About an hour later when I had my fill of Vince’s tab and the guys had settled down a bit I noticed they came out to set up their equipment. I would have paid more attention to their gear, but I was feeling a bit woozy. Back home I never drank much. On top of that I had only gotten drunk once, and I felt myself on the edge right now. Some of the stuff I had must have been a lot stronger than I thought.
“You alright babe?” the bartender said to me. I glanced over at him, too out of it to pay any mind to his stupid comment.
“Yeah, I’m fine.” I stood up and sauntered over to the small stage where the tall one and one I hadn’t seen were setting up. I racked my slow mind. The tall one had been with that Nikki guy. ‘Terror twin’ Vince had said, whatever that meant.
I glanced over at the newbie. He was so endorsed in his equipment that he didn’t even notice me standing there. That or he just didn’t care.
“Mick.” I said suddenly. Tommy and Mick. That sounds right.
The quiet serious looking guy looked up at me with what might have been a smile.
“Can I help you?” I blinked a few times, wondering what to say. Before I could slur out a reply the drummer looked up at me.
“Hey! It’s Samantha Sixx, what up girl?!” I managed to throw my glare at him.
“Sixx?” I asked.
He shrugged. “You act just like him. Cocky, and wanna take over the world.” I crossed my arms and flipped him off. He smiled his drunken rockstar grin.
“My point exactly.”
“T-Bone I KNOW you aren’t comparing me to that bitch.”
“Right on cue…” Mick muttered. Tommy started checking out his drums.
“Of course not bro.” Nikki walked up in front of me and gave me a dirty glare.
“How’s it feel to be in the audience looking up at me?” He smirked.
Even drunk I felt like slapping the grin right off of his puny whiny face. I balled up my fists in anger. “How would it feel to have your ass kicked by a girl right before your show?” I retorted.
“Suck my dick!” He yelled.
“I can’t find it!” I screamed back, throwing him the bird.
Next thing I knew he was literally hanging over me mid-air as I crashed to the ground in front of the stage. My head swirled and I gazed up. Mick was holding Nikki onstage, he had barely caught him before he dove at me. The pissed off kid was still fighting though, and it took Tommy’s help to pull them both back down. A minute of arguing followed as I managed to stand back up. It ended with Nikki screaming “Fuck you!” and stomping upstairs.
“Dammit.” Tommy muttered, chasing after his bassist. Mick shook his head and looked down at me.
“Yeah…sorry I pissed him off like that, hope I didn’t ruin anything.”
“Don’t worry about it,” Mick replied, going back to setting up his gear, “If anything it’s pissed him off enough to come out here and kick ass onstage tonight, just to get back at you. At least, that’s how things work in his head.”
“Anything I can help with?” I asked the shy guitarist, still feeling bad about the fight.
“You could hook up Nikki’s shit since I’m sure he won’t do it. Just don’t tell him you did or he might not even play.” I nodded and got to work on the bass rig. Shortly after Tommy came back and continued testing his drums. A few people piled into the club. I got most of the set up done before I felt a hand on my shoulder. I turned and looked at Mick.
“You can go now, I’ll get the rest.” I gave him a questioning look, then noticed we had an audience already. I jumped offstage without a word and grabbed a drink for myself, settling in a shadow on the far left of the stage. This way I could watch the band without being seen by Nikki, even though it was his side he probably wouldn’t look this way too often.
I tried to keep my mouth from falling open as I watched the people stream in. They weren’t kidding. The two musicians finished the set up quickly and bailed before they got mobbed by fans. Even when both the bar and crowd areas were full people kept coming. You couldn’t even walk to a bathroom if you tried. I could tell more people were in line outside as well. It was only now that I began to realize the intensity of this band’s popularity.
Seth was right, we might have a hard time getting a better crowd than this.
Seth! I had nearly forgotten the bassist. I made a mental note that I needed to look for him after the show, because between the crowd and dim lighting I didn’t see him anywhere. Soon the band started. I had to admit, I was amazed. Being as stuck up as I was I thought a few of the songs were poor, but the energy was incredible.
Tommy was vicious on those drums, and several times I thought he might just pierce one, but he never did. Mick liked to stay in his corner and do his thing, yet his playing was great. I made notes of his style so I could memorize it later. The girls were going crazy over Vince. He would shake his hips or just look at the crowd and suddenly every girl in the place went wild. I admit, he’s cute, but just wow. He worked that crowd.
And who had the most energy?
The one that I was beginning to think hated my very existence. The bass player. The one that I was just starting to realize I might be attracted to, and I hated myself for it. He was all over the place, doing crazy shit like you wouldn’t believe. He even set himself on fire. I freaked out, but he never got hurt. He must’ve had some crazy gel on or something.
The show didn’t last too long, about as long as club shows would. Vince announced their last song and the place went wild. The lights got brighter, and my shadow waned. I made a face. Damn, the jerk might see me now.
Nonetheless, the cute jerk. They played their last song with energy that could be in history books. I was blown away by their spirit. Nikki surveyed the crowd and his eyes landed on me with a smile, I don’t think he recognized me, but I recognized him.
My heart thumped hard. I stared at his eyes.
I knew that smile.
The song ended. “Frank!” I said. I couldn’t stop myself.
Nikki froze and glanced over at me. I backed away from the stage and headed toward the bar to see if I could find Seth. My mind raced. Was that really him? After all these years had I found him again? Why else would he give me that stupid look?
The bar started to clear out as drunks decided to go party someplace else or were kicked out. I spotted blonde hair and went up to him quickly.
“Seth?” I said. He turned around and smiled at me.
“Samie-girl! What’s up? You look like you’ve seen a ghost. Are you okay?” his smile faded as he looked at me. Did I look that bad?
“Sam wait!” A voice called. A chill crept up my spine as I glanced behind me. Nikki was shoving through people.
“Seth can we go?” I asked.
“Why are you in such a rush, what’s wrong?” He sounded concerned.
“Please can we go-“ I felt a hand on me. I squeezed my eyes shut. Damn. I hate guys that ask too many questions.
Nikki turned me around. “Samantha?” I sighed and looked at him. There was no mistaking it. How had I not seen it before, was I really that drunk? Maybe it was the fact that his makeup was being sweated off in buckets. His hair stuck out in odd angles.
“Dude, you know Nikki?” Seth asked from behind me.
“No.” I said.
Nikki ignored him completely. “Well, uh, I guess I’ll wait outside then.”
“Don’t bother.” Nikki finally said, still looking at me.
“What?” Seth asked. I could tell he was giving Nikki an incredibly challenging look. The rockstar-to-be finally looked up at the bassist.
“You taking her home?”
“Well she does live with me.” Seth retorted, sounding blunt and slightly impatient.
“You live with him?” Nikki looked at me.
“Not yet.” I said.
“Ok then,” Nikki looked back up at the bassist. “Come back in the morning and you can have her.”
Seth shrugged. “Whatever. Catch you later, doll." He said, kissing me on the cheek as he left.
I could see a jealous flash go through Nikki's eyes as Seth disappeared out the door.
“What the hell is your problem?” I asked, shrugging his hands off of me.
“You know my name…my old name.” he said.
“How do you know it.” It wasn’t a question, more of a demand, like he needed to find out or he may explode. I looked up at him. I hated it. I remember when I used to be taller than him, but now it was the other way around. Then again it could be his heels, because I sure as hell am not short. 5'10 is tall.
He glanced around and took my hand, pulling me upstairs. There was a tiny and very messy apartment. The other guys, a few girls, and lots of alcohol were already there. He pulled me into the bathroom which was sadly the only quiet place and shut the door.
“How do you know me?” He asked a little more nicely, sitting on the edge of the tub and looking up at me.
I sighed, trying to think of what to say, and he held up a finger.
“Wait, I know this might sound stupid, but I need you to make some noises every once in a while. Okay?” I raised an eyebrow at him, my temper suddenly soaring.
“What?” He looked down.
“Think about it, we’re locked in the bathroom together while they’re all out there doing God-knows-what. Please don’t ruin my reputation. They can’t know we're just talking. I’ll be the joke of the group for eternity.”
“Why should I? You treated me like shit earlier.”
“I’m sorry.” He said earnestly, looking up at me. That’s the look he used to give me to make me go over to Nona’s with him. I sighed and sat on the sink.
“Fine.” He managed a small smile and made a dramatically loud moan, giving me a wink. I held back a laugh.
“Tell me now?”
I grinned. “You really don’t remember me?”
He shook his head. “I’m afraid not, sorry. How did you even recognize me?” I heard a girl laugh outside and moaned myself, feeling a bit weird, but he grinned.
“That right there, your smile.”
“You recognized my smile? I never smiled when I was Frank. Ever.” I shook my head at him.
“Yes you did, you used to for me back on Nona’s roof.” His face lost all emotion as he realized what I meant.
“Richards?” He asked. His voice sounded drained. I nodded.
“No shit.” He mumbled in disbelief. “After all these years…”
“I know. Crazy we’d find each other again doing exactly what we said we would, being punk ass rockstars.” He looked down and gripped the tub so he wouldn’t fall over, moaning once again. It almost sounded painful this time. I winced and looked down as well. He laughed suddenly.
“What?” I looked over at him.
“I TOLD you I’d be the better rockstar!” He threw me his cocky grin. I hopped off the sink and grabbed his throat quicker than he could stop me.
“And I can still kick your ass Franky.” He gently pulled my arm off of him and glared up at me.
“That was once in the second grade alright.” This time I was the one smiling. I remembered that day clearly. I had brought my teddy bear to show and tell and he stole it at recess. The next thing I remember after that is me beating the shit out of him in the dirt. He had a black eye and I had to apologize to Nona that weekend.
I put my hands on my hips and grinned down at him. “Glad you remembered that.”
Suddenly he sat up fast and kissed me. I didn’t know what else to do, so I kissed back. He pulled back and looked in my eyes.
“You don’t taste like cookies anymore.”
“Neither do you.” I retorted, stopping myself from licking my lips. He tasted like an assortment of alcohol, and something else I couldn’t quite figure out.
“Mmm.” He made that sound, and I remembered our act. The noises in the room had gone from laughter to assorted sounds, and I assumed the worst.
“Guess I’m not sleeping out there tonight.” I sighed. If they acted anything like the stories I heard, I had no desire to be out there anyway.
He pulled my chin up with his finger. “You sigh too much you know that?”
I tried to glare at him, but I couldn’t. I felt my heart go lead weight. “I had no friends after you left.” I said staring at the wall.
He kissed me again and I had to focus on that so much that my nostalgia dried up. This definitely was not the same as the rooftop. I forced myself to pull back and give him a questioning look.
“You know, you could just sleep in here with me tonight.” He said.
“What choice do I have…” I mused, trying to tune out the noises outside. I noticed his hand crawl up my shirt. “I missed you Sam-Sam.” He said his stupid nickname that he used to say to annoy me. I grabbed his wrist just short of him touching my tits.
“Frank...Nikki, no.” He gave me his serious yet innocent look that he used to use to bend me into doing stupid things with him. I returned with a cold glare.
“Don’t tell me what to do.” He whispered, kissing my neck. I wanted to stop him, but it felt so good. I had to make a decision, and I had to do it quick. I lost my grip on his hand and it reached its goal. I gave up. It couldn’t hurt anything. Besides, this is what rockstars do right? I wasn’t about to chicken out of anything, especially now that I knew who Nikki really was.
"So, you willing to make those noises real?" His voice was muffled from kissing my neck.
"Show me what you got."