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Authors: Portia MacIntosh

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BOOK: Starstruck
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with our drinks, we make our way towards the stage where the show is already in
full swing. Eddie, the singer, is upfront and smack bang in the middle. He’s very
typically good looking (think Alex Pettyfer, but brunette) and he really knows
how to work the crowd. The only time he isn’t surrounded by a crowd of girls is
when he’s on stage. He has his shirt fully unbuttoned, like he’s in Whitesnake
(circa 1980s) or something, and a guitar hanging off his body which I don’t think
I have ever seen him play, that’s Ben’s job. Ben is the lead guitarist, but he’s
probably the shyest member of the band. I’m not sure how old he is but he can’t
be more than twenty. He’s a new addition to TFTR (after their original
guitarist walked) and hasn’t quite acquired the same level of cockiness as the
rest of them, but given time I’m sure he will. Then we have the bassist, Mark.
Mark is probably the one I get on with the least because he’s taken that cheeky
cockiness that makes Eddie and Luke so likeable and mutated it into full-blown
arrogance. Even before they were famous, you could tell he thought he was the
shit. He’s never been anything but nice to me though, so I can’t complain, but
there is something very unattractive about a man who thinks that he is God’s
gift to women. In reality he’s a bit chubbier than the rest of the guys, his
short blonde hair always looks like it needs a good wash and I wish he would
have a shave - I am not a big fan of beards at the best of times but his
definitely has to go. As I’m staring at him I catch his eye and he gives me a
wink, so I give him a smile in return. Then I look at Luke, he’s sitting behind
the drums with his shirt off, sweat literally dripping off him as he bangs away
on his kit with real enthusiasm. I get that feeling again, that pang of
something in my chest. I think my heart just skipped a beat - how lame is that?

managed to push our way to the front of the crowd - at Gemma’s request, I’d be
happier blending into the background and pretending I’m important. As their
song comes to an end Eddie chats to his audience. I look over at Luke who is
downing a bottle of water and the moment he stops drinking, he spots me.
Standing up behind his drum kit and grabbing his microphone off the stand, he
interrupts Eddie.

Wilde, I see you! Guys we’ve got a very special lady in tonight, huge shout-out
to Nicole from Starstruck Magazine. She’s touring with us and we want her to
write nice things, so if you see her at the bar then buy her a drink!’ And with
that, he returns the mic to its rightful place and sits back down behind his

one is for you, Nicole!’ Eddie shouts as he bursts into their next song. I am
both smug and embarrassed in equal measure. Shout-outs are great, but
embarrassing, and because it was from Luke I can feel my cheeks flushing. I’m
hoping people will assume it’s because it’s warm in here.

guys put on one hell of a show and before I know it they’re about to play their
final song of the night.

this is our last song guys.’ Eddie stops talking to swig his beer, his audience
will wait. ‘Thank you so much for coming. We’re going to party here for a while
afterwards so come and say hello, and then we’re going to a club. Where’s cool
in Manchester?’ he asks in the faux American twang he always seems to adopt on
stage. His question is met by a series of shouted out suggestions from the
happy crowd, none of which are audible.

they play their final song and go off stage the nerves really hit me. I’m going
to have to have an actual conversation with Luke, and I can’t hide behind a
Skype window while I think of cool and clever responses. I am so worried he
brings the other night up but I’m even more worried that he doesn’t mention it
at all.

a quick trip to the bar for more drinks, I am chatting with Gemma when Eddie
and Mark come over to say hello. Like the good friend that I am, the first
thing I do is introduce Gemma to them, and if she is nervous then she isn’t
letting it show because she is so cool. As the four of us chat I feel two hands
on my waist and my heart jumps into my mouth because I know who it is. I spin
around in his gentle grip to see a slightly sweaty and unfortunately fully
clothed Luke Fox. He pulls me closer for a hug and plants a kiss on my cheek.

hello, Miss Wilde,’ he says, with the usual slightly flirtatious tone to his

Mr Fox,’ I reply – how very smooth of me.

shit, is this awkward? Someone needs to say something.

guys were awesome tonight,’ I tell him as the rest of the gang go back to their

you,’ he says before pulling me close and whispering softly into my ear. ‘I
think you and I need a conversation tonight don’t you, Nicole?’

my flat boots (which do not go with my dress at all) I have to lift myself up
onto my tiptoes to whisper back to him.

all depends on what you want to talk about, Luke.’ Now it’s my turn to sound
flirtatious. Before he can reply I am dragged back to the other conversation by
the band’s tour manager who has now joined us. I was far too wrapped up in Luke
to notice. Mick the tour manager hands me my laminated access all areas pass so
that I can get in and out of venues without needing to be on the guestlist or
with a band member.

we’re all stood chatting I take the opportunity to think over what just
happened with Luke. “We need a conversation” doesn’t really mean anything, does
it? No matter how flirty he was acting when he said it. I am snapped out of my
thoughts by Eddie who asks me something about the magazine. As I am answering I
feel Luke’s hand moving slowly down my back before resting softly on my bum.
I’m trying to give Eddie an answer, but I feel like everyone can see it on my
face, and I’m sure my cheeks are flushing again. My face cheeks that is.

as I start to relax the band are called away to do some photos. Time for some
more Dutch courage.

and I knock back a few more drinks as we watch the band chat to fans, pose for
photographs and sign autographs.

is surrounded by girls, as always, and Luke and Mark have a fairly big crowd
around them too, but Ben is sat to the side texting away on his mobile,
probably to his girlfriend. It must be strange for him to go from being an
unknown guitarist to being in a band like TFTR. I think he’s handled himself
really well though. It’s great that he’s still with his girlfriend, especially
considering the attitude towards women that the rest of the band seem to share.
Having said that, Eddie has had several girlfriends, it’s just that unfortunately
they have all been other people’s girlfriends.

see Luke walking over so I jump up from my stool, but the alcohol doesn’t seem
to want me to and I stumble straight into him. He catches me and asks Gemma how
many I’ve had.

I interrupt and I’m pretty sure I just winked.

going to some club down the road, are you ready to go babe?’ he asks, and I

has work in the morning so she has to go. I drunkenly see her to a taxi and wave
her off. I am caught by surprise by a pair of hands on my waist again, although
they’re not quite as gentle this time. I turn around and see Mark, the sleazy
bassist, and he looks like he’s had quite a bit to drink as well. I call him
sleazy because, like the Plastic Rap boys, Mark has always had an eye for the
younger ladies. Luke and I call him the torpedo, which Mark thinks is a pretty badass
nickname, but what we’re actually calling him is the tour-paedo.

Let’s go, we’re going to party!’ he slurs, his breath stinking of cider, as he
grabs me by the arm. I’m not entirely sure who is holding up whom but he is
stuck to me like glue all the way to the club. I don’t even get to talk to Luke
on the way there. I’m going to have to up my game.

Chapter Eight: The Mix-up


we’re inside the club everyone heads straight over to the bar and Mark pushes a
bottle of something colourful and alcoholic into my hand, which I happily
accept. He is attempting to make small talk with me, but I am too drunk to
focus on a word he is saying.

walks over to us and grabs my hand.

I have this dance, Wilde?’ he asks.

DJ is blasting out pop music - they’d never play a band like TFTR in a place
like this, which is probably why we’re here.

am dancing without any inhibitions thanks to the alcohol, and although it’s a
fast song Luke pulls me close and stares into my eyes. There’s something about
him that makes you feel like the most important person in the world when you
have his attention and it’s making me feel all funny inside. Either that or it’s
all the booze combined with the fast movements.

music is too loud to talk so we just dance, and after what feels like hours of
shamelessly flirting through movement he pulls me close and tells me he’ll be
right back. He gives me a kiss on the cheek and disappears into the crowd.

decide to try and find the other boys, rather than stand here dancing on my own.
I spy Ben sitting on his own, still messing around with that bloody phone, and
then I spot Eddie and Mark who are lining up shot glasses on the bar and
filling them with something I can’t quite make out. Noticing me, Eddie calls me

in time, would m’lady care for a shot?’ he asks.

I think I’ll give this round a miss, boys. I’m starting to sober up.’

it’s only 1am, so we can’t have that,’ Mark insists as he pushes the tiny glass
into my hand.

not, eh?’ I never did have much will power, which is probably why I go on to
drink another four. Any chance I had of sobering up is long gone.

dance!’ Mark shouts as he drags me to the dance floor. I don’t want to offend
him but I’d rather go and look for Luke. I wonder where he’s got to.

wanting to hurt Mark’s feelings I go along with it. Dancing with Mark is very different,
he dances like a drunken maniac although that is probably because he
one. He is spinning me around, dipping me - I’m feeling very sick but I have to
admit that I’m having such a good time. Maybe I’m misreading the signs, but I
could swear Mark is flirting with me. Some of his dance moves are a bit raunchy
and his hands are all over me. If I were perfectly sober I’d probably be
worried that people could see.

still no sign of Luke and before I know it Mark is dragging me to the bar for
last orders and we have yet more to drink. I’m officially drunk, although not
quite as drunk as Eddie, who throws his arms around me and tells me how much he
loves me, licking my face before falling to the floor. At this point Luke reappears.

Nic? You look a bit tipsy, darling,’ he says with a chuckle.

I’m fine,’ I protest, never one to admit that I’m drunk out loud.

Ed certainly isn’t, so we’re going to get a taxi back to the bus.’

and Ben grab one of Eddie’s arms each and carry him outside. Feeling a bit
unsteady on my feet, I lean against the bar.

see you outside,’ he calls back.

worry, mate. I’ll take good care of her,’ Mark calls after him, grabbing hold
of my hand as we follow them out.

around waiting for the taxi, my body starts to shake. I can’t really feel the
cold but I must be freezing. Mark gallantly slips an arm around me and rubs my
shoulders, so maybe he does have a sweet side after all.

looks over at us and gives me a concerned look, is he getting jealous?

two look cosy,’ Luke calls over.

little thing is freezing,’ Mark tells him.

it is a bit chilly out here,’ he replies, equally as cold. He gives me a
strange look but then his gaze is redirected to my ear.

you’ve got an earring missing.’

put both hands up to the sides of my head and he’s right.

it must have come out when I was dancing, do you think they’ll let me back in
to look for it?’ I slur as I wobble on my feet. I’m really regretting that last
drink. I can’t think straight and I can’t walk straight. As I head towards to
club the taxi pulls up and Ben begins trying to squash Eddie inside.

can only take four of you mate,’ the taxi driver calls, noticing that there are
five of us.

worry, mate,’ Mark calls back. ‘Don’t worry Luke, I’ll take Nicky back in for
her earring and then we’ll walk back, it’s not far and we’re not that drunk,
right Nicky?’

Marky!’ I give Luke a thumbs up - clearly not the actions of a sober girl. Luke
reluctantly gets in the taxi and they drive off, leaving me drunk and alone
with sleazy Mark, the tour-paedo.

we going to get my earring?’ I ask, actually remembering something that
happened in the past ten minutes.

we are,’ he says as he bends over and picks my earring up from the floor. ‘Oh
look, there it is. I must have been standing on it.’

few remaining sober thoughts are telling me that maybe something is up here.

BOOK: Starstruck
10.23Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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