Paul feels the heat of Stuart's control as he and John begin to grow closer
Stuart's chilling words lingered in Paul's head as he stared into John's needy eyes. He couldn't lie to him, not to John. But if he told him the truth...
"Macca? What did you want to talk to me about?" then he saw the dried blood on the bedsheets, "Why are you bleeding?"
Paul felt all the colour draining out of his tearstained face and for a moment he didn't care about what Stuart did and foolishly opened his mouth to blurt everything out. But then Stuart walked in, making Paul absentmindedly sink his nails into John's arm. Stuart watched Paul in John's arms.
"What's going on?" he said, his eyes flickering towards John.
"What's it got to do with you?" said John nastily
"Just asking" Sutcliffe's eyes flashed over to Paul in a threatening glare, "Have you and John been talking then Paul?"
Paul stared into those dark eyes
I'll knock you into next year
"Yeah" he said and gave john a gentle smile, "I was going to tell him about that nose bleed I had just a moment ago"
John looked at him, "Nosebleed?"
"Yeah, I went smack into a wall. Wasn't watching where I was going. I felt embarrassed so that's why I hid. I'm sorry I snapped at ya John"
"Oh Paul, you made me break the fucking door down for a nosebleed?"
"I'm sorry" said Paul, "I thought you'd laugh at me for being such a clumsy twat"
John frowned, but then the sides of his mouth began twitching and he started giggling.
"Of course I wouldn't have made fun of you, ya daft sod" he said, giving him a squeeze, "What am I going to do with ya Macca?"
Paul smiled appreciatively, returning the hug. But from over John's shoulder the smile soon disappeared, as he met those eyes again.
He flinched as Sutcliffe mouthed at him
"McCartney! Get your sorry little arse down here and help me tune this bloody bass or else!"
Paul sighed with frustration as Stuart's deafening shout reached his bedroom. He hated staying in this shabby dorm behind the cinema. It was like a prison. He took his time, dragging his feet to the top of the stairs and meeting Stuart at the bottom. Without a word, Stuart thrust a bass guitar into Paul's hands, the weight making the boy hobble. He followed the older man into the sitting room where Stuart dominated the sofa, forcing Paul to sit on the uncomfortable floor. Paul knew what Sutcliffe had meant when he said "show me" What he was really saying was, "Your going to do it for me" He just sat there like a king on his throne, watching his pathetic manservant do his work for him.
Paul tried to divert his attention away from the evil glare coming from the sofa and focus on more important things. He was thinking about what he said to John.
Come on Paul, a nosebleed? You'll have to do better than that
But at least John didn't suspect anything anymore, which was a good thing because Sutcliffe's seemed set to murder paul at any minute. Tuning his bass guitar was the just the start of his newly found chores. What kind of stuff would Stuart make him do next?
At one point, Paul was so far away in another world he forgot what he was doing and accidentally struck a chord with his thumb, making an ear piercing twang hit the walls. He was then caught unaware by such a smack to the head he almost fell forwards onto the guitar. Stuart stood over the petrified boy, trembling in a ball on the floor.
"Stupid little imp" he muttered before sitting back into his original spot. Paul immediately resumed tuning the guitar, trying hard not to make any mistakes (which was difficult because his hands were shaking so hard) and after he was done, he handed it over to Sutcliffe without looking into his eyes. Stuart examined the bass and gave it an experimental twang.
"Nice job kid" he said mockingly, "I'm sure all the others will be impressed that you can tune a bass" then he paused, as if thinking, "Oh no, they won't. Because I tuned it. Didn't I`?" he said, leaning forward so their faces were only meters away, "And if you open that little mouth of yours-"
"What?" said Paul boldly, "You'll knock me into next year?"
Before Paul had time to think if he could have said anything more stupid, Stuart grabbed his arm, sinking his fingertips hard into Paul's skin. His grip was like iron.
"I'm not playing games here McCartney" Sutcliffe hissed, shaking him a little
"Ow Stu, your hurting my arm!"
"If you ever talk to me like that again-"
He was cut short as they heard footsteps coming towards the room. Stu instantly released Paul from his grip as George walked in. He watched them both, examining Paul who was rubbing his sore arm with his cute hazel eyes.
"Is everything okay?" he asked a little shyly
"Yeah" said Stuart before Paul could say otherwise, "Everything's just fine"
George (who didn't really like Stuart either) may have been young, but certainly wasn't stupid. He saw the way paul was holding his arm, the pain in his expression, his moist eyes. He looked at him worriedly.
"Are you sure everythings okay Paul?"
Paul bit his cheek to stop the tears coming out. He hated that he had to lie to George. He was so young, so innocent. He was just a baby. And when he looked into those hazel eyes, he didn't see any suspicion or frustration. Just trust.
"Everything's fine Georgie" said Paul, managing a smile. George returned it though he still didn't feel Paul was telling the truth. But being to polite to question him, he changed the subject.
"You guys better pick up the pace. John wants us all in the den at three to discuss band names"
"So, I was asleep right, dreaming about chasing rabbits in a field. Boy were those rabbits big. Seriously, I swear they were little dogs-"
"John get to the point"
"Oh yeah right. Anyway, suddenly this huge flaming pie replaced the sun and this guy was sitting upon it - like that guy with the beard...what's his name...?"
"Yeah that's it, and he came down on the flaming pie and said unto me "From tis day on, you are Beatles with an "A" and he was gone"
The other's stared at him with raised eyebrows
"The Beatles?" said George after a while
"Yup" said John, grinning at them eagerly, "What do you think guys?"
The remaining band members, Paul, Stu, George and Pete Best all glanced at each other. People had been drifting in and out of the band over the past few weeks and now they were down to five members. John Lennon's band names were getting weirder and weirder and every week or so the others would have another dose of his odd fantasy.
"Well?" he said, tapping his foot impatiently, awaiting a reply
"Well John" said Pete, "It's...interesting and very original...but I don't think it would make a very good band name because it's really..."
"Bad?" George blurted out without thinking
The others couldn't contain themselves after that. They collapsed in a fit of giggles, making John's eyes flare. He waited until the hysterics died down before looking over at Paul who was the only one managing to keep a straight face.
"Tell me Paul, tell me honestly. Is Beatles a crap name?" he said a smooth voice from which he expected Paul to reply, "No, it's a great name, your a genius John"
The name lingered in Paul's mind and suddenly seeing the funny side of it, he bit his lip to stop the giggle coming out. But John had already seen.
"Your mean Macca" he said, but Paul saw there was a smirk on his face, "Your such a bad boy"
Paul took advantage
"Then why don't you come over ere an gimme a spank Lennon?"
There was a sudden pause and the other boys stopped killing themselves on the floor, glancing up to look at Paul with puzzled looks. John looked rather surprised too but then he lowered his head and grinned at Paul. Paul the suddenly realised that John had actually taken him seriously and before he could tell him he was just joking, Lennon was moving slowly up to him, pulling up his sleeves. Paul knew he was in for it now but couldn't help giggling at the situation
"No John" he said backing away a little, "No John, don't, DON'T!" and he broke into a run, sprinting out of the room and up the stairs, John hot on his trail. The resumed giggles from downstairs soon faded as Paul hurried into his bedroom.
He stopped on his tracks when he suddenly realised he was cornered and turned around in case he could make a run for it when he saw John leaned seductively at the doorway. He walked in, closing it slowly behind him, never taking his eyes of Paul's face. Paul bit his lip as John got closer towards him and then in a last attempt to escape, threw himself on a bed and began crawling across it. John, beginning to enjoy this game, sidled after him and for the next few minutes, it was a game of cat and mouse around the room until John caught Paul by the pants and they began rolling around on top of one of the beds. Paul giggled like a little girl, wriggling away from the older man as he tried to pull his trousers down. The fun lasted until John had Paul in a straddle position, holding down his wrists and looking down into those pretty eyes.
"Do you surrender?"
Paul grinned, "Never"
"Than I shall have to torture you until you do" said John triumphantly and before Paul could reply he began tickling under his arms making Paul squeal. He did his best to crawl away from John but Lennon would always catch him and make him collapse with giggles. John couldn't believe how ticklish the younger man was and took great pleasure in putting a smile on his face. In the end Paul gave in and lay there laughing, letting John's mischievous fingers tickle his body. After a while, when Paul's eyes were glassed over with tears of joy, John leaned over and whispered in his ear.
"Do you surrender now?"
Paul giggled in defeat, "Yes"
Feeling like his work was done, John got off of Paul and sat opposite him on the bed, Paul lying on his stomach and cocking his head at him, batting his eyelashes
"Are you still going to spank me daddy?" he said, pouting a little
"Tell you what, come to my room tonight and I'll spank you there"
The thought made Paul's heart leap and he suddenly lunged towards John with such a strong hug, John feel on his back. They started giggling again, holding each other in a playful embrace. But the fun was riled as Stuart walked in.
"What's going on here then?"
Paul jumped and unwound his hands from around John's neck, blushing. John rolled his eyes
God, what does he want?
"Nothin" said Lennon slyly, "Me and Paul were just...playing a game" he looked over at Paul and winked. Paul couldn't help a grin escaping
"Yes, very funny" said Stuart pokerfaced, "Anyways, George and Pete are wandering where the hell you've got to. We're rehearsing in an hour"
"Whatever" said John rising from the bed and going to the door. Before he left, he turned to Paul.
"See ya later...love" he said, winking again and he left, his footsteps jogging merrily down the stairs. Paul beamed, his pretty little schoolboy face shining brighter than ever. But it vanished after he saw Stu's face.
Stuart took a deep breath and closed to door slowly
"I warned you, you little whore" he said quietly