U-N-I Ch. 25 – The New Guy

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The boys are back!! I know it’s been a while but me and my dear editor and co-writer S_Isemen have started writing new chapters. Let me tell you, you wouldn’t be reading more if I hadn’t got a lot of help! This chapter (and the next ones) was written thanks to a successful and effective team work!

Before you read, I recommend you get reacquainted with the new guy on the crew the boys had a conversation about in chapter 23 when they’re in Tokyo.

This chapter starts where chapter 23 ended. Hope you like it! (Oh, and there is no covid-19 in their world!)

————————————-

“Are you gonna be able to not let anything on?” Rach asked me as soon as I ended my call to Rob’s mother.

I let out an anxious huff. “I have to stop thinking about it for now. I think I need some time to realize this is actually happening.”

She wiggled her eyebrows happily.

“Why did I have to talk to you about it?” I complained jokingly.

She let out a giggle. “Cause you knew that if you did — you’d have to go through with it. Now it’s on!” she beamed.

“Crap!”

“Come on, don’t start panicking yet!” she joked.

We hugged briefly,

“I know I’ve told you this a million times but I’m so glad you forgave me, I hated myself for hurting you,” I whispered.

“I know,” she confirmed, “didn’t then, do now. It was easy to forgive you in the end, it’s just so damned obvious that you and Rob belong together. But at least I’ll always be able to say you loved me first,” she giggled.

“Still do,” I said.

She smiled. “I love you too.”

She rubbed my back for a short moment, then said,

“Go on. Go and turn yourself into my pal the rock-god mega-star!”

“What am I the rest of the time?” I asked as we let go of each other and began walking back toward the stage.

“Just my pal, obviously.”

The guys were already getting ready for the stage-checks we were about to do. Rob rapidly came over to me. He placed both his hands on my shoulders and made me take a few steps backwards.

“Gotta talk to you,” he said, then looked at Rachel who was standing next to me.

“Enjoyed your girl-time?” he asked us.

Rachel and I looked at each other, unsure of what to say, she nodded and made a funny face as she tried to find something to say,

“Yes — yes — definitely — definitely one of our best!” she stammered playfully.

Rob looked at her with suspicious eyes.

“What’ve you been doing?” I asked to change the subject.

He glanced around briefly and then he looked at me again,

“Checking out the new guy,” he said in a whisper. “his name’s Nick by the way.”

“Oh… And?” I asked with obvious curiosity.

Rachel shook her head,

“You guys are incorrigible!” she exclaimed laughingly.

Rob and I watched her as she walked away from us and then Rob said,

“So I was talking to Tom when his phone rang and quite coincidentally we weren’t far from where Nick was setting up your guitar racks and getting your guitars ready,” he began explaining, sort of whispering, “when Tom ended the call, he obviously wasn’t happy so I asked what the problem was, turns out the guy who drove us here’s come down with a stomach bug and he’s had to go back to their hotel.”

“Oh, that sucks.”

“Yeah. But wait,” he interrupted me with a smile. “Straightaway Nick pipes up and says he’d be happy to dep in. Apparently, he studied In Japan so he’s not afraid of getting behind the wheel here. Tom went off to check all the insurance stuff so I got a chance to have a quick chat with Nick before Steve came over.”

Steve was our head sound and light engineer he’d worked on all our big tours, if he was good with this Nick guy taking over from Calvin so was I.

“So what did you talk about, the weather?” I asked eagerly, “And what happened about the driving?”

“Tom said all’s good for Nick taking over as our chauffeur,” he said with mischief.

I let out a laugh,

“Well, at least we’ll have the opportunity to get to know him on the run back to the hotel.”

Rob turned around again to look at what the new guy was doing. Obviously he was waiting for us to start the sound-check so Rob grabbed my hand and we began walking closer to him. He smiled, holding out a hand to me as soon as I got within arm’s reach.

“Hello, I’m so happy to meet you. I’m Nick, Calvin’s replacement but you probably know that already,” he said, casting a swift small smile toward Rob. Up close he was even better-looking than I’d first thought.

“Yeah, Rob told me.”

“I don’t mean to worry you, but it looks like I’m really being thrown in at the deep end tonight.”

“Are you?”

“The original plan was for Jamie to dep in for Calvin as your guitar-tech for the next couple of gigs to give me a chance to observe the guitar change-overs and I’d be working side-stage monitoring with Shelley but she’s come down with the same thing that your driver’s got. Jamie told Steve he’d rather stick with the monitoring given the circumstances and Steve knows urfa escort my speciality’s the guitar work anyway so as of now I’m your go-to guy!

“Alright, works for me,” I smiled.

“I’ve been studying the set list, Calvin left me his notes for the changeovers and I think I’ve got the tunings noted but if you could find time to go through it with me later it’d be a big help.”

“We could do it before we start the checks,” I offered.

“No, I don’t want to interrupt your usual routine, I’ll watch and listen and hopefully afterwards I’ll get a chance to reassure you that I know what I’m doing.”

The devil on my shoulder was giggling and asking what else he might know how to do, fortunately the angel on the other one was reminding me that he was married. At the same time, I noticed Rob’s lips twitch and I just knew that his own devil was doing the same thing as mine.

At that precise moment Steve called for everybody’s attention and told us that it was time to go to work. Nick grinned at us and a dimple popped in his right cheek — this guy was getting hotter by the minute!

He was as good as his word and as the sound-check progressed he never moved from the bank of back-line speakers closest to me; I saw him making notes on his tablet each time I swapped guitars.

When Dylan, Jord and Damon left the stage Rob came to stand beside me and waved Nick over,

“So now you know how disorganised we are when left to our own devices,” Rob chuckled.

“Yeah, I had been warned,” Nick grinned, the dimple putting in another appearance, “seriously, though, would you mind if I swapped a couple of things around? Let me show you.”

He explained the changes, he wanted to make. Rob and I watched transfixed as Nick picked up my Telecaster, the guitar I always opened with, and perfectly played the final chords of “Adventure Of A Lifetime” before setting the instrument on its stand and reaching for my Les Paul; he shook his head slightly and his brows furrowed after he’d gone through the last notes of “Every Tear Is A Waterfall” then put the Gibson aside to swap to my Stratocaster. He went through all the changes in order and then did the same with Rob’s smaller array of guitars, including continuing to play the last few bars of music that came before each change.

“I’d bet,” he mused as he returned Rob’s acoustic to its rack, “that as you’ve added more axes, you’ve just extended the line, yes?”

“Well, yeah, I suppose so,” I replied, nor sure where he was going with this question.

“Hmm, well, if I were to swap the racks for the Tele and the Strat, then move the acoustic over and put the Les Paul between the Fenders they’d be in some semblance of a logical order. Oh, and your tuning’s off, I’ll double-check the Tele against Jordan’s bass and Rob’s Strat, but I think you’re putting out 438 not 440 on the Tele.”

My jaw dropped, the man had no auto-tuner to hand yet he’s been so precise in his pronouncement,

“How the freaking hell can you tell? Did you check before we came out and not re-tune?”

“No, I picked up the change in it about halfway through the sound check, I’ll take a look at your machine-heads and pickups and I’ll re-string it. I’ve got perfect pitch, so it sort of stands out to me,” he laughed, “I’ll check them again before you go on, word is the humidity’s going to change quite a bit tonight so it’ll probably affect the strings.”

My eyebrows rose as I looked at Rob, this guy really did know his stuff and apparently was also able to help run the side-stage mixing for our in-ear fold-back.

“Cheers, um, well, look, as long as I get the right guitar, for the right song, in the right tuning I’ll leave the rest you,” I laughed.

“Trust me, it’s my job to keep you guys happy,” he smiled.

Gaydar! Was he flirting with us?

“I’m sure you will,” Rob smiled, and I knew that he was thinking the same thing – again.

“Come on, leave the man to do his thing, we need to get ready to do ours,” Rob said to me.

I was sure I’d heard Nick mutter,

“If you need any help,”

but he was crouching down to look at the Tele’s pick-ups, so I couldn’t be certain.

As soon as we got off the stage we all but ran to our dressing-room, I quickly closed and locked the door having virtually thrown Rob into the room.

“Hundred and fifty per cent straight my ass!” I laughed.

“Or rather his,” Rob guffawed.

“Dibs on first go,” I blurted.

“Best of three, rock, paper, scissors,” he retorted.

“You know I always lose at this game!” I complained.

“I know,” he grinned. “Here’s the deal! If I win I get to take your ass before we go on stage just so you don’t feel neglected when I’m fucking Nick later while he sucks you off,” he laughed.

“Okay, I’m in,” I laughed too and we began playing the game.

“You really suck at this!” he said after I’d lost. “Are you still gonna be able to walk on stage tonight?” he joked.

“Yeah, yeah, don’t worry so much about me. You get the water running, I’ll get my butt ready uşak escort for you!”

“You do realise,” I said later as we dressed to go on stage, “that we were deciding who would to be doing what to whom when we don’t even know if Nick’s into guys,” I sniggered, pulling on a black tee with the colourful artwork of our last album on the right shoulder and left side.

“Aw, come on!” Rob exclaimed, “I know he got your gaydar going as soon as you laid eyes on him — and then the stuff he did and said…,” he said looking at me with raised eyebrows.

“Well yeah, but the guy’s married Rob, maybe he just flirts a bit.”

He smirked playfully,

“Well how about we try to give him something to remember us by?”

I chuckled,

“Look Rob, lusting after him, thinking about the three of us getting together is a bit of fun but realistically this is somebody we’ll be working with to the end of the year or beyond, so maybe we’d best give this some thought before we do anything about it.”

“You can be such a buzz killer,” Rob complained.

“And besides, didn’t we say no more threesomes?” I shot back.

He thought about it,

“We said that if the opportunity presented itself then we should really discuss it and set clear boundaries.”

I looked intently into his eyes,

“That’s true. We did say that.”

“We also said that perhaps we should have just one more threesome, before we turn thirty that is.”

“Sort of,” I put in, I knew he was misquoting himself but I wasn’t going to interrupt him as I wanted to know where he was going with this.

Indeed, he had been the one to say we should leave threesomes behind with our twenties. I’d thought then that each of us cheating — however briefly — had had a lot to do with his suggestion. And him getting me to put the word ‘husband’ rather than ‘boyfriend’ into the idea of watching him with another guy had also made me re-think the whole concept.

“Well I didn’t necessarily mean not having any after, just that maybe we could wave goodbye to our twenties with one,” he grinned.

“Does this mean you might be up for it?” I asked with a grin of my own.

“Let’s wait and see. But hey we’ve got the drive back to the hotel to test the water,” Rob giggled.

“Yeah, god he’s so attractive. Have you seen that dimple?”

“Hey, careful what you say in front of me, I might get jealous.”

I tilted my head and pouted at him.

“And you know what happens when I get jealous,” he laughed as he walked towards the door. ” Very cute dimple though.”

. . . .

“Any time you’re ready,” Nick said quietly, just after we’d said goodbye to the last of the Japanese music journalists who’d joined the band in the Green Room after the gig.

He stood by the door, waiting patiently as we all checked that we’d left nothing behind, ‘idiot checks’ Rachel called them.

“So how was it, losing your U-N-I virginity?” Jordan laughed, wrapping his arm around Nick’s shoulder as we all walked to the stage door.

Rach was leading our party, with Dylan and Damon immediately behind her. They laughed loudly at his words, allowing Rob and me to do the same.

“It was even more astounding than I’d been expecting,” Nick replied.

“Thanks for sorting the problem with the Tele,” I said.

“Like I said earlier, it’s my job to keep you guys happy,” he answered.

Had he winked? I thought about it for a couple of seconds and decided that it had been a combination of the bad lighting in the corridor and the alcohol I’d consumed, but I wasn’t fully convinced that was the case.

“Well you made a damned good start,” Rob told him.

“Hey wait a minute, where’s the guy who drove you here?” Jordan asked suspiciously when he noticed Nick getting into the driver’s seat.

“He’s come down with the same thing Shelley’s got,” Rob told him. “Wanna continue the game?”

“I’ve got at least five guesses ready for you!” Jordan answered.

“Hit me!” Rob said as we climbed into the back of the black Chrysler Aspen.

Nick pulled out of the car-park behind the vehicle the rest of our crowd were in,

“When were you studying here?” I asked Nick while Rob began playing a game with Jordan on his phone.

“I was doing my Master’s degree so about seven or eight years ago, but I’ve been back since mostly for work and a couple of holidays.”

“What did you study?”

“Metallurgy, I wrote a riveting dissertation on the audio properties of alloys and their changes under stress,” he laughed.

“And now you work for a bunch of ding-bats who walked away from education the first chance we got!” Rob laughed.

“Yeah, well, what I didn’t tell my parents was that while I was at university, I’d also signed up for extra studies, part-time, the course was run at a recording studio in Loughborough.”

“Frigging hell, stop it you’ll fry my brain just thinking about it,” I laughed along with Rob.

“I’d bet that if you wanted to, you’d walk the sound engineering and recording course I did, van escort you’ve been living it for over a decade,” Nick told us, “in fact I reckon you could teach it!”

“Too busy having fun dude!” Rob exclaimed.

“Who says I’m not?” Nick gave us a glance in the rear-view mirror and smiled.

Yep. Definitely flirting!

“Any ideas? I can’t find which one this is!” Rob asked me.

“Lemme see,” I said.

They had spent a good hour before stepping on stage playing the ‘guess the emoji movies’ on their phones, sending each other a sequence of emojis from the messaging icons and guessing the movie title from them. I used the opportunity to pull Rob close to me and draped my left arm round his shoulders. I stroked my right hand slowly up his thigh as I looked down at the emojis on his screen and saw a woman and a man dancing and a non-entry sign.

“Not ‘Sexy Dance’, not ‘La La Land’, not ‘Billy Elliot’…,” he put in.

“Dirty Dancing?” I suggested.

“Too easy.”

For a minute, I struggled to find another movie title and as I thought about it, I couldn’t resist flicking a fingertip over the head of his cock that was forming a small bulge in his trousers.

“Stop it!” he hissed in my ear, “or I’m going to have to molest you right here in front of him.”

“Wonder where that would take us,” I giggled quietly and then gasped, “Oh, what about Footloose?”

He nodded and then grinned,

“Of course.”

I smiled and began kissing his cheek as he typed the answer. Then I forced him to drop his head back to let me tease his neck and throat.

“Oh fuck babe, don’t,” he moaned.

“What the hell,” I thought, it could be one way of testing the waters as far as Nick was concerned, so I began kissing and licking Rob’s neck then nibbled on his ear-lobe.

“Mmmm, love that,” he whispered.

“I know.”

“Your hotel’s about two minutes away but if you want to carry on I could take you for a drive around the city,” Nick told us.

“Sorry,” I said, “much as a tour of the city sounds tempting, we wouldn’t want to put you off working with us when you’ve only just joined the crew.”

“Man of the world over here guys, don’t worry about it.”

“Yeah, comfortable as this car is, I want to take this gorgeous boy to bed,” Rob put in.

“You and millions of others,” Nick chuckled and Rob looked at me with a smirk that said ‘you were right’.

“Here we are. I’ll see you tomorrow, as I’m now also your designated driver, I’ll be ready to take you out and about whenever you call me,” he said, smiling, “Here, take this,” he added after he had stopped the car outside the hotel, he passed us a business card,

“Nick Bradshaw B.Sc. M.Sc.

Sound & Light Engineer

Guitar support specialist — stage & studio.”

it read along with his contact info.

“Cheers, we may treat ourselves to a lazy morning but Rob’s keen to try out his Japanese, personally I hope he doesn’t. He almost started an international incident last time!”

“It’s all in the intonation, putting emphasis on a word or even just part of one at the wrong time can change what you’re saying from a compliment to a really bad insult.”

“Right, that does it, I am hereby promoting you to our official interpreter,” I sniggered.

“Post accepted,” Nick smiled.

As he was about to get out of the car to open the door for us, he stopped,

“Um, guys, what are we supposed to do about this?” he asked as he noticed a large number of fans waiting for us outside the hotel. “Do you need me to get the hotel security?”

“No, it’s fine,” Rob said nonchalantly, “as long as they’re nice and there aren’t too many of them, we always stop to chat and sign autographs. They’re here because they know that.”

“Want me to stay? I mean, I am your official interpreter, aren’t I?”

“Yeah. Let’s see one more of your many talents!” I smiled at him, making it obvious that I was flirting with him.

Rob cleared his throat and pushed me closer to the door. Nick obviously caught on and he smiled back at us before getting out and coming round to open the door for us.

—-

“Tell me you really don’t want to take his ass!” Rob exclaimed as he pushed me up against the wall as soon as we were safely in our hotel suite.

He had his body pressed hard against mine and I could feel his erection straining the denim of his jeans in its eagerness to escape.

“I didn’t say I didn’t want to,” I gasped as he copied what I’d done to his neck in the back of the car on mine, “but with him being on the crew, banging him may not be the wisest of moves.”

“You heard him, he’s a man of the world,” he said, licking my earlobe.

“Yeah, a married one,” I said before my lips returned to his, “he was so good at speaking Japanese with the fans,” I said.

“Tell you what, you can pretend I’m him while you do me,” Rob chuckled.

I took his face gently between my hands and looked deep into those fabulous green eyes of his,

“Babe, I could never imagine you being anybody but you, no matter what we’re doing.”

“Aw, really?”

“Oh yeah, you’re perfect just exactly as you are.”

“Nooo, that’s you, I’ve always told you that.”

“Alright, so maybe we can imagine he’s here… tell me, what would you like to do to him?” I asked with horniness in my voice.

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