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Chapter 40

February 10th, 2017
Oslo, Norway
Outlander - Jinjer

Time and experience had helped her to relax on the stage. The first few minutes were always intense and her hands would turn all sweaty, but her body soon unwinded as the adrenaline took over her mind.

However, that night it was impossible for her to control the shivers running up and down her spine. She managed to keep her voice steady, to act as she always did, but his eyes fixed on her were making Leah feel nervous—and hot.

Every time she glanced in his direction and saw that permanent smirk on his face, arms crossed over his chest, she wanted to drop the mic and jump on him.

After one of the choruses, when Leah recited a verse with only the guitar accompanying her, Erik hit the bass drum, making it reverberate with a sharp, firm thud. She kicked the air, letting out a grunt that led to an aggressive, instrumental part of the track.

Changing the pace that had pushed the song until that point, drumming harder and faster, Erik shut his eyes, letting his blond hair go crazy as he moved his head. Chris and Marc were furiously playing their instruments, headbanging as well. Leah smiled and turned around to move to the edge of the stage, getting up on a black box the crew had settled for her.

With a fast picking, the guitarist marked the moment she had to start singing again. Crouching down, she raised her head and growled the lines, undulating her hips at the rippling rhythm as she stood up, reaching higher notes that melted with Marc’s grunts.

The music continued for a few more seconds, ending with a solid hit of the drums.

Smiling, with her chest heaving as a roar erupted from the crowd, Leah threw her head back and opened her arms. The cheering and whistling pumping the life inside of her.

“Thank you so much, everyone!” Leah panted. “It’s been an amazing night, we wish we didn’t have to leave so soon, but you still have an amazing band to enjoy...” She paused to catch her breath as she walked around the stage, grinning. “You’re so fucking amazing, thank you so much!”

She put both of her hands in her mouth and, making a kissing sound, she extended her arms to the crowd again, bowing as the guys walked to the edge of the stage, clapping and thanking them.

“That was brutal!” Jørn said as they approached them. Dark Omen’s members—the two that had made it to the concert—had bought their tickets for the event, but since they were kind of VIP everywhere they went, they stayed backstage instead of amongst the public.

“Thanks, man!” Marc exclaimed, grinning from ear to ear.

“That was quite a show,” Søren whispered in Leah’s ear as he hooked two fingers in the waistband of her leggings, causing hundreds of electric shocks to run through her body. It had been only three weeks, but it felt like an eternity since he last touched her.

“Glad you enjoyed it,” she looked at him out of the corner of her eye.

“Hard not to enjoy everything about you...” he breathed out, eyes flicking to her mouth.

The metric fuck-ton of hormones flipped out.

They had agreed to keep things behind the lights so the press wouldn’t bug them about it if someone caught a photo of them doing something indecent, but at that moment she wanted to rip their clothes off.

“It was easy to see that you weren’t as stressed as you were during the Battle of the Bands,” Jørn teased, pulling them out of their steamy world.

“No shit!” Chris exclaimed. “During those concerts I felt like throwing up all the time. I literally wanted to run and hide. Not doing that shit anymore!” He took off his shirt, exposing his completely inked and sweaty torso.

“Those are some amazing tats,” Søren said.

“I’ll design and make one free for each one of you if you bring us to an opening act in one of your tours.”

“I’m in!” Jørn laughed.

They were making some small talk when the next band—who were friends with Jørn and Søren—joined the conversation as they waited for the sound technicians to prepare the stage for them. At any other moment Buried Alive’s members would have gone to shower, but that could wait until the end of the concert.

Being surrounded by so many renowned artists made Leah feel small but important at the same time. It was such a weird sensation, like thinking about how immense the universe is and knowing you are a tiny part of the entire thing.

Fifteen minutes later, when they stepped out and the frenzied crowd went crazy, the rest of the musicians stood there, watching the amazing show Isolation Years always put on.

Flashing lights, fire, furious and harsh, solid notes of their groove, progressive metal flooding the hall. It was spectacular.

“Oh, my God! This is the most adorable chubby-cheeked shit-machine I’ve seen in my life!” Leah gushed, her smile genuine but crooked with a hint of sadness as Søren showed her one of the babies’ pictures.

He had sent her a photo with Ian holding his children the day they were born, but that one was a close-up of the tiny creature’s face, hands in small fists pressed to his mouth. “And they made two of these?” She grinned.

“Yeah, and wait”—Søren slid his finger over the screen—“look at this.”

“Aw...” Leah smiled as she looked at a picture of Ian’s wife with both babies in her arms covered with those soft baby blue blankets and the knit caps.

“If you think that’s adorable, look at this,” Jørn said, taking out his phone. He looked through his pictures and handed it to Leah, a devilish smirk on his face. “It’s from yesterday, when we went to visit them at home.”

“Dude!” Søren rolled his eyes.

Smiling from ear to ear, his ocean blue eyes shimmering with pure bliss, Søren was holding one of the babies. He had his arms bent, creating a cradle for the little boy, hands practically the size of his body. The itty-bitty human was peacefully sleeping, head resting on his forearm, lips slightly parted.

Leah had never thought about becoming a mother; she didn’t like to plan so far ahead, much less after what had happened in the past... But seeing that picture made her ovaries dance and throw confetti.

“This is so cute!” she exclaimed, giving Jørn his phone back, looking at the singer.

“The fuck?” he protested, unable to hold the smile.

“How are they doing?” Erik asked.

“They’re good but tired,” Jørn chuckled. “One of the babies won’t sleep at all and wakes up the other every night, but oh well...”

Leah hadn’t ever seen the drummer grin like he had been doing for an hour as he talked about them. No doubt he was a proud godfather.

“Hey, guys.” A stunning red-haired with a layered hairstyle and long bangs approached them. “How’s it going?” she asked as she put her hand on Jørn’s shoulder, music almost muffling her voice.

“We’re good, you?” the drummer replied, glancing towards the bar as he slid his hand between her legs, softly caressing her knee.

“It’s quite busy today, since you’re all here...” She sighed, looking at the three bands sitting in the lounge area. “So you better tip well.”

“I can fix that later, Baby,” Jørn quipped, wiggling his eyebrows.

“Jesus, Jørn!” She slapped him on the chest, giggling. “By the way, I’m Hilde.”

“Hi,” Buried Alive’s members greeted in unison.

“Dude, she’s my cousin!” the bass player of Isolation Years groaned when he came back from the bathroom and saw Jørn caressing the waitress. “It’s disgusting!”

“You’re disgusting!” Jørn retorted.

As their banter went on, Leah shook her head, smiling, looking around the nightclub. Even though it was packed and at the beginning they got all busy talking to fans, they were now chilling on those more than comfy leather couches.

It was a decent place. The decor was dark, with black wood-panelled walls combined with brick ones in some parts of the bar, dimly lit red illumination, wonderful music and friendly staff. No wonder why people liked it so much. The fact that they could meet the owners sometimes was a great incentive though.

Some of the musicians were talking with some fans, enjoying the after party, while the others were engrossed in their own conversations. Astrid had been talking to everyone, acting nice and smiling, but she didn’t stop glaring at Leah.

What the fuck is her problem?

“So... how was your week?” Søren asked. He had been so busy recording a live session video, making interviews, and managing their side business at the same time, they had barely talked during the last few days.

“Good, quite busy actually.”

“Commissions?” he asked, subtly playing with her fingers.

“We’ve been rehearsing a lot lately, and yeah, the commissions won’t stop lately... I don’t know how you do it with everything you have going on.”

“And adding to it!” He grinned.

“What are you talking about?”

“Some guys from Jackson, have contacted me...” He stared at her, grinning.

“As in the guitar brand?” She opened her eyes wide as her brows shot up in surprise.

“Yes!” His smile grew bigger. “They want to make a custom guitar under my name. The Søren Wolff signature Jackson Pro Soloist SL2H . Can you imagine?”

“That’s big!” She exclaimed. “And so amazing!”

“Yeah, I know, right? I love their guitars, so it’s great they want to do this.”

“I’m so happy for you...”


Søren’s phone vibrated for the tenth time in his pocket.

“Dude, you should pick that, it’s annoying.”

“It’s probably a fan, groupie better said. She’s been texting me all week,” he groaned, taking the phone out. “Aaand... I was right,” he confirmed with a sigh, ignoring the notification and putting the phone on silent mode.

“Oh, wow! The horn dog and heartbreaker annoyed because some hot chick is sending him tits and ass pics,” Leah mocked him, trying to act unimpressed. That woman wasn’t the first and wouldn’t be the last to do that, but it still made her feel... uncomfortable.

“You’d rather I answered?” He flashed her with one of his shitty smirks.

“Do whatever the hell you want.” Leah rolled her eyes, crossing her arms over her chest, mouth twisting in an uneasy grin.

Please don’t.

“You’re an awful liar.” He laughed.

“And you’re a jerk.” She narrowed her eyes at him.

“Come on, it’s just a bimbo seeking attention. Don’t be jealous...” He put his arm around her shoulder.

“I’m not! I just don’t get why people do that.”

“Don’t tell me you have never sent pictures of you to a guy...”

“I did! But never to a cock-centered metalhead I don’t even know.”

Søren laughed. So, who were the lucky ones?”

“Let’s see... Hm... The first one was my boyfriend during high school, and the second my ass-cheater boyfriend during college,” she said, slightly writhing in her seat as her stomach twisted at the mention of Ryker. “So, there goes all my experience with pornography.”

“He really had to be stupid to cheat on you...” Søren whispered in her ear as he caressed her leg, getting dangerously close to her center.

“What are you doing?” She stopped his hand. “Didn’t we agree to keep this private?” she breathed out, actually dying for him to touch her.

“Okay, okay...” He faked a pout.

“Where’s Alex by the way?”

“Something came up.”

“And that would be...?” Leah quirked a brow. She had to try.

“You know about his childhood, right?”

“Yeah...” She had read something about it.

“His mother has been calling him for a few weeks now and well... He’s finally agreed to meet with her. She’s been here for a week now.”

“Oh.” She didn’t know what to say, but he didn’t look happy about it.

“Anyway, how was the meeting on Wednesday?” Søren asked, changing the topic.

“Better than expected,” she told him. “Markus had a vein in his forehead that seemed about to explode, but since Chris acting like a knight in shining armour has made the album sale raise, well... He couldn’t actually scold us.” Leah mischievously grinned.

“Why was he mad then?”

“They don’t want their musicians to be the center of attention because of scandals like those...” She shrugged, trying to act nonchalant, but his fingers caressing her back were very distracting. “How was your meeting?”

“Good.” He grinned. “Seems like the label has been sneaking and underpaying us.”

“How’s that good?”

“Well, the contract is legal. As I told you, we signed it giving all the rights of the masters and our songs for too many years, and if we wanted to get all that back, it’d cost us a ridiculous amount of money.”

“That sucks,” she mumbled.

“Yeah... The thing is that after checking all the accounts and tracking where the money comes and where it goes, I have no fucking idea how they did it, but our lawyers and their accounting team have found some anomalies?” Søren paused. “Long story short. Seems like they owe us two million euros.”

“Holy fuck!” Leah exclaimed, eyes opening wide, mouth hanging low. “That’s... Wow!”

He chuckled. “It’s gonna be a pain in the ass, can’t deny that, but if they don’t want to go to court, they’ll have to negotiate with us.”

“That’s... That’s good.” She nodded, smiling. “And what’s gonna happen with BLAST then?”

“We still don’t know... We could ask our current label to end the contract before it automatically renews again and start working with BLAST right after, but our lawyers suggested we renegotiate our conditions. They said that since we’re a well-established band, and we have something against them, we can force them to offer us a better deal, one that would actually benefit us.”

“That’s good, isn’t it?”

“Definitely.” Søren softly laughed. “Looks like the stars are finally aligning for us.”

“I’m happy for you,” Leah said before drinking from her beer.

“Thanks.” He smiled at her, slightly pulling his bottom lip between his teeth as his eyes flicked to her cleavage.

Leah intentionally ran a finger over the round, low neck of her t-shirt, smirking when his eyes met hers again.

Chuckling and shaking his head, Søren gave her knee a light squeeze and got up. “Be right back.”

“Sure.” She nodded, grinning as she turned her legs to the side to let him out, his ass moving a few inches from her face. She wanted a bite.

The metalhead made his way towards the bathroom, stopping a few feet away when a purple-headed woman pulled his arm. He acted nice, putting on a fake smile, but his body was stiff, in the direction of the place he wanted to go. Was it because she was there or because he wasn’t interested?

Whatever it was, it felt good.

Leah averted her eyes and, after drinking the last sip of her beer when Søren disappeared in the corridor, she got up.

“Can you bring me another one?” Marc asked, shaking his empty glass.

She grinned. “I’m going to the bathroom.”

It took him a second to understand it, but then the bassist burst out laughing. “Alright, alright... Have fun!”

As she made her way among the throngs of people, her heart raced inside her chest. Excitement already running through her veins. It had been only three weeks since the last time they were together, and she’d had way longer periods of time without sex, but being around him for so long and not being able to touch him was driving her nuts, and there was no way she was waiting until the closing time so they could go back to his house.

When she reached the male’s bathroom, the door suddenly opened, startling her a little.

“What are y—”

Before Søren could finish the sentence, Leah circled her arms around his neck and smashed their mouths together, pushing him inside the bathroom and kicking the door shut.

Crashing her back against the door, he wrapped one of his arms around her waist while his free hand reached down to her ass, gripping her tight as he pressed her body to his.

They devoured each other with a passion that made her feel about to combust, adrenaline and endorphins rushing inside of her like electric shocks.

“Fuck, I’ve missed this,” Søren panted between kisses.

“Me too,” she whispered before sucking on his bottom lip, dragging a groan out of him.

“Shit... Leah.” He put his forehead against hers. “Not here.”

“I don’t wanna wait till we go to your house...” She pouted, trailing one hand down to his chest. “I want to fuck you now”—she palmed the massive erection squeezed inside his jeans—“and you’re clearly ready.” She bit her bottom lip, shooting him a cheeky grin as he hissed.

Chuckling, throwing his head back in defeat, he groaned, “fuck it! Come with me.”

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