BEHIND THE LIGHTS

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Chapter 36

January 22nd, 2017
Berlin, Germany
Where did it go? - Asking Alexandria

He didn’t know what time it was, but the sun was shining bright up high in the sky when he opened his eyes.

One of his arms was trapped under Leah’s body, hand feeling tingly. He looked at her, slowly breathing into his neck. Her skin was glowing with the morning light slipping through the purple curtains, wavy chocolate hair disheveled, legs entangled with his.

Except for the two long relationships he’d had, Søren hadn’t slept with anyone in the same bed. He hated when women mistook sleeping together after sex with being together. He didn’t need complicated situations like that in his already messed up life, so he was clear from the beginning, fucking and leaving once the deed was done.

But there he was, embracing a woman he had met three months before. And it felt just right. No, it felt great. Things with Leah were smooth and easy. He didn’t remember the last time he had such a comfortable and deep rest. He hadn’t even had nightmares or woken up for no reason in the middle of the night while having her beside him.

Since he had stopped taking drugs and drinking three years before, his brain had never completely shut down, not even during his sleep. Always dreaming the weirdest stuff, going over the things he had to do the next day, worried about his mother or Alex, or any other shit. And the nights he seemed to get a full sleep, his cats woke him up, or he needed to go to the bathroom. Save for those two.

It was as if he had been in a profound coma. Maybe it was her sweet, peachy scent acting as a sedative, or the excess of exercise. Whatever it was, he was glad he had found her. He hadn’t felt so relaxed in years.

Feeling rested and refreshed, ready to start the day, he tried to move without waking up Leah. Once he had freed his arm, he sneaked out of the bed.

“Where are you going?” Her groggy voice asked from behind.

“To get some coffee,” he said as he pulled his boxers up.

“Hmm...” She rolled on the mattress and propped on her elbows, leaving her tattooed back on full display as her hair cascaded down her chest. “I could use a coffee.” Leah lazily smiled.

“I’ll be right back.” He buckled his belt and leaned down to kiss her.

“Take your time, I’m not going anywhere.”

Closing the door behind him, he strode towards the elevator, checking the last message on his social media accounts.

“Morning.”

“Morning.” He gestured with his head when Alex stopped beside him.

They hadn’t talked about their encounter, they never did. They had fought and punched each other before, but they were like brothers and something like that wasn’t going to make them fall apart. They would just sit, smoke, and play together until they forgot about it. That time it was taking a bit longer, but Søren was sure everything would go back to the way it was supposed to be.

“You okay?” Søren asked as he fidgeted with his Zippo.

“Yeah.”

“You sure? You look worse than you usually do.”

“Thank you?” Alex flashed him a sarcastic grin.

“I didn’t—Who am I kidding? Yeah, you look like shit.”

“It’s just...” Alex sighed.

“Hm?”

“My mother found me and she’s been calling me for a while now.” His face twisted.

“Wait. The junkie?” Yeah, no hiding his hatred towards her.

“Do I have another one I don’t know of?” Alex snorted.

“What did she say?” Søren asked, lighting a cig as they stepped outside the hotel. He was going to get coffee for Leah, yeah, but it wouldn’t kill anyone if he spent some time with his friend when it was obvious he had shit spiraling in his head.

“That she wanted to talk.”

“What the fuck does she want after...”

“Fifteen years.” Alex inhaled and let out a cloud of smoke. “She said some shit about making it up to me.”

After his father abandoned them she had never taken care of him, becoming a whore and drug addict mommy. Alex had ended up in the system when he was thirteen because of her and now she wanted to talk?

“Are you going to meet her?”

“I don’t know.”

“She’d be better in hell.” He could almost chew the venom inside his mouth, but he couldn’t help it.

“Yeah, that was my first thought, but...”

“But?” Søren arched a brow.

“I don’t know.” Alex shrugged, exhaling as he looked ahead of him. “Maybe... listening to her might help me to move on.”

“It’s your life.” He was worried. Of course, he was, that woman was nothing but bad news, but he was an adult and had to make his own decisions.

“Are you still avoiding your father?” Alex asked out of the blue.

“Yup, and that’s not going to change.” Søren let out a last puff of smoke. Everyone fucks up at some point in their lives, but what he did, or what Alex’s mother had done, that was unforgivable. You could make a mistake, once, twice, even three times, but doing the same shit over and over, hurting the ones you were supposed to protect? That was a habit.

“Hm!” Alex exclaimed, taking the cigarette between his index finger and thumb before putting out the cig stub against the sole of his boots. “Mikael just told us he’s talked to Angela and asked her for more time to think about the contract.” He changed the topic, knowing he had reached a dead end with Søren on the parental issues thing.

“Why?”

“He said we still have time before the end of this period of the contract and that he wants our lawyers to get our paperwork and accounts under the microscope.”

“Not like we can go anywhere now.”

“My words, exactly.”

“Hey, boys!” Ian chirped as he walked out, Jørn following close behind. “What’s up?”

“I was just updating him on the news,” Alex said.

“Good. Coffee?” Ian asked.

“Yeah... Actually I was supposed to get some for Leah.”

“Where is she?”

“She just woke up, so I left her in the room.”

“Call her and tell her to come down, I need to do something today other than laying on a bed... Unless you’re planning to keep banging her.” Ian wiggled his brows.

“What the fuck?” Søren laughed.

“Don’t act innocent, Wolff.”

“I don’t think you’ll need to call her...” Jørn gestured with his head.

“Morning, guys!” she said as she approached them.

“Morning.” Alex nodded.

“What are you doing here?”

“Well, I was tired of waiting for that coffee so I thought I’d get it myself.”

“Jesus, Wolff, how can you make the lady wait? You’re so rude,” Ian quipped.

“Ignore him,” Søren said, putting his arm over her shoulders. “Let’s get you that coffee.”

“Seems like we’re running away from them?” Leah giggled.

“And we are. They’re annoying as fuck and I don’t want to see their ugly faces today.”

“If you want to spend some time with them...” She glanced at him. “I mean, I don’t mind hanging out with everyone.”

“You sure?” Søren arched an eyebrow.

She wasn’t going to be around much and he wanted to spend as much time as possible with her. He’d promised to take her to a few places, but it was true that he missed goofing around with the guys, just relaxing and laughing.

“Yeah.” She nodded. “All you’ve been doing lately is working, I’m sure you could use some free time together... Besides, we can go where you wanted with them.”

“You’re incredible,” he blurted out, kissing the top of her head. It was the truth. Selflessness was rare in his world, and she was so genuine he couldn’t help but feel stunned.

“Oh, yeah, I know that.” She chuckled as they reached the bar.

Time flew by between jokes and whatnot, and they ended up having some sort of brunch instead of just a coffee. But they weren’t in a hurry and the laid-back atmosphere felt too nice. Leah blended in with the group perfectly. Countering their dark and dumb humour with sarcasm and laughing at the stupidest things with everyone.

“Oh my God! Wait!” Ian exclaimed, cracking up at some subtitled angry cats video she had shown him. “Have you seen these videos of a cat called Bon Jovi?”

“Jesus, those are hilarious,” Alex said, joy finally reaching his eyes.

Shaking his head, Søren got up to pay the bill so they could get going and visit some of the places he had in mind.

“I can see why you like her so much,” Jørn commented as he stood beside him.

“I don’t like her so much,” Søren lied. Deep down he knew he liked her much more than he was willing to admit.

“Yeah, right, tell that to the stupid grin you’ve had on your face this entire time.”

“Whatever.”

“I like her. She’s good.”

“Yeah, she is,” he agreed, glancing at her. She had that beautiful smile on her face as she talked with Alex and Ian.

He didn’t know why, but Leah gave him a powerful and positive vibe, as if anything could be possible.


After a quickie in the shower because they didn’t seem to have had enough after three nights in a row—the two of them losing count of how many times they fucked—Søren accompanied Leah to the train station.

It was still dark outside, not even a glimpse of the morning light slipping through the horizon. He would have loved to stay in bed curled up with her for a bit longer, but her train was leaving at seven and the band was traveling to Cologne an hour after that.

Wait, what? Curled in bed? What the fuck?!

“I’m glad you invited me this weekend,” Leah snapped him back into the real world.

“I’m glad you accepted,” he replied as they walked through the station, which was very calm as it was still early.

“Like I could reject that offer,” she snorted.

“True.” He laughed.

“You’re so full of yourself,” Leah shook her head, beaming.

“Do you regret it?” he asked in a stern tone of voice, waiting for her reaction.

“What? No! It was—” she turned her face to him, eyes wide open and brows slightly furrowed. “You’re an idiot!” she exclaimed, rolling her eyes when she saw his playful grin.

“But an idiot you like to fuck.” Søren shrugged.

“Shut up!”

“I’m serious,” he chuckled, grabbing her wrist to make her stop, “I’m glad you came, it was great...” he said in a low voice, looking her in the eye as his hands sneaked to her neck, thumbs caressing her jaw.

“Of course it was...” She arched an eyebrow, a smug expression on her face

Søren laughed. “I didn’t mean it like that... Sex was incredible yeah, but I also liked talking to you in person and not through texts,” he confessed brushing his lips with hers.

So sappy man!

“Me too,” Leah circled her arms around his waist, flashing him a smile that illuminated everything, making his entire body tingle.

Fuck my life!

“So... see you in three weeks?” he asked, lacing his fingers in her hair, watching her eyes fluttering shut—during the weekend he had realized she loved that.

“Wait, what? Three weeks?” She seemed shocked.

“Aren’t you coming to Oslo on the tenth for a concert you have there?”

“Oh, shit! You’re right! I don’t know what day I live in lately.” She chuckled.

“Yeah, I can see that.”

“But yeah...” she whispered before kissing him. “I’ll see you in three weeks.”

“Good,” he said in a low voice.

With their bodies pressed together, they lost themselves in one of those slow, sensual kisses. Gently biting and sucking their lips, tongues softly gliding over each other, building up the excitement once again.

“Okay, we better stop this,” Søren panted, “or I’ll have to fuck you in the bathroom and you’ll miss the train and then Mikael will kill me for being late.”

Leah giggled. “True.”

“Text me when you get home,” he said, glancing at the clock hanging from one of the pillars in the station. It was almost time.

“Sure.” She smiled and then walked away.

See you in three weeks.

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