Running Up That Hill – Day 29

Well I’m just a simple man
There’s a lot that I don’t know
But as long as you’re here with me
I’d just as soon stay home

-Alabama ‘On This Side of the Moon’

Our evening with Howie and Leigh the day before had been nice, and I was glad we’d gone over there. It was nice to spend time with him on our own terms, just being friendly. Sometimes I forgot how important that really was.

We were a group, yes, and co-workers if you wanted to get technical about it, but under that we still had a brotherly bond. Even though lately we fought like brothers.

I sighed as Kristin laid her head on my chest. Early mornings with my wife were something I didn’t get often, and were something I’d learned to treasure. We just lazed around in our bedroom, not doing much of anything but being with each other and watching the sunrise.

“This is nice,” she commented.

It really was.

I had been a little down about the fact that we weren’t going back on tour. For so long the group had been my life, and even though I’d joined it when I was twenty-one, it was hard to remember what things had been life before then. We’d spent so much time with each other, touring and on the road that I had begun to crave it.

Sometimes I felt like I was split in two. The southern guy who was all about his wife and family and just wanted to be at home all the time, and the performer who lived to be on stage.

Not saying that the performer guy in me didn’t love his wife and family, but you know what I mean. Sometimes it was hard to separate the two, and often I found myself clinging to one part of my life more than the other. I was always someone who’d had a hard time finding that balance, and it hadn’t changed when I’d gotten married.

Luckily, Kris was understanding of that. She always gave me space when I needed it, and was always there for me when I didn’t.

God, I was so lucky to have such an amazing wife.

“We could go back to Kentucky,” she said suddenly.


She snuggled up a little closer to me. “You know, since you’ve got some extra time off. We could go visit your family for a little bit. I’m sure they’d appreciate that.”

See what I mean? Not only did I have an amazing wife who could read my thoughts, she also always knew exactly what I needed. What I needed was to perform and be on stage, but obviously I couldn’t have that right now, so going to visit my family at home would be the next best thing. I could focus on the other part of my life I tended to neglect.

And it hadn’t even crossed my mind that was what I’d need until she’d said it.

“Yes,” I said quickly. “I think that sounds like a great idea.”

She leaned upwards and kissed me slowly. “When should we go?” she asked softly when she pulled away.

I thought about that for a minute. Ideally we could have gone as soon as possible, but of course there was still something keeping me in LA for the time being.

And what was that? The fact that AJ would be back tomorrow and transferred to his transitional facility, where we’d be allowed to go visit him.

And though he didn’t quite know it yet, and I still had to clear it with Denise, I really wanted to visit him as soon as I could.

“On Wednesday,” I said quickly. “We’ll go on Wednesday.”


“You’re a pig!”

I ran a hand through my hair. I’d heard those words so many times in my life that they didn’t even faze me anymore. Was that bad? Oh well. I guess I was sort of a pig. But at least I was a hot pig.

Plus it wasn’t like I never slept with anyone who didn’t want it! What did these chicks think? That I was going to meet them in a bar, we were going to have one amazing night together, I’d never be able to stop thinking about her and we’d run off and get married?

Uh… don’t answer that. I swear to fuck some of our fans are batshit crazy.

“Are you even listening to me?”

Not really.

She paced around the hotel room yelling, and I wasn’t really sure why. I’d already told her to leave. Why was she still here?

Oh right, because she was mad that I’d fucked her and now I was telling her to get lost.

But we already covered why she shouldn’t be mad about that!

“Look, baby,” I said smoothly, but I guess it wasn’t that smoothly, because she glared at me. “You knew what this was.”

“Really?!” She shouted. “Because you actually told me – you actually said these words ‘I don’t sleep with just anyone.’”

Yeah, that did sound like something I would say. “Yeah, I don’t,” I shrugged. “I mean, she has to be hot.”

That comment earned me a hard slap across my face. “Ouch, fuck!” I rubbed my palm against my cheek. What the hell?!

At least then she stormed out of the room. Good! She didn’t have to slap me though. Man, I didn’t deserve that. Not after I gave her a good time the night before. I laid back down on the bed. I probably would have gone back to sleep too, but I needed to check out of the fucking room or they were going to charge me for it.

Ugh, what a pain in my ass. But I wasn’t about to start bringing chicks back to Howie’s place. I didn’t want a fucking dirty look from him.

Not like Howie wasn’t always sleeping with random girls, but somehow he was better at keeping it hidden than I was. And people always gave me shit for it! Man, if the girl is ready and willing, what’s the problem?

I just do not fucking understand chicks.


“I really have to go,” Leigh said quietly, but didn’t make any motion to move.

“Just stay a little longer.”

“I have to go to work.”

“You work for us,” I reminded her.

She laughed a little, and this time she really did get out of the bed. God dammit! “I have other clients, you know.”

That sucked. I guess just because I was on a break and could spend my time doing whatever I wanted, didn’t mean everyone else could. “Yeah, okay,” I said, getting out of bed as well and watching her as she got dressed.

Man, she was hot. I was a lucky guy. “Do you want me to make you breakfast before you leave?”

She looked over at the clock. “I don’t really have a lot of time. I still need to go home and have a shower. I’ll probably just grab something on the way.”

“We could shower together,” I wiggled my eyebrows suggestively.

Again she just laughed. Easygoing, hot… yup. Lucky. “I don’t think I’ve got enough time for that,” she said, leaning over and kissing me on the nose. “But I’ll see you tonight, okay?”

I smiled at her. “Okay.”

She walked out of the bedroom and I followed her. As we walked down the hall I glanced into Nicky’s room… of course he’d left the door wide open and his stuff was everywhere. When he got back from wherever he was I made a point to remember to tell him to clean it up. He could leave his own house as a pigsty – but not mine!

“Bye, Howie,” Leigh said once we got down to the front hall. She kissed me on the cheek and slipped her shoes on.

“Bye,” I gave her a wave as she left.

I leaned up against the wall. I was already looking forward to when she would be finished work and could come back.


“Let’s go out and do something fun.”

That’s what had started this whole mess.

Leighanne had decided that since we home, and were going to be home for a long period of time, that we should really start doing more couple things and getting more involved in our community. Or least try to get to know the people who lived in our area.

I had tried to explain to her that we weren’t going to be home for that long. I mean, I was going to go back on tour eventually. No matter how much I wasn’t looking forward to it, with each day that passed it got closer and closer to that time where my real life would begin again.

I supposed it wouldn’t be that bad to go out and try to meet some people. Even though we were going out on the road and likely wouldn’t see anyone again for a long time.

And that was how we ended up at Swing Night.

I’m not a good dancer, I’ve never been a good dancer, I’ll probably never be a good dancer. Sure, we dance in music videos and in concert, but it’s never been something I’ve found particularly easy or fun. Plus when it’s choreographed, we just have to learn it. We don’t really have to try to feel out the music and really…dance.

That, and big band music wasn’t really my thing.

So you can sort of see why I hadn’t been on board with Swing Night.

“Come on Brian,” Leighanne laughed as she clung to me, putting her hand lightly on my shoulder. “It’s really easy, just go with the beat of the music.”

I tried my best, but I still don’t think I did very well.

“I wish you could lead,” I muttered under my breath. Ah, the joys of being a man. We always get to be the lead. I’ve never quite understood that – usually girls are way better dancers. Let them lead!

I mean, Leighanne was the one who had led me here, so…

“You can do it,” she nodded with encouragement. “Just go like the instructor showed us,” she said, pulling away from me slightly and doing the motions with her feet.

She should have been a dancer. She was way better at this than I was.

“Okay,” I said, pulling her in close to me and trying again. I probably wouldn’t have even bothered, but it was obvious that it was making her happy. So I had to try. I wanted to try. There was no harm in trying something new, right?

I tried to feel out the beat of the music, but the only thing I could really focus on was her. The way that her lips moved up into a curvy smile, and the way her hair fell over her shoulders, the way her chest looked in that dress.

“You doing better,” she commented.

Huh? Was I? I wasn’t even paying attention!

“Yeah?” I asked, grinning at her.

She smiled and we continued to dance to the music. It was simple, and the steps we were doing weren’t overly complicated. But I was there with her, and for that, I was glad.


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