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Old 05-09-2011, 09:42 PM   #1
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Please - Chapter 14

Part of this chapter is for mature eyes, so if you want the adult version, let me know. I will provide in email or PM.

Things are moving along. I'm already working on Chapter 15. This is fiction. I hope you enjoy.



What Your Soul Sings - Massive Attack

Don't be afraid
Open your mouth and say
Say what your soul sings to you
Your mind can never change
Unless you ask it to
Lovingly re-arrange
The thoughts that make you blue
The things that bring you down
Only do harm to you
So make your choice joy
The joy belongs to you
And when you do
You'll find the one you love is you
You'll find you love you

Don't be ashamed
To open your heart and pray
Say what your soul sings
To you
So no longer pretend
That you can't feel it near
That tickle on your head
That tingle in your ear
Oh ask it anything
Because it loves you dear
It's your most precious king
If only you could hear
And when you do
You'll find the one you need is you
You'll find you love you



The members of Strict Machine returned to the tour the day after the funeral. Faith was relieved to be alone for a bit - away from Larry and Bono. She wished they could go back to the beginning of the tour when everything was far more simple. Reliving her father’s death over the prior days left her exhausted. At least, she knew there would be no knocks on her hotel door for at least a few nights. She decided to use that time to work on new music with the band and try to clear her head, regain her focus.

Two days later, U2 joined the tour. Strict Machine were almost through their soundcheck when one by one, they appeared on stage. Faith felt very aware of eyes on her as she sang. Faith turned to see it was Larry's scrutinizing eyes on her. Just beyond him, Bono talked with stagehand. He looked fairly put together. More so than the last time she saw him. She chose to ignore Larry. Obviously by his face, he knew that Bono spent the night in her room. Did he know more than that? She shrugged. What did it matter? He was with Ann. Right now, she was a little more anxious about Bono.
"Are we good?" Faith asked.

Sam nodded. "I think so. I was surprised how rusty I felt."

"We only had 2 shows before the break, " Alex said. She saw Larry and Bono but not Edge. They hadn't talk since the night before the funeral. She was very aware of his absence.

Faith held her breath as Bono walked across the stage. His face was hard to read. A small smile rested on his lips as he walked over.

He shaded his eyes against the blistering sun. "Hot today."

"After Ireland, it is," she nodded. "How are you?"

He nodded. "I'm good. I got to spend some time with my girls."

"All of them?" Faith asked.

"For the most part," he added lowly. "We'll talk later." Faith wasn't sure what that meant. "Did you want to go over the duet?"

She had completely forgotten the duet. "Which one?"

"You think we're ready to unveil the new one?" He asked.

She thought about which song would make her the least uncomfortable. They were both pretty cringe worthy. "It might need a few more run throughs."

"Okay," he nodded. "We can practice both, but perform Time of My Life tonight."

She nodded numbly. There was no way she was escaping this. Quietly, she cursed Morleigh for ever suggesting it.

Larry seethed as he sat at his drumkit. "Don't ya think we should rehearse one of our songs?"

Bono enjoyed Larry’s jealousy more than he should. "We'll just do it once. I'm sure Faith and company have things to do." His face softened thinking of Faith's visit to hospitals.

Larry rolled his eyes. "Whatever. Where the hell is Edge?"

"Keep yer panties on Lardence," Edge sighed as he strode across the stage. He saw Alex gathering her things out of the corner of his eye. She looked adorable in her sundress and black Doc Marten boots. He forced himself to be focused on getting his guitar from Dallas. The previous nights dreams streamed into his mind. She was in his arms calling out his name. Suddenly, she was Sam and he was getting his ass kicked.

Alex felt spurned as she passed him without acknowledgment. She waited days to see him and he wasn't meeting her gaze. Fine, she thought as she looped her arm around Sam's.

"Ready?" Bono asked Faith and his band.

Faith walked to the second stage.

"Where you going?" He asked.

"I'm taking my place. Or at least in the area where you pull me up. Do you not want to do that?" She asked.

"I thought we'd just sing it, but we probably should go over the steps," he shrugged.

"We don't have to," she would be just fine not having to be pressed against him until absolutely necessary.

"No, you're right," he followed her down the runway.

She cursed herself. This was her fault. She took a deep breath in and hoped her dread wasn't written on her face. The only thing apparent was the fact that Bono had forgotten some of the steps. As he trampled her feet, she had to laugh. She feared they would move so fluidly together that everyone would know. More importantly, he was normal. There were no lingering looks. She didn't see a new gleam in his eye. It was almost if it never happened. Until he pulled her against him. There was a heated glance as the memory of her body filled him. For a moment, he wanted desperately to go there again. But it passed quickly as it came. That was not their future.

"Okay, so it looks we need to improvise some of the steps," he chuckled.

"I'm sure we have video of it somewhere. That will help," Faith said. "Or we'll have to beg Morleigh back."

"That might be a good idea in general, " he glanced back at Edge.

Faith nodded knowingly. "True."

"Okay missy. Off you go," he said. "Maybe we'll see you guys for dinner." With a wink, he turned to the rest of the band. "Now we can check our music Lawrence. Was that So painful?"

Larry uttered a string of obscenities under his breath as he shifted in his seat. He had carefully watched the interaction between Bono and Faith for any sign of intimacy. There was nothing. He shook his head. He needed to sort this out. He shouldn't care this much about Faith. Yet he could not extricate her from his head and every waking thought. Perhaps he was making a huge mistake by not taking a risk on her. Maybe she was everything he ever wanted.

Dinner was arranged for all three groups. They booked a Belgian beer house for a buffet style party to celebrate continuing the tour. Alex was aware that Edge was avoiding her. Her heart felt heavy as she wandered the restaurant. The tour would be excruciating if she didn't have his friendship. She resisted the urge to rush to him and beg him to at least talk to her about music. He needed time and she could give him that. She didn't want to scare him away completely. Maybe it was time to work on things with Sam. Edge would never be more than a friend.

Bono plopped beside Faith as she sat back taking the party in.

"You seem in good spirits, " she mused.

He nodded. "I still miss him. I was with the girls and one of them did something, can't remember what. But I had to stop myself from saying, wait till I tell your pa. That's when it hurts."

She sighed. "I know. It will always sting in some way. But things went well back home?"

He knew she meant Ali. "It was probably the most promising time we've spent since we separated. It felt like family."

She patted his knee. "I'm glad. You were really upset when she left the other night."

She seemed genuinely happy for him. He wasn't sure how he felt about that. Part of him wanted her to be jealous and want more of him. But if she did that would complicate his life. He would have to choose. He stared at her trying to read the deeper parts of her. She was a mystery to him for all he knew about her. If she was hurt, he'd be the last to know.

"I'm not getting too ahead of myself. She could be just being nice," he offered.

"You never know where that might lead," she smiled.

To Faith, she wasn't sure if he was playing down the middle or trying to let her down easy. She wondered if maybe they did need to discuss the night they slept together.

"Thank you for being a friend when I needed it." He said tenderly.

"I'm glad I helped."

"More than you know," he felt a rush of heat thinking about her. There would always that want there, he feared. He had tasted her and he missed it. Even if Ali and he remarried to live happily ever after, a piece of him was locked away inside Faith.

"Let's get a drink for our fathers," she suggested to clear the heavy air around them.

"Fantastic idea," he chimed with a smile.

Paul stood at the center of the room. "Gather round children." He waited for all eyes to be on him and Bono to be quiet. "As Sheila and I have told you, Q magazine will be joining the tour for a few dates to do a story on both bands. They are excited to be the first magazine to really sink their teeth into Strict Machine."

Alex winced.

"Sounds scary when you put it that way," Faith said.

"There's a bit of buzz around you in Europe and definitely the British Isles," Paul said. "We want this piece to resonate for when we hit England and Ireland. They join the tour in a few days so everyone on their best behavior. "

Faith felt that was directed at her and Bono. Paul's eyes squared in on Bono.

"What?" He asked innocently.

"No stealing boats or bikes. And watch your after party activities, " Paul instructed.

Bono knew that was a loose description of his after show snogging sessions. Oddly, he was not interested in that right now.

"We'll have photo sessions for the article and cover on our days off. I've been told Annie Leibovitz or Anton could be shooting it."
"Cover of a magazine," Ryan clicked.

"It won't be us drummers," Larry said. "I bet it will be those two." He pointed to Bono and Faith.

Ryan shook his head. "That's a shame. I think we look better."

Larry had to laugh. Sure, Larry knew he was better looking than Bono. But Bono had all the charisma.


Faith watched the show from backstage waiting for her entrance. She had spent plenty of nights back here watching the band. Tonight, the grinding of Bono's hips were a little distracting. As he sidled across the stage, that night flashed in her head. Why did he have to be good in bed? She would almost rather go back to not knowing what she was missing. Her eyes turned to Larry. If only he could admit his feelings, they could've been together. What was it with Irish men and lost causes? She slipped backstage to get in position for the duet.


Bono deposited a female fan back to the audience. His eyes searched the crowd for the familiar shock of blonde hair and he began to sing. It had been weeks since they sang and danced together. The crowd sprung to life as Faith sang amidst the throng of people. Bono leaned forward offering his hand to her. Effortlessly, he lifted her to the stage. This was one of his favorite moments during the show. They danced around one another until he wrapped his arm around her to bring her against him. He was warm. Suddenly, her mouth felt dry. Being this close to him again awakened that desire. He felt her breath on his face as she sang and he remembered how her lips felt on his. She danced away before temptation won over sense. They were both out of breath at the end of the song. He kissed her hand.

"Faith Sullivan, ladies and gentlemen, " he said as she took a final bow.

She took a deep breath as she turned to exit the stage. Hopefully every night would not be like that. As she passed Larry, he smiled and winked at her. That she did not expect. She flashed him a winning smile and went to collapse backstage.

Nigel, a balding man in his 30's, was a frustrated musician. He fell into music journalism by accident as a way to pay bills until the next gig. Eventually, he gave up the dream of being the worlds hottest rock star. He had to settle for interviewing the biggest rock band. He and U2 had a long history of respect for one another. Given the rumor mill about the band, Nigel was chosen to either hopefully get the real scoop or handle it with grace. The article would be two small articles on each band separately then a profile of the band together. How did Edge mentor Alex? How did Bono teach Faith to work a huge crowd like the Tibetan Festival? Why was Strict Machine's success so important to U2?


He first met both bands at a lunch to introduce himself to the younger band. He didn't turn on his recorder, but chatted and watched their interactions. The first thing he noticed was the ease between Bono and Faith. He didn't sense a romantic connection but a bond nonetheless. Faith was expressive, and like Bono, was passionate about her band and music. It was like watching a female version of him.


"Bono, I was sorry to hear about your father," Nigel said over dessert.


"Thanks," Bono nodded. "It was tough being at the start of this leg. Being so excited to play for the European people and have the rug pulled out from you."


"It was nice of your supporting act to come and support you," Nigel commented casually.


Edge looked up wondering if a tabloid question was coming next.


"When you tour with people for so long, you become family. The whole crew came out," Bono pointed out.


"My dad died a few years ago so of course we wanted to support the entire band," Faith said.


Larry's head shot up in shock. By Bono’s and Edge’s stoic faces, they knew. Why did they know? It then occurred to him that might have been the reason Bono was with Faith the night of the funeral. He needed someone who understood. A sadness crept into his heart as he looked at her. What a terrible tragedy for a young girl to endure.


Nigel took out a pen. "Is that okay to print?"


She side-glanced Bono. She wasn't ready for Nigel to dig that deep. Should she give him this tidbit and be happy enough that he broke the news of her sad past? If she refused would he dig deeper finding out about her cancer?


"I guess if you feel it's necessary. I just don't want to take away from the rest of the band," she said plainly.


She was a clever woman, thought Bono. He had almost jumped to her defense. Probably too prematurely. She could certainly hold her own.


"Of course. We'll see where the article goes. It might just show the supportive nature between both bands," Nigel said.


Happily for Faith, the conversation turned from her and he moved onto the mentoring relationship between band members. Edge talked about helping Strict Machine and Alex achieve a more robust sound on stage.


"Have you done that before?" Nigel asked. "With other opening bands?"


"Other bands have used our technology to help them. We've had rap and hip hop artists on tour. But they were the first to say - this stuff is cool how can we use it',” he said.

Alex nodded. “I’ve learned so much from Edge. Everyone in the band, really.”

“Has this kind of mentoring been band wide?” Nigel asked.

“We don’t have one on one lessons,” Faith chuckled. “But I think we are all taking notes on everything from image to how to deal with fans,” She snapped her fingers, “which we are starting to get our own.”

Paul approached the table. “We have a sound check to get to. Nigel, can you attend tomorrow’s check?”

Nigel gathered his things. “That would be great. I’ll see you all at the show tonight.”


"Hey Faith," Larry called as she walked away. She turned around for him to catch up to her.


"What’s up?" She asked though she knew exactly why he followed.


"I'm sorry about your father," he rubbed his neck. "I, ehm, lost my mum when I was young so I know it's hard."


She smiled. "It is hard. The funeral was tough. It was like living it all over again."


"My mum's was so sudden, car accident. How was it for your father?" He walked beside her.


"Heart attack, but they discovered cancer. Stage 4 and beyond cure," she swallowed the lump in her throat. After vowing to never spend any more time in a hospital after her illness, she stayed in her fathers room until he passed.


"I'm sorry," Larry stared into her pained face.


"I got to say goodbye at least," she said. "It brought my brother and I closer together."


Larry nodded. "It took awhile for us to really pull together. The band really helped me through. Especially Bono. He knew what it was like to lose a mother."


She nodded knowingly but wasn't sure she was ready to willingly share about her own mother.


"It makes me really worry about my da. I feel bad for Bono having lost them both," Larry said. "Did you feel that way too?"


She took a deep breath. How much did she want share? "Well my mom left us when I was a teen. Some women are not made for motherhood."


Larry's eyes flew open. "That's horrible! How long ago was this?"


"I was about 15," she stared at the ground. Hearing the pity in his voice, she decided to not tell him everything. "Being a mom was too tough for her so she left. I toyed with looking for her when I was about 20. Then it occurred to me, what would it do? Clearly she wanted nothing to do with us. She didn't want the emotional burden. Now, she knows where she can find me."


Larry's mouth hung open. On the surface, Faith was filled with life and laughter. He never imagined this kind of pain under all that confidence.

"I don’t even know what to say," he whispered.


She smiled. "Please do not feel bad. And don’t let Nigel know. I don't need tabloids digging her up."


Larry nodded. "No. You do not deserve that. I will guard it with my life." He placed his hand over his heart.


Faith knew his word was gold. Once he made a promise, he would keep it. She saw his inner struggle when he looked at her. If Ann weren't in the equation, things would be different. Of course knowing that didn't make it easier to near him. Her eyes coursed over his chiseled arms and she wanted to touch them. If she moved closer, he might kiss her again. Maybe one more kiss would be enough to convince him to leave Ann and run away into the night with her.


"Thank you," she smiled. "I better get up to sound check."


He nodded and wrapped his arms around his own body as to not reach for her. His resolve melted a little more each day. There were days when he closed his eyes and could barely see Ann. He needed to come to a conclusion he could live with by the time the tour reached Ireland.


"Hey,"Adam walked beside him towards the mess tent. "Shocking about Faith's father."


"It is. She doesn't deserve that,"he grabbed a bottle of water.


Adam smiled. "Yeah, she's kind of a special soul, isn't she? Bono seems to have found a kindred spirit in her."


"She's just being nice to him since she knows what he's going through, " Larry said dismissively.


"Is that all that's going on?" Adam raised his bleached eyebrows.


Larry nodded with what he hoped was confidence in the situation.


"So when are you going to admit there's something more going on for you?" Adam asked.


Larry rubbed his neck nervously. It was just the two of them here. "That presents a problem. I've never been attracted to anyone this strongly before."


"What about Ann?"


"We were kids. This is different. It scares me truthfully. I don’t know what to do," it felt good to unleash.


Adam rubbed his chin. "Well....what do you want to do?"


Larry faced him a pained look conveying his pent up desire for Faith. "Something I will not while I'm connected to Ann."


"Are you saying you are ready to end that?" Adam couldn't believe Larry might be considering it.


He shook his head. "I don’t know. Some days I think it's time. It's best for both of us. But other days, I think I'm happy."


"It is a big step. Not one easy to come back from once its done. I think you need more time. You need to really evaluate your relationship with Ann first. Faith is a symptom of something that was already missing." He patted his friend on the back. "I know its not easy to concentrate when she is around. But it's best for everyone if you have a clear head about what you want and need. You don't want to jump too fast."


Larry nodded. "I know. She's very hard to resist."


"Does she know how you feel?" Adam asked.


He shrugged. "Sort of. We, ehm kissed once...before the end of the last leg. I sort of ran away freaked out."


Adam dragged his palm over his face. "Oh."


"What do I do now?" Larry asked.


"It's a bit late to have a talk about it. You think she still feels the same?" Adam asked.


"I do. If Ann were not a factor," he started. He thought about his words. He wasn't ready to admit there was only one thing in the way. "It might be different."


Adam nodded slowly. He was hesitant to think of what could transpire over the course of this tour.

After playing snippets of older songs, Strict Machine decided to attempt writing new material.

Alex had a basic rhythm going as Faith joined in on piano. She started singing phrases.


Alex sighed. "It needs something more."


"It needs to sound sexier. There's a dirty quality about it,"Faith said.


Edge watched from backstage. He had stayed far away from Alex in the last few weeks. Somehow, it made the dreams more frequent and vivid. Watching her in the creative process, it was impossible to resist being near her.


"You can get a dirtier sound from a different pedal. Also try playing a hair slower. That'll make it sexier," he winked at Faith.


Edge worked with them while his band ate lunch. After an hour, they had a good foundation for a new song. 


Faith nodded. "I like it. I just need to write lyrics now."


"I'm not in love with the guitar sound, " Alex scratched her head.


"Why don't we fiddle with some pedals. Maybe we can get the sound you're looking for," Edge plugged her guitar into his effects board.

Soon, he was left with just Alex on stage. For the first time in awhile, it wasn't uncomfortable. They both focused on the music. Sparks flew as arms touched or fingers brushed. He wondered how long he could contain himself. He pulled his straw cowboy hat low over his eyes to hide the fire behind them. He knew Nigel could be lurking around any corner. Wouldn't he love a scoop like this? The juicy story wasn't Faith between Bono.


Adam and Larry finished lunch as Bono went to the stage. He watched form the side as they put their heads together on a muddier and bolder sound. Bono liked it and looked forward to hearing Faith singing along. The thought made his skin tingle. Alex and Edge were serious in their work. The smiles that passed between still worried Bono. He remembered that spark in Edge’s eye as he fell for Morleigh. It was here as he watched Alex's fingers caress her guitar. They way they leaned closer to touch. The small giggles. The lingering fingers caused him deep concern. If they gave in to temptation, how would that impact Strict Machine? Could they sustain a break-up within the band and during a world tour?



Nigel sat across from Bono and Faith in Bono's suite. He noted that they sat within reach from each other without touching. Faith curled one leg under her and leaned back casually on the couch. She'd seen Nigel watching everyone's body language. Having him watching the shows cooled her desire for Bono during their duet. His eyes were there to dissect every move the first night they performed Something Stupid. They were playful but straightforward. Even Bono was glad to have Nigel be the cold bucket of water to his emotions. Ali had been unusually warm towards him during their phone conversations lately. Perhaps Bobs death made her think of family. He couldn't let his feelings for Faith get in the way of what could be a united family. Somewhere deep inside, he knew that he and Faith could potentially have amazing, but there were too many things in the way.

"So Bono, what were your first impressions of Faith and Strict Machine?" Nigel asked.

"Of Faith or Strict Machine? The band, I was skeptical about. I think you came on stage to Carmina Burana or something. And the club was a converted rave factory. Just dirty and dark. But I saw her walk on stage and thought, maybe we have something here. Well, then she opened her mouth. I was blown away," he smiled impishly. "And she was very nice to watch."

She hit his leg. "I'm just a piece of meat...I see," she joked.

"It doesn't hurt," he said.

"What did you think when they asked you on tour?" Nigel turned to her.

"I thought it was a very elaborate joke. Like Candid Camera from the 70's. Then I thought about how much we didn't know. Most bands get to do a small tour of at least half of the US before doing arena....never mind stadiums. We went from converted rave spaces to football stadiums. Maybe 1000 people to a few thousand. I had a serious case of stage fright," Faith said.

"How did you help with that?" Nigel turned to Bono.

"We worked with them during rehearsals in Las Vegas. We knew it would be a huge adjustment for them,” Bono laughed a little. "I remember the first rehearsal she sang to Ryan, their drummer. She was terrified to face the front."

Faith nodded. "I was sick with fear."

"You recovered quickly. She walked on that stage like she owned it. Like she'd been doing it her whole life. There was no trace of fear," Bono beamed.

"I've heard members of your band Bono call Faith the female version of you. Would you agree?"

Faith frowned. "Really? That's what they say?"

He nodded sheepishly. "Edge said it once while we watched you on stage. I guess I could see it. She has the charisma, the ambition. I've seen her with the fans, and she really reaches them. It's a fair comparison. But Faith has more, let's say, restraint. I can get in my own head and think my idea is the only idea to have. She's a bit more practical and judicious."

"Why thank you," she said.

"What were your impressions of Bono?" Nigel asked.

Faith had to be careful here. Considering that she didn't care for Bono very much at first. She wasn't about to divulge that he was a horny annoyance that rammed his tongue down any girl’s throat. Now that she thought about it, he had not done that at all on this leg of the tour. Was it Nigel's presence? Maybe. Yet he'd been pretty reserved before Nigel joined the tour.

"He is larger than life with a heart to match. He made sure we were looked after and that we were comfortable. Making sure we had time to sound check. That the press knew about us. He kept my nerves steady. And he's like that with fans and contemporaries. He makes everyone feel like they matter and have worth, " she said.

"Thanks," he nodded.

"Okay, what annoys you?" Nigel asked.

"He can push too hard. It's good for the most part because it gets you out of your comfort zone, but sometimes you want to tell him to stuff it," she grinned.

"And you wouldn't? "

"At first I was afraid we'd get kicked off the tour. Now I do tell him to shove it, " she said.

He nodded. "Yeah that shyness wore off."

"Oh," she added, "and he never gets hangovers. You cannot drink him under the table."

"I just hide it better. Trust me, inside I'm dying," he joked.

"Why is their success so important to you? You gave up some of your time at the Tibetan concert for them. Your record company gave them a contract right away. Why would the biggest band in the world with a hard record to sell take this on?"
Bono thought for a moment. "Because we are in the position to help. It's a different world than we started. Sure, I know by taking our help that some of their contemporaries have turned their backs on them. I think Strict Machine were smart. They wanted their music to be available to more than their friends in New York. They believed in what they created. Why shouldn't they want to tour the world and have it hear what they have to say? Why can't we see ourselves in this band and give them a hand?" Bono gestured wildly. Faith and Nigel settled in for the sermon on the couch. "Faith wrote this beautiful song that she sang at that concert. Sadly, I haven't heard it since, but it's about all the things we still believe in like social justice and responsibility. Just because we have a disco lemon on stage doesn't mean a song like New Years Day means any less. But we know that life is more than that. It's about God, love, loss of love, sex, pain and miracles."

Bono went on to talk for next 30 minutes straight. Faith was glad to be able to turn her brain off for a bit. While she knew he felt strongly about her music, she never knew it was as passionate. It was Larry that discovered them but Bono was their biggest advocate. As stomachs growled, Nigel suggested they continue after dinner. Once Bono put together a post dinner pub crawl together that never happened.


Oslo. Strict Machine had another amazing show playing to screaming fans. They sang along with Faith and danced from the moment they hit the stage. Feeling Good was climbing the European charts steadily. Ryan joked that they should relocate to Europe.


It was another great show for U2 as well. The crowd loved the play between Bono and Faith during their duet. Spirits being high, Faith was a little more playful than usual. She was happy. This tour was going better than she anticipated. The tension between she and Bono was non-existent now. There were moments when that night flashed into her mind. Part of her body wanted to feel him again in a pure animalistic sense. When his hips moved, she was very aware of what she was missing. But things with Larry were improving. Their friendship was on the mend. The flirting resumed as well as the lingering smiles and glances. He might still be with Ann, but Faith wondered for how long. Somehow her past brought him closer to her again.

Bono had planned a grand dinner with a grander party after. They just needed to finish the show. Nigel was finished with his interviews and observation of the two bands. There was no need to behave anymore. In between the next tour dates, Annie Leibovitz would shoot them for the cover and sprawling article. Tonight, it was time to celebrate.


That was until the disco lemon stopped abruptly. Larry thought it was stuttering as it moved towards the second stage.


"This is not happening,"Bono groaned.


After one last shudder, it stopped short sending everyone inside stumbling forward.


"I never felt claustrophobic until right now," Larry looked around the lemon. "I always thought this was a stupid idea."


Bono rolled his eyes. "They'll get us out in a few minutes."


Over the radio, they heard. "Hydraulic died. Working on it now."


It was starting to get stuffy inside the discoball. Larry grumbled under his breath. Bono's attempts to lighten the mood were lost on the seething drummer.


Ryan watched crew members fly by with lightning speed. He thought he heard something about the band being stuck.


"I think the lemon died,"he said.

Faith was on her way to watch the second part of the show. "Died? With them inside?"


Ryan suppressed a laugh. "I think so."


"This I have to see," Faith ran towards the stage. Alex was already standing at the edge of the crowd as road crew swarmed the stalled time machine. "They’re inside?"


Alex nodded. "For at least the last 5 or so minutes. They are trying to get the back door open,"


Ryan and Faith fell over each other laughing. She could not wait to tease Bono about his amazing invention later. Alex joined them in giggling.


After 10 minutes, the back door was opened for the band to make their escape. Bono made a few self deprecating remarks as they scrambled to their positions on the second stage. In the audience, he caught the gleam in Faith’s eye and knew he was going to hear about this later. He was in one of his strange moods. Somedays he could not get Faith out of his mind no matter how he tried. Those days, he clung to memories of Ali. Tonight with her eyes on him, he longed for Faith. As Discotheque slowed to If You Wear That Velvet Dress, he hopped off the stage to get close to the audience. His eyes searched out the female fan he would choose for a dance. He paused before Faith. He wanted to take her hand and hold her close as he sang to her. He looked up to see the lemon finally spin sending light into space. She held her breath as his eyes grazed her face.


"It's her daylight that gets me through," he sang before reaching his hand into the audience for a young fan in a long velvet dress.

Faith let out a sigh. Bono and the lucky fan climbed to the stage to dance locked in each others arms. A part of her wondered what it might be like to dance with him while he sang low in her ear.


The rest of the show powered through without further interruptions. Still unable to shake that feeling, Bono leaned closer to Edge.


"Think we could pull off She's a Mystery?" He asked.


Edge nodded. He'd been thinking of that song quite a bit lately. He couldn't help but search the crowd for her. Something soon was about to give, he could feel it. It'd been days since he spoke to Morleigh. Her voice could usually bring him back to center.


"Thanks so much. Edge and I want to play this for a friend. Roy, this is for you," Bono said.


Edge couldn't help but stare into Alex as she stood with Faith and Ryan below stage. As Bono sang, he closed his eyes and thought of his mystery girl, Ali. Then Faith.


"Haunted by her side, it’s the darkness in her eyes that so enslaves me," he sang. Slowly, he attempted to strum along with Edge. Larry and Adam had moved off the side while he and Edge finished the show. He opened his eyes to stare directly at Faith. "Am I left to burn and burn eternally. She's a mystery to me."


Faith slipped through the crowd to the backstage area. Those moments always left her breathless and confused. 90% of the time, it was an easy friendship. It was the 10% where she remembered the freckles on his shoulders or his sighs that left her a little unsettled.



Champagne was brought out at dinner to celebrate Strict Machines first top ten hit. Top of the Pops wanted them to perform Feeling Good when they were in London in a few weeks. Several bottles were ingested at dinner before Bono led the charge to the first Oslo nightclub where more champagne was generously poured.


Larry watched Ryan and Faith dance. He was many beers deep into the night. His resolve weakened with every gulp. The liquor clung to the air in the stuffy nightclub. Transvestites slunk by in monster heels. They lowered their false eyelashes at the handsome Mullen. He decided to take his chances dancing with Faith instead. Ryan was now dancing with a tall blonde man with cheekbones that could cut glass. Faith danced with a shorter man whose hands were attempting to get too friendly.


"May I cut in?" He asked over the music.


Faith was overjoyed to see him for several reasons. "Yes, please." She practically jumped into his arms.


Her shirt clung to her damp body and he wondered if this was a good idea. Slowly, they moved together. Larry felt the sweat roll down his back as he wrapped one arm around her. Her lips looked so inviting. The club was crowded enough that no one would see if he kissed her right here. As much as she enjoyed being pressed against his body, she couldn't help but notice that they didn't move as fluidly as she and Bono did. When she danced with Bono, they moved in perfect rhythm and unison like 2 halves of one whole. She shook that thought as she gazed into Larry’s silver eyes.


Bono looked up from his conversation with Paul to see Larry and Faith dancing. A sour pit in his stomach formed. Bono had purposely stayed away from Faith because his head was swimming in booze. He didn't trust himself around her tonight. He was starting to think of her too often. Dublin was still weeks away when he would see Ali again. If he had any chance of reconciliation, he needed a clear head and pure heart. Seeing Faith pressed against Larry didn't make it easy. Bono proposed keeping Strict Machine on for the fall North American tour. Paul wondered his intentions. Perhaps U2 was getting a little too close to this band. Yet, their friendship was splashed all over the news thus boosting record and ticket sales. The publicity was intoxicating. On a personal level, Paul knew continuing to tour side by side could make things messy. He wasn’t stupid. He saw the glances. He knew Edge was attracted to Alex. Bono had made it clear he found Faith captivating, but there was Larry watching from the wings. Somehow, this would all blow up.


Faith felt Larry’s lips brush her cheekbone. A shiver tore through her. If she turned her head, she would taste him. She had to walk away. She wouldn't be made to look like a fool again. As the song stopped, she peeled herself away.


"Thank you for the dance," she smiled sweetly before she walked away.

She felt his gaze burn into her back. That's right. You want more. You'll have to work for it, she grinned to herself. Bono was surprised to see her sit next to him.

"Tired of dancing?" He raised an eyebrow.


"For now," she said.


He leaned closer. "Or maybe he just wasn't as good as me."


"Maybe. A lady never tells," she shrugged innocently.


She made it damn hard to resist her. He order them both a drink as he told her his plan for North America.


Alex had been dancing with Sam when he disappeared in the sea of sweaty bodies. Faces came in and out focus. She swore she danced with Faith and Ryan at one point. Right now, she felt free. Champagne was the magic elixir. She felt arms wrap around her. She opened her eyes to stare into those amazing green eyes.


"Care for a dance," it was more of a demand than question.


"Oh yes," as her hands slid across his chest to clasp around his neck. Edge crushed his chest against hers leaving nothing between them. He placed his hands firmly on her hips to guide them against his. She had never been more turned on. The rest of the club was a blur of sound and colors. Her fingers worked their way under the opened buttons of his shirt. He sighed. Another button undone, then another. His pants were suddenly tight. She shuddered as his finger slipped into the waist band of her jeans and grazed her behind.


"Kiss me now," she demanded in his ear.


With full force he brought his lips to hers. She swore she saw sparks ignite. She had no idea where Sam was. She didn't care that they were in public. Edge was and pulled away abruptly. Disappointment slapped her face.


"Come with me," he pulled her down a small hallway looking for any private place. With his foot, he pushed open to the men’s room. It was poorly lit and had a handicap stall. It would do.

~~~ A little later~~~

he touched her cheek gently and offered a small smile.

“Are you okay?” he asked lowly.

She bit her lip and nodded. “I feel a little dizzy.”

He wrapped an arm around her. “Let’s get you home.”

The club was still packed as Alex slipped out from the men’s room. Edge wasn’t behind directly behind her. She moved through the grinding bodies on the dance floor. No one looked familiar to her anymore. Her eyes sought out Faith. She wanted someone to talk with. She saw Larry, but he sat at the bar alone staring at a beer.

“Have you seen Faith?” she asked.

“I think she left,” he grumbled.

Edge appeared behind her. “Hey, we’re heading back. You coming?”

Larry nodded. “Yeah. I’m done tonight.” He slid off the stool. He didn’t even notice Edge hand resting protectively on Alex’s lower back. Larry heard that Faith left with Adam, Sam and Bono. He had been sitting at the bar thinking about Bono and Faith being together. He knew he was being silly. Faith had no interest in Bono. The liquor was making him paranoid.

The ride back to the hotel was tense. Larry stared out at the city with his head already pounding. He knew the morning would be rough. Edge tried his hardest to not touch Alex as he sat beside her. Wanting to be as close to him as possible, she pressed her leg against his. She wished that she could curl up beside him in his bed holding him all night. But it wasn’t that simple. She had swallowed hard letting her growing love for him slide down her throat.
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:16 PM   #2
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!!!!!!!!!!!

THUD!

Did you get my PM!? Must have. The. Full. Version.

Then I can form sentences and actually give decent feedback.

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Old 05-09-2011, 10:27 PM   #3
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DYINNNNNNNG

Torture! Torture! Torturrrrrrre!

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Old 05-09-2011, 10:36 PM   #4
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Okay, sent! That was the quickest feedback I've seen.
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:53 PM   #5
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Hee hee - I've been waiting on it! It's such a treat to see someone else write a 'creative' Edge scene that I either a) didn't write myself or b) beta.



I sent you a big email with feedback

Edgegirls need this one - trust me
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Old 05-09-2011, 11:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
"Keep yer panties on Lardence,"
*snicker*

Quote:
Tonight, the grinding of Bono's hips were a little distracting.
Sounds like fun

The lemon broke down? That was pretty hilarious.

And hmm, Edge and Alex. Would definitely like the stuff cut out.

I'm still as confused about Faith and Bono/Faith and Larry as I was last chapter...maybe even more...

Also, the interviews have been making me nervous for some reason...
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Old 05-09-2011, 11:39 PM   #7
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I'd love a PM of the full version too please!
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:42 AM   #8
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*snicker*



Sounds like fun

The lemon broke down? That was pretty hilarious.

And hmm, Edge and Alex. Would definitely like the stuff cut out.

I'm still as confused about Faith and Bono/Faith and Larry as I was last chapter...maybe even more...

Also, the interviews have been making me nervous for some reason...
The Lemon did break down in Oslo. And the She's a Mystery to Me was added after I saw the set list for that night.

I'll get the specifics to you right away.

Larry/Faith/Bono remains tangled for quite some time. There is a raging sea of emotions for everyone. Larry feels responsible for Ann but wants Faith. Being Larry, he needs to know for certain that would be the right decision. Bono still loves Ali, but his feelings for Faith are becoming more real and confusing. It went from just wanting to have sex, to friendship and he's fighting that something deeper. I think he's in denial that that THIS might be the soulmate - yet she's still pining for Larry. And he's still not ready to give up on the idea of family.
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Old 05-10-2011, 09:07 AM   #9
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"raging sea of emotions" is an apt description

God, I have no idea how this is going to play out...

and that's probably why there were no repeats of giant lemon spaceships after Pop/Zooropa/etc ^^
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Old 05-10-2011, 09:16 AM   #10
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I guess it broke down a few times. The last being in Japan where the band we stuck for longer and couldn't escape out the back.
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Old 05-10-2011, 09:48 PM   #11
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OMG wow that was hot! You're a great writer, I'm really enjoying this story
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:25 PM   #12
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Oh yeah Grace, if you were going to send me the adult version by PM, could you do it by email instead? My PM inbox is just about full >.<
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:49 PM   #13
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I totally see Edge wearing white pants in that scene. BTW.

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Old 05-11-2011, 06:29 AM   #14
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Oh yeah Grace, if you were going to send me the adult version by PM, could you do it by email instead? My PM inbox is just about full >.<
I thought I did send by email. I'll check when I get to work.
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:03 AM   #15
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Oh yeah Grace, if you were going to send me the adult version by PM, could you do it by email instead? My PM inbox is just about full >.<
I did send it yesterday. Let me know if you need me to resend it.
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:59 AM   #16
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D: I don't think I got it. I'll make sure it's not my spam filter. Ghh.
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:18 AM   #17
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I resent it in a reply to an older email. Maybe it won't get spammed.
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:19 AM   #18
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Ok. Thanks Grace Yahoo usually isn't this evil...

Edit: got it!
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:26 AM   #19
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So thaaaat's what happens in men's restrooms!

You are an interesting writer of opposites. I mean, you'd think since they're having sex in the bathroom it'd be the typical means-nothing kind, but Edge's immediate feeling that that was treating Alex badly was unexpected...it'll be interesting to see how their relationship develops...

I have the strange feeling that someone else from the band went into the bathroom and picked up on what was going on maybe that's just me...
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:52 AM   #20
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So thaaaat's what happens in men's restrooms!

You are an interesting writer of opposites. I mean, you'd think since they're having sex in the bathroom it'd be the typical means-nothing kind, but Edge's immediate feeling that that was treating Alex badly was unexpected...it'll be interesting to see how their relationship develops...

I have the strange feeling that someone else from the band went into the bathroom and picked up on what was going on maybe that's just me...
I don't think I've sorted out how deep his feelings go in this case. He likes her and respects her. That night, lust and alcohol made for strange bedfellows. There seems to be some who want him to stay with Morleigh and others that want him to be with Alex. Same goes for the Larry/Faith or Faith/Bono pairing.

But I hadn't considered that someone from either band might have walked in. I think things are complicated enough without that.
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