Late Night
by Elina

There's always one more thing to sign, one more picture waved in your face by a weeping fan who is desperate to tell you how-much-she-loves-you and how-perfect-you-would-be-together and how-much-your-music-means-to-her. And that last part catches your attention, so you stop and ask her what her favorite song is and why she likes it, and you enjoy the feeling of connecting with someone on something other than a hormonal level. So you chat with her a while. And when you realize it's getting late and you're getting tired, you send her off with a kiss on her cheek, only to turn around and find one more poster, one more photo, one more set of pleading eyes above an outstretched pen.

Finally your exhaustion wins out over your reluctance to disappoint them and you signal your bodyguard, who is looking none-too-fresh himself. He gently but firmly tells the rest of the teary eyes and trembling hands they'll have to go home now, and you'll look forward to seeing them all at the concert tomorrow night. You thank him with a clap on his shoulder, and when the gentleness leaves his face but the firmness remains you remember he doesn't like you very much. But he will sacrifice his body to protect you because he's well-paid to do so, and you take a second to be paranoid and wonder whether he would deliver you up to the highest bidder for the right price. But now he's in the elevator with you, and you decide that this is not the best time to freak out about stuff like that.

And you count off the doors as you pass them because you can never remember your room number but somehow "seventh door on the left" works for you. You fumble with the keycard, the lock clicks open after a few tries, and you finally open the door to your room.

And Chris is lying in the bed, his back to the door, the sheets pulled up around his shoul