Looking down at the blue ink on my hand, smudged almost enough to not be legible, I realize I finally found the place. I pull my black trench coat tighter, synching the belt again. I could not imagine this was one of the better neighborhoods around and was shocked I was even doing this. Two girls bounced by me, clinging together to try to protect themselves from the chilly wind and rain. Even in late April, I could feel the city’s cold deep down into my bones. Tripping a little in a puddle, damning my six-inch heels, I grabbed the door I watched the others rush into.
Dane was right, I was shocked by this place. I walked into the second floor of a packed venue. Dark, smoky and erupting with the roar of the half-drunk people crowding everywhere. The stage had a light reddish glow barely making the three guitars and kit visible from where I was. I was able to shove my way over to the bar faster than I had expected, happily flagging down a tall, dark haired bartender with an incredible phoenix tattoo on his forearm.
I yelled my order to him over the drunk girls’ shrieks as I heard the band’s lead singer, Rodney, scream into the microphone, “Ladies, ladies, calm down. We’re the Hysterics, and we’re here for you. Please be so kind to welcome my awesome band mates, we have Dane on the drums,” the crowd erupted, pausing for the noise to die down, Rodney continued as Dane’s sweet smile lit up, “Maverick on the bass,” who started to play a light thumping rhythm at the sound of his name, “Colt is over there ladies on lead guitar,” Colt’s face had a devilish grin on it as he started to play along with Maverick’s tempo, “And I am Rodney.” With that the crowd went wild, Dane and Rodney started in joining the melody of an upbeat number that seemed to be a crowd favorite.
Rodney was a terrific front man, playing guitar and singing, practically having sex with any woman he made eye contact with just through his seductive expressions and tone. I grabbed my beer in one hand, slamming down the shot of whiskey with the other before making my way to the side of the stage closest to where Dane was. I was in awe as I got a better look at his gorgeous black-sparkle DW drum set to the point of almost drooling. I missed playing so much since I had moved up into the city that it almost hurt. I took a swig of my beer just as the next song started to sway the mood down a little into a ballad. While Dane waited for his queue to jump into the song, we made eye contact. His smile was brilliant, even his eyes seemed to smile when our eyes met. Right then I realized how attractive he was just for that reason. All of the band members were attractive, Rodney was tall, skinny with sandy brown hair and the whitest teeth I had ever seen, Maverick was a little bit shorter, but from how defined his muscles were under his shirt, you could tell how hard he works for an awesome body, Colt was sweet looking, with kind of a baby face but when he smiled you could see all of the sins he was proud of spreading across his face. Then there was Dane, who was the only band member with visible tattoos covering both of his arms, jet black hair and the best smile I had ever laid eyes on.
I danced and swayed to their music for the whole set, never leaving my spot, not even for another drink. I really couldn’t believe how great they were, it was almost like New Found Glory meets Rage Against the Machine (if that is even possible) and I was in love. Once their set was done, Rodney said goodnight and apologized to the protesting fans that they had to make room for the next band to come on so they could not fill the repeated requests for an encore.
The guys started to break down and Dane mouthed to me to wait one second, then turned to Maverick and pointed at me, mouthing something else. The next thing I know, Maverick is next to me after jumping off the stage, introducing himself and then helping me up onto the stage to join the band. I was so embarrassed that my dress was almost exposing my underwear the first time I was meeting Dane’s band members but they didn’t seem to notice. Dane grabbed my hand, helping me up to my feet and shouting into my ear how pretty I looked. I blushed and thanked him while we made our way backstage.
Once inside the band’s dressing room that was the size of a closet, with the DW stacked up in its cases right outside the door, I really got nervous. Dane introduced me to everyone and they all seemed so nice, I was shocked. Most of the musicians I knew back home that were at almost-star-level like them were jerks.
Tossing me a beer, Maverick asked me how I met Dane. Before I could go into the story Dan, noticing my nervousness, started to answer for me. Explaining that I was the new assistant editor down at the e-mag that Dane was writing for and how I was new in town. I took a swig of my beer and started to rave about how impressed I was with them, hoping that I could find some courage in the bottom of the bottle to stop blushing. When Dane told me that his band had a gig and he wanted me to come check it out I had nothing to this caliber in mind. They all thanked me and continued talking amongst themselves while Dane asked if I wanted to go listen to the other band that was up next.
Grabbing my hand, Dane led me out of the room as I said goodbye to the others. They all were polite and told me to come back again. As we walked down the hall a few girls eyed me with jealousy plastered on their faces, some of them even cooing in as sensual of a tone possible “hi” to Dane. To my surprise his grip on my hand got tighter and he pulled me into his side, ignoring the floozies. We made our way to the bar and I ordered us a round of my usual beer and jack. Dane’s eyes lit up with a twinge of curiosity as we threw back the shots.
“Thanks for coming out. I didn’t think you would make it.” Dane’s voice was straining to be louder than the heavy metal on stage and the fans excited screams.
“I really missed this type of stuff. I loved your kit, by the way!” My eyes met his and I realized I had failed to mention that I was a drummer in a band for years.
“Oh yeah,” Dane chuckled, “She’s pretty great. You been around a lot of bands before?” His mouth curled into an extremely sexy half smile as I responded that I was a drummer too, then he freaked saying that was one of the hottest things that has ever come out of my mouth in the last four weeks that I’ve known him.
We danced and drank for the rest of the band’s set right next to the bar. The rest of the Hysterics had joined us and were all just as surprised as Dane was to find out about my musical past. They all took turns asking me about my band, Glass Eyed Fish, why we broke up, what brought me seven hours away from home, if I was single. It was a lot of fun to just hang out with all of them.
Eventually, Dane and I found ourselves alone again by the beginning of the third band’s second song. All of the rest of Hysterics’s members had trickled off into the shadows with some want-to-be groupie. I was relieved when the song started calming down into a ballad and Dane took me into his strong, tattooed arms. We slow danced and his lips brushed my ear ever so softly, sending chills up my spine. He breathed gently if I wanted to get out of there with him and I playfully shook my head no. I was enjoying myself but this was enough playtime out of my comfort zone for one night. I teased that he needed to ask me out on a date and take me to dinner before expecting me to “get out of here with him”, using my fingers to make quote marks around those words. He nodded, smiled and escorted me up and out of the packed club.
We waited on the curb for a taxi to drive by and he hailed it for me. Before releasing my hand he pulled me into him, “I’ll see you at work tomorrow. How about drinks after work with the guys, they seemed to want you to come around again soon.” I nodded yes, giggling a little, “That’s still not a date,” I teased. He tightened his grip around my waste and got his lips within a half an inch of mine, “I know. How about dinner after we meet up with the guys?” Without waiting for my answer our lips met and I was stunned. I gently pushed Dane away, making sure to make sweet eye contact with him, “It’s a date then,” I breathed, a little breathless from our kiss, “See you at work, drummer boy.” With that I was in the cab, speeding away to a sleepless night, too excited about what this windy city was going to have in store for me after all.For the next chapter, please see: Her Mistake…