Ricky sat at one of the lounge tables, his BlackBerry cradled in his hand as he fielded messages. He wouldn’t have bothered attending setup and rehearsal except that Vic was being surly, Bo was jonesing for an easy lay, and Kalila thought herself too good for this seedy venue perched atop an unfashionable hotel. Someone had to keep watch over them and remind them to do their job, or they’d wander off to do whatever demons did, and to hell with their contract.
He watched Lazaro adjust the angle of his snare and set the pedal for his hi-hat. So far, so good. Ricky huddled over his BlackBerry. Two new messages, and one was from a reporter friend he had contacted earlier in the day. Maybe things would get better, after all.
Ricky raised an eyebrow. “I have a name, Vic.”
“Yeah, I know. Don’t we all? We’re out of electrical tape.”
“Supplies aren’t my responsibility.” He got up and approached the stage. “Can’t you make do with duct tape or something? It doesn’t have to be perfect for rehearsal.”
“If I said we need it, we need it.”
Bo quit adjusting knobs on his amp and grinned. “Maybe the manager has some. Want me go ask?”
Before Ricky could veto this suggestion, Kalila shook her head. “Forget it, sleazy.”
“You’d only use it for bondage games,” Vic added. “And then I’d never get any.”
“You’ll never get any, anyway, if Ricky doesn’t do something.” Bo gave Ricky a pointed look.
“I don’t understand why the urgency.” Ricky found the offending cord. It was nicked, but not enough to warrant shutting down rehearsal until they got tape. “You’re overreacting.”
Kalila folded her arms. “Just get us some more. There’s a place down the block from here. Surely you have a dollar.”
“It’s not the money, it’s—” he looked from one impassive face to the other. “Fine. I’ll go get the stupid tape. But while I’m gone, you guys better quit making excuses and start rehearsing.”
Ricky stomped across the club and out the door, cursing demons and their diva behavior. He was standing impatiently at the elevator, waiting for a car, when he remembered he had forgotten his BlackBerry. He went back into the club, grumbling, but paused just inside the door.
“…like we’re children that have to be watched.”
“That’s humans for you. Always thinking they’re the superior species.”
“Well, at least we’ve got…what, twenty minutes?”
Ricky edged back to the door and slipped out. At the elevator, he punched the call button and waited. He’d get the tape of course. But maybe while he was out, he’d get a cup of coffee, too, and perhaps a newspaper. After all, it was a pretty day and there was really no big rush.