She sighed, "Yeah I get that but what was I supposed to do? I want a career as well."
"It doesn't mean you have to travel all the time, tell Gloria you want to work in LA for a while."
"What happens if she says yes and then you go on tour again?"
"You come with me, I will need management, the band will need management."
"Yeah, but now there's Sally and she's really good."
"Look Molly I'm not asking you to be here every day all I want is my wife home at least half the time."
She wriggled sensuously, snuggling closer up beside me, "Jeez babe how many beers have you had? You smell like a brewery."
Her lips found mine and we sank into a fiery little kiss, "So why didn't you call me?" I asked accusingly.
She gave me a pained glare, "I was angry, it felt like you gave up and ran away. I wanted you to feel the way I did... abandoned."
As our kiss built intensity I whispered, "I'm sorry, I should have called, I guess I was angry as well. You asked me if I met anybody...what about you?"
She laughed between kisses, "Nope, to busy."
"What about Gloria?"
"Nope I have hardly seen her, we always seem to be on opposite sides of the country."
She whispered, "Babe...I'm horny, it's been months, could you please shut up and fuck me?"
It was frantic, frenetic with clothes flying everywhere and we fucked, it wasn't lovemaking it was torrid, noisy and passionate, it was furious, brutal and quick. Later as we regathered our breaths we took our time, her juicy pussy caressing my face as I worked my tongue frantically into her gasping core.
She sucked my raging erection like it was the last ice-cream left on planet earth.
The morning found us asleep in each other's arms.
She went to climb out of bed but I wrapped my arms tightly around her, "Please don't go."
She smiled, reached for her phone and rang around organizing for others to cover her because she was taking the day off. She nestled back down in my arms, "Happy now?"
I sniggered, "Very!"
Later, we walked down to the beach and enjoyed breakfast as the gentle sea breeze wafted coolly across us.
We walked hand in hand around the shops, we went back to the apartment and made love again before wandering out for dinner. As we ate, she asked, "Did you write anything good while you sashayed your cute ass around the country?"
I nodded, "Actually I did and what's more I think they're good, I mean really, really good, and there's almost enough for an album. I was hoping Mel might have something to add to the mix."
She giggled, "You have got to be kidding.... Mel has been stuck between Sally's legs ever since you left, she is pussy struck. I bet she has nothing, well apart from a sore tongue that is."
That night in bed she asked, "So when do I get to hear these magical gems?"
"I was hoping to get the girls together tomorrow if they're all available."
Nestling in close she sighed, "Shit, now I'm going to have to blow off another day. Gloria will be pissed."
The morning dawned another typical west coast morning, the sun already hot at eight in the morning, at least once I opened the windows we got that awesome sea breeze to cool the place down. Molly climbed out of bed stumbling around rubbing the sleep out of her eyes and straight away she was on the phone organizing people to cover for her again.
First port of call for me after coffee was Mel. The moment she answered she flew into a rage, "Where the fuck have you been you little shit? I've left like a gazillion fucking messages. Jesus Mi you can be a god damned bitch."
"Sorry Mel, I just needed some space to work shit out, from what I hear you were pretty busy anyway, I didn't think it was a big deal."
"Well, it is asshole, fuck we were all worried about you, fucking Molly was on the phone crying all the time, jeez. Fucking think about other people sometimes..." After a brief pause to catch her breath she grumbled curtly, "So what do you want?"
I laughed, "Well while I was on the road I wrote some songs and I think they're pretty good. I was hoping you and the girls might like to get together and jam some of them, see what you think."
She sniggered sarcastically, "What you think we haven't got lives of our own and we can just drop everything and come running...is that it?"
The phone went silent for a moment and I could hear her talking to somebody, probably Sally before she snapped, "What time and where?"
I gave her Adam's studio's address and added, "Mel if you're busy we can do it another day."
She chuckled softly, "Oh fuck off bitch, do you want us there or not?"
"Yeah, come when you're ready, I'll set up the studio, get it set up."
Moll's and I sat with our legs folded underneath us on the cushions enjoying the breeze when her phone went. Even although I could only hear half the conversation, I guessed it was Gloria and Molly was explaining that I was back and she wanted a few days to spend with me. I sensed she was getting some push back from Gloria but thankfully she held her ground.
After she hung up, "Wow she was upset with me, maybe if I had invited her around it might have gone easier."
"Na, not yet, let's get the songs sorted first." I smiled, "Thanks for standing firm. It means a lot to me."
She snorted, "Well these damn songs better be worth it because now she's steamed with me."
"I think she will come around once she hears them.
Mel, Cindy and Jas all streamed in together and I was given a very firm telling off from Jas especially. The hug we shared certainly eased the tension. I had to apologize again.
As I showed them into the studio there were murmurs of approval, Mel seemed particularly impressed. There was a drum kit already set up as well as a pretty decent bass amp. Mel brought in her own amp and guitar, Cindy organized and retuned the drums, set up her own cymbals and soon we were ready.
As she fiddled with her guitar Mel asked, "OK bigshot, how do you want to do this?"
I handed over chord charts muttering hesitantly, "These are the songs, I thought I could just start playing them and when you're ready just come in with me."
Cindy asked, "So you want us to do all the hard work? I suppose just like always we'll be expected to do half your work and make it up as we go along?"
I shook my head laughing at her jibe, and started on my first song, 'Highways'. As I played, I watched for the usual telltale signs that they liked them. As they stood listening trying to get the feel for it, I saw the signs immediately, tapping feet, heads nodding and smiles, all good signs. I looked up and saw Molly in the booth with a big smile and when Jas came in with what I could only describe as the perfect fat juicy bassline the song started to formulate. When I got to the chorus Mel joined in hesitantly at first but then with more certainty as she got the hang of it as did Cindy who came in with one of her off kilter heavily back beat driven jungle inspired rhythms and that was it. I loved Cindy's drumming, she's a female version of Jim Keltner or Stuart Copeland. With her driving us we were away and as Mel got the feel, she took over the lead vocals allowing me to work on a guitar riff and solo. After three runs through we had it pretty much nailed.
Cindy stood up throwing her sticks on the ground screaming, "Oh yeah, god damn that's good...oh shit yeah."
Jas just smiled as her cute tushy swayed as she hummed it back to herself.
Mel laughed at Cindy, "Jeez...chill babe, but yeah I agree, it's good." She stared at me with the laughter fading, "Maybe you should spend more time on the road."
Molly pushed her way into the booth and grabbed my head in both arms and kissed me hard, "Holy shit girl...that song is a fucking killer."
The next six songs went down just as well and by the end of the day we had them all sounding like we had been playing them for years. They had the Kissable Lips signature sound without sounding like Cherry Red Lips rehashed.
I raided Adams refrigerator and pulled out all that was in there beer... We moved into the chill out room and as we sat down I said, "That's it, I sort of hoped Mel might have a couple to add to the mix and we would almost have a new album."
Mel put her head down as she swilled her beer, "Sorry guys, I haven't done much lately."
"Nothing but lick pussy anyway!" Cindy snorted and we all burst into laughter as Mel threw her bottle top at her.
As the laughter died down Cindy casually threw in, "Jas has written a couple but she's too shy to play them." Jas gave her a sharp nudge and a very cool glare."
With all eyes focused on her she got really self-conscious. Cindy urged her on, "C'mon babes, we aren't going to laugh, I already told you I think they're good."
Molly moved over beside her and wrapped her arms around her, "Babe, you know we all love ya, you said it yourself once before, we are all in this together."
I walked into the studio and brought back an acoustic guitar and handed it to her. Hesitantly she strummed out a few notes and then started singing. The lyrics flowed bumpily as she closed her eyes and that seemed to make her feel more comfortable.
The song was good, not perfect, a couple of the lyrics could change but it was a great song. When she finished her brow was covered in sweaty droplets as her eyes wandered around the room shyly. She was expecting to be dismissed but she was wrong, this was good stuff.
Cindy and Molly wrapped her in their arms to ease her apprehension, and Mel murmured, "Jas, that song is good, you have nothing to be embarrassed about." She stood up, c'mon let's give it a go." She strode into the studio with a fresh beer and we followed.
It took us another hour to get it and Moll's had written down the lyrics. Next time with Mel singing lead it sounded better, I suggested a couple of lyric changes and the next time I waved Jas over to sing harmony with me. She didn't understand the harmony thing and I had to explain it to her as we worked through it but after two more takes, we had another good song.
She sang us her other one and it was even better. As Adam came waltzing in, we were just finishing it up.
He and Molly hugged in the booth and he called out over the mic, "Alright, let's take it from the top. I want to hear them."
We were pretty tired and I said, "Hey dude, we're beat...what about tomorrow?"
He laughed, "Listen here bitch girl...you emptied my refrigerator and drank all my beer, now I'm going to have to restock, so let me hear the damn songs."
Mel laughed, "Ooooohhhh, bitch girl huh...Fuck he's bossy ain't he!"
I nodded about to say something when Jas said, "We did drink all his beer."
So that was it with his encouragement we ran through them all.
Afterwards we sat around drinking what was left of his beer and laughing. He got on great with the girls, he knew them already from the last album, he worked as the sound engineer for KGM.
Molly asked, "Well now can I get Gloria around tomorrow to listen to them?"
There was no argument and we agreed to do it all again the next day. Molly jumped up and as she walked out, she was already on the phone.
We all went out for dinner where we were joined by Sally. It turned into a late night which got even later when Molly and I made love until neither of us could keep our eyes open any longer.
In the morning I went straight down to the studio and got things set up. Adam came in a little later. When I gave him a quizzical glance he laughed, "I'm sick...well as far as anybody from KGM knows. Shit I wasn't going to leave you here alone, you're going to need me, just between you and me Molly sucks as a sound tech." I laughed along hoping Molly didn't find out.
I gave him a hug as Mel and the girls walked in accompanied by Sally.
We were already getting tuned up when Gloria and Molly walked in.
Gloria, Sally and Molly stood in the back of the booth as Adam got us to run some tests and he was happy with the levels. With a quick wave of his hand we started to play the new set.
They all listened from the booth as we ran through them. I could see from their expressions they were impressed, the wide beamy smiles and nodding heads gave it away.
As we walked into the booth Gloria had a business like expression on her face, "OK, Molly you were right."
When I gave her a sharp stare she said, "Sorry, I should explain. Molly and I have been talking about what was next for the Lip's and I had my heart set on releasing a best of album because there has been a lot of public comment about nothing happening...but this...oh my god this is too good."
She glanced around the collected group expectantly, "You know there is a golden opportunity here, Christmas is just around the corner it would be perfect if we could get it out in time."
She gave us all a hopeful look, "Is it possible? I mean realistically a brief tour would be good to promote it as well. I have turned down god knows how many requests for TV appearances by you, but not knowing if Mimi was even alive I had to turn them down."
Mel frowned giving me a scathing glare before jumping in, "If we got into it right away, we could have it done, these songs are great." She gazed around, "What do you reckon girls, could we do it in a couple of weeks?"
Cindy laughed, "Shit these we could do in a couple of days, they're already pretty polished."
Jas sniggered, "It'll be easy."
Gloria, Molly and Sally walked outside to talk and left us to chat while they made some decisions.
It was a fait accompli, When they walked back in Molly was on the phone with recording studios trying to get time. Gloria whispered quietly so not to interrupt suggesting that finding a studio at such short notice would be the hard part.
When she got off the phone, she grimaced explaining that most of the big studios were too busy. Annoyed I grumbled, "Well fuck them, let's do it here" I turned to Adam and asked, "Are you free?"
He broke into a big smile and nodded enthusiastically, "Yeah of course, I need to rearrange some schedules but yeah we could do it."
Gloria remained unconvinced, "Look girls, you're only as good as your last album, fuck up this one and it will be back to step one."
By then I was angry, "Gloria, Adam is good, he would probably be the engineer in charge if we did the recording at KGM anyway."
Gloria who seemed hell bent on using one of the major studios muttered, "Maybe we just have to wait, we don't want to get this wrong...sorry Adam."
Mel joined in supporting Adam, "Gloria, we have worked with Adam at KGM, he is good and this studio is pretty good, I think we should at least try. A couple of new mic's maybe but shit this place is great."
Jas and Cindy both threw their weight behind it and I snarled, "Gloria, you do your bit and leave the music to us."
She didn't look that happy but in the end after a lot of whispered conversations between her, Molly and Sally they walked back in and she grumbled. "All right, against my better judgement, let's do it, but if I don't like it, we're not releasing it."
Adam nodded and Gloria said, "OK let's do it but I am holding the last say, if the finished product isn't good enough then we aren't releasing it." She glanced at Adam, "I suppose we should talk dollars and cents, how much is this going to cost?"
He shrugged, "I'll make you a deal, seeing as how you're so concerned, we'll do the recordings and at the end you pay me what you think its worth."
Gloria couldn't believe her ears.
She agreed without further ado and she looked happier than earlier.
Adam was extremely happy with the result. He had been trying to get a major act into his studio for a long time but management had always resisted just like Gloria.
We set about rehearsing every day, long days with lots to work on but surprisingly we had them pretty well settled by the end of the week. I didn't see much of Molly over that week, she had ground to make up with Gloria so it was nose to the grindstone for her. She was bummed that she missed watching the songs evolve.
I did catch up with Kim though, she came into the studio most days although her new job ate into her available time. Apparently she had a job working for Gloria of all fucking people. Molly set it up because Kim had been struggling to find a job after she had to resign her old one to get to the farewell gig in KC.
Kim as always was cool and we talked like old times. I was blessed to have such a friend.
The next week we went hard out to finish the rehearsals and sure enough by the end of that week we were ready to record. The process actually went better than we could have ever hoped for and it was done in record short time. The proof of the pudding would be Gloria's opinion. Friday night after we put the finishing touches to them Gloria turned up with Molly in tow to listen.
We played the mix through the monitors loudly and I watched as she listened intently looking for faults, she frowned and kept turning to get Molly's opinion. They talked quietly for a while as they listened.
I watched them keenly as they whispered back and forth behind raised hands wondering what that was all about. After the last song played Gloria turned to look at us and with a very serious face snapped, "I don't know why we paid god damned millions to other studio's this is awesome. Thank you Adam, you have done a great job. We will be working together again that I promise."
He laughed, "Shit don't thank me, if it wasn't for Mi we wouldn't have this, she's the one who's been up here till three in the morning mixing and listening, adjusting. This is more her than me."
Gloria acknowledged my input before she said to Molly, "You better get a tour organized quickly, now we have it, I want it out for Christmas and I want to promote it like never before...I want a number one."
Molly nodded, "I'll get right on it, how many shows?"
Gloria snapped, "Every god damned night from now till Christmas, get them in a bus and get them on the road, get them on a damned plane. Do whatever you have to but get the damned thing moving."
The girls all started buzzing as we started to get our heads around what the tour would look like.
Mel asked, "Is Sally going to be the tour manager?"
Gloria nodded, "Of course but I think we might send Molly as well."
Molly gave me a coy little smile, "Will that be OK?"
I laughed and groaned in mock annoyance, "Yeah I suppose so."
Adam went back to KGM and we used the studio for rehearsals. We needed to go over everything properly and get the sets worked out. During the day Molly went hard at it organizing, I didn't see much of her.
The tour was a rush, the crowds were great and we played a different place every night before flying over to the east coast. We got to play on the tonight show, Saturday night live, The late show and Ellen DeGeneres wanted us back Conan Obrien Stephen Colbert, radio was eating us up and the new album got real traction leading into the big Christmas sales.
Molly and I managed to find our old magic, Mel and Sally weren't the only ones snuggled together on the bus. Of course, the conversation settled on the tough topic which was our future. We laughed about setting up house and then children. It was all in jest but I guess there was a serious undertone but we were in the love zone and skirted the tough question which of course was monogamy.
With Christmas only days away and the tour winding down, we got a call from mom who wanted to have a good old fashioned family Christmas, she wanted the whole family home for Christmas and she wasn't taking no for an answer. Molly and I were stuck in Boston sitting in the airport staring at all the flags changing as flight after flight was cancelled due to inclement weather. She desperately wanted to get back not just for mom but for us as well. It had been an exhaustive tour and we were tired.