Just after dawn, I awoke from my short sleep with a strong appetite and an even stronger hard-on. Ah, the sweet ache of morning wood. Lazily I scratched my nails down my bare chest, hissing as they caught on my nipples. Nothing like a serving of self-inflicted pleasure-pain before breakfast…darting my gaze around the room, I confirmed that no neurotic fans had sneaked in to watch me sleep.
The hypothetical illegal presence of stage-door Johnnys was wishful thinking. Rim Shot’s greatest claim to fame so far was 14K plays on our iPhone-shot MV for our nonsensical Lash-penned banger “Roadkill Jungle Cats.” (Basically, I scream obscenities in between moaning like a horny bitch for three minutes while Rem pounds the drums like I wish I could pound his MILF; meanwhile, Clive finger-fucks his guitar like he’s looking for his girlfriend’s clit while Lash’s squealing electric riffs ride the pulse of Cade’s hip-thrusting bass.)
Speaking of my squeezebox…
“Lash?” I yelled. “You around?”
No answer. Good, because as talented as Ashley was with his hands, I didn’t necessarily want them on (or in) me ATM. Sometimes it just feels good to do things for yourself. Having secured the premises, I cheerfully dug into my pajama pants and sought to free my boner from its slightly moist cloth cage.
I died for approximately five seconds. After hyperventilating, I realized there was no one inside the room with me—someone was leaving a voice message on the ’90s-style answering machine next to the cordless phone atop the nightstand. I gave a shaky laugh that morphed into an exaggerated groan when I recognized the caller was Clive. Fuck my life.
“I know you’re up by now, butt pirate. I probably just scared the shit out of you because you forgot to lower the answering machine volume again.” Clive’s wry grin practically oozed through the line.
Frowning, I picked up the receiver. “You nearly gave me a heart attack.”
“I’m never wrong about you.”
I could feel his chumpy smirk. “Wise ass.”
“So, did you forget we have a dress rehearsal in thirty minutes? In case you’re confused, we’re playing at Epicenter tonight.”
I hadn’t forgotten about the gig—Rim Shot was opening for the quasi-famous alternative rock band Tower at the café-cum-nightclub Epicenter tonight—but the hastily-scheduled, early-morning dress rehearsal had utterly slipped my mind.
“Ah, yes, the infamously problematic venue Rem’s been having daymares about.”
“Nightmares too—he woke me out of sound fucking sleep, sobbing about the shitty acoustics." Clive raised his voice and mockingly moaned, “‘Our sound was swallowed like Jonah by the Whale.’”
I snorted. “Hardly think rehearsing during peak coffee hour will put his mind at ease.”
“At least the stage’s at the back of the building. The caffeine addicts will barely notice us over the deafening Muzak the baristas are blasting over the speakers.” He audibly shuddered. “They’re looping the same ten lo-fi versions of Boyz II Men songs. The sooner you get here the sooner we can drown them out, so hurry the fuck up.”
“Don’t get your briefs in a bunch, Nacho Cheese. The boys need to breathe.”
Clive growled in warning—Nacho Cheese, an ode to the odor and color of what I imagined to be his indubitably carroty smegma, was his least favorite nickname I’d given him besides Prince Harry.
“Anyway, why are you calling? Isn’t it our drummer’s job to yell at me?”
As band leader, Rem was usually the one who got in touch when I was running late. I kinda missed hearing the panicked way in which he would shriek my name; Clive’s lecturing style was far too calm and cocky for my liking.
“Rem can’t come to the phone right now. He’s too busy having a shit fit because you haven’t shown up yet.” The eyeroll in his statement was blatant.
Sighing, I one-handed pulled off my pjs, preparing to quickly change into something comfy so I could skedaddle. My horny feels had fled—Clive’s call had slapped my dong into submission. Taking care of business would have to wait until I saw Ashley again (or until I had five minutes alone in a bathroom stall).
“Why didn’t Lash wake me up, yo?” I grumbled.
“He did, yo. You just fell back asleep.”
“So why didn’t someone else try?”
“It’s not our job to make sure you’re on time.”
Raiding my carry-on for a clean pair of underwear, I whined, “Rem should already know that I’m notoriously late for last-minute, hideously early dress rehearsals.”
“Just get your blown-out butthole over here stat,” Clive grunted.
“Ten bucks says my rear end’s tighter than your ex’s.”
“Whatever,” he spat.
Eh, I'm calling sour grapes. My busy bee-hole might have intimidated him, considering how often he claimed to enjoy backdoor action with his lady friends...but I had zero desire to unpack that thought.
Successfully dressed in two-day-old jean cutoffs and a black beater, I suddenly realized I was starving. After all, the sight of exposed flesh, particularly my own, roused my appetite. Not like I was a cannibal or anything, but I did have a skin-licking fetish, particularly if it tasted like Cade’s smelled after a fresh shower. Mm.
I decided to save that delicious scent memory for a later wank.
“Dude, are you coming or what?” Clive demanded.
“Ha! Soon enough. Did someone at least bring breakfast? I won’t be able to hit the high notes unless I’m properly nourished.”
I grinned at Clive’s choice of insult. “See ya soon, NC.”
“You have twenty-nine minutes and counting.”
Curtly he hung up. I prayed his grumpy streak wouldn’t last through his second cup of coffee. Then again, crotchety was his default vibe. I glanced at the clock: 7:31 a.m. Even farm animals were probably still snoozing, all warm and cuddly in their barns and shit.
“Fuck-a-doodle-do!” I yelled. My creeping hangover threatened to drill a hole in my skull. This day was already ate up before my first meal.
With a groan, I remembered the other reason why I wanted to shackle myself to the bed: Cade’s rage at my fandangoing with Ashley’s wangalang.
Stumbling into the closet door, I murmured, “Sloppy slut.”
Alas, the self-inflicted insult failed to inspire shame. Like my fondness for big boobs, and deep appreciation of hard dicks, some things would never change...
Predictably, arriving late to Epicenter (thank God it was only a five-minute walk away from the hotel) sucked giant horse cock, mostly because I got no love when I arrived. Ashley and Clive were quietly playing guitar in the corner of the five-Porta-Potties wide dressing room while Cade hovered over a seated Rem, dutifully massaging his shoulders. I stopped dead in my tracks, mouth hanging open like a damn nutcracker.
In the nine-and-counting years we had been friends, Cade had never given me a massage, let alone offered to give me one. Something close to jealousy threatened to sallow my powdered complexion.
“Good morning, my lovelies!” I chirped. “How are you on this fine Floridian morning?”
“Not as well rested as you,” Rem deadpanned, momentarily fooling me into thinking he was over my tardiness with his blasé response.
Cade was working on Rem’s neck now, gently kneading the skin until it turned kiss-me pink. He refused to make eye contact with me and did not acknowledge my presence. My eyes narrowed; my full lips disappeared into a thin line as the false good cheer I’d affected disappeared like invisible ink.
“My bad for not hearing the dinky alarm. Last night was majorly sleepless.” I shot a glare at Cade’s turned back. “Unexpected company and all.”
Rem tensed. Standing straighter than a flagpole, he gently squeezed Cade’s wrist. “Thanks, that was very relaxing. It’s too bad this little one here”—he ruffled my hair in the least gentle way possible—“will probably mess up your hard work with his poopy attitude.”
I scoffed. What a diaper king. “Sorry I’m late.”
Without replying, Rem left the room and gestured for me to follow him. Clive and Ashley were still playing random riffs, as if they hadn’t noticed I was there. I admit I was a smidge hurt they didn’t even say hi...especially Ashley, who should’ve tried harder to wake me up this morning. Clive and I were forever at odds, so I could understand his lack of attention, but Lash was my fuck-doll, the one who always cheered me up (except for when I was obsessing over Cade), the one who always made me smile (except for when I realized his smile was not as sexy as Cade’s), the one who never stressed me out (except for last night, when he figured out I was mentally screaming Cade’s name while I was inside him).
I trudged after Rem, expecting the worst. He'd given me these talking-to’s before; nevertheless, I still remembered how they went. Rem would lead me into an isolated room where he could scold me in private. It was like being escorted to the gallows by the executioner himself. I needed at least one friendly face to cheer me on, but there was none to be found. Cade had joined the duo in the corner; none of them granted me any sign of encouragement. Pouting, I shuffled along, bracing myself for Rem's barking barrage. It would be worse than jungle cats yowling on a hot tin roof—that was for damn sure.
Ten minutes into Rem’s lecture about “responsibility,” “obligation,” and “maturity,” I'd finally managed to fool him into thinking I was listening. A couple of carefully timed nods, grunts, and eye-locks managed to give the impression I was totally involved in his disciplinary verbal vomit.
See, I was totally involved…in trying to figure out what Cade and Ashley were discussing in the dressing room, a few doors down from the storage room Rem had insisted we use for the purpose of his “three strikes” reprimand. The acoustics of the hall were far superior to the storage room’s, but Rem’s loud complaining was blocking my eager ears from hearing what Lash and Cade were saying. Just when I was about to give up on listening in to their infinitely more interesting chatter, Rem’s cell rang. (I had to hide my triumphant smile in a mousy cough.)
Sighing, Rem checked the caller ID. “I need to take this—Clive made a breakfast run and there’s trouble with our order.”
I brightened at the mention of food. “What did you order for me?”
I gawked. “Not even a bagel with cream cheese?”
Rem tutted. “Dairy would mess up your throat. Carbs would give you a paunch.”
Indignant, I lifted my shirt and brandished my solid four-pack. “Last night I drank like a dead fish and I’m not even bloated!”
Rolling his eyes, Rem said, “Use your hunger as motivation and I’ll buy you an egg-white omelet after rehearsal. Now stay put while I deal with Clive.” He shot me an unsexy daddy look. “We’ve already lost enough time as it is. Let’s finish our conversation when I get back and then hightail it to the stage.”
Without waiting for my approval, he abandoned me to the single-lightbulb glare of the storage room. I rejoiced at my good fortune. Now I could crack open the door to get a better idea of what Ashley and Cade were whispering about down the hall.
My intuition told me their convo was juicy, but my body was not ready for what I overheard…