Hard Landing Ch. 05

Ben Esra telefonda seni boşaltmamı ister misin?
Telefon Numaram: 00237 8000 92 32


*** This series was awarded Best Lesbian Story, as well as Most Literary/Genre Transcending Story in the 2019 Reader’s Choice Awards. Thank you to all who voted. ***

Welcome, friend, to Chapter Five. If you haven’t read Chapters One through Four, you’ll be lost, and I worry you don’t understand how Chapters work. Are you okay friend?

As usual, I’ve updated the Spotify playlist found in the contact tab of my author page with the songs from this chapter. Shout out to those who’ve given me a “like” on that.

Many thanks to my editor, ThisNameIsntTakenYet, who writes in his second language better than I write in my first.

~~ Kill Devil Hills, Outer Banks, North Carolina ~~


“Any requests tonight?” I heard Jo ask backstage. It was ten minutes before the band was scheduled to go on.

“Some R.E.M. would work for me,” said Jack.

“Smithereens,” said Steve.

“Hey Larry, how come I set up your mic every show but you almost never use it?” I asked as I climbed down the steps behind the stage. I thought I’d gotten pretty good at helping the band set up for shows. I felt almost like a real roadie now.

Jo looked at Larry, who was sitting on a stool tapping out a cadence on the felt-covered top of an old amp with his drumsticks. “Yeah Larry, why is that? Are you leading a semi-charmed life?”

Larry stopped drumming, then pointed a drumstick at me. “You. You’re a troublemaker. You’re always making the troubles.”

“What? What did I say?” I asked, confused. He started drumming again.

“Fine! I’ll do it, but Suzanne has to massage my hand after the show. And I want you to do Hazy Shade of Winter again tonight sweetums. That combo of bass line and vocals always makes you shimmy your butt in the nicest way, which I greatly enjoy from my seat behind you.”

“You got it, baby,” said Suzanne, grinning and giving her hips a shake in her red leather skirt and matching ankle boots.

“What’s going on, what just happened?” I asked.

“Larry’s going to start us off singing Semi-Charmed Life tonight,” Jo said.

“And it’s going to make my hand hurt,” Larry said.

“I’m so confused,” I said.

“Jo and Steve like to make me sing Semi-Charmed Life, because the lyrics are almost like a rap. It’s racist how you always make the black guy sing it, by the way.”

“Dude, you wouldn’t get half-way through End of The World without dropping half the words,” Steve laughed.

“Not the same. R.E.M. be SO white.”

“Babe, you’re the one who first wanted to sing it in high school,” said Suzanne.

“But what does that have to do with your hand?” I was lost.

“Larry has this weird tic,” Steve said.

“It’s not a tic, it’s a physiological phenomenon,” Larry said. He turned to me, “I can only sing and play drums at the same time using traditional grip.”

“What? What’s that?” Sara said. She was confused too.

“Like this,” and he flipped the stick in his left hand and caught it so his hand was underneath it instead of on top, with the tip pointing out of the bottom of his hand. He started drumming on the amp again. “Normally I play matched grip,” he twirled the stick in a blur and was suddenly holding both sticks in the normal overhand position, and patted out a drum roll, “like this. But I can’t play like this while I sing; I mess up the beat almost instantly. If I play like this,” the stick in his left hand blurred again and he was holding it underhanded, “I can sing and play no problem. But it makes my hand hurt, thus hand rubs.”

“But why does how you hold a stick help you sing?” Sara asked.

“It’s a weird tic,” Steve laughed.

“No, I’m just complicated Sara. I contain multitudes.” He rapped out an especially sharp drum roll then slapped one stick on top of the amp and it bounced five feet in the air. He caught it neatly as he stood up and then gave us jazz hands and said in his best Jim Carrey in The Mask voice, “Showtime!”

Larry did indeed start off the show with the Third Eye Blind standard. Steve wandered over to share Suzanne’s mic for the “doot-doot-doots” so the crowd would have an unobstructed view of Larry singing. I really liked his voice; I wished he’d sing more often.

Steve got to play his favorite Smithereens song Only A Memory, and Jo had them play R.E.M.’s It’s The End Of The World As We Know It, bothto make Jack happy and to tease Larry. It was a good night.

I’d left Sara at the merch table and wandered around taking a lot of pictures. I’d had an idea stuck in my head for something I wanted to do for the band after Jo and I had our big fight over her looking in my sketchbook.

When I’d found Jo looking through my art book as I came out of the bathroom, it might have been the angriest I’d been in years. It had taken me some time to realize my anger was rooted in embarrassment on my part. It wasn’t entirely her fault. It’s not like I had ever mentioned to her that it was a private thing. travesti porno I just felt so humiliated, having her see my fantasy ideas of her, laid out by my own hand, when I wasn’t in a place yet where I was ready to show it to her. I mean, drawing her as Captain Marvel, what a dorky high school thing to do.

And she had been so apologetic. She’d been cool about me depicting her singing. She’d even ended up okay with my stupid comic drawing of her. I didn’t have the courage to admit to her that the reason I had drawn that one was that I had been fantasizing about making matching cosplay outfits and going with her as my date to a con. Which made it doubly embarrassing and I was doubly grateful that she admiringly said it was “hot shit” instead of making a snarky comment.

When I’d finally absorbed that I was angry at Jo because I was embarrassed, not because she’d looked at my work without asking, and that she’d immediately fallen on her sword apologizing, that she hadn’t run, that her first move hadn’t been to put distance between us…

I would have never thought I’d have been comfortable making love to someone with a group of my friends on the other side of a thin bus door, but I simply couldn’t wait to get Jo’s clothes off and show my gratitude to her in every way for her having tried to make it right with me. I hadn’t even slowed down when the gang had rather obviously turned up the music in the main salon of the bus.

I had, however, probably turned the darkest shade of red I’d ever managed when we finally came out of the bedroom. Suzanne and Larry had simply started snapping their fingers above their heads like they were applauding at a poetry slam.

Afterwards, I’d sat on the couch with Jo and had shown her every drawing in my sketchbook, talking about what the sketches meant to me and what I’d been thinking when I started each one. She asked if she could show the first one of her singing on stage in Cape May to the rest of the group. I was surprised at how much everyone liked it.

Larry was especially into it. “Damn, Jill this is amazing! So when are you going to immortalize me? I mean, clearly I’m a more impressive subject for something like this.” His dramatic flex earned him a laugh.

But it had gotten me thinking…

When we got to the Air-BnB in Kill Devil Hills after the show that night, everyone wanted to go swimming again. I said I’d be out later, retrieved my backpack from the room Jo and I were sharing and settled at the kitchen table, displaying all the photos I took that night on my MacBook while opening Procreate on my iPad Pro.

I had no idea how long I’d been at it when everyone came in from the pool but I didn’t look up. I was in the zone.

“Blue, you didn’t want to swim tonight?” Jo said, toweling off her hair.


“Oh geez, I’ve seen this look before. C’mon guys, she may not come up for air for hours,” Sara said and herded the gang through the kitchen to the living room.

Sometime later I remember Jo coming into the kitchen, pouring a glass of water and setting it down next to me, carefully not looking at what I was working on. “Hey Blue, I’ll be in bed. Come curl up with me whenever you’re done, ok?”

I looked up long enough to kiss her and say, “Sure babe, just a while longer,” before I dove back into my work.

“What time did you come to bed last night Blue?” Jo asked me the next morning. She’d just gotten back from her run and was standing with Steve, Suzanne and Jack in the kitchen when I stumbled down the stairs.

“Not sure. Maybe four?” I said, trying to rub the sleep out of my eyes.

“Oh honey, what were you doing?” Suzanne asked.

I reached for my MacBook lying on the kitchen table. I opened it, logged in and turned it around. “This.”

I was pretty proud of the ‘this’. The screen was filled with the picture I’d ‘drawn.’ It was a stylized black and white drawing, not super sharp like the pencil drawing I’d made of Jo, but more like a cross between a photo in a newspaper and an impressionistic painting.

It was the band, on stage, seen from my favorite point of view, looking from the audience on the left side of the stage. Suzanne was prominent, the largest figure from the viewer’s reference. She was belting out some song into the mic lifting the neck of her bass, while her left knee was raised up, foot in tight to her other knee in her leather ankle boots. She had that smile that she always broke into while singing.

Steve was stage center, at his mic. He was wearing one of his favorite outfits for indoor shows, a white button-down shirt with the sleeves rolled up above his elbows and a skinny black tie, hanging loose around his neck. I’d made his pick hand slightly blurry, so it looked like he was thrashing his Les Paul for all he was worth. His eyes were closed and his head was thrown back more than Suzanne’s, suggesting he was reaching for a high note.

Between them in the background, Larry sat at his drum alt yazılı porno kit, also singing into his mic. His left hand was up in view, hitting one of his splash symbols. I’d made sure he was holding his left stick ‘traditional grip’. It had taken me a long time and a lot of searching Google for reference photos to get that right. Hands are hard.

Low, in the background next to Steve’s knees you could see Jack at a soundboard off in the wings of the stage. A little bit of artistic license there, Jack was almost never backstage or in the wings, he was usually behind the crowd. He had on his headphones, with one hand pressing the earpiece to his head and was dancing and throwing up the horns with his free hand as he often did when he was grooving to the music.

Finally, on the right side was my Jo, in her ripped jeans, high-tops and Captain Marvel shirt (of course.) She was caught mid-jump, lifting the neck of her guitar towards the sky, her feet tucked up under her butt as she sprang into the air, classic Pete Townshend style.

The picture was mostly black and white, but I’d gone back in and added accents of red here and there. Suzanne’s boots and the red outline of the sunburst on her Fender, Larry’s drumsticks, the rotors logo on his kick drum, Jo’s high tops and cap, the mic in front of Steve, Jack’s headphones.

In the background, the stage had an abstract cloud looming behind them with a gigantic red three-bladed rotor rising out of it, like the icon of a towering music god looking down on his loyal priests.

There was dead silence for a couple of seconds and I got a sinking feeling in my stomach. They don’t like it?

“Is it okay?”

“Okay? My god Jill, this is so beautiful!” Suzanne gushed and wrapped me up with both arms.

“Holy shit, Jill, you did all this last night? I can’t believe it, this is amazing!” Steve leaned down to get his face closer, looking at all the details.

“Well, it was a little easier than you’d think. I imported photos that I took last night, cut snippets out and layered them in, then touched them up to look like original art. So, I kind of cheated.”

“‘Easier than you’d think?’ Jill if I commissioned something like this for us I’d probably pay a couple thousand dollars and it wouldn’t end up nearly this good. This is… I mean, wow Jill!” Steve stood up and Jack leaned over to take his place.

“I’m glad you like it.”

Jack stood up and looked at me. “You put me in there.”

“Well yeah. They couldn’t do this without you, you’re a part of the band, right?” I looked at his face and saw he was tearing up. “Oh, Jack, it’s okay!” I hugged him.

“Seriously Jill this is great. Can I buy a copy to use for the website?” Steve asked me.

“Well, I hadn’t pushed the button yet because I wanted to make sure you liked it, but I already staged the code on the server last night. This morning. Whenever.” I pulled my laptop to me and switched to my browser, logged in and clicked around on the touchpad a bit, then switched tabs and hit refresh. I turned the laptop back around. It was displaying the Rotor’s website, now with the picture as the home page.

Steve bent over to look. “Incredible…” he whispered. He clicked through some pages. I’d put the hi-res version on the home page, but there was a lower-res version set at the top of each page now.

Suzanne went over to the foot of the stairs, yelling, “Larry! Get your ass out of bed and come see this!”

“I’ll email you the images,” I said. “If we upload them to your merch supplier you can probably have it on a shirt or sell posters of it by the time you get home next week if you want. It’s just greyscale with one layer of color accent, so it should be easy for them. The main file’s big, a couple hundred megs, so I might have to give it to you on a thumb drive.

“Okay, but I want to pay you for them. This is professional work Jill.”

“Steve, you’ve taken me on a two-week vacation and didn’t ask me to pay for anything. We’re totally good.”

“But Jill, this is… I mean, it’s so good.” He looked over at his sister. “Jo, tell her, she has to let me pay for this.” He stopped. Jo hadn’t moved from where she was leaning on the counter. “Jo, you haven’t said anything.” Everyone looked at her.

She took her eyes off the screen and slowly turned her head to look at me.

“If you guys will excuse us, I have to take this Blue Girl back to bed. Right now.”

She walked past Steve, grabbed my hand and pulled me up the stairs.

I heard Suzanne say, “Hell yeah she does!”

Sometime later I grabbed Jo’s hair and gasped, “Okay, you have to stop now!”

She raised her head and looked up at me from between my legs and grinned. “Should I come up there and bite your shoulder some?”

“Heck no, I think if I come anymore I’ll just die. Are you sure I can’t take care of you?”

Jo moved up the bed to embrace me. “Nope, this morning is all about you, my little artist.”

“Who üvey baba porno are you calling little, short-stuff?” I asked sleepily.

“Besides, I ran this morning, I’m kinda gross. In fact, I’m probably getting you all sticky.” She started to pull away, but I grabbed her arm and kept it wrapped it around me.

“I don’t care. You stay right here. At least until I fall asleep again.”

It only took moments.


“So, things seem to be going pretty good with Jill,” Suzanne said.

“Not you too,” Jo grumped, reaching up to grab the football Larry had thrown to her.

After Blue had dozed off, Jo had gone with the rest of the gang to the beach that morning, thinking that it would be at least a few hours before she woke up again. She and Suzanne were standing next to each other, waist deep in the almost calm ocean. She threw the ball in a tight spiral to Jack, who was standing on the shore.

“I’m just saying. You guys seem to be getting along great. When you’re with her you’re like sixty-four percent less surly,” Suzanne said. “Must be true love.”

“Ha ha.”

Jo fielded the return pass from Jack, turned and passed it back to Larry who was ten yards down the beach, standing waist deep in the water.

“Listen, I get enough of this from Steve,” Jo said, nodding her head at Steve and Sara, who were laying out on beach towels. “Yes, it’s out in the open now, Blue and I are… well I don’t know what we are. But we’re having a fun time. Let’s leave it there.”

“This is the first time I’ve seen you in something resembling a real relationship since I was in college.”

“It’s not a relationship Alvarez. We’re just having fun.”

“Yeah?” asked Suzanne. “Who was the last girl you were ‘having fun with’ where you went around holding hands? I’ve never seen you do that.”

“I’m just trying to enjoy it while it lasts,” Jo said.

“Three nights left Collins. Then we’re out,” chimed in Little Voice.

I fucking know that, Little, Jo thought.

Jo caught another pass from Jack. She handed the ball to Suzanne who threw it twenty feet past Larry.

Jo laughed. “Nice throw.”

“He needs the exercise. But really, have you stopped to consider that you might try and see where it goes? I’ve never seen you be the way you are with her before.”

Jo turned towards Suzanne. “Everyone here knows my situation. Blue knows it. She’s fine with it.”

“Mm-hmm.” Suzanne looked dubious.


“Your ‘situation’ is just a decision you’ve made for yourself. And I guess it’s worked for you as far as your career goes. You’ve come home safe from overseas, what, five times now?”

“Yeah? What’s your point?”

“Well you come back, but you never seem that happy. I mean, I didn’t notice it so much until this week. Watching you with Jill has made me see what was missing from you. You’re just… more alive around her. Just something to think about.”

“This is stupid. You need to be focused. You can’t be spending the next year chomping at the bit to get back to some girl who could end up fucking you over worse than Amy.”

She’s not like Amy was. She’s not like any woman I’ve been with. Maybe… she thought, then the football smacked down in the water, startling her. It had missed her head by a foot; she hadn’t noticed Jack had thrown it at her.

“See, Collins?” Little Voice chided her, “Not paying attention. You really think it’s a good idea to spend a year at war with your head in the clouds instead inside the cockpit?”

“God dammit,” Jo muttered under her breath.


When I woke up mid-afternoon, I was surprised to find Jo wasn’t around.

“She went to the Cross-Fit gym down the street a couple hours ago. Said she hadn’t had a good workout other than running since we left,” Steve said.

I started looking for something to eat. “How was the beach?”

“Hot. Water was nice though,” said Sara.

“I talked to my guy at the merch company, Jill,” Steve said. “I ordered three hundred two-by-three posters of that picture. We just need to get him the master file and he said he would get them to us in a couple of weeks. I want you to sign the first one out of the box so I can frame it for my office.”

“I will Steve. That means a lot to me, thanks.”

“Also, I’m cutting you a monthly check for half the profits on all the ones we sell, and any other merch that we put that picture on in the future. Don’t bother arguing with me.”

“I think you need to sign one for each of us,” Jack chimed in as Jo walked in the door.

“One of what?” she asked. Steve filled her in. “That’s a good idea. I’d like to hang one in the ready room when I go over this time. That fucker Chief Davis thinks he’s a better guitarist than me. Having that hanging up would totally stick in his craw.”

“Jo what have you been doing?” I asked her. Her compression shorts and muscle shirt were drenched in sweat.

“A bunch of different stuff. I spent the last hour doing box jumps and flipping a tractor tire up and down the gym.”

“Your shoulders look… bigger.” I flushed. She flexed her arms in an exaggerated pose and grinned.

“Clean living, Blue.”

Steve snorted. “Tell that to all the Coronas you drank last night after the show. Speaking of which, we need to head over soon.”

Ben Esra telefonda seni boşaltmamı ister misin?
Telefon Numaram: 00237 8000 92 32