A/N: I think you were all a bit confused about my "vote for sex :D" comment on the last chapter; it wasn't "vote to get a sex scene" it was "vote for the fact that they just had sex". I'm not writing a lemon for this story, and no amount of whining, bitching, or moaning will get me to change that so let's just all be nice, kk? :) <3
It was the last date of the tour and as usual the Name Withheld tour bus pulled up at the hotel hours after The Tiny Manatees’, meaning they were all snugly ensconced in their rooms while we all smelled and were slightly grumpy. The band were a little depressed about the tour ending and I couldn’t figure out whether Jackson and Sally had made up after the revelation that she wasn’t cheating on him with Tarquin – who turned out to be not as much of a loser as I had thought, having managed to somehow snare a woman six years his senior.
‘I can’t decide whether I want to nap or get horribly drunk,’ Conor muttered dejectedly as we traipsed one by one off the bus and waited for the undercarriage to open so we could grab our bags.
‘I’d recommend the nap,’ I intervened; there was no way he could get onstage and do a good job if he was plastered.
Conor made a face. ‘All right, mother,’ he grumbled, grabbing his stuff and waiting for me to do likewise before sloping off towards the hotel entrance.
I was still standing slightly behind him so I could see how his shoulders tensed as he froze, recognising the voice. In disbelief, we both turned to look at his dad, who was standing across the parking lot waving like nothing was wrong. I knew they’d organised to meet up again before we went back to Ireland but I think we’d all figured he just wouldn’t bother to turn up after that interview.
We were surrounded by the whole group by now and as Conor turned around and stared at his father with an inscrutable expression, everyone jumped to action. Sally and Rachel both got a firm hold on each of Conor’s arms, stopping him from either attacking his dad or collapsing – it wasn’t clear which was more likely. Sarah took care of getting a hold on Tarquin while Josh took Philip and Jackson grabbed Daniel; all three of them were struggling against their holds to try and get to Mr Archibald, and all three of them looked equally murderous.
Given the fray, nobody was paying much attention to what I was doing, which made it easy to slip away from the group, unnoticed until it was too late. I darted across the car park and right up to Mr Archibald, who looked, inconceivably, confused. I paused for a split second right in front of him, them raised my fist and punched him square in the face.
I heard the commotion behind me stop very suddenly, and I could see from the corner of my eye that everyone was frozen, watching.
Mr Archibald brought a hand to his face and stared at me in shock, like he couldn’t believe what I’d just done. I wasn’t sure I believed it either, so just to be certain, I punched him again. This time I felt the cartilage in his nose give way under my fist and blood started seeping down the lower half of his face.
I lifted my hands in front of me in a shooing motion and said, like I was encouraging a small child, ‘Go on. Bugger off.’
Mr Archibald shook his head in disbelief for another second, but then took a few steps backwards and eventually turned and left the parking lot. Shaking out my hand, which was hurting more than I’d realised, I turned around too and walked back to the group, who were all still staring at me with a mixture of shock and admiration.
I stood amongst them wordlessly, flexing my fingers uncomfortably and frowning at my hand, until some of the others cleared their throats, grabbed their things, and hurriedly left me alone with Conor. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be in trouble or not.
‘Let me see,’ he murmured, taking my hand in both of his and straightening out my fingers. My knuckles were raw but not bleeding, and I knew they’d bruise up nicely.