Drink in hand and surrounded by dancing females, he is hardly aware of the phone
that has been vibrating against his hip since entering the club. The show was excellent, full of energy that has yet to be
spent in full, and he is anxious to maintain his hold on the high that the music always seems to bring him. Around him, lights
are flashing and asses are shaking, and he can hardly remember anything but the thumping bass and cold beer at the back of
In his pocket, a tiny, lonely voice speaks to a deaf answering machine, searching for sympathy and a pair
of arms to cuddle into.
"Baby? Hi, it's me again. Listen, I'm not sure where you are...isn't the show over by now?
It's been forever since I heard from you last, and I really need to talk to you. You know that reassurance we were talking
about? I miss it. I need it right now. If you get a moment, please, please give me a call..."
He wraps his arms
around the blonde in front of him and begins to grind against her, satisfied by the ample bottom that quickly finds its way
to his pelvis.
The blonde head falls back against his collarbone, and he grins as a gasp of pleasure
filters through her lips. The routine is familiar, the dancing divine, and he can't remember a time when anything has been
more important than the slow rock of his hips with another's.
One song turns into another rapidly as the heat of the
floor increases the pounding of his heart. He closes his eyes against the swirl of smoke in the club and begins bobbing his
head with the familiar hip-hop beats, thrilled to relax after such a long day.
When the phone rings twenty minutes
later, he is too absorbed to notice.
"Hey, it's me. I'm sorry to bother you again, but...where are you? I know
you have your phone on because it keeps ringing. I'd really like to hear from you. In fact, I thought you might actually call
me back, seeing as we're dating and all. (a precious pause) Listen, I'm sorry. I'm not trying to be bitter. I'm just
worried. Call me, okay? Love you."
A member of his band taps him on the shoulder, and he quickly abandons the
blonde to join his crew. Together, they walk up to the bar and order a round of tequila shots as celebration for another successful
evening. His keyboard player downs the shot quickly and begins telling an X-rated joke, which causes them all to giggle madly.
The conversation turns eventually to girls, and they are drinking and laughing, falling easily into the familiar rhythm of
friendship and gossip.
From the conversation comes the inevitable introduction of a drinking contest, at which point
he grabs the closest shot and downs it with a victorious grin. Ten minutes after his third consecutive drink, his hip begins
to vibrate, but he is too drunk to notice.
"Nick? It's Sam...again. I'd really like to talk to you. If you don't
pass out first, give me a call. You know my number."
He passes the hours in an alcohol-induced fog; drinking, laughing, dancing,
drinking. At some point, he gets up to the stage to join his band in an obnoxious round of karaoke, but the song is much less
memorable than the women that wink at him from the dance floor below.
When he finally agrees to leave, it is three
in the morning and the club is closing down. In his pocket, his phone is ringing, but he is too wrapped up in the group sing-along
"Nick? It's Sam. Your girlfriend? At least, I think we're still dating. But I can't be sure. See, I
haven't heard from you, and...baby, give me a call back. I'm starting to worry about you. Did something happen? You never
forget to pick up your messages. Anyway, give me a call. I miss you."
He stumbles into his bunk on the bus with
a tired grin, falling between the sheets before the thought occurs to change his clothes. Just as he begins to snore, the
phone rings, and he reaches into his pocket to answer it, cutting off the sound of his voicemail as he does so.
the sound of the dial tone greets him.