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Old 02-21-2011, 03:20 PM   #1
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Mysterious Ways - Chapter 25

My chapters seem to be getting shorter on this. This is really short, but wanted to get it out before I went to work on Please again.

This is all fiction and you know the drill.

It took until the following morning for Bono feel human again. The rehearsal was brutal. His voice was raspy and uneven. He sweated out whiskey and gin - the smell made his stomach sour. He was glad that Gloria did not join the band. Seeing her made his head hurt more. After a few songs, he slunk off to his room. He stripped his sweaty clothes off and stood in a cold shower with his head pressed against the cool tiles. Could he ask her to not be with Larry or anyone else? No. Wet and naked, he crawled back into bed with a bottle of water and aspirin. Tomorrow would be better.

Bono and Gloria avoided each other. It was easy since where Gloria went Larry was sure to follow. Bono, the actor, put on a brave face and continued his seemingly merry way. He wanted to apologize to Gloria for ever making her endure Ali’s visits to the tour. He had a small taste of the hell she lived.

Gloria had her hands full with World Aids Day events and meetings. Her day was spent on the phone organizing times, transportation. She had completely forgotten that it was Thanksgiving until Andrew called. She almost wished he hadn’t. In this hemisphere, Christmas ws in full bloom. She had no idea that she had missed a parade and being with family. Yet, this family was what she knew for almost 4 months. Andrew and Steven were like strangers compared to the band crew.

Gloria’s eyes switched to clock on the 360 screen. The PA grew louder with the pre-show music. She watched the crowd grow more frenzied as lights flicked on and off. She moved down the hall to the dressing room. Her heart always raced right before a show. Yes, she had spent most of her life behind their stage. She knew these men - some intimately. But as they took the stage, she reverted to a young fangirl covered in goosebumps.

“Band ready,” a voice said over her earpiece.

The dressing room opened as Helen filed out followed by Adam and Edge. Like many nights before, they would take their walk down the hall shaking the hands of the crew that helped get them here. Larry face broke out into a huge grim when he saw her standing outside. This was Larry’s favorite part of the show. And usually when he was his most jovial. The pre-show nerves made him giddy. She smiled as he gave her a high-five. Behind Larry, Bono slipped his trademark shades on. Gloria’s breath caught in her throat at the sight of him in full leather. It had been well over a month since the last time. He had a definite swagger about him. Seeing her face, he smiled. He pulled his glassed down his nose to peer over the rim at her. With a wink and that smile, he wrapped an arm around her.

“Ready for the show love?” he asked.

“Are you?” her throat was tight.

They joined the rest of the band and Paul for a quick pre-show prayer/sermon. Bono kept her close to him. Maybe he couldn’t have her, but perhaps he would be the one she was thinking of. He felt her tense against him as if she was holding her breath. His lips brushed her cheek close to her ear before he released her. She turned to adjust her earpiece and recover. She grabbed Adam in to a hug with a little more zeal than normal. Larry wrapped his arm around her.

“See ya after the show,” he winked.

She nodded and retreated to the soundboard for awhile to collect herself.

The show was amazing as usual. They knocked the dust and rust off and launched into a scorching show. Bono used the stage to unleash his frustration over his current situation. He hopped, punched, screamed, shimmied. He bled his heart on the stage. Gloria moved to the side of the stage beside Paul. It was her usual spot when she watched the show. After the beer that Joe slipped her behind the soundboard, she calmed down a bit. Every so often, Paul nodded approval.

Bono strapped his guitar on for ‘With or Without You’. He thanked the crowd for love and devotion over the years. He nodded and mouthed something to Edge who raised his eyebrows in a ‘are you sure’ gesture. With a nod, Bono started to strum.

Gloria checked her watch. She stayed through ‘With or Without you’ but rarely heard ‘Moment of Surrender’. It was then that she would make her way to the cars to usher everyone to the hotel or plane. The chatter over her earpiece was distracting. She turned the volume down so she enjoy the rest of the show. His eyes found her easily. She swayed to the music trying very hard to not watch him. She looked to Edge and Adam.

“Yeah, we'll shine like stars in the summer night,” Bono sang. His eyes did not leave hers. She was a deer in headlights, lost in his voice and pure raw emotion as he sang to her.

“We'll shine like stars in the winter night
One heart, one hope, one love
With or without you ...”

Why did he choose to torture them both, she wondered. He just could not let go. Turning on her heel, she took off for the cars.

After the show, Bono sailed directly into his car like he was on fire. He didn’t even look up at Gloria. Edge followed like a shot. Gloria lagged behind with Larry and Adam. Jet lag was catching up with her. If they decided to go out, she was bailing. Even her rumbling stomach could not inspire her. Closing her eyes, she leaned her head against the car window.

“Hey,” Adam nudged her. “We still have dinner.”

She groaned. “I think I’m too tired.”

At the hotel, Gloria’s goal was to make certain that the band were on their way to the restaurant before she called it a night. Edge had managed to shower in record time. He was already in the lobby waiting.

“I guess you guys are hungry,” Gloria mused. “Are you waiting for Bono?”

“He’s already there,” Edge said.

“I’ll be five minutes,” Larry said before slipping in to the elevator.

Scott, head of security, talked into his cell phone. Gloria just wanted to go to sleep. She slumped on the couch so she could see Edge, Larry and Adam off.

“Are feeling okay?” Edge asked.

“I think the time change is catching up with me. After Adam and Larry come down, I’m going to bed,” she yawned.

“And miss dinner?” he asked.

“Yeah, I’ll have an extra big breakfast,” she settled into the couch further.

“As a runner, you should know better,” Edge crossed his arms fatherly.

As promised, Larry and Adam returned quickly. Scott arranged for a car to be brought to a side entrance away from the waiting fans.

Gloria stretched. “Okay guys. Have fun and I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Edge wrapped an arm around her. “You have to go. You need to eat.”

“Edge, I’m tired. I just want to sleep.” She whined.

Larry appeared on the other side. “Come on. Just for a bit.”

She sighed heavily. Why wouldn’t anyone let her sleep? She knew protesting would only make the night go longer. With the three of them staring her down. she was powerless. The car ride wasn’t very long. If it were, she’d have passed out. She didn’t understand why they drove to another hotel just a few blocks away. The hotel staff were delighted to see them and ushered them up the stairs to one of their ballrooms. Gloria heard Christmas music and laughter coming from the ballroom. Some of the road crew waved as they milled about.

Gloria walked through the door. At the center of room was a long table covered with food. Gloria looked closer. There were 2 large turkeys at either end of the table surrounded by all the fixings. A large Christmas tree blinked and twinkled in the corner covered in brightly colored ornaments. Somehow, the television beside the tree has the Today Show on covering the pre-Thanksgiving Day parade festivities. Gloria was confused. Some of the crew pushed past her and took a seat at the table.

“Happy Thanksgiving,” Edge said.

She twisted towards Larry. Four years ago he had done this for her. Was this is way of wooing her? “Did you do this?”

Larry shook his head. “Not this time.”

Gloria knew. She searched from him in the large room. He was talking with a chef holding a platter of stuffing.

“He planned it,” Edge said. Gloria noted a softness in his voice that disarmed her a bit.

Bono saw her with wide eyes from across the room. He offered a weak smile. Placing his hand over his heart, he nodded to her. Edge felt strange witnessing that private moment and wondered if anyone else saw it.

She wanted to run to him and throw herself into his arms. Looking around the room, he had gone to so much trouble. She knew it was for the other members of the crew from the States as well. But deep down Bono’s intent was to make her happy. It brought her back to the afternoon on his terrace. She was so upset and lonely. His kiss started all this.

“Pretty nice spread,” Larry nodded.

“It is, even if it is close to 1am,” she said. Suddenly, she was ravenous. It was like she had not seen food in days. Larry pulled out her chair for her as everyone assembled around the table.

Bono stood at the head surveying the scene. He waited for everyone to sit and eyes to be on him. “Thank you everyone for coming. I know it’s a ridiculous time to be eating a huge meal, but there wasn’t any other tim to plan this. Ehm, we want to thank our crew and our American crew that have decided to leave their families to be with us,” he laughed, “God knows why. We appreciate all that you do for us through out the year.” He turned to the television. “We, ehm, didn’t plan this just right. It’s still very early back in New York, but it you stay up really late, you can watch the parade because I know that’s a tradition for some. So, please dig in. Thank you.”

The dinner was amazing, even if it was past everyone’s bedtime. Gloria was sure that she would probably sleep the best she had in months. She talked with a member of lighting crew who was from Boston. He had two little girls at home and missed them terribly. Across from her was a sound engineer originally from Ireland. He had toured with U2 during Unforgettable Fire and met his wife in Chicago. Though he wasn’t a born American, he had lived for 25 years in Chicago and missed his wife’s dinner. Bono watched Gloria bond with the other displaced Americans. After dinner, some gathered around the television as the parade was just about to start. Thy laughed that it looked cold in New York and now they didn’t feel so bad being away from home. Gloria looked for Bono. He wasn’t in the room. She saw a set of french doors at the other end of room. Quietly, she slipped outside. It was dark and desolate. She didn’t see him, but was glad to have a few moments to process the night.

“Are you looking for me?” a voice called from the darkness in the corner of patio.

“I was,” she said. She moved towards the voice. “This was too much.”

He chuckled. “It was too late.” He patted his stomach. “I ate too much.”

“This is a major nutrition no-no eating tons of carbs before bed,” she said.

“I knew I wanted to do this that day on the terrace. The day, you know,” his voice was so soft.

She nodded. “I know. Thank you. It was very sweet.”

He moved closer. “Did it make you feel better about having to be here?”

“It did actually. It was nice to share it with others that missed their family. But I was thinking today that you guys are more my family now. I spend more time with you than my own brothers.”

He smiled as his fingers brushed her waist. He couldn’t stop himself from touching her. “I’m glad you enjoyed it.”

“You need to stop doing nice things for me,” her voice barely a whisper.

“I know,” his lips brushed hers. Her breath caught. They should not be doing this, but she didn’t move. One hand curled around to her back as she placed her hands on his chest feeling his heart race under her palm. “Glory,” he whispered before kissing her full on the mouth. All the tension in his body lifted out of him. He never thought he would taste her again. She responded for a moment. God how she missed him.

She dropped her head and pushed away. “Bono, I can’t.....we can’t.”

He ran his hand over head his head. “I know, I know.” He touched her cheek. “Moment of weakness.”

She swallowed hard. “I better get back inside.”

He nodded unable to look at her. “Yeah, Larry might be looking for you.”

There was an edge to his voice.

“Thank you for the dinner.” she said. She didn’t want to leave but one of them had to be responsible.

“You are very welcome, Glory,” he winked. She turned and slipped back through the doors.

He leaned his head back to look at the sky. So many stars. If he were to wish on one, what would he wish for? Yeah, end of world hunger, peace and no more senseless deaths. What did he want for him? He pulled his mobile phone out of the front pocket for his shirt. Flicking through his contacts, he called home. He needed to be reminded of why he didn’t chase after Gloria.

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Old 02-21-2011, 08:37 PM   #2
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This was sad...I'm feeling bad for Bono again!

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Old 02-21-2011, 09:42 PM   #3
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All I thought was Shine Like Stars sorry... that was a great concert.
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:47 PM   #4
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Sigh. That was a lovely gesture from Bono. And it looks like Edge is being a good friend to Bono, which he needs right now. Looking forward to more when you get a chance to write and post it
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Old 02-22-2011, 02:24 PM   #5
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Thank you. The chapters might be short but I'd rather do that so there is something new to read then wait until I have a few scenes done, you know? I'm glad you enjoying it.
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Old 09-29-2011, 04:08 PM   #6
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I'm giving this a bump as I will be posting Chapter 26 very soon and posting chapter 1 of Acrobat the Zoo Prequel
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Old 09-29-2011, 05:17 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by GraceRyan View Post
I'm giving this a bump as I will be posting Chapter 26 very soon and posting chapter 1 of Acrobat the Zoo Prequel
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:10 PM   #8
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Awww, I forgot how much I loved this story... *rereads chapter*

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