Neon Red – Chapter 11

(DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. It’s important to remember this is all totally fabricated, embellished, and exaggerated for entertainment purposes.)


My eyes shot open as I flinched awake, dreaming I was falling. A strident whistle had surrounded me. I could feel the stabbing chill of the wind as I sliced through thin air. The pressure ate away at my face, disfigured by the gusts. Dumbfounded and gulping, I registered the stillness of the motel room and checked the clock on the  wall. It had been the same time for several hours, letting me know the batteries were dead. 

A dim haze bled from the window, enough for me to see I was in a hideously unfamiliar space. Unsettled by the silence, I grabbed my phone to see it was 1AM. As my breathing leveled, I shifted and lay facing the window, hoping to doze off again. That is, until a shadow passed the room outside, lingering near the door. They were listening. I could make out the outline of a hunched figure through the thinnest layer of curtains.

A hair-raising silence followed, during which the shadow didn’t budge, and I lay paralyzed with fear. Completely craven and useless. A million conclusions quaked through my mind, threatening to provoke a stroke. I landed on a hundred ideas at one, all lacking sense. 

They must’ve been casing the joint to rob us. They were listening to hear if we were awake.  They knew who we were and wanted to catch us in a compromising position. Someone had called the police. G had found out where I was and sent someone from her team. Her dad had hired someone to follow us. She must’ve heard the conversation in the shower after all…

I sprang from the bed and over to the window, fighting with the drapes to get a clear opening. Searching our doorstep and the surrounding area, I found nothing. There wasn’t a single soul outdoors at the minute; not even a bat. Neither had a nearby door opened to admit anyone into a neighboring room. I was completely daft. My breath shuddered through me like I’d been holding it underwater until my lungs collapsed. I couldn’t get a full inhale. I braced a hand against the window until I ebbed back to reality, unsure of what was wrong with me. There was simply no one there. Not even a stray dog which might’ve cast the shadow.

I puzzled my brain, rehashing what I had saw and how I could’ve been mistaken. There was no reasonable explanation for what happened, apart from it being a hallucination. I dreaded the fucking word. I couldn’t succumb to that. Not me. Not here. I wasn’t fucking crazy. Fuck that. 

Heyyy?” Haz said sleepily, rolling over in the bed to face the window. “Wus wrong? Y’okay?”

“Yeah…yeah. Just checkin’ on things…”

“It’s ok. We’re good…come back to bed…” He lifted both arms in a feeble display, inviting me back into his warmth so effectively I nearly swooned. How could anyone resist such a sight? This was the best Harry; half-awake, bone-tired, and cuddly. When I got to the bed, I lifted the sheets off his nude body and climbed atop, settling down onto him. His body was on fire; emitting it’s own personal heating system from head to toe. He was the best to keep around in the winter, always down for a mid-day nap and sleeping in really late. He wrapped those limp arms around me, kissing the top of my head as it lay against his chest. Then suddenly he swapped our positions and I lay on my back with his head against my chest. There were zero complaints from me.

“Better?” I asked. He nodded. I began to doze, so groggy I couldn’t keep my lids open to watch for the shadow again. “Why do you love me?” I breathed, thoroughly at odds with the notion that I anyone should bother.

“Are you crazy?” he drawled, abandoning his admonishment mid-thought.

“Maybe…” Seconds later, he was out. So was I.


A warmth crept between my legs under the covers. I couldn’t open my eyes, except to get short bleary glimpses of the darkness surrounding me. It still wasn’t morning, which made me glad since morning meant separation. This pressure kissed it’s way up the insides of my thighs before burying my rigid meat deep inside its moisture. Apparently it had been playing with me for a while, arousing me in my sleep and making me feel attracted to passing strangers in my dreams. 

His lips clamped around my length and slid up to the tip where he tongued the ridge until it throbbed. I could piss all over the place if he wasn’t careful. Piss down his throat, piss on the ceiling. It felt like there were billions of nerve-endings set ablaze over every solitary millimeter of my cock. I gurgled in a half-hearted attempt to engage him in conversation. To thank him. To coach him. To make him laugh. Some lame joke about how he must’ve been hungry since he bit down on my shaft a time or two. 

My hips rocked deeper and deeper into the mattress before bucking uncontrollably at his mouth. His drooling, moaning, bottomless mouth. A fucking menace. I flopped back down when I grew weak, knees collapsing. I wrenched the sheets. His tongue worked me so hard I couldn’t see straight. My eyes kept slipping into the back of my lolling head. I wanted to laugh but couldn’t summon the strength. My core muscles were liquified, bleeding down my guts like I’d been disemboweled. 

I was so undone I would have signed every one of my assets over to him. All I needed was a pen. I would have sold my family. I would have given up everything to follow him across the world on foot. I cringed weakly, sitting up and arching my back before collapsing onto the pillows in a gratified confusion. He withdrew as I convulsed, pumping my slobbery cock with his merciless hand. Massive hand. Deft hand.

I flung a leg over his shoulder and twisted sideways atop the mattress in an agonized pleasure; lost in the sheets. I didn’t realize I almost choked him out. He situated me back into place, dragging me down towards him by the hips, unwilling to spare a single second. He enjoyed when I lost my composure. He enjoyed making me like this.

“Harry…” I exhaled, hands up over my head, braced against the headboard. I was levitating, rocking in rhythm with his bobbing head, riding the wave of his thirst. He wanted me and that turned me on more than anything his mouth was capable of. But it was so strong, so deep, so unruly he nearly sucked the tip clean off.  And he was the only person who could swallow me down to the base with ease; a human vacuum. G couldn’t if she tried. His tongue swirled around me, commanding all my attention, making me quiver so thoroughly I was sure he’d left nerve damage.

He withdrew a final time and jerked me slow and meticulously, his grip unforgiving. He was looking to drain me down to the marrow. When I finally came there was an audible eruption, at which he laughed, pulling on me until I grew flaccid and felt touched-out.

Fuckkkk…” I rasped, watching the ceiling. He got up and got a towel and tossed it onto my face. I failed to collect myself. I heard him brushing his teeth shortly after, occasionally coming to the doorway and laughing because I hadn’t moved from that spot, nor had I removed the towel. I breathed through it and mediated on the memory, still in awe of what I’d woken up to. The best fucking surprise of my life.

“Fine, I’ll do it,” he remarked, grabbing the towel from my face and cleaning me off. He pulled a layer of sheets away then we lay side by side uncovered.

“M’sorry I fell asleep on you,” he muttered. “You forgive me?”

“Of fuckin’ course, maan…” I exclaimed, still recovering from the aftershocks of my orgasm. “Trust me, you’ve more than made up for it.”


He woke me up later with breakfast so we’d have extra time before he left. The fare was mostly fruit and bread, all the owner was willing to pull together for a few coked out hookers or guys who’d taken up long-term residency because they were unable to afford an apartment. He had also offered a single serving box of a generic cereal and a mini carton of milk. It reminded me not-so-fondly of school.

“Well, it ain’t exactly the George V,” Haz drawled. “But it’s all we got.

“F’sure. Thanks babe,” he bent in for a kiss. It was hard to stop at just one. He let me go as long as I wanted. “It’s perfect,” I grinned, gazing dreamily up into his eyes. He pressed his forehead to mine for a bit before reluctantly moving away.

A croissant and fresh fruit sounded like a feast to me. I was starving since I hadn’t eaten since breakfast yesterday, and barely even touched that. I snacked a little throughout the day and had put it in my mind to wait until G got home to order room service, but ended up leaving the room again for the night. And with all my running around on foot, my stomach had started to eat itself.

I moved to the edge of the bed where he sat and slung a leg over his thigh. He toyed absently with my calf while checking his phone, before setting it aside to eat. He fixed the small helping of cereal and fed me bites between my fruit. 

Mario’s “Let Me Love You” started playing out of nowhere, at which he doubled over and laughed uncontrollably though a mouth full of cereal, spitting milk everywhere. It took me a minute to realize he had changed my ringtone to my X-Factor audition song while I was sleep. I sat there in awe of how ridiculous he was, watching him choke down the cereal. I had never seen anyone laugh so hard at their own joke before.

“Mate, you’re an idiot! Youh know that?” I laughed. “Youh gotta chill.” At first I couldn’t fathom how he had even unlocked my phone. Then I realized he had watched me unlock it last night when I called G. He’d had a front row seat sitting directly behind me the entire time. Sneaky fucking bastard. I shoved his head aside when he snickered in my face, then grabbed my phone to check Twitter and IG. I fucking knew it! He had hacked my Twitter again, but this time had only tweeted a series of random emojis. Some dumb coded message that only made sense in his twisted mind.

“I can’t believe youh, broh. What’s wrong with youh, huh?” He fell back on the bed laughing and burping at the same time. I couldn’t help but share in the laughter at how stupid it all was.

I played an early Alicia Keyes song “Fallin'” while I finished my breakfast. He sat up, leaning back on his outstretched arms and said,

“Wow, you’re going old school Alicia Keyes. Early, early stuff 2000s, right? Back when she had the weird cornrow sideburns—”

“They weren’t sideburns,” I chuckled.

They definitely were.” He pulled up the music video on his phone. “Now I want you to explain to me…how the fuck those aren’t sideburns, mate? That’s exactly what they are.”

“Pretty sick, though, not gonna lie,” I smirked. “Alright, how about this?” I put on Nina Simone’s “I Don’t Want Him You Can Have Him” and he smiled, eyes gleaming with nostalgia. It took us straight back to the road. Long days traveling from city to city, too often stuck in close quarters and growing sick of one another. I always sent that to him whenever he was annoying me.

“Ah, Simone…” he muttered.

When that ran its course, up next came “Dancing in The Dark” by Bruce Springsteen, something we had lost our minds to too many times to remember. Putting it on in the dead of night and rocking out on top of tables, beds, nightstands; basically anything that could hold our weight. Even now he climbed up and started jumping up and down on the bed, laughing himself stupid. I couldn’t stop watching him in awe, cracking up anytime he almost toppled off the edge. Suddenly the side I was sitting on collapsed and we both fell to the floor, crying with laughter.

Fucks sake,” he grunted in pain. “M’gonna have to pay for that…”

“Fuck, broh…” I grimaced, rubbing my elbow where it had banged against the floor. “You’re a nutjob.”

“Takes one to know one…”

Later we fixed the slat on the frame and tested it out. Thankfully it wasn’t broken, just popped out of place. Now I sat in the center of the mattress, checking my messages and getting tons of congrats. Turns out I’d won an iHeart award back home, which would be announced on the show tomorrow night. They wanted me to make a short video and send it over by the evening.

“That’s so cool, congrats, baby.” He said, kissing my shoulder. “M’so proud of you.”

“Fanks, babe. Yeah, I guess it’s kinda cool. The fans are wicked.”

“Honestly. Any they just never give up. They’re always there, morning noon and night. Always rooting for you.”

“They make it all possible…it’s mind-blowin—'”

“Mm-hm.” He kissed my shoulder a few more times, licking it a little. “What are you gonna do when I’m gone. Mope around, I hope?”

“Of course…”

“Thanks,” he chuckled.

“G wants to hang out. She has the mornin’ off and I promised her I would—”

“Of course. I’m sort of sick of you anyway. Where you two headed?”

“Shoppin’, eatin’. She been wantin’ to visit this super famous chocolatier or some shit, and sumthin’ about the Medieval Marais. Sumthin’ about a canon ball lodged into the side of a buildin’.”

“Riveting,” he rolled his eyes.

“I know.”


Later as I stepped out of the shower and he was rolling on deodorant, he said, “You ever stop and think how semen is basically just dick snot?” I couldn’t begin to respond, even if I had a sensible reply. I was truly mind-fucked. I opened my mouth and shut it again without even trying. “Mate, just think about it before you judge—” 

“Oh, I’m judgin’…”

“It’s fucked, right?” he continued, undeterred. “And get this, baby, burps are basically just mouth farts.”

“Is this what youh think about in your free time?!” I puzzled, unable to suppress a laugh.

“Sumtimes…” he grinned, dimples emerging. “It should be, like, a book, right? All these funny little facts or realizations we don’t normally think of…” He wore a self-satisfied smirk after that. “Like how lead pencils don’t actually have lead in them. It’s actually graphite. Mate, that’s wild, right? They’ve been lying to us all along…”

“Your mind amazes me…”


“Wasn’t a compliment, fam…” he slapped my ass as I walked by to get dressed.

When we got packed and ready to go, we sat side-by-side on the foot of the bed, absorbed by our phones.

“So, uh…things are heating up again,” he began. “Looks like I may need to find myself a new situation when I get back,” he set the phone aside.

“How soh?”

“Y’know…hookup time.”

“Oh yeah?”

“Mm-hm…” He rubbed his nose and watched the carpet in resignation.

“Is that what youh want?”

“Maybe…” he shrugged. “It’s mainly the label…the team. But I’m bored sometimes. Can’t deny that. You’re never around…”

“Sorry, babe…”

“I didn’t say it to make you feel bad…it’s more just a fact of life. It’s alright yknow? I’ve learned to deal with it.”


“The label thought it’d be a good idea. So did Drew.”

“And who’s that?”

Andrew Parsons. Head of PR for the solo stuff. Parson Enterprises, I think. Something like that. You know the deal. Relationships give people something to talk about. Something to believe in. Something to envy. That sort of thing.”

“Effortless press, too. All youh have to do is be seen together a time or two, and everyone fills in all the rest.”

“Precisely. So I figured, why not give it a shot?”

“Who d’youh have in mind?”

“A food critic. Friend of a friend.”

“She pretty?” he glanced over at me with a cheerless smirk.

“She’s not you…for what it’s worth…”

“Sorry babe….I really mean it…”

“Wonder what they’d say if we were seen together. Like grabbing coffee a time or two? Like, after the initial shock wore off. What would they fill in about us?

“That’s easy.” I said. “Probably the usual stuff they already say. I’m a cheater and you’re a shallow manwhore.”

“Gee, thanks,” he laughed. “Do you think we’d be envied?”

“Of course, the internet envies what they can’t have.”

“Do you think we’d have any support?”


“On what?”

“I dunno, Haz…it just feels like it won’t be so straightforward in either direction, like…I dunno, Haz.”

This was it for us and I knew it. I couldn’t stomach what we’d been reduced to after the band. Fouled up motel rooms in the most rundown corners of town. Places where everyone would second guess thinking they actually spotted a celebrity. No celeb in their right mind would be caught dead in a place like this. It defied all common sense, hence why it was perfect for us. We were the outliers.

“You know…sometimes I feel like I can picture us together, like, uh, way down the line. But then sometimes I just can’t. You ever feel that way?”


“It makes me panic, yknow? When I can’t see us?”

“Yeah…” I said softly.

“What’s gonna happen, Z?” Sometimes he stuck me as never having aged a day beyond 16. There was still so much fragility to be guarded. Such sheer naivety I felt awful for the things we’d done in the dark. Sometimes I thought about how I’d corrupted him. We’d corrupted each other.

“I just don’t know, babe…” He hung his head and I rubbed his cheek with the back of my fingers. “You scared?

“Fuck sake…” He exhaled.

I was gutted. I didn’t want to leave him yet. I needed more time. None of this was fair. We deserved more time. I hated the mornings. I’d spit in the face of the morning if I ever saw it on the street. It always, always meant separation. By the coldest means. Ripped apart at the joints, leaving me to hobble around like a dejected amputee. Had been this way for years; in and out of hotel rooms. In and out of strange beds where the walls had eyes. In and out of love.

During the band days, we’d sometimes have to split long before morning. Robbed by uncertainty. Stalked by it. Not knowing who was going to come knocking on our doors, looking to peak with us. It upset him a lot. I could read it all over his face and body language, no matter how hard he tried to pretend otherwise out of embarrassment.

He tattooed himself with the song lyrics to a Ray Lamontagne tune. A crude little tattoo to reflect a song that epitomized our neediness and unnegotiable codependence. It encompassed what we were to a scary degree. All the strange things. Three little words: Can I Stay?

Staying together till morning was rarely granted and always hard-won. But spending multiple nights together had been the ultimate rarity in this whole thing. Utterly out of the question. We weren’t a week-long  type of thing. We were stolen kisses and shoddy motels and over-the-pants-hand-jobs in a crunch. We weren’t the romancing kind. The loyal or the expectant kind. Couldn’t afford to be. It only set us up for more grief and unendurable failure.

Still, the thought of going back to G gave me chest pains. Literal angina that palpitated up my throat and settled at the base of my tongue. A sensation like caving-in. Toppling. Collapsing dozens of stories. That’s how badly it hurt to leave him; every single fucking time.

“I miss your chicken and sweet corn pie,” he muttered, scratching his nose. “I’m so fucking hungry…” 

“I should’ve fed youh…” I chuckled. 

“Remember how you and I used to order that on pizza? I didn’t know what I was missing until you baked it in a pie.”

“Yeah, maan…and I miss your fajitas.”

“I don’t cook like I used to. At least you still got somebody to practice for. I see her IG stories sometimes…”


“M’not getting annoyed or anything. It’s just…she’s always flaunting your cooking…like she’s the first person you ever cooked for. She’s so fucking clueless…”

“It’s just food Haz,” he looked over at me, more drained than I’d ever seen him. Not sad, not annoyed, just tired.

“No, mate. It’s far more. It means much, much more.” He stood up, prepared to go. “My car’s outside.” I swallowed the lump in my throat and stood too.

“Yeah, mine’ll be here any minute now.”

“M’gonna check out on the way down. Cleaning lady’ll be up here soon. Lookout, alright?”

“Okay, I’ll head out in a bit and walk around the building till he gets here.”

He pressed his fist gently into my stomach. Time felt still. I felt the ride back to the hotel would be like a trip through a demonic wormhole, hurdling me back to a place I simply could not stomach to be. I wish I’d never come to Paris, rather than seeing him here and having to part like this. It fucked me up badly.

“Hey, all the love, alright…” he said, weary-eyed. “I’ll see you next time…”

“Don’t say that, would youh?” I pled, literally tearing up. I was so fucking pathetic. “It makes me really fuckin’ sad, ok Haz? It feels like we won’t see each other again or sumthin.”

“I’ll never let that happen…” he kissed me once, very firmly, and then was gone. I sat back down on the bed as my legs gave; too fatigued to watch him walk across the parking lot towards the car. I was so infuriated at everything and everyone I just couldn’t hold back anymore. Tears slipped liberally down my cheeks and I was glad he was gone so he couldn’t see them. 

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