Dark Hunger


Page 13



“When isn’t he?” someone called out.

“And so, through a series of unfortunate events—”

“Unfortunate?” Trevor said.

“Alright. Unpredictable,” she corrected herself. “I found myself living a random act of crazy.”

“Aw,” the crowd said, collectively charmed by the unexpected romance.

“And then Joe Ross came along,” she added. The crowd cheered.

“Where’s Joe?” someone shouted.

She held up one finger. “I’ll get to that in a minute.” Her voice changed and choked up. “And then Joe Ross came along and I found myself surrounded by hot guys.” A bunch of the groupies whistled. “Simmer down. Simmer down,” she said. “You can’t have them anymore, they’re mine now.”

“They?” someone said.

Darla shot Trevor a look.

Trevor marched over and took over the microphone. “Anyhow, thanks honey,” he said to Darla, giving her a pat on the ass as she jumped down offstage and back to her seat. “I wrote this song for Darla.”

“What about Joe?”

“Joe will be back—no worries,” Trevor assured them. “Now, who wants to hear a new song?”

Instant explosion of frenzied cheers from the crowd.

The guys had never done anything like this when we were in high school, and as the first chords of the new song started up, I watched Sam and wondered what it would be like to find a guy so in love with you that he would write you a song.

Sam

Your Mama told you to watch out for me

Your God told you to walk away

Your Daddy said nothing, for he was gone

And you weren’t sure what to say

The night you found me, wandering and lost

Naked by the side of the road

My guitar shattered, my body bereft

You fought everything you were told

And the chorus:

When a naked soul finds you

You don’t have a choice

You have to stop and pause

You can turn away and never look back

But it will yank you back, because

Random acts of crazy draw you in

Random acts of kindness draw you in

Random acts of love draw you in

I went into the zone, which wasn’t hard, all you had to do was stick me on a seat in front of a drum set and leave me alone. I wondered how Trevor let those words out on stage. I was good with words in a debate and on paper for a class. But when I had something real to say—when someone looked me in the eye and expected the truth from me about how I felt? I might as well be translating to Aramaic, or Quechua after a single weekend with a Rosetta Stone DVD.

We’d practiced the new song plenty of times, enough for me to drift on autopilot through the zone; my mind stayed with Amy. Amy’s skin had burned a brand into mine and I could feel the heat, the want, and I could feel her ‘yes.’ Maybe that ‘yes’ was what it took to find the words, to write a song about someone. Maybe the lyrics and the music together formed something powerful enough to express all these feelings that bottled up and created a pressure inside.

Had Darla been Trevor’s revelation? Was there a moment when he touched her, when he looked at her, the first time they made love? I didn’t know. No one had ever made me feel like that. At least, not until this moment.

Four and a half years of stupidity flowed over me. I couldn’t look at Amy. I’d squandered so much. Was there any chance I could get it back? Give it back to her?

Normally, when I was in the zone, the song took over and all linear thought disappeared; I became part of everything in the room. Hell, in the world. With Amy on my mind, though, I couldn’t. My hands were the same, the sticks were the same, all the music, the beats, the measures, the same.


I was changed. She had changed me.

Amy’s acceptance of my kiss, my touch, my desire, made it so that the zone wasn’t enough anymore. As the song wound down without my ever becoming truly consumed by the music, I realized that I never would again. The only place where I would find that peace and that part of me was in Amy.

Amy

As the words came out:

When a naked soul finds you

You don’t have a choice

You have to stop and pause

You can turn away and never look back

But it will yank you back, because

Random acts of crazy draw you in

Random acts of kindness draw you in

Random acts of love draw you in

...I wondered about the story here and now I wanted to go and grab Darla—and not by the hair like I’d wanted to earlier—and ask her what had happened. She was with Trevor and Joe? How-? What-? Who-? Something about Trevor being naked by the side of the road, and she found him, in the middle of Ohio? This was getting a little too surreal.

Sam seemed different onstage. Distracted. As he played the song his body was like a powerful drug—I could watch him all night. His knees bounced up, thick thighs pressed against faded denim, and he rotated at the waist to hit all the notes in prefect syncopation. Sweat formed at the edges of his hair and his eyes were half-lidded as he moved, a kinetic force of heat, light, and domination. He owned those drums. The way he touched the sticks, the way he moved so fluidly, knowing exactly what to do next, was the most arousing and sensual thing I had ever seen.

I wondered what it was like to go to a place inside yourself, where your mind and your body knew exactly what to do, and how to do it. Isn’t that what I’d always read that making love is supposed to be? A sensuality between two people where everything else melts away, there is no past or future, and all that exists in that moment is the two of you. No wall between you. What was it like to reach that point? What would it be like to touch someone, to let him in, to let all of that warmth and power seep into my pores?

What would it be like to have Sam look at me, our bodies entwined as he thrust into me, and know that I was part of him and he was part of me, and there was nothing else in the world? That certainty, that moment of knowingness, when I was everything to him and he was everything to me, and we just were and it was ageless, and timeless? Would I ever really have that? And if I did, would I ever want it to stop?

Sam

We finished the set and I looked out into the crowd—no Amy.

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. I’d done the wrong thing, hadn’t I? She said she’d stay, and then she left. I couldn’t blame her—I told her I’d go to prom, and then I never talked to her again. A creeping dread poured into my legs and arms, and my throat went dry.

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. I’d really screwed this one up, hadn’t I?

I got offstage and went back to grab some water, trying not to go into the tailspin that I so richly deserved. I stood there, chugging, trying to just do anything with my body that would get my mind off of the fact that she’d left. I finished the bottle of water, pitched it in the trash, and turned around to find Amy standing there.

And suddenly, I was kissing her. It happened again. If you pressed me to describe the handful of seconds between not kissing her and kissing her, I couldn’t. You could waterboard me and I couldn’t remember it—it was that visceral, that swift, that all-consuming. She was definitely more insistent, more turned on, and more game, and all that did was fuel me. My hands slid under her shirt, finding hot flesh that felt like the most beautiful object in the world; soft, and pliant, and in my hands now...like coming home.

Her hands snaked under my sweaty t-shirt, and the cold air combined with her soft touch made me lose it. I couldn’t get enough of her. My mouth took hers, my hands were all over her, her breasts, her waist, her hips, her ass. She was filling me and I wanted to fill her.

Trevor’s voice cut through the little world of Amy, and I pulled back, swallowing, a dry click in my throat as if I hadn’t had the water, as if I were parched. “Sam, come on. Gotta get back on stage. Next set.” I could hear the grin in his voice.

She pulled back, her lips pink, almost bruised from the intensity of our kisses. “Don’t leave,” I begged.

“I won’t,” she promised.

“Come backstage when the last song is almost done.”

She nodded and swallowed. Her eyes bored into mine, and I felt an unfamiliar feeling inside: hope. It batted its wings like a butterfly coming out of a cocoon. Wings the exact color of Amy’s eyes.

The rest of the performance went by like a blur, frenzied hands, fevered brain. It was one of the better sets I’d ever done, and yet, it felt rushed because all I wanted to do was get back to Amy. She found me—thank God, she found me—at the end of the set. All I could do was stare at her. I was a sweaty mess, a live wire with buzzing arms and legs, and a heart that felt five sizes too big for my chest.

Ending a performance is always a high. Having Amy here, on top of the high? There were no words for it. I could call it a supernova, or the most incredible moment ever, and all of those superlatives would make it sound great, but wouldn’t give it one one-thousandth of the emphasis that it deserved.

“You waited,” I said, and smiled.

“You asked me to.” Her face was a little closed off and I knew we had a lot of talking to do. I reached for her elbow, and then the small of her back, as if we had been together for years and this was a casual touch that a long-term boyfriend would give to his partner. She moved in concert with my motion, and it all flowed. Something clicked, and there I was.

In the zone.

She stopped, and turned toward me, her hands reaching out, stroking my arms as if she were trying to verify that I was really here. It pleased me at the same time that it pained me, because I knew why. “What next?” she asked.

I looked at my phone, waiting to answer her. 1:15 AM. “It’s late,” I said. “Do you have a place?”

She pulled back a bit. I’d over-played my hand, hadn’t I? “I do,” she said, slowly, with caution.

My words came out in a jumbled mess. “Oh, I didn’t mean to imply that,” I assured her, but even as it came out I was a little disappointed. And I think that I saw disappointment in her eyes, too. “I just meant,” I said, softly, bending down to whisper in her ear, “I don’t want to stop being with you.”

“I don’t want to stop being with you either, Sam,” she said. “How about we walk back to my apartment and we’ll just take things from there?”

Once again, the world changed because Amy was Amy.

Amy

The cold blast of late summer air felt like walking into another dimension. Sam’s arm was around my shoulders, and even though it was still summer, in New England it already felt like October. We both shivered. Sam was half covered in sweat and it was a bit of a shock. No more a shock, though, than what was happening, second by second, between us. When he’d suggested going back to my apartment I’d had an involuntary reaction of no—not because I didn’t wanna take him back to my apartment and make love with him for...well, eternity—but because it caught me off guard. It seemed too abrupt.

His assurances made a difference, and I got it; I didn’t want to stop being with him either. I didn’t want the night to end. The thirty minute walk back to my apartment yawned before us, the giant elephant of the years between our then and our now balanced between us, on our shoulders. I decided to acknowledge it.

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