“Because I know how it feels,” he said. “The first time Fall Out Boy toured, I was scared out of my mind; excited, but scared. It was all really new and I didn’t know what to expect. But it...
I almost didn't process the sound at first. I was still half asleep when I heard the faint
ringing. I wondered what it was when suddenly my eyes flew open.
I looked over at my bedside table and saw my phone was ringing. I picked it up, not bothering to look at the caller ID.
"Hello?" I said, groggily.
"Hey! It's Pete," my heart skipped a beat and I was suddenly awake.
"Hey Pete, how are you?" I asked, sitting up. I glanced at the clock, it was 6am.
"I'm good," he said, I could practically hear him smiling. "You?"
"Good," he said with a chuckle. "Well, Spencer just called me and told me that they just
landed in Chicago. So they should be at the studio at, like, 11 am. So I was thinking you could come meet the crew at 10 before the guys come, is that cool with you?"
"10am? Sure! That's fine," I said, a little too excitedly.
"I'm sorry it's late notice, but you know how musicians are," he said, chuckling.
"It's no problem,"
"Cool, see you then," he said. "Oh, and one more thing, actually,"
"Please don't be nervous," he said, gently. "I know this all must be a little intimidating for you, but it's going to be super casual,"
"How did you know I was nervous?" I asked, slightly embarrassed.
"Because I know how it feels," he said. "The first time Fall Out Boy toured, I was scared out of my mind; excited, but scared. It was all really new and I didn't know what to expect. But it was the most amazing time of my life and I want this to be the same with you," (hold up, did Pete Wentz just say he wanted to make this amazing for me? Was I still dreaming?) "So, don't be nervous. I'll be there when you meet Panic so they won't do anything stupid," he added, laughing.
"Thanks, Pete," I said, honestly shocked by his compassion. "I know people tell you you're a jerk, but you're a really cool guy,"
"Are you just saying that to kiss up to your new boss?" he asked, teasingly. I laughed.
"No, I mean it," I said, my voice soft. "I'm not nervous anymore, thanks to you. And I'm really excited for this tour,"
"I'm glad you are," he said. "So I'll see you at 10 then?"
"See you then, Harper,"
"Bye, Pete," I hung up. My heart was beating rapidly. Did that really just happen? Oh this tour is going to be amazing…
"Alright, calm down Harper," I spoke aloud. "You need to act professional,"
I got up and quickly took a shower before getting dressed. I wore jeans and red shirt (this is what it looks like: http://s4.thisnext.com/media/largest_dimension/DFD3844C.jpg ) and let my auburn hair fall in loose curls down my back. I had no idea if this was casual or business-y so I sort of dressed for both. I looked in the mirror and took a deep breath, steadying my nerves.
I left the house and made my way to the building I had visited the previous day. I found it without much trouble and my heart went crazy as I parked. I just sort of sat in my car for a moment collecting as much courage I could muster from my rapidly beating heart.
I walked in tentatively to the room I had been in the past day. Nothing changed, except there were no people there and the secretary was actually at her desk.
"Harper?" she asked, getting my attention. "Welcome back," she added with a smile.
"Thanks," I said, smiling.
"You can go wait in the office, same place as yesterday," she said, "Pete should be here soon," I nodded before entering the hallway once more. "I thought he said he'd be here" I
thought slightly panicked.
I stopped briefly when I came across the Panic poster. I just looked at it, in absolute shock of the fact that those same boys on the poster would be who I was going to work for. I don't know if it was fate or just dumb luck, but this was the best coincidence ever.
I continued on until I found the door to Pete's office. I hesitated before entering.
Opening the door I found two other people were already there. One was an older gentleman who looked strong and had many tattoos. The other was a guy around my age with floppy light brown hair and light blue eyes.
"Hi," I said, timidly.
"Hey, I'm Dan," the older guy said, standing up. "I'm the stage crew manager,"
"Harper," I said, shaking his hand. "I'm tour manager,"
"Ah, so you're our new boss?" the boy with blue eyes chimed in. "I'm Hunter, the tech manager,"
I shook his hand, "Nice to meet you,"
"Agreed," he said, smiling. He was actually pretty cute- for a techy.
"So have you guys worked with Panic before?" I asked.
"I have on their last tour," Hunter said, "They're pretty cool guys; quirky, but cool," I nodded.
"You ever done a big show before?" Dan asked.
"No, this is actually my first tour with a known band," I said.
"Well, you're in for it," Hunter said, laughing a little. "These guys are a handful,"
"Hunter, behave yourself," he said, rolling his eyes. "They are not a handful, Harper; they just have a big production. They are almost all humble guys you'll ever meet and they just want to have fun," he said, with a smile. There was something very paternal about him and I was looking forward to working together.
"Whatever…" Hunter mumbled, leaning back in his chair. He, on the other hand, was going to take some getting used to.
We talked for a while, just getting familiar with each other and their crew. It was nice; I definitely felt more prepared for the tour.
"So what's the commitment like?" I asked, after a while.
"Not sure yet," Dan said, "But I know it starts in the US,"
"Pete said he might have us stay for the European tour, too, depending on how he likes us," Hunter said, while simultaneously texting.
"Europe?" I asked, stunned.
"Yep," Hunter said. "That's the plan,"
Europe? I'd never even been out of the US before. Just when I thought I was going to go into a panic (huh, that's ironic.) the door opened and Pete walked in.
"Hey guys," he said, putting his hands in his pockets. We all responded with some type of greeting. I couldn't stop the butterflies in my stomach. I was intimidated, even if Pete told me not to be.
"The band's on their way here, they're just dropping their luggage off at the hotel," he said.
"Will they be here soon?" Hunter asked, looking desperate to get out of here. (I find it hard to believe someone could be that bored working with celebrities, but I digress).
"Yeah, like 20 minutes," he said. "Actually, you and Dan can go, considering you already know the band," he said after a beat.
"Seriously? Sweet," Hunter said, getting up out his chair and, after bro-hugging Pete, walked out the door.
"You sure you don't need us for anything?" Dan asked.
"Nah, you're good," Pete said. Dan nodded and exited as well. I sighed quietly. I was going to have to meet these guys practically alone.
"How're you doing?" he asked after a moment.
"I'm alright, I guess," I said, my voice betraying me with its utter lack of confidence.
"You're going to do great," he said, putting a hand on my shoulder. "Remember how nervous you were when you met me? But, you said it yourself, I'm a nice guy. And these guys are the nicest people you'll ever meet, I promise. Besides, you look hot in that outfit,"
"Thanks, Pete," I said, chuckling. We both sat down and talked for a while.
"So…I know you're a fan of Panic," Pete said, at one point.
"Yeah?" I wasn't sure where he was going with this.
"And I was wondering…which member do you like the best?" he asked, a mischievous glint in his eye.
"Pete, I'm not going to answer that," I started, rolling my eyes.
"Ah, come on! You must have an opinion," he said, raising an eyebrow. I sighed.
"Do I really have to answer that?"
"As your boss, I'm telling you to answer that," he said with a grin.
"I thought you said we were family," I countered, smirking.
"Fine. As your big brother, I'm asking you to answer that," he retorted. I bit my lip.
"You really want to know?" he nodded. "Fine. I like...Ryan the best,"
"Ryan? Really?" he asked, his face breaking out into a grin once more.
"Yeah…he's a great musician and a brilliant lyricist," I said, matter-of-factly.
"It's not because he has a baby-face and a cute smile?" he asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Well, that helps…" I almost whispered. My cheeks were pink.
"Oooooh, Harper's got a crush!" Pete said with a singsong voice.
"I do not!" I huffed, frustrated.
"Yeah, you do," he said, teasingly. "You just don't want to admit it,"
"No, you like him and you know it!" he said, knowing it would bother me. He really wasn't going to let this go, was he?
"Pete…" I sighed.
"Yeeessss?" he asked, amused.
"Please don't tell them,"
"Don't tell them what?" he was suddenly confused.
"That I like them," I said, and it only made him more confused. I sighed. "Pete, I just don't want them to think I'm some fangirl, they'll never respect me," he nodded slowly.
"I guess that makes sense…" he said and then paused. "…so you admit to liking him, then?"
"Pete!" I let out a frustrated breath as he laughed.
His phone rang and he calmed his laughter as he answered it. I sat back in my chair and crossed my arms. I could tell he like teasing me, but I also knew he was trying to be my friend.
"Brendon? Yeah, it's me," he paused, nodding. "Cool, so I'll see you in a few minutes…? Okay, great….see you then….bye," he ended the call and my heart was practically beating out of my chest. "Don't freak out, but they are on their way here," he said.
"Okay…" I said, keeping myself calm.
"You're freaking out aren't you?"
"No…" he raised an eyebrow. "Yes."
"I thought I told you not to freak out," he said, softly.
"I'm just nervous, okay? Can't help it!" I said, hopelessly.
"I get that," he said, nodding. "They're going to love you, you know. They haven't had a good tour manager yet. That's why I did the anonymous interview, so that they could have someone that could be their friend; just like I said when I met you,"
"Yes, really," he said, smiling. "Just be you, okay?"
"Okay," I said with a small smile on my lips.
Just then there was a knock on the door.
"Mr. Wentz?" the secretary (note to self: learn her name), said poking her head in.
"The band is here to see you,"
"Awesome! Let them in!" he said, getting up and walking towards the door. I stood up as well, not completely sure how this would go down.
Spencer walked in first, he smiled wide when he saw Pete and hugged him immediately. "How the hell are ya?" Brendon said as he walked in and embraced Pete. Jon came in next, looking subdued, but happy to see his old friend. Ryan came in last, pulling out his headphones as he entered with a small smile on his lips.
"Guys, this is Harper Tate," he said, turning the focus to me. "She's your new tour manager,"
"Well, hello there," Brendon said, eyeing me up. I fought a blush that was forming in my cheeks and laughed a little.
"Wow, You're a bold," I said, holding out my hand for him to shake.
"No, I'm Brendon," he said, kissing my hand instead of shaking it. "It's nice to meet you,"
"Ignore his cheesy pick-up lines and he's actually a nice guy," Jon said, rolling his eyes at Brendon. "I'm Jon, by the way," he said, shaking my hand.
"Nice to meet you," I said, smiling.
"Don't pretend like you're not a flirt, Jon," Spencer chimed in. "I'm Spencer," he said, shaking my hand as well.
"I'm Ryan," Ryan said, shaking my hand as well.
"Harper," I responded simply.
"That's a pretty name; very unique," he said, smiling a little more than he had before. I can't even tell you how nervous I was; it was hard to meet his brown eyes. But I played it cool, fighting down any fangirl instincts I had and pretending like I was completely calm.
"Thanks," I said, smiling confidently.
"I thought you guys would want to meet her before you go on tour together," Pete said, putting a comforting hand on my shoulder.
"I'm glad you did," Brendon said, smirking. "I look forward to working with you, Harper," he said, seductively.
Was he really still hitting on me? I cannot even tell you the butterflies I got when he said my name. Favorite member or not, I still had a crush on Brendon Urie. But I knew if I gave him the satisfaction I would just get my heart broken. I knew that all too well. I also knew that he was probably just playing up the front-man persona. I had to stop this while I was ahead.
"You're not getting in my pants during this tour, Brendon," I said, casually. "So there's no need to try so hard,"
There was a moment of silence and Brendon's mouth fell open slightly. Then all the other guys burst out into laughter.
"Wow, Bren, how's it felt to get rejected?" Spencer said between laughs.
"Shut up," Brendon muttered.
"Hey, we can still be friends," I said, smirking.
"Ouch, you just got friend-zoned, dude," Jon said, smiling. "I like her," he said to Pete.
"Are we good?" I said to Brendon teasingly. He mumbled something. "Yes?"
"Yeah, we're good," he said, smiling a little. The look in his eyes told me we were going to be good friends.
"I suppose you should know that we have a…unique show," Spencer said. "It's very theatrical and kind of crazy,"
"Kind of?" Jon cut in. "Our show is crazy. We have a lot of dancing and light effects and lots other unnecessary stuff that Ryan wanted to put in,"
"Hey, it's not unnecessary! It's a show, Jonathan, we can't just stand there and perform; we have to keep people entertained," he said, rolling his eyes.
"If you say so, Ry," Jon said, chuckling at his artistic friend.
The banter between the boys continued for a while, making me laugh. They were surprisingly normal and fun. I could tell I was going to like them; heck, I almost forgot I was a fan while I was talking to them because they acted like we had been friends since birth.
"…So the tour will ultimately be about 3 months long," Pete was saying. "It starts in Chicago and ends in Vegas,"
"3 months," I muttered, almost to myself. I had done a tour, but nothing that long.
"Yeah…is that okay with you?" he asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Oh, of course it is," I said, quickly.
"Good, good," he said nodding. "You guys will have to leave on the 2nd to get to your first show. So you have about 3 days to get prepared and stuff,"
"3 days?" Spencer said and then groaned. "Do we have to wait that long?"
"Yes, you do," Pete said, rolling his eyes. He happened to glance down at his watch. "Crap!"
"What's wrong?" Ryan asked, his brow furrowed.
"I was supposed to go to the studio to check how the new Cobra Starship CD is coming along," he said, facepalming. "Gabe's ganna kill me," Jon laughed.
"Yeah, he's ganna be pissed at you," he added.
"So you're kicking us out now, right?" Brendon said with a smirk.
"Yeah, kind of, sorry," Pete responded, standing up.
"I suppose we should get going too," Spencer said, and everyone stood.
"Well, you can show yourselves out," Pete said, hurriedly before rushing out and yelling
"Bye!" as he went. Ryan chuckled.
"He never could come to anything on time," he said to himself, rolling his eyes.
"Harper Tate, it was lovely to meet you, but we must make our exit," Jon said in a mock British accent, making me giggle.
"Something you should learn about Jon is that he likes to use accents," Ryan said, smirking.
"I do not!" he said in a girly teenage voice. I just laughed all the more.
"You do, and you know it," Spencer countered, making Jon sarcastically pout. "It was nice meeting you, Harper,"
"You too," I said, smiling. "It was great to meet all of you,"
There was a chorus of goodbyes as everyone left the room, but Ryan stopped just before he left and turned around.
"I look forward to working with you, Miss. Tate," he said with a wink and a smile before exiting. I found it funny how he said almost the exact thing Brendon had, and yet it felt different; more sincere... more sweet. And that smile...
My God, could he be anymore charming?