Butterflies and hurricanes
Loud sounds of banging on the door is what wakes Lennon up and he is not happy. Disoriented and a bit foggy, he slowly shuffles to the hotel room door and even before he opens it he hears cheerful voices of Jorja and Nate. He groans.
- What the fuck, guys? Can you go away please.- Lennon tells them opening the door and slowly, still half asleep walks back to his warm, comfy bed.
- You know you opened the door naked, right? It could have been housekeeping . - Jorja points out while entering, and flops on the bed while Nate opens the curtains. Lennon hisses like he’s a vampire being burnt by sun rays. He needs more sleep. He never sleeps as much as he should have.
- He really couldn’t care less who sees his dick at this point, Jorja. So, who was blessed with that beautiful beast last night, Len?
- Shut up, Nate. First you wake me up and then you insult me. And how do you even know anyone was blessed with it last night? - he is not actually offended. The whole point of them being friends for so long is the fact that they can casually make fun of eachother and nobody takes offence.
- We knocked on your door around 11 and then around midnight. - Jorja says while fighting with Lennon over the covers. Soon after, she starts tickling him under his arm and Lennon can’t take it anymore so he bursts laughing and cursing while trying to hit Jorja with a pillow. She has her long dark hair in cornrows this day, wearing the slightest makeup that enhances her natural beauty on her brown skin. She is feisty, brave, what you see is what you get type of girl and he can never be upset with her even if he tries. Nate joins them on the bed while switching the TV on and mindlessly flicking through the channels.
- Maybe I was in a library. Or sleeping. Or .. - he sighs, giving up. - Oh shut up, you two. Where is Sam?
- Sam got up at 7, went for a jog, came back, had breakfast, did some shopping for his mum in Century 21 and went to an art exhibition in Brooklyn. - Nate replies, almost like a proud parent.
- For fucks sake - Lennon curses in frustration. - I really wanted to go to that exhibition, we talked about it for days, why didn’t he wake me up. Man.. - he covers his head with a pillow. - Could you please switch the TV off, my head is about to explode!?
- Don’t care.
- It’s my room. Get out.
- Technically, it’s not your room. Some other people own the hotel. And we’re not leaving, we need to get you all nice and ready for tonight’s show. It’s the last one of the US tour and our lead singer has to be on top of his game. - Jorja hugs Lennon and kisses his temple and Lennon hugs her back still lying under his warm duvet, his hair tangled from sleep on the white pillows.
- I’m always on top of my game. - he mumbles - Yeah, all right I will get up. I only need some breakfast and I’ll be cool. - Lennon says while getting up and heading to the bathroom.
- Breakfast? It’s half past one, mate. We’ll go get some lunch. -Nate laughs and Jorja throws a pillow at Lennon who is walking naked around the room looking for his phone.
- Put some underwear on, you freak.
- Jorja mate, chill. It’s all been seen before. - Lennon tries to annoy them as much as he can because they invaded his room like this. -Hey. Liam messaged me.
- Yeah? What he said? I miss that motherfucker. - Nate says.
- He’s coming tonight to the show finally.Sweet. - Lennon reads the message from his phone really happy to finally see one of his best friends after a few months.
Nate, Liam and Lennon met when they were sixteen, seventeen in London. Nate and Liam were friends since childhood, went to the same school and then when they met Lennon they ended up living together and have been best friends ever since. Nate and Lennon started the band soon after, Nate playing lead guitar and Lennon singing and playing guitar. They found Jorja on one of the nights out in London, playing bass guitar with such passion that they knew they had to ask her to play with them. And it turned out to be the perfect match. Finally, they found Sam, a brilliant drummer they met at a small gig they had in Newcastle.
Liam has been working in New York for two years now, he’s an accomplished architect with a busy schedule and a lifestyle completely different from Lennon’s but he couldn’t be prouder of him. He couldn’t be happier for all his friends, they are still around and they are the ones that keep him still sane. He may be the lead singer of a band but they are definitely the one who keep the show running.
- So hyped for tonight. The last show and Liam is coming. He’s bringing some of his friends too. We’ll definitely all go afterwards to celebrate in style. Am I right or am I right? - Nate says and Lennon picks up clean underwear from his suitcase and heads for the shower.
- Mhmmm - he hums - It’s going to be a good night tonight.
He says to himself more than the others and looks at his reflection in the bathroom mirror. Like he is convincing himself, not actually believing in it.
The band plays their hearts out.
The Webster Hall in East Village is a perfect venue for them, it only has a capacity of around 2000 people but the fans clapping and stomping and whistling and singing make the whole place feel a lot bigger. Lennon jumps on the stage and shouts and smiles and he really feels like that stage is where he belongs. He and his narcissism together with all the mess in his head. He wants to share it all with the world through his music. It’s the only way.
After the last song and a long thank you the band leaves the stage sweaty and delirious with high of victory thudding their veins, like they just conquered the world. Lennon’s body is buzzing with adrenaline and joy, he’s ready to celebrate with his friends. As soon as they enter the small backstage area, his eyes scan the room, looking for Liam. There’s a few people, mostly roadies, others are friends of friends, or just random people from the venue.
All eyes are on the band as they cheer and clap on their shoulders, but he only sees one person in the middle of this small crowd.
He is just standing there, looking around and then his eyes stop at Lennon’s. They travel no farther. He sweeps his gaze over Lennon.
Over his whole body. Long, lingering, slow. And absolutely appreciatively.
A rush of heat jolts down his spine, rarely someone catches his attention like this, in a fraction of a second. He usually has to be drunk and high to feel something close to this but his cells are buzzing right now. He’s going to enjoy this night very much if that man ends up with all of them in a bar later. And then Liam runs into Lennon’s embrace shouting his name and breaking eye contact with the stranger.
- Mate! Fucking finally. - Lennon is now squeezing Liam in a breathtaking hug and the dark hair man is smiling in his neck. - Damn, I missed you.
- Missed you too, Len. You guys blew the fucking doors right off the house tonight. So proud of you.
-Are you wearing a damn suit? - he gives him a once over and laughs - I thought this was a rock concert not a board meeting.
-Listen. I came straight from the office, you wanker. Some of us have proper jobs you know, the ones that actually pay money.
- That means you’re paying all the rounds tonight, right? I’m gonna make you so drunk that you’ll puke all over that fancy suit. - he slaps his cheek gently and hugs him again.
- Excuse me, what is this? I’m getting jealous over here, stop stealing my friend. - Lennon can hear the voice of a man just behind Liam’s back.
He slowly lifts his head from Liam’s neck and looks over his shoulder. Then he sees that same man, wearing a casual Adidas hoodie and jeans with a smirk on his face and sun in his eyes. Yes, his eyes are staring into Lennon’s soul.
- He was my friend first. - Lennon replies in a childish voice. He moves away from Liam, still having his arm around him while both of them approach this stranger.
- Lennon, let me introduce you to my very good friend, William Hamilton-Smith. Will, this is Lennon.- Liam introduces them and they shake hands with a gentle smile. He’s not American,that much he realises after he hears him speak.
- I can finally put a face to all the stories now - William jokingly says to them.
- Oh no, what did you tell him Liam?!Whatever you heard, it’s all lies. Almost. - Lennon winks at William and William almost blushes at that. That blush on this man, does something strange to Lennon. Because the man in front of him is well, all man. Obviously handsome even in a simple hoodie and jeans, with strong jaw, light brown hair, same height as him but with broader shoulders. And he just blushed because Lennon winked at him?
So he approaches William closer to test it. He’s right there, leaning, challenging- he whispers seductively in his ear.
- And hey...make sure to find me later tonight when Liam’s not around to tell you all the dirt about him, alright? - it’s loud enough so Liam can hear it, and he laughs behind him, but Lennon is enjoying this too much. He can smell him. Fuck. So sweet.
- Um... Later tonight? - William asks confused, his blue eyes wide, but avoiding Lennon’s.
- Yeah, you’re coming to the after party with Liam, right? - Lennon looks to Liam, then to William and then back to Liam wanting to make sure that Liam brings him along.
- Yeah, we’re all coming, mate. - Liam confirms and Lennon smiles wide, both thumbs up.
Which makes William smile more and touch his hair to fix it, almost like a sign of nervousness . Lennon looks at all these little mannerisms and it intrigues him, for some reason decides at that moment that he likes the guy. It is obvious that he would, anyone who Liam likes is probably going to be fine to Lennon. He’s bloody gorgeous for sure, but more than that he’s radiating such a positive energy in only seconds that Lennon usually never feels from strangers.
- Yeah we will be there, Liam mentioned it. I... really like your band, glad to finally see you guys live. - so he’s just a fan and probably nervous after meeting the frontman of the band he likes, Lennon thinks, disappointed a little.
Just when Lennon opens his mouth to say something to that, a beautiful girl with long dark hair in a crimson dress hugs William around his waist and smiles at Lennon. He’s a bit surprised to see this girl near William. He’s seen her somewhere before.
- Oh shit, you’re not who I think you are, Nina? Nina Perry from The Forgotten? - Lennon questions with a frown on his face pointing a finger at this girl.
- Len, this is Nina, Will’s girlfriend. - Liam adds.
- And yeah, she’s in The Forgotten, always managing to steal my thunder, this one. - William says to Lennon sarcastically and playfully pinches her cheek.
- Oh baby, I can only try but you would never let me.- she smiles back at him - Really nice to meet you Lennon, I love your band, your energy on stage is amazing.
And then there’s that. The guy is straight and in the relationship with one of the up and coming actresses in America. And world probably. The Netflix series she is in already has three seasons and it’s been talked about everywhere. After realising that they are together Lennon finds them both pretty adorable as a couple. He takes her hand in both of his hands.
- Thank you so much, it really means a lot. It’s lovely to meet you, you’re even prettier in person.- she really is, and Lennon wonders what William’s job might be if he’s dating this beautiful, famous actress. Someone shouts his name, the whole room is now loud.
- I’m a huge fan of your show and believe me I will ask you everything about it later but now I must go, I see some champagne being opened and I believe it has my name on it. - Lennon charmingly says to Nina and starts walking towards his band members and team that tours with them. But he suddenly turns around and points a finger at the man with blue eyes who somehow peaked his interest tonight.
- And don’t worry William, I won’t allow her to steal your thunder. You’ll get your chance later to show me what you’ve got. - with a smug smile Lennon walks away leaving William speechless.
After the band freshens up and makes a toast with their manager and close friends in the backstage they all head to a bar across the road from the venue where they already partied after their show three nights ago.
Loud music, jangle of voices. Men and women who look older than they are slumped on bar, pint glasses, shot glasses, someone crying in the corner, standing drinkers at the bar, couples in secluded corners, laughing, back slapping, drinking games, another round, pink cheeks, swearing. This is the type of noise Lennon is comfortable with. He has a bottle of beer in one hand and a phone in the other taking a picture of Jorja and Sam kissing Nate’s cheeks.
- Wait, wait I fucked that one up...One more time. - He says to them but actually puts his camera on selfie mode and starts snapping pictures of himself.
At that moment William shows up right behind him and puts his head right next to Lennon’s so they end up taking photos of two of them making funny faces while the rest of their friends, annoyed after realising what Lennon and William are doing, just walk away.
Life is good for Lennon this very moment.
He thinks for just a second how fucked up he was the night before and hopes the dark thoughts won’t come any time soon to haunt him. That one thought starts clouding his mind for just a few seconds - this last concert meant that he will be even more under pressure to start writing for their new album. He knows it, the manager and the record label are already pressuring them about it. But Lennon is content now, and he won’t let that bring his mood down.
- What’s wrong? - William’s voice interrupts him from his thoughts.
- Why do you think anything is wrong? - Lennon questions him while taking another sip of his beer.
And that there is one of many moments when Lennon slowly begins to realise that he likes William a little bit more than the previous moment. How does he notice that Lennon is gone to his unhappy place? And more importantly - why would he care to ask anything?
- I’m sorry - he quickly apologises. - I didn’t want to go all deep on you now I just thought something’s wrong. You were perfectly happy and all of a sudden your eyes just looked...I don’t know... really sad. That’s all. I ... I don’t even know you so.. I’m probably wrong. - William smiles apologetically and shows in the direction of the bar. - Beer?
- Umm ... no, don’t apologize, it’s ok. I’m good. Thanks... for asking. It was nothing.-Lennon replies and looks suspiciously at the blue eyed man in front of him like he just saw a unicorn. Funny feelings start forming in his stomach which he contributes to already too much alcohol, so he thinks it’s probably the best to stop.
- Let’s get a beer, yes. - he says excitedly instead. - I kind of do want you to go deep on me, William. - he smirks at him and the old charmer Lennon is back, pulling William by the hand through the crowd to get to the bar.
And if he sees with the corner of his eye how William is licking his lips while checking out Lennon’s ass he doesn’t think much of it.