New Band

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New Band

By Sandy Paris

This story is a lesbian romance. All characters are fictitious, over eighteen and all sex is consensual.

This is a stand-alone story, however, the two principal characters in this story made a brief appearance in one of my Milly Scott stories; therefore Milly, Fiona and Jane also appear here briefly. It is most definitely not necessary for you to have read any of that series.

Please remember that this is fiction and I self-edit using various spell checkers and Grammarly. Apologies if there are errors in my Spanish

I love reading comments.

“Every bloody light!” I slammed my hand against the steering wheel and shoved the gear stick into neutral. I seemed to have caught every red traffic light, just when I was running late. Just another shitty thing, to add to a shitty day. I knew the sequence of these lights, so I closed my eyes for a moment and cursed the dickhead that I called my husband.

I’d met Paul about the same time that I started my first job out of university. I’d got a position as an analyst for a bank and he was working there for a tech company who were doing some computer upgrades. He asked me out for a drink and I wasn’t going to refuse a tall dark handsome guy. We dated for almost two years before we married in a civil ceremony. After all my parents are Spanish and therefore Catholic, Paul was raised in the Church of England, although he wasn’t in any way religious. To be honest neither was I, despite my mothers’ best efforts, the logical side of my brain struggled with the whole idea of religion.

It was great for a while, but then instead of spending time with me, Paul wanted to go to the pub every night with his mates and football became his number one priority. It was odd; he’d hardly seemed very interested in it when we were dating.

When the chance of a job with the police as a Crime and Intelligence Analyst came up it excited me, it was what I’d wanted to do since before graduating. Paul hated the idea of me working for the police or ‘The Feds’ as he called them. I’d told him to grow and stop acting like some damn gangster, ‘The Feds’ indeed!

He didn’t like the idea of me trying to prevent and detect crime, but I loved every second of it. I liked the people and the challenge of the work. It caused a widening in the rifts that had already started appearing in our marriage.

He’d blown a gasket when I told him that I was heading out and that he’d need to sort out dinner for himself. I’d been invited to meet some people who wanted to form a band and I missed playing. When I was a kid, I learned to play the guitar, starting with classical and then, to my parent’s delight, I’d also learned Flamenco. In my late teens, I began playing more contemporary stuff and loved the blues. I’d played in a band at University and one night found that I had a voice as well.

I pulled up outside the address I’d been given by Fiona. She was a computer geek and we’d met a couple of weeks ago when she’d been at our office trying to recover data from a laptop that had been seized by the police. Over coffee, she’d mentioned wanting to get a band together with her sister, Jane. I told her that I was interested.

The woman who answered the door had to be Fiona’s sister because she looked just like her. Jane took me through to the kitchen and offered me a drink. I followed her and asked for a coffee, just as Fiona joined us. “Maria, hi, nice that you could come. You’ve met my sister Jane and this is my wife Milly. Milly this is Maria.”

The woman standing at the fridge turned and smiled, she was drop-dead gorgeous, slim, short dress, amazing blue eyes and long very red hair. I was a bit shocked, not only at how beautiful she was but the fact that she had to be close to twice Fiona’s age.

“Hi, Maria, nice to meet you. Go through to the lounge and I’ll bring your coffee.”

Fiona, Jane and I chatted for about five minutes before the doorbell went and Milly showed another woman in. Jane stood up to greet her, “Hey Ally, glad you could make it.” She turned towards us, “This is Allison, that’s my sister Fiona and this is Maria who arrived a few minutes in front of you.”

We exchanged greetings as Allison sat in a chair opposite me. I’d guess that she was my age and an inch or two taller than me. Slim, nice legs, shoulder-length dark hair, hazel eyes, a nice smile, but she was pale when compared to me with my darker Spanish heritage.

“Allison, I detect a slight accent, Irish?”

She smiled at me, it was warm and kindly. “I’m from Dublin originally and thought that I’d lost the accent.”

I smiled back. “My parents are from southern Spain originally, not far from Malaga. I grew up speaking Spanish and English, I seem to have an ear for accents. I like the Irish accent. I spent a weekend in Dublin a couple of years ago and loved it. But I don’t like Guinness anymore. I drank escort atakoy so much of it that it put me off.”

“That’s okay I hate it, always have. A good Bushmills is my Irish tipple.”

An older woman appeared with her daughter, Dani, who was supposed to be the drummer but seemed painfully shy. She was tall and skinny, I’ve seen drumsticks with more meat, and I’d have guessed her to be younger than eighteen. She looked terrified and I wondered if she would be any good.

The five of us spent the next hour talking about our preferences and came up with a list of songs that we wanted to try. For a first meeting, it’d gone well, but maybe things would change when had instruments in our hands. We arranged to rehearse in a couple of days.

As we were collecting our coats Allison asked if Jane knew the number for a local taxi. “Where are you heading to?” I asked.

“I live on the other side of the city, in Sherbrook. My car’s in for a service, but won’t be ready until tomorrow.”

“I can give you a lift. I’m in Westdale, it’s hardly out of the way.”

We chatted as I drove across the city. She was funny and by the time I dropped her off, I was smiling. But that didn’t last long. Paul was in a foul mood, maybe even worse than before I’d left.

“Where the fuck have you been?” He snarled.

“You know where I was going, I told you. Don’t take that tone with me, I have a life as well you know.” I was clipped as I snapped back.

He looked as if he was about to burst and was struggling to keep most of his rage inside. “It’s the fucking police. You’ve changed since you went to work there and now this band shite. I don’t like the idea of you standing up playing in front of people, making a fool of yourself.”

I took a deep breath and counted to ten before replying. “Working for the police is what I want to do and I like it. As for playing in a band, well I don’t want to make a fool of myself either, so I’m going to work hard to make sure that I don’t. And I don’t care what you like, I’m doing it.”

I stormed off and slammed the bedroom door behind me. I curled up on the bed and cried. This was awful and something had to change. I didn’t want to give up on Paul, but he was making it hard.

Rehearsals

Paul had gone to the pub to meet his mates before lunchtime and no doubt they would go back to the house after the match. Things had been tense for a couple of days, but I was determined to have my own life. I’d done my usual Saturday chores; laundry, cleaning and picking up Paul’s mess. Now I changed into a pair of jeans, a sweater and some heels. I did my hair and checked my make-up before heading out.

When I pulled up outside Fiona’s house, I saw that the garage door was open and Dani was busy setting up her drums. Her Mum was talking to Milly. Jane and Allison were fiddling with an amplifier. Fiona came over to greet me and asked if I was okay.

“Yes, I’m good and looking forward to this, but a bit nervous as well.” It was just then that there was a clatter; Dani had knocked a cymbal as she sat down and it made us all look in her direction. She checked her seat and then started pounding out a beat. Her hair flew wildly as she threw herself into playing with a huge grin on her face. Fiona looked at her Mum, “Not so shy, now is she?”

An hour later we were meshing together well and Milly called a halt to feed us. I managed to find a seat next to Allison and we all tucked into huge bowls of chilli and rice. The food was great, we washed it down with a bottle of beer and chatted away before going back to practice.

By the time we were done, things had improved even more. I was nervous about my singing, but the others told me that I was doing well.

*****

The next few weeks passed quickly. I was working hard on a complicated drugs case and, along with rehearsals, didn’t have much spare time. Paul seemed to take advantage of the fact that I wasn’t around and that made things easier, even though it wasn’t exactly conducive to a happy marriage. After each rehearsal, Allison and I went for coffee or a drink and once a week, we went out for dinner. Spending time with her and rehearsing was great fun and made me very happy.

When I asked about her work one day, I was stunned by her reply.

“I’m a PA, there isn’t much more to it. It’s interesting and pays well. My boss is great and the people are nice, apart from a few guys, who don’t seem to understand that I don’t want to jump into bed with them, or worse.”

“Worse?” I asked puzzled.

“A couple have suggested some other ‘interesting’ things.” She made ‘air quotes’ around interesting. “I could get them fired if I complained, but they have families and …. Maybe I’m a fool, but I just smile. Hey, it doesn’t happen that often.”

On my way home I thought about Allison. I wasn’t surprised that guys fancied her, she was really attractive, talented and fun, and she escort bahcesehir also had a lovely voice. I liked her. The pleasant thoughts were shattered as I opened the door to be greeted by Paul and three of his mates watching TV. Beer bottles on the floor, along with several crisp packets, two pizza boxes and, my pet hate, cigarette ash on the coffee table, alongside two pairs of feet. “Hi, darling,” shouted Paul, “Just watching the game.”

“Fuck Paul. The place is a mess. Get this cleared up now. Sorry guys, fun over, time to go.”

Paul moved faster than I thought possible. “Who the fuck do you think you are? This is my fucking house and these are my mates, so you can fuck off.”

This wasn’t a situation that I was going to win, he’d had a few beers, that was obvious, so I dumped my guitar and went back out to my car. I could barely see through the tears as I drove to my Mum’s. As I knew she would, she made me something to eat and put me to bed.

Mum and I talked for a while over breakfast and I ignored the stream of text messages from Paul. I wasn’t a quitter and decided to have a good talk with him when I got home. Some things need to change and I was determined.

I wasn’t surprised to find him gone when I reached home. What did surprise me was the effort that he’d made to clean up. Despite the streaks on the coffee table, the full bin and the fact that he’d not used a vacuum cleaner, he had at least made an effort. I sorted things out and opened the fridge to see what my dinner options were when my phone pinged again.

It was a message from Allison ‘Hi. John’s away again, don’t fancy cooking. Up for a curry?’

The message took me by surprise, but I didn’t hesitate to reply. Half an hour later, in a dress and heels, I walked into the restaurant where Allison greeted me with a brief hug. “Thanks for coming. I couldn’t face another night on my own and obviously, you’re in the same boat.”

“I’m pleased to get out. To be honest, I had a bust-up with Paul when I got back yesterday and spent the night with my Mum. At least tonight I’ll have some company who won’t shout at me, I hope.” I laughed as I spoke.

She grinned, “You’d better behave then. I’ve ordered some wine already.”

We were there for almost three hours. The food was good, but the conversation was better and we laughed a lot. I was in such a good mood when I got home, I even smiled at Paul when he wanted to know where I’d been and replied, “Out with friends, the same as you.”

Allison

I made a mug of tea and sat in bed sipping it with my book. I couldn’t concentrate, so I put the book down and hugged the mug. My work was fine, I liked being around people, my boss was a pleasure to work with and I ignored the pleas for attention from the other guys. The rehearsals were going okay and I loved playing music again. Maria was great company, funny and gorgeous. I loved her dark complexion and the way her eyes crinkled when she smiled. ‘It’s a shame she doesn’t make a pass at me.’ Suddenly, I sat bolt upright at that thought, ‘get real, you’re both married.’ I struggled to get to sleep worrying about that thought.

I was a bit embarrassed about those thoughts as I cleaned my teeth the next morning and found it difficult to look at myself in the mirror. I did like Maria, a lot. We were becoming good friends and I liked being with her more than John. Once again, I reminded myself that I was married and counted my blessings that I had a new friend.

News — Maria

We were all set for our rehearsal when Fiona asked for our attention. “Okay, things are going well. Next Friday we have our first gig at The Lord Nelson pub. Scary I know, but we need to do this. The sad news is, we aren’t getting paid, but I suppose the guy has no idea if we’re any good or not.”

I was excited and scared at the same time. After ten minutes chatter, we started to play and it did get better, not great, but better. When we took a break, Jane asked what we were going to call ourselves. After considering dozens of names, most of which had already been used, I sighed and asked, “How hard can it be to come up with a name for five girls?”

The others all looked at each other and Jane shouted, “Check if that’s been used.” It was that simple and ‘Five Girls’ was born.

Allison and I stopped off at the pub on our way home. “How are things with you and Paul?”

“Not great, he does his thing, I do mine and when we meet there’s either a fight or a dreadful cold atmosphere. I need to have it out with him, but please let me enjoy myself with you right now.”

“John is travelling even more. The odd thing is, I feel a bit resentful when he comes home. We’re hopeless, aren’t we? The band and work are my pleasures.”

“What about me?” I asked, jokingly.

“Of course. I do value our chats.”

“Me too.” I sighed.

*****

Work had been escort gungoren busy all week. Our drugs case was reaching the end game, then suddenly, all the hard work fell into place and the drugs squad swooped on a meeting in a cinema car park. They arrested five guys and a young woman. They also seized over twenty kilos of hard drugs and a hundred thousand pounds. That meant a late night, but it was worth the effort. Searches of the suspect’s homes resulted in more drugs, more money and lots of intelligence about their contacts.

I was shattered when I got home, where I told Paul about our case and my role in it. His response was awful, “I hate the fucking police, I hate you working for them.”

“But if those drugs had reached the street, think of the harm they could cause and the crime associated with it.” From being high with a sense of accomplishment, now I slid down into sadness. I went for a shower and then straight to bed. At least we had our first gig tomorrow.

The first gig

There was some polite applause at the end of the first set, we’d been okay, but that was all. We were standing together when Jane said, “Look, we were a bit off there. It’s our first gig, so let’s not worry about it too much. We just need to be tighter for our second set and relax.”

Fiona looked around at us, “We’ll be okay, it’ll take time, that’s all.”

I was surprised when Ally made a suggestion. “When we do ‘Love hurts’ I’d like to harmonise with Maria. I’ve heard it done by Gram Parsons and Emmy Lou Harris and The Everly Brothers. I think it lends itself more to two voices.”

“It’s worth a try. Let’s go for that first up,” suggested Fiona.

I was a bit sceptical, I thought I did okay with it, but it was worth a try, we could only go up from where we’d finished.

We sat to have a drink and avoided all talk about our playing, it had been embarrassing. Allison and I talked about my work and the case I’d been involved in. It was nice that someone was interested, listened and asked sensible questions. It gave me something to think about and then suddenly, it was time to play again.

“Thanks for that,” said Jane as we took to the small stage again. “As you might have guessed, this is our first live gig and we have a few things to sort out. Most of you will know that love can be painful at times and if you don’t you soon will. This is a number that’s been around for a while, Love Hurts, take it away Maria.”

We started playing and I took the first line,

Love hurts
Love scars
Love wounds and marks

I was surprised that Ally hadn’t joined in as I’d expected. Was another disaster beckoning? Then Ally came over to share my mike, surprising me, it brought our heads close together. I moved over slightly and we were almost facing each other, side on to the audience and microphone as we sang together.

Any heart not tough or strong enough
To take a lot of pain, take a lot of pain
Love is like a cloud, it holds a lot of rain
Love hurts
Ooh love hurts

Oh, that sounded good, much better. I looked at her and realised that she was looking back at me, with a bit of a smile. We had our heads even closer as we sang on.

I’m young, I know
But even so, I know a thing or two, I learned from you
I really learned a lot, really learned a lot
Love is like a flame, it burns you when it’s hot
Love hurts
Ooh love hurts

Some fools think of happiness, blissfulness, togetherness
Some fools fool themselves, I guess
They’re not foolin’ me
I know it isn’t true I know it isn’t true
Love is just a lie made to make you blue
Love hurts
Ooh love hurts
Ooh love hurts

This was good, there was chemistry and I was certain that the others must be aware of it. Why did I feel like this? I asked myself.

I know it isn’t true
I know it isn’t true
Love is just a lie made to make you blue
Love hurts
Ooh love hurts
Ooh, love hurts, ooh

I could hardly take my eyes off of Allison as we ended and I realised that lots of people were clapping loudly. As I turned, I saw the other three beaming. It must have been okay then.

Our next number was one of Adele’s that I loved, ‘Someone like you.’ It was going well because my confidence was up from the last song and I felt someone moving towards me again. As I started the chorus line Ally joined in,

Sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead

That line is repeated several times throughout the song and she sang it with me each time. It sounded good. She kept her eyes on me as she sang and I thought that I detected something unusual about the way she looked.

Things were going well now. The next few numbers were good; we were tighter, much better than the first set. Ally was next up to do ‘When you say nothing at all.’ It was made famous by Ronan Keating and featured in the film ‘Notting Hill,’ but we’d all agreed that we preferred the Alison Krauss version.

It’s amazing how you
Can speak right to my heart
Without saying a word
You can light up the dark
Try as I may I could never explain
What I hear when you don’t say a thing

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