Welcome to Day 9. Who knew how visionary the title “Riot of Purple Profanity” would be the day after the US election?
Disclaimer: NaNoWriMo = writer typing in great hurry, sometimes brain confuses words, confuses fingers (typos); once sane writer doing the jitterbug with ideas tucked in a bucket, but in dancing, they get scattered all about. Draft, draft, draft….and I’m not trying to tell you there’s a chill.
Current word count: 13,802.
The Blinley sat in a nondescript strip mall in a seemingly equally nondescript small Northern California town on the coast an hour or so north of San Francisco. Kaden remembered the first night the band played there. It had been a big deal. Because, although The Blinley looked like any other dive bar in anytown USA, it had been the venue for years to be seen and heard at. With its reputation for jump-starting numerous successful rock groups, it also attracted established rockers who wanted to support the little venue that could.
For Riot of Purple Profanity, it had represented their first big break so they frequently set up gigs in a show of support, especially when there was a break in their touring schedule and they wanted to keep musically sharp. Their fee was samples of the in-house brewed Scotch Ale, IPA, and hefeweizen.
That afternoon they did a quick sound check. They were going to perform a few of the new songs that Kaden had finished as well as some fan favorites. Two of the songs were more ambitious than anything he had written in years and he was anxious to gauge reaction to them. Bob, their manager, had tried to talk them out of performing anything new because there was always the issue of it being leaked onto the internet, but Kaden shrugged it off. No doubt the songs would still require tweaking before they were recorded. Any bootleg leaked onto the internet probably would only slightly mirror the final recording.
Kaden strode out onto the stage and held his guitar in the air. The audience cheered and he grinned. This was the rush. Playing the music, jamming, hearing the audience respond.
Jared started the bass rhythm, punctuated by the drummer, Tito. Kaden played lead and began singing the words. He looked around the room as his voice caressed the microphone. He saw Chloe sitting at a front table in the corner and then he saw her, sitting there in the shadow, her elbows leaning on the table, and her chin resting on her knitted fingers. His heart skipped and he grinned at her and nodded, all he could do while he playing and singing. Phoebe was here.
Maybe he was buoyed by her presence or maybe because he was free of Serena’s curse and his music had been flying ever since but he knew that they were giving one of the best performances of their lives.
His eyes kept finding her throughout the evening. At intervals he had to remind himself to sing to the entire audience. She was a magnet, drawing him back to her again and again.
With one last strum, the last song ended. He again raised his guitar in salute and left the stage.
“You’re a surprise,” he said when she and Chloe appeared.
“So are you. I liked your music,” Phoebe said.
“You don’t have to sound so surprised,” he said and grinned at her. He was about to reach out and touch her cheek, but jerked his hand back at the last moment, an action that wasn’t lost on Chloe.
Chloe narrowed her brown eyes at them. “What happened with you two back home?”
“Nothing,” they both said and looked at each and laughed.
“Yeah, right,” Chloe said. “Was there sex involved?”
Phoebe wrinkled her nose. “Of course not.”
Kaden raised his eyebrow, his electric blue eyes showing a whisper of hurt. “You don’t have to say it like that. You might like having sex with me.”
“Maybe, but I’ve known you for two days. I get that you’re a player, but I don’t do sack hop.”
“Sack hop? What kind of talk is that?” he asked, drawing closer to her. He inhaled her scent, something herbal, warmly seductive. The desire to touch her, just run his fingertip over her creamy cheekbone, was almost overwhelming.
As he stared into those exotic hazel eyes of hers, he noticed her breath hitch. She wasn’t immune to him, no matter how much she might want to talk herself into it. He was just moments away from kissing her, tasting those pink full lips of her, tasting her tongue.
“God, you two. What the hell? It’s like you’re having eye sex,” Chloe said.
“Eye sex? I can tell you’re sisters. She sack hops and you have eye sex.”
“No, you’re having eye sex.”
He watched red course over Phoebe’s cheeks and he enjoyed it. She was so easily embarrassed. He thought he could enjoy doing just that to her for a very long time. That and other things, of course.
“I want to touch your cheek,” he said.
Chloe sighed. “Well, touch her cheek. Jeesh, what’s up? Any other girl and you’d probably be doing her against the wall.”
“You can’t. I brought stuff,” Phoebe said.
“Stuff?” he queried.
“Condoms,” Chloe sang as if they were both ridiculous.
Phoebe rolled her eyes at her younger sister. “It is protection, just not that kind of protection.”
“Oh, Phoebs, you’re so naïve. With him you definitely want condoms.”
“Not sexual protection,” Phoebe said, exasperation filling her voice.
Chloe frowned and then shook her head, definitely not understanding. “What other kind of protection would you need?”
“A protective spell,” Phoebe said, looking back at Kaden.
He smiled at her and again resisted removing a purple strand of hair from her eyes.
The band was booked into a five bedroom luxury cabin at a resort near The Blinley, which was where they retreated to after the show.
Phoebe glanced in amazement at what passed for a cabin. There were multiple fireplaces, one which served both the dining area and a sitting room. The inside was a mixture of stone and wood, rustic, romantic, warm. There was a fully stocked kitchen with an ornate wrought-iron wine rack stocked with Napa Valley wines and the fridge filled with local craft beer, crudites and antipasto platters and various dips. Room service brought silver warming trays that they lined up on a long table that must have been set up just for the band.
“Impressed, yet?” Chloe said into her ear.
“This is only the start,” Chloe said.
“The start of what?”
Chloe shrugged, her expression indicating that Phoebe should know. Phoebe had no idea. This lifestyle was so vastly different from her quiet little beach town that she felt it difficult to fathom.
At Kaden’s prodding, she piled chopped vegetable salad onto her plate and then a serving of grilled wild salmon with a Mediterranean sauce of olives, tomatoes, and capers. Meanwhile, she watched as the men piled their plates high with steak, mountains of creamy whipped potatoes, and bread slathered with real butter. How did they stay so thin?
He sat at the table next to her, almost touching, but far enough that an accident didn’t burn either of them, literally.
“After dinner you’ll do your little spell?” he asked.
“Maybe,” she offered.
“Phoebe,” he said, sighing.
“Look. Let’s get one thing straight. Even if it works, I’m not sleeping with you.”
“Maybe not tonight.”
“Definitely not tonight.”
“But never say never.”
End of Day 9 — are we there yet?