Well, I almost got my wish. Carynne came over to my room, where I was resting after the taxicab sightseeing trip, to tell me the deal on dinner.
“What do you think about you, and Ziggy, and me, and another person doing dinner?” Her hair was pin straight in the cold, thin air and she’d had it trimmed recently so the ends were aggressively even. She had that half-grimace that wasn’t really a smile on her face.
“Um, that might depend on who the fourth person is…?” I was trying to get my brain up to speed but I had been napping and couldn’t quite identify what the issue was. “And why they’re coming with us?”
She sat down on the corner of the bed. “Not to be alarmist but the two of you going out alone…it’s just too dangerous.”
“So Tony should come, too?” I guessed.
“Except Tony is kind of conspicuous.” She fidgeted with her bracelets.
I rubbed my eyes. “Okay. What am I missing?”
“It’d be better if we have a boy-girl-boy-girl arrangement.”
Oh. That? I blinked. “Are there Colombian paparazzi?”
She took a breath like she was going to start a long explanation, but veered off at the last second. “Yes. You don’t have to hold my hand or anything but you know. Appearances.”
“Yeah, I know.” Once upon a time I would have been the one trying to maneuver it so that we had a cover story. Now I was just aggravated by the need for it. “How about Stella, the really short dancer?”
Carynne snorted. “You know why she’s so short, right?”
“What, because her mom drank too much coffee when she was in the womb or something?”
“Ha, no. I mean you know why all the dancers are on the short side, but her in particular.” She had a look on her face like she was really amused. “So Ziggy doesn’t look too short when he’s dancing with them.”
That got a laugh out of me, too. “Makes sense.” Knowing Linn, picking dancers was like the fine art of flower arranging, but with moving parts. “What should I wear?”
“Rock star standard is fine. Maybe take it up a notch.”
“I thought we were trying to be inconspicuous?”
She waggled her hand back and worth. “Eh. You’ll want your leather jacket and some layers, though, because it’s chilly out.”
It turned out that Barrett and Tony were coming along also, but in a separate car and they would be sitting at a separate table. In fact the hired cars we took were small enough that we had to take three of them. Which meant Ziggy and I would have a driver to ourselves. When I got down to the lobby he was there, wearing a knee length white denim duster, white jeans, and white platform boots. So much for inconspicuous.
We were given the security rush from the door of the hotel to the waiting car before I quite realized what was happening. It wasn’t quite at the level of them having set up barricades, but there were enough fans camped outside that they wanted to get us out before anyone could catch on that it was us. Carynne and the others would follow at their own pace since they weren’t in danger of being mobbed.
Our exit was swift and successful. No one noticed until after the car was driving away, though I heard some female shrieks of excitement as the driver hit the gas.
I waited until we had gotten a block or two from the hotel without running into traffic that might lead to a Hard-Days-Night sort of situation, and then I glommed onto him. Full on arms under his jacket, squeezing his ribcage and burying my nose in the hair behind his ear. “Jeezus, Ziggy.”
“Well, hello to you, too,” he said with a chuckle. I felt his head lean against mine and an arm fold over me.
“Apparently they like you here in Colombia.”
“Apparently.” I could feel him relaxing under me, the tension going out of him, as we sank down against the seat of the car. The windows were lightly tinted which meant when it was dark out, like now, you couldn’t really see too well in or out.
“I mean, I knew there were two sold out shows at a humongous soccer stadium, but still.” I hadn’t realized what level of popularity to expect.
“I know. No one told me to expect screaming throngs, either. And actually, I think the second date didn’t sell out. But it was close.”
“Yeah.” He worked a hand against my neck and scratched my hair lightly with his nails (which were painted a pearlescent white), making me purr. “You gave me a scare last night.”
“Blacking out, you mean? Um, yeah.” I loosened my grip on him a little so he could breathe better, just in case he could use some oxygen, too. “That’s never fun. Please tell me every show in South America isn’t at eight thousand feet.”
“I don’t know the elevations of the other cities, but I’m fairly sure Carynne is probably researching that exhaustively now.” He shifted so that his chin rested on top of my head. I listened to his voice through his chest. “I was worried it was something else.”
“A side-effect of mixing Flexeril and alcohol, you mean.”
“Well, not that specifically, but.” He shrugged.
“That’s my main worry, but it comes after the worry that if I don’t manage my intake properly I won’t be able to play the show at all.”
I felt him swallow. He was silent. I bit him on the neck until he sucked in a shuddering breath and made a sound. Then I licked it better.
And that was about the extent of my private time with Ziggy.
(Another minor hit from 1991. Transvision Vamp were another band with an alternative image who peaked in 1989 and the music industry overpackaged and overproduced them so much that by 1991 this is what you got. They broke up shortly thereafter. You might know the bass player, Dave Parsons, whose next band was Bush. -d)