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Old 04-19-2010, 08:47 PM   #1
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Lost Highway - Chapter 18

Title: Lost Highway
Authors:1screamingangel & wo_speaking
Rating: PG13
Disclaimer: Ain't my Irishmen! Ain't true at all! OK Edge, play the blues!

***************************

Dave could hear the Porsche the minute it pulled out of the motel drive. There was no mistaking the notes that engine played. Paul was heading out this way and Dave correctly figured he had Mel with him. Both had been after one thing last night and he was positive they had both found it. His friend had been out here too long without any available women and he had an idea that Paul was going to want Mel to stay with him for a couple of days. Who was he kidding; he’d wanted Sam to stay here with him for as long as she would but he had very likely ruined that chance now. He hadn’t had a night like that in awhile. Truthfully, maybe never. She let him take the lead all night and into today – and now she wanted nothing to do with him. He was panicking; he’d started falling for her and he wasn’t sure how much longer he could keep from telling her his secret – he’d been so close to slipping up with her this morning.

He had to focus. It was getting to be time for all of them to leave in their respective directions. The songs were nearly done and he needed to get back to his equipment and see how it all sounded through his gear in the studio. He knew that the phone was going to ring in the next couple of days, they were starting to bug him about the songs: were they finished, how did they sound, were the words complete, were they written down, were they keeping each other focused on the music. They were out here to get away and make some decisions, yet the music just kept coming out of them and that in itself made their choices for them.

Dave watched Paul pull into the driveway too fast, what a terrible driver he was. Mel got out of the car first and walked towards the house, then stopped, as if she was hesitating. Dave knew he was going to have to talk to her. He didn’t know that she had seen his passport, but knew she had been in his house. He didn’t know about all the things Paul had told her or that she and Paul had a most comfortable dialogue between them. If he knew that he would definitely be a little upset.

Mel walked back over to wait for Paul to get out of the car. He was looking around the back seat for the papers he brought to show Dave, the ones with the lyrics on them. They must have flown around in the short drive. Mel had to laugh a little at how careless he was with something so beautiful. It made her wonder how careless he was with all of the beautiful things in his life.

“Got ‘em. Be a shame if they flew out the window,” he said, smiling. Things just always seemed to go his way.

They talked briefly and reminded each other that Dave and Sam did not know she had seen their passports and all of the places they’d been.

Paul looked at Mel and said quietly, “Remember too darlin’ that we just will keep our conversations between us, right?” as he kissed her softly on the cheek and squeezed her hand. Mel nodded her head slightly, she wasn’t really sure what the big deal was about, but if it was important to Paul she would do what he had asked of her.

They walked up to the front door and Dave was there to open it for them. He looked a bit unnerved to see Mel there with his friend. He hadn’t spoken a word to Sam since their argument, and he really wasn’t in the mood for entertaining guests. He just wanted to drown himself in the music and forget the last 24 hours ever happened.

“Sam is out back,” was all he said as he looked past Paul to Mel.

“May we come in then?” Mel asked.

Mel looked at Dave. When he didn’t have his hat on, he really wasn’t that creepy looking. In fact he looked different somehow, she thought, studying his face. Mel saw Paul out of the corner of her eye bring his hand up to his chin and quizzically look at Dave as he raised his eyebrows. He had shaved, that was it. This amused Paul – this girl must be something special.

Mel thought Sam had done wonders for him already. She could make a man do anything. Dave was now as cute as his passport photo. His eyes were no longer hidden under that hat and there was a softness to them she appreciated in a man.

“Dave, this is Mel. I don’t believe you two have been properly introduced,” he grinned and gave Dave a look daring him to say something. “She knows we’re friends, mate.”

When Dave realized what Paul had just said his eyes widened and didn’t look soft like they did a minute ago. Mel thought Dave looked like he wanted to punch Paul.

Mel was right; he did want to belt Paul. Did he ever think before he spoke? Who was he to say that? He had used the word ‘famous’ and Sam all but laughed in his face.

“Dave, they were out here yesterday, Mel saw our passports, Sam didn’t. Mel, here,” he paused as he slid behind Mel so she could not see his face as he continued, “thought that we were IRA or something”, he laughed a forced laugh Mel didn’t catch, but Dave did. “Isn’t that the funniest thing, mate, you and me, IRA?”

Dave gave a nervous laugh as he realized that Paul was trying to tell him Mel didn’t know who they were, she simply thought they were two guys hiding out in the desert for some reason. Well, that was a relief, Dave thought.

“I am really sorry for snooping around your house Dave. Please forgive me?” Mel said with all the contrition she could muster. Which was a challenge at the moment; after all, she still hadn’t seen Sam and didn’t know how she was faring. Mel batted her eyes at him and he gave her a weak smile.

Dave glanced back at Paul and then said quietly, “It’s all right Mel, no harm done, but you shouldn’t really go into places that are locked you know.”

Mel debated whether or not to tell him the door was unlocked but decided not to. Paul blurted it out though and she laughed.

“Who locks their doors out here?” Dave shrugged.

Mel heard the kettle in the kitchen and asked Dave if he minded she get herself a cup of coffee.

“It’s all right there for you, Mel.” She didn’t think he was ever going to look at her and talk to her. Dave could still see the cautious way Mel observed him. She looked at him that way the first night in the bar and up until this very moment.

She made her cup of coffee and went to the kitchen window, the one with the ‘herbs’ on it. She was very positive what that was and laughed. What else was a person suppose to do out here in the middle of nowhere. Everyone should smoke a little weed now and then, she figured.

As she was daydreaming she realized that the male voices in the other room seemed to be arguing but she couldn’t quite make out what they were saying. So she did what any person would do, she drifted over to the doorway to see if she could eavesdrop on their conversation.

Sounded like Dave had called Paul by another name but she didn’t catch it. “…you didn’t tell her too much did you? You know sometimes you don’t know when to stop talking.” Paul had told her too much but he was not about to admit that right now. Dave was right, he never could keep a secret and sometimes just couldn’t stop talking.

Paul paused and lowered his voice again so Mel didn’t hear him add, “I know more than you think I do. She doesn’t know,” and here Paul looked away briefly so that if Dave had been paying attention instead of thinking of Sam, he would have caught the lie. He was one of the few people who could catch Paul’s lies the minute they came out of his mouth. “She doesn’t have a clue. How lucky for us is that? She’s a wonderful girl and easy to talk to…”

Now Dave laughed at him and said loud enough, “They are all easy for you to talk to.”

Mel really had to stop snooping into people’s lives and conversations. What did all of that mean? She didn’t have a clue and her mood dipped a bit. She poured another cup of coffee for Sam – black, just the way she liked it – and stepped into the living room to talk to Dave.

“So Sam is out back?” Mel asked him as he sat on the couch, staring over at nothing in particular.

“Yes. Just out that door,” he motioned, not meeting Mel’s eyes.

Mel remembered her manners, “Would you boys like to join us?”

“We have to make an overseas phone call so we’ll be staying in here for now, Mel, but thanks,” Paul winked at her and waited until she let the screen door slam shut to walk over and close the heavy oak back door.

“Either they don’t want to hear what we have to say, which I doubt, or don’t want us to hear what they are saying to their ‘overseas people’,” Mel giggled. She needed some serious alone time with her best friend and wasn’t interested in snooping – although she did wonder who they were calling and wished for a second she could be a fly on the wall.

Sam was sitting alone on an old metal ‘50’s era looking porch swing taking in the green hills to the West. It was late spring and some of the surrounding California hills would be green for another month. If she were facing the other direction, she would see the brown scrub hills they equated with the Sierra desert.

Mel joined her and they sat in silence for a minute, then Mel spoke up.

“So, I have to tell you something before we talk about anything else Sam,” she said, turning to look at her friend, “these two are friends, good friends it seems and are out here together. Sound familiar?”

“We figured as much. Obviously Paul tells you a lot more about himself than Dave has told me.” She shook her head and took a sip of her coffee. She was still reeling from the argument she’d had with Dave earlier, and she wanted to be as far away from him as possible right now.

Mel was debating in her head just how much she should tell Sam. She and Paul had talked about so many things. This morning, after he had shown up when she got out of the shower, he had asked her to keep it all to herself as he was laying next to her kissing her ear and whispered, “Love, I know you and Sam are true mates, but can you keep our conversations to yourself?”

Before Mel could weigh the implications of her answer she replied with a groaning, throaty “of course darling”, he was, after all, lightly biting on her ear lobe and running his hands the length of her back. What else was she suppose to say right then? Mel was a person who took such oaths very seriously and now wished he wouldn’t have asked her to make that promise at that very moment. If he had asked her later, over lunch, or on the ride out here, she would have been able to explain to Paul that she and Sam kept very little secret between them. She would not have promised.

That was exactly why Paul asked her that when he did. He knew women very well and had spent his life trying to get into their heads to figure them out. He was fascinated by them and knew that one sure way to get a girl to make promises of secrets was to ask her while she was still glowing after love making. He had said too much to Mel and wanted to continue to be himself with her for as long as she stayed, so he needed that dispensation. He needed to talk freely without weighing his words and needed to trust her. Which he did, but now he had made sure.

“Did you and Paul..?” Sam asked, interrupting Mel’s thoughts.

“Amazing,” was Mel’s answer.

”That’s what I was afraid of. Mel, I think we should leave tonight ... Dave and I ...” Sam began, looking off into the distance as she spoke.

“Sam ... what happened ...” Mel said, putting her arm around her friend, “he didn’t hurt you, did he?”

“No, no, of course not. I asked too much ... more than a lot ... and we had a really bad argument. I said some terrible things to him and he did the same to me. He’s got some kind of secret, Mel. They both do. And it’s much more than them just knowing each other ...”

Mel nodded silently. She didn’t dare tell her what she already knew.

“You should hear him play the guitar. That’s what I wanted to tell you ...”

“Really good at it is he? The guitar, I mean?” she chuckled, “he really can play?”

“You should hear him, you know I can pick out a good player and he is fantastic. Not country ... I’d describe it more as rock, but still not even that. He gets the most amazing sounds to come out of that guitar – I have never heard anything like it. He had a whole bunch of guitars all lined up perfectly in his bedroom too. Weird, isn’t it?” Sam responded.

“What would you know about what’s in his bedroom? That would mean you looked at something other than him,” Mel laughed, raising her eyebrows playfully at Sam and coaxing a smile from her lips. “He’s definitely odd, Sam, but I see what you see in him now – you must have really impressed him, he even shaved for you – he actually is kind of cute, really. He does have nice eyes, doesn’t he ...”

“He does,” Sam nodded. “I just hope I can patch things up now – I’ll promise him I won’t ask any more questions. I’m not quite ready to leave him, Mel ...”

Both girls looked back through the window behind the porch swing they were sitting on to see the two men huddled over the papers Paul had brought out on the table. Their phone call either over or forgotten about for the time being, as well as the girls on the porch. Sam and Mel could hear Dave’s guitar working its way haltingly through some song they were trying to put together.

“Listen ... just listen to him ...” Sam said, a faraway look in her eyes.

“Wow,” Mel nodded, “he’s really good ...”

They just sat for a moment and listened to the beautiful music coming from the little brick house in the middle of the desert – the music no one would ever hear, Sam thought.

“I need some more coffee Sam, want another?” Mel asked as she stood to go back into the house. Mel decided to slam the screen door so they knew she was in the house and could not accuse her of snooping. They didn’t even hear her.

Waiting for the water to boil, Mel starred out the window, not wanting to intrude in the obvious creativity going on in the other room. The phone rang and startled her. It was one of those old dial phones with a loud ring, like anyone out here would need to be reminded that the outside world existed, so it had better be loud. Six, seven, eight rings and neither Paul nor Dave made a move to answer it. They didn’t even stop their music while it was ringing. The tea kettle wailed and they didn’t pause. Mel turned the heat off right away and stopped the high pitched squeal from intruding on the sounds coming from Dave’s guitar.

Mel put some milk in her coffee and the phone started ringing again. She hesitated to leave and wanted to know if someone was going to answer it. Paul finally did. Mel was going to linger a bit to see what she could learn from listening. Paul had told her some interesting things already today and she wasn’t sure how much of it she believed. Mel wasn’t sure what to believe at this point.

Paul didn’t exactly have a quiet voice and she was glad he answered instead of Dave, who was still plucking away at his guitar. “What,” Paul answered the phone brusquely, “we are working on something, and this better be important,” he listened to the person on the other end ask what they were working on, was it good, is it written down.

“So many damn questions,” he was irritated at being disturbed by what he considered trivial questions while they were working, “just listen…” and he put the phone on the table and turned to Dave, “Let’s just play what we have so far so he’ll leave us the fuck alone for a bit longer, what’d ya say mate?”

Dave shrugged his shoulders. Sam had quietly come in the back door when she heard the phone ring and Mel turned to her and put her finger over her mouth to tell Sam not to say anything.

Just then Dave broke into the same song Sam had heard him play for her last night – those long echoing notes reverberating through the house as Paul started to sing the words Mel had seen written down on the paper. It was what they had been working on earlier.

The girls listened and when the music stopped Paul picked the phone back up and said, “We’re doing something, not just sitting around in the desert. ‘Bout ready to come back, give us another couple of weeks…” he paused to listen.

As he hung up the phone and replaced it on the table he passed by the kitchen and saw Mel shut the door behind her reminding him that they were not alone out here. They had both temporarily forgotten about Sam and Mel as they were used to working in this isolation. They must have been in the house and heard that conversation. Well, he had Mel taken care of and felt confident he could trust her. She didn’t seem to care too much. Another time, another place, Paul could see Mel as one of his best friends.

Mel sat silent drinking her coffee watching a small plane take off from the airfield close to the brick house. Paul had told her they had a band and had made a record or two. After listening to that she thought that just maybe he was telling her the truth. He was pretty serious about getting her to promise not to tell Sam about their conversations. So maybe, just maybe, the whole “I am a musician” thing was true. She had no reason not to believe him; she just didn’t have a lot of reason to actually believe him. Guys would say just about anything to a girl they wanted to fuck and she had heard a couple of really interesting lies in life already, including “Hey baby, I am the lead singer in a band.”

Back in the brick house Dave just glared at Paul. “I forgot they were here.” He said very quietly.

“How could you forget? You haven’t thought of anything else since you saw her the other night?” Paul teased his friend. He absolutely could not tell Dave about the things he had told Mel. How could he explain that he had to tell her and had taken her promise seriously – even though his promises were never taken seriously by himself or anyone around him.

They had to start thinking about getting back, about when that might happen, and what their plans were based on others expectations of them. No matter how remote he had felt out here in the desert, Paul had really enjoyed that fact that no one out here expected anything from him. No deadlines, no questions, no band mates, no girlfriend, no parents. It had been wonderful, but he knew the peace was about to end and that made him a little sad about the leaving part.

Mel turned to Sam, waiting for her to say something. She had never seen Sam like this, she usually just rolled with the punches and never let anyone dictate her feelings, especially a man.

“I need to go back to the motel and get some things,” Sam said, finally breaking her silence. “I just feel like I need to be alone, right now, Mel. I know you want to spend more time with Paul ...”

“If you want to leave, then that’s what we’ll have to do,” Mel said, bringing Sam into a hug.

Sam pushed her friend out at arms length and shook her as she spoke. “Mel, listen to me. I know you’re not ready to leave yet ... don’t give up one more night with him just because of me. Please, Mel, I’ll be all right. I’m a big girl – you have to let me just deal with this on my own, okay? Maybe if I feel up to it I’ll see you at the bar tonight ... and maybe if he’s there I ...”

Sam’s voice trailed off as she took her hands from Mel’s shoulders.

“Let’s just go, okay? You can meet Paul later this afternoon, and if I decide to come, I’ll let you know ...”
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Old 04-19-2010, 09:13 PM   #2
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*bites nails* What's gonna happen?!?!?!?!

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Old 12-29-2010, 05:48 PM   #3
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Chapter 19
Lost Highway - Chapter 19
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Old 12-29-2010, 07:16 PM   #4
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'Hey baby, I'm the lead singer in a band' ....oh no she's not going to believe him, is she?
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