The idea for the tour was born, as are so many of the best ideas, at three o’clock in the morning. Large amounts of vodka were involved, of course, as well as assorted substances of varying degrees of legality.
We’d just finished playing one of the most brilliant sets of our career. Three-fifths of Radiohead – Thom and the Greenwood Sisters; Phil and Ed were off home being family men, bless them – had come to the show and were helping us celebrate afterward. By three, we were all deliciously toasted and starting to get silly.
“Here’s to Placebo!” Colin called, slurring only a little, and raised his glass. “Fucking ace set, mates.”
“Absolutely.” Thom flashed that wonderfully childlike smile of his from his perch on Jonny’s lap. “Brian, love, you had those people eating out of your hand.”
“Did, didn’t I?” I grinned and wiggled my arse at him. “God, I’m good.”
“So modest, darling,” Stef said, smiling. He smacked my arse. Hard.
Bastard. He knows how that turns me on.
I straddled his lap, hiking my leather mini-skirt up around my hips. “Steffy-love, you know better than to promise me things you can’t deliver.”
“And who says I can’t?”
His words echoed in my mind, along with the mental image of what he wanted to do to me later. I bit my lip so hard one of my fangs went straight through it. I didn’t care; it felt amazing when Stef licked at the wound.
Honestly, I never get tired of being a vampire.
“Oy! None of that, now!” Steve gave us a rather drunken glare.
I leaned close to Stef’s ear. “Later, darling.”
“Fucking hell, I don’t know what’s worse,” Steve grumbled. “Being forced to watch you two snogging, or watching you go all Dracula. God.”
“Actually,” Jonny said, speaking up for the first time all evening, “I think the audience rather enjoyed both tonight.”
Truer words were never spoken. Ever since Stefan and I were turned, we’d gone right back to kissing and groping onstage, much to the delight of all those girls who write slash stories about us. That night, Stef had gotten a bit carried away and bitten me right in the middle of ‘Taste In Men.’ I nearly came right there in front of about five thousand people.
They loved it. So did I.
Colin leaned forward in his seat, those owlish eyes of his sparkling. “Brother dear,” he said to Jonny, “you’re brilliant, d’you know that?”
Jonny blinked big, dark eyes from behind his fringe. “So I’m told. Why the sudden unprovoked compliment, Cozzie?”
Colin sighed. “Oblivious to your own genius, as usual. Thom, however do you put up with him?”
Thom pretended to consider. “Well, he’s a decent guitarist, he generally lets me have my way, and he’s a bloody brilliant kisser. And he smells nice.” He cuddled closer to Jonny, rubbing his cheek against Jonny’s dark hair.
“Christ, I’m surrounded by fucking fairies,” Steve declared.
“You love us, Beanie.” I blew him a kiss. He flipped me off. Sweet boy.
Coz was on a roll, and would not be deterred. “Listen, gentlemen, I have an Idea.” Yes, he capitalized it. Trust me. “The audience, as my dear baby brother pointed out, was most enthralled by tonight’s onstage antics, yes?”
“Apparently,” Stef said. “Thought they’d all have a collective stroke when I bit Bri.”
“Exactly.” Colin’s eyes were starting to get that shine they get when he’s all worked up about something. “People love vampires.”
“They don’t know that Stef and Brian are real vampires, Colin,” Jonny pointed out.
“Doesn’t matter. They love the idea of vampires. Put that together with two other things that lots of people love – rock stars and pretty boys kissing – and you’ve got a fucking gold mine.”
“What’re you saying, mate?” Steve asked, taking a swig of vodka straight from the bottle.
Jonny’s eyes widened. “Coz, are you thinking what I think you are?”
Colin grinned wickedly at his brother. “I believe so.”
Jonny and Thom exchanged a glance. I could practically see the thoughts flowing quick as lightning between them. They’ve been vampires – not to mention lovers – much longer than Stef and I have. Sometimes it’s eerie to watch them together, and realize how completely they each know what the other is thinking and feeling, every minute of every day. Stef and I live inside one another’s heads, certainly, but our connection is weak and fragile compared to the one Thom and Jonny share. I look forward to my Stefan and me being as deeply bound as they are one day.
“Well, what about explaining it to those of us who can’t read minds then, all right?” Steve set the vodka down and crossed his arms over his chest. I found this fairly distracting, as he was naked from the waist up and has those lovely muscles that drummers tend to get when they do their job properly.
Stef closed my mouth for me. “Wipe your chin, love.”
“And for the love of Pete, would you stop staring at me?” Steve added. “Christ, Brian, I’m the straight one, remember?”
“I’ll never give up on you, Stevie-B,” I promised, not quite as jokingly as I made it sound. Someday, mark my words, I’ll have that delectable piece of man between my legs. No one can resist my charms, not even a manly man like Steve. I batted my eyelashes at him. He flipped me off again.
Good thing I love a challenge.
“Whenver Mr. Molko is quite finished flirting,” Colin said with a grin, “I’ll be happy to explain my idea.”
“Done for now, thanks,” I said, turning around on Steffy’s lap to face the room. Stef wound those long arms around me and held me against his chest, and I felt small and safe and loved, just as I always do when he holds me.
“Basically,” Colin said, leaning foward, “what I’m thinking is, how lucrative it could be to capitalize on the vampiric tendencies of certain members of both our bands.”
“Meaning?” Steve said, eyebrows raised.
“Meaning,” Thom broke in, “that Cozzer thinks we should have a vampire-themed tour. Right, Coz?”
“Almost.” Colin seemed a bit put out by Thom stealing his thunder, but forged ahead regardless. “Vampire themed, yes, definitely. And of course the rampant gayness doesn’t hurt.”
Steve snorted. Colin ignored him and plowed on. “But what I think what we should do is, gather all the bands we know with vampire members, and tour during the month of October, ending on Halloween. A short, intense tour featuring bands with a reputation for sexually charged shows, and a vampire theme, would be a huge hit. Especially in America.”
We all sat silent for a moment, absorbing it. “Colin, that’s brilliant,” Stef said finally. “Sort of like Lollapalooza, only better. So who’re you thinking, other than us?”
“Hang on, Radiohead isn’t exactly known for sexuality in our shows,” Jonny protested, his slight lisp a bit more pronounced than usual. God, it’s too adorable.
Everyone else burst out laughing. Jonny sat looking around in utter confusion. I swear, the man is absolutely precious. He has no clue how people see him.
“Jonny, my darling,” Thom said when he got the giggles under control, “heart of my heart, I adore you, but sometimes I worry about your mind.”
“What?” Jonny blinked at him, resulting in fresh peals of laughter from everyone else.
Steve rolled his eyes. “Please, mate, you fucking rub off on your guitar all the time. And Christ, Thom has bloody orgasms on stage. Your show is full of sex, you twat.”
“Don’t call my brother a twat,” Colin said, looking a bit distracted but defending his sibling automatically. “So what do you think? Are we on?”
“Sounds fabulous to me, darling,” I said. Everyone else agreed that it was a wonderful idea.
“Now,” Colin said, “all we need is a name. Ideas? Anyone?”
Silence. Smell of burning brain cells.
It would have to be Steve who eventually came up with the perfect name for the tour. Smug bastard.
“I know!” he said, bouncing in place like the twelve-year-old he really is under all that hairy manliness. “The Children of the Night tour!”
Thom let loose his slightly unhinged giggle. “What fucking great music they make!” he misquoted. “Brilliant!”
“Lads,” Colin said as Jonny filled everyone’s glasses for a toast, “we are in business. Cheers!”
(to be continued…)