I was a Rock Star's Secretbycurious2c©
With heartfelt thanks to my editor, who put up with me all this time, Kanga40. A real help to this struggling writer.
Her voice still cuts through to my soul to this very day. Now that she's a singer with a string of top ten hits following her I can only wish her the very best. Remembering her kisses and the way she to moves her body when she's working her magic are a part of me.
It all started way back when of course, that's how most stories go and this one is no different. I had been hired out of college and was finding my place in the world. We met at a casino when I was out one night enjoying the town.
Having moved to Las Vegas from bo-hunk Montana to work had been a challenge for me. I was used to a very slow pace; even college hadn't prepped me for the pace I was to find here. Traffic going fifty miles an hour or more, all the accidents, the road reports, and all that comes with big city living. I was adapting, but it was taking time.
I found that by going to a casino every once in a while and just kicking back listening to the house band flavor of the month would fill a bit of time that I couldn't seem to fill any other way. I didn't gamble, well, much that is. I did however love to sit at a slot machine near the bars where the live bands played.
Music from a live band always, well almost always, would soothe my soul. There's something about live music that drives right to the heart of me. Needless to say, most Fridays or Saturdays would find me sitting at a quarter slot machine slowly playing off twenty dollars one quarter at a time as I listened to whatever music was being played.
This night happened to be a Friday, and I was early by quite a bit. I had gotten off work before the usual time, traffic had been smooth especially for a Friday, and I had managed to get ready about three hours earlier than usual.
Normally I would have found something to while away the time at home, but this night, for whatever reason, I felt a need to 'get there now' so I left. I ate at the casino's buffet, and then strolled down to the main floor. Early as it was I decided that tonight I would gamble a bit heavier than normal. What the heck, I had nothing else to spend the money on, so what?
I'd never played at the tables and I'd rarely play the poker machines, so since I was in such a mood I got my cash then went directly to a Roulette table.
"Hi. How's this game work?"
"You've never played Roulette before?"
Pointing to a table not too far away, the dealer smiled and offered his advice.
"That table right over there is for people who want to learn about Roulette. If you go there that dealer will walk you through the rules, the odds, and the proper etiquette. I know we're slow right now and I'd be willing to teach you, but the management wants people new to the game to learn it over there."
I was confident, but wary. I had watched the table games in action. The nights when things were going well for some I always saw others where things hadn't gone well at all. While I knew that I'd never get rich gambling I did want to learn more about it. I was just out to have fun after all.
Arriving at the learner's table the petite and very pretty Asian woman smiled and introduced me to 'Roulette'. Her tutelage was well received and in about an hour I was ahead sixty dollars.
Feeling brave and seeing the casino was beginning to fill up; I moved out and went to a 'real' table. I had a couple of hundred dollars in chips and a new found game to play.
I had about an hour and a half before I'd head to my favorite slot machine to listen to the flavor of the month. I was also feeling good. Way too good.
I sat at the table and placed bets here and there across the numbers. Right off the bat the dealer had to remind me that I was at a ten-dollar minimum bet table...so I doubled up on my dollar bets on those six squares.
Still slightly embarrassed, I didn't realize I had hit on the 27 and the line bet too. Suddenly I was almost hundred dollars ahead. That set the tone for the next hour for me too. It seemed I couldn't lose. When I heard the band coming on stage I knew it was time for me to get to my machine before it was in play.
I cashed in my chips and found that I was slightly over two thousand dollars ahead. I hadn't been certain on how much I was ahead until I cashed in. I was surprised at my good fortune to say the least. I wasn't rich, but I had lots of money to play with now.
I got my machine and put in a couple of twenties, feeling luckier than hell, and probably I was. I was going to find out in few minutes that my luck was on a streak.
I was still standing by the machine, and it was on the end of the aisle that led to the bar where the band stage was set up. I was moving the chair into a spot that I liked when I bumped into someone behind me.
"Oh I'm sorry. I wasn't paying attention."
I turned to see who I had stepped into, ashamed of not paying more attention. What my eyes found was a woman with blonde hair and quite a figure.
"That's all right. I was going too fast anyway."
"Are you all right? I didn't hurt you did I?"
"No, no ... I'm fine. So are you here to play? Wait a second, you're here quite often. I've seen you right at this machine."
"Yeah. I like sitting here so I can see and hear the band. Passes my time well enough and I can hear some great music at times too. You've got the better of me though. I can't recall having seen you. I will say you do look familiar though."
She seemed to ignore my last statement, her question already in the air as I quit talking.
"You listen to the bands here?"
"Yeah. I really love the band that's playing here lately."
"So, you're a groupie then?"
"Groupie? No. I just like to hear the house band, well when there's a great band that is. Some nights, heh well some bands could use some practice at times. Know what I mean?"
"Hopefully we're practiced up enough for you tonight then."
"Practiced up? Oh, wait ... now I know you ... I mean ... I know who you are ... I mean ... you're the singer in the band."
Boy was I suddenly a smooth talker? I was embarrassed because I hadn't recognized her at all.
"I'm one of them. There's two of us gals, and then the three guys too."
"Oh wow. I'm so embarrassed. I didn't recognize you. You're usually in the jeans with the vest thingy, sunglasses and ..."
"Stage costume. Hey if you get bored out here later on, come on into the bar and I'll have a special seat saved just for you. I know some people that know some people."
Her wink and smile caused me to laugh. It also served to relieve my embarrassment at the same time. Up close she was far prettier than I had imagined. I suppose the distance I was away plus the costume and make-up she wore while singing caused me to not recognize her at first up close.
As she walked away, she stopped and looked over her shoulder at me. There was something in the sparkle in her eyes that had me at that moment. Turning, she slipped back beside me.
"You looked like you wanted to say something more."
"Well, I was thinking of how beautiful you are up close. I've never seen you. I mean like this up close and all ... out of ... um ... uniform?"
Her laugh was throaty and soothing at the same time.
"Oh baby, you're a man after my heart."
"Well, you are beautiful."
"Keep that up and you'll have a hard time getting rid of me."
"I can't imagine wanting to get rid of you. You have talent, you're beautiful, I know, I said that already, but the truth is...you are."
"Okay, now you HAVE to come into the bar."
"I just put forty into this machine ..."
Looking at me she smiled and pushed the 'cash out' button, spewing out a ticket for forty dollars.
"Not any more."
"Lead the way Miss."
"Rhea. Short for Rhiannon, my mom was into Goddesses."
"Well, the name fits, you are a Goddess."
I followed her into the bar area and she led me right to a small table just off the edge of the stage. There were two chairs there, and the bartender was eyeing us as she sat me down in one of the chairs.
"Hey Chuck, this gentleman, I'm sorry, what is your name?"
"Chuck, Don will be sitting here and he is my special guest. Take care of him for me okay sweetie?"
"Sure will Rhea. All ready for the show tonight?"
"Yeah. We're doing some of our own stuff tonight too."
"Good, that means the agents over there will hear what you guys can do."
"That table over there, by the wall. They said that they heard about you guys and wanted to hear what you got. I've got a feeling Rhea, this could be it for you guys."
"Oh wow! Do the others know yet?"
"Yeah. They've been wondering where you've been. Better get on back there so they quit worrying."
Turning to me Rhea bent down and splashed a kiss on my cheek.
"Stick around baby. I'll talk to you later, about break time okay?"
"I'll be right here."
As she walked away I realized for the first time that every man in the place was watching her like, well, closely. She had 'it', that was certain. I was a bit uncomfortable, she had excited me deeply. I wanted to know her far better, but I was a bit put off with the rush that seemed to surround her. She had hit me like a proverbial hurricane and my mind hadn't quite grasped that she was or could be interested in me.
A shadow fell across my table; one bright light was blocked with the silhouette of a man.
"You know her?"
"Who are you talking about?"
"The singer, Rhiannon. Do you know her?"
"We just met a while ago."
"She seems to think a lot of you."
"What makes you say that?"
"You're at the reserved table, that speaks volumes."
"Yeah? Well she's a nice person."
"Look, my partner and I are here to hear the band. We're agents."
Spoken like I should have a clue, or maybe be impressed, I wasn't sure and frankly I didn't care.
"Well, I'm sure this band will impress you. They're pretty damn good."
"That's what we've heard."
He stood there, probably waiting for me to invite him to sit with me, which I wasn't going to do.
"So what is it you want with me then?"
"Wondered if you'd trade seats with us?"
"I like it right here, sorry. Besides, Rhea asked me to stay right here anyway. I suppose you and your associate could join me ..."
"NO. That won't work. We'll just sit where we are. Enjoy the show."
"Oh, I know I will."
As he left I felt like the king of the world. Sort of. I was still trying to get my head around what had happened to me so far tonight, the winnings, the meeting, and now sitting here in the special seating area. It was my lucky night.
The show started and right away I discovered that I was going to be the center of attention. Rhea and her partner Leah both played to me, singing, pointing, blowing kisses, and paying as much attention to me as they could while on a stage doing what they did best.
I could see that I was getting attentions that other men in the bar would kill to get and yes, I felt great about it all. Some of the women looked at me like there was more in me than perhaps there really was. Nothing like having two beautiful women on a stage singing, making eyes with you to change other's perspectives and perceptions of you.
The bartender Chuck, took care of my drinks and time to time he'd drop a word about Rhea. Nothing too deep, just comments. I knew that Chuck thought a lot of Rhea, that was obvious.
"You know she's had a tough life." Followed on the next drink delivery with; "She loves to sing on the stage." And then; "She is a great person to get to know too."
He should have known that he didn't have to sell me on her at that point. I had already been sold. After all, I was still sitting here wasn't I?
As the night went on I learned that Rhea and her band were trying to bust out and become more than a house band, and tonight would be a tell tale event. I was slightly uncomfortable when I learned that, as I hadn't been very good with the one agent, and I hoped that my refusal to move or trade seats with them wouldn't interfere in Rhea's band making a cut of some kind.
First break came soon and as the band walked backstage to do whatever bands do on breaks, Rhea jumped down off the stage and came over to sit with me. As she sat, there were suddenly all sorts of drinks being delivered to our table.
Guys stopped by trying to get next to her, and one even suggested that she come dump the loser and sit with him at a table on the other side of the bar. I was thinking that most of the guys were just hot and bothered to get next to this beautiful creature. That guy though, I was sure his rudeness had been an intentional rub aimed at me. Rhea blew them all off though, insisting that she was with me.
My hands were resting on the table and I hadn't been conscious of that fact. Not until her hands were on mine and she was leaning in looking into my eyes. I felt totally comfortable suddenly, knowing that she was paying this attention to me because she wanted to.
"So ... what do you think so far Don?"
"Well you guys are on tonight, that's for sure. I'm wondering what the agents are thinking of the attentions you ladies are paying me though."
"You don't like?"
"No, I can't lie, I love it. It's great. Just a bit ... intense maybe."
"Intense is what I am baby. I see what I want and I grab it."
I felt a thrill course through my body.
"Are you saying that you wanted to grab me?"
"Oh baby, you're here so you've already done been grabbed."
"Heh, feels nice. Actually, it feels great. Knowing that you're so nice and all ..."
Rhea leaned in and looked deeply into my eyes, her whole body language was as if she was letting me in on a secret.
"I have ulterior motives sweetie. You're the kind of guy I've been looking for."
"Oh yeah? When you break out tomorrow and become a star do you think you'll still be looking for me? You'll have your choice of men to pick from then."
I saw her smile catch, and there was a look in her eyes that warned me I had said the wrong thing.
"Oh. Why are you selling yourself so short?"
Her seriousness, as sudden as it was, caught me off guard.
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean anything by that. I don't think I'm selling myself short...I do think that those agents over there will be moving on you and your band though. You are that good. Once you become famous, you won't want to hang with some guy like me, that's all."
"Baby, when I've picked a man, there are no others. I've got to go, time to play again, but please stick around?"
"Couldn't chase me away with a stick."
The next two breaks were spent with us talking. I learned that Rhea had grown up in a tough neighborhood in a large city. She had also had a less than favorable home life too. There was more to be said on that, I could tell, but I let her tell me what she was comfortable with telling.
The last break Rhea took me backstage in a round about way. I had never been backstage before and even though they were on a break, it was busy as hell back there. People running here and there, and the curtains hanging like a huge fence, dividing the reality here from that make believe front that was the stage.
"What's up with this mike? Do we have another one handy?"
"Yeah ... here, unhook that one and plug in this one we'll do a short test."
"Where's that tuner at? Damn why can't things stay where I leave them anyway?"
"Man, my throat is dry where's the water?"
All at once that startling pace was overwhelming, yet Rhea was here and there helping out. I stood there watching, taking in everything. It was exciting, interesting and almost crazy. Suddenly one of the agents stepped in.
"Where's Rhiannon at?"
"I'm here. What do you want?"
"Here's our business card. Call me Monday. We'll want you and your band to come in. We like what we've heard here tonight and we want to do business with you."
"It's not 'my' band, we're a group. But we will call Monday morning say about ten?"
"Yeah. Ten will work out."
After he left, the lead guitarist watched through the curtains.
"They've left. ALL RIGHT!!! This it is man! We are on the WAY!"
"Hey, calm down Gary." Leah was quick to try to calm him down. "We still have one set to do and besides, just because they want to talk doesn't mean that we have a contract, or anything at all. They want to talk. That's all we know right now."
Rhea was smiling, as her partner in singing tried to calm Gary down. Leah was cool on the surface, yet I could tell she was excited too. They all were, and the excitement was contagious. I was feeling it, and I think the bar crowd out front knew something was up too. It was in the air.
I was kind of drifting in thought about it all, my eyes almost shut, when suddenly a pair of lips touched mine. I opened my eyes to see Rhea lip locking me tightly. Her tongue was tapping on my lips, so I opened them, allowing her access. Our kiss became heated second by second and suddenly, just when I was getting brave she was gone.
"Wait right here, this set will be shorter and I'll catch up with you in a few, okay?"
"Sure, I'll be right over there."
I pointed to a chair next to the sound man's set up.
"How about you wait right here. By the curtain?"
'That's kind of close to the curtain and stage isn't it?"
"I want you there, close as can be."
Leah was standing there not saying a word, but her smile was encouraging. She pushed Rhea a bit getting her to move onstage.
"Lets go wow 'em baby. Lover boy will be here when we get back."
Rhea bent in brushing her lips on mine a trace of tongue there, then gone. I stood back a bit as the rest of the band trouped by, all smiling and laughing. I heard the girls talking to the crowd as the guys got ready to play.
"We've got a date tomorrow people! AGENTS."
The crowd was yelling and shouting, whooping it up for their band.
"Maybe if things go well, the next time you see us we'll be on a label!"
More yelling and hooting from the crowd, as an electric guitar started hammering out a Van Halen tune with a driving beat. The whole place seemed to come undone, and I could actually feel the stage vibrate as each song lead the fervor higher and higher. Then the last song came on, and as the band played in a more subdued way, Rhea introduced each member, one at a time.
"Everybody listen up! Tonight the percussion that accents the music is coming from James Duce. Jimmy - the - Deuce!"
His drum rolls and cymbal crashing was smooth and accented the song perfectly.
"And on bass playing like a mad man from the depths of hell. Tom 'the prong' - for you ladies out there he's available, Tom - the - prong - Smith!"
He hit a driving bass riff that drove the song up a level. There were some women in the crowd hollering at him, making lewd gestures. One actually palmed her breasts and shook them at him. As the crowd waited for the next person to be introduced, Rhea glanced backstage into my eyes, smiling at me. She winked and then turned back to the crowd.
"ON LEEEEAD Guitar! Gary - the -- pick - Jones. Drive it baby ..."
His riffs got louder and harder his fingers moving like greased lightening as he drove the crowd up more. Then Jimmy on the drums increased his part as Tom brought in the bass combining in a heated exchange to the song's normal play.
"And people, get it up and give it off for my partner in crime, Leah -Sweet - Pea - Graham."
Leah had the tambourine in hand and shaking it into her mike. Shaking her head at Rhea's intro's she laughed. Leah suddenly grabbed her mike stand and took over Rhea's introductions to insert her own.
"And people now! AND PEOPLE NOOOWWW! Give it up for Rhiannon -- Goddess - of - Love - Johnson. She's been great tonight hasn't she?"