Anything at All Chapter 5 (racheting up the tension) - U2 Feedback

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Old 02-26-2013, 06:16 PM   #1
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Anything at All Chapter 5 (racheting up the tension)

Edge made his way to a smoky corner of the crowded bar with his arm still around Solvieg's waist. Her hand rested lightly on his near shoulder. He thought briefly about how it would be to dance with her as he had seen them do a little earlier; twirling, her laughing eyes locked with his, her left hand touching him just as it was now as he held her other hand tucked against his chest. He was so aware of her hand on him that he thought she must be able to see what he was thinking, and he avoided her eyes until they reached a tall table from which all the stools had been taken.

"Can I get you a pint? Or a glass of wine?" he asked, taking her coat.

"Bourbon on the rocks, please," she said. He didn't know why this seemed so sexy that it sent a sudden surge to his gut. She cocked her head as his stillness. "What? Don't nice Irish girls drink whisky?"

He didn't find an answer, just shrugged a little awkwardly and threaded a path to the bar. He thought about something funny to say to her all the time he waited for their drinks, but when he came back with Stagg for her and Bowmore for himself he found her looking at him a little seriously.

"So how is it, being a rock star?" she asked.

Edge had to think for a moment. It had been a long time since he had been anything else.

"Years ago I went to an exhibit of exotic reptiles at a museum. There were all these amazing creatures sitting behind the glass looking very dull until they woke up and looked at you, and then they seemed very...sentient. Each one had a poster on it's case so people could read about the amazing things they could do, like run on water or swallow a whole pig. And if you could imagine all those creatures in some sort of travelling roadside show, that's what it would be like. Like being a python in some crazy snake circus." He stretched out his fingers in an effort to show it. "You get your every need met, and you get packed up and carted around to incredible places, and you do things that normal pythons never get to do. But you live in glass case. Everybody is very, very anxious to know exactly where you are. There's no privacy at all. You're too expensive be allowed to run around loose..." He trailed off, fearing that he sounded like the whiny, self indulgent star they had all been accused of being. But the look she gave him was one of patient curiosity.

"And tonight you've run away from the circus," she said.

"I have."

She took a slow sip, holding his eyes over the rim of her glass. Her round lower lip parted from its edge like a kiss. "How is it?"

"It's... gorgeous."

"Did you ever do normal python things, like go to college?"

He laughed. "Only for about ten minutes. My heart wasn't in it, and I quit to do the band. I like to read a lot, but school wasn't for me. What about you?

"Oh, yeah. There's not much going on where I'm from so I came to the big city for Simmons, a women's college right in downtown Boston."

"Wow. What was girl's school like?"

She showed her teeth. "Fantastic. There were no distractions when it was time to study, and then when you go out all the boys want to hear what goes on in a girls' school."

The expression must have been plain on his face but she wasn't answering it. The peaty whiskey burned gently in his belly. He watched her thumb slowly circle the rim of her glass. He heard himself say, "What does go on in a girls' school?" She finished her drink without replying, then quirked an eyebrow and said, "Wouldn't you like to know. Would you excuse me for a minute? I'll get us another on the way back." She left him with his Scotch and sank out of sight in the crowd.

There was a disturbance at the door- Shah Clayton and his harem arriving, if Edge knew anything about it. Edge couldn't help grinning at the cheap-whore blond of Adam's head surrounded by beautiful girls. Adam's extraordinary success with women was as undeniable as it was inexplicable. No matter how hard Edge looked Adam seemed ordinary to him but no woman ever thought so. When they were about eighteen Edge overheard a girl say to her friend, "Really? That's the one that you were telling me about?" Edge was comforted by this evidence of reason in the universe, until he saw the same girl leave with Adam a few hours later. Like any ordinary peasants with their wonder worker, the boys of Mount Temple required very few demonstrations of Adam's powers before bowing in wholehearted admiration to a superiority so complete that jealousy had little part in it and competition none at all. Of course, the demonstrations continued.

With his unique ability of be aware of everyone in the room, Adam's gaze found Edge in very short order. His questioning look was answered by Edge's nod towards the toilets. Satisfied that he was fine, Adam gathered a soft brown bird under either arm and settled down to a civilized drinking game.

Edge thought about Solvieg as he waited for her. Who was the man that she had loved? He had seen that there was one when she talked about her last visit home. Did he love her still? What were her family and her girlfriends like? What books sat by her bed? Could her tits possibly be as incredible as they looked, and what would she smell like between them? What was the touch of her hands like, with the light callouses on the fingers on her left hand? She was coming back now, the light making a sudden outline of her breasts under the blue gauze of her dress, her nipples two points pressed darkly against the fabric. She passed him another whiskey with only a soft, "Hey."

"Are you cold?" he asked without thinking.

"No, are you?"

"Ehm, not really. I was just- thinking- maybe it was a little cold in here." He already wished that he hadn't spoken, a feeling that intensified a hundredfold as he saw as her eyelashes sweep towards her own neckline, and a knowing look spread over her face.

"Edge, are you looking at my nipples?"


"They do show a little, I guess. Does that bother you?" She was laughing at him.

"No, it's fine. It's just- I don't know- distracting?" He was feeling a little desperate and not really thinking at all. Then she stepped in close and lowered her voice.

"Mm hm. It's distracting for you. And I'm supposed to wear a bra to keep them under control, right? Have you ever worn a bra, Edge?"

"Ehm... yes, actually."

She did something then that he must have unknowingly done to women many times in his life, but which had never happened to him in quite this way; she checked out his chest, eyeing him without haste, speculative and deliberate. It made the heat rush into his face even more than previously. "How was it?" she asked.

"Uh... strange. Constrictive. Hard, really. And... a little sexy."

"They are sexy. But not really comfortable, are they? More like a costume piece than a real garment for a girl with tits like mine." She touched them thoughtfully. God help him, she touched herself, her fingers sliding underneath and slightly lifting, one thumb bracketing each nipple. And yes, he could see now that they really were as incredible as he supposed- just the size of her palms and round as peaches, the little conical nubs outlined under the fabric of her dress. "But I'm supposed to wear one all the time, every day, so that you won't have to work so hard not to look."

"Solvieg, that's not what I want. It's fine, it's- nice." Shit, fuck, he thought. Shut up. Of course it wasn't cold in here, it was hot; suffocatingly, brain-burningly hot.

"I'm glad it doesn't bother you," she said softly. "Do you know why?" She was near enough now that he could feel those tender peaks pressed against him, and she stood tiptoe to speak into his ear. He closed his eyes against the dizziness. "I don't know if you've noticed this. You... have chest hair. It comes up under your neckline here. It looks all warm and soft..." Her breath stirred it a little as she spoke, making goosebumps break out all over. "Just like the little fuzzy ones at the back of your neck, and these...." she ran one finger lightly up his forearm, stirring the dark curved strands without ever touching his skin so that every hair on his body stood erect. His hands closed convulsively. She whispered now, making him bend close to hear her over the ambient noise. "It's a little...distracting. Are you going to turn down your sleeves and button that shirt for me?"

He struggled to find the breath to speak. "Buttoned shirts are lame..."

She made a little huff of air, a tiny semblance of a laugh.

"Well. Your shirt is not lame, for sure.” She took a long breath. “Edge... I think we know why we are here. Don't we?" He desperately hoped that this was not a question he expected to answer. She was still standing so close that he could feel the warmth of her brushing the entire length of his body. "You're a man. I'm a woman. And I think we don't have all that much time, do we?"

"Just...until morning."

She stepped back a little and nodded meditatively. "Until morning, let's not pretend, okay? Let's just let it be what it is."

He drew an unsteady breath.

"Do you need to talk about something else for a minute?" she asked, observing his face.

"Jesus, yes." He cast around for something -anything- to talk about. Anything other than the blood thundering through his head, the agonizing, uncontrollable ache of his body, the way he had to prop one foot against the wall behind him to conceal the disreputable fit of his trousers. "Are...are your family religious?"

"Are my family what?" She appeared to choke a little, then righted herself. "Are my family religious? Would you just-" Her shoulders began to shake. "I'm sorry. Just excuse me for a minute...." She was dissolving in giggles by the second. Finally she put her head in her hands and laughed; laughed until she cried, until she collapsed against the wall and pressed her side. "I'm so sorry," she gasped. "That wasn't funny. Was that a real question? I'm going to pretend like it was. Oh, my god, Edge. Could you be any more darling?"

He thought this was another rhetorical one. The mortification of her laughing at him was doing wonders for his initial trouble but he wasn't sure if it was at all preferable.

"Okay," she said, wiping her eyes with an exhausted sigh. "I've got it now."

The noise was increasing over at Shah Clayton's table. Edge perceived that they were playing Never Have I Ever, and that the bottle nearest Adam was a good deal lower than the others.

"Never have I ever shaved my legs!" cried one boy in triumph. Adam dutifully picked up his glass along with every woman at the table, eliciting guffaws from the men and speculative looks from the girls.

"Not really." Solvieg said, serious at last. "My parents are ordinary Danish Lutherans. It's a very secular place, not at all like Ireland or even America. They go to church during Advent and Lent, and that's about it. What about you? You must be to think of asking."

Edge nodded ruefully. It was probably a mistake to bring up- talking about his faith nearly always was.

"My parents were Presbyterians, pretty devoutly. I was as well. I was quite evangelical when I was younger- I suppose I may have been breathing fire for a bit in the early eighties. I still believe now, though some people have said that U2 are spawn of the devil sold out to rock and roll. I just... I'm just less interested in writing everybody a prescription for what ails them, you know? People did that for me, but they were always wrong. I prefer to think of it as-" His voice had unexpectedly become rather tight and stiff, and he cleared his throat to loosen it. "I like to think of there being somebody out there who pays attention. Somebody who cares."

Adam's new friends had evidently caught on to the sort of life that he lived and were coming up with things especially for his benefit. Never have I chartered an airplane! Never have I received a Grammy award! Edge studied their broad gestures, their hilarity, the hands of the women always moving near their hair; aware of Solvieg beside him and yet unwilling to turn to her.

"Do you think there is somebody paying attention out there?" she asked quietly.

"God, I hope so. I don't know how I'd live with myself otherwise. Don't you?" He looked at her profile, at the curved chin and rich cheeks. She shook her head.

"I don't know," she said. "I just don't know. What you just said, it's very beautiful. I'd love to feel that there was something out there that would justify all the things that go on in the world. That somebody gave a damn and was going to make sure that things even out in the end. But usually.... usually I get the feeling that we are on our own."

She traced circles on the table with a wet fingertip. For the first time all the laughter was gone from her eyes and in its absence he saw the unnamed sadness, ineffably still and tender. One of those queer conversational pauses occurred in which several groups of people fall silent all at once. There was no sound of glass from the Clayton party. Edge looked over.

Every person in the table was looking expectantly at Adam. His glass remained firmly on the table, and he shook his head at them in mock bafflement.

"I have no idea what you all are waiting for. I can assure you that I have never slept when in bed with a model."

In the resultant uproar Edge felt suddenly desperate to get out her of there, to have her where there was only silence and cleanness.

"Solvieg," he said quietly. "Get your coat."

She nodded. With her jacket over her arm and the fingers of the other hand laced through his, she led him through the smoke and noise out into the high, brutal, star-pierced night.


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Old 02-27-2013, 02:31 PM   #2
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And misspellings in the subtitle are also very lame. Sorry about that, guys.

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Old 02-27-2013, 05:52 PM   #3
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I hate it when I see a spelling mistake or a formatting mistake and I can't fix it......I have this thing about spacing..ask Alisaura..I drove her nuts for awhile.

I really like this. I love how you paint a picture, so to speak.
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