Pierre stood in the elevator, heading up to his room. Chuck and Patrick were with him. The three men weren’t looking at each other; Chuck was on his phone, checking the schedule for the next day; Patrick was leaning against the wall. But, it didn’t take long for someone to decide something needed to be said about the disaster which was the crew and band dinner.
“So much for you being civil, Bouvier. What the fuck happened?” Pat mumbled, only just loud enough for the other two to hear.
Chuck said, with a snort, “He just won the asshole award, what do you think happened?” He glanced sideways at the singer, who was staring hard at the wall in front of him.
“Will you just leave it alone?” Pierre said, tightly. “We already went over this in the restaurant.” Too many times to count. Chuck gave him a good dressing down whilst the rest of the crew and band stood watching on in awkward silence. The members of Fools Rush In left them to it earlier…but they hadn’t left until the restaurant staff had to edge them out the door.
“No. You just had to go be a dick to her. Why?” Chuck lowered his phone so he could focus on his friend.
“Why the fuck do you think, Charles?” Pierre retorted, refusing to meet his look of accusation. He didn’t want to be drawn into an argument. Chuck obviously didn’t feel the same way about it, though.
“Oh, I don’t know. Because you can’t handle rejection?”
Pierre raised his eyebrows. “Are you asking me that?” Not that his friend was wrong.
“Are you?” Chuck made a point of putting his phone away and turning his full attention to the singer.
Pierre sighed, shaking his head. “Why does it matter?” It mattered a lot but he wasn’t going to admit it. Not out loud.
Patrick huffed then, re-joining the conversation. “Because we’re about to go on tour, and she is going to be there as well. And, you need to be nice.”
“She could just stay out of my way.”
Pat laughed, a harsh sound holding no mirth. “I bet she’d be happy to.” He rolled his eyes toward Chuck. “I wish I could.”
“Tell me about it,” Chuck said.
The elevator stopped and the doors slid open. Pierre glowered at his two friends before stepping out.
“Right, side with her, why don’t you.” He stalked off before Chuck or Pat could respond to his bitter statement.
They shook their heads as they followed him out, though he’d disappeared from view by the time they actually set foot in the corridor.
“You know what,” Pat said, halting outside his room, “If Pierre wants to act this way toward Marly, that’s his prerogative. But, I’m not going to let it upset her.”
Chuck nodded and clapped a hand to his shoulder. “You’ll keep an eye on her at Merch?”
“Yeah, that’s the plan. See you in the morning, buddy.”
Chuck nodded as he continued to his room, his thoughts quick to turn to the days ahead.
* * * * *
Pierre heaved a sigh as the door to his room clicked shut. He stood for a moment before pulling his phone from his back pocket, and before he thought too much on it he dialled Lachelle’s number.
“Please, just listen.” Pierre spoke before she could get another word in. He told her everything, voice low and tight, his breath heavy. From the confrontation in the restaurant to Patrick and Chuck’s admonishment in the elevator.
There was several beats of silence after he finished.
“So, Pierre. What are you going to do?”
Pierre scowled. “Do?”
“Yes, you need a strategy. I hate to say this, but you’re friends are right. You do need to work out what you’re going to do on the tour. She is going to be there whether you like it, or not. So, strategy Pierre.”
Pierre hated the fact that what Lachelle said made sense. That she was right. That his friends were right. He didn’t want to admit it. However, he knew that the tour would be a miserable chore if he didn’t. He couldn’t let his personal issues bleed out on stage and to the fans.
“I don’t know, Lachelle. That’s why I called you.”
The psych’s soft sigh on the other end of the line told Pierre a lot more than words could. It was up to him, wasn’t it?
“Look, I can’t avoid her, not really. Can I?”
Lachelle said, “It would just be prolonging the issue. You should probably talk to her at some point. And try to not get emotional.”
Pierre sat on the edge of the bed, resting his elbows on his knees. “Not sure if I can do that. Not after tonight’s episode.”
“I’m not saying do it tomorrow. Sometime during the tour would work.”
Pierre dragged fingers through his hair. “Okay…but for now, try to be polite?”
“Keep it strictly business,” Lachelle said. “You said she’s doing Merch for the support?”
“Oui.” He paused, sucking his bottom lip hard. “They’re friends as well, though.”
Lachelle gave a little snort. “Judging by what you’ve told me, she’s also very close with your band and crew too.”
Pierre clenched his jaw. “Oui, she is. That’s what makes this so damned hard.”
Lachelle sighed again. “Pierre, you know what you need to do. You’re an adult. You can do this.”
“Pierre. Call me if it becomes too much. But, please try to get through this first week of tour before calling me.”
Pierre nodded, shoulders slumping, even though he knew she couldn’t see him. “Alright, thanks.” He hung up and flopped back on the bed, staring up at the ceiling. The light globe blinked at him.
He didn’t sleep.