Bane Scott woke up and groaned when he felt a head on his chest. He shoved the skank off him and climbed out of bed. She didn’t even flinch.
His manager appeared in his room a few minutes later, rubbing his eyes.
“What the hell do you want, Bane? It’s six fucking o’clock in the morning.”
“What I want is to know why that bitch is still in my bed at six fucking o’clock in the morning. Have you gone completely insane?”
“Fuck you, Bane! You threatened to fire me last night if I didn’t let her stay, so I did. You didn’t seem to be bitching about it then.”
Bane glared at his best friend and pulled on a pair of sweats, a black T-shirt, and his socks and shoes. “You should know better than to listen to anything I say when I’m shit-faced. Get her the fuck out of here. I’m going to work out.”
He left as Tony was attempting to wake up the latest nameless fuck of the night. He made his way to the hotel’s gym and programmed the treadmill for a punishing run. Last night was good, he remembered that, but he was sick of this shit. For the last five years, Tony had found him one or more groupies who would do anything for a night with Bane Raimond Scott, better known as Venom to his fans, and he had millions of those. And every single one of the skanks that shared his room for those few hours each night tried to get into his head and his heart and make themselves “the one.” As if there was such a thing. They knew nothing about him. They just wanted the fame and prestige of being known as Venom’s girlfriend.
As he ran, pounding the pavement, so to speak, he tried to remember what had happened after the show, but it was pretty much a blur. He’d already had a couple of shots before getting onstage, and by the time Tony had brought the girl, or girls, to his room, he was already fucked up. He could vaguely recall three girls in his room getting repeatedly fucked by himself, his band, and Tony. He thought he remembered jamming his cock down the throat of one of them while Cass was in her ass and Dave in her pussy, but that could have been in the last city. It was all running together.
He had moved to the weight machines, again abusing his muscles, when Tony leaned against the door of the gym and watched him silently. Bane ignored him for a while, but then he let the weights fall and sat up.
“Fuck, Tony, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have gotten upset with you. For all I know, I did tell you to let her stay.”
“You did,” his friend said with a grin, “but you were right. I should have known better than to listen to you. I should have kicked her out with the others. Next time I’ll remember that.”
“There may not be a next time.”
Tony’s eyebrows went up. “What do you mean by that? There’s always a next time.”
Bane glared at him and resumed his weight routine. “All this random, nameless, faceless sex is starting to get old, Tony.”
His friend laughed. “Really? You’re telling me that you don’t want me to find you anyone tonight? You’re going solo?”
“What were their names?”
“The girls you got last night. What were their names?”
“I don’t have any fucking idea. I never ask, you know that. I thought that’s the way you liked it.”
Bane sighed and stood up. “I do--I did--Fuck! I don’t know what I like anymore. Maybe I want something more than a nameless fuck.”
“Something more? Like what? A girlfriend? A wife? Love?” Tony laughed again, and Bane snarled at him.
“Why not? There are plenty of musicians who are in relationships. Happy ones. Why can’t I?”
“Sure, they’re happy for a while, but how many of those relationships last?”
“Alice Cooper and his wife have been married for almost forty years. It’s possible.”
“Possible, yes, but not very probable. Be real, Bane. The girls in your audiences want the experience of fucking you and spending a night in your bed. They’re not interested in love or a long-term relationship.”
“No? Then why does every single fucking one of them ask if they can stay? Why do they all ask to come on the tour with us?”
“Because they’re bitches who want what you have—fame and money, and they’re willing to mooch it off you since they can’t find their own.” Tony cocked his head and looked at his friend of fifteen years.
Bane Scott had been the first person to say hello to Anthony Fitzsimmon halfway through his second grade year, in Podunk, Kentucky. The Fitzsimmons had moved to the tiny town after Tony’s father got a job as the local veterinarian. Tony’s mother had brought him to school that day, and he had tried not to cry when she dropped him off at the classroom door. It wouldn’t have been good to be labeled a wuss the first day of school. He was greeted by the teacher, Mrs. Alberts, and shown to an empty desk. As soon as she turned her back, he felt a pencil eraser hit him in the head, and he turned to see who had pelted him. A dark-haired, blue-eyed boy in the back row was grinning at him, and that was it. At recess, Bane had come up to him to introduce himself, and they had been best friends ever since. Bane was popular, and because he had befriended Tony, the new boy was, too.
Now, Tony stared at his friend. Really looked at him, and he didn’t like what he saw. He saw the dark circles under Bane’s eyes, the redness caused by the hangovers that were a morning certainty after every show, and the slump in his shoulders that had never been there before. Bane and his band had been together since high school, and things had been going great. At least, Tony had thought so. Now, however, he could see that Bane didn’t think so, and he didn’t know what to do about it.
“Fuck it, Tony. Ignore me. I don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about. Just do what you do best. Manage my band and get me someone to fuck tonight in—wherever we’re going.”
“Right, Dallas. God, I’ve got to remember that.” Bane grinned, but there was no humor in it. “It wouldn’t do to call out the wrong city while on stage. People tend not to forgive you for that.”
“You got it, Bane,” Tony answered, but he frowned at his friend’s back as Bane left the gym to get ready to travel to the next city.
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