“How many more have we got, I’m fucking exhausted.” Santiago growls, scritching his fingernails through the scruff peppering his jaw.
They’d been at it for hours, audition after audition to no avail. They were fucked. All because fucking Tom had to suddenly up and bail in the middle of a record release with a tour to follow. Asshole.
“Only one more.” Sighs Frankie. He calls your name loudly.
The door on the right end of the auditorium opens, you nod to the band manager who is holding the door for you and ushering to where the band is seated.
“Oh for fuck’s sake, not a girl.” Santiago bites out, rolling his eyes.
“What’s wrong with a chick?” Benny asks, tipping his head at you as you continue to approach them.
“I don’t want a fucking Yoko Ono situation Ben.” Santiago whispers, realizing he probably shouldn’t be overheard.
“Who the fuck is Yoko…what?!” Benny’s boyishly handsome face crumples in confusion, and Will heaves a sigh and smiles at you guilty.
“Yoko Ono was John Lennon’s wife who he allowed to interfere in the dynamics and decisions of the band, to the chagrin of the rest of the band members, resulting in the dissolution of the band.” You say drily, finally standing right in front of them.
And fuck. They’re handsome. All of them. Especially that one sitting there looking mortified, hiding under a weathered blue ball cap.
You close your eyes briefly and center yourself, fixing them with a sharp and determined gaze when you open them again. You are going to get this gig. You cannot be distracted.
“But Yoko Ono was not part of the band, and I am auditioning to be part of yours. Is my gender going to be a problem? I promise you, once you hear me play, you won’t even remember it.”
I highly doubt that. Frankie thinks. He’s utterly transfixed by you, trying to hide his enamored stare under the bill of his cap.
You were fucking hot. And feisty. Pieces of your hair were twisted into random braids, half of your hair up and the bottom half down, the ends of your hair dyed colors of the rainbow like a prism of light through a crystal. Sharp eyes surrounded by a smoked out cat eye, a little silver hoop through your nose, multiple piercings in your ears, and a pinkish purple color on your lips.
Frankie was in love.
But so was Benny. And Will.
You stared at them awkwardly. Three of them were looking at you like you were their favorite piece of candy, and the other one glaring at you like you’d done something to personally offend him.
Dick. You glare back.
Will clears his throat. “Thanks…thanks for coming…”
“You can call me Animal.” You offer.
Frankie lifts his head. “Animal?”
You shrug nonchalantly. “Yea. My dad and I used to watch a lot of Muppets. He’s the one who encouraged me to play. Says when I play I look like Animal.”
“Alright.” Will chuckles. Benny is giggling to his left and Frankie is smiling widely at you. “Do you wanna start? How about Wipe Out?”
You nod and abruptly turn around and hop up onto the stage, avoiding the stairs and hoisting yourself up and over the ledge in a dismissive and slightly aggressive way that has the guys only more intrigued.
You head up to the provided drum set, pulling off your red leather asymmetrical jacket and haphazardly tossing it on the floor, leaving you in tight black skinny jeans, studded combat boots, and a plain black tank top. You stretch your arms up and over your head, then behind you back before taking your seat on the drummer’s stool. Frankie can’t help but admire the curve of your ass and the strength of your thighs as you straddle the stool. He looks at Will and Benny. Will’s eyes are hooded with desire and Benny keeps licking his lips in excitement.
He takes a chance to glance back at Santiago. He has not changed, leaning back in his chair with his arms crossed, scowling in your direction.
“Well come on then. We don’t have all day.” He snips. Will turns to to snap back, but you only smirk, twirl your drumsticks around your fingers a few times, and begin.
Your fingers were light and your arms moved like lightening strikes as they scatter across a sky, arms moving so fast it looked as if you had more than two. Your heartbeat matches the sharp, repetitive snares of the drums you beat and you breathe in a hitched breath as that familiar sensation washes over you as you get into your zone. Release. Release of anger. Release of sadness. Release of joy. The feeling you only get when you play your drums. You got this. It’s a no brainer, and any person calling themselves a drummer should be able to perform this beat with or without accompaniment.
“Alright, hold that beat.” Benny says, jumping out of his seat. You nod and continue, circling back to restart the opener as Benny hitches his guitar strap on and promptly joins at the needed moment.
You’re not even aware of him, staring blankly ahead as you repeat and repeat and repeat the same rapid rhythm, bobbing your head as Benny’s lead guitar joins in.
Eventually he trails off, turning to you with a wide smile as you pummel out thirteen more beats to close. You meet Benny’s sparkling blue eyes, his shaggy unwashed hair falling in pieces over them.
Fuck he’s hot.
“That was really good!” Will calls out. “Probably the most crisp performance of that I’ve heard.”
You can’t help but smile widely. “Thanks, um…”
“Will Miller, and that’s my brother Benny.” He drawls.
You look between them, a battle that has you stupidly shifting your eyes back and forth like a crazy person but damned if they aren’t two of the hottest brothers you’ve ever seen in your life. Will’s biceps are bulging out of the little sleeves of his extremely fitted black tee, his pectorals pushing against the front, and you just know this guy has an 8-pack. Easy.
But as attractive as they are, you can’t help but be immediately distracted and drawn to the man approaching the stage now. He’s big. But not big like Will, just broad. Broad rounded shoulders, and a figure that qualifies for a dad bod but doesn’t turn you off in the slightest. As he gets closer you see his hat is for an oil company, which strikes you as strange.
“I’m Frankie.” He husks, and you shiver at the sound of his raspy baritone.
“Nice to meet all of you.” You reply.
You can’t help but smile. It feels….good. Right. You close your eyes for a moment and push your vibes out, sensing Will, Benny, and Frankie’s as they meet and mesh with yours. Oh yea. You need to be in this band.
“I need more.” The other man calls from his seat. You snap your gaze back to his, twisting your lips minutely in irritation. He’s going to be the hard ass. But he’s not being unreasonable. One song is not enough.
“Alright. What would you like me to play next.” You arrange the drumsticks on your thighs, rolling them under your palm in anticipatory energy.
Santiago doesn’t like you. He’s not sure why. Actually, that’s a lie. You’re fucking gorgeous. And that’s a problem. A distraction. They didn’t need an incredibly enigmatic and undeniably sexy distraction living in very close quarters with them 24/7. It’s a recipe for disaster.
“The drum solo from Moby Dick.” He leans back in his chair with a shit-eating grin, ignoring the confused and irate glances of the rest of the guys.
Moby Dick was impossible. There’s no way, there’s no fucking way in hell that you —
You were playing it. Holy fuck you were actually playing it, and they all suddenly understand completely why your nickname is ‘Animal’. You play perfectly, clearly, passionately and spastically, your hair flying and your arms flailing and your teeth bared in a snarl, and it was probably one of the hottest things they had ever seen in their lives, and that’s not even talking about the performance.
You didn’t miss a single fucking beat, the pulsing of the drums were vibrating inside their very bodies as you swelled and quieted, switched tempo five times within two minutes, not showing any sign of exertion at all.
And then, you just hit. And hit and hit and hit, faster and faster and faster, it sounds like a stampede of horses, like thunder when it’s right over your house and seems to be swallowing you whole.
And you switch tempos again. And build that tempo up until Santiago almost thinks you will burst his eardrums.
Benny suddenly jerks back into motion, snapping his mouth shut as he jumps in to join you as you complete the song.
“…Holy shit.” Will breathes, meeting Frankie’s eyes. Frankie’s mouth is hanging open and he can’t seem to shut it.
“You’re fucking hired.” Benny blurts out enthusiastically.
You smile wildly through your panting breaths, arms trembling with the effort it took to play the solo.
“Now, hang on—” Santiago starts, but Frankie cuts him off.
“Did you fucking hear her Pope? I have never heard anyone play that song like that and you’re telling me you aren’t convinced? We don’t play anything requiring that amount of skill, and you need more?”
Santiago remains firm. “Yes, I do.”
“Are you kidding me?!” Benny shouts.
“You’re fucking crazy!” Frankie advances on Santiago like he’s going to punch him in the face.
“Why don’t we all play together?” You interject.
Frankie stops in his tracks and puts his hands on his hips. Will doesn’t respond, only moving to join you on the stage. He picks up his rhythm guitar and gets it settled comfortably in front of his hips.
Frankie glares once more at Santiago before following suit, standing behind the Millers to your right with his bass.
Santiago rolls his eyes and finally joins the group, moving to the mic and adjusting it to make sure it was perfect.
“Okay. You got one shot, ‘Animal’. You don’t know any of our songs yet. Do you know ‘No One Knows’, by Queens of the Stone Age?”
You click your tongue. “Yup.”
“Great. Let’s go.”
And you play. You and Benny have known each other all of ten minutes, but it’s like you’re already connected, starting at the exact same time and melding together perfectly, Frankie and Will joining in a beat later.
When Santiago opens his mouth you almost miss a beat. His voice is beautiful, and you find yourself forgiving him for how nasty he might have been earlier. He had the goods to back it up.
During the slower percussion progression of the chorus, you take a second to look up, getting acquainted with the roles of the guys. Santiago clearly sings lead, Benny and Will with backing vocals. Frankie joins in when they need a deeper voice, but generally remains quiet. You notice he’s occasionally sneaking glances at you.
You accidentally meet his eyes before you have to look down again and focus for the drum solo in the bridge, your cheeks burning at being caught checking him out too.
The song crescendos, and you know, you can just feel it. This is it. It’s them. It’s right. It’s perfect. You can feel them, and you know they can feel you.
When the song ends, everyone is quiet, slowly turning to you. You know you have the Millers and Frankie behind you. It’s all up to Santiago now. You look up at him.
“Okay, fuck, you’re so fucking in babe.”
You close your eyes and sigh in bliss.