Ashes still needs some work, but at least the crowd liked it. I liked it even better; it seemed to make Gemme being there bearable.
I hadn't expected the little kid to run up on stage, though. Not that it seemed to be a bad thing, it made me look like a nicer guy than I am.
That said, I'm terrified that Gemme's gonna come backstage again now.
I play through the rest of the set as best I can, but half way through, the only person I can look at is Gemme and the cravings make me want to crawl away and hide in a closet with the drugs. I can barely stand up, let alone play the guitar and sing with any real conviction.
I try, though. I know the other guys have been getting pissy at me for my shit performances the last week.
As we walk off into the dressing rooms backstage, Damien pats me on the back and Rayn walks beside me, laughing. "For being back somewhere you don't wanna be, you did pretty well, mate," he says, but I'm not listening. I can hear that kid behind me. I turn around.
"Someone wanted to say thank you," Gemme says and I look down at the girl. Alice, right?
"Hey," I smile at her, not looking at Gemme.
"Thank you." She grins, reaching her arms out for me. I pass my guitar to Rayn, who takes it into the dressing room with him as I crouch, motioning her over for a hug, my arms open. Alice runs into my arms and hugs me tightly. I return the hug and Gemme doesn't say anything, though I do glance up and see her smiling slightly.
After a moment, I let go, standing back up.
"Auntie Gemme, eh?" I mutter curiously. "Is this a pet name or has Ike been keeping something from us all?" I find the words spilling from my lips, just like the lyrics for Ashes did. I don't know why I'm talking. Shut up, Cancer, shut up right now.
She laughs, "this little one was left on my doorstep." Alice looks at Gemme, "I'm not little!" She protests. I smile.
"Course you're not," I tell Alice with a slight laugh.
"You're growing quick, aren't you?" Gemme asks and Alice nods with a grin, happy at herself.
"Well, I should, uh, probably go," I mumble, pointing vaguely behind me at the dressing room door, "we're thinking of working Ashes into the EP, but it still needs some work."
"Say goodbye Alice." Gemme urges, picking her up as she began to wave. "See ya uncle Luca." She squeaks and as Gemme lets out a short laugh, I can't help but frown a little. Uncle Luca?
"See ya Alice," I smile and turn away, shutting the door behind me. "Urgh," I groan, leaning on the door. Kat looks up at me, and tries to smile. I think she's recovered from earlier. I think.
"Rayn was just telling me you used to go out with that Gemme girl," she says bitterly, "you never said anything."
"No, why would I? She's an ex, and no one wants to hear about your past relationships," I shrug, sitting down with my guitar, plugging it into the small amp and turning to Rayn, "c'mon then, let's get this song album perfect," I say.
"That song is for her, isn't it?" Kat accuses, cutting Rayn off as he opened his mouth to suggest something. I just look at Rayn pointedly, ignoring Kat.
"Uh, yeah. I was thinking we could do it as an acoustic-"
"Luca!" Kat yells, making Rayn jump. I glare at her.
"We will talk about it later, Kat, I'm busy!" I snap back at her, but suddenly the mood for editing the song is gone. I sigh and slouch back. Kat's gotta go, I decide, she's getting in the way of the band as much as my temper is - which is quite an achievement, really.