That's Pretty Much The Half of It
“So, are you sure this is a good idea?” Jude asked Tom as she threw some more of her clothes into her black duffel bag that was resting on her bed.
“Yes Jude, for the hundredth time, yes.” Tom told her and he placed his hands on her shoulders and began to massage them.
She closed her eyes and leaned into him. “Mmm.” She moaned “That feels good.”
Tom smiled and said, “Come on let’s get going.”
“Okay,” Jude said hitching her bag to her shoulder “but you are finishing that when we get there.”
“Sure thing, love.” He told her as they walked out of the bedroom and towards the front door.
Jude glanced over her shoulder before walking out the door. She locked it and turned and begun to stare at the deep purple swirls that streaked through the midnight sky. Snapping out of the slight trans when she heard the car engine roar to life, shattering the quiet that surrounded her a few moments ago, she walked across the yard and got into the car. As they backed onto the road Lara stuck her head up from the backseat and rested her head on Jude’s shoulder. Jude absentmindedly scratched behind her ears, thinking about what had happened in the past seventy-two hours: the fight, the confessions, the make up, and the decision for them to have a change in scenery, which was just Tom’s way of saying it. I know this has a better possibility of being safer because he, or they as I think it might be, won’t know where I went, but it feels like I am hiding from my problems. She turned towards Tom and was about to say something but Tom stopped her.
“Jude, it is fine. Don’t worry.” He reassured her, taking her hand and rubbing small circles on the back of it.
“It just feels like running.” Jude told him as she stared out the window.
“You’re not running, Jude.” He said calmly as she glanced over at him “Think of it as just a change of pace for a little while.”
Jude shrugged and looked out the window, watching the scenery go by. She leaned her back against the seat, resting her head on the head rest. She closed her eyes, opening them only when she felt the car slow down and turned into Tom’s driveway. Jude grabbed her bag and swung it over her shoulder. Tom walked up behind her and put his arm around her shoulders and she put hers around his waist. Together they walked into the dark house. Tom flipped the light switch and flooded the room with light. Jude set her bag down in the entry way and looked over her shoulder at Tom.
“Thanks.” She told him, immediately feeling better. He pulled her into him, her back against his chest, and kissed her on the top of the head.
“No problem.” He told her. She turned in his arms to face him and wrapped her arms around his neck, she whispered in his ear “So you wanna finish that massage?”
Tom smiled and took her hands from around his neck and intertwined their fingers and walked into Tom’s bedroom. Jude pulled off her shirt and laid on her stomach on the bed. Tom knelt on the bed with a knee on each side, unhooked her bra and slid it off her shoulders. Then he started massaging first her lower back and working his way up to her shoulders, digging into the knotted muscles. As he worked the muscles they talked. After some time, Jude became silent and he felt her relax and sink into the bed.
“Jude.” He leaned down and whispered in her ear, wondering if she fell asleep.
“You don’t even know how awesome that feels.” Jude mumbled into the pillow she buried her face in. “Best massage ever.”
Tom smiled and said, “Good.”
Jude turned over onto her back and hooked her bra and told him “Now it’s your turn.”
They switched positions and Jude sat on his rear and massaged him in the same fashion that he had her.
When they were finished they got ready for bed and laid next to each other and talked until they fell asleep.
The next morning Jude woke to the sound of her phone ringing from the entry way. She got up quickly and quietly and answered her phone right before it went to voicemail. Jude nodded as she listened to the voice on the other line and said, “Got it.”
She tossed her phone back into her bag and walked back into the bedroom. She pulled on her jeans that she picked up from the floor and walked over to the bed. Running her fingers along the side of Tom’s face and then through his hair she gently said “Wake up.”
He stirred a little before opening his eyes. “Hey.” He said in a sleepy voice.
“I have to go into work, you wanna come?”
“Yeah, Sure,” he told her “Give me one minute.”
Jude nodded and walked into the other room and grabbed clothes from her bag to change into. She walked into the bathroom in the front part of the house, since Tom was using the one in the bedroom, and got ready to go. When she walked out, Tom was waiting for her.
“You take a while.” He told her jokingly as he watched her pull her hair back and spin it into a bun.
“It takes time to look this good.” She replied gesturing towards herself. Tom shook his head and Jude grabbed his hand and they walked out the door.
They walked into G Major and were met my Darius.
“Follow me.” He said directing them towards the conference room.
The two followed him and sat down in the chairs that lined the long, wooden table. He flipped through some papers and handed them to Tom and said “Since you’re here, you need to sign this.”
“What is it?” he asked glancing down at them.
“It’s an appearance agreement.” Darius stated and handed Jude a stack of paperwork.
“I thought I signed these already.” Tom said, signing the indicated areas
“You did but we finalized everything and added a show on.”
“Where’s the show?” Jude asked, without looking up from the papers in front of her.
“Tom’s hometown.” Darius answered.
“Montreal. Nice.” Jude said, looking up at Darius and then back down at the papers in her hand.
“First or last?” Jude continued, writing on the paper.
“Last.” Darius answered and took the paper handed to him by Tom.
They finished up and walked into the lobby. Jude told Tom she would be right back and walked into her office and placed the papers from Darius on her desk. I will do that tomorrow she mumbled, thinking out loud as she ticked of the things she had to do the next day. As she walked back out to the lobby she found Spied and the other guys talking with Tom. Spied looked as if he was telling a story.
“Hey guys,” Jude said walking up to them, “What ya talking about?”
“Tour.” Kyle, Wally, and Spied said simply.
“Do you remember the number one rule of tour?” Jude asked them.
“No attachments.” Kyle said smirking, “Don’t take anything with you and don’t bring anything back.”
“Not that one.” Jude said in a don’t be a smart ass tone, knowing he just liked to say that one.
“Paybacks are a bitch.” Wally answered and Spied immediately followed with, “Don’t piss off Jude.”
Tom laughed as Jude rolled her eyes upward and said “Okay, what is the only one you haven’t said?”
“What happens on tour stays on tour.” the three said together.
“Exactly, so keep it that way.” She told them, making eye contact with them. She turned and headed towards the main doors and heard Spied call after “Except if it’s caught on video, then it’s free game.”
Jude looked back over her shoulder at them, fighting the urge to make an obscene gesture, and she and Tom continued to walk out the door.
“So what was that about?” Tom asked once they got into the car.
“What was what about?”
“The whole what happens on tour stays on tour thing.”
“Exactly what it says.” Jude shrugged, “No telling.”
“I was more curious about the video part.” Tom glanced at her with a grin.
“I didn’t do anything I knew I would regret on tour.” Jude said and then laughed, “And I definitely didn’t let Spied get it on video. I learned that one the hard way.”
Tom was about to ask her about the content of the tape but she looked at him and said, “Forget it, I’m not telling you.”
“Was it really that bad?”
“No, not really, but that doesn’t mean I am showing it to you.” Jude said looking out the window “Plus I don’t think he even has it any more.”
The next morning Jude awoke to her alarm buzzing from the nightstand. She turned it off and pulled herself into a sitting position and ran her hands across her face and through her hair. She snuck into the bathroom and got ready for work. Quietly, she walked outside with dawn setting in. She drove to GMajor and swiped her badge to open the lock. Jude looked around and noticed that there were only a couple people there besides her. An eerie feeling setting in, probably due to the quiet she reasoned, she walked into her office. Seeing that everything was as she left it, she relaxed a little. Jude sat down at her desk and opened the top drawer. She pulled out her IPod and put it on, turning it up to drown out the silence. Skimming over the papers, she read her notes.
“Looks like I might be getting another artist.” Jude said to herself.
She worked for an hour or so before she walked through the lobby, singing to herself along with the song that was playing and into Studio A. As she sat in the chair she switched on the computer and let it boot up. Using her foot to wheel her chair across the room, she flipped through the stack of jewel cases on the small table on the back wall. Once she found the one she wanted she slipped it into the computer and traded her IPod for the headphones attached to the computer and began to work. She felt someone’s eyes on her after some time had passed. She glanced over her shoulder and jumped.
“Kwest, you scared me!”
“A little jumpy are we?” he smiled, “Sorry, just seeing who else was here this early besides me.”
“Oh, cool.” Jude said “So, what have you been up to?”
“Oh, you know same old. Almost finished recording on Patsy’s album.”
Jude nodded and he said, “Well, better get back to work.”
After he walked out Jude put her headphones back on and started working again. After another hour had passed, Jude wrapped up her headphones and set them on the table next to the stack of jewel cases. Then she walked to Sadie’s desk.
“Nice to see you here this early.” Sadie said just as she sat down.
“Thanks.” Jude smiled and leaned on the desk “Can I get one of those yellowish envelopes with the clasp on it?”
“Only come to me when you need something hunh?” Sadie said lightheartedly, handing her the envelope.
“Yeah, pretty much.” Jude smiled, “So how are things going with you and Kwest?”
“I see how it is.” Sadie said “It’s good.”
“I’m glad. He seems really nice.” Jude told her, “Even if he scared me this morning.”
Sadie smiled, “What’d he do?”
“Walked up behind me, I didn’t hear him come in.”
“Zoning again?” Sadie asked and then answered the phone in her receptionist voice, “Hello GMajor.”
Jude waved to her and walked to her office. She sat at her desk and slid the papers into the envelope. Pulling her Sharpie out of her desk drawer, she labeled it and sealed it. She placed it neatly with the other envelopes. Looking around she realized that those envelopes were the only thing in her office that was really organized. Jude made a mental note to clean stuff up and looked at the clock and saw that it was now almost one o’clock.
“That is why caffeine is calling my name.” She said and went to hospitality and made some coffee.
Kyle, Wally, and Spied were sitting in the lobby talking and saw Jude in hospitality. They looked over at the person who just walked up beside them.
“What up man.” Kyle said to him, bumping fists.
“Hey.” He said, “Nothing much.”
Spied turned to the man and said, “You see her over there?”
He nodded and Spied continued, “You should totally walk up behind her and…”
Spied whispered to him and he asked, “Why would I do that?”
“Because it’s funny.” The three answered.
“Works for me.” He shrugged and walked over to hospitality. He walked up directly behind Jude and lightly ran his finger across her back. Jude’s threw back her elbow and made direct contact with his stomach. Jude heard a painful groan.
She turned around and saw that it wasn’t who she thought it was and said, “Oh my God, I am so sorry.”
Then she was who it was and said, “Oh, it’s you, never mind.”
The man started to laugh and said, “Jude fucking Harrison, how the hell are you?”
Jude smiled and said “Chad fucking Kroeger, all things considered I am awesome.”
He started to talk but Jude stopped him. “Hang on a sec.” she turned around, “Spied not a playground.”
Spied laughed and Chad said, “Do you remember when you said you would do anything for me?”
“I believe what I said was I would do almost anything within reason.”
“Well, I need your help.”
“Kay…” She said urging him to go on, taking a sip of her coffee
“Well, I am going to be signing this new band to my label and was wondering if you would be willing to check them out.”
“I might.” She said signaling towards her office. “C’mon.”
They walked into Jude’s office and she offered him a chair. She sat down behind her desk and said, “Okay, tell me about them.”
“Four guys playing small gigs when I found them. They are an Alternative Rock group. Cool guys.”
Jude nodded and said “You haven’t signed them yet?”
“No, but I am positive I will. They were stoked when I talked to them.”
Jude nodded and said, “So, if I take you up on this when would I start working with them?”
“About a month.”
Jude thought about it and said, “Okay, can I give you a call, let you know?”
“Sounds good.” They stood up and shook hands and he turned to leave.
“By the way, what’s the name of this band?” Jude asked
“Theory of a Deadman.”
“Oh yeah, I’ve heard of them, we tried to get them but they weren’t interested, but I’ll get back to you.”
He nodded and walked out the door. Jude all but jumped up and down and smiled to herself. She grabbed the papers that needed to be returned to Darius and walked to his office. She walked in and handed the papers to him and said “So I saw that a new artist is coming my way.”
“That’s what you wanted wasn’t it?”
“Yes, I was just curious. Who is it?”
“An up and comer, DKPLO. She is coming in today to meet with us.”
Jude nodded, “Cool, what time?”
“Any minute actually.”
“Well, just let me know. I gotta finish something.” She said and walked out the door.
Spied walked up to her and said “So, what did he want?”
“I can’t tell you right now, but what I can tell you is don’t ever do that to me again.”
“I did nothing.” He said innocently.
“Yeah, yeah.” She said, “Consider it a future warning then.”
“Oh really, what you gonna do?”
“You know I have that picture...” Jude told Spied who was now looking past her.
“Jude.” Darius said as he walked up behind her.
Jude turned around and saw a girl dressed like she was going to a club instead of a meeting with a potential label. She had on big sunglasses with brown lenses, her long brown hair done in cornrows, wearing a pink mini dress and a chunky gold chain necklace.
Jude smiled and introduced herself, the girl responded with a short “Hi.”
The three went into the small conference room. They sat down and talked for a while and then Darius asked “So, Keisha what do you think?”
“I think this place would be great.” She answered, “But…”
“What?” Darius asked.
“I don’t want to work with a washed up has-been.”
Darius glanced at Jude out of the corner of his eye and saw no change in expression.
“Well, I am sorry to hear that. We have a new producer here that is great, you would like to work with him.” Jude said, standing up and extended her hand toward her and the girl shook her hand with the limpest handshake Jude had ever seen.
“Can I give you a tip though, professionally?” She said, just before she walked out.
“I guess.” Keisha answered, eyeing her.
Darius waited to see what Jude would say, wondering if it was going to take damage control.
“You need to work on that handshake.” The girl looked at her confused and Jude continued, “No one in this industry will trust you if you don’t have a strong handshake.” And with that Jude walked out. The girl was speechless and Darius was amused.
Jude saw Tommy walk in and waved him over. He walked up to her.
“Hey.” Jude said and gave him a quick kiss. “I have something to tell you, but it’s a secret so shhh.” She told him putting a finger to her lips. They walked into her office and closed the door. Jude told him about the offer she got from Chad.
“That’s great Jude.” He said, “Wait, are you leaving GMajor?”
“No, it’s in about a month. You’ll be on tour and I will need something to do.”
“D isn’t giving you another artist?”
“He tried to, but she didn’t want to work with me.”
“Why’s that?” Tom asked, “You’re the best.”
“Are you just saying that because you’re thinking you’re gonna get lucky tonight?” Jude said looking over her shoulder as she pulled open the door.
“No,” he said, “wait, I’m getting lucky tonight?”
Jude smiled and said, “I don’t know it depends on how the washed up has-been feels when she’s done with work.”
“Is that what that chick said to you?” Tom said, “You’re not a washed up has-been.”
Jude looked at him and he continued, “But if it makes you feel any better, you’re my washed up has-been.”
“Shut up.” She said laughing as she pushed him away. He grabbed her hand and tugged her back to him and kissed her quick on the mouth. Tom put his arm around her shoulders and Jude put hers around his waist. Just then Darius and Keisha walked out of the conference room and shook hands. Keisha looked over at Jude who was smiling about something Tom has said and saw Tom kiss her again. Jude saw them out of the corner of her eye and said “Bye Keisha, see you around.”
Keisha waved and then Jude said, “Hey D is it alright if I take off?”
“Let’s talk now.” he said, motioning to his office. Jude nodded and told Tom she would be right back. Walking in and closing the door behind her, Jude sat down and Darius asked “What’s going on Jude?”
“What do you mean?”
“What has you tense and freaked? I can see through the act.”
“D, I…” she hesitated
“Jude.” He said sternly, “What is going on?”
“Damn it D.” she raised her voice, “I can’t tell you.”
“Why not Jude? This affects you; it affects your work, which affects everyone here.”
“Don’t make this about work, or you, or anyone else. This is about me.”
“Then let me help you.”
“I was told that he would punish me if I said anything.”
“You know that isn’t going to happen.” He told her. “What did you find out?”
“I know who.” She said, “I have a name and a phone number.”
“Well, if you have this info, why not go to the police?”
“I’m not letting anyone get hurt because of me. I talk, someone gets hurt.”
“Did you tell anyone?”
“Yes, I told Tom.”
“And what?” she said and he gave her a look “He didn’t do anything because I asked him not to.”
“Something needs to be done Jude; you already know this won’t go away on its own.”
“I know and I’m trying D.”
“What are you doing?”
“I’m not staying at my house anymore. I am staying at Tom’s. Nobody else knows, so…” She trailed off and looked off to the side.
“I can take care of this Jude.” He told her calmly, “Give me the name and number, it can go away.”
Jude looked up and him and said, “Can this be kept quiet?”
“Of course.” He told her and Jude wrote down Adrian’s information on the pad of paper Darius slid towards her.
“Thank you D.” Jude said quietly.
He nodded and said, “How did you get this information?”
“He called me.” Jude told him.
“He called you?” Darius asked.
“Yeah, kinda a stupid move, but I still don’t know how he got my number. He left a message and I used the return senders call option and called him back. That was when he told me all that stuff about keeping quiet.”
D looked down at the paper in front of him and said, “Isn’t this one of Tom’s friends?”
Jude nodded and he continued, “Is this what you two were fighting about?”
“How did you…” Jude said but Darius interrupted her, “I’ve know you for four years Jude, I can tell.”
“Yeah, but that is done and over with.”
“Okay, well then.” Darius said changing the subject, “Sorry about what happened with Keisha.”
“Don’t worry about it D.” Jude told him as she waved it away.
“You’re not mad?”
“Nope.” She told him, “D, I listened to the demo, good voice, not such a good song. She doesn’t have to work with me. She might change her mind later on but whatever.”
Darius looked at her, thinking about what she said “Do you have something else lined up? You have been bugging me for weeks to give you more artists and then it doesn’t even bother you when this happened?”
“It isn’t that it doesn’t bother me, it’s just,” she paused, “that this is one battle in a time of war and this one just isn’t worth fighting.”
He nodded and Jude stood up and said, “Bye D, thanks.”
Jude opened the door and walked out and ran straight into Kwest, who was standing right outside the door.
“Sorry.” Jude said.
“Its all good.” He told her and walked away.
Jude met up with Tom, who was talking with Sadie and they walked out the door.
Sadie walked up to Kwest who was talking on his phone and hung up when she approached him.
Jude and Tom walked into Tom’s house and as soon as the door was shut the phone rang. Jude answered it “Hello, Quincy residence.”
“Can I please speak with Tom Dutois?”
“Um…hang on one sec.” Jude said and turned to Tom, who in turn was looking at her, “Do you know Tom Dutois?”
“Yes.” Tom said and Jude handed him the phone saying “Well, tell him his mother is calling for him.”
Tom chuckled and said something into the phone and Jude heard on the other end “Who was that answering your phone?”
Jude walked into the kitchen while he talked on the phone. Once he hung up the phone he walked into the kitchen and saw Jude sitting on the counter cross legged. She smiled at him and he said “You were right it was my mom.”
“Your mom?” Jude asked as Tom hopped up on the counter next to her
“Yeah, she wants us to go up there for my sister’s birthday party.”
“Cool.” She said “I have one question though. Why did she call you Tom Dutois?”
“That is my name.” he told her and when she gave him a confused look he continued “My full last name is Quincy-Dutois. I use Quincy, she doesn’t.”
Jude rested her head on Tom’s shoulder and after a minute she asked, “So, when is your sister’s party?”
Tom smiled and said, “She would like us there tomorrow.”
“Cool. Road trip.” Jude said and Tom laughed.
Jude lifted her head and looked at him, “What?”
“You sound very enthused.” He said looking down at her.
“It’ll be fun.” She smiled.
“Don’t worry, everyone will love you. Besides, she told me to bring you.”
“Because she got a kick out of you when you answered the phone.” He answered, “Mainly when you said ‘Well, tell him his mother is calling for him’ part. She wanted to know how you knew it was my mom.”
“She has a mom voice.” Jude shrugged.
Tom laughed, “Well, She probably hasn’t heard that before.”
“Besides,” he continued, “she wants to meet you.”
“Should I be afraid?” Jude asked as she hopped off the counter
“No, my mother is harmless.”
“No mother is harmless when it comes to her son.” Jude said, turning to face him.
Tom laughed as he slid off the counter, “She’s a firecracker, but she is the nicest lady in the world. You just wait. You’ll see that there is nothing to worry about.”
“I’m not worried. I’m kind of excited.”
“You are the only woman I know that would be excited about that. It’s kinda weird.”
“That’s why you love me.” Jude said over her shoulder as she started to walk away.
“Yeah, pretty much the half of it.” Tom said and she responded “And here I thought you only wanted me for my body.”
“That’s the other half.” He told her she winked at him and walked into the other room.