(warning….strong language at the end of this post)
Chris was actually waiting right there for me in the hallway. I looked up at him, surprised that he was standing outside my bedroom door. I couldn’t help but smile. He hadn’t shaved in a few days and his hair was a little longer and scraggly-looking. But he was smiling back, almost glowing and I realized we were both very happy to see each other. What a relief. He took me in his arms and breathed in my hair, then he kissed me and looked at my face and kissed me again. His cheek was scratchy and it made me laugh.
“Are you OK?” he said. “God you make me worry about you. Why are you hiding from me?”
“Can’t a person put on some makeup in privacy?” I grinned.
He looked a little confused. “Yea sure, of course.” He took my hand and we walked into the living room where the rest of the band were also looking a bit scruffy, all holding their rucksacks. Dave had his arm snug around a huge longboard. Luna and I got to work showing them where they would be sleeping. Zoe was going to sleep with Luna for the night so a couple of guys could have her room. Then the other two had the guest room. Dave said he was just going to sleep out on the hammock on the porch, but I sugessted he have a back-up plan incase it rained and he said the couch was a fine back up plan. Luna grimaced. “Well I’ll put some sheets over here next to the couch then. Please spread them over the cushions before sleeping on it. And make sure you take your shoes off,” Luna said. “Or you could just move a few steps further to the guest room where I have a bed prepared for you,” she suggested.
“She doesn’t want a smelly drunk guy sleeping and puking on her expensive couch!” I said.
“Oh OK.” he grumbled, and shot me a scowl.
All at once the place started to fill up. It wasn’t like a usual Luna-party. The word had got out that Chris’s band was going to be here and soon the house was jam packed with fans, locals and other musicians. Chris and I walked Zoe over Bob and Lucy’s house. I didn’t want to put her to bed where there was such mayham. We stayed and had a glass of wine with the happy old couple. They wanted to hear all about Zoe’s “spectrum” dance class. Then I left Zoe falling asleep against Lucy on the couch with the TV on, while Lucy stroked her hair and moved a pillow under her little head. Bob walked back with us to Luna’s. We walked past the tour bus which Chris promised he would show me properly after they cleaned it up. The night air was crisp and cool with tons of stars in the clear sky. There were cars parked all the way down the street for what looked like a mile. We could hear the music out on the street. Some other band was playing first, in Luna’s living room and I imagined with dismay, the mess of wires and amps all over her pristine wood floors. Chris said he was ready to let loose and have some fun so when we got back to the house he disappeared to go and find Dave and the guys. When Bob and I walked in the living room it was so loud we couldn’t hear each other so I guided him to the little side porch outside of my bedroom where it wasn’t so noisy and out of the way of all the people.
Bob and I talked for a long time. I had carried my glass of white wine over from Lucy’s house and took miniscule sips to make it last. We were just talking about Lucy’s new pottery line and how she might actually open a store downtown, when when we heard hoots and yells and laughing. I looked out towards the beach to see 4 bare asses, including my husband’s, as the guys in the band were running naked to the ocean leaving their shorts and sweaters on the sand. Of course their friends immediately started gathering up the discarcded clothes so there would be nothing for the guys to put on once they came back in. But I walked down to the beach and pulled all the clothes from their hands, then walked over to the waters edge to wait. Bob joined me a few minutes later with some large towels.
“They are such idiots!” I said, as we watched them diving in and doing front flips over the waves. They didn’t stay out for long and came running back to the beach freezing cold and Bob laughed and shook his head as he tossed towels int their direction. He gave me a towel to hand to Chris.
“Seriously?” I said. “You can’t just hang out and be a normal human being for one night?” He grabbed me and splashed back into the ocean and held me over the waves while I screamed for him to put me down.
“I’ll put you down!” he shouted through his laughter.
“Nooooo!!!” I screamed. He carried me back to the beach where he was laughing so hard he was practically coughing.
“Put some clothes on you idiot!” I yelled at him while assessing how much he had dripped all over me. Then I grabbed his boxers from the sand and smacked him in the belly with them. He started to put them on and I couldn’t help but laugh with him. Once he was finally dressed but still shivering a little, we walked back towards the house with his arm wrapped tightly around me. We stopped in the sand below the porch. A bunch of people had gathered there to hang out where it was quieter and sheltered from the cold ocean-breeze. Chris held on to me the whole time while he talked to people that I had never met before, but he seemed completely comfortable with. He told them about the tour and when they got food poisoning all at the same time on the bus 3 weeks ago and how disgusting it was.
I stood there listening to him talk easily and happily, looking over at me and grinning periodically as I stood there quietly. After a few minutes he turned to me and whispered in my ear, “Do you want to go for a walk on the beach, away from everyone?” I nodded and my heart started to thud. He went and got a beer out of the cooler nearby then we turned away from everyone to head off on our walk… but stopped when we saw Rissa and Jake walking up to us from the beach. “Oh no” I whispered. Chris immediately let go of my hand. Jake stumbled up to us. He was obvioulsy quite drunk. Rissa smiled at me but her face dropped when she saw my expression.
“What is he doing here?” Chris said.
“He’s with Rissa” I said.
“Who the hell is Rissa?”
I held out my hand towards her, “Rissa is Jake’s girlfriend, and she’s my friend. She lives here in St. Augustine.”
“Small world” Chris said. “A little too small. What the fuck are you doing here, Jake?”
“Odette, why don’t you tell him why I’m here?” Jake slurred.
“He came to St. Augustine to see Rissa, didn’t he?” I said, looking at her pleadingly.
She nodded, looking horrified. “I thought he was friends with YOU guys” she said. “When I saw him…”
“Jake, leave!” I cut her off. I didn’t need her saying she saw him with me.
Chris put his hand on my shoulder and I saw Jake’s expression cloud over. I could feel my breathing getting faster and I just wanted to push Jake away from us, push his drunk-ass off down the beach to his truck where he could sleep it off. But I wasn’t allowed to be that familiar with him in front of Chris. I was stuck.
I slipped my arm around Chris’s back and that sent Jake over the edge. He pushed Rissa away and pointed at me, “She acts like she’s so goddamn innocent around you. But she knows, and I know what she is really like.” He took a step towards Chris and looked him in the eye. “You’re never going to really know that girl. You should see the things she likes me to do to her…they are not so innocent, are they Odette?”
Chris held his beer bottle out in front of him, pointing it at Jake. “I don’t believe you, you drunk piece of shit. Why the fuck do you follow me around? You are not invited anywhere, yet you always seem to show up. Get your own fucking life you miserable little prick. Stop trying to borrow mine. It’s pitiful.”
I braced myself for Jake’s response: “I would, Chris, fucking rock-star-extraordinaire, if your wife wasn’t so obsessed with my dick.”