Good ole England grants him with grey skies and rain – what a surprise! Heading for the baggage claim he puts out his mobile and activates it again. Waiting impatiently for his stuff to pass by on the huge baggage carousel he dials Alan’s number.
„Hello, David! I take it you safely landed?“
„Apparently! I will get the car I booked and then should be around your place in in around 1 and a half hours.“
„Great! Hep already prepared the guestroom for you.“
Dave rolls his eyes.
„Hey, no fuzz! It’s just me and I intend to drive back to stay with me mom, Jack and Phil for a few days.“
„No way – it’s my birthday and you are very welcome! We haven’t seen and properly talked for ages! So face it – you are my guest!“
Seeing his bags appearing he has no more time to discuss the matter and reaches for his luggage.
„Alright, alright! Just got my stuff – I’ll see you soon then, mate! Cheers!“
When he stops in front of Alan’s mansion with shreaking brakes the said man appears broadly grinning in the door frame.
„A Porsche! Dave, Dave – do you ever grow up?!“
With a boyish smirk David jumps out off the black Carrera GT3.
„Only 1 hour and 4 minutes – go figure!“
He adjusts his shades on his nose tip and then meets Alan half way – both men embracing heartily.
„Happy Birthday, Alan!“
Slipping off his tanned glaces and fixing them to his t-shirt he quickly paces back to the posh car and fetches his luggage.
„Gosh, you’ve got a mansion, Alan! Do I have to call you ‘Sir Alan’ now?!”
His former band mate cringes in laughter.
“Now, now! On your knees, loyal subject!”
Oh, you wish for, Al! You always enjoyed being superior and obviously still do!
Both men walk along the hallway and Alan shows Dave where to find his room and everything. It`s really like a little castle. When they finally enter the spacious living room David admires the huge, metal plated fireplace. Solid work – strong and determined.
How befitting – Alan having a mind of steel sometimes – being so cold and hard!
Hep arrives with a tray, loaden with tea and sandwhiches. They hug and Dave detects the warmth and openness in Alan’s wife again – even after such a long time. She’s such a nice person after all!
Alan, you bastard! You do not deserve her!
David has to kick his own butt not to slide into a too negative mind circle. What did he know about this man in front him on the antique chair anyway? Mart was right – he shouldn’t reduce him to his less pleasant attitudes now. Seeing that certain glint in his vivid eyes that’s a tough call. At least he easily seems to find back into a talkative mood and after the little snack they go checking out Alan’s Side Line Studio, which is located in an ancient cottage. He revamped everything in the early nineties and Dave is stunned about all the nifty things he planned in and collected there to be independent from outer sources. A slight jolt of envy makes it through his stomach.
He walks up the spiral staircase to the mezzanine area. Alan follows close behind him. He nearly can sense his hot breath against his back. A fully equipped kitchen, bed- and bathroom – everything you could wish for. Nearly crashing into each other when David turns around to leave the kitchen again they stand there, facing each other.
You’re not up to what I think?!
“David – how do you do this? You’re in an awful great shape!”
His eyes roam over his well defined body – not for the first time this day.
“Running, work out, Yoga, healthy living. Not getting at the booze helps a lot, too. I have to do a lot to keep it this way.”
Alan smirks now.
“Yeah, and lots of sex I bet!” Then he turns serious again.
“I followed you over the years. Swirling around stage like a dervish still, geez! I’m really glad you got back on track after that horrible time.”
Sure! And you added some nice little horror to it yourself, you prick!
“Sorry, Dave – I didn’t want to dig that up again. Every fucking journalist does every year – I know.”
He reaches out to pat Dave onto his shoulder and moves closer. An uneasy feeling makes it through Dave’s body.
Stay away from me, Al!
“We better let the bygones be bygones.”
And with a typical faked smile Dave wants to pass Alan to go back downstairs as he hasn’t had a look at the basement where an underground water tank ingeniously was transformed into a drum booth.
“Dave…”, he’s held back by a strong arm. “I’m really sorry – about a lot of things.”
“Al, for the sake of our friendship – let it rest, please.”
A little after 7 pm the lounge is busy with around 20 people now. Most of them unfamiliar faces – nobody Dave has a closer relation to. A little chit chat here, a little banter there. He’s not really a fan of these kinda meetings. Good luck Alan told him there wouldn’d be anything big for this year’s birthday as next year would be his 50th – and that will be a big bang.
The blonde woman – what was her face – starts getting on his nerves now. She seems to think she’s so subtle moving closer and touching his thigh, then his bottom while grinning him into his face with her overly bleeched teeth. He excuses himself and flees for the restroom. After refreshing himself his steps lead him back to the lounge – hesitantly. Seeing Alan is busy talking with a few of his former pals from school he sneaks away and wanders along the corridor. Something is boggling in his mind and he can’t resist to take the stairway up – finally standing in front of Alan’s master bedroom. He already had a glimpse earlier when Alan showed him around the place.
The bed – made of chrome and steel – still fascinates him. Though the material is modern the style blends perfectly into the old environment. Mustering the headboard he already has some not so innocent thoughts cruising his mind. Much possibilities to tie somebody…
Nosey as he is he opens a door of the long, huge closet. Casual clothes – jeans, shirts, t-shirts. The next door reveals some female garments – apparently Hep’s department. He already wants to turn around but somehow the last door calls him to move closer. His jaw drops nearly to the floor. The first what catches his eyes is a pair of long, black leather boots – teaming up with another one – more hunting style. Various leather jeans and trousers, jackets – all in that shiny, dark shimmer. Three different riding crops are leaning against the side panel.
Dave has seen and smelled enough. The scent of the leather lets him tremble and crawlies make it down his back. He quickly closes the door and his view wanders over to the night stand.
One last peak! They must be missing me already downstairs!
Pulling at the top drawer on Alan’s side his heart misses a beat. Reaching into it he stares at a set of black, breaded silk bondage strings.
What completely escapes him - while he’s kinda transfixed on those soft yet enduring pieces of rope - is the shadow in the doorframe. Alan is standing there, a dangerous sparkling in his irises now. Then Hep’s voice travels up from downstairs.
“Alan, sweetheart? Where are you? There’s a call for you!”
Dave awakes from his trance and immediately stuffs the bits back into it’s place. Then he paces for the door, quickly checks and when nobody is seen he hurries down the stairs. He nearly bumps into that blonde bitch who must have been on the hunt for him. With a sardonic look and smile he brushes her arm off his shoulder.
“Luv, I’m a happily married man. Let’s not get into trouble, shall we?”
The evening stretches and Dave prays that the guests would have some mercy to leave before midnight. The jet lag keeps kicking in and he can’t hide a yawn. When he can see clearly again his eyes meet Alan’s by chance – and the stare – yes it’s not just an observing look – giving him crawlies. When Hep passes him he stops her gently, pulling a grimmace.
“Hun, I think I’m calling this a day – the time shift gets at me. I don’t want to disturb Alan in his chat. We’ll meet for breakfast. It’s been a wonderful evening!”
She hugs him and then pecks his cheeks.
“Have a good sleep, Dave. I will tell Al.”
Opening the door to the guestroom David does not switch on the main lights. It’s a full moon and the silvery shimmer is casted all over the interior. When he stumbles over his back pack he swears and decides to push the button of the little lamp on the night stand. The view onto his bed let’s the blood stop pounding in his veins. On the white, immaculate pillow lies something that wasn’t there before.
He couldn’t know! No way!
His fingers cramp around the thin, black bonds. The first thought is to pack his belongings and get the hell out off here. That would look silly. Who was Alan to frighten him and let him run like a little school boy?! With a disgusted expression Dave slams the ropes onto the side table and starts to undress. He’s too tired to think straight. Better get some sleep. This for sure was a call – and he would answer it immediately in the morning. Going to lock the door he recognizes there’s no key. Damn! Going to ask for one – out of the question! Alan is a sly fox.
Come on, Dave! That could be pure coincidence and you’re not going to make a fool out off yourself! He’s not coming in the wee hours, surprising you in your sleep, covering your mouth and try to rape you!
Eventhough he feels the urge to stay awake and alert – listening for any odd sound – his body finally shuts down and his eyes close.
The soft touch on his cheeks let’s him stirr unconsciously. He’s dreaming. It feels so good! Another hand at his face, tracing the contours of his lips. Darn, that’s a hell of a dream again and then Dave opens his eyes. The hand covers his mouth before he can yell.