Shine A Light, chapter 3

I arrived at the restaurant at ten past eight, I decided to brush up and wear a black dress. It wasn't tremendously dressy; it was just over my knee and tied at a bow just under my neck, I didn't make a huge effort, maybe just a bit more black eye make up than usual, I was nervous. It showed I held my bag tight in my heated palms as I approached the heavy glass doors.
A small podgy waitress approached me cautiously after my hissy fit of storming out at breakfast this morning, the pretty waitress must have warned her about me.
"Table for one?" she asked looking over the menu plastered to her chest.
"No actually I'm supposed to be joining... "
"Vera!" I turned to see Billie Joe walking over to us, it looked as if was slightly skipping as he half jogged through the tables.
"Hey." I grinned at him, taking in his figure in a black dapper suite with no tie.
"We're over here." His thumb gestured behind him and I turned to the waitress,
"Thanks anyway..."
"Can I get you a drink?" she asked glancing at Billie quickly before looking back at me.
"Err... a glass of the house white would be nice," I smiled at her before turning to see Billie looking down at his fingers and wrestling with them strangely. He looked up at me and grinned, shoving his left hand into his pocket and guiding me with his right.
"Just up there in the corner." He ushered me with his hand barely touching my back.
I swallowed nervous at the prospect of spending the next few hours with unruly punk rockers.
We stopped at the table where I recognised Billie's friend from the night before, he also had a suite on with a hot pink shirt and hair gelled so high it looked like he had undergone a few rounds with a toaster in a bathtub.
His other friends also were dressed in suites; one had a red shirt on, blondish hair and a warm smile on his face. The last man had dark hair like Billie's his face quite rounded and soft; he wore a blue shirt and fiddled anxiously with the table cloth.
I stopped at the edge and Billie halted next to me,
"Guys this is Vera, Vera this is Tre, Mike and Jason."
"Hey." I waved shyly as Billie sat me down and pushed my chair in for me.
"So you're the writer," Tre smiled next to me.
"Err, yeah," I smiled back unsurely, wondering what he meant by that.
"Maybe you could give Billie a few ideas, he's struggling with a few lyrics," Mike chuckled as Billie sat down next to me, pulling his jacket from underneath him.
"Thanks Mike," he snarled at his friend sarcastically.
"So why are you in LA?" Tre asked me taking a sip of his wine.
"I'm here visiting my friend, I was considering moving out here," I smiled smoothing down my napkin on my lap.
"Ah... you live in England then?" Mike asked as I nodded.
"Yeah, Manchester," I almost whispered.
"Oh we did a gig there at the MEN," Jason piped up, the first thing he'd said since I joined the table.
"So this friend you're visiting, is that the guy you were with last night?" Tre asked leaning further into the table.
I nodded, confused by the questions being thrown at me.
"Yeah, I've known him for years."
Tre frowned and leaned in closer to me. "Do you mind if I ask... is he gay?" he almost whispered.
I chuckled.
"Tre!" Billie yelled half heartedly amused but quite angry at the same time.
"What? It was just a question," Tre asked hands flying up in defense.
"I don't mind..." I shrugged. "He is though yes."
Tre cackled as the other three shook their heads.
"I knew it, he was well checking me out, I was going to tell you in case you thought he was straight, save you from the embarrassment of chasing him ya'know."
I laughed at the forwardness of this guy, I liked him, he spoke his mind and didn't piss around. The others seemed used to it and sighed as Billie reached around the back of me and smacked him softly on the head.
"Tre will you be a bit more polite please?"
I chuckled. "It's okay."
My wine arrived then and I sipped it as Billie began talking to me about the album they were recording. The others chipped in frequently and as we ordered and began to eat our food I found myself laughing more and more. They were normal funny guys who, rock stars or not were far more politer than some of the so called, 'upper class' people I had dined with.
"So yeah anyway I was going to say Ver... can I call you Ver? If you were wasting your time on Marcus then you could be fishing in a bigger pond if ya know what I mean... "
I giggled, Tre was on his sixth glass of wine and was beginning to look a little blurry eyed.
"Its an unusual name that, Vera..." Mike smiled pushing his empty plate away from him. "I was named after Vera Fischer the Brazilian actress, it's not exactly very distinguished, she was a Playboy model too and Miss Brazil I think. My mother thought she was beautiful." I sighed, hating that I had to explain where my weird name came from.
"Well I can't think of a better way to be named than after a Playboy model," Tre laughed.
"At least yours was spelled right, my mother gave me the girl version of Billie Joe," Billie smiled. "Ah well, it keeps me in touch with my feminine side."
I chuckled and glanced at Billie, his eyes caught mine in that exact moment and we both smiled before looking back down at the table cloth.
I looked back up at Mike who glanced down at Billie's hand and I swear I could have seen a small frown. I swallowed, slightly confused.
"So, if you're named after a porn star, does that mean you can't have a porn star name?" Jason asked puzzled.
"Yeah you still can," Tre snapped up looking outraged at what Jason had just said.
"Ver what's your mother's maiden name and your first pets name?"
I thought for a moment at what Tre had just asked me, thoroughly distracted from Mike's frown.
"My mother's maiden name was Bernard and my first pet's name was Skippy."
"HAHAHA Skippy Bernard That's well good," Tre cackled causing a few people to look around.
I blushed slightly. "God that's awful, a second rate porn star."
The waiter came over for the bill and despite my protests Billie would not let me pay for a thing. We decided to leave and head for the bar in the hotel, which made Tre seem extremely excited, I laughed to myself, he was like a 5 year old with a 21 ID.
"It's too dangerous taking Tre outside now." Billie giggled settling down in the same seat he was in last night.
"I'll think I'll head up to bed." Mike sighed scratching his head as he hovered over the table.
"Okay man, see you tomorrow," Billie smiled at him.
"Bye Mike, nice meeting you," I smiled at him.
"Yeah... you too Vera," he sighed at me, shooting Billie a frown before turning and leaving.
That frown made me uncomfortable; I felt that it was due to my presence that Mike was annoyed.
"So Vera what are you doing tomorrow?" Jason asked, distracting my thoughts as he sipped from his beer.
"Marcus is going to give me a tour" I smiled taking a sip from my own drink.
"Cool" He raised his eyebrows at me impressively.
"So how long are you guys here?" I asked
"Another week or so depends really" Billie smiled at me.
"We only picked this hotel because we heard it was haunted," Tre bubbled through his beer filled mouth.
"Likewise," I smiled, "Marcus said it would suit me perfectly"
Billie grinned at me as Jason coughed,
"So is that what you write? Horror and stuff..."
I opened my mouth to answer when Tre cut across me,
"Jason how stupid haven't you seen Billie's..."
"Yeah, IS that what you write?" Billie asked me cutting off Tre's words.
"Err." I looked from each of them, becoming more confused by the minute. "Well, kind of... it's quite dark, twisted" I shrugged.
I glanced at my watch and my heart stopped, it was 2 o'clock, Marcus was meeting me in five hours. I put down my empty wine glass solemnly; disappointed I had to depart from this strange yet hilarious group of guys.
"I'm going to bed I think, I have to be up soon." I sighed standing up.
"Oh right." Billie looked up at me as I rose and gulped down the rest of his beer. "I'll err, walk you to your room."
"Thanks." I grinned at him as he rose form his chair also.
"Good night guys it was nice meeting you, I'll see you soon," I smiled at Tre and Jason as they waved at me.
"Night Vera." Jason grinned.
"Night Ver, see you around." Tre waved as I turned out of the bar, Billie following me.
He sped up and walked next to me as we made our way through the lobby and to the huge gold doors where the elevator hid behind.
"I had a great night, thanks," I smiled at him as he plunged his hands into his pockets.
"So did I, I was quite worried that you would be a little overwhelmed, especially with Tre."
I chuckled as I pressed the lift button.
"I really enjoyed myself, you guys are really nice, I think this punk rock thing is just an act."
Billie chuckled. "You should come and see us play, we're very different I promise."
I giggled as we entered the lift.
"I'd like that," I smiled as we stood in the elevator, the silent humming of the cogs lifting us to my floor filling the tense silence of the mirror covered elevator. I glanced at the spotless reflective surface in front of me and caught his eyes in my own. A grin spread on his face and I chuckled, feeling myself blush at my shyness. The lift stopped and we both walked out to the floor where my room was located.
"Thanks again," I smiled at him, he suddenly took up my hand and shook it looking deeply into my eyes.
"It was a pleasure, really, I hope to see you again sometime."
"I do too." I grinned as he let go of my hand.
"Well I know what room you're in now so... "
He cackled stepping backwards and nodding at me.
I grinned back at him. "I'll make sure I lock my door then."
He grinned and wrinkled his nose. "Nah, I'll just sleep outside in desperate wait till you come out."
"That's reassuring to know you stand guard against the ghosts, thanks."
We both laughed and parted our separate ways. I closed my room door behind me and leaned against it. A rush of energy pulsated through my skin. I liked him, I liked him lots.
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