Author's Note: Hello everyone! So, this is a different take on a story I had up on here under the same name. This story has little in common with that story, but some of the key details are the same. You do not need to have read that story to understand this one. I hope everyone likes it and feedback is greatly appreciated!
"Have you seen this?"
A magazine dropped down suddenly on his keyboard, throwing off the melody he was trying to compose.
"Come on, mate!" He glanced over at the cover, reading the headline:
Is Nate Warren of Indigo Rain secretly gay?
"You got to me kidding me!" Nate exclaimed, smacking his hand against his forehead.
Blake laughed. "You really should read it. It is very eloquently written."
Nate glared up at his much taller band mate. Blake grinned, his baseball cap pulled low over his blue eyes and his arms crossed over his chest.
"You actually read it?"
Blake shrugged a shoulder, before taking a sit on the stool on the other side of the electric keyboard.
"Please tell me Quinn and Gio haven't seen this yet," Nate almost pleaded.
"They already have. That's why I was elected to show it to you."
Nate groaned, running a hand through his spiky dark brown hair. This was too much.
"I should probably call George. He's probably having a cow."
"I reckon that'll do. He knows how to deal with these things better than we do, but you really wanna know how to solve this?"
"Do I really want to know?"
"Get a girlfriend, man!" Blake rose from his chair and slapping Nate's back, left the small room.
"You're mental! Besides I'm not the single member of this expedition!" Nate shouted after him.
He stared down at the cover again; his face plastered across the front and he was still stunned by the whole thing. What was that thing his sister had said? You know you have made it in show business when other people start questioning your sexuality!
Of all the members of Indigo Rain, why did it have to be him? He had three other band members and if anything the Frenchman, Quinn, was far more flamboyant than he was. And then there was Giovanni, the Italian cared more about his hair than any female Nate had ever met. If anything he and Blake, the American, were as clean cut as it came.
Nate flipped the magazine open and found the small article about himself. He usually tried so hard to ignore all of this nonsense and really did not enjoy reading all the weird things people said about him. Honestly, it kind of blew his mind. Quickly reading the printed words, he found himself laughing.
Nate Warren, 25 has been recently spotted the pub with the other members of Indigo Rain - Blake Adams, Quinn Jeter, and Giovanni Navarro. While the group of immediately surrounded by their adoring fans, Nate seemed uninterested in and uncomfortable about all the female attention. According to a source that was close at hand, found the whole situation rather intriguing. It is strange since he has not been seen with a girlfriend, or a girl period, since Indigo Rain shot to fame nearly a year ago.
Nate reflected that this comment was indeed true, but he didn't have time for a girlfriend dammit! Between all the interviews, gigs and studio time prepping for their second album, when was he supposed to have found time to date? Let alone find a girl he could date who was interested in him rather than his fame.
He shook himself out of his thoughts, when he felt his cell phone going off in his pocket. Pulling it out, he opened his new message.
George: Call me now!
Nate blinked at the screen. George sent him a text and used an exclamation point! Their middle-aged manager did not totally understand technology, let alone the sending of text messages.
Nate flipped through his contacts until he found George's number and pressed the call button. He balanced his phone on his shoulder and pressed it against his ear. He took one last look at the magazine before ceremoniously tossing in the trash bin.
"Please tell me you didn't do anything stupid?" George answered without greeting.
"Apparently, I haven't done anything," Nate quipped as he began to gather up his musical notes and lyrics on scraps of paper.
George sighed heavily. "Tell me exactly what happened the other night?"
"We went to the pub for a pint after recording a couple of days ago to hang out. There were some fans, who approached us. We signed autographs and took pictures. End of story."
"That's it?" George seemed surprised.
"Yes that was it!" Nate had to keep from exclaiming. "You know I love spending as much time with our fans as I can. And if I seemed uninterested it was because I had been up since 5am and had a massive bloody headache."
"Do you want to make a statement or anything?"
"Absolutely not. There is no point; hopefully this will blow over in a couple of days."
George made a noncommittal noise. "It will not be that easy, but we will do it your way. Anyway, I have emailed a few more interviews over to you guys to check out. Let me know if anyone seems interesting. Otherwise, I will see you tomorrow at the radio station."
"I will let the guys know. See you tomorrow."
Nate hung up his phone and tucked it into the back pocket of his jeans. He pulled his leather jacket from the back of the seat and shrugged it on over his plain white tee-shirt, before stuffing his papers into an inside pocket. Reaching down, he grasped the chain hanging from his side and checked the antique watch at the end. It had been his grandfather's and he took it everywhere with him. People thought it was badass that he wore a chain, but it was really a watch and Nate never felt the need to correct anyone.
12:34 - it was lunch time. He went out to the small gathering space near the front of the studio where his friends were already digging into the sandwiches that had been delivered.
"Don't even," he remarked pointing at Quinn as he grabbed a sandwich and soda can and flopped down on the vacant place on the sofa.
Quinn held his hands up in defense, but had a silly grin on his face. "Not a word, mon ami."
"I just wait for the day where the tabloids say something bizarre about you," Nate remarked, biting into his lunch.
"Then you will be waiting a long time, because you know I'm perfect." Quinn stuck out his tongue.
Nate rolled his eyes. "By the way, George emailed more videos."
There was a collective groan.
"I really hope this batch is not as bad as the last bunch," Giovanni said, rising from his place. He went over to his backpack against the wall and pulled out his laptop.
"I kind of liked one of them," Blake said, putting his booted feet up on the coffee table.
"The one that reminded you of your gran?" Quinn asked.
"She wasn't that bad," Blake retorted.
"I will not be followed around by someone who is old enough to be my mother, otherwise I would have my mother following me," Nate put in.
Giovanni returned with the computer and setting it down on the table, flipped the lid open and turned it on. In a couple of minutes, he had the email from George and was downloading the files.
Opening the first one, they watched the first maybe two minutes of the ten minute video before they fought to quickly hit the escape button to make it go away.
"He had to be joking with that last one," Blake said, pinching the bridge of his nose.
"Remind me again why we are doing this?" Giovanni asked.
Nate shrugged, taking a swig of his drink. "Apparently he feels like we need managing 24/7 and he knows he is not up to the task."
"I take offense to that. We are not that bad." Even though he said this totally seriously, Quinn still flicked a few potato chips at Blake, who then tried to catch them in his hat.
"If anything it is you, Nate, who needs managing!" Blake managed to catch a chip.
"Me? Why me?"
"When was the last time you were on time for anything?" Giovanni asked, cocking up an eyebrow.
"I was ready this morning! And I am not the one flinging crisps across the room."
"You were ready because Quinn threatened to drag you to that interview in your pajamas," Blake said as he snacked on his catches.
"Now that would have been something to put in a headline!" Quinn laughed and gestured emphatically. "Englishman Nate Warren arrives at gig in polka dot onesie."
Nate balled up his napkin and chucked it at Quinn's head which he easily dodged.
"I have a much better answer to that random interview question."
"Which one was that?" Giovanni chuckled.
"If you were on a desert island, who would you eat first? Quinn because he is a pain in my arse!"
Quinn almost choked on a bite of his sandwich. "You are only saying that because I said I would eat you first this morning."
"You called me 'the fat one'," Nate exclaimed trying to look offended but really hiding a smile.
"You were the fat one!" the other three shouted out with a laugh.
Nate throw up his hands in protest and shot from his seat. He planted his hands firmly on his hips and glared down at his best friends. "Like ten years ago when we all first met! I can remember things about you guys as well. Maybe I will bring up those purple sparkly shoes of yours, Quinn or Gio's purse."
Giovanni grabbed Nate's arm and pulled him back down on the couch. "It was a shoulder bag!"
"Except, my sister had the same one," Blake said, fixing the hat back on his head.
Giovanni grumbled some words under his breath that had Nate laughing hysterically.
Once they had managed to get themselves under control, they continued to watch some more of the videos.
Nate propped his elbow on his knee and rested his chin in his hand. This was going to be a long afternoon. George had sent at least ten videos and they were barely halfway through them. Some were definitely worse than others and it was slowly starting to get on all their nerves. Nate was convinced that George was determined into freaking them out by all the bad prospects of babysitters into behaving. That was a long shot for sure, but some of the candidates did not need to be so scary.
"He is going to kill us," Blake remarked once they were all finished.
"Because we don't like any of them again?" Giovanni asked as he closed his laptop.
"I can't imagine spending an entire day with any of them, let alone having them practically run my life," Quinn put in as he started gathering the remnants of their lunch.
"Someone should talk to him and see if we can't find something better," Nate said, standing and stretching. He stopped when he noticed they were all staring at him. "You got to be kidding."
"You are the only one he really listens to, Nate," Blake said.
"Fine, but I will do it later. We need to get back to work anyway. I have a couple new tunes we should try out."
"Written our newest single yet?" Giovanni joked as they headed back into the studio and the little room where Nate had been with his piano.
Nate just smiled and pulling the papers from his pocket, laid them out again. Blake and Quinn grabbed their guitars, which were leaned up against a nearby wall and sat down on the stools before the piano. Giovanni found his wooden box for beats and also joined them. They liked working this way the best. Just them in a room with some instruments and ideas, making music the way they were used to. Yes, there were times where they were given prewritten songs and some of them had been great hits for them, but they preferred it this way. Especially now, when they had a little time to come up with their own music.
"The lyrics aren't done yet, but I have the melody, chord progressions and most of the harmonies," Nate said as he pushed a couple of buttons on the electric keyboard.
They got all settled and started to run through the song. Adding and changing bits as they went. Once they added a dance beat, they were sure they had their next hit.
Nate entered his apartment, locking the door and hanging his keys on the nail nearby. Walking into the living room, he dropped his mail on the coffee table before heading back to his room. He changed into a pair of baggy sweatpants, before grabbing his computer where it sat on his bed.
Going into the small kitchen, he set a kettle of water on the stove and turned on the flame.
He liked having his own place. There was a time when the entire group lived in the same house. That had been mostly chaotic, but it had been fun. Now they each had their own space to do with as they pleased, even if they all lived on the same floor and were literally neighbors. It did make it easier to be all in the same place.
He had his own bedroom and bathroom as well as a small living space and even smaller kitchen. He cooked very little, but it was convenient to have. If nothing else, he could make himself a nice cup of tea.
Nate placed his laptop on the counter and powered up. George had sent more videos have Nate had had a little chat with him. It hadn't gone nearly has badly as he had expected, since he had expected George to resist to the idea of hiring someone a little more fun. So, Nate went downloading the several files as his kettle started to whistle. Fixing himself a cup of tea, he took the mug and computer to the couch and made himself comfortable. If this group of videos was anything like the ones he saw this afternoon, he was going to be there awhile.
All the files were labeled with initials and none of the participates knew exactly who they were interviewing to work with. Nate liked the anonymity of the process, since he knew that if people did know, they would have gotten a lot more weird videos from people who were not even qualified.
Nate hardly got through the first one before he was forced to exit out. He had asked George for fun not totally crazy. Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out his phone and text the three other guys:
Nate: Talked to George… sent more videos… might have to kick his ass tomorrow… you seen them?
A minute later, his phone buzzed.
Quinn: Watched a few… might need a serious drink after this
Blake: Might not have to … watch the last one
Nate: Am I going to have to hurt you?
Nate took a sip of tea as he scrolled to the bottom of the list to the last file – SM. He really hoped Blake was right, or at least not another one who was like his grandmother.
He opened the video and almost spat an entire mouthful of tea at the screen. He hadn't even hit play yet. The most intense pair of blue eyes stared back at him surrounded by thick black eyelashes. She had a smile that light up her entire face. Nate was convinced he had never seen anyone like her before in his life.
He just really hoped she was qualified. So, he hit play.