The guitar strings rang out with the rhythmic clapping of the lead vocalists as the crowd geared up for the song. The people’s hands raised up to join in with synchronized claps to the beat. The drum beat tuned in to keep the same resonating thump as the small theater roared with a sudden energy as the music keyed up. The room was stifling with all the bodies packed into the confined space, the stench of sweat and alcohol was constant but the musicians were undeterred. Their golden armbands glowing in the colorful strobing lights that illuminated the stage with the myriad of colors exploding across the bodies. A man and woman stood at opposite ends of the stage, gripping the microphones casually as they bobbed their feet to the beat. The older man’s emerald orbs reflected back at the crowd with the same excited high as the rest of the college students gathered though drugs weren't needed unlike his fans.
His dark locks were wrangled back into the haphazard ponytail, the sides shaved neatly down, a smile spread across his face, splitting his features as his voice carried out the first few lyrics to the song. They mostly did covers from existing bands, something the students knew well enough to sing along with and get pumped up on a Friday night after a long day of cramming in dull lecture halls. His fingers curled around the mic as he pulled it off the stand, the rounded prayer beads on his wrist glinting back the colorful beams as he turned to face the female singer at his side. Her long brunette locks were a wild mess from the previous two songs, they switched back and forth between who was leading and who was backing up, this time they belted out the lyrics together in perfect harmony though unbeknownst to the crowd, that was the only thing those two could harmonize on. Her fierce personality was wild as were her gyrating movements, dark eyes closed as her body absorbed the flow and beat of the music until it was the only thing possessing her.
The guitarist was the newest member to the band but he followed cues easily enough, keeping up with the vocals and expelling the immense energy that burned through his veins as he worked the strings with everything he had. All the tension and the worries and stress of the day melted away as those strings rang out with the explosive melody that demanded his body move. Ajay Ghale, was his name, the prodigal son of the great musician Mohan Ghale and the once famed singer Ishwari Ghale. The pair were a force to be reckoned with in the music industry, coming from overseas though now their talents passed on to their son who joined the infamous band on campus known as the Golden Path.
They were the only band on campus looking for a new guitarist and come to find out their lead vocalists were constantly at each other’s throats about the decisions being made. Amita was a firecracker on stage, a real go getter with a voice and attitude that rivaled some of the greatest female rock musicians of their time. Sabal’s style was soft and sweet, a little more acoustic with depth and soul, a highly fitting genre for the spiritual man, whose studies explored religion and philosophy. The two could never agree on anything and so their band was known for having a diverse range of music they performed. Still, Ajay was blown away by their first performance when they played at a small event one of the campus councils put on. They had been recommended to him by the head of the campus radio station. Rabi Ray Rana, the same man who was currently broadcasting their live performance.
At the time they had a filler guitarist who was decent and their drummer was a redneck with all the energy of the energizer bunny and the will to keep up with the pair of troublesome singers. Ajay would often find himself sitting on the sidelines to avoid the backlash when the two leads would argue but was always inevitably roped in. Turns out Sabal was a huge fanboy of his father and Amita had mad respect for his mother. Both of which were about the only reasons they could agree upon letting him join up. That and his skills with any instrument with a string. He was barely decent on drums, thankfully Hurk had them covered.
The Golden Path may have been a troublesome group, but at times like this, when the beat started and the crowds gathered, those two let loose on a whole other level and Ajay could never imagine the kind of chemistry they had together, especially knowing they fight like cats and dogs when that curtain closes.
That wouldn’t dampen his mood though. Music was in his blood, letting the sound of the crowd, their cheers and voices raised in song, carrying on with them. The clap of their hands to the beat and the pulsing thrum of the energy that vibrated out of the people as well as the massive speakers around the room. This was definitely the kind of song to end a night on, they were the last set of the night out of three other bands present and the song kept everyone on their feet even after standing for a couple hours straight. The alcohol continued flowing and the people crammed in closer to the stage even as campus security pushed them back to keep them from getting too close to the equipment. Ajay was bouncing on his toes with the beat when a drunk young girl crawled onto the stage and was dancing and grinding around him.
He gave a sheepish smile and just kept playing, dancing his way around her on the stage to play along. Sabal continued singing but gave the younger man a sideways glance, his emerald orbs sharing a possessive glare towards the guitarist. Another thing Ajay forgot to mention, his very in depth relationship with the lead male vocalist. He couldn’t stifle the excited shivers racing along his body as his fingers worked the strings like magic, a playful smirk dancing on his lips as he rocked his hips in an enticing roll, his body moving with the fluid grace of a predator as he worked his way over. The singer took the challenge as their gazes met, ignoring the drunken girl who was quickly escorted off the stage by security, their heated battle continued as Sabal sang the chorus line, hearing the abundance of female fans going nuts in the front of the crowd with the growing tension between the pair and the hungry look that was leveled on the guitarist. To say their relationship was a secret, would be a lie.
They hadn’t mentioned it to anyone outside the band but that didn’t matter in a college town, especially not when Rabi Ray Rana is in the vicinity. Idle speculation became heavy gossip which turned into the entire town knowing by the end of the week, after a very intimate looking show was performed with a love struck Sabal crooning out a slow and sweet love song with Ajay sitting with his back to the vocalist. When the song ended, the look they must have shared had broken the final seal of their secret and pretty much silently declared their status to their eager fans. Ajay didn’t mind, it just instilled the fact that Sabal was his and his alone, something the adoring fans understood very quickly. Vice versa for Sabal. That led to quite a few of them pining not for the men separately but openly supporting their relationship and melting every time they spotted the singer and the guitarist together.
By the time the song ended, Ajay and Sabal were so close to one another, eyes daring the other to make a move, that the crowd seemed to anticipate a sudden crashing of lips and a very public display of their romantic affections. Instead they spread massive grins across their faces, eyes lighting up as Sabal thanked the crowd for their support and for coming out tonight. The four of them raised their hands in excitement, waving their goodbye as the radio host entered the stage to help wind down and end the events, bidding everyone a safe trip home. The curtains closed as the bands started to clean up and recover their equipment. Ajay drew his fingers through his damp and sweaty locks, feeling his clothes sticking to his body from the heat and humidity. It was only autumn but the august temperatures were determined to linger into mid October.
He sighed, wiping at his forehead with the back of his hand as he started to return his guitar to it’s case, checking the strings for their level of wear and tear before hand. The stage hands were already helping with the clean up to get everyone out of there as quickly as possible so the establishment can start closing up. It was a long, tiring and very successful night and a perfect starter for a three day weekend.
As he was closing up his case, a gentle hand rested in his shoulder urging Ajay to gaze up. He met bright green eyes still burning with excitement and roaring with that same predatory hunger. Their lips met quickly, a clash of teeth and tongues, slotting together and battling back and forth for dominance before Ajay gave in. He caught hints of ginger tea on Sabal’s tongue, telling him the singer had already partake of his after performance ritual to soothe his vocal cords and calm the buzz in his veins. Others took to drink, something Ajay has been guilty of every now and then but Sabal was smarter about his routine. Even as a rebellious college kid, he was far more responsible and wise beyond his years. Something Ajay admired and respected greatly. As well as his other talents with his mouth.
They parted with breathless panting, their gazes lingering on one another, softening with warm smiles. Ajay’s fingers roamed through Sabal’s dark locks, drawing back the unruly bangs that escaped the ties. “You did amazing out there tonight.” He praised, drawing a purr from Sabal’s lips.
“You were just as fantastic yourself, brother.” The elder man teased, his fingers hooking into the front of Ajay’s belt loops, tugging him closer so they were chest to chest. “Amita and Hurk are heading to the after party with the Royal Army.” The Royal Army was another band in campus run by a few of the professors. Off the clock, they dabbled in music and occasionally competed in drinking contests against the students. Anita and Professor Yuma Lau had an ongoing bet between them and so far they were tied. Professor De Pleur taught business and economics, Amita was one of his top students though they rarely talked but he was in on watching her go toe to toe with Yuma.
Then there was Hurk and Professor Noore Najjar. She taught biology and had a side class on humanities. Both Hurk and Ajay had her though in different classes, Hurk was majoring in her Biology courses. Pagan was the head of the band, the lead vocalist as well and a History Professor, mainly in arts and antiques. They were playful rivals of the Golden Path.
“I think I'll pass. I've seen enough of our professors for one day.” Ajay chuckled, his hand dropping down to Sabal’s shoulder. His fingers looping through the worn material of the old military jacket, the lieutenant’s studs on the shoulders provided the perfect purchase point to pull the singer closer for another chaste kiss. “I got a couple of beers and a bed calling my name.”
“Hm, is there room for another in this plan of yours?” Sabal inquired, lips quirked up with a hopeful smile.
Ajay made a display of pondering it, humming as he fiddled with the material of Sabal’s jacket. “Possibly. Might be a tight fit. Hope you don't mind cuddling.”
“I wouldn’t have it any other way.” He purred against Ajay’s lips, bringing them in for another taste, feet shifting slowly as they pressed closer. Sabal’s hands moving to rest on Ajay’s hips, caressing the rougher fabric of his jeans and trailing up under the edges of his jacket with a teasing gesture. “Lead the way.”