shirts with headsets, papers, drinks, and many electronic devices in their hands. Every now and then, someone would greet Austin and he'd wave back, and some of the guys looked at me appraisingly. I almost snorted again. What was there to appraise?
He led me down to the end of the hall to a room with no door. Inside was a card table and a stool, obviously a temporary office for the day. There were papers scattered all over the table, a nice laptop, and three coffee mugs; one was half-full. A man was standing in the corner in a blazer, jeans, and an expensive looking t-shirt. He was not facing us; he was finishing up a conversation on his cell phone with someone. Austin knocked lightly on the white frame of what was supposed to be a door, and the man held up a finger, as if to say one second, without turning.
He finished up his conversation quickly, and then snapped his phone shut. He turned to us.
"Yes Mr. Matthews?" he asked Austin, but he was looking at me. He had a professional sounding voice, almost like a car commercial or movie commercial's voiceover. He was short, but had defined features, a square face, yellow-green eyes and short brown hair with a little gray in it. I assumed this was the band's manager.
"Hey Andre. This is the band's new assistant, Bella Swan." Austin gestured toward me in a here-you-are kind of way. Andre smiled warmly at me and stuck out his hand.
"Hello, Bella," he said gruffly, shaking my hand firmly. "I'm Andre Selters, the band's manager. You're a brave girl to be taking this position," he said with a chuckle.
I chuckled too. "Yes sir, that's why I took the job. I'm ready for the challenge," I grinned. He smiled back and turned to the papers on his desk. He found a small stack and handed it to me. I took it and held it to my chest with my left arm.
"Austin, I'm going to need you to get Bella here a Blackberry, a pager, a clipboard, and a Bluetooth device for her car. Program the pager with me, you, and the boys." Then he turned to me. "The Blackberry is pre-programmed with emails, phone numbers, addresses, you name it. Your email address will be whatever number combination at our personalized email address, that way, it's impossible to hack." He said that last part with a half-smile. He turned back to Austin. "Get her a Vaio too, with the same program, which is Application 1874 if you didn't know." Turning back to me again, he added, "You know how to set up a Bluetooth, right?
I nodded. Charlie had asked me to do his in the cruiser when he had gotten one for the police station. Andre let out a heavy sigh that sounded finalizing.
"Okay, looks like you're done. Miss Swan, we're going to need you to report to the W Seattle at eight o'clock tomorrow morning. I know it's early, but we have to hit the road tomorrow if we want to make it to LA on time to set up. Here is a room key for each of the guys. Again, I'm sorry, but you'll need to wake them up tomorrow. Knock three times slowly on each door, and if they don't open after fifteen seconds, you go in there yourself. I'm not too concerned with what is going on in there; we just need you to get them up and ready. We'll give you other things to do in the morning, unfortunately." Again with that half-smile. "See you then, Miss Swan."
"Nice to meet you, sir. See you in the morning," I dismissed myself, knowing he needed me to go. Austin and I walked down the hall to another room, this time with a door. He gathered all of my equipment for me, giving me a gold Blackberry, a black plastic clipboard with a hefty clip on it, and a shiny silver pager. I also received a large blue box, obviously holding the computer inside. I was grateful to have that black messenger bag back at the apartment…
Austin kept making offhand comments about some of the things Andre had said to him when he accidentally messed up some things, and I actually laughed. Austin laughed along with me, so I guess I wasn't that bad of a person. Hah.
With all my equipment in hand, Austin walked me back to my car and helped me set up my Bluetooth.
"Where's Megan?" I hadn't seen her all night. I was curious.
"She's working sound instead of tech-backstage with me tonight," he said sullenly. He could never get enough of her, and she him. It was really cute that they were so in love that they missed hanging around each other for no more than five hours. Aww.
We finished everything up and I got in my car after another friendly embrace with Austin.
"See you in the morning," he told me before I waved and drove off. He was such a good friend to me, helping me get a job and set me up and everything.
I blasted Santeria by Sublime on the way home, which was the length of two Santerias. Once in the parking garage, I collected all of my new equipment and carried it up to my apartment. I locked the door, kicked off my shoes, and put all of my stuff in the only comfy chair in my small home. I took of my clothes and changed into pajamas, not even bothering to take off my makeup. I crawled under the covers with all the lights on, trying to get as much sleep before the tiring day to come.
I was soon washed over with lethargy, falling into a dreamless slumber in preparation for the long tomorrow.
So you like? Yes? No? ...Maybe so?
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Love you all!
Until we meet again...