The real job of the day was supposed to start after the completion of band practice. Ideally, all of them would get together and discuss the band and where they wished to go with it. After that, they would lay out their ideas and desires for Click to take back to Fire Brand. It was discussion, debate and development, ideal for and band worth listening to, and an important connection to the industry.
Click still had one of his notepads in the glove compartment. The first concept that had been thrown at him was Dim's demand for more beer, personally delivered by Julia. It had been a long time since Click had actually handed one of these little sheets of paper in. It was just smarter overall to stay out of trouble.
That task would not be one that he bothered with today. Dim, the singer and general idiot in charge, was in hospital, likely getting his nose fixed. Both members of the rhythm section, dubbed Rock and hard Plaice, had gone with him, muttering and complaining as they did so. Jerry, the guitarist, was easing his battered body with beer. This was far too often the case, but Click had already given up today. He had no interest in being helpful. He wanted to go home. Perhaps, if he was very lucky, Emily might still be there, keeping his bed warm, fast asleep and cute enough to make the world stand still and watch. The happiness that she had given him that morning had betrayed him; he needed another fix.
He parked in the car park behind his building. As had become habit, he looked over his shoulder as he clambered out and marked Emily's car sitting in the corner. It was a little dusty today - she had been working hard lately. The car belonged to Emily rather than Harmony. Harmony took taxis or limousines everywhere she went.
On the way up the stairs, he tried as hard as he could not to think of Julia, or the cleaning that he would have to do as soon as he walked into his flat. He didn't clean much; tidiness was nowhere near his list of priorities. Also, the building itself did not lend itself to the organised mind that was required for the survival of the clean. The smoke damage and dying plants might seem like an offence to the eyes of some, but this was home. Click had long since adapted to it. In fact, should it all disappear, he would most certainly miss it.
Upon reaching his door, he felt compelled for a moment to knock. He quickly brushed it aside, laughing at himself for the idea of knocking on his own door, and let himself in.
His eyes met the sight of soft female flesh straight away, almost honing in on it as the door opened. Emily was still there, in a towel, brushing her hair at his kitchen table. Her smooth things were on display; pale, long and supple. He followed them upwards instinctively, but the shadow of the towel defeated him. Click found himself standing there for a moment, basking in the view. Emily's hair was dripping onto his floor as she stroked through it. Each time, the motion made the material of his towel strain against her chest.
She laughed at his arrival, but didn't pause in her activities. I get that you know how to flatter a girl, but you make a terrible entrance, said Emily. If you were a superhero, I'd be rooting for the villain.
Why would anybody root for the hero? Heroes are boring and one dimensional. Evil's where all the cool kids hang out.
Click dumped his keys on the side and came fully into the room, closing the door behind him. His eyes found her cleavage, but, in trying to turn his attention away, he found himself watching her legs again. One of them, crossed on top of the other, was bobbing up and down ever so slightly to a rhythm that only she could hear. This, coupled with the little flapping of the material where her thigh met the towel, was almost mesmerising.
I won't be here much longer, she told him, closely examining the bathroom mirror that she had brought with her for the table. I have stuff to do, but I was here, so I thought I might as well shower here. Besides, you have strawberry shampoo for twelve year olds; I'm not going to pass that up. I'm not even going to ask why you never smell of strawberry, because it's everywhere.
This was good information, since the smell had been beginning to confuse him. He considered telling her that it belonged to some other family member, but he did just like the smell. Strawberries were his preferred fruit. It did make him miss the natural smell that she gave off when he was close to her, but it was an easy trade. A thought struck him that made him feel much better, and he wandered into his fridge to pull out a little container of fresh strawberries.
Her face lit up at the sight of them. Wow Josh, if I'd been wearing pants these would have charmed them right off. You're being quite the charmer today, what's the occasion?
Today is a disappointment but for you, he answered. I think that makes you deserving of a little flattery. You are quite the highlight.
Seeing the face of Harmony blush was a ridiculous notion, but it was a nicely common occurrence with Emily. The woman had cute down to perfection. She took her strawberries down in little bites, trying to evade his eye so that her cheeks could calm. Taking the opportunity, he took hold of the brush where it lay on the table and claimed the job of brushing her hair. It was damp rather than wet, and the brush moved as smoothly as the hand which he followed it with. Practically stroking her, he wasn't surprised when she gave him a little purr for his trouble, then giggled.
You're home early, Josh, she announced, breaking their comfortable reverie. Emily had another strawberry while she waited for him to take the lead in answering the question, but Click was hoping desperately that he wouldn't have to. I know your schedule pretty well by now. Today was rehearsals in Jerry's house, right? I know it is; I can smell cheap beer on your breath. If you were with Dim it would have been expensive whiskey, but Jerry drinks crap you don't even like. I don't even get why you drink it. So, what happened? I thought I'd be gone long before you came back. I was going to leave you a note with a stylish lipstick kiss on it.
That is pretty stylish.
I was also thinking of some sort of lipstick boobs, but I don't think it would have worked.
You could just show me boobs.
Could also not.
His nervous laugh offered a temporary salvation, so he hid behind it and wondered why she hadn't hit him. Usually, when he asked women to flash him, they hit him. Things just didn't pan out too great today, he settled on as his chosen subject. We did try to do practice, and it went really well for a while. I've said it before; Jerry's an insane guitarist. I tried making music once and I couldn't get past three notes. Anyway, things took a bit of a nosedive, like they always do, when Dim got there. He went all crazy and the two of them starting smashing shit out of each other. They both got beaten up pretty badly. Dim got his nose broken or just bust up or something. There was a fair chunk of blood. Jerry seems alright, but you know him; he'll be drinking until he can't feel the pain.
Metaphorically and realistically, added Emily sadly. Well I guess it's payback, and karma in a way. Jerry's had a bloody nose from Dim before now.
It's getting ridiculous though. They can't even be in the same room together without bitching and fighting. It's like their school children.
Well, you know what they're like, continued Emily. The strawberries were all gone now, but she was sitting still, obviously enjoying the attentions that he was giving her. Do you have a plan or something for how to sort this out? You're still in a pretty bad situation overall. You have to do something or things are only going to get worse.
I guess I kind of have something in mind, Click explained. A friend of mine, well, a work mate of mine, will be coming into town to try and help me out. She's going to be staying here for-
erm, yeah. She's from Fire Brand. Matthew Cooper's personal assistant in fact. I'm hoping she'll be able to-
Why is she staying here?
Emily's interruptions were oddly telling and extremely unexpected, but Click didn't let this stop him from continuing. She's the sort of girl who makes the rules and then makes everybody else live by them. She thinks that this is the only way to sort things out without making it too obvious that that's what she's doing. I'm not very confident, you know? Harmony might lose a few bookings.
I'm sure she'll get over it. What's this woman's name?
Julia Barratt, replied Click. She'll be turning up some time later today and taking over my bedroom. I have a lot of cleaning to do before she comes.
Sucks to be you, came the casual response. I'd best get my clothes out of your bathroom before she arrives then. I'm sure you wouldn't want her finding another woman's knickers lying around.
Honestly, she probably still thinks I'm a virgin. It would be a huge bonus to me.
This amount of laughter that this brought about was embarrassing. Click stopped the motions of the hair brush, and, seeing this, Emily left the chair behind to head towards his bathroom. I'll leave them behind then. It wouldn't be the first time. You can rub it in her face. Just make sure you don't rub them in her face, unless she likes that sort of thing. I know you do.
You're a filthy woman, he mocked.
You need a filthy woman.
The bathroom door didn't close. Emily just knelt down to pick up her discarded garments. A pair of pink underwear, with some writing on the front, were abandoned there and, catching him watching her, Emily just winked at him.
I'd best be going. Give my regards to the new gal pal, Joshy boy. Hopefully you'll be able to convince her that you've got your cock wet somewhere, just let me know how I can help in that torment and I'll do what I can.
Well, Click began as she passed him, heading for the door while still wearing just a towel, you could-
Well then you're not really helping, are you?
She turned to regard him with a smile so teasing that he suddenly felt about four years old. Saying no more, Emily opened the door, scanning the corridor outside before walking backwards out of it. Before she left however, she whipped the towel away from herself and threw it towards him, being his property and all. Unable to see anything because of the item thrown at him, Click let out a little curse when he dragged it out of the way to see that Emily had run.