Lovin Touchin Squeezin

Chapter Two

The weeks passed. The restaurant that Nancy had worked at for two years closed its doors. Nancy cried. The next day the rent on her apartment went up; Nancy didnít cry this time, she called Steve. Over that weekend Steve helped her move into his apartment. The extra room was just big enough for her bed, night table and her dresser. Which is all anybody needs anyway. Right? Steve lived on the second floor and now he knows why he hasnít moved in so long. Those stairs just about killed him. Steveís sofa was shot so they threw his in the dumpster and used hers. She also had a chair that Steve could put in the living room. He didnít have allot of furniture so this will help. The other stuff goes into storage at his apartment complex. She puts her plants on his patio. Nancy got her security deposit back for the other apartment and she pays her half of the rent to Steve who can now actually pay rent on time for once. Nancyís room even has a view. Okay, itís of the parking lot but itís still a view. That night Steve went to the nightclub and Nancy went to the grocery store. Steve dragged himself home at two in the morning, coming home to a clean apartment and a well stocked kitchen. Nancy was asleep and Steve was not far behind. He fell into bed.

They fell into a pattern. Nancy looked for work during the day and Steve went to work. Nancy fixed dinner and Steve, if he wasnít out at a nightclub or rehearsing he would be home and they would eat dinner. Sometimes he would come home and eat dinner & leave again. Nancy wondered where he found the energy.

In two weeks time Nancy found another job only 45 minutes up the road at a new restaurant that was being built. In the meantime they had a training class that they sent all their new people to and she was paid for that. So she was back at work again. Nancy thought that when Steve was right, he was right. He wasnít home very much. One time he was gone for two days. She was close to calling the police when he finally called her and told her that he was a Rogerís. Jeez Steve send up a flare sometimes. Let people know that you are still alive! She told him.

For those two weeks there while Nancy was still unemployed, Steve got used to coming home to dinner on the table. She even sewed some buttons back on his shirt. Steve would go to work and do stuff with the band. He wondered where he got the energy.

Once they even passed one another. Steve was coming home and Nancy was leaving.

"Hey! I know you!" Steve says.

"Hey! I know you too! I left dinner in the oven for you and I put clean laundry on your bed." Nancy says as she gets into her car.

"You did my laundry? You didnít have to do that." Steve says.

"It was there so I did it. See ya!" Nancy replies.

They continue on in this vein for about two months. Both of them ripping and roaring their way through the days and the weeks. Each one seeing the other but not really looking. Steve actually forgot that he had a girl for a roommate. Yeah he was shocked too. What a kick in the head he thought. A girl living with him. A cute girl and heís too busy to take notice. He never really thought of her as anything other than a roommate because he saw her so infrequently and he had no time for any opinion to form about her. Heís never touched her. Never even kissed her. Perry you must be slipping he thinks.

One Friday night Steve got home at 11:00. Early for him. This place that they had played tonight had to be the worst. The place was so smokey that he could barely see his hand in front of his face. He smelled like beer and pot. Steve rolled down all the windows in his care and he just prayed that no could would stop him. They would pull him out of the car and have him walking that white line in no time.

Steve locked the front door behind him and he puts his keys on the end table and he turns on the lamp. He takes off his jacket and throws it onto the sofa. The odor of beer and pot permeate everything; his clothes, his hair. He needs a shower. He pulls his shirt out of his pants and yanks it off over hie head. He props one foot up on the coffee table and unties one of his shoes. He hops around on one foot trying to pull it off and he does the same with the other. He pulls his socks off and he walkd toward the bathroom. He undoes his belt and he pulls it out of the belt loops and he unbuttons his pants. He puts his hand on the doorknob and turns it and before he can push it open, it is opened from the other side by Nancy. They both jump. Steveís hand goes up to his chest over his heart. Nancyís eyes are wide. Steve finally now sees her for the first time. Obviously he just got out of the shower. She has a towel wrapped around her. Her wet hair is pinned up in the back, wet tendrils curl around her face. The bathroom still foggy, the mirror still fogged. She still has little beads of water on her shoulders. Steve backs up. He looks her up & down. That old towel never looked better Steve thinks. She has nice legs he thinks.

"Steve! What are you doing here?"

"I..uhÖI thinkÖnoÖ.I liver here. Yeah. I live here. I was just going to take a shower."

They both try to get past each other but they both move in the same direction. Nancy steps on Steveís foot and Steve pouts his arms around her. Nancy is shorter than Steve so he lifts her until she is standing on her toes & he kisses her. This kiss is one of those kisses to see how the other person feels about it. Nancy kisses him back. Steve lifts her until she is entirely off her fet. He backs her up and sits her on the counter of the sink as he closes the door with his foot.

Thatís how it all began. Steve doesnít know how he never noticed her before. Yeah he was busy but still. Nancy admitted the same thing. She saw him but never really saw him until that night. Steve standing in the doorway to the bathroom, no shirt, pants unbuttoned, hair mussed, and the look on his face. She saw how good looking he really is from close up and not far away. Now the extra bedroom is a guest room.

Steve finds the Motel that they all agreed to meet at. Steve sees Chuckís car out in the parking lot as he drives in. He wakes up Roger. Itís 3 AM and Steve needs sleep. Steve helps Roger take the stuff out of the trunk and they go into the Motel. Steve and Roger get to their room and Steve drops his bags and he flops down on the bed. Steve sits up long enough to take off his jacket and his shoes and he lies down on the bed & falls asleep.

The first day in the studio was an experience. They lay down all the tracks and were they were put together and played back in the studio. Steve had a hard time believing that was him.

"Roger, do I sound like that?"

"Yeah man! Youíre incredible!"

That was the first time that Steve had heard himself on tape or on anything exactly. Professionally done anyway. They sounded different somehow. They guys in the studio asked Roger how long he has known Steve.

"Oh quite awhile now, why?"

"Hang onto that guy. He could make you guys famous. I have seen singers come and go. This guy is a keeper. Whatever he asks for, give it to him."

Roger looks through the glass at Steve.

Sunday they finished early enough that they took in the sights of L.A. They went to some nightclubs and out to dinner. Steve was tired and he went back to the Motel room. He called home and talked to Nancy. Nancy had changed her schedule so that she was in the same time zone as Steve. She was gone during the day and at home at night with Steve. When Steve was at home. They talked for about thirty minutes. Steve misses her and she misses him. Heíll be back Monday. She tells him when he gets back to town to come to the restaurant for dinner. You donít have to ask me twice he says.

Roger drives the first leg and then Steve takes over from there. They all go their own copies of the demo record and as Roger hands Steve his, he tells him what the guy at the recording studio said.

"Youíre a keeper my friend. He thinks you can make us famous. I know you can."

Roger pats Steve on the back. Steve, for once, is silent. Steve gets home and takes a nap before he goes to the restaurant for dinner.

After L.A. life went on. They still played in clubs and Steve was still working at the warehouse. Their manager was trying to do something with the demo, but still not bites.

A month after L.A. Steve came home one Friday night after a gig and Nancy was working late. Even though she changed her schedule she still worked odd hours when they were shorthanded and tonight was one of those nights. Nancyís car was on the fritz again and tomorrow Steve was planning to work on it. He took a shower then he turned on the tv to watch the late news and he flopped back onto the sofa. At first, he started sitting up and then somewhere along the way he lost his balance and he began to drift south. As he fell asleep, he landed on his side and that is where he stayed. He wasnít sure how long he had been asleep when the sound of a souped up car engine woke him. He sat up and he tried to work the kinks out of his neck. Still hearing the car engine, Steve turned around on the sofa, he put his knee on the cushion and he leaned over towards the window. He raised the mini blind up and he looked down into the parking lot. It was dark, but the car was directly below the streetlight. The lights were off in the living room so Steve had a good, clear picture of what happened next. Steve saw Nancy get out of the passenger side of the car, a black corvette, no less. He watches as she goes around to the drivers side and she leans in and kisses the driver. Not a thank you, or good-bye, or anything mundane such as that kind of kiss. But the kind of kiss that has some passion behind it. Like the first time he and Nancy kissed. Steve watches as the kiss is drawn out and finally stops. Steve drops the mini blind and he sits back onto the sofa. He rubs his hands over his face. It was dark. Okay, but he still saw what he saw. The streetlight was bright enough. Steve hears her coming up the stairs. He lies back down on the sofa and closes his eyes.


(to be continued)

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