A Little More Incongruent Angel...
Travis eyed the empty doorway in bewilderment. The fuck? One second Aaron was breathing him in like he was the answer to an oncoming oxygen shortage and the next he was being watched by the crazy assed bass player like Aaron really was a lost angel and Travis was the latest incarnation of the Anti-Christ. Travis drew in a deep breath, counting to forty-seven. He didn’t have the patience to count to a hundred, and if Aaron ever pushed him that far he’d give serious consideration to quitting the band altogether. Even though Travis loved the band, he loved Aaron more. If he had to pick one of the two he felt no hesitation about which choice he’d make.
If Aaron cooperated they might have a fighting chance at being together. Travis bit into the meaty flesh on the inside of his bottom lip. He was gambling all his dreams on Aaron’s sincerity in wanting this, and his ability to change. Travis shrugged. Well, wherever the notes fell, man, that’s the melody they’d get. He didn’t have a choice in taking this shitty chance… if he tried to pack those damn saddle-bags one more time, he was pretty sure his damn heart would just stop beating entirely.
Lying back against his pillow, Travis contemplated what he could do if everything blew up in his face. He snorted. “I could join the circus I guess.”
A laugh at the door drew his gaze down from the ceiling. “Waste of a great guitar man. They only have those teensy toy guitars at the circus.” The orderly from yesterday stood just inside the doorway. Travis wracked his brain for the guy’s name… shit. He’d never heard anyone call the guy by name. “What’s your name, man?”
The kid blushed. “I’m Jeremy. I—I’m sorry. I thought you got it yesterday. Hey, if you don’t remember me I can take off—”
“No, no, wait. Did you bring the tape?” Travis really wanted to hear this kid’s voice belting out one of Liquid Sin’s songs. Jeremy had something, a sweetly innocent rasp that would float perfectly on the layered sound Sin created with a crazy mix of traditional and non-traditional instrumentation. And if he could craft his own lyrics as well he’d be worth his weight in platinum.
“I downloaded some songs onto a data stick in MP3 format. I figured that would probably work.” Jeremy smiled, his head tipping down a little as he glanced up through his lashes at Travis.
“Yeah, man, that’ll be great.” Holy platinum-plated shit. The kid was adorkable. Shy and nervous… Travis hoped like hell his singing voice lived up to the promises his speaking voice made, because with that nervous newbie vibe and Hottie McHotpants look he had going added to the sultry look Aaron and Rafi brought and his own boy next door look… they’d hit every demographic in existence. “We’ll listen to it as soon as we get home. You got a card or something to go with it so we can give you a call once we give it a listen?”
Jeremy reached into the front pocket of the battered silver messenger bag he had slung over one shoulder. “Um, yeah, sure. I had my friend Liz help me make some up on this freebie deal and…” He bit his lip, a tide of red sweeping up his face. “I mean, yeah. Here you go.”
He reached out to hand Travis the data-stick and the card. Travis caught his wrist. “Hey. How old are you, man? No offense or nothing, but you look hella young. I just wanna be sure if we like your singing voice the lawyers know what kinda contract to draw up.”
Jeremy’s brown eyes got huge in his face, and he jerked back quickly, rubbing his wrist. “I—eighteen. I’m eighteen.” He kept rubbing his hand and wrist as he backed toward the door.
Travis raised both eyebrows. Oooookay. Somebody didn’t like to be touched. That was fine. “Alrighty then. We’ll give you a call tomorrow.”
Jeremy nodded. He started to pivot toward the hallway, stopped and looked sideways at Travis. “Thanks. I love the band. I’ll be waiting for your call.”