The Starlight Trilogy-by Thea – Part 1, “Echoes of Starlight” – Episode 11 of 12
This is a fictional story. The character of “the Rock Star” is only based on Adam Lambert and is in no way intended to be an accurate depiction of his life.
Yesterday in Episode 10: Crimes against the Rock Star
CHAPTER 25 – REFUGE
The Guitarist opened the front door to a sight he was expecting but that still shocked and frightened him. The Rock Star stood there, disheveled and toting a bulging carry-on bag, his eyes rimmed with scarlet. Starlight had called, asking him to be on the lookout for the Rock Star. She hadn’t gone into details but she didn’t need to. What was clear was that, despite any trouble between them and what she might be feeling, Starlight would always do whatever was needed to protect her Angel. That was a good sign. She’d left it up to his friend whether or not to tell Angel she’d called. She knew he probably would.
Taking the bag and setting it inside the door, the Guitarist led the Rock Star out to his studio. He broke open a couple of beers and sat down, waiting for his friend to tell him whatever he wanted him to know. The Rock Star finished the beer in gulps, delivered the required manly response, sat back on the sofa and closed his eyes.
“It was awful. You were right. I should have told her right away. You were right about everything.” He paused. “I’m gonna lose her, man. I know it.”
The Guitarist took a deep breath before he spoke. “I don’t think so,” he said. “She called and asked me to look out for you.”
The Rock Star immediately sat straight up. “She called? What did she say?”
“Not much, man. She’s in pretty bad shape but she was worried about you. That’s gotta mean something.”
For four days Starlight battled the Demons. She couldn’t sleep, hardly ate and just stared out the window, her arms crossed. So many feelings ran through her. Anger at what had happened to her Angel, betrayal that he hadn’t trusted her enough to tell her the truth, sorrow that their shared hopes had been destroyed, fear for what they might lose. And then love. No matter what, it all came down to love. “You love me.”
So many times during those days while he was gone she wondered how in the world they had become so close. What were the bonds that held them together so tightly? Was it her Scheherazade to his youthful outlook? Their realization that the tragedy she thought was his alone by being born 30 years too late was also hers for being born 30 years too soon? Maybe it was how he energized her and she quieted him. How he had persuaded her out into the world and she had made his house a home, he her “adventure” and she his sanctuary? That they both loved to talk about the same things and did so frequently and for hours when they could? The values and principles they shared?
Or that she’d thought they shared. What happened to telling the truth, doing the right thing, regardless of the risk? What was happening to them?
(The Demons were fighting hard to get her. Could it be that this woman was too strong for them?)
Memories flooded her. The night they met and breakfast the morning after. The roses, that still continued to arrive. That Blackberry it had taken her the rest of that day just to turn it on. His calls. His kindness. His caring. His friendship. Their friendship.
Their visits back to the cities on his tours that he’d wanted to really see, both domestic and international. How much she’d missed him when he was on that first tour and how excited she’d been when he’d asked her to join him for the European leg of it. Munich, Copenhagen, London. And then Paris, where he’d almost offered her his Gift. Paris would always be special.
Oh, he’d introduced her to so much. How they walked, hand in hand, alongside the ocean at night. Their incredulous realization that they were beginning to bond in some way outside of romance but just as deeply. The long conversations (he sure did have a thing about Woodstock. She thought it reminded him of “Burning Man”), the laughter, his laughable attempts to learn how to cook.
Teaching him lullabyes and enjoying how much he loved them. How he would only sing them at home so no one but Starlight would know that the international Rock Star liked singing songs meant for babies. How, sometimes, he’d sing them to her in his soothing, quiet, celestial voice.
For four days she’d gone back and forth. Sometimes she’d promised herself she would leave him. She could make it on her own. She was still accepting freelance contracts for her copywriting and had a sizable nest egg from the lullabyes. It could work.
(At those times the Demons were winning … but could their [apparent] victory last?)
And suddenly she realized what it was. It wasn’t just that they loved each other in their own very special way. They needed each other. She’d needed someone to give her love to. And he’d needed to learn how to be loved.
And that was what she couldn’t deny. She loved him and knew he loved her. And they needed each other to breathe.
The Guitarist called her daily with updates on how her Angel was doing. It wasn’t good. He wasn’t sleeping, hardly ate, had to be forced to shower. For the first time, on that fourth day, Starlight asked to speak to him. When he came on the cell, all she could say were the words he’d prayed to hear. By the time she hung up he was already headed for the door.
CHAPTER 26 – AT-ONE-MENT
The Demons panicked as the Rock Star headed home. For four days they’d had each of them to themselves. They’d used the opportunity, too. They’d stolen their hopes, their sleep, their appetites. Even his music. From him they’d almost gotten it all. All. He imagined what he would do when she told him it was over. He imagined his world falling apart around him. He thought seriously about running away rather than having to face losing her. Running was what he’d always done before so he’d be the one leaving instead of left. But he knew that, if he were to run, he would definitely lose her. And if there were any way to keep Starlight in his life, he would find it.
That’s what the Demons feared most, the two of them together.
When Angel walked in the door she was standing in the same place she’d been standing when she’d told him to leave. What did this mean? Was she still thinking, still feeling the way she had when she’d made him leave? He left his jacket on, just in case he had to quickly pack again and leave for good. She hadn’t moved one inch toward him. And he was afraid to move at all. Trying to speak, she couldn’t. So he spoke first, each phrase, every sentence accented by his tears.
“I know what I did. I know I betrayed you, that I didn’t trust you. I didn’t trust that you could really love me that much. I was just so scared you’d leave. I know we always said ‘be honest, whatever the risk’. But I couldn’t, I just couldn’t. This risk was too big. I don’t know what I would do without you. I know, I know. I know I hurt you. And I’m so sorry, Starlight, I’m just so sorry. I need you. Please forgive me. Please. Please.”
That last word was almost broken. As Angel sank to the floor, he looked broken, too.
She could hear his truth in his words, in his voice, see it on his angelface. Her truth was that she’d forgiven him already. For everything. She’d put herself in his place and had come to understand. She’d let herself feel the fear of losing him. She’d remembered a line from a movie she loved, “The Contender.” The courageous lead character had said, “The test of principles is standing up for them even when they’re inconvenient.” Starlight believed that, too. And one of her core principles was forgiveness in the presence of the genuine acknowledgment of a mistake. She was standing up for that. It was what she’d been wanting to tell him when he walked in the door but, once he’d begun, she hadn’t been able to stop him. And didn’t want to.
Starlight moved toward her Angel, stopping directly in front of him. He was looking at her as if imploring her to let him stay, take him back, save their friendship. She remembered those concert tickets on the floor in Chicago. With her left hand, she reached out to him and caressed his cheek. He leaned into her hand. Her Angelface. As their eyes met, she extended her right hand to him, her palm up.
“I want my ring.”
She could see the pure terror on his face.
“No, no, no, no, no,” she said. She turned her right palm down while cupping his face with her left and looking directly into his eyes. “I want to wear it again.”
Both in tears now, Angel reached into his chest pocket, the one closest to his heart, and retrieved the platinum band. Gently he slipped it on her third finger and kissed it before collapsing again. Instantly she was on her knees with him.
They were in each other’s arms, rocking and crying for themselves and for each other and what they’d almost lost. Again she thought of that first night, when they had hugged and rocked back and forth in his dressing room after the Chicago concert. After he’d found her. She thanked God he would never have to find her again. He would never, ever lose her. Their friendship would always be “home.”
Slowly, gently, she extracted herself from his arms. He looked up, curious and still a little afraid as she stood, reaching out her hand to him. When they were both standing she led him up the stairs.
She took him to her bedroom. Standing by the bed, she released his hand and began to undress. He watched her, confused. When she was done she reached up with both hands to again hold his angelface and touch his hair, look deeply into his eyes, truly the window to his soul. She began to whisper.
“Angel, my sweet man, this isn’t about sex. It never was. You’ve never made love to a woman or with a woman. And you’ve never let a woman make love to you or with you. But now here we are, my Angel. And we are going to make love together.” She looked deeply into his eyes, the only person he knew who could see into his soul. “Your Gift hasn’t died. It’s still here with us, filled with Life and light and love. I’m still your Starlight. You’re still my Angel. And I am so,” she searched for the right word. It arose from her soul. “I am so honored you’ve chosen me.”
She pulled him into their first kiss. Until then he’d not dared touch her but now he surrendered, wrapping his arms around her as he’d done when he left that first morning, when he’d held onto her as if he were drowning. The gesture said it all. Starlight undressed her Angel and led him to bed.
She was gentle. He was sweet. He was nervous. She was patient. She was open to him, encouraging him to explore her, discover her as he pleased. He wanted to see everything, feel everything, hear everything, smell everything, taste everything. He sensed her growing pleasure and would not stop until it was fulfilled. “You love me.” Rest.
She began at his angelface, his forehead, his beautiful eyes, his cheeks, his nose, his chin, his ears, his neck. At last she kissed his mouth, beginning softly, then deepening as she heard him, felt him respond. He mirrored her openness, so he too could be explored, feel what it was like to have a woman discover him, his textures, his tastes, touches he had never known. Slowly she descended, surprising him by continuing down to his toes before reversing her path up the other side. She was attentive when she reached her goal. Not passive by nature, he soon rearranged them and joined his gentle strength with her moist warmth. Building, building. Building. Building. A sharp intake of breath. A pause. Release.
She let him stay in her arms until his breath evened, softened. Then they turned and smiled into each other’s soul. Kisses, caresses, whispers. “You love me.” Rest.
He’d given her his trust. She’d given him reassurance.
The Gifting continued as her Angel grew stronger, slowly recovering from the assault and reclaiming himself. There came a night when they agreed he should return to his own bedroom. They were proud of themselves and grateful for each other.
After those nights of Gifting, they never made love with each other again. Nor did he ever make love with a woman after Starlight. There would be no woman but her. This was their time.
Occasionally, as she read before sleeping, Starlight would hear a soft knocking on her door. She never refused him entry. She knew it was part of his recovery that he didn’t want to be alone. On those nights she welcomed him into her bed, holding him as she had on her sofa so many years before, stroking his hair and now humming his favorite lullabyes.
Sometimes she heard him in his bedroom, suffering through the Demons that still visited him. On those nights she knocked softly on his door. He never refused her entry. Her comfort was the same no matter whose bed they shared. And the Demons always fled in defeat.
CHAPTER 27 – HEALING
The Evil Woman and her partner were caught in an undercover sting operation when they tried to extort money from another celebrity. They’d changed their crime from drugging celebrities and selling their stories and photographs to tabloids, the way they had victimized the Rock Star. Now they thought celebrities would pay them even more to not sell these faked, incriminating photos to the tabloids. They were wrong and the sting set up by the police department proved it.
Starlight suggested Angel talk with someone who could help him heal from the assault. She knew that much of his pain stemmed from his mistaken sense of guilt that he’d hadn’t been more vigilant and his inability to trust Starlight the way she deserved. Sometimes he just isolated himself, even from those whom he knew loved him. She knew that was when the Demons attacked, when he felt alone. Together they could fight them off but she knew that was a lesson he’d have to learn for himself. You can’t beat them alone. That was the real tragedy of running away from someone who loves you and whom you love. By running away from real love you always leave behind the other source of your own strength.
Two more years went by. The Rock Star had taken Starlight’s advice, working with a very competent and caring Therapist he’d been referred to by the founder of a P.R. and Marketing firm. He liked this man, so calm and even-keeled. He began to wonder if they might be friends eventually. And maybe more.
So, as he progressed in therapy, the Rock Star had something else that occupied his time besides his music. Starlight’s personal wishes for him seemed to be coming true. He talked with her about that during dinner one night.
“What makes you think he’s interested?,” she asked Angel.
“Well, it’s hard to put my finger on it,” he answered. “There’s just something there, I can feel it.”
“You know, it’s been a while for you. Are you sure that’s not what you’re feeling?” Starlight always could call him on his stuff.
“No,” he said, indignantly. He knew what she meant. It had been a while but he knew one feeling from the other. “It’s like, there’s been a change in his voice. Like he’s more relaxed with me.”
Starlight thought about that. “Maybe he’s just getting to know you better. That could explain it.”
Angel was sure, though, that something was there that hadn’t been there at first.
“OK, let me lay it out for you and then you tell me what you think.” Starlight was getting the message just from Angel’s insistence, so she nodded. This she wanted to hear because he wanted to tell her so badly and she hoped for it to be true.
“OK,” he began. “At first he was calling me once a month or so. He said he liked to check in with people to make sure his referrals were working out.”
“That sounds reasonable,” Starlight said. “What else?”
“Well, that lasted for 4 or 5 months or so. Then I started hearing from him more often.”
“That sounds promising. What did he say when he called?”
“See, that’s it. It was very slow and kind of subtle, you know? Like he was testing the waters or something.”
Starlight nodded. “So how did you feel about that?”
“Actually, I sorta liked it. I mean, he seems like a nice guy. I asked around and everybody says he is. He’s smart, went to Harvard and Wharton. And from what I hear he really does care about his P.R. clients. And his staff, too. A lot of them are people he went to school with and when he asked them to come work with him, they all said ‘yes’.”
She noticed something. “What’s that about ‘with’ him instead of ‘for’ him?”
“Now, see,” Angel said, excitedly. “That’s what I mean. He really does see himself as part of a team, not just ‘the boss’. I like that.”
Evidently, thought Starlight. It was beginning to sound like this guy had potential.
“So he starts calling you more frequently and the tone of the calls change. How?”
“Well, he started telling me about how work was going and asking me questions about me and my music. And every now and then he’d say something funny.”
“That sounds good,” she said. “Smart and funny. I like that. And,” she added, taking another sip from her drink, “so do you!”
Angel wasn’t about to give her the satisfaction so he tried to hide his smile. Fail.
“OK, I saw that,” she grinned. “You know, you haven’t mentioned an important, well, one of the important parts of this.”
Angel thought he knew what was coming next.
“Have you called him?”
Not the question Angel expected.
“Yeah, I called him back a couple of times.”
“Ohhhh. Now we’re getting somewhere. You didn’t mention you’ve called him.”
“It wasn’t anything special. I was just returning a call, that’s all.”
“Uh huh. And how long did it take you to return these calls?” Starlight knew when she had him.
“Umm, about a half hour or so. Maybe more like 20 minutes. It depends.”
Starlight look skeptical.
“Alright, maybe 10 minutes.” Angel smirked. He knew when Starlight had him, too.
“And what happened when you called him back?”
Angel smiled, a big smile this time.
“He said he was really happy to hear from me.”
Starlight smiled. “And were you happy that he was happy?”
“Hell, yes!” exclaimed Angel. “You better believe it.”
“Oh, he must be cute, then?”
“Hell, yes,” said Angel, still wearing the grin. “You better believe it.”
The founder of the P.R. and Marketing firm, who’d referred the Rock Star to his friend the Therapist, was a very special man indeed. At first, he’d just treated him like he treated all of his clients, with understanding and concern for their wellbeing. As the two men got to know each other better, it soon became clear that the P.R. Director was interested in him, too. Both were “out and proud.”
After a while those “more frequent” calls led to coffees, which led to drinks after work which led to more frequent calls, which led to lunch. Lunches led to even more frequent calls, by this time initiated by Angel as well as the P.R. Director. Lunches led to dinners out, which led to dates. By the time Angel invited him over to dinner at his place one night when Starlight was out of town, it was a done deal. The P.R. Director officially became “Lover.”
In Tomorrow’s “Echoes”: Starlight’s Secret