Josh groaned as the next contestant stepped to the microphone. Of all the screwed things Anthony could have come up with, he decided to introduce Karaoke Night at the bar. It wasn’t enough that a bunch of drunk horny shape shifters crashed and trashed the bar almost every full moon. Now they were howling to oldies but goodies from 60’s and 70’s along with tunes from the 80’s and 90’s too.
The gent dressed in business slacks and a button down shirt looked severely out of place amongst the oilrig workers, bikers, and other mix of gay and straight clients filling the bar. His trimmed beard and short hair stuck out amongst long hair, jeans, t-shirts and leather gear. Not that the local shifters didn’t own respectable businesses like the humans in town. Josh smiled remembering the look on Sally’s face when she learned her Gynecologist was a wolf three nights out of the month.
Grey gazed out over the audience. It seemed weird to not be in his usual stage costume. Leather pants and emblem emblazed t-shirt from the tour’s sponsor adoring his chest. Since the group broke up 6 months prior, he’d taken time to assess where his life was heading and what he’d done. The money and music fulfilled part of his needs. Parts of him long for a mate who understood his roving eye and didn’t mind sharing. He didn’t mind another man present. No sexual thrills of bi longings went unsatisfied. He liked seeing his mate well-loved and sated. The few threesomes he’d share with his ex had been worth the growth and learning curves. Now he needed to find the music singing in his soul again. To find the one person or persons who’d take him as he was.
“Good evening. My name’s Grey. I’d like to sing a tune I wrote a few years back. Does anyone have a guitar I can use?” Someone called out. An acoustic guitar passed forward through the crowd. A tall red headed Irish looking dude held up his hand.
“Enjoy and return to me when you’re done please.” Grey liked the sound of his Irish accent. He reminded Grey of his best friend Smith. Those were days when the band was belting out number one hits every three weeks. Days and often months spent on the road touring. A time that was good in the moment. Now Grey wanted more permanence in his life.
“Thanks.” Grey strummed the strings, tuning here and there. Before he struck his first chord, he inhaled. Her scent run up his nostrils and settled on his psyche as if she’d been waiting for him to notice her. He sniffed again. Her subtle scent and aroma tickled her way around his palate and ignited his desire in a way he hadn’t felt for a few years. A quick glance revealed no female close to the stage. Hmm, was his ego stroking his horny id into existence or was he remembering another time and place?
Michelle stood near the back of the crowded bar. She’d made more in tips tonight than any other. Tory had told her from the start that working the bar would pan out. Two of the oilrig workers tipped generously as she kept their beers refilled and hot food before them. Tory smiled as she instructed her nanny to keep an eye on Michelle’s toddler. Life was taking on normalcy again. Michelle slumped against the wall and let her guard down. Maybe, just maybe, she was safe. Running and hiding had to stop.
Grey cleared his throat and began playing. The chords and music burst forth like old friends welcoming him back. He closed his eyes and sang.
Alone you watch and wait
I know your pain
Wondering if you like I am alone
With no one to call your own
Night after night, you plan
Only to see it all die in a flash of light
As your heart calls out where is a home for me
Grey sang three more verses. His strong tenor tones reached out across the crowded room caressing Michelle with each note and sound. It was as though his eyes met hers and refused to look away. She reached into her serving apron, pulled out a tissue and dabbed at the tears threatening to flow.
Michelle inched along the wall working her way toward the swinging kitchen door. Freedom awaited her. She’d ---she’d what. Run again? Hide and cower in fear? How could he know? The lone musician sang a lonely love song that seared her soul. How could he know her pain and anguish he summed up so succinctly in words and melody?