Chapter Twenty Five
I had woken up before Jasper and I had been laying in bed watching him sleep for the last hour, dozing off occasionally in between. It was now getting to around nine so I was finding it amusing he was still asleep given he had his show tonight. So it had me questioning what a musician really does on the day of a show. When Jasper finally rolled over and opened his eyes he saw me staring at him and he quickly poked his tongue at me before pulling his pillow over his head. I couldn’t help but smile at him and reached out, dragging my nails softly over his back. “Hmm that feels really nice.”
“I can’t hear you if you want to mumble into your pillow.”
He lifted it off his head and put it back under his head before turning to look at me. “I said that feels nice.” I asked him why he doesn’t get up earlier, especially considering he has a show today. “I don’t need to baby, and it is better to be fully rested.”
“Tell me what the plans are for today? What would you normally do?” He rolled on his side and opened his arms out to me, as I cuddled into him.
“Well I usually get up between Eleven and Midday and I open my laptop or phone in the hotel, and find coffee. Sometimes I get lucky, other times I have to settle for those little hotel coffee makers that taste like ass.”
“And how do you know what ass tastes like?”
“Want me to show you?” When he grabbed my arse, I couldn’t help but laugh and slap him playfully across the arm.”
“Then I take a long hot shower, usually with my favourite playlist on loud to get my head in the zone.” I asked him who had on his playlist and he rattled off a few artists, including Brax which I wasn’t surprised so I asked if it was just all Australian Hip Hop and Rap? “Mostly, but I never go past a bit of Meek Mill, Skepta, J Cole and Stormzy. After that I venture out for coffee and come back and sit down to go over the playlist for the night and confirm any changes that we hadn’t noticed before. Then . . .”
“So wait, all you have on the day of a performance is coffee and water?”
“Pretty much. If it is a particularly hot day then I might have some gatorade also.” I conceded that made sense. “Most of the day is spent relaxing, hell I have been known to indulge in a massage here and there, but I have few options I can do.” I asked like what and I saw that cheeky grin of his emerge. “You.”
I giggled as I felt him kiss my neck softly and hug me tighter to him. “Is that so Jasper?” He reached down and pulled my leg over the top of his before his hands slowly rubbed over my body.
“Come time for the gig, or concert depending which it is. . .” I asked just to clarify if by concert he meant a show like tonight and a gig he meant “Pub shows babe, smaller venue halls, that kind of thing. We have all done them at the beginning of our careers and hell sometimes they are even fun to do now. It is a completely different crowd than a festival or concert. It’s more intimate.”
“Your eyes light up Jasper when you talk about this. It is like a kid at Christmas.”
“Shh stop reading too much into things, you are seeing things that aren’t there now.” I chuckled when he winked at me. “Usually venues want you to load in early, it just doesn’t make sense to be at a bar, stadium or concert hall for like, seven hours when you’re only performing for maybe an hour, sometimes more, so we kind of take our time. We’ll arrive at the venue, and often the other guys will usually get all the equipment out and set up first. The stage is complete by now and ready to go, so the boys head off to have a feed while I put my headphones in and chill in the green room, stay in my zone.”
“So that’s what we are going to do today? We are going to showe and then hunt for coffee?”
“Yeah sure, but right after this.” I burst out laughing when Jasper dived on top of me and started tickling me, causing me to thrash about on the bed. It didn’t take long for that play time to turn passionate and Jasper was rewarded with his new addition to his pre-show preparation, followed by a shower.
The rest of the day was exactly as described by Jasper and it was interesting to watch him mentally prepare himself for the show. It was obvious to see that music to Jasper was his therapy. He had expressed to me the level of performance anxiety he suffered, but I could see the purpose of him playing his music and getting himself in a zone as I watched the physical effects of the stress lessen throughout the day. By late afternoon I was texting frantically with the girls while I got myself ready and Jasper was out in the lounge room with his Sound Engineer going through final preparations. We were leaving in half an hour to head over to the venue and while Jasper went to get set up with his band, I had agreed to meet the girls out the front and show them where to go.
Soon we were making our way and as I looked over at Jasper I saw the sparkle in his eye. As always though, he was quick to catch me staring. “You can take a photo if you want? It will last longer.”
I chuckled as I pushed him and told him to shut up. “I was just seeing how you were feeling. You look so excited.”
“I am! I love this part of what I do, but the adrenaline rush from it is a nightmare to control.”
“You’ll be amazing, Jasper.” He said thanks and reached across to squeeze my hand. We pulled up and after getting through security clearance Jasper started to help everyone unload when I touched his arm to get his attention. “I have to go meet the girls to come inside okay?” Jasper told me to give him five minutes and he would come with me, but he needed to finish up here so I said I would be fine and back soon. When Jasper asked if I was sure, I turned to him. “I promise, I will be fine Jasper. I’m a big girl you know?”
He laughed and leaned over to whisper to me. “I don’t know about that Lucy, I managed to move you around quite freely earlier.” I pushed Jasper away from me as he continued to find himself humorous.
“Goodbye Jasper, I will see you soon.” I pulled out my phone and sent a text to both Tania and Jodie to let them know I was walking over. By the time I got there I could see them waiting to cross the road. Arriving, we quickly hugged each other and I could see they were just as excited as I was.
Before I could speak Jodie made her arrival known. “Right, before we go anywhere, you need to tell us exactly why you blew us off today?” After we got through ticket scanning Tania corrected Jodie and said she didn’t care about today, she wanted to know what happened last night. Jodie screeched yes causing everyone to look at us.
When I told them both to calm down, there was nothing to report I heard Tania suck her teeth. “Lucy, you don’t work for CNN, that is one hundred percent fake news.”
After Jodie finished laughing she added “I agree with Tans, are you seriously telling us you just blew us off and decided to stay in the city with Jasper, and with all that sexual tension that is blatantly obvious, even to Blind Freddie, nothing happened?” When Tania said it smelt like bullshit they both cracked up, much to my embarrassment.
I changed the subject as I felt my cheeks heat up. I was thankful to hear Jasper’s supporting act start and the music drown out any further talk. As we made our way back stage, I wasn’t entirely sure where to head but thankfully before long I saw Jasper sitting in the green room at the end of the corridor. He looked up and saw us all heading down and smiled, standing up and walking over to meet us. “Tania and Jodie, how are you both?”
Tania said hello as Jodie looked around taking it all in before speaking. “This is actually insane. How do you cope with this kind of pressure?”
“Fine usually, until people mention it.” I cracked up at the look of horror on Jodie’s face when he said it before she apologised. “I’m just fucking with you. I have my techniques throughout the day. You girls want a drink?”
When Jodie said she wouldn’t say no, Tania promptly added she never does as I laughed. Jasper ushered us all in to grab a drink and said he would introduce us to everyone. Tania enquired who else was here “Well I usually have a drummer and guitarist on stage with me too, otherwise it would just be me, looking like Billy no mates.” When Jodie asked if they were cute all three of us chuckled at her “I’ll let you decide for yourself. Yo Seth, Jes, come here.” We watched as the two guys jumped up and headed over. “Guys, I would like you to meet Lucy, Tania and Jodie. They are the winners of the Hype contest here in Sydney. Ladies, this is Seth and Jessie.”
They both introduced themselves and made pleasantries. I watched as Seth and Jodie made eyes at each other as they all started talking and I was finding it all rather amusing. Jasper, seeing my humour headed over. “What’s so funny?” When I said it was nothing Jasper continued. “Oh I thought you might have laughed at the eye fuck Seth and Jodie just gave each other?”
“Yes! Glad I wasn’t the only one that noticed. Question, how come you didn’t introduce Seth and Jessie sooner?”
“They didn’t fly down until this afternoon babe, usually I would have flown down with them.” I nodded as I said that made sense. “Why wouldn’t it? Did you think you were my naughty little secret?”
I looked up at him through my lashes, as I nibbled on my lip momentarily. “I don’t know who told you I was naughty, but I can assure you that’s not the case.” I watched Jasper smirk and step closer to me as he wrapped his arm around my waist. “What are you doing?”
“Seeing if we can’t make you a little bit naughty.” I felt his hand wander down to my butt and just as Jasper leaded in to kiss me we heard a voice clear behind us, Jasper’s hand flying off me in the process.
“Everything good here?” When he turned and said everything was fine, I saw his Manager Brett standing there. I couldn’t distinguish the look on his face, but it made me nervous. “Do you have a minute to talk, Jasper? Alone.”