Caffè Americano Addict
Old Friends (Rabbitrun and TheLeeLee)
The place was filling up at this time - it wasn't until midnight that things really started getting loud, and if the tightly-packed queue snaking around the street corner was any indication, then Silver was definitely one of the most exclusive clubs in the city. People chatted on gleaming cellphones, women checked perfectly-manicured nails and immaculate makeup, and two suited bouncers, looking like twins with their matching bald heads and inappropriately dark sunglasses, evaluated IDs in quick succession. Beside the normal queue, a trail of red velvet rope and outlandishly bright carpet indicated where the VIP line started - for celebrities or the "people who knew people". Even from outside, the low resonance of pounding bass beats could be heard; felt through the walls and getting the incoming crowd pumped up for the party to come. A large banner draped overhead indicated the presence of a popular DJ who would play his set into the early hours of dawn. And from behind the tinted windows of his limousine, Micah Ryan already dreaded emerging into the spotlight.
Closing his fingers over the handle of the limo door, the metal felt particularly cold; biting, even as he gathered a shaken breath and pulled, the door unlatching with a click and sending all the sounds of the outside rushing in. Almost immediately his temples started to ache, high-pitched shrilling in his ears even as he plastered the falsest smile he could muster on his lips, waving at the crowd some of whom had just realized they were being paid a visit by the guy who, a few hours ago, had graced television screens everywhere as he performed a suitably heart-wrenching rendition of his hit 'Shadow', backed by otherwise faceless members of his accompanying band. Headlines like Micah Ryan - the next headliner? and Small-towner makes it big! brazenly occupied the front pages of every gossip magazine. His schedule had become uncontrollable, similar to most stars when the initial hype was huge. It would die down after a while, but right now he was being pursued everywhere, from the local takeout place to even the front doors of his modest apartment building - well, modest enough for someone with newfound security concerns.
"Micah! Micah, over here!"
A girl in a tight-fitting black dress waved fervently, grinning from ear to ear as he directed a wink towards her. It was a painful one; he was never the bad boy, the devil-may-care rocker, all those were labels the media had thought helpful to slap on him the minute he broke out onto the music scene. His producers wanted certain qualities from him, as did his publicists. His music became about public image, and not about soul. Nonetheless, his greatest hit to date had been written in a fit of soul; rather, the product of an emotional outpouring so intense it left him in a daze for days before he'd even realized what had happened. That was years ago, but he'd never forgotten, and some part of him never wanted to forget, even though it tormented him to the point that his instant cure now was to grab the nearest bottle of vodka, whiskey or whatever else and start chugging.
"Remember what I told you, Micah."
His current manager and resident sleazebag, Drake Smith, reminded him for what seemed like the hundredth time already. The singer scowled openly, grunting in annoyance before shaking his head in disdain, resuming his fake smiling shortly after. Eventually he made it past the bouncers, who let him in without question, and into the freezing club, where he was escorted immediately up a flight of transparent stairs towards the VIP section, namely a ring of crimson couches surrounding a frosted glass table. A private bar sat right behind it, attended to by an attractive female bartender with scarlet hair and lips. Despite the glamour of the place, Micah preferred to dress down, opting for a white button-up, black leather jacket and denim jeans, his dirty blond hair kept short like it had been most of his life. Easing his lean, but athletic frame onto the nearest couch, he closed green eyes in a moment of brief exhaustion before falling back completely and exuding a deep, drawn-out sigh. "I'm done, Drake."
"No one gets 'done' in showbiz. Not unless the up-tops want you done." Drake snapped irritably.
"I don't care about the fucking up-tops," contested Micah in a similar fashion. "I can't do anything, go anywhere without a Goddamn paparazzi shoving his camera lens in my face."
"Stop being a baby and let me get you a drink. Deal?"
Drake was mean, but at least he was honest. Micah had asked for this; he had gotten himself into this. Obviously the small town boy had no idea what was going to happen when he'd hopped that bus to the city, trying to make it big. But apparently fame came with a price. His sleep, his privacy, and maybe, eventually, his sanity.
"Fine," Micah conceded. "Just get me a beer to start." His eyes roamed the dance floor from the VIP area's excellent vantage point, as if trying to make out someone he knew from his life before. But, as usual, there was no one, and he couldn't help but miss the rich, dew-dropped grass, cloudless blue skies and quiet of home.
Last edited by Rabbitrun; 10-28-2013 at 01:49 AM.
The night air was frigid. The sidewalk may have been swarming with warm blooded bodies, all barely dressed and roughly in her age group -a small amount were a decent bit older and surprisingly more looked quite a bit younger- but with nothing to contain the heat radiating off of the crowd the parts of her forcibly surrounded by the others were subjected to their disgusting body heat; the night had hold of the rest leaving Audrey Shultz standing next to her two friends with this horribly stuffy, sticky, frost bitten feeling as she vainly tried to use her long chocolate colored waves to protect her bare shoulders, "... Janie, who the hell throws a perfectly good sweater out of a car window?"
"Friends. That's who!" An exhasperated sigh left her as her friends pushed her forward when the crowd surged forward a foot. Janie, the sweater destroyer, brushed Audrey's hair back to being over only one shoulder. She must have thought that it looked better that way, "A thoughtful, loving friend who won't suffer her friend being seen in public wearing an ugly thrift store sweater over a five hundred dollar dress."
"This isn't a dress," she protested, "Two bits of fabric sewed down the sides attached to an extremely uncomfortable strapless bra does not a proper dress make! This could not have cost you five hundred dollars."
"--four hundred and eighty seven actually. She got it on sale." chuckled the shorter of the three.
"Shut up, Cat. Just stop complaining Shultzie. Okay? It'll be fine once we get inside..."
"We're never gonna get inside!" the line was outrageously long and though they had advanced a full city block and a half, and could finally see the actual building they were trying to get into, the hoard of club go-ers easily numbered in the hundreds. At this time of night the place had to be packed. Janie attempted to reassure her that this was in fact considered early and most people wouldn't show up until much later. Most people? This giant throng was not the 'most people'? These were the minority!? More people were to show up? What, the sensible people were still at dinner or not quite yet done with preparing for their evening? The evening was already over; twelve a.m. came, gave everyone a distasteful look and left and now morning technically had arrived. On a normal day Audrey would be needing to wake up in less than four hours. Instead here she stood. Cold, confused, and already tired of everyone's shit.
"We're here to celebrate! I think you can suffer a little waiting for the party." Suffering she was. The unreasonably strong bass resonating through the walls of the building was disrupting her heart rate. That and the anxiety of being shoved amongst this many people in a loud, sweaty, annoying environment. This 'celebration' so far was waiting out in the sweaty cold for an hour to maybe stand in a room and listen to horrible music for three more hours. But, as Janie now repeated for the dozenth time this evening, "ice cream and an old movie marathon is not a proper celebration. We have to go out!"
As she stood, trying to warm her arms with friction from her hands Janie and Catlyn both leapt out into the street, along with half of the people ahead of them in line, as a limousine pulled in front of the club everyone was dying to get into. Behavior like that and they surely all would die in the pursuit. The accompanying screams were deafening and inaudible and Audrey tried to ignore them. She smoothed down the front of the supposedly five hundred dollar cream colored designer dress Janie had leant her, momentarily reveling in the newly acquired personal space. She had informed her friend that this was certainly not appropriate attire for her nor for the weather. Janie informed her that it was the only 'granny-ish' dress she owned so it was fine. The screaming and commotion caused by some unknowable famous person would have been the perfect opportunity to avoid this charade and escape. Janie and Cat unfortunately rushed back to her, seizing the opportunity to advance in line a few hours worth of space thanks to the idiots crowding around the limo.
Another thirty eight -she kept track- minutes later the three women found their way into Silver, or the Mecca of expensively horrible decisions as Cat referred to it. They had made it past the giant bouncers with little trouble, Janie did show off her newly official ID now proud to no longer have to enter bars under the alias of twenty seven year old 'Candice Jones'. This was not Audrey's place; she certainly did not belong here. It hadn't taken her long after her first semester of college started to realize that. Her roommate then had tried dragging her to frat and sorority parties, to sneak into bars with fake IDs and dance and drink and spend the night with some guy who probably didn't know his own name. All for the sake of freedom. Her roommate and the friends she made early on saw her as sheltered and wanted to show the small town girl what living life was like! If this was what life was supposed to be like, it certainly was not worth living. After a few horrible instances Audrey completely shut herself away from any activity not having to do with her studies. For two years.
Now she had new friends and now that she had finished her first four years of school she had moved with her friends to this city to attend law school.
And her new friends were now pushing her to socialize again.
Amongst the same, if not the same then amongst individuals identical to the same, crowd from outside -all screaming at no one on their cell phones or shoving lesser being out of their way- Audrey observed with a small smile how Janie really got her money's worth out of her degree in theatre in these situations, projecting her voice to assure herself that her friends and everyone else in the building could hear every word she spoke. "See? This is what we all -well... two of us- have been patiently waiting for!"
Audrey's pale blue eyes scanned the room, as best they could. The blinding, seizure inducing lights made it a bit difficult. "We waited with pushy people outside for almost two hours to stand inside with the same pushy people to listened to the remixed versions of already horrible music?" she remarked dryly with a smirk.
"How would you know? Your taste in music is ancient! The only song on your iPod that came out sometime in the past twenty years--"
"-fifteen years. If you must to insult her at the very least make some attempt to know the facts."
"Stop talking like fucking Shakespeare, Cat!" Audrey cringed as her friend's volume increased by large, yet steady, increments of what she -in her lack of understanding of how sound worked- decided was 'ten.' When something escalated she had a habit of saying it 'jumped ten places' or magnified 'by the tenth power'. It was her go-to. And it really never worked in conversation or made any sense but Audrey found great comfort in being predictable; if she were to change the phrase or stop saying it completely she feared it would change her too much. She couldn't handle more change. "... in the past fifteen year, because apparently you locked in your music choice when you were seven!, is some waaaayyy depressing song by some kinda hot blonde rocker guy."
Kinda hot blonde rocker guy. Her friend described everyone by what she knew them from and their level of 'hot'. Mega hot football guy. Not hot 'dating that outrageously hot stripper movie guy' girl. Bad salsa hot DJ dude. That was how Janie described Micah Ryan; not knowing him at all but deeming 'kinda hot' and a 'rocker guy'. Audrey knew better. Far better than anyone else knew and she would never have used 'kinda hot' or 'rocker' when thousands of other words fit him far better than those. Then again, she never imagined herself in a scenario where her closest friends would only know Micah as that 'kinda hot blonde rocker guy'. She almost felt offended by the shallowness of Janie's description and moved to defend him; to dare her friend to say he was just some guy again! But now he was just some guy to her, a famous artist with his face plastered on magazines covers and voice repeated every fifteen minutes on those annoying modern music top 40 hits radio stations that everyone but Audrey listened to. The Micah she could describe was a memory. Like his song, a Shadow.
She tuned out Janie's rambles about her lack of musical palate, trying to keep her mind from wandering down that road again. It was difficult not to think about him when she saw him everywhere now. Again her eyes surveyed the room, looking but not seeing a thing. All of the people here looked the same to her. All of the songs played sounded the same. Everything here was a copy and she again felt the outsider even in her extremely expensive borrowed dress. And it was freezing in here too! She could not do any more of this same. She much preferred the quiet solitude of her small apartment. Years ago she would have done anything to be here now, among all this glamour and excess. The girl who nearly every night would sneak out of her parents' house to avoid sitting alone and being disconnected from the rest of the world now wanted to do nothing more than sit by herself. The rest of the world was frightening and she felt content with no one but herself now.
Her eyes kept landing on the loft space above the dance floor where she and her friends were, just standing. Janie had somehow already found herself a drink but Audrey didn't bother with finding out how. Her mind was more concerned with staring up. She could have swore she saw a familiar figure. It had to just be her mind projecting her thoughts forward, making her see things that weren't there.
"Shultz. Shultz. Shultzie. Shultzula. Shultz. Audrey... Hey, Shultzie! Audrey!!!" Janie's voice, as was its manner, went from loud to louder to loud speaker with each repetition of Audrey's name that by the time Audrey was finally snapped out of her daze by her friend desperate for her attention people a block and a half away had to have heard her, and were likely now looking for anything resembling a 'Shultz' or an 'Audrey'.
Last edited by TheLeeLee; 10-29-2013 at 10:55 AM.
Caffè Americano Addict
"Why don't you head on down to the dance floor?" Drake suggested, trying to be helpful.
"I'd rather not," replied Micah flatly, reaching for the sweating jug of long island iced tea which had just arrived. The beer had a kick, but it wasn't usually enough. Ice clinked noisily against the side as the alcohol flowed into a crystal glass, full of promise. If anyone asked the singer if he was an alcoholic, he'd deny it in an instant. Sadly, it seemed that drink was the easiest way for him to forget that he regretted ever leaving his small town. Sure, the place didn't have many job prospects, but there was just something so...synthetic about his current lifestyle that instead of drawing him farther in, it only served to repulse. The last time he was home, beer went with family barbeques, and tequila shots were something he'd never even touched. Back home...back home...when he had Audrey. Their paths converged, and then diverged, but he never really forgot his spitfire of a former flame who always had that knack for sneaking out of her parents' house just to see the world; who had a mind filled with creativity, intelligence and wit. Shadow. That one was for her. Letting his head drop back against the couch, he then felt an elbow prod sharply into his ribs which made him sit up and scowl in annoyance. "Drake."
"Go dance and stop being so mopey." His manager counseled in a sage-like manner. "You're making everyone around you feel like characters in a teen soap opera."
Micah opened his mouth to retort, but decided it was better not to argue with Drake, who wouldn't usually shut his trap unless he got his way. The drinks were beginning to slowly settle, giving him a good kind of buzz. Sighing, he stood and made his way down the flight of stairs. Because Silver was so exclusive, most people who were already inside paid him no heed, instead concentrating on the repetitive, pulsing beat which matched the flashing of strobe lights. It was almost beginning to seem like the same routine every few nights, having lost most of its entertainment value. It was then, at the corner of his eye, he caught a familiar face - wait - it couldn't be...could it? Nah, not possible. But still he turned just to do a double-take, but all he saw was a sea of unfamiliar faces. Guess not. Turning towards the direction of the DJ, he began to push his way through the amassed bodies until his shoulder collided hard with someone.
"Shit, I'm so sorr-" The words died in his throat as he set his eyes upon the person he'd run into. "Audrey?"
Under Janie's incredible influence Audrey finally stopped brooding over her dislike of the environment and relaxed a bit over a drink. She didn't know what it was, and was unsure of whether Janie or Cat did either. But apparently if one of them was going to drink some bright red mystery drink the other two had to too. So they could match. One drink quickly became several and the people seemed less annoying, the air less frigid, the music still just as horrible. Audrey was beginning to feel a little bit better about the technically morningnight and could now finally see how this could be equal to a pint of ice cream and classic movies. Almost. Then someone slammed into her rather painfully and she jumped back to avoid spilling any of her brightly colored mystery drink onto the pricey borrowed dress.
"Dude! Watch where the hell you're go-" Janie started up, but Audrey halted her words by shoving her drink into her hands. The tall blonde now stood with two drinks and an offended expression keeping her silent. Audrey paid her no mind, instead staring into the face she had not seen in person in so long.
"Micah," she whispered, not entirely to him but more accidentally aloud to herself. It wasn't. It couldn't be! A bright smile that had been missing from her for far too long lit up her face when she finally admitted to herself it was him.
"Oh my god! Micah!" Immediately, without taking a breath to consider the possible consequences of doing so, Audrey threw her arms around him. In reality her behavior should not have been considered odd; although she hadn't seen him in years he was her oldest friend and back at home she never would have second guessed ambushing him with a hug as she did every single time she saw him, even if Micah had only been away from her for a minute. But now? She had to know it was, well, inappropriate at the very least. And Audrey was no longer the hugging type. She wasn't even the general human contact type, barely able to bring herself to shake hands with people. Not to mention the small fact that Micah now was a thousand times more important than her and assuming that she had any right to touch him was foolish, and if he had a jumpy bodyguard possibly deadly. Her current behavior being out of her new character she really had one thing to blame for forgetting her manners, her touching phobia, and her place: it to have been the liquor; she rarely ever drank anymore, the concept of getting drunk and acting a fool started to lose it's appeal once it became legal for her to do so, and her friends frequently ridiculed her for being a 'light weight'. She didn't like the headache it always gave her, but found the drink usually helped her relax. If the level of stress in a situation bothered her more than a small, nagging headache then she could suffer a drink or two. She didn't even know what was in this one but it certainly did affect her quickly.
Not long after throwing herself at him the realization of just what was happening hit Audrey, but she held him just long enough for flashes of memory to rush back to her. The heaviness of the late summer air. The last glimpse of an unobstructed sunset when the first stars of the night were visible. The smell of clean air and cut grass and the warmth of his skin. The same warmth she felt now with her arms around his neck and her face pressed beside his. For a moment she fell into it, not only for the change from the freezing air. Then her good sense returned to her and she quickly let go of her hold on him. For good measure she took a step further back. A nervous chuckle left her as she glanced around more nervously. No one else may have noticed, but she felt the entire world now had judging eyes on her.
If not the entire world her then two friends certainly. Cat gave them an amused eyebrow quirk and an ineffectively stifled laugh over her drink while the younger but taller of the two sisters threw Audrey and Micah this look of wild disbelief with a heavy dose of celebrity sighting shock. 'Now you know who he is' she mused and couldn't help a laugh at it herself. She never spoke to either of her friends about Micah. Now she had loads of explaining to do. Self consciously crossing her arms in front of her she struggled over what to do next. Run. Running sounded the most reasonable. Instead she searched for something to say. To him. To them. To herself. She just needed to say something.
"uh... hi?" They were the only words she could seem to manage now and they were uttered through the breaking and quickly dying of her unsure laughter.
Caffè Americano Addict
It almost hurt to see Audrey smile because it brought back so many memories. He wasn't really the kind to think a lot about his past, but she was the only constant in his whirlwind of a life. Never content with being just the kid next door, he'd set his sights on music from an early age. Being a rabid fan of classic rock and occasional country he admired the complexity which music provided; how poetic certain song lyrics could get. Nothing else even made an impression on him - not the long days of sitting in classrooms listening to the teachers drone on about math and what else, not his mom telling him he wasn't allowed out past midnight...but Audrey was right there with the music, but their relationship hadn't been ready to withstand their differing ambitions. For him, he could've just ended up another deadbeat busking on the roadside in attempt to earn some loose change just so he could buy himself a sandwich, but luck had other plans. Maybe...maybe he could've gone to college with her, made a real professional of himself instead of the nights sitting in smoky bars playing sets to half-drunk patrons. That was until Drake found him, and maybe it would've been better if he hadn't.
But when Audrey threw her arms around him all those thoughts went out of the window in favor of just being able to hold her again, and suddenly the club's awful music faded to sweet summer calm and the sound of a running river; children laughing, the sound of windchimes and the strumming of acoustic guitar. He still remembered having sung to her - it was embarrassing the first time and not as romantic as he thought it would be, since he had been so nervous that he'd dropped his guitar before he even managed to get started. "God Audrey, I missed you," he murmured beside her ear as the first smile of the night made its presence known on his face. Thankfully, it was too crowded for his stern-faced bodyguard to accompany him down, so there wouldn't be anyone shoving her away from him. But when she finally pulled back and released him, he felt a clear pang of disappointment. He'd been tempted to just grab her waist and spin her around like he sometimes did when they were in the middle of the fields of long grass with the blue sky and brilliant sun, but it'd just have been awkward in a club with techno beats pulsing all around them. He could barely even hear himself as it stood, and in an attempt to cancel his nervousness he ran a hand through his hair, trying to think of something to say. Something...anything...
"...hi," Micah repeated her greeting with the same level of awkwardness, though he made an attempt to seem more confident by crossing his arms. Noticing her friends, he tossed them a polite smile and nod before returning his attention to the girl he'd wanted to see for too long a period of time. Now that he'd seen her, and she'd seen him, however, he was out of words. "Um, can I maybe buy you a drink?" He tried, sounding like some cliché smooth talker. He had always possessed a painfully shy personality which didn't earn him too many friends, but those he had he was loyal to in an almost zealous fashion. He still remembered standing in the hallways in school and people tossing whispering glances at him as they passed. His grades weren't top notch - on the contrary, he'd borderline failed some of his classes, which made his parents none too pleased. But only Audrey had stood by him - it sounded incredibly cheesy but she was that one spark which made him think that maybe realizing his dream wasn't some stupid Hollywood lie; that he could actually become something more than he was. And now that something was an image - a second self whom he had to summon whenever the spotlights flicked on and he had to take the stage.
So many years had past and Micah was still as transparent as ice. He had never been suave, and his bad boy get up and confident stance did nothing but make him look even more the shy kid she knew. It made her giggle a bit, and more importantly smile. It was a faint smile that was more adoring than amused, but it was there and she turned away to try to hide it. Unsure of how to answer she sighed regretfully, prepared to decline, but was pulled away by Cat's sudden hold of her elbow. The two had swooped to her side, listening a little too closely over her shoulder for her comfort. She looked to her two friends and although Janie's expression still held a bit of that 'star struck' glaze they both looked at her with near identical faces of worry and distrust. Honestly, that was what she loved so much about her friends; yes they were nosey, yes Janie was obnoxious, yes Catlyn was a pessimistic smart ass, but they were both loyal, at times at a pit bull level of protective. They cared about her interests just as much as they did their own, sometimes more so, even when they dragged her outside and forced her to be social. And she hadn't had a friend who cared for her like that since... since Micah.
"She already has a drink, thanks," Cat noted in a warning tone. Audrey had to laugh, not only at how hilarious Cat's almost squeaky voice sounded in the attempt at a threatening tone but because, as Cat was being tough, Janie had taken it upon herself to finish Audrey's drink. So Audrey had no drink, and Janie had to endure a scowl from her sister.
"Guys, it's okay. Micah's an old fr-- seriously Cat!? That hurts," she pulled her arm from her friend's grip, "Its fine. Don't worry about it."
"I do worry about it! Wandering off with random guys is supposed to be Janie's thing."
"Hey!! That doesn't sound like a compliment..." Janie pouted.
"It was, I can say far worse!"
As the two started to bicker, Audrey turned back to Micah with a huff and, more to the others than in answer to him, she exclaimed as best as she could over their voices, "Yes! You can buy me a drink. A drink would nice." The best way to get Audrey to do something was to, in some way or another, tell her she couldn't. Her friends knew this, however the genuine concern on Janie's face contradicted that intent.
"I really don't think this is a good idea, Audrey..." Janie rarely ever called her by her first name. Her concern must have been fairly serious and Audrey understood why. They had been in a similar situation before. But this was Micah! Sure, they didn't know him but she did and there was no one in this world she trusted more.
"I'll be fine!" All this shouting was going to kill her voice. "If Micah decides to murder me I will be sure to use my last breath to tell him your phone number so he can text you where he dropped off my corpse. Okay?" She spun around and maneuvered herself next to Micah, "Oh, and if while I am gone someone happens to kidnap you or something, call me. I would like to congratulate them and thank them for their service." This change in attitude seemed to throw her friends off. Although she would occasionally chime in with a sarcastic comment Audrey was normally more soft spoken and cautious with her words around them. She had already lost her outspoken nature before she met them. So this sardonic, near defiant Audrey was someone they didn't know. She turned her gaze on Micah, then with a sigh she gave the two a small reassuring smile, "You can trust this one," and in answer to the question Cat was next to ask, "and you can trust me. I... I'll explain later."
Janie finally relented with an annoyed sigh, "You owe us,"
"I do not owe you anything, you threw my sweater out of the cab! If anything this is the beginning of my payback," Before hearing any more of their complaints Audrey linked her arm with Micah's and led him just far enough away from her friends, then slowed to let him decide where to go. "I had to get you out of there before they started to dissect you!" She nudged his shoulder gently with her own, leaning close to assure she was heard, "I missed you too..."
Last edited by TheLeeLee; 11-01-2013 at 12:23 AM.
Caffè Americano Addict
Micah raised his brows at the reaction of Audrey's friends; they seemed to bristle at his mention of just buying her a drink. Maybe they thought he was just another one of those creeps hanging about at the bar hoping to a bag a good one night stand. If so, he understood why they'd get defensive so easily. But Audrey defused them almost effortlessly, tossing in a joke or two along the way and causing him to chuckle in response. That was the Audrey he knew from their small town youth. As the two moved a distance away, he finally allowed himself to breathe properly. If anything, he really didn't want to have to talk his way out of that situation. Damn his introversion - everyone else lapped up his public media image, but not her. Not his childhood friend. But before he could say anything else, Drake pushed his way through the crowd, clapping Micah roughly on the shoulder and causing him to almost groan aloud. Turning to Audrey, the manager stuck up his nose. "Hey pretty lady, I'm sure you're probably starstruck right now, but if you could stop bothering Mr. Ryan..."
"Drake, don't you have tequila shots to drink?" Micah asked almost accusingly.
"What kind of manager would I be if I wasn't checking on my best investment?" Drake replied, causing Micah to fix him with a sharp glare. Best investment. Right. Because that was all he was. An investment. His eyes lingered on his manager as Drake wiped his sweaty palms on his pink shirt. "Micah, you really gotta watch your public image man. Get caught being sweet and your whole image goes down the drain. You're supposed to be wild, outgoing. Y'know, the whole works."
"I'm a musician, not the next Academy darling," Micah snapped. "Besides, Audrey's a friend; so if you could go back to getting drunk off your ass, that'd be great." The 'music' in the club remained absolutely atrocious - soon everything sounded the same, with the lyrics either mentioning something about drinking, partying or some such hedonistic pursuit. So this was the glamorous life now - it figured, really. Finally, Drake seemed to give in, shuffling back towards the VIP steps.
"Sorry about that," Micah said to his friend, slightly embarrassed. "Drake's my manager. He can be a bit...overbearing at times. We try not to feed him past midnight." He tossed a quick glance back at Drake, who was busy having a particularly determined and persistent tabloid photographer's camera confiscated and subsequently stamped on with gleeful relish. Yeah, because that would do wonders for his public appearance. "So, about that drink I mentioned. Anything in mind?"
Audrey watched the confrontation between Micah and his manager warily. He was a bit of a dick, but she kept herself from saying so. It read clearly on her face however, as her thoughts always had. When he'd walked away from them she tilted her head quizzically with a smirk, "Have you tried exposing him to sunlight? I hear that helps," she laughed, "maybe you should think about kennel training him. Or if you have to take him with you maybe get one of those retractable leash things and a muzzle?"
The interaction between the two struck her as a bit odd. The sweaty guy, Drake, seemed rather strange to her, but Micah now seemed even stranger. "Wild, outgoing..." She repeated his manager's words briskly, "Really? Has that guy met you?"
She had gotten caught up in first telling off her friends, then with struggling to not say anything to Micah's manager... god! that thought felt rather odd to be thinking... Micah actually having a manager, or a public image, or someone respectfully referring to him as 'Mr. Ryan' instead of the condescending manner some of their teachers had. She had to remind herself who she was talking to: Micah Ryan, the famous rockstar. Not her Micah, the sweet boy she had grown up with; that she had been cruel to in middle school, and that she had been hopelessly in love with all through high school. The one who she had to beg to break a couple of rules every now and then, on some occasions sneaking into his house to forcibly drag him out so she wouldn't have to wander about on some adventure all on her own. Or sneaking into his house and staying there with him, so she wouldn't have to be alone. Neither of their parents were pleased with that. That Micah was only wild when she forced him to be, only outspoken when she nagged him about being too quiet. She had been so pushy and nagging and rebellious. And he'd been so sweet... now he looked at his sweaty manager guy angrily and snapped rude comments at him, just like she would have and that worried her.
It wasn't her place to say that that Drake needed a muzzle. Hanging onto Micah like she was, to her it was just her grabbing onto him and forcing him to follow like she used to but to Drake and anyone not stuck in her past she was some lowly groupie clinging to some celebrity far out of her reach. He was above her, and she was the same as any other girl who might force herself on him. Her demeanor changed quickly from the bossy, rude little brat she feared she was seeming to the more respectable mouse she knew she was now. She glanced at Micah, her shame wiping the proud-of-herself smirk from her face.
Blue eyes meeting his green painfully Audrey quickly let go of his arm. "Um... I'm not quite sure a drink would be best anymore... But what would you suggest, Mr. Ryan?"
Last edited by TheLeeLee; 4 Weeks Ago at 06:44 PM.
Caffè Americano Addict
"It's a long story." And Micah didn't want to tell that story. First, there was the meeting with the studio execs - big shots in big suits who wanted the next big thing. Circling him like vultures hungry for scavenged meat, they first attempted to have him change his genre and join one of their put-together boy bands. When the small-towner refused, vehemently, they decided a rough, soulful voice, bearing the occasional edge of huskiness, wasn't fit for teen pop anyhow, and so let it go. A few days later, the execs convened and together decided he would be the next big rock star and live the life the old bands had way back when. Obviously he was never going to be as classically famous as aforementioned old bands, but after hearing his acoustic cover of Bon Jovi's Bed of Roses, the plans were pretty much set in stone. But to Audrey, he would always just be Micah Leland Ryan, the kid who grew up on family barbeques and cheap beer, sitting on the front porch gazing up at a sky full of stars. Like something out of a dream. But this was supposed to be his dream. Too bad it didn't turn out the way he wanted it.
"Oh no, I insist-" Micah started, but realized Drake had by now ruined both their moods when it came to alcohol. He didn't want Audrey to know how dependent he'd become on it, and so pretended to agree even though all he wanted right now was another shot of anything; another cold glass of amnesia and that nasty hangover the following morning. Because his habits would probably leave him passed out most nights, Drake had insisted he hit the gym every day just to maintain his figure, because nobody liked an overweight celebrity and that usually made tabloid covers for all the wrong reasons. Sighing and looking away, the singer silently cursed the gaudy nightclub and decided he needed to get out. Drake seemed pretty distracted, and while he never did like sneaking out back home (unless Audrey asked him to), he was all for sneaking out now. It was funny he had to think the word 'sneaking', since technically Drake worked for him and not the opposite.
"Let's go somewhere else, I have a place in mind." Micah took her hand again, gently - something he had taken months to muster the confidence up for when they were in high school - and headed towards the exit, pushing past legions of newcomers who were more preoccupied with trying to grab a good space on the dance floor. By the time they broke out into the night air, his ears were ringing and the quiet seemed heavenly, only with the occasional noises of cars passing by, and the footsteps of pedestrians none of whom noticed him. Celebrity sightings were common in this part of town, mostly until those who lived around didn't seem to bother anymore unless they could grab a photograph to sell to the tabloids. Thankfully, the place he had in mind was just a few buildings down, occupying the first floor of an old apartment block, an uncommon sight in this part of the city. Smoke was a small bar, popular with regular people, darkly-lit with walls plastered with pictures of some of Micah's favorite bands - Aerosmith, Guns n' Roses, AC/DC, Van Halen, Led Zeppelin, Metallica...the list went on and on. And the music they played were from these same bands, instead of the loud, headache-inducing beats clubs like Silver favored.
"Here," Micah looked back at Audrey when he got to the bar's entrance. "What do you think?"
This sudden decision of Micah’s to run away caught Audrey completely by surprise. And she tried to ignore the jolt that shot up her arm when he took her hand. They really shouldn’t! Cat would be pissed if she found out that she had escaped this place, with Micah. Audrey actually feared what her friends might think, might say, might do if they found out she’d run off. They should have stayed. He should have followed his sweaty manager guy back and worried about maintaining his wild, but conveniently complacent, public image. She should have stayed and suffered through the horrific music and watched Janie try to bag some rich guy she thought might help her acting career. That’s what she was supposed to do here, sit back and do what was expected until she was allowed to go back home. Back home. She watched Micah shove his way through the crowd and shook her head with a laugh. Nope! She was not going to stay here another second.
Once outside of the club she exhaled a deep sigh of relief. The sudden change in pressure almost made her dizzy, but he didn’t give her the chance to acclimate to the new surroundings. She kept up as best she could, but Micah seemed damned determined to get wherever he was going and the shoes she had borrowed from Janie, to match the borrowed flow-y but short dress, did not fit her well and were probably not made for walking distances in. He stopped in front of an older building, nowhere near as glamorous as the previous, suddenly enough that she almost ran into him.
She took a moment to appreciate the open air. It wasn't as open as she would have preferred, nor anywhere near as clean, but she preferred this open semi-smoggy sky to the overcrowded atmosphere of that club. Then Audrey recognized the melodic bridge of Nothing Else Matters trickling out of the entry and sighed happily, "Finally. Real music..." Why hadn’t Janie brought her here? Not yet inside and still Audrey felt more comfortable here. She could hear herself think, hear herself talk, finally hear Micah clearly. The music playing faintly, or less horrendously loud as at the previous establishment, in the background she turned around, still with a hold on his hand, and looked back up to the sky, or what she could see of it past the tall buildings and the lights and everything else cities contained. She leaned against him softly and hummed along. Then fell silent for a moment, realizing that she actually couldn’t see the sky. All she could see was the city’s lights cloudily reflected back to her under that lovely film of smog. Now she never regretted leaving home, although in most cases life had not treated her too kindly after she left, and didn’t exactly miss the actual place but she did miss the idea of the simplicity of that small town. “You know what I miss, Micah?” She asked, thinking aloud now. Letting go of his hand she turned back towards the bar, “I miss stars…”
Audrey fumbled through the pockets that probably weren’t meant to be used as actual pockets on her dress to find her phone, in whose case she stashed her ID and what money she’d brought with her. College student, just moved to a big city, did not yet have an actual paying job; what she did have was not much at all. As was habit she checked the time on her phone, but made no note of it, instead rolling her eyes at the half dozen text message notices on the screen. The bouncer here was far less intimidating than at Silver and passed her through without any real fuss. Either he really didn’t care about his job, she looked a lot older than she was(the thought of which depressed her greatly), or he noticed who she was with. Audrey was not at all vain, but she prayed it wasn’t the second.
She welcomed the change of this new place; no flashing lights, no thundering base, less of a crowd. Janie and Cat would have thought it boring. It was wonderful, in a weird way almost home-y even though the only bars back home were country bars, honky tonks and the sort. Yes, she had snuck her way into a few of those once or twice when she was definitely underage… but this place felt more like home, like what people who knew her too well would expect her house to be like –a kind of grungy, dark, floor to ceiling covered in posters place. Looking at her Audrey seemed dainty, almost mousey with her dark brown hair and eyes a little too large for her face, and conservative with her love of wearing jeans and cardigans everywhere on every occasion so her love of dark, grungy, heavy metal scenery would likely shock any who did not know better. But she took more comfort in this than she did in her favorite comfy sweater –that Janie had tossed out of the window earlier in the evening.
After examining the place and noting that she felt a little too over dressed, or inappropriately dressed, she turned back and beamed at Micah, “Aaannnd now I think -now that I can think- I want a bourbon. How about you?”