A VIP table was made for them with lots of alcohol on the table, Rory and Ryleigh sat beside each other. It got stuffy so he peeled his jacket off and laid it behind his chair exposing his forearms from his shirt rolled up and placed on one arm behind Ryleigh’s chair leaning back. Ryleigh tried to be comfortable and perhaps a drink might do that, she took a champagne flute and downed it.
‘Don’t do that Ry.’ Rory said to her.
‘It calms me down, I only do it once and that’s it.’ She tells him. ‘I’m not thinking about going mad.’ She sees the sadness in his eyes as he used to do this before he went on stage every night believing that’ll calm his nerves too.
‘Ok, I believe you.’ After he speaks he tenderly moves her back onto her chair and rubs her arm, she gazes at him again capturing how handsome he is and desperate to follow the outlines of his tattoos with her finger.
The lights started to go down and the show was about to start. Halfway through the show, all the judges came up to do the best single of the year nominations and winner.
‘Hello.’ Bruce says to the microphone.
’I’m not sure if you heard but we are doing this TV show called ‘Battle of the Rockstar.’ Marcus says and the crowd cheered. ‘They are all here tonight, let’s get a wave from them.’ The camera draws to them and they wave to it, Rory still having his hand around her chair, but the drink did make her relax and she took the drinking at a slower pace. The camera went off them and back to the stage and continued onwards. Ryleigh enjoyed watching this on the TV and to be here was a trill and wanted to remember this for a long time.
After the awards ceremony they are lead to an after-party, the ultraviolet lights where glowing, the music was loud and the bars were filled with too much drink to handle. Marcus came over to speak to them.
‘How are you guys doing?’
‘Yeah all good.’ Ryleigh said to him.
‘Come and meet the rest of the band and some of my friends.’ She smiled from ear-to-ear, she didn’t want to be a fangirl too much and played it cool. ‘Guys this is Ryleigh one of my students.’ They are tall and wearing leather jackets with tight jeans, she tries not to scream like a fan and keep it for her inside voices.
‘Hey Ryleigh, you are my fav to win.’ The guitarist tell her. ‘You’re going to be the winner, I can feel it.’ She seemed grateful and said thank you, they talk a bit more and another singer joins up with them and she knew him, Drew Klax also known as Absent as his stage name. His jet black short hair, black eyeliner and Celtic writing tattooed on his neck and smart pink rolled sleeved shirt looked good on him.
‘So this is Ryleigh? I’ve got to say, a chick from the brit is an amazing asset to the show. You UK fans go wild when I tour there.’ Again she thanked him, Rory tagged in and gave her a drink. ‘Ah, you must be Rory.’ He takes his hand out ready to shake.
‘Drew Klax.’ Rory says and takes his hand.
‘You got some skills motherfucker, I would like to collaborate with you some someday and also you Ryleigh. Both of you.’
‘That would be amazing thank you.’ Rory says and Ryleigh echoes too.
The night went well and meeting band members she listened to is going to be the most memorable night ever, at one point it got a bit too much and needed to calm down from the excitement she’s possessing and decided to go a quiet part of the party. It looked like nobody was there and pitched against the wall, the liquid she absorbed was running through her.
‘You ok there?’ Rory follows her as he hasn’t left her side all night.
‘This is the best night ever. They say to never meet your hero’s but my god aren’t they wrong.’ He smiles at her.
‘Yeah, they’re completely wrong.’ He steps closer to her closing her in.
‘Thanks for helping me out tonight with everything. I wouldn’t be ok without you.’
‘I care about you.’ He quietly tells her, he leans in a bit closer. ‘If you weren’t here, I wouldn’t be ok either.’ She presses her lips together not explicate how amazing that sounded to her. ‘You’re so beautiful Ryleigh.’
‘You already said that a few times.’ She jokes.
‘I’ll never get tired of telling you that.’ He grins and lays his hand on her cheek, she secretly wanted him closer. ‘You were ok when I kissed you on set?’
‘I never felt better.’ She tells him, ‘I wouldn’t mind if you did it again.’ She nibbles the bottom of her lip and he feels her nose with his.
‘You don’t realise how much I want to.’
‘I want us to be sober enough to remember.’ Rory closes his eyes tightly figuring out he’s a bit tipsy.
‘Me too.’ The resistance for them got their blood pumping wanting more and he ought to retract or he would of done it. ‘We should get back.’ Ryleigh agreed and followed him.
The rehearsal went well and it got them both more excited than ever. They wore matching clothing and their PA’s gave them the good news which made the night even better.
‘The song is going way off the charts.’ Josh tells them.
‘Yeah, and the video views are insane.’ Kelsie adds in, she then grabs her phone and opens up a photo. ‘Also this has had the most liked and views of the week.’ The photo of him and Ryleigh on the red carpet having their photo taken, Rory nudges her gently.
‘Told you it was a good idea.’ He smirks and she rolls his eyes at him. The rest of the girls needed to get ready which meant Rory and Josh needed to leave, the make-up team wanted to touch-up with Ryleigh and Kelsie stayed.
‘How did it go with Josh then?’ They couldn’t have catch-up most of the week with the boys being there.
‘It went amazing Ry, I couldn’t thank you enough.’
‘So, are you going to go on another date?’ Kelsie shook her head.
‘Your life is about to go insane and I need to make sure you aren’t doing anything reckless. Maybe once this is done, we might go again. We didn’t talk about it.’
‘Why don’t you both schedule it in?’
‘It doesn’t work like that for us. Besides you got some acting skill, I have a feeling you might be called to do some of that stuff too.’
‘I don’t think so.’ Ryleigh says.
‘Everything you were doing in the music video seem believable, from the both of you.’ Ryleigh went quiet for a second and started to go all shy.
‘What if it wasn’t acting?’ Kelsie looked at her puzzled. ‘The music video, the music awards, there not us acting, well I didn’t feel it was. It’s something I could get use to with him being there.’
‘Woah, so you never did it to get the media’s attention?’
‘That was the original plan, but it just felt real to me and I didn’t realise as much as I did now what he means to me.’ Ryleigh had so much to say and was ready to burst. ‘I think I’m in love with him, it shouldn’t be that sudden. I’ve just ended a long term relationship.’
‘Sometimes, you can’t control how you feel about someone. I don’t think you should hold back.’
‘We’ve got to, we’re in a competition and it’ll get complicated.’ Kelsie understood she just hopes holding back for too long could be a chance of him disappearing completely.
After watching everyone else of their live performance they were the last to be shown and got called for the stage. As the walked they held hands all the way there, Ryleigh had mixed emotions from all the positive impact they’ve had and couldn’t help squeezing his hand again and again. They both get their mic sets on and Ryleigh is told to go to the other side of the stage, Rory lures her in for a hug.
‘I’ll see you on the stage.’ She tells him and follows the crew.
The host was speaking and introducing them and the crowd started to scream hysterically, the first note came on and both on stage with their microphone. She is glad the Rory takes the start, as she hasn’t been this nervous since the audition. Some of the lyrics he sings making eye contact with her a few times and Ryleigh did the same, when the chorus kicks in they jump along with the crowd. As the song keeps going they start to go near each other and smile. One point she faces the crowd and he goes behind her and sings over her shoulder feeling his breath down her neck. His other arm goes around her and she holds onto his hand dangling over her shoulder for a while. As they finish the last chorus they look into each other eyes for the last time while the crowd cheers, they hug each other and Rory keeps one arm on her and kisses the back of her head. The crowd is cheering for a long time, the judges couldn’t be heard over them.
‘Guys lets all chill for a second.’ Bruce jokingly told them. ‘That is how you end an evening show.’ It got the crowd screaming again.
‘I would talk but I think the crowd is doing that for me.’ Aimee laughs.
‘I’m proud of you both.’ Marcus says and they went off stage, the backstage crew were ready to collect the microphones off them and they both jump with joy and hold onto each other closely and Ryleigh started to cry,
‘I can’t believe that just happened!’
‘That felt amazing. Come here.’ Rory grabs her again so she can just cry in his arms, the crowd hasn’t done that since the show started and might be the only time they’ll get that response. When they went back into the green room with everyone giving them a standing ovation and a group hug.
Back on the stage Rory and Ryleigh easily went through and Kaylin is the next one to go.