A chance encounter gives our lovable idiot a romantic thrill...
‘Uh… shall I come back later?’ he grinned.
Guy stopped abruptly, attempting and failing to stand, and having to lean on the desk for balance.
‘Ah, yes. Yes, very good.’
The two men took their seats, facing each other. This was obviously a member of the new band they had sent him to interview, and Guy being a top reporter, he had done his research. Well, a bit of research. As a result he had fallen in love with Cobra Starship’s music, but as yet had not got round to researching the band in full. At least fate had introduced him to someone he HAD looked up. Guy gave a contented sigh.
‘Gabanti.’ Guy was really in the swing of things now.
‘The, uh… The Talented Mr Ripley,’ Gabe retorted with a grin.
Guy gave a small laugh. ‘Ah yes, I love Jude Law.’ But underneath the friendly banter, Guy was secretly nervous. This was Gabe Saporta he was talking to. THE Gabe Saporta. The man of purple-hoodie-Justin-Timberlake-necklace-partying-dancing fame! He was scared silly. But in a very good way.
After Guy getting his merchandise signed (including one of his elegant grey shoes, which he insisted eagerly upon), Gabe stood up and stretched.
‘Hey man, you wanna come and meet the rest of the band? Well, whoever’s around anyway. We got some time to kill… but only if that’s cool with you, right?’
Guy’s heart leapt. ‘W-well, um, yes! Y-yes, Gabriel, I’d like that very much!’ he stammered happily. Gabe gave him another grin (boy, was he happy today) and led the way through the venue.
They first came across two men, chatting and sharing some bottles of beer. Guy recognised them from his research as Alex Suarez and Nate Navarro, the bassist and drummer of Cobra Starship, and his heart started pounding even more.
‘Hey, lazy asses! Come over here and meet Guy Ripley!’
For some reason unknown to Guy, the two did a double take. It unnerved him slightly. But then they came over and shook his hand, and talked about trivial things for a while.
‘Hey, have you guys seen Victoria anywhere?’
‘She could be on the bus, or maybe out walking Gizmo,’ suggested Alex, ‘though when she’ll be back I don’t know.’ Nate shrugged in agreement. ‘Oh, wait up; I think she went to the store with Ryland for something.’
‘Aw, that’s too bad. You’d have liked those guys, I can tell,’ Gabe grinned at Guy again.
The rest of the afternoon was uneventful, and Guy started to think about going back to his hotel room. He was clearing his throat to excuse himself when he was interrupted.
‘Hey, where’d you guys hide my keytar? Seriously, when I find out who did this, there’s gonna be some asses kicked!’
Guy looked up to come face to face with the most beautiful woman he had ever set eyes on. Her silky brown hair was loosely tied back in a ponytail, her cheeky face was set off with a cute button nose, and her eyes glistened a deep brown. She was just the sort of goddess Guy had been looking for, and he’d found her here, in this obscure venue somewhere in America. Was it even America he was in? It could have been the North Pole for all he cared. He was so absorbed by Victoria he’d completely shut out the rest of the world, floating in his own little bubble of happiness.
‘Hey…’ Victoria’s voice chimed somewhere in Guy’s mind like a thousand golden bells. Already they'd flown from the North Pole to somewhere in the Bahamas, holding hands under the palm trees as they walked along the beaches…
‘Hey!’ Guy was shaken out of his dream, back to the real world of stutters and embarrassments. ‘If you see my keytar, could you come and find me? It’d be a real help.’
‘Yes… yes, o-of course…’
‘Thanks a lot…’ She waited for his name.
‘…Oh! Oh, it’s- it’s Guy. Guy Ripley. From the BBC World News.’ No! Why had he said that last bit?! She must think him a complete idiot now.
Instead she laughed, and Guy was transported back to the Bahamas where the waves were lapping the shore and they were sharing a pink cocktail with two straws, gazing into each others’ eyes.
‘I’m Victoria. It’s nice to meet you, Guy Ripley from the BBC World News.’ She checked her watch. ‘Oh, hey, I gotta run! I guess I’ll see you around!’ And suddenly she was off again, with a half-hearted backwards wave. Guy hardly noticed she was gone. Only one word escaped his lips in a gentle whisper...