Chapter tune: Patti Smith – Because the night
The special night that Jesse had prepared for Skye had ended abruptly. It was mainly his own fault – he knew that – but he was certainly not ready to admit it.
When outside, they sat at some benches near the metro station. Owen made sure to sit next to Skye, much to Jesse’s annoyance.
“Ok kids, let’s clear the air before we all freeze to death” Vito started talking “We have a couple more shows in Bridgeport and, since you’re getting plenty of attention at last, I have scheduled a couple of photoshoots when we return to Sunset Valley. So it would be great if whatever happened between you two could be resolved right here, right now.”
“Well I don’t know about you all but I’m not cold! In fact, I could stay here aaaall night” Jesse snapped.
Owen glared at his friend. “Man, what is the matter with you?
“Me? You were the one… you know what, this isn’t even worth talking. It’s over. Why don’t we go back to the hotel?”
“Oh no no boy” Vito said “it clearly isn’t over. So… I’m listening”
Jesse hated that Vito sometimes treated them like little children. He was years past that age. He was often prone to messing up, that he knew, but one of the reasons he chose this job was to not have anyone tell him what to do. Suddenly he wanted to just disappear.
“You know what Vito, this is stupid. I’m going back to my room, and if Owen wants to stay here and, I don’t know, keep you warm or something, that’s fine by me”
“Watch it boy” Vito muttered.
“What the hell did you just say?” Owen stood up furious “Why don’t you tell everyone here how you beat me up when I told you I wanted to ask Skye out!”
“You called dibs on her you moron! That’s not cool! She has the right to decide for herself!”
“Oh, now you’re all about women deciding for themselves! And decide whom exactly, you? But the year isn’t over bro! Are you sure you wanna lose the bet? That is, IF you havent lost it already!” Owen screamed. It was the first time anyone saw calm, level-headed Owen fired up like this.
Everyone froze at Owen’s words, the low temperature having nothing to do with that. “What bet?” Skye simply asked.
“Shit man, what have you done?” Dylan mumbled, unclear who the target of his question was.
Oh, uh, nothing angel, just a stupid bet we made months ago, it’s no big deal!” Vito replied hastily. Skye’s look showed that she wouldn’t take any lies for an answer. “What. Bet.” she repeated.
Vito exhaled. He knew there was no point in lying. He began telling her the truth. “See angel, it was mostly to keep the band tight, it was nothing personal… but from the looks of it I was right, this one doesn’t seem to keep his hands – or any other part of his for that matter – away from any woman” he concluded.
Jesse gave some quick glances to everyone present. He felt cornered. “No, Vito… it was different this time, I swear”
“I’ll bet” Owen said.
“It was, you jackass! It… it is!”
“Why is it different man? Because you were not allowed to do it this time?”
“…for fuck’s sake dude, because I’m in love with her!”
Everyone froze again, including Jesse. What he had just said was true, but he never planned on blurting it out like this. Or now. He turned to face her.
“Skye… I’m sorry for not telling you about the bet… I was going to, I swear it… as soon as we returned to Sunset Valley… And Vito, I’m sorry for lying and letting you down. I was going to tell you too… shit, this sounds like a lie, but I swear it’s true man…”
“Well… you kinda screwed up boy, I won’t deny it. You should have told me. I won’t leave the band of course, not now that you’re finally becoming something. But I expect you to hold your end of the bargain when we return”
“Sure thing Vito… I’ll find a way to get you that award…”
“Wait” Skye finally talked. All this time she was simply observing the drama unfolding in front of her, while her expression was not giving any emotion away. She approached Vito.
“I don’t think it’s right for Jesse to give you his dad’s award” she simply said.
All Vito could do is throw her a surprised look. “Oh man, this is gonna be good” Dylan mumbled, making his best efforts to not be heard.
“You threatened to leave the band Vito, it was like you forced him to make that bet” Skye continued.
“I did it to protect you angel… and the band’s future. You can’t possibly blame me for this!”
“Nevertheless, Jesse didn’t have a choice. And he didn’t know me then, but you did. It was disrespectful. You know, whatever happened between me and him was my choice too. I don’t see why any other should have a say in it”
She sighed. “You know what… if you make Jesse give you that award, I’ll leave the band. And that’s all I have to say”
“What? …are you sure about this angel? You would do that for him? And now, that the band’s reputation is starting to finally take off? …well, I guess I can’t do anything about it then, you know you’re my favorite. You listen to this, boy? Seems like you’re you’re off the hook, don’t screw this up kid.”
“I won’t Vito… thanks” Jesse replied, the relief of a little child who had been spared detention, painted all over his face.
Owen left the scene more mad than he was before. He couldn’t believe how Jesse got through this impossible situation unscathed. For him, Jesse had not only stolen the girl he liked, but he had betrayed the band too.
One by one, everyone started returning to the hotel, which was just a couple of steps away.
When Jesse turned to Skye’s direction, thrilled that they wouldn’t have to hide anymore and ready to kiss her for a million times with love and gratitude, he realized she had already a few steps ahead of him.
“Baby… where are you going? Wait up!”
“Leave me alone!” she screamed at him.
Fuck… what got into her now, he thought confused. In his mind, everything was fine. Their secret was out there, the band’s secret was out there, he wouldn’t have to pay the price and she defended him in front of Vito and the guys. So what could possibly be wrong? He followed her at the hotel and into her room.
“Hey…” he said “Is everything alright? You took off kind of quickly”
“Jesse, I’m not in the mood. Just go away, I don’t wanna see you tonight!”
“Look, I’m so sorry that I lied to you but I swear, I was going to tell you… as soon as we landed in Sunset Valley, I was going to tell you…”
“I don’t care! If I knew… it would be different. Do you have any idea what you’ve done?”
“What? N-no… what did I do?”
“Just get the hell out of my room Jesse!”
Jesse’s frustration grew stronger until it transformed into anger. Skye was again keeping something from him. He knew he was not one to talk, but at least his secret never, in any way, altered his behavior towards her.
“No, I’m not leaving until you tell me what’s going on” he said, his face red with rage.
She tried to push him towards the door. “Don’t you get it, I don’t want you here! Get out!”
Jesse had started freaking out. If he knew what the problem was, he would probably try to think of a way to fix it, but she was constantly keeping him in the dark.
“Fuck Skye, I can’t take this anymore! Just tell me what it was that I did wrong, because you’re clearly not pissed about the bet. So what is it, tell me!”
“I wanted to leave the band!” she finally screamed “I don’t wanna be a part of those photoshoots and the larger shows now that your band is getting popular! I don’t want it! I was going to tell Vito when we returned… If only you had told me about that damn bet… But because of you, now I can’t! I made a promise, it’s done and I can’t take it back!”
“What? You wanted to leave the band because it’s getting popular? You want to leave us now that we’re finally getting somewhere? I don’t get it… why?”
“It is none of your damn business!”
Jesse felt his body shaking with frustration. “It’s none of my… You know what Skye, you’re probably right! But I didn’t ask you to do this! Fuck! You’re driving me fucking insane with all this! You know what… I’m done!”
“Good! I’m not surprised!”
“Goddamnit Skye, is that all you have to say to me?” he growled, grabbing her arm as tightly as he could, having completely lost control of his strength.
Skye looked at him terrified. “Jesse stop it, you’re hurting me!”
Shocked, he immediately let go. “Shit… I’m so sorry, I…”
“I told you this would be a disaster and you didn’t believe me! Now you’ve seen it for yourself! I don’t understand why you won’t leave it alone… what the hell do you want from me?”
“I just want to make you happy! But fuck… why the hell do you make it so difficult?”
Hearing those words coming out of Jesse’s mouth, made Skye’s eyes fill up with tears. She collapsed onto the floor and started crying.
“I can’t be happy Jesse, can’t you see? I’m a mess…”
“…shit… I’m so sorry baby, I didn’t mean to make you cry… but what am I supposed to do when you keep pushing me away?”
Skye kept sobbing, while Jesse was stroking her hair and shoulders in an attempt to make her calm down. “I’ll talk to Vito tomorrow, okay? I’ll give him the award, it’s no big deal. My dad doesn’t get attached to those stupid things anyway…” He hoped that this last part was actually true.
Skye got up. “No… don’t do it. I already gave a promise… and you’re right, it would be shitty of me to leave the band now…”
“Well it’s not your choice anymore baby, I didn’t ask to be saved or anything… you always do that, don’t you?” he whispered gently while caressing her back “I’ll talk to Vito tomorrow. Or even better, as soon as we return”
“But” he continued, his voice slightly broken “it looks like we have a far bigger problem baby… you don’t trust me. I’m not saying you should share the entire story of your life with me but you keep me completely in the dark here… I don’t know if I can go on like this…”
Skye distanced herself and sat on the couch, trying to keep herself from crying again – with very little success “You wouldn’t want to be with me if I told you…”
He sat beside her and held her tight into his arms. “Baby… I’m in love with you. And I know you are too… That’s why you did what you did for me, isn’t this right? But believe me, nothing is ever going to change that… I’ve never felt like this for anyone and I don’t think I ever will” he said, the desire for her starting to burn again inside him.
“Of course I’m in love with you too, you idiot” she smiled “and I’ll tell you… I want to tell you. But I’ll do it when we return, okay? Doing it here will be just too much for me…”
“Come here” he whispered and brought her face even closer to his “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to pressure you… you’ll tell me when you’re ready. Just… don’t torture me anymore, please baby… When you get mad and I don’t know why… it’s killing me.”
“I’m sorry… I promise I’ll try my best.”
“That’s… good enough for now, I guess” he grinned at her. This wasn’t how he imagined that night would end. But it seemed to him they were finally getting closer. At this point, he couldn’t care less about Owen, the band or his dad’s award. He had a mission. He would fix the woman he loved, the woman who, moments ago revealed she loved him too. He didn’t know what the hell had gone so destructively wrong with her life, but he was determined to fix her.
That couldn’t be impossible to do, right?
PS: Sooooo, I’m back, lol! Maybe unlike Jesse’s mission (who knows yet), this chapter was impossible to write!! And I have absolutely no idea why, lol! I still don’t quite like it, but I like how the future ones will go… I think. Oh well. 😁 Next chapter will have some Calla love, I’ve missed her! 😀 Sorry for taking so long to post this! Thank you for reading! ❤