We stopped in front of a large glass building that was primarily made of windows. The vast structure had no signs, or anything of significance, saying that it was a recording studio. Although there was a large, oval reception desk on the inside that was visible through the glass.
The inside was still lit up, even though no one manned the desk.
“I have to go back in, to get to the parking garage.” He eyed me, “You wanna’ come with me, or hang here and I’ll drive around?”
I noted the security guard sitting at a small desk in the corner and shrugged as nonchalantly as I could, “I can come with you.”
He shrugged, “Cool.”
We made our way through the lobby with Jason giving a nod to the security guard. What was I doing? I didn’t know this guy from Adam. He could potentially kill me and no one would be the wiser.
“Jim.” He acknowledged on his way to the elevator. It was obvious that he knew the guy.
“Jason.” The guard nodded back with a smile, “You missed the excitement.”
“What the fuck did he do now?” Jason paused to ask.
“You’ll see.” As soon as he said it, the elevator in front of us opened and four very pissed off men stood, seething in silence. All of them had long hair, black t-shirts and tight black jeans.
Once again, what was I doing here?
I recognized the lead singer from that day in the hospital. He was hard to miss.
He was very tall and stick-like, with tattoos that ran from each side of his neck down to his hands. His face had healed from his fight with Jason, but the blood coming from his lip and new signs of swelling showed that he had been battered again.
“Fighting again.” Jason looked around the elevator as we climbed in. “Great, guys, just great.”
What was I doing here?
My senses were on overdrive. These guys were scary. This was so dangerous. I couldn’t help but have a soft spot for Jason and those large brown eyes, but this?
There was something about him. Something that made me feel comfortable, even stuck in this elevator. Like, he’d protect me.
“Hey, you gonna’ introduce us to the chick, Jason?” One of the guys in the back corner asked.
His voice seemed way too chipper and out of place for the anger that I felt seething through the elevator.
“Nick, this is Cortney,” he introduced me pleasantly, “Cortney this is Nick, Gabe, Chris and Asher.”
“Hi.” Unsure what to do, I gave a little wave, realizing my shoe was still in my hand, held with a death grip.
“You work at the hospital,” Asher said, eyes narrowing. His voice was smoother than it had been in the hospital that day. It was a low baritone and almost ominous.
“Yes.” I gave a nod, swallowing hard.
“Bringing a chick to the recording studio?” His words clipped, when he turned to face Jason. “What the fuck is wrong with you?”
“We’re just passing through to get my car, Man.” Jason shrugged, not concerned at all. “I’m gonna’ give her a ride home.”
Asher gave me a once over and shrugged, as the elevators opened. “It’ll be quick enough.” He stepped out, talking as he walked away. “Tear it up and be back here at seven tomorrow.”
“What the fuck did you just say?” Jason started after him, but I instinctively grabbed his arm.
I did could definitely use the ride. My house was on the other end of town and it would take me until morning to walk there.
“Please, don’t.” I don’t know why or how, but it stopped him in his tracks.
He turned, first looking at where I held his bulky arm, but when his eyes met mine I felt the anger subside, ever so slightly.
It didn’t matter what that guy thought. He was one in a million and perhaps just in a bad mood. I would never see him again anyway, but Jason would, so he couldn’t fight with him. Not for my sake.
Jason turned back to the other guys with an exasperated look on his face. He pulled my hand into his, as he made his way back to the others at the base of the elevator.
“Fuckin dickhead.” Chris shook his head, talking to Jason. He looked almost exactly like Asher. The hair was the same color, the eyes and lankiness, but with a slightly fuller build and fewer tats. Twins, I noted.
Chris’s cheek was a little bruised, which indicated that he had been a part of whatever fight had ensued with Asher.
“Ignore my brother,” Chris rolled his electric blue eyes, talking to me. “He’s in shit-fit mode with the new album.”
“He’s in shit-fit mode all the time, Bro,” Gabe said walking by, giving a little smile and a head nod. “Always nice to meet a pretty lady.”
I smiled, watching them hop into vehicles and drive off.
They all had equally impressive SUV’s or Jeeps. Leave it to me to assume when I saw Jason at the hospital that they were some random barfly band.
If this was their fourth album, they had made some decent money and some fans. I shook my head upset at myself. I was just as bad as my mother.
“You ready?” he smiled, still holding my hand.
“Yes,” I sighed.
He directed us to a large black jeep with tinted windows and held the door open for me to climb in.
“This is like the twilight zone,” I laughed.
“Why?” his brow knitted, confused.
“You all drive these big types of cars.”
“Outdoor sport.” He smiled and made his way to the other side. When the door was open and he was climbing in he spoke again, “That’s because we’re Maine boys at heart. Off-road vehicles were a necessity back home. Especially during mud season.”
“Maine? That’s on the other side of the country.” I was amazed, “You came all the way out here just to play music?”
“Somewhat.” He tilted his head from side to side, the movement was slight, as if debating what he should tell me next.
“We got a record contract out here just as some shit went down back home and this was pur out.”
“Do you miss it there?”
“Let’s just say that I miss how things used to be.” He gave a sad smile, “Let me know where to go.”
“Left. Then take the highway to 42.”
After a pause, “What did you mean by you miss how things used to be?” I asked. This question caused him to shake his head.
“I don’t know why I said that,” he sighed loudly, “You hungry? I haven’t eaten yet tonight.”
“A little,” I shrugged. Truth be told, I was starving. I’d skipped out on my parents before dinner and the six mile walk didn’t help.
“What kind of food do you like?” he gave me a sideways glance.
“Anything is good,” I shrugged. He was avoiding my question.
“Steakhouse it is then.” He smiled, watching the road.