“So are you some kind of groupie or something?” Beryl watched the redhead in the mirror. The girl didn’t react. Most girls would get in a huff over such a question. At least, the ones who hadn’t already staked their claim to a specific musician by trying to tell Beryl that she should keep her distance. “Or do you work for the club?”
Nica brushed a clear, glossy coat over her bright red lips before answering. “I came out here with a friend of mine, but he’s busy a lot, so I just, you know, hang out with whoever shows up.” She returned the applicator to the bottle and screwed it shut. “I’ve always had a thing for long-haired musician types. Drove my mama nuts.” She sighed softly and then pasted on a big, obviously fake smile.
“So who are you shacking up with?” She sure as fuck wasn’t going to ask about ‘mama’. That look screamed sob story, and Beryl didn’t do tears.
“Bas. Uh, Rain.”
“Some shortened form of his real name. He told me once what it was, but anyway, he’s not from around here.”
“He has a bit of an accent. Sounds…Russian maybe?”
Nica smoothed her hands down her stomach as she studied her reflection. “Something like that. Doesn’t matter to me.”
“He’s fucking hot.”
Nica met Beryl’s gaze in the mirror. “Exactly,” she said with a grin.
Beryl stared a moment longer, but Nica turned away. Beryl couldn’t be certain – it was just a glimpse, and she’d been distracted by trying to bait Nica into a reaction – but she thought she saw fangs in Nica’s mouth when she smiled. Yep, groupie, big time. Beryl rolled her eyes. It was bad enough Chaos insisted his fangs couldn’t be removed. She didn’t need to deal with hangers-on that wore them constantly too.
“So what about your band?” Nica’s change of subject snapped Beryl out of her catty thoughts.
“What about it?” she snapped.
Nica shrugged and stifled a yawn, as if to say she didn’t really give a shit one way or another. “You know, what’s your story? Like, do you want to hit it big, or are you content to play cover songs as the opening act?”
Beryl narrowed her eyes. “Look here, groupie bitch. I’m damn well good enough to play stadiums. Some day I will. So if you think–”
“Hey, wait a second.” Nica held up her hands. “I didn’t mean it like that. I like you guys – your sound anyway. Your singer is a bit of a jerk.”
Beryl laughed. She couldn’t help it. She was mad one moment and doubled over laughing the next. “A bit?” She snickered, but bit back another outburst. “Crandall being a bit of a jerk is like saying the sun is a tad warm, honey. He’s a first class ass, and he doesn’t give a damn who thinks so.”
Nica relaxed and her smile became more genuine.
With a dismissive wave, Beryl straightened and took a deep breath. “Anyway, honey, just don’t talk to him and he’ll pay you back in spades. It really is the easiest way to deal with his attitude.”
“I wish it was that easy.” Nica sat on the beat up sofa, and crossed her legs.
Beryl joined her. There were no bands playing tonight, so they had the dressing room to themselves until Chaos and Rain showed up. Beryl hoped that was soon. She didn’t like being forced to befriend someone simply because they were both dating members of the same band. If that was why Chaos asked her to wait backstage for him, he’d have to find himself another girl to annoy tonight.
“Why isn’t it?” Beryl asked, annoyed with the conversation again.
“Well…” Nica looked like she wanted to talk about something she shouldn’t. Yet another thing Beryl didn’t want to get wrapped up in. Where was Chaos? Bastard was late tonight, and he was going to pay for it. “You see, the owner of this club wants him to…” Beryl rolled her eyes as Nica looked away. Probably drawing it out to draw Beryl in, but Beryl wasn’t falling for it. She crossed her arms and leaned back against the sofa, glaring at the door, willing Chaos to make an appearance. If not soon, she’d leave and he could have an evening with his right hand.
“What does he do anyway?” Nica asked.
Nica giggled. “Crandall, silly. What does he do? You know, like for work? Or whenever he’s not singing like an angel.”
Beryl suppressed a smile, rolling her eyes instead, this time not trying to hide the disdain from Nica. “Do NOT say that in front of him. His head is big enough as it is.”