74. That’s The Way You Need It

We all came off stage half crazed, still high from the signing, still high from the playing and energy, and I felt like I didn’t want it to end. In some weird way, I felt safer lusting after Ziggy up there than I did in a hotel room or tour bus. I wanted the game to go on. While we played it I felt connected to him, like there was a bond between us. And afraid as I was to admit that maybe there was some sort of attachment between us, I knew it wouldn’t work on stage if there wasn’t. From the first day we’d met something had been there, unspoken, hidden, but there. We stumbled to the backstage area, Ziggy skipping ahead and still singing, the rest of us half-jogging behind and laughing. Chris gave me a high five.

I stripped out of my sweat-soaked shirt and felt the air on my skin. Ziggy was undressing a few feet from me. Christian was soaking his head in the basin there and Bart went to the men’s room.

No one was looking. I reached toward Ziggy’s bare shoulder, brushed it with the back of my fingers.

His head turned toward me and pinned me with a look, at first incredulous, then pursing his mouth to scold with distaste, a touch of contempt in the curl of his lip. His eyes narrowed: hands off.

I stepped back from him and sat on a road case. He stripped down to nothing and then pulled on a clean gray jumpsuit, a cast-off mechanic’s outfit. He put his heavy black boots on and laced them without looking at me, and then strode out of the room.

I rubbed my fingers like they’d been burned. Sometimes I thought I knew what was up. Other times, like this one, I wondered if maybe I was always wrong about everything and if things would ever change.

I wasn’t surprised that I didn’t see him that night. Tread and I ended up drinking Jack Daniels and watching movies on cable until the wee hours when I went back to my own room to sleep. I could have just crashed in Tread’s other bed, but some part of me hoped… I woke up with a headache at dawn to find I hadn’t closed the shades and then tossed around for an hour trying to decide if I’d made the right decision signing with BNC, and what the fuck was up with Ziggy.

I decided I’d broken my own rules and that was why it hurt so much. No one can ever know about this, I’d said to him once, afraid that he’d… do something to reveal me. I could hear his answer now: why should I? It’s not as if I love you or anything. But this time … what made me touch him on the friggin’ shoulder anyway? My own fault.

Just leave him alone, I told myself. I thought about the way he’d cried and bitten the pillow when I’d fucked him the other night–what city was that? The night he’d come home and gotten into bed with me. Don’t push him.

I resolved to keep my hands off, then. If he wanted me, he’d let me know. It was not a very warm thought, but eventually my brain got tired of thinking it and went back to sleep.


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