Nirvana Ch. 03

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My sincere apologies for late submission. I will submit regularly from now on so keep an eye out!

Ratings, critiques, and comments (positive and negative) are always welcome and keep me going. Please read previous chapters if you haven’t already.

I hope you enjoy this.

*****

“Raise your hand if you got laid last night!”

Carl shouted as he barged into the almost empty bar with his hand raised, followed by David, who was shaking his head. Owen was sitting alone at a table, hunched over a piece of paper, writing the outlines of two songs he’d thought about all morning, and a few chords for their upcoming gig. He managed to ignore Carl’s harassment until the latter was no longer subtle with them, bumping him with his shoulder and trying to raise his arm.

“Come on!”

“Well, I- I didn’t really.” Owen stuttered, smiling nervously.

“I saw you, though! We all did. You went home with that bartender, didn’t you? And you’re wearing the same clothes as yesterday.”

“Yeah, but…” He mumbled, still focusing on the lines he’s scribbling on his scruffy, crumpled piece of paper.

“What?”

“You’re pathetic. Leave him alone.” David said, and took a chair next to Owen, trying to peek at what he was writing.

“You’re just jealous because you got no action.” He turned to Owen and punched his shoulder, “It’s about fucking time! Can’t say I’m surprised, myself.”

With the corner of his eyes, Owen begged David to rescue him, but from the latter’s expressionless face, he knew he was on his own. He was bombarded by one invasive question after the other, and the more he grimaced, the more personal they became. Carl was deliberately making him uncomfortable for his own pleasure, and Owen was making it way too easy.

The entire time they sat there, Owen tried to refrain from eye-contact; looking down at his paper, aware of people around him scrutinising him with their prying eyes. He wished he could shrink and disappear. Facing David, he thought, was going to be the hardest part of it all. They’ve known each other since they were kids. Having an older friend in school meant he got a free pass from bullies, so he’d always looked up at David as his protector, and David was the one more likely to be understanding. However, seeing the omniscient look in David’s eyes always made him feel exposed.

The writing was getting overcrowded, almost illegible, as he tried to drown his anxiety and the over cheerfulness in Carl’s voice into chords and lines.

“Did you kiss him on the lips? I bet you did, you hopeless romantic!”

Owen whined, and a slideshow of images played in his head despite him. Every area Noel had kissed started to tingle with the sweet, savoury memory of his soft lips, warm with lust, devouring every inch of his skin, and his teeth gently scraping against his hard nipples.

He remembered, at some point, he kissed his hand -both of his hands, actually, and he involuntarily rubbed it, as a smile spread across his flushed face.

“I’ll take that as a yes.”

“Jesus Christ, will you get off my back!”

“I bet you didn’t say that last night.” He said with a wink, and Owen groaned. David cleared his throat, and frowned at the annoying boy when he looked up. Carl shrugged unapologetically, and turned back to torture his shy friend.

“What are you writing, anyway? A love note?”

“No?” Owen put his pen down, and slapped the paper against Carl’s chest, “Your bass lines.”

“To what?”

“Eleanor Rigby.”

“Yuck”, he interjected, studying the incoherent scribbles on the paper, “no wonder it looks like a pile of crap.”

Owen rolled his eyes. “Well, if you don’t like it, feel free to write it yourself.”

“Can I just say, off the record here, that this is a bad idea?” He held the paper out, “and I don’t mean this. I mean the whole thing is a very bad idea.”

Owen didn’t have to listen to him, not just because he said it a hundred times before, but also because he knew himself that it was risky. Ever since he’d heard of the Coverfield Club, he’d been obsessed with the idea of covering The Beatles. Not just one song amongst others, but a whole gig of just The Beatles. But covering a classic band isn’t easy especially when their fans aren’t so forgiving, and when he had very little time to practise.

However, he didn’t mind taking on the challenge if it meant a step forward in their career. Rock was what he aspired for, and he was sick of Pop and everything it stood for, and felt a piece of his dignity, along with his soul, dying every time he got on stage to sing another Miley Cyrus song.

“Yesterday, someone took a video of you singing Skyscraper, and it was posted on our Facebook page. Guess what, everyone fucking loved it!”

“Wait, what?” Owen yelled, “Who took the video?”

“Dude, that’s not the point-“

“They shouldn’t upload it without our permission!”

“You moron, listen! What I’m saying is people love what we’re doing. We have avcılar escort a growing fan base-“

“For fuck’s sake!”

“And this whole Beatles thing is completely miscalculated. You’re aiming at the exact opposite direction of our target audience.”

“Fuck the target audience!” He snapped, and hit the table with his palm, turning a few heads around. Carl and David looked at each other, and then glared at him.

“Alright, you need to calm the fuck down.” David finally said.

Owen squeezed his eyes and sighed. “Sorry guys, but this is happening. This thing in Coverfield is our only chance of gaining a quality audience. We don’t want to be a pop cover band forever.”

They knew better not to argue with him. Despite being the youngest in the group, he was the one who practically started the band, and since they didn’t have a manager, he made every call, so they had to swallow their protests.

“Okay. You heard him.” David said, “Now go practice your lines before we load our stuff in the van.”

Carl growled, and walked away backwards, pointing at them, “Fine! But, you know, don’t forget I warned you two. This time next week, you’ll wish you’d listened to me!” He nodded at the door and addressed Owen, “Here’s your boyfriend. Maybe he can fuck some sense into you.”

Their heads quickly turned to where he nodded, and it was indeed Noel. He acknowledged them with a fleeting smile before disappearing into the changing rooms. A jolt ran through Owen and his heart skipped in his chest. He couldn’t hide his smile, or the hectic breaths he was taking in. It was Noel, flesh and blood, walking so gracefully; so beautifully. Big bony hands brushing his hair back into perfection, and his other hand held one strap of a backpack hung carelessly over his shoulder.

It was Noel, the one that took total control over his body and soul not that many hours ago. His mere presence in the room was haunting enough, even with Owen feeling guilty that he’d left unannounced, breaking Noel’s rules.

“So… You and Noel, huh?”

It took him a few seconds to process the question, and a shiver took over him upon hearing these three words coming from his old friend. He realised he hadn’t looked him straight in the eye since he arrived, and it wasn’t due to fear of judgement, but fear of the unknown. The eyes that can read him like a book scanning him in his state of weakness was the last thing he needed, but the only thing that would help him come to terms with who he was.

“Alright,” he said, “let’s get this out of the way. I’m into men.”

He gazed everywhere except at his friend, and he was suddenly aware of his hands clenched in fists.

“So? Don’t be a fucking idiot,” David patted him on the shoulder, “and wipe that look off your face.”

And that was it. David wasn’t much of a talker, but he knew what to say when he had to. They were both happy not going into detail, but equally relieved by each other’s presence.

“You and Noel, what’s up with that?” he continued.

“What do you mean?”

“Is it a one-time thing, or…”

Owen shrugged.

“Well,” he sighed, “take it from me, Owen. Consider this a one-time thing.”

Owen looked askance at him.

“I’m sorry to break this to you, but that guy’s bad news. You don’t know him; we’ve worked together for some time, and all I can tell you is that I’ve never seen him go home with the same guy twice.”

Owen squinted disbelievingly. There was no way David would lie to him, but he’d give anything for that to have been a lie. His stomach turned at the idea of the previous night being meaningless to Noel, but meaning the world to him, and he felt a pang of pain in his chest. He never imagined he would, but he suddenly felt better about leaving so abruptly that morning.

“Good morning, gentlemen.”

A familiar soothing voice came from behind him making his hair stand on end, and he didn’t have to turn around to know who it was. He knew if he turned to face him, he would be sick, so he casually left with a fake smile and a feeble excuse of helping Carl with the instruments, all the while avoiding Noel’s gaze which he could sense roaming over his body.

“What’s with him?”

“I don’t know. You tell me.” David stared him down and continued, “Don’t hurt him, okay?”

“Why would I do that?”

He stared him down again until he raised both hands.

“I don’t hurt anyone, I never make promises I can’t keep.”

“Yes, it’s what-” He paused to lower his voice when Carl and Owen walked past, carrying amplifiers to his van, “It’s what you imply.”

They both looked unenthusiastically at the boys struggling with heavy instruments; Owen actively avoided looking at them, whereas Carl made passive-aggressive comments urging them to help.

“I wouldn’t worry about him, really.”

“Well, I do.” David said flatly, before getting up to help Carl with the drum kit.

Noel avrupa yakası escort took the chance and hurried to the rehearsal room where Owen stood with his back to the door, putting his guitar in its case. He heard Noel’s heavy footsteps, and tried to contain his angst.

“Why did you leave this morning?”

He choked on the answer he had practised many times, and jumped as he heard the door shut. The sound of footsteps getting louder and closer, pushing whatever excuse he had made up further into the back of his head to be forever forgotten, along with what David had only just told him.

“Sorry.” He turned around and was met by Noel’s blue beady eyes and lips thinning in a smile as he approached him slowly. He ruffled his hair, and mumbled, “I was worried you wouldn’t want to see me.”

Noel cocked an eyebrow, and tried to hide a teasing expression behind a frown. With one quick move, he grabbed the waistline of Owen’s trousers and pulled the shorter boy closer. His other hand latched to the back of his head and tightened around his hair, tugging like he did the day before.

Owen trembled at the touch, and inhaled his aroma. It felt too familiar, and at the same time too new; being up against his body, held in his arms, and faced with all the memories of their first encounter. He shouldn’t like this; he shouldn’t want this, but he did.

Air was held back in his lungs and he stared in anticipation for the touch he ached for all morning, the one he longed for every time they broke apart.

With a sigh of impatience and a grip of sheer dominance, Noel took his lips hungrily in his mouth, quenching the unbearable thirst that dawned on him whenever their eyes met. Owen’s hands crept up to his back and pulled him in tightly, eager to feel as much of him as he could. He jerked his hips forward and moaned loudly at the friction it created, and Noel’s hand around his waistline forced him closer in response.

Their grunts and moans hummed a beautiful melody, and their tongues were tangled in a slow and charming dance that soon became uncoordinated and ferocious. Noel’s hand involuntarily shifted to the small of Owen’s back, hooking around his shirt feeling for skin that burned with young desire. He pulled him further in, his teeth taking in more and more of his soft lips, and his eager tongue explored the delicate wetness inside his mouth.

Owen clawed at his back erratically and rubbed his body against his enlarging erection. As he moved up, Noel’s hands were gliding further down inside his trousers. His eyes tried to focus on the door during the brief seconds he could control himself, but then Noel would do something like knead his ass, or nibble on his lips and tongue, and that would cloud his thoughts and make his vision go hazy again.

Noel had to put in a struggle against Owen’s reluctance to break their lips apart, and enjoyed the pleading whimper that escaped his mouth. He looked down at his eyes that glowed with lust, and lips that swelled from vigorous kissing, and a devil’s smile was painted on his own face. With his hand on Owen’s head, he grabbed a bigger chunk of his hair and tugged on it probably a tad harder than he should have.

Before Owen could utter a complaint, he felt his lower lip taken into Noel’s mouth, and then sharp teeth tore into it with no mercy.

This was not a kiss.

His breath hitched in a sharp gasp, and he bucked backwards, which only made the clasp tighter. His face wrinkled in pain, and his hands curled to fists, that he then placed on Noel’s chest and started pushing lightly. For some reason, he felt like he was being punished for a crime he didn’t commit. There was pain, but a part of him wished Noel wouldn’t stop, until it was steadily becoming more painful than he could handle.

Being locked by one hand on his head and another on his arse, there was no way he could escape, and resisting him would make it worse. All he could do was wince and let out loud shrieks of agony; and, eventually, it worked. Noel let go of his lip right before his teeth dug hard enough to draw blood, and Owen’s hand quickly and involuntarily reached to rub it.

The devilish smile didn’t abandon Noel’s face. He still had him pinned in place, although he had a weaker grip on his hair. He gave him a peck on the lip that had already started bruising.

“I would have loved to wake you up to this.”

He approached him slowly, but stopped only centimetres away from his lips. Owen made an attempt to reach out and kiss him, which was thwarted by the fist holding his hair. Noel moved forward, and seductively licked his own lips, making Owen sigh in frustration. He gave him a half smile and whispered, “See you tonight, Matthews.”

Just as he let him go and headed towards the door, Carl and David were walking in. He nodded at them with the smile of a cat that got the cream, and walked past. They both stared at Owen uncomfortably, as he was conflicted between hiding bağcılar escort his bruised lip and the swelling in the front of his trousers. He put both hands in his pockets and paced back and forth, looking for nothing and everything.

David shook his head warningly, but Owen was too lost in a mixture of embarrassment and arousal to even notice it. Something sparked inside of him when he watched Noel’s back as he left; an idea, a feeling. It was planted and buried down with the perfect teeth that almost broke through his skin, and grew with every passing moment until he was no longer able to ignore it. He stroked the red patch with the tips of his fingers, and the captivating twinge started an outbreak of goosebumps on his back. Noel wanted to see him again, and he wanted to see him that night. He checked the time. Still too early; still a few more hours before it was night time. He knew it was going to be a long day, but had an inkling that the wait will be worth it.

The day dragged more than he had imagined. They made their rehearsal schedule for The Beatles cover night, and it seemed doable; two songs per day, then two days full recap. What he didn’t take into account, though, was the fact that it was difficult to practise if he was only physically there in the basement. His mind was drifting off, drawing images of every lewd expectation he had for the night. He kept one eye on the strings, and the other on his watch; time wasn’t moving fast enough.

It wasn’t long before his band mates noticed his sloppiness. More than once, he had to check the internet for chords and lyrics, which was something he refrained from doing as much as he could, as he often thought of it as cheating. He slowly started to realise it was not going to be an easy job. Short of Come Together, they had never played any of the other songs before, and if they were to continue at that pace, they’d only manage to get four songs perfectly done before it’s time for the gig. Owen grinded his teeth, and cast aside all the thoughts of Noel that were creeping under his skin. There was no room for mistakes.

David was resting his forehead over his palm, half listening to Carl who was going on about how much he hated The Beatles and how John Lennon was overrated. Even when they were picking up the pace, Carl wouldn’t let it go. Getting him to shut up and play was hard enough, but getting him to play and sing backup vocals at the same time was a nightmare; he either sang completely off tune, or stopped playing altogether. It was too late to recruit a fourth member just for the singing part, and most of the songs they picked weren’t going to be half as good without vocal harmony.

“Tap with your foot.” David suggested.

“Oh, so instead of doing two things at once, I’ll be doing three! Gee, thanks for the tip.”

“Look, all you have to say is,” Owen paused to count, then continued, “six words for Eleanor Rigby, and Come Together, you just have to say ‘shoot me’ without even singing it, it’s really not that hard.”

“Let me get the chords right for now, I’ll work on singing later.”

Owen rolled his eyes and obliged.

The place started piling up with empty pizza boxes and soda cans. With each passing hour, Owen got more and more obscene; so obscene that Carl found himself taking more bathroom breaks than he needed, just to get away from him. Although they were building up their confidence, the occasional slip infuriated Owen severely; he found himself losing his concentration and eventually slipping himself. It was then officially time to end the session.

“Halle-fucking-lujah!” Carl shouted.

“You still need to practice the chords for tomorrow because you’re going to sing the whole chorus of Maxwell’s Silver Hammer.”

“Are you serious? I thought you were joking about that stupid Maxwell song.”

“No, I’m not. It’s a fun song, and it’s happening. Get over it.”

“I told you to pick something off Abbey Road!”

“It is off Abbey Road, you shithead.”

Carl growled, “I fucking hate The Beatles!”

David and Owen chuckled to each other, and they all started to tidy up the place, leaving their instruments exactly where they were, ready for the next day. Owen was cleaning greasy smudges off his guitar, and with every stroke, he felt his hands getting colder. The sound of footsteps echoing in a quiet room made it all too clear for him that the day was over, and it was time to leave for his undefined date. Noel’s shift must have already ended two hours before, he thought. He recited to himself the final words that he said to him before he left, realising that he had no idea where or when they were supposed to meet.

“What’s that on your lip?”

Fuck! Owen thought he’d be able to escape Carl’s slick comments, but the latter couldn’t help himself.

“Bug bite.” He deadpanned, still wiping his guitar.

“Was that bug called Noel, by any chance?”

Owen glared at him, but decided he wouldn’t rise to it. Instead, he asked David if he could please call Noel for him, as his shift was over and he didn’t know where he was.

“Wait, so he said he wanted to see you, but didn’t say when or where?” David asked, doubtfully.

“Yes, alright? Are you going to call him for me or not?”

David shrugged, “Can’t anyway. He doesn’t have a phone.”

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