Chapter 18

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He put down his guitar and sighed, looking around at the empty bar, trying to gauge how loud the band would need to play and how they could set up all the equipment they would need. It was soundcheck for their show that night, and it went as well as the millions of others they'd done. But Alex was dissatisfied; bored was a better word for it. They'd been a band just under the radar for years and now they seemed to have hit a wall, playing the same old bars in the same old neighborhoods, going no where.

Everyone who heard them raved about  his voice and his lyrics, not to mention the skill the band exhibited on their instruments but it never went anywhere. No one really important ever noticed a thing, their music never seemed to get to the ears that could take them to the next level. Alex had always told himself that it was only a matter of time, but lately he had begun to think, and to dread, that maybe it wasnt about time at all; maybe it just wasnt going to happen.

The thought was gut wrenching for many reasons not the least of which was that he had spent the last ten years of his life at it. If he was honest with himself he knew it should have happened by now if it was going to;  it didn't take ten years to get discovered.

"What the hell Al? We're supposed to be packing up our shit remember? Get up off your arse and grab an amp."

Matt, his drummer and best friend slapped him on the back of the head and Alex scowled but tried to shake the dismal thoughts he'd been having a moment ago and stood up slowly.

"Sorry, I've just got things on my mind."

"That girl across the hall?"He turned and smiled at his friend as he shoved an amp into his arms. "She's fit. Look at you, Mr. 'I'm not looking for anything serious'."

"Actually I wasn't thinking of her and it isn't anything serious, but I like her, she's nice." He shrugged his shoulders and started towards the door with the amp in his arms. "She isn't really the kind of girl you just shag and never talk to again."

"How could she be? You live across the hall from her."

He shook his head and ignored his friend's quip.

"Besides how serious could it be? I've been out with you for the past two days, I have yet to go to my apartment... I haven't seen her since Tuesday."

Matt was the only person who could decide to throw a party on a Wednesday morning and have as many people show up as if it were a Saturday night. The 'get together' as he called it had lasted an entire two days, the last of its attendees leaving Matt's warehouse abode that very morning just as he and Alex were on their way to the soundcheck.

"You were there and all but your heart wasn't in it. Dozens of women throwing themselves at your feet and I saw you acknowledge maybe two."

Alex chuckled and lifted his shoulders.

"I'm a picky man."

They packed up the equipment and headed home. In spite of himself his eyes lingered on her door as he walked down their hallway, it was the late afternoon and she was almost certainly still at work but he couldn't help the urge he got to knock on the door anyway just to make sure.

He was as shocked at his growing attachment to her as anyone else, it wasn't as though he had ever meant to develop any kind of a relationship with the girl across the hall, but his harmless flirting turned into actual flirting after a while, and his thoughts of bending her over the back of his couch and pinning her against the walls of his place simplified into hopes of running into her on the stairs and at the mailboxes or just out in the hall. He liked the way she talked, and the way she blushed at the drop of a hat, and the way she was always busy, especially too busy to ever come out and see him play, and the way she seemed to float around London like she owned the place even though she really had little idea of where anything was. He liked that she seemed able to take care of herself, but he also liked the way he'd felt over the past weekend; like maybe he could take care of her too.

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