The audience is insatiable tonight, screaming for more, chanting our names. A part of me wanted to keep playing, keep feeling the high, but a bigger part want to hurry up and finish so I can go home, crawl into bed and stay there. For a week, a month, a year. I’m not suicidal, I’m just tired. It’s been ten months since Sienna walked out of my house and my life, and the last eight months of that has been spent on the road. I can’t tell you all the places we’ve played but as usual we’ve finished up back home, this time to sold out shows.
“Last encore,” Denver yelled at us and we nodded, all looking tired but determined to give it all we’ve got.
Jase walked onto stage first to a huge cheer, Matt’s a few steps behind him and the crowd goes wild again. They started playing a slow beat with a low throbbing bass as Denver came to stand beside me.
I shot him a grin and walked out to take my mark as he started to play but stayed off stage. I waited for the yelling to die down then cupped the mic, the signal for the lights to be turned towards the audience. I didn’t try to look at who was out there, it was pointless. She was never there. But the audience didn’t know that.
“Well, well, well,” I drawled. “Aren’t you a pretty audience.” I waited for the screaming to die out before I spoke again. “We want to thank you all for coming out to support us tonight.”
“We’ll do that just as soon as Denver gets out here,” Matt added and Jase started a drum roll. The audience rose to the occasion and started chanting for Denver as he amped up his playing then finally walked onto stage and into his solo.
Twenty minutes later we walked off stage but this time we ignored the chants for more and as the lights went up the cheering stopped. I nodded to acknowledge the compliments from out support staff as I headed for the dressing rooms. I wanted a shower and ride home ASAP.
“Good show Nick.” Mac our new manager patted me on the shoulder as I went by him. “Ten minutes,” he called after me and I swore under my breath. I’d forgotten about the after show meet and greet. “Nick, you hear me?”
“Yeah,” I yelled without looking back. I slammed the door to the dressing room and grabbed a bottle of water on the way to the shower. Twelve minutes later I walked back out into a deserted hall way. I headed towards the party room where I could hear laughter and the sound of glass on glass, so this meet and greet would include drinks, great!
I looked down at my jeans and tshirt trying to remember if I was meant to dress up. Were these record company big shots, competition winners, friends and family? I had the uneasy feeling it was the first one so I turned back towards the dressing room to get changed and nearly crashed into someone.
“Fuck, sorry,” I swore as I grabbed their arms to stop them falling. Or maybe it was to stop me falling? The familiar scent of her shampoo hit me first, then her eyes met mine and I knew I was staring. “Sienna?”
She smiled, a kind of uncertain smile and then her sweet voice nearly took me out at the knees. “Hi Nick.”
After ten months, that was it? ‘Hi Nick.’ Not ‘I’ve missed you Nick.’ Not ‘I love you Nick.’ No, those were just in my head. Along with a replay of what had happened nine months and two weeks ago. After she’d walked out of my house she had disappeared. Her apartment was closed up, her friends and family would only tell me she was ‘away’. She cancelled her cell service and the letters I sent were returned unopened. Everyone assured me she was fine but wouldn’t say where she was though ‘away’ was expanded to ‘away for work’.
I didn’t really know what she did for work since leaving her teaching job. Something to do with computer programs though. And apparently she worked for a man who was as known for his romantic life as he was for his work. He was one of the rich and famous and he dated models, actresses, princesses, and apparently Sienna. Two weeks after she’d walked out on me she was photographed with him, on a beach, his hands all over her.
The same tabloid that had run those photos had run a story on me a week later. “Rockstar Rebellion – Nico’s Naughty Night” along with photos of me drinking with a couple of actresses, and of a hotel room that I had apparently smashed up. The truth was the actresses had done most of the smashing but I was a gentleman and didn’t tell. The truth was that despite what the photos showed, I was mostly sober, a little angry, a lot heartbroken, and for four weeks I covered it all up with bad behaviour.
Until Denver had enough and dragged me into the studio, then two weeks after that we were back on the road. We’d worked non-stop but I still managed to get myself photographed on a regular basis with a model or an actress. Not that I cared about them, I just wanted to make sure that if Sienna picked up a magazine she would see that I was over her, that I had moved on.
Not that I had, but she’d never know that. I looked down at her and hoped I looked unconcerned by her presence, I even managed a smile as I asked, “What are you doing here?”
She rolled her eyes and her smile turned into a grin. “I’m here to see you of course.”
I tried to ignore the racing of my heart at her words as I nodded my head. “Of course. Did you enjoy the show?”
“Um well, no.” She blushed and shook her head. “I didn’t see the show, I just came…” she trailed off and looked over her shoulder. “One of the security guys recognised me and let me in.”
“Oh. Right.” I nodded as if I knew what she was talking about.
“Is there somewhere we can talk?”
“Ah.” I looked down the hallway. “Dressing room?” I suggested and she nodded and took a step back. My hands dropped away from her and I missed the feel of her so close to me.
“Nick!” A hand clamped on my shoulder as Mac said my name. “You’re late. Let’s go.”
“Oh sorry,” Mac stepped by me and held out his hand to Sienna. “Didn’t see you there.”
“We were just going to-”
“You need to get in there,” Mac’s voice was all business as he gave me a hard look. “There’s people you need to see.”
I was torn between what I needed to do and what I wanted to do. I looked at Sienna, her hand still in Mac’s and she smiled and shrugged.
“We’ll catch up later,” she said and Mac turned back to her.
“You heard the lady, I’ll take care of her.”
Sienna nodded at me and with her free hand made a little shooing motion.
“Don’t go anywhere,” I said shortly then with one last look I turned and walked away from her.
An hour later I called her name as I pushed open the dressing room door but the room was empty.
“Mac!” I roared his name as I stalked the hallway and he came out of the VIP room with a grin, a glass held in his hand.
“Where is she?”
“Who?” he asked in surprise.
“Sienna. Where is she?”
“The woman from before? I told you I’d take care of her and I did.” He grinned and lifted his glass to take a sip.
I groaned and turned away, not wanting to look at him at that moment. I shoved my hands into my hair and pulled on the short strands in frustration then I turned back to face him. “You did what. Exactly?”
He shrugged “I gave her a goodie bag and put her in a cab.”
“Did she leave a number so I could contact her?”
“What?” Mac blinked at me like an owl. “You never want a number.”
“Fuck,” I sighed and leaned against the wall then slid down until my ass hit the floor. I closed my eyes and let my head fall back, let a picture of her form in my mind. She was more beautiful than I’d let myself remember. Her hair was shorter than it had been, but otherwise she was the same. Her lush figure showcased to perfection in her jeans and tshirt. Why hadn’t I held onto her when I’d had the chance? I should have dragged her into that meet and greet with me, not let her out of my sight. But I hadn’t, because I’d been in too much shock. Now she was gone again.
“What?” Mac’s voice had my eyes opening to look up at him. “Oh fuck,” he breathed. “Sienna. That was her wasn’t it?”
I didn’t have to answer, he could see it all over my face. Disappointment crushed me for a moment then I remembered something. “It’s okay.” It really was. It was simple. She had come here looking for me after all.
“Yeah?” Mac sounded unsure, guilty.
“Yeah.” I pushed to my feet, said it again with more confidence. “Yeah. I might not know where she lives now but there are people I can contact who do. She came looking for me,” I reminded myself. Now I was going to look for her and I wasn’t going to stop until I found her.