I felt so stupid! All I could do was stand there with my mouth open; not knowing what to do. This guy, who I practically called a douche, was one of the people I had wanted to meet.
"Hello?" He asked waving a hand in front of my face.
He probably thought I was a stupid fangirl now. He just stood there, kind of smiling at me.
"Um..." I tried to say something, "look, if I came off crazy or something..."
He laughed, "It's kind of nice to be treated like a normal person every now and again; so don't worry about it."
I couldn't believe that he was so nice in person. I mean, I literally ran into him and acted like a total bitch.
"I really do enjoy your music, Ashley." I tried," "I'm really sorry, it was my fault. It's just my boss is so insane and I was already ticked off. Even if you were a random person, I shouldn't have blown up."
He smiled at me rambling on.
"What?" I asked.
"Nothing, just... you're genuinely beautiful." He said.
I could feel myself blush. What did he mean by that?!
"I mean, we obviously just met, but you're nice enough to apologize and you're pretty hot, to be honest." He said.
My face got even hotter.
"Oh, um... thanks." I mumbled.
I looked down and fiddled with my rings.
No one has really been that up-front with me before.
"Well," he said," since you are such a fan, would you want to come with me?"
"Huh?" I said, not exactly sure what he meant.
"I was just going to pick up my new bass after my new tat." He explained.
I looked to his arm that I ran into. I could see that it was a little more swollen than it should be.
"Oops..." I thought.
"Really? That would be so cool!" I said.
"Oh! I'm Katherine, by the way, Katherine Dae. You can call me Kat, though; most people do."
"Kat... I like it." He said.
I smiled and followed him down the stairs.
It took a while to actually get to his car. He parked in the back of the mall; by the compacter and near the highway.
We drove downtown, to a small alley-way music store. It was really dark and out-of-the-way.
Ashley hopped out of the car and noticed I hadn't even unbuckled yet.
He laughed, "No one's gonna mug you."
I think he liked making fun of me.
"I know that!" I insisted, "It's just that I've never been to this part of the city before."
He laughed again and I glared at him. That was really getting on my nerves.
He came over to my side of the car and helped me out. He wrapped an arm around my waist and held me tight. My throat started to feel like it was closing up and my heart skipped a beat.
"I got you." He said smiling down at me.
I did a little nervous smile as we walked into the shop.
I got an immediate smell of cigarrette smoke, and then it faded into the smell of wood and vinyl and wax. It was an older music shop and there were some awesome acoustics hanging all across the back wall.
There was barely anybody in the shop, except a few guys playing poker around one of the pianos.
They looked up, noticing me and Ashley. One of them raised their eyebrows at me, and my eyes darted up to Ashley. He looked over at my worried face and smiled; making me feel a little better.
We walked to the back counter and an old guy with a stubbly beard and glasses came out of the back door. He threw the remains of a cigar into a trash bin by the door.
"Ah," he said, "good to see you, Ashley."
"Hey, Sam. I was hoping my bass was ready." He said.
"Of course, but are you going to tell me who this is?" He asked pointing at me.
I looked up at Ashley again, curious to hear what he was going to say.
"This is Kat. We actually met earlier." He said.
"Oh, did you?" Sam poked.
"Knock it off!" Ashley groaned.
They acted like old friends.
Sam laughed and waved us into the back room. It was a little bigger than I expected; there were a couple boxes in the back of the room, and a few drum sets were placed behind a glass wall.
Sam lifted a black and white bass off the wall and brought it over to Ashley. He pulled over a speaker to sit on, and took the guitar into his hands.
"This is incredible, Sam." Ashley said breathlessly.
He strummed a few notes and then played a hard chord.
"I'll let you have fun for a little." Sam said.
He left the room and shut the door on his way out. I guessed the room was sound proof because of all the instruments that fit in there, and plus the way the room was set up.
"Hey," Ashley said.
I turned to face him.
"Do you want to try?" He asked.
"What?! You just got that! I don't want to..."
"You won't!" He insisted, "I'll help you."
I reluctantly went over and took his seat. He placed the bass in my hands and traced my hands. He led my fingers to the strings, and I struck a few chords and it sounded pretty good (even though he was doing most of the work).
I looked over at him and smiled. It was fun to do something I wasn't used to.
He just stared at me with his big eyes and smirked at me.
"What?" I asked, "Did I do it wrong?"
He shook his head and came really close, and I got nervous for a second.
Was this really happening? Did he realize I was a nobody?
So many questions I had turned into mush when his lips touched mine. He was warm and comforting. It just felt good to be near him.
He kissed me harder, and grabbed the bass. He pulled away to go put it down.
I bit the edge of my lip as he came back over. He grabbed me and carried me over to a table near the center of the room. I felt really warm and pulled off my jacket and boots. He placed his hands on my waist and kissed me again.
"Ashley," I tried.
I didn't know how far this was going to go, but I didn't want to do that in a back room of a music store. Especially one I was scared to walk into.
"Ashley," I said again.
He wouldn't stop and I had to be a little agressive. I grabbed his arms and pulled them away a little. I think he understood, because he pulled away from me.
"Are you okay?" He asked.
"Yeah," I looked towards my feet, "it's just don't really like this place and..."
I didn't want to tell him the real reason, though.
"Oh, I-I'm sorry..." he said, "I guess I went a little overboard."
He took a step back and handed me my boots.
"Thanks..." I said.
I felt a little dumb as I tied my shoes. The air felt tense and stagnant.
We were half-way back to the mall when Ashley finally broke the silence.
"Kat, I really am sorry. You didn't know that place and I should've thought about you first." He said.
"Was he really being this sensitive and kind about this?" I wondered.
"It's okay." I said.
I didn't know what else to say.
"Look, can I make it up to you?" He asked, "I want to invite you to the Seattle show. Its in a week and I would love to see you again."
"Really?! I've been trying to get tickets since July!" I said, "That would be amazing!"
"Awesome. I can't wait." He said.
I couldn't believe that he could just do that, but I didn't want to question it.
Ashley drove me to where my car was when we got to the mall.
"Well," I said, "thanks for letting me come along... and for the tickets."
"No problem. I'll see you Saturday, then." He said.
I nodded and unbuckled.
"Yeah," I turned back around.
He grabbed my face and kissed me softly.
I smiled and headed to my car. He waved and honked as he drove off.
"What a crazy night!" I thought.