Lola has lunch with someone new...
"I may have been a little short with you. I shouldn't have flipped like that." He said softly, focusing on folding some shirts. I just shrugged. No use in making enemies on tour, so I summed it up to water under the bridge and effortlessly returned to work. Although, I didn't miss the heat that was ravishing my red curls.
I glanced over to the Academy Is... booth, only to see Bridget and another guy setting up. She grinned upon seeing me and waved. I returned the gesture and continued to lay out t-shirts and hoodies. Every now and then, we'd get a rush of people aching for some FOB merch, but was actually pretty slow. Tyler even left me alone so he could get something to eat.
"So you're a Fall Out Boy merch girl, huh?" I looked up to see my new acquaintance, Brody. I smiled and squinted up at him.
"Guilty. What's up?" He shrugged.
"Nothing much. I was just wandering if you're hungry. Maybe you'd like to have lunch with me or something." I did a side-glance at Bridget who was watching closely, a slight scowl on her lips.
"Sure. I just have to wait for Tyler to come back from lunch. Or I could bug Dirty to fill in." The male frowned.
"He doesn't like me very much, does he?" What? Where would you get that idea?
"Dirty doesn't like anyone. So don't take offense." In the distance, I could make out that curly mop of surfer blond hair anywhere. Tyler made his way over, greeting me.
"Would you mind if I went to lunch?" The man grimaced and arched an eyebrow at Brody.
"Are you sure you wanna go now?" He was acting odd...odder than usual.
"Is there a problem?" I asked. He shook his head.
"No. No, you go. But don't be out too long." He was starting to sound like my brother.
"Alright, I won't." I grabbed my half-empty Gatorade and accompanied Brody to the lunch area. Once we were cleared by security, we headed inside the fenced in vicinity.
"So how did you get suckered into merching?" Brody asked as we sat with our plates at a worn picnic table.
"My brother is in the band. So I was biologically obligated." He nodded.
"Now I get it." I tilted my head, slightly confused.
"Dirty's tight with your brother, hence why he's so protective of you." I shrugged.
"I guess. So what is your role in Warped Tour?" I asked, bringing some macaroni and cheese to my mouth.
"I'm a merch bitch as well." I grinned.
"Please tell me you're not with Atreyu." He chuckled and shook his head.
"No, why?" I lifted up the bangs that covered my battle scar.
"Oh wow. You wandered into their pit, didn't you?" I nodded and let my hair fall into place.
"Yep. It seemed like a good idea at the time." He smiled.
"Actually, I merch for Halifax." I hummed my approval instead of speaking, saving him a display of my half-chewed lunch.
From the table, I could see a perfect head of bleached dreadlocks attached to a flawlessly made up face, a smile upon her pink lips. Adrienne, the tour whore, had her diseased arm linked loosely to my current shit-list topper and ex boyfriend. I narrowed my eyes, feeling heat rise to my ears. He moves quickly, doesn't he?
Brody turned his head inconspicuously to see what had captured my attention so suddenly. The pair sashayed by as Pete spoke. Though his words were directed toward her, his eyes stayed glued to me as if to make sure I was witnessing the display. They sat at a picnic table further away, allowing their voices to become tangled in the chatter of those around us.
"Something wrong?" Brody asked, pulling my glare from the new couple. I shook my head and smiled.
"Nope." He nodded.
"Are you seeing someone?" He questioned out of the blue. It may have been a loaded question or perhaps it was innocent. Either way, I wasn't sure what to make of him...or my current love life. My late night encounters with Patrick hardly counted as romantic interactions. They never progressed past that kiss, nor even reached the same level. But nevertheless, I couldn't write him off completely. And then there was Pete...
I let out a sigh.
"It's...complicated." The male chuckled.
"Well, I can make it simple. Do you have a boyfriend or do you not have a boyfriend?" I leaned my chin on my one hand and grinned.
"Not, I guess." He nodded and smirked.
"See? That wasn't complicated, was it?"
After spending a lunch together, Brody walked me back to my merch tent where Ty and Dirty were stationed.
"I should probably go. I'll see you later." He gave me a quick hug before heading off.
"Haven't I made it clear that I don't like that guy?" Dirty asked, his thick arms folded over his bare, flabby chest.
"Well, I think he's nice." Tyler shook his head, setting his blond curls in motion.
"He's not nice. He's after you." My eyebrows furrowed.
"He was totally eye fucking the shit out of you." Dirty interjected.
"Aren't you supposed to be moving equipment or something?" I asked as I busied myself with restocking some shirts.
"Brody is bad news, Lola. Watch," He cupped his hands around his mouth and yelled for Bridget, who was still at her booth.
"What do you want, Ty?" She called back as she made change for some kid.
"What do you think of Brody?"
"Rufio Brody or Halifax Brody?"
"Halifax Brody." Her nose wrinkled.
"Man-whore." A smug smirk crept across his slim face.
"See. Bad news." I rolled my eyes and sighed, sending a red tendril out of my vision, only for it to flutter back with a vengeance.
They didn't know him, so how could they judge him? Granted, I didn't know very much about him either, but how bad could he be?
I watched my brother curiously as he stared at the illuminated television. My gaze slowly shifted over to Bridget, who sat on the other side of me, her fingers making invisible patterns on the couch we inhabited. A grin of giddy proportions spread across my face in the wake of their underground tryst. But they didn't know that I knew. It made me oddly happy. Patrick appeared in the doorway. Upon seeing the clandestine couple, he grinned too. How could I not tell him? It was too good of a secret to keep to myself.
"Hello Patrick." I said, smiling my head off.
"Hello Lola." He responded in the same singsong tone. Bridget's face contorted, forming an odd expression.
"What's with you two?" She asked. Was that panic I heard in her voice? It made my smirk even bigger.
"Nothing." We replied in unison. Judging by her stiffening appearance, she wasn't convinced, but she remained quiet. Cat got your tongue? Or perhaps it was Joe who had her tongue.
I laughed aloud at the thought, but quickly covered my mouth in hopes of stifling my apparent amusement. Patrick ducked his head down, he too attempting not to giggle.
"Seriously! What is wrong with you?" That time, it was my brother who spoke, his gaze zeroed in on me.
"I'm going to bed." Bridget abruptly rose from the couch and made her exit. My sibling just rolled his blue eyes at me and followed her lead. Once they were gone, all the laughter just rolled out.
"You're so obvious." He managed to choke out between his cackles. I shrugged as my laughter subsided.
"/They're/ obvious." A motion at the entrance grabbed our attention. Pete stood in the threshold causing his friend to grin.
"Hey Pete, guess what?" Before he could say anything, my ex pulled a scowl at me and retreated. Patrick arched an eyebrow as if to inquire about his evident animosity.
"He needs to up his dosage or something." He shrugged.
"Soooo," He started, desperate to change the subject. "Your birthday's coming up, right?" I laughed and nodded.
"Yep. On June 29th, I'll be the big 2-0." I placed my head on his shoulder and grabbed the remote from him.
"Is there anything you want?" I shook my head as I flipped through the channels.
"Well, I can tell you what I don't want." He tilted his head to the side and showcased an uneven grin.
"And what would that be?"
"A huge party in which everyone gets drunk and hits on me and Bridget because we have boobs."
"But Lola, that's the best part." I rolled my eyes at the male before settling on the Lifetime network. His chest rose and fell with a sigh.