There was still plenty of noise when Paul hit his last note of the night. Of their originals Ruin was undoubtedly his favourite. It was open ended, with a million and one riffs they could add on to the end and simply play to their heart's content. However, Paul's heart was quite content and his throat was sore. One last barrage on his toms was Jace's way of saying that he was in full agreement.
Getting the idea Ed and Adam ceased their melodic requests to continue, marking the end of their set. The forty-strong crowd of teenage students gave an appreciative cheer and a smattering of applause before returning to their conversations and, more importantly, their drinks. One thing Paul loved about student house parties was that nobody really paid much attention.
Lifting the borrowed bass guitar over his head smoothly he leant it against the wall and brushed the hair out of his eyes. As was becoming usual loose strands had gotten into his mouth while he was singing. It just wasn't long enough to tie back yet. He had stopped cutting it on his birthday several months earlier and, at this point, it was just a mass all over his head. Inescapable and with no recogniseable form.
The band that owned the instruments they had been using were currently slumped in a corner surrounded by bean bags and women. Paul felt no urge to interrupt them by reminding them that they were up next. For a moment he wondered what he was supposed to do but then he felt the strong arm of Jace on his back.
"I want food, I want booze and I don't want to wake up and celebrate my own intelligence," Jace proclaimed, counting his objectives out on his fingers. "Mr. Bass I shall discover you later," as he left the cold and damp basement he stopped and turned to make one last addition. "I'll be so drunk it'll be like a brand new species I've come across," and with that he was gone up the stairs.
Turning to see what the rest of the band was planning Paul immediately saw the answer. Adam's girlfriend Veronica was already on his arm reminding him of all he did well while he lamented his mistakes. This was something he was familiar with. Veronica was a fairly new girlfriend and, at first, Adam had wanted her to be in the practise room with them. Paul had turned the request down quite vehemently, knowing that he would be focussing on her instead of the music, but she still ended up waiting outside the room whenever they were leaving it. She was an extension of him now.
Ed had, as usual, taken one step forward only to be swamped by the three girls and two guys who made up his fan club. They were again tormenting him with questions of the hows and whys of his playing style. Ed didn't talk, they knew they would get no answers, yet still they tried. Paul, and all of Disbelief, where very very pleased to have managed to snare Ed from their University before any other band had managed to snatch him. He was an incredible player who had been playing for nearly a decade and could play virtually anything.
His band mates accounted for and seemingly happy, with the usual exception of Adam, the singer decided it was time to get himself a drink. Casting his eyes around for someone he knew to talk to while drinking his eyes were drawn instantly to Ally. She was a nineteen year old film and media major. She was just over five feet tall with brown hair down to her elbows. On the right side of her hair, just at the front, was a streak of purple. Nevertheless it was her emerald green eyes that had always captivated him. Eyes that even now were locked in his. Quickly he found himself passing through the crowds of people to get beside her.
"Whiskey or beer?" she inquired is her high pitched voice as he reached her. She was leant against a wall as all the chairs were taken up. It seemed to be common practise for one seat to have three or four people on it, but even more people were stood in whatever small spaces could be found. Ally was offering him two plastic cups.
"I'm feeling good about that performance," Paul replied thoughtfully, "I'm not after anything too strong, beer will do nicely thanks."
The moment he took the cup from her she brought the other to her lips and drank it all. Puzzled, Paul raised his eyebrow in an obvious and unspoken question. Ally blushed slightly. It was a rare sight and Paul treasured it. Ally's answer however, was the last thing he had expected.
"So yeah," the brunette began sheepishly, obviously stalling for time, "I kind of told the ex that we were dating."
"No no shut up he's only over there!" she cut him off quickly, putting her finger on his lips to emphasise the point, "just let me explain okay? You remember what happened between me and Seany right?"
She lifted her finger from his lips slowly and rather needlessly. Paul chose not to open his mouth, instead he simply nodded in response to her question. Sean's homosexual experimentations had been well documented, especially by the people who had been unfortunate enough to be unknowingly on the recieving end of what Sean had informed then was a little harmless gay chicken. In the ranks of Ally's ex boyfriends this was a quite collosal issue and they had broken up in the middle of a club in town. Paul had been a witness. It had not been pretty.
"Well it seems he wants me back, but I'm really really not interested," Ally sighed, though it did nothing to ease the tense parts of her body. "As if he couldn't wait a little longer to go out hunting sex. As if I wasn't enough. I hate him," she paused briefly and, realising she had wandered a little off topic, went back to how she had began. "Well he always felt threatened by you so I thought I'd give him a taste of his own medicine," multiple times her eyes flickered off to his right, undoubtedly to the ex who's wayward groin had been the cause of all these issues. "It's not like I'm asking you to kiss me or anything."
The feeling of daggers assailing his heart was a familiar feeling to him during conversation with Ally. She did tend to say things that served to remind him of how much he would very much like to kiss her. Thankfully distraction came quickly when the student singer realised that Adam was hailing him from across the room.
"Bass! Bass!" the guitarist was shouting over the roar of feedback that turned out to be the next band setting up. Evidently the band were as surprised to find themselves performing as their audience were. Their blissful faces told of an inebriation deeper than alcoholic. Paul looked away.
"Bass!" Adam called out one last time as his feet arrived at their destination beside Paul. "I'm sorry about that E minor nine man."
Unfortunately this inevitable outpouring was something Adam did after every practise and, judging by their first gig a week previous, it was something he was intending to do after every performance too.
"It's alright," Paul replied calmly, "I'm willing to bet only me and Ed noticed. You did well up there for only your second time."
"What's it like being in a proper band then Adam?" Ally interjected.
"It's awesome," Adam replied fervently. "Beats the hell out of sitting in my room strumming along to Guns N' Roses."
"Masturbation euphemisms get weirder and weirder," was her response. "Where's Veronica?"
"She's upstairs getting drinks for us. Ed's gone up too. Are you guys coming?"
When she linked arms with him Paul felt a buzz of electricity run through him, inflaming his blood. He knew it was just for show but, as usual, Ally had captured every nuance of his attention. It was also the first time he had picked up the scent of her perfume. It must have been quite strong for him to be able to smell it over the permeating scent of body odour that filled this basement.
"Yeah," the beautiful creature on his arm answered for him, "let's go and get drunk."
"Alright," Paul added as she began to drag him towards the stairs, "but if there's any drama because of this little white lie of yours you owe me blowjobs."