There was a dark feeling that lurked in the pit of her stomach when she was in Liverpool at night. It didn't both John nearly as much, if at all. Even though he tried not to show it, it did bother George. He pretended he didn't care, simply for John's approval. George was significantly younger than John was and (although George was very mature) John felt embarrassed whenever he was with George. If George wasn't a very competent guitarist, there was no way that John would have let him join the group.
But George was good at the guitar – great, in fact. Paul had suggested that George join the group to John. John didn't even want to hear George play when he heard how young the kid was. But they desperately needed another guitarist, so John held the audition.
Three days later, George was in the group.
She still hadn't met Paul McCartney. Whenever she asked George why she hadn't met Paul, he muttered an excuse about him being busy with family things or that he was ill with the flu. When she finally plucked up the courage to ask John why she couldn't meet Paul, he answered with, "I don't want you meeting him. He's a real charmer. I'm not having him put the moves on my little sister.
She had frowned at that. Usually, John didn't care about the guys she hung out with. Why was he like this about Paul?
John was kind-of a protective brother, but at the same time he could be negligent – cut her down when she needed help, ignore her when she was in trouble. He was very double-sided.
"Lucille," George nudged her, "what do you think?"
"Huh?" Lucille asked. She'd been lost in her own thoughts, not paying attention to any conversation between George and John.
"About the set-list," George said. "Long Tall Sally or Matchbox?"
"Matchbox," Lucille replied. "Definitely Matchbox." It was one of her favourite songs, ever.
"Are you sure?" George asked. "Paul does Sally really well. His voice –"
John's elbow barged into George's ribcage, deliberately. "Shut up," he ordered the younger boy.
Lucille rolled her eyes. This was John taking the big brother thing too far.
"We're here," George spoke up. The Casbah Club – Pete and Mona Best's house-turned-club.
There was already a crowd of kids lined up to go inside. John and George barged their way through the crowd.
Lucille did the same, but very gingerly. People stared at her as if she was pushing in, so she tried to look like she was with George and John.
As they moved their way through the club, there were people already infiltrating the vicinity, and they were already drinking. The air was clouded with smoke and anticipation. Everyone here loved The Beatles.
George and John stepped out onto the patio, so Lucille followed.
Pete Best was out there already, smoking a cigarette. "Hi," he greeted John and George – not Lucille, though. He gave her a curious, disapproving glare. "Who's the bird?" he asked, nor directly speaking to Lucille herself. Lucille turned bright pink from humiliation.
"I'm –" Lucille started, but John cut her off.
"She's me sister," John told him, "and George's best mate."
"Mm," Pete grunted in response, clearly unimpressed. Lucile's pink blush turned red – it was very uncomfortable.
"This is Pete, our drummer," George filled her in, sensing the tension.
Lucille nodded. She knew who Pete was from photographs and stories. A reasonable drummer who seemed on the outside of friendships between the other boys.
"Paul'll be here any moment," John said. He sounded less than thrilled. That was strange – usually when John talked about Paul, it lifted his mood. Then Lucille realised that he simply didn't want his sister and best mate to meet.
Although she knew the reasoning behind his decision, she didn't understand it. She was a big girl, and could take care of herself.
"Hey, Mac!" George grinned as Paul McCartney loped into the room.
Lucille's breath was taken away as she looked Paul. He was gorgeous: dark hair, big hazel eyes framed by long lashes, resting below immaculate, perfectly arched eyebrows. Lucille could not help but notice that Paul looked a little feminine.
"Ah, Luce," George said. "This is the delectable Mr. McCartney."
Paul chuckled. "Paul," he introduced himself after brushing past George and a not-amused John. He held out his hand, which Lucille shook shyly. "I'm Lucille."
"Cool. 'Cilla," Paul gave her a charming grin that made her heart flip.
"I don't –" But before Lucille could tell him that she didn't usually go by Cilla, John halted the conversation before it could progress any further.
"Alright. Show's gonna start in 5. Better set up."
Moody Pete and the good-looking Paul headed off, followed by George. Lucille began to walk off towards the crowd inside so that she could watch the boys perform, but John stopped her. "Oi, Luce. Remember what I said. He's a heartbreaker, that kid. And from what I can see – you blushin' and whatnot – you've already fallen for him. Am I right?" John asked.
"John, I barely even know him," Lucille protested.
"Am I right?" John repeated, louder and angrier. His voice then softened. "Look, Luce. Just don't get caught up with him. He's…" John hesitated, "… he's a bit of a dickhead when it comes to chicks. Like me."
Lucille frowned and John walked off past her. John was one of the biggest pricks going. Could soft-faced, sweet-hearted Paul be the same as him?