How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop?
Don’t Be A Baby
AKA-“Hola, Chicka. Gabe Didn’t Get Into Your Pants?”
“Oh, God,” I moaned. Gabe Saporta scratching his crotch is not sexy. Or hot. Or pleasant. It’s gross. Really, really, gross. He went to push me forward, and I jumped out of his reach. “DON’T! Touch me until you’ve washed your hand.” He raised an eye brow at me. I turned away, but not in enough time to see his next gross act. And no, I am blocking it out of my memory.
I took in a deep breath, before moving forward on unsteady legs to the front of the bus. I could feel Gabe moving behind me, more relaxed than I figured he’d be. I fiddled with my two rings and we entered the main seating area. I could picture this as a scene from a fan fic. Probably my fan fic.
“Guys,” Gabe said, drawing several people’s attention to us. I tried to make myself smaller. “This is Zoë. Zoë. These are random people. Have fun. And, no. We did not sleep together. Now gimme some coffee.” And he left me standing there, with all eyes still on me. I felt my throat close up as I waved slightly. Victoria waved me over, like I was a little kid.
“Sit next to me,” she said, moving over in the booth she was sitting in. All the eyes followed me. I felt self-conscious but at the same time excited. I’m on Cobra fucking Starship’s bus!! I sat slowly, surveying the other people.
Ryland was even taller than I thought, and he was staring at me, his hot pocket poised for eating, his mouth open, but nothing else going on. Nate was ignoring me, but the vibe wasn’t bad. He was being nice and not staring me down like a mountain lion after a wild bore. Or something. Alex was letting in eyes flicker back and forth between Gabe and me. He was smirking, and I didn’t know if this was a good thing or a bad thing.
I nervously shifted, and tried to gulp down as much air as possible. I was a mentally frail thing, prone to panic attacks and catatonic states when in a less than downy soft situation. I focused my attention onto my hands, playing with moonstone ring and my class ring. Shit. My class ring. I yanked it off and shoved it into my pocket.
Beside me the seat shifted slightly with new weight. I looked up and it was Alex. He put his coffee cup down and smiled me. I grimaced.
“Hola Chicka. Gabe seriously didn’t get into your pants?” My head shot up in shock.
“Not cool,” Victoria said. Gabe choked on his coffee.
“That’s weird,” said Ryland.
“Totally,” Nate agreed, turning around. I couldn’t find any words to tell Alex… something. Anything. But he just grinned, and took a sip of his coffee.
“So then what are you doing here?”
“I begged Gabe to take me with you…?” I said, raising my eyebrows, attempting to shake my nerves away. Holy crap. I believe this is the closest I’ve been to a band. And I though last night was something!
“Guys,” Victoria said, rolling her eyes. “Enough. Really. She’s pretty young, and you being in her space doesn’t help.”
“Thanks,” I said, scooting closer to Victoria.
“Okay, come on Victoria,” Alex said, with a strain in his voice that sounded similar to whining. “How are we going to find out about her? I mean, it’s a little weird. Right? I’m just, curious. Plus, where is she going? I’m assuming your from the last place we played.”
“Charlotte,” I said, and unconcuosly picked up a southern twang. “Well, I live east of Charlotte, in a little red-neck town. I asked Gabe on whim, and he said yes, and it happened so fast, and I’m sorry, I really am. I’d leave if you guys asked me, but I kinda don’t wanna go home. It’s not all bad there, but I just feel like… Like I really really need to get out into the world. And again I’m really-”
“Okay! Okay.” I felt my cheeks redden.
“It’s okay. How about we do a backgroud check on you, then maybe you can stay.”
“Do a what?”
“When were you born?” Alex asked, suddenly.
“Uh. May 13th, 1990?”
“My mom and dad?” I gave Alex my look, and he grinned sheepishly.
“Ohio.” Soon Ryland and Nate joined in. Victoria rolled her eyes at them, but I could tell she was curious too, seeing as she didn’t leave.
“Are they gay?”
“My older one is.”
“How much money would it take for you to eat Victoria’s cucumber?”
“Is this the actual veggie, or something gross?”
“How old is it?”
“A few weeks,” Victoria said.
“Then, no money could make me eat that veggie.” And the questions got weird from there (a few included the mention on tampons, pop, and sex toys.)
“How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop?” Finished Ryland.
“Seventy-three.” I watched as Ryland’s eyes got big.
I shrugged. It seemed that the Cobras were taking me into stride very well, which was surprising, but also not. If you get what I’m saying. Gabe crashed through the front of the bus, glasses firmly in place along with a hat, and a purple scarf. I hadn’t even realized he’d left.
“We gotta go to sound check, guys,” he said, waving them off the bus. I stood to let Victoria out, then looked at Gabe, clueless. “Er… Stay here,” he said, before whirling out of the bus, leaving me alone. On one of my favorite band’s bus.
Hell fucking yeah.