I smiled happily at my coffee and took a sip, glad that the new shop wouldn’t be a loss. My phone rang loudly as I dug through my purse looking for it. I thought I could easily juggle walking and finding my phone, but as I wasn’t all that talented, I couldn’t.
“Oh fiddlesticks. I’m so sorry; I should’ve been paying more attention to where I was going.” I steadied myself as I spoke; thankful I had worn sneakers today. The guilt that usually made me feel responsible for everything let up as the man was still on his feet and had not been knocked on his ass at all. Feeling a bit embarrassed, I lightly bit my lip and offered a friendly hand shake.
He gladly took my hand and shook it with a firm grasp but soft movements. “No need to apologize. It’s just as much my fault as it is yours. Too many thoughts all trying to get your attention can be dangerous.” The guy softly laughed and that’s when I realized who I was talking to. I had simply thought he was a plain Joe that I’d never have to face after this whole debacle, but I was wrong. “Life is too busy.”
“The guys are a little too much for you, Shane?” I smiled, pressing my luck a bit. “I heard you were working on a new album and a big tour was coming up. Are you having second thoughts?” Casual; act completely casual. It wasn’t like I was looking to attack him and beg for an autograph. Talking to Axel Shane was as good as I would’ve ever thought possible, so pulling a fan girl squeal was not even a thought, except thinking about how I wasn’t thinking about it.
“No, I love going on tour. Hell, I spend most of my time writing new songs so we can go on another tour. The guys are fine too. It’s just something they said that’s getting to me.” Axel put his hand in his pocket, pulling out a cigarette. “Have we met before? It was most likely at a signing after a concert.”
“We haven’t met before, but I listen to the band and you probably… haven’t read one of my books. I’m Evangeline McCoy. A few years ago, I suggested that you guys should take a couple fans out for a day or something fun like that, but you guys must not have read it, which is fine because you might pick up some deranged stalker who wants to sell your tissues on eBay.” I cringed at the thought of someone being so obsessed with snot.
Axel lit his cigarette and took a puff, before speaking. “I remember that. Greg said something about it being dangerous and scared a couple of the guys into refusing the idea. None of the other bands had done anything like that to really connect with their fans, so I was all for it.” He nodded in the direction of my phone as it loudly vibrated, notifying me of a voicemail. “Is someone looking for you?”
I had completely forgotten about my phone, which had actually managed to land me here. “It’s just my publisher, John. He’s a bit bossy, but you can’t blame him. I had better go, before he puts out an APB and throws a fit. Maybe we’ll see each other later.” I started toward the crosswalk, before Axel stopped me.
“Actually, the guys and I were planning on getting together tonight to celebrate the release of our second album with all of us together. Simon is bringing Jessica, so I don’t think anyone would mind if you wanted to come along… with me.” He blushed a little, lightly playing with his lip piercing. “What do you say; diner, some alcohol, and a cool party?”
What?!? Wait a tick. Was Axel Shane, THE Axel Shane of the band Delusional Nightmare, asking me to have diner with him and the rest of the band? Whoa. “What about deranged stalkers who sell tissues? For all you know, I could very well be one.”
He shrugged his shoulders, tucking his free hand in his pant pocket. “You don’t seem like the type of girl who’s going to send me a picture of myself that was taken while I was alone. Besides, I already have a few of those.” A puff from his cigarette and a casual smile.
((If you are confused, all will be revealed in time, so be patient.))