The Autograph Girls
By Gwen Masters
The spotlight was bright. Looking out from below its halo intensified the ache in my head to a fine pinpoint of pain, a spike that shimmied its way into the hollow space above my left eye. I walked to the edge of the stage to avoid it but it kept following me, glinting off the finish of my guitar and obscuring everything but the first three rows. I couldn’t see the screaming women, but I could damn sure hear them.
The spike twisted deeper and I fought it by cranking the show up a notch. Loud and rowdy. There would be no whining when you had ten thousand people out there expecting the show their tickets entitled them to see. Sometimes the headache was pushed away by enough noise.
By the time I came off the stage, the pain was almost as blinding as the lights had been. I took a drink of water that soothed my throat yet made my stomach churn. It was a migraine. It was a migraine of epic proportions, and I still had a meet-and-greet to do.
But that came after the encore.
I grabbed a different guitar and almost dropped it before I got the shoulder strap around my neck. The keyboard player looked at me with knowing eyes.
“Can you make it?”
I had no choice, and he knew it. Those screaming women knew it as well. They wanted one last blast, one more lick, one more magic carpet ride.
“Rock and roll, baby.”
We hit the stage full-bore, and I let the audience sing the last chorus. They loved it, and no one ever imagined that I felt like deep-fried shit on a shingle.
By the time I stumbled down the stairs that final time, the spike was red-hot. I was no longer in the spotlight but it hadn’t left me. It had simply transformed into a dozen points of white light in the corners of my vision. My hands shook so I shoved them into the pockets of my jeans. Thank God for security, whose job was to get me to the bus as quickly as possible. I stumbled up the stairs and collapsed on the couch, face down, pressing my forehead hard into the leather.
“You alright, boss?” the guard asked. I shot him a thumbs-up sign but as soon as the door closed behind him, I groaned out loud. I would have gritted my teeth, but the migraine had made them too sensitive. Why the hell did it have to happen tonight?
I lay there for a few minutes, desperately wanting sleep but knowing it was impossible. There were thirty people out there who wanted to meet me. I had to smile for the camera flash. The idea made me groan again.
I stumbled to the shower. From the outside, I probably looked like a drunk on a bender. Inside, my stomach was still churning. I was glad I hadn’t eaten any dinner, because I would have lost it already. The water was too hot so I turned it down, all the way down to the right. Blasts of cold water washed away the sweat. My head eased just a little, but I knew the second that water disappeared, the spike would twist a little bit more.
And sure enough, it did.
I got dressed and looked at myself in the mirror. I looked completely normal. How was it possible to hurt so badly yet look so calm? I popped aspirin, three at a time. Too many. Not that I cared. I smiled at the reflection and my head throbbed.
The hallway in the back of the venue was filled with women, most of them dressed in little more than halter tops and shorts, all of them holding CDs or photographs in their hands. A few happy squeals came from the line as they all jockeyed for a better position. The few men there weren’t bored. They were too busy ogling the bare skin.
I had seen it all before. Every night, in fact. Half-naked women no longer held much appeal.
They made their way through the queue and had their time. I handed out hugs and kissed cheeks and signed pictures of myself. I smiled for the camera and every flash was another hammer blow to the spike in my skull. The strong perfume on some of the ladies didn’t help. It went straight to my nose and right to my stomach, making me feel as though I had swallowed it instead of just smelled it.
I felt queasy. Aspirin and perfume didn’t mix.
By the time the crowd had thinned to the last few, my head was pounding badly enough that I thought I might be sick. The spots in the corners of my vision were worse than ever. My throat was dry despite the gulps of water I was taking every minute or so. My hands shook while I signed autographs, and my voice seemed to come from a long distance away.
One of the women sidled up. She was primed and ready, the kind of woman who doesn’t just do a meet and greet with the artist, but wants to meet and greet certain body parts.
“Can I have your autograph?”
Of course she could. I might have had a migraine, I might have been dying on my feet, but I’m a man, after all. And she had cleavage deeper than the Meridian trench. I could imagine my cock sliding into that darkness. Amazing, even to me, how a man can be in pain yet still get hard.
She noticed. I signed my autograph.
She dipped her knees when I handed the picture back to her, an old-fashioned thanks that called to mind pin-up babes and truck-stop queens. I grinned despite the pain in my head. The look on her face faltered a bit, and I realized that I must be starting to look as terrible as I felt.
“Do you have a headache?” she asked.
“It’s a bad one, too. A migraine?”
“How can you tell?”
She smiled. “My ex-husband got them. Bad ones. Your right eye is twitching like his did. And you have that look about you. Are you going to be sick?”
The other woman reached forward to touch my forehead. They surrounded me with coos of caring. They wanted sex. Anyone could see that. But they were women, and that mothering instinct has a habit of popping to the surface anytime it is needed. Their horniness was rivaled only by their need to make the pain go away.
“I hear that really good sex makes migraines hurt less,” one of them said.
“How convenient,” I replied.
My manager and the security guy grinned at each other, that kind of grin that says they know exactly where this is going, and the coy teasing wasn’t fooling anybody, least of all me.
I somehow stumbled back to the bus. I wasn’t kidding when I said that maybe I was going to be sick. When I got onto the bus I ran for the bathroom. Nothing came up. But the Spike (I had come to think of it now in capital letters, oh Lord have mercy, yes) was twisting again. Ripping my skull open and poking my brain with a stick would have been an improvement over this.
The decidedly un-sexy lunge for the bathroom hadn’t dampened the ardor of those women in the least, but they were taking charge in more than one way. I listened to the sound of ice cubes being dropped into a bowl. Water running. The whoosh of the door that separated my bedroom from the rest of the bus, opening to allow entry. The muffled clicks of high heels being removed and falling to the floor. The sound of cabinets and the quiet Aha, the rattle of pills in a bottle.
“God has got to be a woman,” I said to the bathroom sink.
When I came out of the bathroom, they were sitting on the edge of my bed. The covers had been turned down. The air conditioning was cranked to full-blast. It was a good feeling, seeing my bedroom ready for me, two women there to take care of my needs.
My every need.
“I’ve already taken too many aspirin,” I said inanely.
“It’s not aspirin. It’s ibuprofen. You can take both at the same time and it won’t hurt anything but your tummy, but I don’t think you care much about that, do you?”
I wasn’t sure if she was telling the truth about the meds, and I didn’t care. I stripped out of my clothes. I didn’t bother giving them time to get a good look before I dove for the bed. For once in my life, the need for comfort had outweighed the need for sex.
The air-conditioning vent above my head was blowing down into my face. What a lovely feeling that was. I took whatever meds she gave me, not really caring if they killed me or not. I drank the water that was so cold it hurt. Then I lay back while one of them put a cold washcloth over my eyes. The attention felt so good that I groaned aloud.
“Just relax,” she said. There was arousal in her voice but there was concern there, too.
The bed moved slightly. Someone was being very careful. No fast movements, nothing that might make my stomach rebel against the medication. I was dimly aware of one of them straddling me. How I got hard enough to fuck I will never know, but I certainly was. The warmth of a tight, wet pussy slid down my cock. It was in perfect contrast to the coolness over my eyes. I sighed in relief as she began to move slowly up and down.
My head throbbed but I was quickly losing interest in the pain. I was more interested in the tingling that was starting at the base of my spine, the wetness that was engulfing my cock, and the tongue that was making its way up the inside of my thigh. When that tongue flickered over my balls and then sucked them one by one, I groaned with something that certainly was not pain.
I tried to hold back. I am a gentleman, after all. But when I felt her long hair brush over my chest and her voice encouraging me, I was pretty much done with that round.
“Come,” she murmured. “You need it. You need it much more than I do.”
The orgasm hit me hard. For an instant there was searing pain through my head, even as the ultimate pleasure shuddered through me. Then the pain was less, less than it had been before, and I was emptying myself out into her warmth while I moaned over and over.
As soon as she was gone, and a mouth descended on my cock. Supple lips traced the length of my dick. The cool washcloth was removed and replaced with another one, this one fresh and much colder. Ice was slipped against my lips, water dripped into my mouth. Small, smooth hands massaged my temples.
Another pussy sank down on my cock. How did I get hard again so fast? This one was a bit looser than the other one, but this one had a better knowledge of how to use it. She rippled her muscles around me, a pleasant sensation if there ever was one, and I knew that under any other circumstances I would have come very quickly.
But Spike was back, and it had brought The Vise for company.
She rocked on me, pulling me deeper into her with every motion. Cool ice slid around my throat, down my shoulders, then back up to my face. When the ice melted on my skin, a warm tongue was there to lick up the drops. The towel was changed again, the fresh coolness slipping over my eyes while one hand slid into my hair. She massaged my scalp and immediately The Vise began to loosen.
The woman above me began to move faster. She was moaning lightly. I moved my hips up to meet her but she ground down on me, holding me down with surprising strength. I let her. I felt as weak as a kitten, as needy as a newborn baby. The pain had dissipated, but not that much.
She did something with her body, some tightening that came from her core. I came when she did it. This one was slow and easy, a throbbing that went on forever but never picked up speed. I thought inanely of the distant beat of drums in an African wilderness, the constant taps that could drive a person insane. Just when I thought that pounding would never stop, the orgasm faded.
“Holy shit,” the woman above me said in wonder. “How did you come that long?”
I tried to say something witty and found my mind blank.
Where was Spike?
Oh, Spike was there, yes indeed. He was. He was twisting slowly at the back of my brain, having gnawed his way through my forehead. Now he was on his way out. The relief was so sudden and so sharp that I suddenly wanted to cry. Thank God I was essentially blindfolded.
Two more ibuprofen, just to be sure. I took them gratefully. The compress was refreshed again, and this time Spike seemed to cower away from the cold. I wondered if I would still see pinpricks of light in front of my eyes. I wasn’t curious enough to move and find out.
They whispered to me, teased me, played with me. They took care of me. They were gone before the bus rolled out of town, leaving me with lingering kisses that tasted cool as ice.
I lay there while the bus started to move. The cloth on my head was getting warm. My body was tingly in the aftermath of the orgasms. Spike was curled up at the base of my skull, fidgeting a bit but almost gone. What mattered most was the warm feeling, the memory of being in the hands of women who knew all the ways of taking care of a man.
I knew one thing for certain: When I did finally settle down and marry, the words Not tonight, I have a headache would definitely not work.
Copyright 2005 by Gwen Masters. All Rights Reserved.
Originally published by Ruthie's Club.