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The door shut and any light that had once illuminated the tiny room, no matter how little, was now totally obliterated by the darkness. It took Avery a minute to process what had just happened. It was almost too much to believe. How could he have been stupid enough to have allowed this to happen? He should have let Rick come with him but Avery never thought that Mikey would have been bold enough to try something at the concert hall of all places. There were too many witnesses, security, and of course Mikey would be the first one that they looked at when Avery didn’t turn up.
He sat up and leaned back against something cold and hard. His stomach hurt but he couldn’t think about that now. He had to get out of that room, and fast. Just being shut up in there was beginning to make him panic. He’d never done well with small, enclosed places. Avery fished around in his pocket until he found what he was looking for, a lighter. He held the lighter up and flicked it. The tiny flame cut through the darkness easily but still wasn’t enough to light the entire room. Avery moved the light around him as he took in his surroundings.
He was in a small supply closet. The hard, cold, thing he’d felt behind him was a metal shelf that held various cleaning products. A mop and broom hung on the back wall, and right in front of him was the door. He stood up, grimaced from the pain in his gut, then moved cautiously towards the door. He listened for a moment to make sure Mikey was gone, then he hit the door with his fist. “Hello?” He yelled. “Is anyone there? Help me!”
The metal of the lighter had heated to the point of burning his thumb so he quickly let it go out and shoved the lighter back into his pocket. He hit the door again, this time harder. “Can anyone hear me?” He screamed into the darkness. “Please, someone, anyone…I’m in here!” He knew it was hopeless. Screaming metal would be taking the stage at that very moment. Most of the staff as well as security would be back stage, helping with the set up, and basically just seeing that everything ran smoothly. Rick and the others would begin to worry when Avery didn’t return, but had he actually told any of them where he was going? He couldn’t remember.
At this point it was unlikely that anyone would enter the break room, or be able to hear his cries from the hallway outside. Avery leaned his head against the door and sighed. It was hopeless. Even as he let his hands slide along the smooth surface of the door looking for the door handle, he had no hope of getting free, and as he suspected, the door was locked from the outside.
“This is bullshit!” He yelled as he punched the door hard. He pulled his hand back and grimaced from the stinging pain that shot through it. “It’s over.” Whispered into the darkness. His heart sank. Once again he’d found himself in an impossible situation because he was too stubborn and too sure of himself to listen to Rick. Avery sat back down against the hard, concrete floor. He drew his knees up to his chest and hung his head. He knew that someone would find him eventually. But by the time they did, it would be too late. Mikey had won and Avery hated himself for letting that happen.
“He should be back by now.” Rick was standing by the door, nervously looking out into the empty hall. Screaming metal was already setting up. Desire went on after, and Avery still wasn’t back yet. Rick had a sick feeling in the pit of his stomach. “I shouldn’t have let him go alone.” He groaned. “Damn it, how could I have been so stupid?”
Cole glanced over at the couch where Avery had left his duffel bag with his clothes. “His stuffs still here.” He said.
“He wouldn’t just walk out on us.” Rick snapped.
“I didn’t mean to imply anything.” Cole said. “Just thinking out loud.”
“No one thinks that.” Kat put a hand on Rick’s shoulder. “I am starting to get a little worried though. How long does it take to get a couple of drinks?”
“Where’s the nearest pop machine?” Trash asked.
“Break room, end of the hall.” Rick told him. “I’m sure that’s where he was going.”
Trash shrugged as he walked past Rick and out into the hall. “Let’s check it out then.”
“Will the two of you be alright here while we go look for him?” Rick looked at Cole and then to Kat.
Cole bahis firmaları nodded. “We’ll hold down the fort.” He lit a cigarette and exhaled slowly. “You okay here with me kitty Kat?”
Kat smirked. “Oh, I think we’ll manage.” She winked at Trash. “Just don’t go getting lost yourself boys.”
“Never.” Trash kissed her hand. “You know I’ll always come back to you baby.”
Kat blushed.”Promises, promises.”
“I keep my promises.” Trash told her. “There’s nothing that would keep me from coming back to you.”
Rick frowned a bit. He could say the same thing of Avery, which was what worried him. If Avery disappeared, it wasn’t by his own choice. With Mikey in the building that meant Avery was in real danger. Rick just hoped they’d find Avery safe. He couldn’t go through almost losing him again. He’d lose his mind if he had to go through it again. That he knew without a doubt.
Trash put a hand on Ricks shoulder reassuringly. “Come on.” He sighed. “We’ll find him.”
Screaming metal had just finished their set. The crowed cheered and Mikey raised both his arms high above his head in triumph. Desire was the last band to go on but without their lead singer they would have to forfeit. Mikey had it in the bag and he knew it. He looked back at his band mates, expecting to see the same look of victory on their faces but all he saw were sullen glances and confusion.
“Come on boys!” He shouted at them. “We got this shit! Give the crowd something to cheer about!”
“Yeah, right.” Cassidy sat his guitar against the speaker and crossed the stage to the exit. “We should be so proud…”
Cass kicked the door open and wandered out into the corridor that led off the stage. Victory wouldn’t feel as sweet if they won due to a technicality. Desire was the better band and he knew it. They all knew it. He hadn’t told the others what he suspected, that Mikey had done something to Avery, but he could tell by the overall mood of the group that they too suspected something. Mikey was acting too sure of himself. He knew something, knew that they couldn’t be beat, and that meant only one thing. He’s somehow eliminated Desire from the competition and that just didn’t sit well with Cass, or the others.
There was a brief intermission while Mikey and the others packed up their gear. Cass heard the stage hand announce “On in five,” Desires cue to get ready. By now the band should have been setting up their gear, but as Cass walked out into the hall he saw Rick and Trash walking away from the stage. That made no sense, had they forfeited already? Were they leaving? Cass was too curious to just leave it so he decided to follow them. They were walking down the hall trying doors to see if they were unlocked, peeking into rooms and calling for Avery. That made Cass nervous. So Avery was missing. He ran his fingers through his hair and sighed. “What did you do Mike?” He whispered under his breath.
“Where the hell is this break room?” Rick looked at Trash.
“I think it’s down here.” Trash told him. He pointed to the room at the very end of the hall. “Come on.”
They two men walked to the closed door of what they suspected was the break room. Trash turned the knob and pushed the door open. The room was dark but the electric glow and steady hum of the pop machines told them they had found the right room.
“Looks empty.” Rick said as he looked inside. “Where the hell could he have gone?”
Trash shook his head. “He wouldn’t have gotten freaked and just left would he? Be honest, he was under a lot of pressure. Do you think he could of got scared and took off?”
“No way.” Rick was emphatic. “There’s no way he’d just take off and not say anything to us.”
“You guys looking for someone?”
Both Rick and Trash turned at the same time to see Cassidy standing behind them. He looked as concerned as they did, though Rick still regarded him with suspicion.
“Avery’s missing.” He narrowed his eyes as he studied the other man. “You know anything about it?” Rick tried not to sound too accusing but Cassidy was part of Mikey’s band and Rick wasn’t too sure where the guys loyalties lie.
“I ain’t seen Avery around.” Cassidy told him, “But Mikey was down here, right before we went on stage. I don’t kaçak iddaa know what he was doing but…”
“But what?” Trash asked.
Cassidy sighed as he shook his head. “I don’t know. I came here looking for him, to tell him it was time to go on. He’d just come from the break room. He was in a super good mood, like better than I’d seen in a while. He seemed really proud of himself and eager to go on stage. I guess he could have just been excited but as we were headed back down the hall I thought I heard something. I was half tempted to go back and check it out but Mikey was watching me. He kind of freaked me out. It could have just been my imagination though.”
“What was it you thought you heard?” Rick was staring at him intensely. He could tell Cass was nervous, maybe even a little scared. Cass was looking around, almost as if he were trying to determine if it were safe to say anything else. Rick could feel his apprehension. All three of them had the same fear; that Mikey could show up at any minute.
Cass took a deep breath. He glanced down the hall once more to make sure they were still alone. “Well…I’m not entirely sure, but I thought I heard pounding and maybe a voice. It was faint, and I couldn’t make out what it was saying, but whoever it was sounded scared.”
Trash raised an eye brow as he stared at Cass. “You didn’t tell anyone?”
Cass shrugged. “Who was I going to tell? Besides that, Mikey was right there. If I had said anything he would have killed me. I feel for you guys, I really do, but I value my life. People that cross Mikey, well, you know all to well how that pans out.”
Rick nodded. “Yeah.” He sighed. “Yeah we know.”
“You heard the pounding coming from the break room?” Trash asked as he turned and looked into the darkness of the room. There was nobody in that room, he was sure of it. If Avery had been in there, he would have come out the moment they opened the door. That was, unless he was hurt and unable to move, maybe even unconscious. He didn’t mention any of that to Rick though. Getting him more worked up would be counter productive. Until they knew for sure what was going on, Trash was going to keep his speculation to himself.
Cassidy nodded slowly, watching the other two men. “It was definitely coming from this room.” He told them. “And the way that Mikey was blocking the door, like he didn’t want me to go in there, seemed really odd.”
“That’s enough for me.” Rick narrowed his eyes as he hastily pushed his way past Trash and into the room. He flipped the switch on the wall, filling the room with a burst of electric, yellow, light. Scanning the interior, his heart sank. There was no one was there. There was a table in the center of the room, one of the fold up kind. Folding chairs were placed neatly around it. The vending machines were sitting across from a row of cabinets and a counter top where a microwave and coffee machine sat, waiting for the next person to come in, needing to heat up food or make coffee.
He was about to turn and walk away when, out of the corner of his eye, he saw something glistening in the hue of the light. On the counter top, next to a sink, were two unopened bottles. One was water and the other was a mountain dew.
“He was here.” Rick said without hesitation. “Avery was here at some point. The drinks he came to get are sitting over there.” Pointed in the direction of the counter. Both Trash and Cass looked into the room.
“So where is he?” Trash looked concerned as Rick slowly shrugged.
“Maybe he hid some place?”
Cassidy shook his head. “I didn’t see anyone but Mikey come out of this room and he was acting suspicious. What ever happened, happened in here.”
“Avery?” Rick called out nervously. He wasn’t sure what he expected to hear. The room looked deserted, but he had to at least try. If he didn’t hear Avery’s voice calling back then that could mean he did manage to get away and hide someplace. On the other hand, it could mean something far worse than any of them wanted to admit. “Avery!” He yelled again, “If you’re hiding, come out babe, we’re here for you.”
Avery looked up, his eyes wet from crying. The darkness swirled around him like a funeral shroud. Was he imagining things? Maybe he was loosing his mind. He could have sworn he heard someone call his name. It wouldn’t be Mikey, he knew that kaçak bahis for sure. Calling his name would only incriminate him. Even if he came to gloat, he knew exactly where Avery was, so why call out to him?
No, Avery must have been going nuts after being locked in that dark closet for so long. He didn’t actually know how long he’d been there though. A couple minutes? A couple of hours? Time stood still and only the agony of his situation and the pain in his heart let him know that he was even still alive. The rest of the world was gone, only darkness remained, and he was sinking fast into a black abyss of hopelessness. Suddenly, he heard it again. That same voice, a familiar voice. It was the same voice that he had heard before when trapped in a dark place. It cut through the emptiness and pulled him up into the light.
“Rick?” He managed to mutter through his tears. Again he heard his name. Rick was close. He was there. He’d found him. But why hadn’t he let him out yet?
“Maybe he doesn’t know I’m here.” Avery told himself. He stood up, clenched his fist, and slammed it hard against the door. “Rick!” He screamed. “Rick, I’m here! I’m in the supply closet! In here, right here!”
It seemed as though an eternity had passed but finally, the door opened and Avery gasped when he saw Rick’s face staring back at him. “Oh God, Rick!” Avery cried as he flung himself into Rick’s arms. “I thought you’d never find me!”
Rick crushed Avery against him and held him so tight that Avery was struggling to breathe. Avery smiled through his tears and kissed Rick on the mouth. Rick kissed him back, running his fingers through Avery’s spiky hair.
“I was so scared I’d lost you.” Rick started to cry now, though he was smiling with relief. “I couldn’t deal with that, not again. I never want to let you go.”
“Don’t.” Avery whispered. “Never let me go Rick, never. Hold me forever, love me forever.”
“Forever and always.” Rick kissed him again. “You’re part of me now Avery, part of my soul. I couldn’t live without your love.”
“Then you’ll live forever.” Avery told him. “Because that’s how long I’ll love you.”
Rick smiled as he looked deeply into Avery’s piercing green eyes. The radiance in those eyes was almost other worldly. Avery wasn’t just a man. Not to Rick anyway. To Rick, he was an angel. A divine being sent from above and somehow had found his way into Rick’s life. The love he felt for Avery was stronger than anything he’d ever felt in his life. He knew, without a doubt, that they were truly meant to be together.
Cassidy couldn’t help but smile when he saw the two kissing. There was something sweet and almost innocent in the way they looked at one another. When Mikey looked at those whom he wanted or claimed to love there was only lust in his eyes and a sense of ownership. Cassidy began to wonder if Mikey even knew what love what. He certainly never showed it to anyone. He didn’t even really show kindness to anyone either. Everything was a competition. People were prizes to be won and then possessed. What a miserable existence he must live.
For a split second Cass almost felt sorry for him, but then he remembered all the pain that he had caused others and that pity quickly turned to disgust. These men were not like that. Even Trash seemed kind, despite his tough exterior. Cass could tell that they were more than friends, more than a band, they were family. They had a closeness that screaming metal had never had, or ever would have. Maybe that’s what made Desire better.
There was talent there for sure, and Avery’s voice was like a chorus of angel’s singing, but it wasn’t only that. There was a deep and complex unity to Desire to seemed to resonate within them. On stage, they weren’t just a band. On stage, they became one. Cassidy admired that about them, but he was also a little envious. What he wouldn’t give to be a part of something like that and not feel as though he were only drifting through life with no real connection to anyone or anything. There was no wonder that Mikey felt threatened by Desire, they deserved to win.
Oh, that’s right! Cass thought suddenly. “Hey, guys, I don’t mean to break this up, but your on…like now!”
“Shit!” Avery gasped. “He’s right. We better go!”
Trash and Rick both nodded.
“Let’s go win this thing.” Trash grinned.
“And then we’ll deal with Mikey afterwards.” Rick narrowed his eyes and clinched his fists. “There’s no way in hell that I’m going to allow him to get away with this, not this time. Not ever again.”
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