BEHIND THE LIGHTS

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Chapter 46

February 20th, 2017
Munich, Germany
Rock show - Halestorm

Waking up alone in bed after a week sleeping with that Northern God put Leah in a bad mood since first thing in the morning.

They weren’t together the entire time, Søren had a life, and he and his bandmates had to work, but at the end of the day, after killing her feet while visiting the most stunning places of the Sognefjord’s area and the city center of Oslo with the guys, he would always stay with her in her hotel room. She missed feeling his warmth beside her when the light slipped through the window.

After turning and tossing in bed for a while, grumbling at the fact that she had to get up. Repeating her morning routine she went to the bathroom, prepared breakfast, and went to Chris’s bedroom to kick him out of his bed.

Once her glued to-the-sheets friend had left the apartment, Leah went down to work.

She had been quite busy for a couple of months. After Søren had posted the guitar she did for him back in October, she had to start prioritizing some works over others—that had never happened before.

She had been working on a very special commission for a few days, putting all her enthusiasm and soul into it. It was a beautiful and old Rickenbacker 4003, an exceptionally good bass she had never had the pleasure to work with before. Apparently, it belonged to the musician’s father in the past and he wanted to restore it to bring it on tours with him, to keep him close to him since he had just died from cancer.

The wooden piece was pinned to the working table. She was planning to make some engraving on the headstock, but first she had to finish sanding it off, bevel some small details time had erased—

“FUCK!” Leah howled when the chisel hit her hand, shooting an electric shock through her entire body. The tears flooded her eyes, immediately running down her cheeks as blood bubbled from the cut on the mount of her thumb.

Why the fuck didn’t she put on the dynamo glove? And more importantly, why did she fucking put her hand there? She’d had other accidents before, but she had learned, or so she thought.

Motherfuck!

She ran towards the kitchen to get some paper to apply pressure with, then to the bathroom to get the first aid kit.

Hampered by the paper roll she was using to stop the bleeding, the small box fell, spreading everything on the ground.

“Fuck my life!” she groaned, frustrated, still crying like a baby. “Make it stop!” she huffed, the tears blurring her sight.

When she managed to put everything back in its place, she dyed the sink with a mix of red and dark orange brown-ish color as she poured Betadine on the wound, hissing as she did. “Why the fuck isn’t the bleeding stopping?!”

Suddenly, the bell rang.

“Fuck me sideways!”

With her hand wrapped in a small towel—one she would have to throw away later—she walked to the entrance and opened the door with her elbow.

“What the heck?” Julia exclaimed. “What happened?” she asked, concern written all over her face as she left all her stuff on the dark grey armchair.

“I stabbed myself,” Leah scoffed, acting as if it didn’t hurt as much, but her whiny voice ratted her out.

The blonde chuckled, her turquoise eyes shining humorously as she approached her. “Let me help you with that.”

“No, I’ve got it,” the singer said, moving away. “But... could you do me a favor?”

“Yeah, what do you need?” She giggled as she took her high-heeled boots off.

“Do you mind cooking? I don’t think I can get much done unless you want to eat what vampires eat.”

Julia laughed. “Of course, Honey, don’t need to pull that puppy eye look.”

“I’m not!”

“Yeah, yeah... Don’t worry, get that cured and I’ll cook—Leah, what the—?”

“What?”

“Are you sure you’ve stabbed yourself and not someone else? You don’t have to lie to me, I’ll help you hide the body, but this kitchen looks like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.”

“You’re so exaggerating...”

Okay, there was a trail of blood from her studio to the kitchen and from there to the room, it looked as if someone had walked around the house with a bleeding knife, but it wasn’t as if there were liters of blood. “But I’ll keep that in mind.”


“Oh, my God! Julia, I think I just had a foodorasm. Ditch that dumbass of a boyfriend you have and marry me. If you cook for me every day, I’ll do anything for you... Anything.” She wiggled her eyebrows.

Her friend mischievously grinned, picking up the plates from the table. “I think you already have someone that satisfies you way more than Bolognese.”

Leah bit the inside of her cheek. Her Bolognese, being the daughter of an Italian chef, was one of the best things any human being could ever try, Leah could die after eating that and she would be happy, but she was right.

“I knew it!” Julia exclaimed. “You have to tell me all about it, juicy details included!”

“No way!” Leah scrunched her nose.

“I know you don’t talk about that stuff with the guys unless it’s completely necessary, but come on... It’s me.” She faked a pout.

“You’re such a perv!”

“I don’t care what you say, but please... I haven’t seen you so radiant and smiley in a while. Just tell me a little?” she insisted, brewing some coffee for both of them.

“Radiant and smiley? What the fuck?”

“It’s true! Your skin literally shines.” Julia laughed.

“Ugh! Fine,” Leah sighed. “He’s really good in bed.” A devilish smirk curled up her lips.

“Oh! Come on!”

Leah laughed. “Okay... I thought he’d be the selfish type, that he’d be so used to having women doing everything for him, he wouldn’t do much, but it’s completely the opposite.”

“Meaning?”

“You know how some guys think they’re the shit but they won’t even listen to you when you tell them what you like?” Julia nodded, sighing. “Well, he’s the opposite.” She couldn’t help the grin that spread across her face, making Julia laugh.

“But that’s good, isn’t it?” the blonde asked, suspiciously narrowing her eyes at her when her smile faded away.

“It is, it is!” Leah chuckled. “It’s just... He makes me feel so many things. The intensity is mind-blowing... I have never, ever, enjoyed sex to this extent.” Leah leaned back on the couch, resting her hands on her stomach as she let out a sigh. “But he’s so much more...”

Their friendship had allowed her to see many shades of colors in him, things she hadn’t noticed before though she had watched several—dozens—of individual and group interviews. Things like he was very wary when he talked, always choosing his words carefully, not giving out much about his personal life. But, at the same time, he was very expressive, always gesticulating with his hands.

She had also realized he had some sort of tick because he lifted his right brow a lot; whenever he was teasing her, or when he noticed her being flustered, or when he was talking about something that clashed with his morals. He crooked that same brow every time he smirked, or when he was performing. It was cute.

And that smile... Oh, God! He had the most honest, sexiest, and adorable smile. Every time he talked about music or anything he was passionate about, he beamed.

He was super enthusiastic about Batman too—had a tattoo on his right calf with the Joker, the dark knight, and the cityscape of Gotham. What even?!

She had teased him a lot with that because out of all superheroes he had chosen the filthy rich ass without actual powers.

He would always respond that he was human and didn’t have a Biblical background like Superman or a mythological one like Wonder Woman, that he was relatable. Bruce Wayne could have lost all the money his parents left him, play it on the casinos, but he grew up to be a successful businessman, and also used his fortune to have all those amazing gadgets and shit to fight for the ones that couldn’t and protect his city.

He would also say his villains were the best, that they might not be as terrifying as others, but their motivations and origins made them psychologically compelling.

Okay, she had to give him that.

“Are you falling for him?” Julia asked from the kitchen.

“What? ” Leah slightly frowned.

“I wouldn’t judge you... You’ve been talking for a few months, getting closer, and not only physically...” Julia said as she placed a mug in front of her.

“I...” She was aware that their relationship was more than just a sexy friendship, but it was really confusing sometimes. “He barely talks about himself... Personal stuff, I mean.” Leah circled the cup with both hands, feeling a shiver running through her when its warmth entered her body.

“But I’m sure you’ve seen sides of him he doesn’t show in public. We’re all like that.”

“Well, he’s very caring... He’s always been open about how important his bandmates are to him since they’re like family, but the way he looks after them is genuine. The trust and complicity between them it’s palpable. He’ll literally do anything for them.”

“See?” Julia smiled at her. “You’ve discovered a part of him not many people get to see.”

“Yeah, I guess...” Leah muttered while staring at her bandaged hand, pensive. “When he’s up on the stage, he looks like a god. So powerful and unreachable, but he’s so down to earth... Even with that permanent armour around him, he’s made of bones, flesh, and skin, like everyone else. He’s so human... I don’t know how to explain it...”

The blonde giggled.

“What?” Leah shot her an annoyed look.

“Nothing! I’m just happy you decided to get a little wild and let him in.”

“Yeah, okay, whatever.” Leah rolled her eyes, trying to tamper down her emotions. She couldn’t deny he was special, it had been a very long time since she felt so comfortable with a man, but she was scared to truly let him in. She wasn’t ready to be broken again. “Anyway, how was your week?” She changed the subject.

“It was good, it was good... I loved staying at Erik’s taking care of the dog for a change.” She smiled from ear to ear. “I missed you, guys, it felt lonely, but having someone eagerly waiting for me when I got home felt nice.”

“Yeah, Ollie’s so adorable.”

“He is...”

“And the weekend? I saw some of Emma’s pictures on instagram...”

​Julia laughed. “Yeah... She was wild after all these months just adulting and taking care of the new baby. She even tried to hook me up with some dude... And, girl, if I wasn’t dating Erik he would have been the perfect man for me, smart, funny, and super hot, in a surfer model kind of way.”

Leah mischievously grinned.

“What?” The blonde asked.

“It’s so cute when you say you’re dating Erik,” she teased.

“Shut up!” Julia got one of the small croissants she had brought and stuffed Leah’s mouth with it.


The clock was ticking seven, and the girls were watching a movie, laying on the couch and covered with a soft, fluffy blanket, when Chris came back home with the rest of their bandmates.

“We’re home!” the guitarist sang.

“Not like we haven’t seen or heard you. You’re like a herd of elephants,” Leah chuckled, pausing the movie. “What do you have there?” She pointed to the bags they were carrying.

“Beers and Chinese food,” Erik replied, lifting one bag and then the other.

“And more beer,” Marc commented, raising the bags he was carrying.

“Nice.” Leah grinned.

“You love us a bit more now?” Chris asked.

“I do,” she said as she got up to get napkins, plates, glasses, and chopsticks for everyone.

“Hey, Baby...” Julia whispered as she got up and kissed Erik, both arms circling around his neck as he leaned forward.

“How are you?” the drummer purred when she pulled away, their foreheads touching.

“Good.” Julia beamed.

Leah watched them, smiling. She couldn’t feel happier that they were together. After all the heartbreak they had suffered, all the difficulties and insecurities, they had finally found someone to trust, someone to rely on, someone to love.

“Can I join?” Chris asked, breaking the spell by groping the drummer’s ass as he made his way towards the kitchen.

“Jesus, dude!” Erik exclaimed, surprised, hips bucking forward.

“You’re like kids!” Julia giggled.

“Nothing new there!” the guitarist agreed.

Leah’s phone vibrated on the counter, a smile spread on her face when she saw the incoming caller’s name.

“Hey, Dad!”

As she was talking with her father, catching up a little since they hadn’t spoken at all during the previous week, she smiled, looking at her friends getting the table settled for them to have dinner together.

Her chest tightened. Every time they were like that, cheerful, joking, spending time together, she wanted to stop the time. Those moments felt like the sun shining bright on a cold winter day. Cozy and peaceful.


Past midnight, the guys and Julia finally left. Leah loved having them over, but she was dead tired and her hand had been pounding a lot for the last hour.

While she was in the bathroom, cleaning the area around the wound—all the yellowish color from the antiseptic—trying not to wet the butterfly bandage she had to apply because the little bitch wouldn’t stop opening every time she moved her hand to grab anything, she realized it had been two days since she last talked to Søren, not a call or a single text.

It was late, but he was a night owl, never going to bed before one or two in the morning, so he probably didn’t mind if she called?

The line rang, but no one picked up.

She tried again, twice. Nothing.

Frowning, she blankly stared at the screen of her device as all kinds of thoughts spiraled in her head. Could he have fallen asleep? Or maybe something had happened?

Suddenly, the phone vibrated in her hand.

“Hey!”

“Hey...” Søren breathed out. “What’s up? Everything alright?”

“Hm... Yeah. Just checking on you...” She bit her bottom lip. He didn’t seem excited to hear her. Maybe she was being too clingy?

Søren chuckled. “It’s been crazy these two days. Sorry I couldn’t call before.”

“No, it’s fine!” Leah quickly responded. “Just wanted to know how you were doing...”

“Missing me already?” His smirk at the other end of the line, obvious.

“You wished!” Leah rolled her eyes, smiling.

He softly laughed again. “How are you?”

“I’m fine. Spent the day with Julia.”

“That sounds like fun.”

“Yeah, she even cooked for me, some amazing pasta, and we drank lots of wine.”

“Nice.”

“Started working on the Rickenbacker too.”

“That’s a good one.”

“I’ve also stabbed myself today while working. The house was a mess with blood everywhere.” Leah laughed. “I’m so fucking clumsy, you know.”

“Yeah...”

“Then we captured an alien, chopped it into small pieces, and ate it.”

“Good—Wait, what?”

Leah burst out laughing. “Where in Fucktopia are you, dude?”

“What the fuck?” He let out a snicker.

“You’re absent... What’s wrong?”

“Ugh! Sorry... It’s just...”

“What is it? You know you can talk to me...” It bothered her that after all the time they had been talking and the intimacy they shared, he still kept shutting her out like that.

“It’s Alex.”

“What happened?”

“It’s just...” He sighed. “Remember when I told you the other day that his mother had shown up again?”

“Yeah...”

“You probably know his father abandoned him when he was a kid, but I think he’s never said anything about how he ended up in the system...”

“No...”

“Well, after his father left, his mother lost it. She started fucking around with assholes that treated him like shit, she drank, took all kinds of drugs... You name it. Obviously the social affairs took custody of him after some time and several calls from their neighbors, and she made a fuss out of it for a while, but then one day, she simply disappeared.”

“That’s awful...” Alex had never hid the fact that he had a rough childhood, but he had never explained any details and the reality hit her hard. How could a mother be like that to her own child?

“The thing is... I didn’t think she deserved a second chance, and he didn’t want to talk to her at all at first, but... Well, she’s his mother. Even if he felt abandoned, he wanted to hear what she had to say. So, they met a couple of weeks ago. Everything seemed alright. They had been spending a lot of time together and it looked like she had reformed.” He paused for a second. “No drinking, no smoking, you know...”

“Yeah, seems like she’s doing fine.”

“Exactly. Seems,” Søren huffed. “I don’t like to badmouth people, but she’s a fucking bitch. Alex told her to stay at his house so she didn’t have to spend money on a shitty motel. And when I dropped him on Saturday morning, after hanging out with you guys, she was gone. And so was his TV, sound system, a couple of guitars, three basses, money...” Anger obvious in his voice.

“Shit!”

“We called the police, reported it and he told me to go back home... I haven’t heard a word from him since... And I want to give him space because that’s the way he deals with shit, but I’m starting to worry.”

“You should go and check if he’s alright.”

“He gets batshit mad when you step in his personal space, and I don’t need to have another fight with him now that things are better between us...”

“You’re all like that!” Leah rolled her eyes. Men. “Things can’t be fixed by themselves, you know? Even if he punches you in the face, go talk to him. He probably needs you but doesn’t want to ask for help. You can always punch him back when he’s better. That’s what I’d do.”

Søren softly laughed.

“What?”

“Nothing... Thanks.”

“I’ve just insulted you.”

“But you’ve also said the right words...” Søren let out a sigh. “I’ve missed your voice these days.”

“Uh...” Leah didn’t know what to say.

Søren tittered. “You really don’t know how to take compliments.”

“It just got me with my guards down...” She laid down on the bed with the stupidest grin on her face. “Missed your voice too.”

“Of course, it’s irresistible.”

“So cocky...”

“Just stating facts.”

“You’re grinning like a fucking bastard right now, aren’t you?” Leah laughed.

“Can’t help it, you’re easy to tease.”

“Fuck you, Wolff.”

“Will wait for you here.”

“Oh my God! Okay, it’s getting late, I’m gonna go to bed and you should check on Alex, give him a call or something.”

“Okay...” Søren chuckled. “Sleep tight.”

“Yeah, you too. Night, Søren.”

“Night, Leah.” He practically breathed out her name, making her whole body throb.

As she hung up, she dropped her phone beside her on the bed. Staring at the ceiling in the dark, watching the dance of the cars and street lamp lights, she heaved out a sigh. It wasn’t only the physical part of their relationship that she missed when they were apart, but their conversations late in the night, that weird and intense connection they had. Having him around made her feel at ease, as if everything was exactly the way it was supposed to be.

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