I woke up at five in the morning having a dream about Jordan. It was a super realistic dream where we were working on a project together and somehow we needed a piece of equipment they didn’t have in the studio and we were going to various lengths to try to get it, which included driving all over sketchy parts of Newark in Jonathan’s red hatchback.
And then I realized I was in Missouri with Ziggy and my head was killing me.
I got up and felt my way toward the bathroom and then remembered that we weren’t in the room I thought we were and I had to keep feeling the air in front of me until I touched a wall. I eventually found the door to the bathroom and turned on the light in there and immediately regretted that. Too fucking bright.
You know how when your stomach feels really terrible, sometimes you can puke and then you feel instantly better? I felt like that, except it was my head, and therefore there was no way to purge it. I decided sticking my head under running water was the next best thing, and so I turned on the shower and had to fuss with the knob (not a euphemism!) for the longest time to get the water to be neither scalding nor uncomfortably lukewarm. I may have even cursed out loud and wanted to cry but then it settled down to a reasonably hot temperature and I stripped and got in. One thing about suites like this, they often have fancier showers than the regular rooms. This one was a shower stall with a sliding glass door and enough room to wash a pony.
I’m used to hearing snippets of music in my head all the time. Background noise can be “focused” into actual music if I just concentrate. Right then the background music in the sound of the rushing water, though, was annoyingly loud and I wished I could shut it off. I was too tired to stand up so I sat on the tiled floor of the shower stall with the water hitting me like hot rain.
Ziggy came in a while later and sat down on the mat outside the stall. “You all right? I came to make sure you hadn’t drowned.”
“My head is killing me, but I suppose I expected that.”
“Are you drinking any water or have you just been sitting in it?”
I opened my mouth and drank some of what was hitting me and he sighed and left the room. When he came back he had a can of Sprite and a glass of ice water.
I turned off the water and set about blotting myself dry, then drank half the can of Sprite in one go.
“The minibar doesn’t have Gatorade,” he said with a shrug.
“That’s all right.” I drank the water, refilled the glass from the tap, and drank it dry again. “I’m starting to feel human again.”
“How’s your hand?”
“Feels like it belongs to an alien but I’ll live.” I looked at him with undrugged eyes for the first time since he’d arrived. He was in an oversized cotton T-shirt with some logo on it I didn’t recognize. Looked more like for a video game than a band to me, but who knows. “Hi.”
He cracked a tiny smile. “Hi.”
“I’m glad you came.”
“You said that already.”
“Well, I’m saying it again.”
He looked at me curiously. “Should we go back to sleep?”
“Maybe? That seems sensible.” I was damp and naked and now instead of being in acute pain I mostly felt my body had been previously run over by a truck. Which I know doesn’t sound like much of an improvement, but it was. “I…I’m supposed to approve of sensible, aren’t I?”
“We could go back to bed but not to sleep, too,” Ziggy pointed out.
“Yeah.” I was clamping down very hard on desire right then, but it wasn’t working very well other than to make my throat impossibly tight.
He took me by the hand and led me back to the bed. I didn’t resist. Not talking was easier.
He knelt on the bed at one end and patted a pillow by his knees. I lay on my back with my head on the pillow and he began to massage my head. After I while I noticed I was breathing in synch with him, long, slow breaths. His fingers worked up and down the side of my head and it was like he was massaging my whole body, the individual aches melting away.
Then he took my hands and put them on either side of my head, and I picked up circling my fingertips where his had been, and he moved between my legs and gave me the most gentle, gradual head humanly possible.
I was still afraid that if/when I came my head was going to explode, but in the end I had an orgasm that felt like a bucket of warm honey being poured onto my groin, slowly expanding to cover all of my torso, stopping right at the knot in my throat. The knot that had been there since the day before, come to think of it.
I ignored it because trying to sit up to kiss Ziggy was much more important, except I was too languid to sit up so he lay down on top of me and kissed me instead.
“Was that all right?” he asked.
“Better than all right,” I said. “My brains feel like they’re leaking out my ears but I mean that in a good way.”
He grinned and licked his lips. “A little tantra to the rescue.”
“Did you learn that in India?”
“No. From Bernard. Well, from a book Bernard lent me,” he added with a raised eyebrow, lest I get the wrong idea. “Your chakras were probably all blocked up.”
“Uh, sure.” It was easier to breathe than it had been in a while, even though he was lying on top of me. “What about you?”
“My chakras are just fine.”
“No, I mean–”
“You can reciprocate later.” He kissed me somewhat forcefully on the third eye. “After we finish getting our beauty sleep.”
“All right.” No way was I going to argue.
The next time I woke up it was late morning and Ziggy was on the phone having some sort of negotiation about breakfast with the room service staff. I gathered that it was past the usual time for breakfast but he talked them into putting a fried egg into a grilled cheese and bacon sandwich and also ordered a couple of bowls of soup, a pot of coffee, and so on. I had to somewhat urgently empty my bladder what with all the liquids I had taken in a few hours before so I slipped into the bathroom before he had hung up.
It wasn’t until I was flushing I realized I was in the least amount of pain I’d felt in a while. All my fingers were working again. My eyeballs weren’t on fire and my head didn’t have a spike through it. Even my legs felt better than they had.
Soon we had eaten and Flip had helpfully brought me my duffel bag so I put on clean clothes. And then? Then there was nothing specific on the agenda.
At first this dismayed Ziggy somewhat. “Sooooo…” he’d said, as we worked on drinking all the coffee we’d been given. I sat on the bed and he was at the desk with the room service cart between us. “What’s next?”
“Blissfully nothing,” I said. “Unless there’s something in St. Louis you want to see or do.”
He said, with just a touch of sarcasm, “You mean like… an art museum or something?”
I took that to be New York/Boston/art school snobbery of some kind. “Just in case there was something you wanted to do.”
“I’m only here because you called me.”
“Then my entire agenda is to spend as much time with you as possible before I have to leave for wherever-the-fuck next.” (Knoxville, actually.)
“Ah.” Now he seemed slightly bemused and slightly amused at the same time. Which I suppose was a kind of poker face for Ziggy.
Which made me cautious and try to figure out if I’d said something stupid. “Unless you’re leaving first…?”
“No, no, I hadn’t actually figured out how and when I’m getting back yet,” he said with a shrug.
I took a gulp of now-cold coffee in case that might make me alert to any danger on the conversation. “You flew on a one-way ticket to St. Louis?”
He stuck his hands between his thighs as if they were cold and hunched his shoulders, rocking forward slightly. “Yeah. I figured if you were asking me to come all the way here, it was important.”
Point of fact I had kind of meant it as a spur of the moment thing and hadn’t really thought of it as a crisis, except I could see his point–I wouldn’t have asked if it hadn’t been important to me, somehow. That my reflex when I was hurting and feeling lost was to ask him to get here instead of to do something self-destructive or to run away was, I thought, a pretty good sign for our relationship. Last night’s fight notwithstanding.
I interpreted Ziggy’s fidgety discomfort to either my lack of a plan for what we were going to do today or to just plain horniness.
“You want me to reciprocate?” I asked.
“Not right now,” he said.
Huh. That left my lack of a plan. “We might as well go out and see the town a little.”
He came and sat beside me on the bed and took my injured hand very carefully in his. “We don’t have the best track record for staying out of trouble when we hit the streets without a plan,” he said.
“What do you mean? I don’t recall us ever getting arrested.”
He laughed and didn’t elaborate. “All right. Let’s go. We at least need to know what direction we’re going.”
“Let’s just get in a cab and ask the driver where we should go,” I said.
“There,” he said. “That is a plan.”
(Folks! If you like my het rock star romances, too, I’m still short by over 30 people in my Thunderclap! Sign up here with just a few clicks and what will happen is on Jan 31st a single announcement will go BOOM to whatever twitter, Facebook, or TUmblr you connect to it. I need 100 connections, though, or it won’t go off. Help me announce HARD RHYTHM to the world by signing up at the link below. Thank you! -ctan)