3.37am

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The lift stunk of urine, sweat and apples. Kyle wasn't sure which was worse.

The girl had relieved herself, getting up without a word and squatting in the corner, her skinny jeans around her ankles. She hadn't even asked him to look away, but he had. Watching someone piss didn't get him off, even when he was high.

The battery on his phone had died ten minutes ago. Goodbye, the screen taunted and went black. Fortunately the girl's phone was still on twenty-four percent so they still had light at least.

Kyle's stomach was cramping now, complaining bitterly about the lack of food. The girl was complaining about ticket prices for gigs, security guys who wouldn't let her and Becka take pictures and new fans who didn't know shit about the band. Kyle thought the girl didn't know shit about shutting the hell up but he was too tired now to start something with her and too tired to cope with the inevitable waterworks.

'Did it piss you off when the music press slated the last album?'

The question caught him off guard.

'What?' he slurred. He blinked furiously and rubbed at his eyes.

'It pissed me off so much. They were all just so...so rude. So mean. And when those so-called fans started too, I was so upset. I remember reading all the tweets and just crying, you know? I mean, you put your heart and soul into writing that and they just slaughtered you for it.'

Her face reddened considerably as she spoke, eyes glistening again and mouth curled into a sneer. You'd have thought she'd wrote the damn record herself.

'Um, I dunno. I guess.'

'But the things they said,' she whispered hoarsely. 'I don't know how you bear it. I really don't. I mean, when Becka said she agreed, I just wanted to punch her in the mouth.'

'Why would you hurt your friend?' He sat up a little straighter.

'Because that's not what being a fan is all about. How could she agree with the haters? We had this totally crazy argument. She just kept saying that it wasn't as good as the first two albums and I was just crying and crying. I just kept thinking how hurt you would feel if you heard a fan say that.'

Goddamn hysterical fans. Times had changed. When he was a kid, if someone hated your favourite band you just didn't hang out with them. These days, someone hates your favourite band and you send them fucking death threats. Tell them you're going to slit their throat. Tell them you're going to kill their kids, their parents, their pet dog. Punch your best friend in the mouth.

Click, click, click.

'Look,' he sighed. 'You really shouldn't worry yourself about it. It's not your problem.'

'I don't worry for myself, I worry for you.' She clutched a hand over her chest and Kyle half-expected her to rip out her own heart and offer it to him. Do you like romance or horror?

'You don't know me,' he stammered, shaking his head. 'There's no need for you to worry about me.'

'How can you say that? You're Kyle Donovan. You, your band, you guys are my life. I would do anything for you. I don't care that Becka is my friend. If she slates you, I don't want her as a friend anyway.'

The light from her phone highlighted the sweat that glistened on her face, making it look like a mask, tightening her features.

'All I'm saying is that I'm a big guy. I can look after myself. But, you know, I appreciate the concern.'

She smiled, her eyes lighting up. 'Oh I knew you would. Becka said you wouldn't give a shit about what I thought. She told me that and I didn't want to believe it, but when I saw you going into your house, I just froze. I wanted to come up and say hi, I wanted to give you a hug and tell you that it was okay and to not listen to the haters, because we real fans love you.'

Romance or horror. Brunette or blondes. Slit your throat or skin your dog.

'You were at my house?'

'I love your new place. So much nicer than where your old apartment was.'

'How did you know I had a new place?'

She rolled her eyes and giggled. 'Because I'm a fan, silly. But don't worry I'm not a stalker or anything. These things just get around, blame the internet. No one keeps anything quiet these days. Someone at the estate agents tells his wife. She tells her hairdresser. He tells all his clients. Then bam, it's on twitter and the whole world knows.'

'Right.' He was going to kill that fucking smarmy prick estate agent. 

And then he was going to move. 

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