The clock read 1:34. Kyle stared at his laptop screen. It was the first time he got to read the interview—well, interviews—although the articles said they were posted about two years ago.
Even after he'd spent almost twelve hours in the studio today, sleep wouldn't slip into his system. Hopefully his currently nocturnal sleeping schedule would be back to normal after recording. It had become the norm ever since the band's first nationwide tour.
Some familiar knocks on the door made him exit the browser and get out of bed. He jerked the door open and wasn't surprised to find his favorite singer standing in the hallway, carrying their smallest keyboard. Sheets of paper were sticky-taped on the right corner of the instrument.
"Eureka moment!" Veronica beamed at him. She stepped right inside before he could fully open the door.
"It's midnight; we have the entire week." Kyle ruffled his wavy hair that reached his shoulders. Only a few steps behind her, he watched his bandmate position the keyboard between his feet and the edge of the bed.
He grabbed the wires that hung on her shoulder, then plugged the instrument in. "You going to bed now?" Veronica asked before promising it wouldn't take a while.
"You got five minutes," he grouched with an exaggerated groan. He guessed she just wanted a quick opinion on the new song she'd been working on.
She snickered and played it to him, but she only played the first verse and the refrain she'd composed. "Then just add a riff, or make it two phrases longer if you want." She raised her brows and gave him an inquiring look. "Good enough?"
"Yeah. Alright," he sighed. His eyes were somewhat stinging now. Shit. His migraine was starting up another episode.
"Been tryin' to rewrite the bridge but I can't close it with something solid. We could edit the last lines— Make it ten seconds shorter?"
"Yeah. Tomorrow." Kyle slouched by the closet and massaged the side of his neck; it felt particularly strained now. How did she still have this much energy after putting in more hours in the studio?
"What were you doing?" she muttered. Veronica glanced around the room. No rumpled sheets of paper on the floor, no empty soda cans on his desk, and only a stack of clean clothes was on the bed.
"Lookin' at cover arts." He noticed the band shirt she was wearing. He bought it for her a couple of years back at a music festival in Berlin. "Why're you still up?"
"Tried to get more done but it's just..." She replayed the notes. The melody was catchy enough, and she hummed along for a few seconds. "They're expecting we'd have wrapped up everything before Kavanaugh calls again."
"I know," Kyle replied flatly. He grabbed a clean shirt from the closet before asking about how the whole thing with Mr. Top Model went.
"Fine; we talked about it," Via replied in haste, mumbling her words again. She kept playing the bridge, perfecting the beat and tempo with her pale, dainty hands.
"He's okay with it?"
"We can't just...give it a go." She cleared her throat. Her voice still sounded hoarse. "We're both unbelievably hectic right now. He's booking more shows and campaigns every season."
After hearing her confirmation, he wanted to sigh in relief, no longer in the mood for shop talk. For now he could only focus on the thought that she did think about his advice. She put the band first, and most likely thought twice about staying in a long-distance relationship with Théo.
He took off his clothes and threw them into the hamper. Cool how easy it was for her to talk her boyfriend out of it. Perhaps she still didn't want to get that serious with the guy.
Better yet, maybe she never wanted it to get that serious. Maybe the idea of fully committing herself to someone didn't sit well with her personal goals at this point.
During a mutual friend's wedding, she'd even mentioned to him that she couldn't see herself being someone's wife—getting pregnant and having kids, raising a family of her own, et cetera. Veronica wasn't trying to sound indifferent when she was mouthing off about it. They were drinking and she was a little drunk, alright. But Kyle knew she meant most of it.
Or maybe she just wanted something else right now. "Thought he was staying till the end of the month?"
"His agent called. Wants him back before Fashion Week," she sighed.
"So...he was okay with it?" Kyle hinted, to which she only replied with a quick 'Yep'. Clearly she wasn't in the mood to go into details. "So, all good?" he mumbled.
"It's fine. We talked about it. He's just..." She paused to shrug. "I just wanna deck him sometimes." A forced smile came with her choppy reply. "So stubborn. When he sets his mind on something... Ugh. Drives me nuts."
"You look like you been crying for a year." Kyle faked a grin and stared at her swollen eyebags.
"What'd you expect? He told me he was stayin' here for three weeks." She forced another grin and stood up. She carried the keyboard now and distractedly stared as he unplugged the wires. "Catch up on your beauty sleep. 'Night."
From: Théo (New)
"Nearby. Wait for me in the lobby."
13 June 9:02 pm
He had sent the message half an hour ago. Did he change his mind?
Maybe he copped out. Ran off. He might have decided not to see her when he realized just how terrible tonight's turnout would be.
Veronica clutched her phone in contemplation. Alone, she sat on the sofa, hunched over and biting on her lip, anxious and impatiently waiting for his arrival. Her eyes strained to focus on his last message while she hesitated.
Should she reply? Dare ask him if they could postpone? She'd been dreading this day like it was the apocalypse.
The 30 or so times she'd checked her watch and the entrance already made her dizzy. Her back and legs also ached, tired from strolling around the city all day. Last night's radio gig also allowed her little sleep; she had to be up early because her mother came by to see her.
"You don't make time for me anymore," her mom had complained the week before.
Veronica couldn't shift the blame, though. Being a musician was her foremost passion, although it entailed having to be away from family and friends most of her life.
Songwriting and recording basically kept her closed off from the rest, and so, she just couldn't say no when her mom asked if they could go somewhere, hang out. Their whole afternoon had been spent mall-hopping. Then her mom left to attend a medical conference in another city.
Veronica dragged a hand across her face. She should've just listened to her mother and held off meeting up with him tonight. Yet guilt and indescribable anxiety pushed her to see him again. She just couldn't wait another month.
He deserved an explanation, at least. He deserved to know the other truth. He deserved to hear it from her face-to-face.
Her chest tightened at the mere image. Nothing could have prepared her for this day. Absolutely nothing. Even her mother's wise and comforting words didn't do much to ease her troubled thoughts.
Shit. This was so not the time to fink out. He could be walking through the door any second now. After reciting a short prayer in her head, Veronica stood up to try to walk off the nerves. A cold sheen of sweat made her hands glisten under the lights.
The elevator to her left made a ting, but no one came out. She gripped her phone and waited. It shouldn't take a while; she should just be upfront with him.
Be direct. Explain everything. Apologize. Apologize again. Kiss him goodbye, then leave.
Yeah. That could work. Perhaps he just wanted proper closure? Any closure—they hadn't really talked since they last saw each other.
A quick and pleasant greeting from the receptionist made her look up from her phone.
Crap. Did someone walk in just now? The front desk was only a couple of steps away, but a thick marble column hid her well from everyone's view. Veronica slouched behind a plastic-looking plant and listened.
"Evening." A guy spoke up seconds later, his voice deep and tired. The exhaustion in his voice sounded all too familiar it kind of hurt. "I'm, erm, here to see my girlfriend. Room 315. Last name Michel."
"One moment, Sir."
"Sure," he said with an audible sigh. Something was tapping on the desk. "We'll be sharing the room till tomorrow. I'm paying."
Her senses stopped functioning after that. Veronica flung her hands over her face. Ample lighting brightened the place, but, a disturbing darkness seemed to loom over her. She wanted to sprint.
But her phone went off loudly. She almost dropped it on the floor. Her breath caught—his name and photo flashed on the screen like a gleaming warning sign.
Shit. Her legs wouldn't move; she'd gone as cold and still as the wall behind her. Her ringtone was loud enough that she was sure Théo had heard it from where he was standing. Veronica stayed fixed on the floor.
The shock had sprung to total stupefaction when a tall, well-dressed guy stepped in front of her. "What're you doing?"
• Great. She pissed him off again. Now he looked like he'd rather go clubbing and get plastered with his city friends than spend half an hour with her. Although in hindsight, she couldn't really blame him for wanting to turn tail and just leave her by herself.He didn't need to be here. Perhaps Théo only asked to meet up with her again because he felt like she badly needed company. For her sake, and despite his ever-busy schedule of commitments, he made time tonight just to see her. Check up on her. Still so caring. Thoughtful and sweet. She really didn't deserve him. "We're just gonna stand here?" he murmured with knitted brows matching his frown. A thick jacket was carelessly placed over his shoulder. His shirt clung to his body while his hair, sneakers, and crink
• Unbearably awkward moments stretched into minutes while he got dressed. Théo hung his clothes and ignored her, his movements quite rushed. He wasn't talking to her―as expected. Stiff on the hotel bed, Veronica stayed hunched over and kept her mouth shut. She focused her distracted mind and gaze somewhere away from his face. His very handsome face. And beautiful eyes and mouth... Ugh! What the frick was going on with her? Such desperation. It was pathetic. It was driving her mad, annoyingly helpless that her chest ached at the mere sight of him. Théo staying here with her all night, alone with her in a small room...it felt too much to handle. She shouldn't even be in New York right now. She should be back home, working with her bandmates, finishing the recording. But, of course she drove out to the city. She needed to see him. One night would be enough. Just this once. She had to straighten things out with him―be it the last time he'd come see her. Was it another sign of depres
•⋮ 3 years earlier ✖ WARNING! ✖ Content below not intended for young readers. Read at your discretion. ✖• Present day •It shouldn't take her another hour to finally convince him that she had to leave now. He knew she had to work in the morning, record another song in the studio with Kyle and Dan, and he'd always respected the fact that she prioritized her job and her career more than ever.Being a musician was basically all she knew and did since graduating college. However, considering the current circumstances, he might try to stop her from leaving him again, only because he didn't want to be left alone, it seemed. Veronica sighed to herself.Her failed attempts to not cry her eyes out left her flat on the covers, lying face-down, marinating in utter shame and disgust with herself. Instead of giving him proper closure and kissing him goodbye for the last time, they ended up having sex again. Stupid. Pudding head. Hopelessly naïve. She could already hear her parents' voice in her head. They didn
In Wounded Rhymes [Mafia Games X] 13 : Last Goodbye?
✖ WARNING! ✖ Content below not intended for young readers. Read at your discretion. ✖• Present day •It shouldn't take her another hour to finally convince him that she had to leave now. He knew she had to work in the morning, record another song in the studio with Kyle and Dan, and he'd always respected the fact that she prioritized her job and her career more than ever.Being a musician was basically all she knew and did since graduating college. However, considering the current circumstances, he might try to stop her from leaving him again, only because he didn't want to be left alone, it seemed. Veronica sighed to herself.Her failed attempts to not cry her eyes out left her flat on the covers, lying face-down, marinating in utter shame and disgust with herself. Instead of giving him proper closure and kissing him goodbye for the last time, they ended up having sex again. Stupid. Pudding head. Hopelessly naïve. She could already hear her parents' voice in her head. They didn
• 3 years earlier •Good grief. Not today.No. No. No. This was not what she'd expected when she half-heartedly replied 'k..see u later' to his text. At least not this soon.When she'd agreed to meet up
• Arcueil, Paris • "Merde. Salaud. Pute." "Well, well, well... Someone partied a little too much last night." Théo froze on the couch and stopped mumbling complaints. The familiar voice instantly caught his full attention. Female. New York accent. Loud and rich with sarcasm. Jamie. He lifted his aching head. It felt like someone was jackhammering his skull from the inside. Damn that Polish vodka. Last night, Tomek had dared him to swig another shot of that acid-tasting drink. No—wait. Five more shots, actually. The thought alone made his temples throb harder. Théo flinched. Despite his boozed up brain, he could still remember how every drop of that lethal drink had scorched his throat. "Ran into Adri and Vincent at
• Present day •Kyle hurled his beer can into the trash. His skull felt like breaking open. Wincing in pain, he kicked the door to slam it shut, not caring if he'd wake the people in the next room. Another draining headache had been hammering his head since morning. His usual painkillers didn't work. They only numbed the pain for a few hours, in fact. He didn't feel like eating, either. Even after two pills, his stupid migraine only resumed a longer round two.Their band had been invited to play their new single at a radio guesting earlier. With their roadies, he drove back to the hotel near the recording studio before midnight with Dan and Via. Kyle eyed the door to her hotel room, their rooms just opposite each other.He didn't bother knocking and just jerked the door open. Clutching her phone, Veronica sat on the edge of the bed. Only the table lamp by the left side of the bed lit the whole room. "You good?" She waved at him, although she seemed too busy to make time for a