Welp...tonight wasn't Rim Shot's best set, probably because I was distracted by a vivid Triple-X fantasy of Cade wearing nothing but his bandana. To make things rockier, Clive's timing was off in at least three songs, and Ashley's G string broke (Ha!) halfway through our crowd-pleaser "Miss Amy." After enduring Rem's dressing-down of our sloppy performance, I declared I'd drown my sorrows with the cheapest well shots at the nearest dive. Ashley, now in a foul mood, grumbled about taking a fifth of Jack to bed. Clive and Rem were too tired to hang, so my only commiserator was Cade. (NGL, I did a victory dance after he said he'd tag along for a drink or two.)
"Prime fucking real estate!" I screamed when Cade asked me where we were going. "Get ready to wet your pants."
"My pants?" Cade's eyebrows trapezed into his hairline. "The fuck?"
Oh, the fuck indeed.
"Whistle," I amended. "Let's get it wet."
Yep, I was gonna push that envelope— with any luck, until it was all the way in.
Cade and I braved public transit (musky armpits, leering old farts, and stale-takeout smell) to arrive at our destination. Rest Stop (a totally sus name, even for a gay club in Florida) was inspired by a literal rest stop— for Chrissakes, the bathroom stalls had glory holes, though no amount of liquor would convince me to even stick a pinky in. (I'm all for sowing one's wild oats, but I draw the line at contracting STDs from anonymous dongs in public bathrooms.)
As we shoulder-bumped our way through a proud pack of penis-owners, Cade goggled at the beglittered drag queens in their sequined finery and gaped at the beer-bellied Bears cavorting in their revealing leather. My band bro blushed gorgeously and stammered an unconvincing protest about wishing there were more women in the crowd.
Rolling my eyes, I said, "Don't complain. You always drag me along to your fav breeder spots."
He sighed. "Point taken. Still, you ambushed me."
I slung a companionable arm around his shoulder. "Then let me make amends. First round's on me."
Being a stand-up guy, Cade let me buy him a drink. (Although for a hot second, he looked dangerously close to crumpling me like a napkin—rawr.) He seemed to get over his soap-dropping paranoia after we sat down at the end of the bar, distancing ourselves from the rowdiest queer-as-folks. We did a shot of Hennessey, Cade's fav dark liquor, followed by a couple of rum and Cokes. Since we'd taken the bus, we could get shit-faced and Uber back to the hotel. Even though we'd both celebrated our twenty-first birthdays over two years ago, neither of us had discarded the novelty of legal-age drinking. We definitely didn't skimp on the excess.
Before long, a group of old queens was buying us bevs and regaling us with hair-raising stories of their wayward youth. Although at first, he seemed reluctant to join in the merriment, after the buzz hit him, Cade turned on the charm with those goofy geezers, easing into their conversation with diminishing discomfort. (I speculated that Cade's loquaciousness was a direct result of the free alcohol with which the smitten queens eagerly plied him.)
Watching my crush blow provocative smoke rings with his vape pen and tell dirty jokes sent me into an excruciating state of arousal. Of course, this was nothing new, considering I'd more or less fixated on Cade since the first time I watched him play the bass. His broad, quick fingers found the notes and pressed them with the confidence of a lover bullseyeing his partner's erogenous zones. Talk about talent...
With the exception of a time (or five) when he'd had one too many, Cade had always given the vibe that he wasn't sexually attracted to me, so I hadn't dared to hit on him (though a few times, my harmless flirting might have bordered on, "Please, touch me!") Though my thirst for him was unquenchable, I was equally determined not to fuck up our unique friendship. Being honest, there aren't a lot of people who can handle my amount of shine (read: pervy weirdness). At any rate, I'd resigned myself to existing in perpetual erotic discomfort while in the company of my verboten obsession.
However, my nine-odd years of self-restraint expired when Cade slung a playful arm around my shoulder in an uncharacteristic display of public affection and drunkenly murmured, "You're not paying attention to me. Let's go back to the hotel."
"You don't have to ask twice."
I paid the tab quicker than a pre-date wank, and then we bounced. En route to the hotel, I considered doing the honorable thing and putting Cade straight to bed without trying to seduce him, but that sounded so unadventurous. At the very least, I had to acknowledge that my long-standing resolve to refrain from shooting my shot with him had collapsed. Even though I was positively hammered and couldn't clearly see my own face; even though he was my bandmate; even though he was my good friend, the smaller of my two heads had a mind of its own, and I was in thrall to its command.
As the cab pulled into our hotel parking lot (Sunshine State Inn— pretty freaking unoriginal, huh?), I was nervous but fairly confident. In addition to Cade's suggestive comments at Rest Stop, I'd caught him staring at me several times during the gig. His eyes had wandered to mine, silently posing a question I couldn't wait to answer with an affirmation of interest.
Grinning in anticipation, I tumbled out of the cab and proceeded to help my inebriated crush shuffle to the elevator on unsteady feet. We somehow managed to find my room, even though we got lost and ended up on the wrong floor twice.
I scanned the room for signs of Ashley; found none. "Lash must be with Clive and Rem."
We were set up in adjoining rooms— Ashley and I in one, Rem and Cade and Clive in the other. The bros had drawn straws to see who'd score the "honeymoon suite." Lucky for me, I drew the longest one, so I got first dibs. Since Ashley had drawn the second-longest straw, he'd opted to bunk with me. His absence tonight was a golden opp for me to test the waters with Cade. Despite the excessive alcohol I'd imbibed (lost count after drink number five) my down-under parts were in perfect working order. The engine was revved; I was fired up and raring to go.
Edan's conniving, isn't he? And Cade's definitely driven in manual mode when he's solo. ;)
Honestly can't blame Edan for his one-track mind--I remember being in my early twenties and crushing hard on...er, no one, actually. (I was contentedly single for most of my early twenties.) The last thing I wanted was a relationship. But certain other urges were present, to say the least.
*whispers* I don't think Edan wants a relationship either. At least not at this point. Or he's fooling himself into thinking he couldn't fall madly in love with anyone other than himself. It's easier for peeps to remain detached when they don't access their deeper feelings. Edan's too self-absorbed for a relationship anyway.
*raises voice to regular volume* Yes, it's decided: at this stage in his life, Edan would make a terrible boyfriend. XDDD Sorry, Ede. Just stating the facts.
Everyone's heard the wink-wink, nudge-nudge jokes about how Rim Shot's band brothers swap spit offstage, but what happens when the rumors ring with the zing of truth?
Edan's as bisexual as David Bowie, but definitely not as cool.
Cade's allegedly straight, but maybe he's still figuring things out.
Ashley's the gayest shade of rainbow, and only has eyes for Edan.
Clive and Rem are straight, and not even a little homophobic.
On their sophomore tour, Rim Shot's fivesome coasts through the highs and lows of life on the road. Bad coffee. Wicked hangovers. Handsy groupies. What's worse: romance might be a-brewing between lead guitarist Ashley and front man Edan...but more likely it's hormones. (God forbid anyone falls in love!) To top it all off, Edan's nursing a wicked one-sided (?) crush on Cade, the seductive bassist. Throw in an exasperated band leader and a wise-cracking rhythm guitarist and watch a perfect storm build until it bursts.
Can Rim Shot survive their own drama and seize the spotlight, or will they join the ranks of one-hit wonders as their music fades into the background?
A note of caution: if you're looking for a flowery cuddle-fest, you'd be better off donning a terry cloth robe, petting a Persian pussycat, or burrowing into a body blanket. This story is raunchy, ridiculous, & only romantic in the loosest definition of the word. Please don't bother reading BARE POSSIBILITIES if you're easily offended, squeamish, or prudish. Save yourselves!
Cover art, story banner, and custom ad (for my free read CRIMSON) created on Canva.
Royalty-free image credit: ID 72781170 by Zegers06|Dreamstime.com