I'm so far gone now, I've been running on empty... (Gerbert)
“’Cause love's such an old fashioned word,
And love dares you to care,
For the people on the edge of the night,
And love dares you to change our ways,
Of caring about ourselves.”
His voice rose to meet mine, supporting my smooth, poisoned-honey vocals with a gravelly scream of passion. ...I’d have to have a word with him about that, if he expected me to continue the song successfully for the rest of the tour, he’d have to stop making those sorts of noises.
My mind flickered back to memories of the sweaty, sticky flesh of last night, one of the many drug-hazed nights.
We lay pressed against each other, shaking as the last ebbs of pleasure raced through our bodies, along with the nicotine, cocaine and alcohol, whose effects had been heightened by the feverish rush of blood through our systems. He nuzzled his head under my arm, pressed his nose to my neck, and breathed, “I hate you,” into my ear.
“I hate you too, baby,” I replied before rolling over to puke my dinner onto the carpet.
He pulled me towards him, gripping my shoulders and bringing me back to reality. Shaking off the daze, I threw myself into the rest of the song and we bounced around the stage together, unleashing the last chorus on the shrieking audience,
“This is our last dance,
This is our last dance,
This is ourselves under pressure,
As our voices and the band faded, the scream of the crowd swelled, girls were squealing and crying in the front row. Bert pranced closer to me, grinning manically, an expression I’m sure I mirrored. In a moment of desire, amplified by the euphoria of the crowd, I reached out a grabbed his collar and pulled him towards me. Lust burned in my eyes as I crashed my lips against his, forcing my tongue into his waiting mouth. I felt his body press against mine, his hand sneaking around my waist forcing me closer to him. I bit down on his soft, lower lip, hard enough to draw blood. He gasped loudly, a small moan coming from his beautifully ruined lips as I pulled away. I danced across the stage, savouring the coppery, salty blood, only then did I hear the audience screaming themselves into frenzy.
“Fuck you very, very much New Jersey! I love you guys!” I screamed, flipping them off and running backstage without a backwards glance as the band started up again.
“Ooh, beer!” I giggled, spotting Mikey next to the refreshment stand, “Don’t mind if I do.”
I took one of the red plastic cups, skolling the contents and reaching for another one.
“Hey bro, maybe you should slow down...?” he said, slowly.
I didn’t sense much conviction behind the words; I knew he’d already given up on curbing my habits.
“Aah, little bro, you worry too much.” I gave him a grin, putting my arm around his shoulders. Touching my cup to his, I crooned, “Cheers, Mikey darling.”
I skolled the next five, beginning to feel their effects bloom through me, like tentacles of warmth spreading through my body to my extremities, making them tingle. Lighting up, I stalked to Bert’s dressing room, and finding some black eyeliner I wrote on his mirror:
“Meet me in my bus so we can finish what I started, the password’s bananarama.”
Rummaging around some more I found some red lipstick. As I applied it, I gigged at my image reflected in the mirror, my mischievous green eyes clashed brilliantly with the red lipstick. I kissed the mirror, leaving a perfect outline of my lips. After stubbing my cigarette out in his ashtray, I closed the door silently behind me, thoughts already wandering towards tonight.
“Why have you got lipstick on, Gerard?” the bemused voice of Ray broke through into my consciousness.
I tapped my nose, wavering slightly due to the sudden change in equilibrium in my intoxicated state, “That’s for me to know.”
“Righto, dude.” He strolled off shaking his head, unfazed by my drunken antics.
I made a quick trip to the shops to get some supplies for that evening. The shop owner gave me the strangest look while he was scanning the items. I grinned at him, inwardly glad that my 24/7 sunnies shaded my identity; I didn’t need those sort of rumours in the newspaper.
Once I got back to the bus, I busied myself getting things ready for the night. I sent a text to everyone letting them know that I shot gunned the lounge area of the bus for the rest of the night and they were, under no circumstances, to disturb me, under pain of death.
I had gone with a romantic scene, however I added a twist of my own to the mix and I’d come up with something quite beautiful.
There were deep red rose petals over the fold out couch, which I’d clothed with a brown mink blanket. On every surface were red and white candles that bathed the scene with a soft, glimmering light.
There was a bottle of champagne on the table, along with two glasses and some strawberries in a bowl next to a fondue kit that I’d made up earlier. All in all, it was a textbook romantic gesture. Well, it would have been, if not for the CD blaring in the background. I had picked Bert’s new album, In Love and Death to set the scene for tonight.
I looked at my watch, surprised at the time, it was 6 o’clock. I heard a faint knock on the door and a small, nervous giggle as, “Bananarama.” Came floating through the door.
I grinned to myself, letting him sweat for a few seconds before I let him in with a seductive smile.
His face went from surprise to confusion, “What’s all this?” He asked.
“I thought I’d do something a bit romantic, shake it up a bit.” I replied.
“Cool, ooh, you even got strawberries with chocolate fondue!” He was ecstatic.
“Anything for you, babe.” I grinned, secretly relieved that he liked it, “Champagne, love?” I walked to the table and poured some for each of us.
“Don’t mind if I do.” He replied and took one of the glasses, the bowl of chocolate [ignoring the strawberries] and went to sit on the bed, patting the mattress next to him seductively.
As I moved to join him, I heard a gun cock and knew the CD had started again. “Right,” I thought to myself, “you have to time this perfectly.”
He took his shirt off and snuggled under the blanket, gestured for me to do the same.
I padded towards him, taking my shirt off and throwing it across the room. His eyes lit up gleaming brightly in the candle light, I took in his expression, glancing at his perfect torso, creamy skin glowing softly, mouth in a small ‘o’ of appreciation.
I whispered to myself, “I'm not in love, you know it's not love, don’t make it look so pretty burning.”
The angel of fire now sat on my bed, surrounded by the flame of the candles, beckoning towards me. I took his hand and he pulled me towards him, taking me into his arms. He sang along with lyrics that he had written, softly in my ear, “Take my hand, take my life, take my heart, take my mind, take my life, take my life.”
We moved closer together, I felt him shiver as our bare skin touched, and we melted onto the bed. I leaned over him, taking his champagne with mine and placing them beside the bed. They were soon joined by the bowl of melted chocolate. I brushed his hair from his face, kissing him softly on the cheek, moving down towards his neck. I licked his neck slowly from collarbone to ear, raising goose bumps as I went and earned an appreciative moan from his lips.
I re-positioned myself, taking care to place one leg between his, pressing it softly against him. I took the melted chocolate and carefully poured some on his chest, until it made a fairly straight line down his body. Again, he shivered from the sensation of the warm chocolate oozing over him. Moving down the bed, I started to clean the chocolate away, very slowly. I made my way up his body, pausing every now and then to create a hickey, which at first earned an impatient growl that quickly turned into one of pleasure.
His breath accelerated with every second, as was mine. I could soon feel his heartbeat under my lips; it was like a hummingbird’s, “Are you nervous baby?” I enquired.
“Just a little.” His reply came in short bursts, affected by his breathing.
I giggled to myself, pleased that I could get such a reaction.
He groaned in impatience, annoyed at the pause I’d taken. He pulled me towards him, gripping under my shoulders to bring me level with his glorious face.
I laughed out loud this time, and bent down to kiss his perfect lips lightly.
“You are such a fucking tease!” He complained, voice throaty with passion.
I laughed again, grabbed his neck and pulled him towards me. His lips met mine, softly at first, but with building intensity.
I flicked my tongue over his lips as he pulled me down, pressing us together. I dipped my head towards his neck, to place another bruise on his beautiful body. I heard his moan in my ear as he, sick of my teasing, rolled over me and took control.
We lay, entwined, sweat dripping off our bodies, sipping champagne. He nuzzled into my neck and I felt his sigh of contentment on my skin.
“I lo....” His voice cut off by my finger.
“Don’t say it, baby, just don’t.” I pleaded, looking him in the eye and nearly dying by the look on his face.
“I don’t understand.” He whispered, tears welling in his eyes from the rejection.
“Listen, I can’t do it anymore, Bert. I’m so far gone now; I’ve been running on empty.” It was cruel to use his words against him, but it was the only way.
“Why, Gee!?” yelling, pleading, crying.
“Everyone’s given up on me Bert. I thought I could take whatever they threw at me but I can’t take this, not the indifference, not the acceptance.” I was crying now, too, “I need to get better, love and it’s not gonna happen with you in my life.”
I pulled my clothes on, his empty protests falling on deaf ears as I pressed repeat on the CD player and stalked from the room, into the night.