These characters bear no resemblance to anyone living or dead and this story is in no way derived from anything other than my secret dreams...
Baby You Can Drive My Car
I missed the plane, and the guys were furious. Carlisle had even called me an hour before I was due at the airport to see if I was ready to go, and I still missed the plane.
"You fucking up-yourself stupid rockstar bitch," Mike snarled at me.
It was fair enough for him to be mad, I guess, because now we couldn't play the festival and we were so vibed to do it, we all wanted it badly. But fuck - I'm phobic about flying. All I did was have one little joint to settle my nerves and then I thought I'd run through a couple of the songs by myself, and then I got an idea for something new, and by the time I next looked at the clock I saw I should've left twenty minutes ago. When the cab-driver turned up I said I'd pay extra if he put his foot down, but the straight-laced little scaredy-cat wouldn't speed, so I was late.
"You've really done it this time, Bella," Lauren said, shaking her head, and the other two wouldn't even speak to me.
"Do you have to be late for fucking everything? Do you have to fuck everything up for everybody else? Do you have to be so fucking selfish? What were you doing anyway? I swear I'm gonna fucking quit. You are so unprofessional - you don't deserve any of this, and you're not so fucking hot that the rest of us have to put up with you," Mike ranted, and I looked to Carlisle to get him to stop the abuse Mike was dishing out, but our manager was busy being managerial on the phone and not taking any notice.
"Well, whatever it was that was so important it caused you to miss our flight, you can get the hell back to it now, because we're not going anywhere, " Mike hissed, and I scowled at him.
Carlisle finished up his call and said, "Cool it for a second, Mikey. I've spoken to the promoter and he's prepared to put us in a later slot if we get the next flight. Bella, you are in big trouble missy, but we may be able to salvage this mess. Wait here while I see if I can change the tickets."
The five of us, along with our sound engineer Erik waited, no-one saying a word, and everyone avoiding looking at me, until Carlisle came back.
"Done. Sorted. They're about to call boarding for the next flight - and there was a last-minute cancellation on the small stage so we can play there at eight. It's a better time slot obviously, but we're not on the main stage any more." He didn't succumb to the whole avoidance tendency, he stared pointedly. Oh yeah, it was all my fault.
I had to sit by myself on the plane because no-one would sit with me, not even Lauren, and us two usually gravitated towards each other to get away from the dick talk. Did you know that when boys sit in a vehicle for any length of time they get an erection? No, I hadn't known it either, but the boys in our band would have discussions about what they fondly termed their "traveling companions" that Lauren and I really didn't need to hear. I'm not even going to fill you in on the scatological stuff. Suffice to say, on tour Lauren and I stuck together. Except for now. She wasn't speaking to me.
But hey, we got there, we played - okay it wasn't the main stage and there were only about a hundred people watching as opposed to a couple of thousand, but it all turned out all right in the end, didn't it?
The boys' room was always the party room in whatever hotel we were in, because it always smelled bad and if Lauren and I were in another room we could leave the smell behind when we wanted to go to sleep, but after the festival when I knocked on the boys' door there was no-one in there. The bastards. They must all have been hanging out with one of the other bands and they were so shitted off with me that they hadn't told me. I wandered the corridors listening out for the sounds of drinking and mayhem, but couldn't find them. Fucking bastards.
That night I actually got the best sleep I'd ever had on tour because I wasn't up until four a.m drinking and smoking weed, or snorting chemical mood-enhancers. I was the only member of the band in the hotel's dining room for breakfast, and when we assembled in the lobby for the twelve o'clock checkout I was the only one not wearing sunglasses.
"Well, that all worked out for the best, didn't it? Everybody happy?" I said chirpily, and I couldn't believe it when Mike actually gave me the finger.
"Carlisle?" I whined, and he said, "Actually, no Bella - we were considerably down on merch sales because we didn't get the size of audience we were anticipating, and quite frankly, the promoters are probably going to be reluctant to book us again. It wasn't a monumental fuck-up, but it was a fuck-up, nonetheless. We were even docked because playing on the small stage doesn't attract the same fee as playing on the big stage. Once you take the airfares and hotel into account, we lost money."
Oh crap. Everybody still hated me, and I was ostracized all the way back.
"Now before we all go our separate ways, soundcheck next Saturday is six o'clock. The venue is a three hour drive away. That means meet at the office by two-thirty. Got that Bella?" Carlisle said at the airport as we were waiting for cabs, and I just poked my tongue out at him, like a kid. God, if he was going to treat me like one, that's how I was going to act.
So next Saturday, after a reminder call from him at twelve, and again at one, I was lazing around wondering whether to put on nail varnish or not when there was a knock at my door. More like a pounding, really. It sounded like the fucking police.
"Keep your hair on," I yelled, taking my time to open up.
The god of gorgeous stood there on my doorstep. Green eyes, tousled hair, tall and skinny. Fuck me.
"Huh?" I said. "I didn't order anything."
He grinned and pushed past, walking into my apartment like he had a right to.
"Hello Bella, I'm your driver. I'm here to take you to the office," he said.
"Huh?" I said again, sounding like a Mensa member. There was something familiar about him, but I was absolutely positive l had never met him before. I would have remembered.
"I'm Edward. Dad asked me to make sure you got there on time," he said, to clarify the situation. Oh, God, that's why he looked familiar. He was Carlisle's son. I'd seen photos of him, but frankly, they didn't do him justice. He'd probably caused the camera to malfunction. Holy crap. Carlisle was very handsome, although I always had to block that out because he was my manager, but his son was about fifteen times handsomer, and in my age bracket, just to top it all off.
"Wait a minute - you're here to what?" I said, as what he'd told me slowly registered.
"Carlisle says you're always late. Well, you won't be today," he said, smirking.
Okay, handsome or not, now I was slightly annoyed. "I'm running right on time today, thanks, and I'll get to the office just fine by myself," I informed him.
"You'll get there just fine with me taking you. Now, it's an overnighter isn't it? Are you packed? Where's your bag?" he asked, looking around.
"I'm just about to pack, thanks, and there's the door. Off you go, I'll be there at two-thirty, as arranged," I said, glowering.
"Not packed yet? Let me help. You'll need a toothbrush, a clean shirt and a change of underwear. Where can I find those things?" he said, and I very nearly gasped out loud.
"Who the hell do you think you are?" I demanded, as he walked into my tiny hall and opened the first door. It was a closet.
"No toothbrushes here," he observed. I was standing right behind him wondering if I could just grab him and throw him out but he was pretty big, a lot bigger than me.
The next door was the bathroom, and he just picked up my toothbrush and went for the next door, which was my bedroom.
"This looks promising," he remarked, and I was nearly ready to hit him.
"Get the hell out of here - I'm telling Carlisle. I'm going to call him right now. You're trespassing. I'm dialling 911," I threatened, getting my phone out, but he ignored me and walked right on in.
I'd been shopping earlier and there was was a bag on the bed with my latest purchase - a retro-style Beatles t-shirt - in it. He picked up the bag and had a look before I could snatch it from him.
"This will do just fine," he said, and went over to my dresser. I gulped as he opened the top drawer. That was where I kept makeup, tampons and condoms. Oh, fuck.
"Do you need any of these tonight?" he asked without a trace of embarrassment, holding up a box of tampax. I just glared. "If you're not going to tell me I'll put them in anyway, just to be on the safe side. What about these?" This was while he held up the box of trojans. I had never been so livid in all my life.
"No, Carlisle says you wouldn't need these on tour, you're not that sort of girl," he answered his own question while I seethed.
"Now, where's your underwear?"
"You are a fucking freak and a pervert!" I began to screech. "Mind your own fucking business and leave everything alone!" but it was too late. He'd opened the second drawer, and he held up the first thing he found. A tiny purple lace thong.
"This will do," he said non-commitally, and chucked it in the shopping bag.
"You're ready. Let's go," he declared then, and took me by the arm. I let him have it.
"I'm calling the cops! I'm going to have you charged! You complete, total maniac! Who let you out of the hospital? Do they know you're on the loose? You can't do this to me!"
As I yelled, he had the bag in one hand and me in the other, and he was pulling me outside, grabbing my keys from the table next to the door on his way past. He managed to bundle me into my car, still hurling abuse at him, and he locked the door so I couldn't get out. All my yelling was like water off a duck's back. When I stopped to breathe, he just turned to me with a grin and said, "Come on, hellcat. Is that all you've got?"
No, it wasn't. I had a joint in one pocket and a lighter in the other, so I pulled them both out and flicked the lighter, figuring if I was going to have to suffer this indignity, at least I could be stoned.
Man, that guy could move fast. He had pulled over, stopped the car, whipped the unlit joint out of my hands and thrown it through the open window before I knew what was happening.
"Hey, what the - ?" I mumbled. "Did you think I wasn't going to share?"
"That stuff is shit," he growled. "It destroys your brain cells and from I hear, you've got a pretty good collection, you wouldn't want them depleted."
Fighting back even more annoyance, I tried to work out if I'd just been complimented or not. I couldn't decide.
By the time we got to the office I was still silently fuming. Everyone else was already there, and I felt absolutely humiliated, although Edward was sporting a grin a mile wide as he walked around to open my door.
"Wanker," I hissed at him when he handed me the shopping bag.
"Traveling light, Bella?" Mike asked, and he was fucking lucky I didn't punch him. I spent the whole drive staring out of the window with my mouth clamped shut, listening to the stupid traveling companion remarks and hating my bandmates.
The show actually went really well that night, despite my being so irate I was prowling the stage like a wild animal. The air crackled with energy, and I guess the audience all picked up on it, because they went crazy.
We had three shows the next week, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Soundcheck was at six every night, and I was at the venue by four, reading a book, waiting for everyone else. No-one could fault me on my punctuality, and I sure as hell wasn't giving Carlisle a reason to send his fucktard son around to my place again.
On the Saturday I was browsing the guest list, and saw the name Edward Cullen there. Is this someone's idea of a fucking joke? I thought. Next to the name I wrote in big black writing, "Do not let in, by order of Bella Swan," and went back to sit in the band room and write out the set list.
Now we have a way of counting down until showtime. Carlisle says, "Rock minus twenty," or "Rock minus ten," or whatever, to let us know how much time we have left. I happened to be in there on my own singing warm-ups at rock minus five, when a head presented itself around the door. A head with entirely disrespectful green eyes, and sticking-up dark red hair.
"What the feck are you doing here?" I exclaimed. "I left specific instructions for you not to be let in!"
"I've missed you. You're avoiding me," he said. "For three days now I"ve come over to your place and you're not there."
"If you set foot in this room, my hand is not going to avoid smacking you in the face," I hissed.
"Bella, the bitch I know and love. Carlisle said you and I would get on," he replied, grinning although he didn't come any closer. He must have believed me.
"Fuck off. You're disturbing me. I have to get into the zone," I said, and he nodded.
"Sure, okay. See you afterwards. Have a good one."
A good one? I was seeing red and I think I gave the performance of my life. All the others fed off my fury, and we were on fire. I was so high when I got off stage that I wasn't angry any more, just elated. Stupid Edward was in the band room, and I tell you, I was off my tits, and it was without any weed. I was high on music, and the audience, and my cool, cool, ace band, and just everything. I walked right up and grabbed the front of Edward's shirt.
"Uh, Bella?" he said, clearing wondering if he was going to get that smack in the face. No, that's not what he was going to get. I kissed him. After all, he was fucking gorgeous and to tell the truth, no-one, but no-one, had ever stood up to me before quite the way he had. I was extremely impressed with him. I kissed him hard and his mouth opened in surprise, hot and responsive. That lasted for a mere second before he pulled back abruptly, but his eyes stared into mine, and then I felt a very soft, very sweet brush of his lips against mine before he said, "No," albeit gently. Fuck, he was standing up to me again! I couldn't quite read what his refusal meant. I mean, it was verbally a no, but he'd followed it with that little ghost kiss. Mixed signals much, Edweird?
There was a bit of grass floating around later, but I didn't have any. Everyone congratulated me on how I'd gotten to soundcheck on time every day, and I told them all to get fucked and we all laughed our heads off. We hung around discussing the performance, and then just talking crap for a couple of hours. Carlisle looked exceptionally pleased with himself, and of course he did because he was managing such a fuckhot band.
I had a few drinks, and managed to stumble right when I was walking past Edward, who was sitting down, and I landed across his knees, his strong arms around me preventing me from falling further. I kind of did fall further though, I fell into even deeper attraction.
Edward didn't make me get up, and he kept holding on. Okay, very nice. I was confused, and drunk. And confused.
Then at about two, it was time to go. I'd been on Edward's lap for ages. I'm skinny, but still - his legs must have gone to sleep.
"Are you going to take me home? Apparently you're my driver," I said to him, slinging an arm around his shoulder. His hands were loosely at my waist, and his smile was very close.
"No, not tonight. I've been drinking and I can't drive," he said. "Carlisle's arranged for someone else to get you all safely home."
"I thought it was your job," I pouted, because, damn. Damn.
"Not tonight," he repeated.
Not tonight? Does that mean some other night?
Do you like those writers who come up with lots and lots in the way of author's notes? Shall I be one of them? meh. I have to confess I'm not at all interesting and I can't think of anything interesting to say.
Oh, I know - I can rec stuff. It's been around for a while now - but have you read Brown Study by littlesecret84? So good. And I have also lately enjoyed reading Paper Cutouts by twistedcoincidence