We took a private car back to the hotel and avoided the throng of fans outside by going through the laundry loading entrance. I could hear them singing “Into the Night” as we came out by the elevators.
Ziggy and Barrett had to pause at the back of the lobby to grease the hotel manager’s palm or something, and Tony and I breezed past and continued up to our floor.
“Did that sound like the guys said ‘my daughter is a big fan?'” I asked once we were alone in the elevator.
“Damned if I know,” he said.
“Wait, are you saying I know more Spanish than you do? Where’d you get a name like Antonio Reyes?”
“From my momma’s first husband.” He shrugged.
“Yeah, but you grew up in New York…?”
“My mother doesn’t speak it and they separated when I was little.” He preceded me out of the elevator, then pushed me back in and let the doors close. “I can understand some on the street but if you don’t use it regularly, you lose it.” He hit a button and we started to move. Downward.
I assumed we had been on the wrong floor. “I’m finding I understand more than I thought I would.”
“You lived in Spain for what, six months?”
“Eight. While I was there I felt like I hadn’t learned that much, but I guess I did pick up some.” I finally clued in we were going back to the lobby. This wasn’t that large a hotel. “Where are we going?”
“Don’t be alarmed but when I stuck my head out on our floor there was a guy with a machine gun standing there, and I figure let’s go find out if he’s supposed to be there before we go saying hello.” Tony was completely calm.
I was calm mostly because I wasn’t sure yet if I should worry. Down in the lobby we asked at the front desk for the manager and were led back to his office, where Ziggy and Barrett were sitting, looking very relieved to see us.
And the manager was speaking English now. He was wearing a suit and was on the phone. “Yes, they are Americans,” he said to someone on the other end.
“I’m very sorry about all the fans,” Barrett said to the manager, even though he was on the phone. “It was supposed to be a secret we were staying here, but once the word leaked out–”
The manager waved at him with a no-no-don’t-worry-about-it look on his face. “Yes. We have a bit of a situation. I would appreciate some diplomatic assistance.”
There was a chair next to Ziggy so I sat in it. I was starting to crash, which meant I felt not only heavy fatigue coming on, but a lot of nagging aches and pains all over. “Maybe I shouldn’t have pulled you away from the party.”
Ziggy crossed his legs and gestured vaguely with a painted fingernail. “It’s all right. If there’s too much access then the exclusivity of access loses its meaning.”
That didn’t sink in. “Are you saying I should feel special?”
He snorted. “Not you. The other people who want access.”
Barrett seemed to have one ear on the phone conversation and one ear on us. “We’re in the awkward in-between stage where we’re begging for exposure with one hand and having to prevent access with the other.”
“Which is why you’re running ragged doing promo and publicity with zero downtime,” I said.
Ziggy just nodded, looking sullen.
“The rest of the entourage is due to arrive any moment,” Barrett added, for whoever was listening.
“Thank you,” the manager was saying to whoever was on the phone. “Thank you very much.” He hung up the phone and then turned to us. “They are working on it, but it may be a while.”
Barrett then got on the phone to try to tell our entourage to stay at the venue. The manager got out a set of keys and led us through another door at the back of his office, down a back hall, and into a small hotel room with a double bed and night stand. “This is where the staff sleep when they have to stay overnight sometimes,” he explained. “Please make yourselves comfortable for a while until we have this resolved.”
Tony stationed himself outside the door. I stationed myself on the bed, face down. Seriously. Lying down felt so good. Ziggy sat on the bed beside me, leaning against the headboard, his legs outstretched and ankles crossed. He was in dark jeans and dark layers, hair flat–his version of inconspicuous.
“Best laid plans, eh?” he said.
“Was that a pun?”
He smirked. “Depends on what you planned to do to me when we got to your room.”
“Heh.” Now that I was lying down I questioned whether I was actually up to fooling around. “You know if you want me all you have to do is ask.”
He turned and looked at me. “Do I know that?”
I rolled over so I could see him without my neck being twisted at an angle by the pillow. “I’m saying it now so that you will.”
He gave a nod. “And you know if you want me all you have to do is ask, too.”
I raised an eyebrow. “And get on your appointment calendar.”
He huffed. “Well, okay, tour logistics issues aside. I won’t want to say no is what I mean.”
I guess in Ziggy’s mind that really counted for something? I mean, of course it did, in that a “relationship” is an idea, a mental concept. Relationships take place in your mind more than in your bed. Right?
He went on. “Just like you won’t want to say no, even if your body can’t do it.”
Ah, true. Very very true. “I’m trying as hard as I can.” We could have been talking about the show or sex. “How are you holding up, by the way? Physically, I mean.”
He shrugged. “We’ve only been on the road a week.”
“Yeah, but you’ve hardly had a minute of downtime.”
“I don’t have the luxury of downtime.” He sighed. “Unless you count this.” He sighed again. “But all that dance training is paying off. I’m in the best shape of my life.”
“I know.” I slipped a hand under his shirt and ran my fingers up his abs. He slid down on the bed and bit his lip.
His nipples were sharply hard under my calluses and his breath stuttered as I explored him.
“If you’re going to go any farther you should tell Tony to keep the door,” he said.
“How much longer do you think we’ll be here?”
“I’m guessing a couple of hours at least if we want to avoid an international incident.”
“Then I’m going to keep going.” I didn’t get off the bed to tell Tony anything, though. I had a strong suspicion Tony already knew, and that’s why he was out there to begin with.
I peeled open Ziggy’s layers until I could get my mouth on his skin, those dancer abs and delicious nipples. I could feel desire burning through me, but the strangest thing happened. Maybe it was the situation, or maybe it was my physical health, but hungry as I was for him, it was like my batteries were dead below the waist.
I took him in my mouth and didn’t let up until he’d come. That gave me a satisfaction in my soul that was almost as good as the usual kind. He tried to get me to come to life with his hand, but nothing.
“I think I’m just too tired,” I said.
He kissed me several intimate places including my mouth. “Are you getting enough sleep? Your sherpa-ing crew are supposed to be making sure you’re resting enough to heal up.”
“It’s been tricky with the lack of oxygen,” I admitted. “My appetite’s been off–”
He squeezed my balls through my jeans. “So I see.”
“Hah. That’s probably it, though. My blood pressure’s too low with not enough oxygen in it.” That wasn’t strictly accurate, but it occurred to me the altitude sickness probably did affect anything blood circulation related including erections. “Let’s try again when we get to sea level?”
“Okay, dear one.” He kissed me on the forehead. “You’re worrying me, you know.”
“I’m sorry.” I’d been all right with being impotent up until that moment, but the fear that I was going to disappoint him welled up suddenly.
“Don’t be. Just get better, okay?” He scrambled off the bed suddenly, and I did up my clothes, too, figuring it must be he could hear the door latch.
The door opened and Barrett came in. “Okay. The gunmen are leaving. We should be able to go upstairs shortly.”
“Anyone I need to autograph for this time?” Ziggy said with a slight snarl.
“No, I think it was all handled diplomatically some other way,” Barrett said. He looked tired. He was wearing a suit jacket but no tie. “I really don’t want to know. As long as they let us leave the damn airport this time.”
Which, by the way, they did. I guess it’s a good thing we got out of the country without any (more) trouble. Guns ‘n’ Roses came through a month or two later and the airport got taken over in a coup attempt. The band had already taken off, but their equipment, which was on a separate plane, was stuck behind.
But who cares about geopolitical unrest when what you want to know is about is my own personal unrest, right? At my door Ziggy kissed me good night with the words, “Get some sleep.”
“What about you?”
“If I’m going to get any rest, I need to be somewhere dark and quiet.”
I glanced at the room behind me. “Seems pretty dark and quiet in there to me.”
“That’s because you can’t hear yourself mumbling or feel the bed twitching.” He gave me an apologetic look. “Sorry, dear one, but you’re not a restful bed partner right now.”
“Oh.” Yeah, oh. It hadn’t occurred to me I was twitchy. Colin hadn’t complained. But Colin never complained. “I didn’t realize.”
“You’ll be better soon and so will I,” he said, and then gave me a much longer goodnight kiss. I closed the door behind him savoring the taste of his lipstick.
It wasn’t until I was falling asleep I started to wonder, what did he mean by “so will I?”