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Chapter 31

January 20th, 2017
Stuttgart, Germany
Fucking with my head - Palaye Royale

Texting hadn’t been as constant as it was during the previous months. She seemed a bit off and even if Søren didn’t want to overthink it, he worried, so he video-called Leah one day when they were in Italy to cheer her up—she had told him about a cathedral there she studied in college and loved.

When she picked up, he wasn’t met with the cheerful woman he knew, she looked tired. But when he asked her if everything was okay, she claimed to be busy and blamed it on him because after he posted the guitar she had restored for him, commissions had been raining. Later, he just teased her about the heap of hair tied on top of her head, concern washing away as she grinned and showed him the middle finger in response.

Days had been crossing off the calendar and it finally was the day he would see her again. He was a bit nervous—the excited, hyped kind of nervous. He had even threatened the guys to make sure that the only private room in the sleeper bus was for him that night.

They used to take turns to sleep in it, not only because it was private and isolated compared to the bunk beds, but because it was a double bed and even if they were alone, it was always better than a single one.

They were going to sleep one night at a hotel in Berlin, but there was no way he was waiting another day—he was close to exploding, at least his balls were after no banging nor fapping for the last four weeks.

“So, tonight’s gonna get noisy, I guess? Should I put my plugs in?” Ian teased as he pulled a pair of clean jeans on.

They had just finished the concert and were getting ready to meet with Buried Alive’s members, as well as with the other two bands they were touring with.

“First, you’re disgusting. Second, I don’t know,” Søren laughed.

“Guys, all the gear’s already on the bus. Everything okay here?” Mikael asked, looking at Alex.

“Yeah.” Jørn nodded.

“Good, then I’m going back to get some sleep. Please, if you’re gonna get drunk as fuck and come back talking as if you were alone, just sleep it off somewhere else. Dave and I have to be up at six,” the manager told them.

“Yeah, yeah...” Ian responded. “Don’t worry, Grumpy.”

While touring, their lives and schedules were crazy. Dave, the driver, Mikael, and other people in the crew tried to sleep like normal humans at night, getting up early to move to the next destination and prepare the next gig, but the musicians and some of the sound technicians would sleep during the day.

“Whatever. By the way, your friends are outside. You better be treating them well because if you mess them up, Angela will kill me.”

“He’s the only one messing with someone.” Ian pointed at Soren.

Søren laughing. Not yet.

“You’ve been warned,” Mikael said before he left, shaking his head, chuckling.

“I’m going to get them,” Jørn said.

“Sure.” Alex nodded.

It wasn’t a huge space, and not the typical dressing room, more like a small living room with a green couch, a small fridge, a black metal table and enough space for their shit. The bathroom was decent too—and private. So, they could all fit in there and have a few drinks while they waited for the others to get ready.

“Okay, gonna go out to call Frida, be right back,” Ian mentioned as he stepped into his Converse.

“Sure.” Søren nodded.

“Want one?” Alex offered.

“Nah, thanks. Can’t have my tongue getting dry now.” He smirked.

Alex snorted, letting out a cloud of smoke through his nose.

They had turned the page, but the weirdness surrounding them was palpable. Their disagreement, cranky moods, or whatever that was, had never lasted that long, but if Alex was waiting for him to apologize for punching him, he could sit and wait, it would be a long time before that happened. That was the way they always solved shit and he wasn’t going to start treating him like a princess now.

“Hey!” Chris chirped as he entered the room.

Setting his bottle of water on the table, Søren got up to greet them, eyes falling immediately on Leah.

The material of her white and black baseball-style tee seemed tight on her chest, or maybe he was just wishing they were alone. She was wearing her hair down and just the perfect amount of makeup to enhance her beautiful hazel-green orbs.

“Hi.” She gave him a half-smile.

“Hey...” he muttered as he approached and kissed her cheek, close to her mouth.

She seemed distant?

Slightly frowning, he turned towards the guys and greeted them, shaking their hands and giving them one of those sided hugs. “How are you?”

“Good!” Marc exclaimed. “I was just telling Jørn how amazing the sound is in this place.”

“Yeah, it’s been a great concert,” Erik added.

“Glad you enjoyed it.” Søren smiled at them, glancing at Leah. She was oddly silent.

He checked her again. She was carrying a black hoodie and her coat in her hands, one of those women’s backpack purses hanging from her shoulder. It was medium-sized, enough to hold some clothing for the weekend. Though it didn’t look full, maybe she wasn’t the type of woman to carry a lot of stuff?

“You okay?” he asked her in a low voice as everyone moved towards the couch and saluted Alex too.

“Yeah, why?”


He stared down at her, a stern expression on his face as he tried to read her.

“Dude! I’m fine, just tired from the trip. How about you act like a gentleman and offer me a drink?”

“Fine.” He chuckled, shaking his head as they moved to sit with the rest.

“Did you see when Damian cracked his skull with the headstock of his guitar?” Chris laughed—that guy was the guitarist from the band that had played before Dark Omen and he was always so hyper during their performances, he had hurt himself several times.

“Fuck, yes!” Ian chortled as he came back.

“How could he keep playing with so much blood dripping over his eyes?” Leah twisted her mouth in a scowl.

“He’s always so fucking high I think he didn’t even notice,” Jørn said.

“I bet he needed stitches after that,” Erik commented.

“He did,” Alex confirmed. “Three actually.”

They were there for another thirty minutes or so, drinking and making small talk. Leah was good at hiding her emotions, deceiving him for a while. She had been laughing at their stupid jokes, teasing the guys back, pretending everything was fine, but something was off. She had been avoiding eye contact with him as if her life depended on it.

What the fuck happened for her to be like that?

Nothing came to his mind that could have been inappropriate or that could have bothered her during the last week.

“Can we talk?” Søren asked her in a low voice, tapping her knee.

“Should I worry?”

“You tell me—”

“Hey!” Astrid peeked her head through the door, dark red lips spreading across her face in a huge smile. “Henrik and the guys are ready. We’re heading to Blackland, you coming?”

“Yeah,” Jørn replied.

“Wherever you take me! I just want to drink and relax, this week’s been hell!” Chris said as he put on his coat.

“Think I’m gonna pass,” Søren said, glancing at Leah. “I’m fucking tired, gonna go straight to the bus.”

“You sure?” Astrid asked, arching an eyebrow.

It wasn’t as if they partied a lot after concerts, they were usually dead tired afterwards—even more after two weeks of traveling around Europe—but that pub was a classic. Whenever they were in town, they would go to have a few drinks and play table football and billiards. It was a cool place with good music, friendly staff, and a laid-back atmosphere—or extreme, depending on who had played that night.

“He has better things to do,” Jørn commented with a shitty smirk plastered on his face.

“Then, you can take our shit back to the bus. Thanks!” Ian exclaimed, throwing his bag to his face.

“What the fuck?” Søren laughed.

None of his bandmates would even question why he was staying, his cheesy grins while he texted back and forth with Leah had told them enough. But, sadly, what he wanted was to talk to her. To talk. What was that woman doing to him?

“Can you help me carry these?” he asked her.

“S—Sure,” she stammered, glancing at Chris, who nodded at her with a knowing look.

So fucking awkward!

“Great! Bye!” Erik waved his hand, walking out of the room following Ian.

“See you later!” Jørn winked at them, putting his arm around Marc’s shoulders and dragging him out with him.

“Have a good night!” Chris wiggled his eyebrows, making Leah snort and roll her eyes.

As they all had left, Alex saying goodbye with just a quick nod of his head and Astrid staring at him with an odd expression, Leah put on her hoodie and coat and took the bag Søren was holding out for her without uttering a single word.

They walked out in a fucking uncomfortable silence, towards the parking lot around the concert hall where they had played that night. Illuminated by warm white streetlamps, it was almost empty, only a couple of people loading the bus parked beside theirs.

“Okay, spill it,” he said when they reached the motorhome, examining her face.


“Are we really doing this?” He huffed. “What the fuck’s wrong with you?”

“Nothing!” Leah frowned, crossing her arms over her chest and turning her face away from him, shifting her weight to her right foot as she repositioned the bag on her shoulder.

“Then why are you avoiding me? You said you were busy and I believed you, but this... what the fuck are you playing at?” he asked, exasperated, letting the bags on the ground.

After the heated kissing session in Vienna, everything had been cleared up, what both of them wanted was out in the open. He had been waiting, craving for that moment to happen for too long, but she was acting all weird again and he was getting really pissed. He was too old for that shit.

She looked at the floor and sighed. “I...”

“Don’t you dare lie to me,” Søren warned her.

Leah raised her head and fixed her eyes on his, brows creasing together. “This is just a game for you, right?”

“What?” He frowned, confused.

“You love the hunt, but once you’ve done the deed, you run away. You know, I might not be looking for anything serious, but I’m not a fucking toy you can use and throw away whenever you want.”

“Where the fuck did you get that from?”

She shrugged. “Someone just told me I shouldn’t get attached.”

“Who—?” It clicked. “Astrid.” Pinching the bridge of his nose, he took a deep breath in.

Leah didn’t respond, but he didn’t need an answer. He should have known that woman wouldn’t stop at the messages. Her trust and possessiveness issues were getting out of control.

“Ugh! I’m gonna kill her.”

“Isn’t it true?” Leah asked with a sarcastic tone of voice.

Søren rubbed a hand over his face and groaned, “are you serious?”

“There are only two reasons I can think of why she told me something like that. One, it’s true. Two, there’s something going on between the two of you and she’s jealous, and honestly, if that’s the case, I’m not getting in the middle.”

“What the fuck?!” Søren scrunched his nose in disgust. “There’s nothing going on between us and it’s not fucking true. Fuck! You know some shit I’ve done, everyone knows. I’ve always been honest about that, and whoever I’ve fucked knew too. I’ve never lied about my intentions, I don’t like games that can get me into trouble.”

Søren felt insulted and mad, and not only because Astrid had interfered again with his personal life, but because she was making him talk, a lot. Explaining shit and talking wasn’t his thing. He hated it. The chemistry and the physical attraction between Leah and himself were fucking real, it should be easier.

“Then, why the fuck would she tell me something like that?” Leah raised her voice as she was starting to feel annoyed herself.

“You sure are dense and more stupid than I thought if you actually believed that shit.”

“Excuse me?” She glared at him, bag thudding against the ground as she let it fall.

“Do you really think I’d spend months talking to someone, actually working to get to know her, waiting, being patient even when my balls are fucking killing me just to fuck and dump her later?”


“Fuck, Leah! I don’t do this kind of shit, ever. I don’t fucking need to, but I really like you, dammit!” he blurted it all, frustration taking over him.

She looked at him, features relaxing, gaze softening. Before he could register anything else, she had circled her arms around his neck, forcing him to bend forward.

With a hand pressed to the cold metal side of the bus, he wrapped his free arm around her waist, bringing her closer to him as she devoured his mouth. His hardening crotch squeezed against her core, heat engulfing them in a fireball of raging passion and wildness.

He should have been angry with her for constantly doubting him, but he was weak, really weak when it came to that woman. From her beautiful looks to the velvety, warm sound of her voice to her captivating personality and mind, he wanted it all.

He wanted to discover her, to rip her layers one by one, watch her unraveling under his touch, coming undone.

Panting, Leah pulled away from the kiss, foreheads touching. “Let’s settle this argument like adults... in bed, naked.” She grinned, her eyes, locked on his, shining with mischief.

Søren laughed and without hesitation, he moved to unlock the back door of the RV, letting her in first.

Following her up the few steps, watching her hips, her ass, swaying in his face, his dick reacted to the view. All that was about to be his.

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