Rea stayed the whole last week of the tour on our bus, moving in and sleeping in the lounge area, and it had been both great and daunting. We met for a late-night rendezvous almost every night whether it was on the bus after the guys went to sleep, or any of the other places we found to sneak off to. The SUV while I went out for supplies, the back room at the arena, even the hotel before and sometimes after the concert or both. We could not get enough of each other.
Infatuation. It was just an infatuation. I was obsessed with her. Fixated on every aspect that pertained to her. Yes, I wanted to be inside her but more importantly, I wanted to be with her. Talking to her and laughing with her and helping her to be the person she wanted to be.
She still had her sights on Boeing, but really she just needed that one good job to jump-start her career. She was finally going after what she wanted.
Unfortunately, so was I.
Why did I meet her now? Why couldn’t I have started this with her a year ago or at least before I signed my letter of intent with the army? I couldn’t back out now. I had to go through with this and how did I ask her to drop her career ambitions to follow me around to satisfy my own career goals?
The other night I wanted to tell her that I loved her. How could I not? She looked so lovely, and she was there in that bunk for me. To be with me. It drove me crazy wondering where I stood with her. What were her feelings for me? Did she think of me as much as I thought of her? Did she love me or think maybe she could if we had more time?
Rea had a more diverse sexual past. I might have been around it more on the road with the likes of JJ, but I wouldn’t call myself a lady’s man. We never talked about it, but she had other boyfriends. Hell, she even had a vibrator. It got me hard thinking about her with it, so I tried not to. It just proved how inadequate I was to understand how to pleasure a woman. Did I excite her? Did she want someone who was more physical than me in bed to meet her needs? She always orgasmed with me but was it enough? She deserved the best. A man who could tell her constantly how wonderful she truly was and fulfill all of her fantasies both in bed and out.
The women I came across in this industry had never been the staying kind. Where my cousin Mouse amused himself on the women who hung around the venue looking to hook up to get at the band, they just made me sad. They never looked at themselves with any self-respect and looked for any chance to hang on the success of someone else. Someone famous. Someone with money.
Rea had self-respect, but would I be enough for her? Did she wish I was more of a man? More of a lover? I never had fame and I certainly didn’t have money. What could I offer her?
She was avoiding me today, giving me a sinking feeling something changed between us. Maybe she didn’t like keeping secrets with her brother? Or maybe she didn’t think I had the guts to tell her brother about our relationship? Did we even have one?
I would tell Brandt and the world if I thought I could, but it wasn’t my call and I wouldn’t want to hurt her. She never gave me any indication she wanted us to go public and I went around in a cloud of confusion most of the time. Was this what love felt like because it was so confusing I didn’t know where to turn.
Worst yet, I couldn’t talk to anyone about this. Big John would figure out it was Rea. He’s smart and I couldn’t count on him to keep it secret. It wouldn’t make sense for me to talk to any member of the band and ask them to keep it quiet as well. Much less, Brandt would be the one I would want to talk to. He always gave me good advice. Well, it was him or Chelsea, but neither would be an option.
Brandt had been only part of the issue. He was protective of her and if he knew of all the late-night trysts, he would be irate. Irate either because of me having sex with his sister or irate that he felt she settled for the likes of me, I didn’t know. I didn’t care, I just wanted her, and even if he fired me it wouldn’t change the fact that I wanted her. But would she feel the same?
Every time I thought of her my whole face lit up, but then I thought about leaving for the military and I felt like an asshole. What was I doing starting something with her when I would be leaving so soon? Would she be destroyed or would she even care? The realization of my military decision and the fact that Rea appeared to be avoiding me today left me in a somber mood.
“Hey, what are you doing? Actually, working for once?” Brandt stood in front of me when I rounded the corner at the concert hall they were playing tonight.
Finishing up soundcheck, he currently worked with Ryder on the lighting. I gave a noncommittal reply as I tried to go around him, “Ah, yeah. I guess.”
When I didn’t produce a comeback on his comment, he gave me a look of concern. “Hey, you look like life just pissed on your boots. Want to tell me what is going on?” He gestured to a group of chairs by the side of the stage.
Ryder looked up from the light board, “We should be set. I’m going to get something to eat. See you guys later.” Ryder gave me a hesitant glance before leaving me to Brandt. We both sat while I tried to decide what, or if, I should say anything to him. He always gave me good advice but I felt awkward talking to him without disclosing the real situation.
“Does this have to do with the army?” I raised my eyes looking at him. Did he already know about Rea and myself? No, he wouldn’t be this calm. He would likely tear into me about degrading his baby sister.
“I’m not sure if I should go to the army now.” I paused, struggling with my words, “There is a woman.”
He smiled and I knew for sure he didn’t suspect Rea being the cause of my dilemma. “Did you meet up with her in Iowa? The one you spent the week with. Was she an old flame or something new?” He referenced the lie Rea told him now almost a month ago.
“I’ve known her for a while, but the relationship is new.” I gave him the truth as I couldn’t lie very well anyway.
He gave a knowing shake of his head. “Is she good for you?”
Maybe I could talk to Brandt about this if I chose my words carefully. Let him believe it was an old lover. “Yeah, I think she is. She is beautiful and kind, and thoughtful, and...”
He laughed, “Yeah you fell hard for this one, didn’t you?” The look he gave me conveyed a knowing sentiment. “Well, I’ve made plenty of my own mistakes when it comes to women so maybe I’m not the best at giving advice. Well, all except for Chelsea of course.”
“Was Chelsea your first love?” I had to know. I started on tour with them after they were dating and I didn’t know the whole story.
“Actually, no. I dated another girl I thought I loved but soon after I understood the true meaning of the word when Chelsea came along. I think she came into my life at the right time. We both grew to be the people we are together.” He had fallen in love before Chelsea? I didn’t know.
“You are still young. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself at your age.” Coming out of my thoughts, I studied his words looking for hope.
Brushing off the top of his pant leg, he looked wistful before continuing, “Look Logan I’ve known you for four years, and for four years you have aspired to be more than a roadie to a bunch of overgrown manchildren. You never belonged on the road being a whipping boy for the likes of us. You deserve to follow your dream. This relationship is new, and if she is a good woman, she will understand. A good woman will be there to help you with your dreams, not stop them.”
Standing up, he clapped me on the back before turning to get ready for the show. His words made sense, but they did nothing to make me feel better. Rea was a good woman, but I couldn’t help thinking she would be better off without me. I just didn’t know if I could let her slip away.