“Like a lot of sweet lovin’, apparently. And not only that, Derek, but she didn’t want to come see you, and I talked her into it.”
“She mentioned that part.”
“That I talked her into it?”
“That she didn’t want to come.”
“But she didn’t mention anything about ME.”
“Kaitlyn! Are you removing ALL my contributions to the story?!”
“You know I’m not. It’s just been a little… busy around here.”
“Unh-huh. I hope I get ‘busy’ tonight, too.”
Derek got a look in his eye. “Hey Shanna – seeing as I owe you twice over – ”
“ – how about we fly you out to San Francisco for our next show, all expenses paid?”
There was a long pause on the other end of the line.
“Are you fuckin’ with me?” she finally asked.
“No, it’s the least I can do for hooking me up with such a prime piece of ass,” he grinned, squeezing me playfully. I slapped his hand away.
“Oh my God – that would be – oh, wow! I mean, I was only talking about when you come to New York!”
I’d never heard Shanna so flustered.
“It’s cool, just give me your info and I’ll have my manager get you a plane ticket and the hotel reservation.”
“Are you – are you sure? That’s a lot of money – ”
“I’m a rock star, Shanna. I got it.”
“He bought a car the other day because he didn’t want to rent one,” I said disapprovingly.
“Haha! What’d you get?”
“A 1969 Mercedes convertible.”
“Ooooh… sounds nice. But no Ferrari, no Porsche?”
“That would have been the obvious choice,” he joked.
“True dat… are you sure you don’t mind?”
“Not at all. Give me your info, I gotta go do a thing, but I’ll take care of it.”
He scribbled down her information on a piece of hotel stationary, then excused himself.
“See you soon, Shanna!”
“Thank you so much, Derek!”
“Don’t mention it,” he said, then gave me a kiss before heading out the door.
“…are you alone now?” she asked.
“Okay, for real: how was he?”
I sighed blissfully. “Incredible.”
She squealed on the other end. “Oooh, I’m so jealous! You bitch!”
“It’s a term of endearment. Tell me everything – I want length, girth, duration, kinky fetishes, everything.”
I wasn’t exactly that forthcoming, but I did tell her enough to make her even more jealous.
“Damn it, now I’ve got to go score some mushrooms and find somebody to fuck,” she pouted playfully.
“Yeah, just don’t go walking in the desert first.”
“Oh HELL to the no. No wonder you had a bad trip. So are you glad I talked you into going?”
I paused, not wanting to give her the satisfaction… and then I relented. I couldn’t keep from smiling. “Yes.”
“HA! See? You had SO better dedicate your book to me.”
“It’s an article, Shanna.”
“Just wait till Random House hears you slept with him, they’ll want a book. By the way, how’s Ryan?”
I smiled fondly. “He’s good. He’s really cute, by the way.”
“Ooooooh, really? Maybe you won’t be the ONLY one who sleeps with a band member.”
As soon as she said it, something weird sparked up inside of me.
Like, I didn’t want her to sleep with Ryan…
It was silly.
“Maybe,” I said, then grinned wickedly. “Just watch out for the drummer.”
“Isn’t the drummer a chick?”
“Well… it’s been awhile… but I could definitely switch hit again…”
“Shanna!” I gasped.
“It was a phase. Hey, maybe you, me, and her could have a threesome,” she teased.
“You homophobic bitch,” she teased some more.
“It’s not that – well, yes it is that – but more that she’s totally gross.”
“So you’re saying just you and me?”
“Shanna – ”
“You’re uncomfortable. I get it. Maybe throw in Derek and Ryan, too? Group sexy times?”
“I am not continuing this conversation.”
“Fine, fine,” she laughed. “I’m really happy for you, Kaitlyn. And I’m proud of you. You really DID go out and take a chance.”
“Thanks,” I said humbly. “And thank you for pushing me to do it.”
“And for getting me the job in the first place.”
“Ha! Never thought I’d hear that one. You owe me!”
“Well, if Derek flies me out there, we’ll call it even. Is he serious?”
“Wow… well, tell him I said thank you.”
“I will. I’m looking forward to you coming!”
“Oh, I’M looking forward to me ‘coming,’ too.”
“Ew, Shanna – ”
“Get Ryan ready for me.”
“I’ll tell Riley instead.”
“Is that the drummer?”
“Tell her she can have my body, but my heart belongs to you.”
“I’m hanging up the phone now, Shanna.”
“See you soon! Be naked when I get there!”
The trouble with Shanna is, I couldn’t exactly tell if she was kidding or not.
I hoped she was.
But you never know.
The second call – which I was not looking forward to – was to Glen, my Rolling Stone editor.
“Finally,” he said with a little too much snark in his voice for my tastes.
“I’m sorry, it’s been a busy couple of days.”
“Are you getting good stuff?”
“Um… yes… you could say that…”
“Why do I detect a note of hesitation in your voice?”
“Uh… because… I slept with Derek Kane.”
I winced and waited for the yelling to start.
It did – but it turned out to be yelling of a different kind than what I was expecting.
“Are you KIDDING me?! That’s great! I mean, of course, you’ve got to handle it correctly…”
“What do you mean?” I asked, shocked that he hadn’t bitten off my head.
“Well, don’t piss him off, we don’t want any problems with getting a photo shoot.”
You could have knocked me over with a feather.
“Aren’t you mad?”
“Yeah, you should’ve called me earlier. When I call you, CALL ME BACK.”
“No, I mean…”
“I slept with him.”
“I heard you the first time.”
“But… that was totally over the line! It was a major breach of journalistic ethics!”
He chuckled. “This is the real world, Kaitlyn. Not that I condone what you did – not officially, anyway – but you gotta do what you gotta do to get the story.”
Now I was starting to get pissed off.
“I didn’t do it to get the story,” I said, irritated.
“Well, then, it’s just a happy by-product.”
“Uh-huh,” I said. The fact that he was more concerned about getting Derek to pose for pictures, rather than my lapse in professionalism, was making me angry.
I know it might sound stupid to most people. After all, I was the one who had slept with Derek (and kept sleeping with him), and here I was, mad at my boss for not ripping me a new one.
But… his attitude made me feel cheap.
And I don’t like feeling cheap.
“What else have you been up to?”
“Well,” I said, my hackles fully raised and caution thrown to the wind, “I spent all yesterday tripping on mushrooms with Derek and Killian Lee.”
“AWESOME,” he hooted. “Oh my God, this is great. I imagine THAT yielded some fantastic material.”
“Excellent. Look, when do you think you can wrap up and head back to New York?”
“Um… I don’t know… I hadn’t thought about it…”
Mostly because I didn’t want to wrap up and head back to New York.
“Most of our interviews occur over three to six hours or a series of short meetings. Considering who your subject is, and how press-averse he is, and the sort of stuff you’re getting, I’m not going to pull the plug – yet. But wrap it up as soon as possible. Expense accounts aren’t unlimited, you know.”
I didn’t feel like pointing out that I was probably going to be staying in Derek’s room from now on, and that I hadn’t exactly been busting the budget anyway.
So I just grit my teeth instead. “Yeah. Okay.”
“Alright, good job – now get back to work!”
And then he hung up the phone.
Twenty-four hours later, we were in San Francisco. Technically the concert was at the San Jose HP Pavilion, but close enough.
Shanna’s flight didn’t get in until later in the day, so we didn’t see her until right before the show. We were all hanging out in the ready room, eating filet mignon and Big Macs, when one of the security guys popped his head in.