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Meadow Apartments > Apartment 23 (Collin Thater)

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message 1: by Alyssa (Lyss), Head Moderator (new)

Alyssa (Lyss) (Lyss4Music) | 8616 comments Mod
((Role Play))

Various Guitars hang from one wall. A large skyline painting dominates the wall behind the couch. Wall by an amp is covered in multicoloured notes, sheet music and song lyrics. Full CD case stands besides a book case to one side. Black leather couch.

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Collin stepped out of the bathroom, hair wet and dripping water down his back to the waistline of his jeans, from his shower. He rubbed a towel to his head, drying up the remainder of the water as he opened his closet and pulled out a plain black v-neck t-shirt. In 10 minutes, he had his leather jacket on, guitar case in hand and was busy depositing his wallet and cell phone into his pocket. He glanced around the apartment quickly, checking that he hadn't forgotten anything. He heard a light chunk and look down to his feet where his new puppy, Max, was starring up at him, tail wagging furiously, obviously expecting a walk. Laughing, Colling bent down and rubbed the little dog's soft ears, shaking his head. "Not tonight, killer." He told it as its leg started thumping the ground happily. He had been about to leave for a gig at the Grill and was meeting up with friends after, so he knew he'd only be home very late. "Sarah'll be over later to check in on you." He assured the puppy as he straightened and stepped the door of his apartment, locking behind him.

Sarah had a spare key to his apartment for just such occassions, and lived across the hall from him. He checked his watch and decided she'd be home from work by now, so he made his way around the stairwell that dominated the centre of the floor and rapped lightly on her door. A faint call of "Coming!" Could be heard through the thick wood and a few moments later, she opened the door. When she saw who it was, she smiled at him but checked her watch, obviously expcting someone else. "Hey, I'm just about to head out." He told her, jabbing a tumb over his shoulder. She was pretty, and he'd known her for a few months now, since he'd moved in here. Maybe he would have asked her out on a date by now, but she had a boyfriend, Eddie, a really nice guy who he'd met on a few occassions, and who he assumed was the 'someone' she'd been expecting.

"Oh, yeah. I'll go check on Max a little later, check he hasn't broken down the apartment." She joked, and he had to chuckle at that. Max, as sweet and cute as he was, was no innocent puppy. "Great, thanks!" He said gratefully and automatically glancing over her shoulder to see a table set for two. "Eddie coming over?" He asked with a smile. "Yeah, he'll be here any minute now." She laughed a little breathlessly as she glanced over her shoulder at the table she'd set. "Alright, well enjoy dinner! See tomorrow." He told her as he backed away, heading for the stairwell. "See you! Goodluck for your gig." She called back before lightly closing her door again.

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Alyssa (Lyss) (Lyss4Music) | 8616 comments Mod
*Cont. from Club Fang*

Collin grinned at Britt's muttered comment as he too climbed out of the car and started towards the main doors of the apartment. "You just became my new favourite person." He informed her as he pushed open the glass door and stood aside so she could step past him, into the lobby. "That is my favourite phrase." He explained with a chuckle. It had been ever since watching Robert Downey Jnr. Play Sherlock Holmes. The man was a brilluiant actor and the movie was, it brought back the old saying for him. Lame, he knew.

message 4: by Haley, CoMod, Amazing Author (new)

Haley | 9502 comments Mod
((I'm sorry, I've got to go again! Work. But I have nothing except for one class tom, so I should be able to get on for a long time in the afternoon!))

message 5: by Alyssa (Lyss), Head Moderator (new)

Alyssa (Lyss) (Lyss4Music) | 8616 comments Mod
((Okay, then I'm going to hit the sack :) enjoy work, haha! And great! I just have school and then math, then I have the rest of the day to myself! And studying of course :/ oh! I might be going to see Linkin Park on Saturday :D and then Adam Lambert next week Friday, after our 1st exam haha! I think I've mentioned this already...oh well :D :P))

message 6: by Haley, CoMod, Amazing Author (new)

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Britt glanced around the simple, slightly drab but clean lobby until he spoke, then she looked back at him. "I'm your favorite, really? You must have had a pretty poor selection up to now," she replied with a smirk. It was a phrase she used without thinking; she'd never thought of it as being anyone's favorite. She didn't really think of people as having favorite phrases at all, actually. "I should have used that phrase earlier," she commented, sure there had been another opportunity somewhere during the evening.

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Alyssa (Lyss) (Lyss4Music) | 8616 comments Mod
"That's what I've been saying." He agreed with a disgusted shake of his head, chukling lightly, Though it wasn;t exactly hard to picture Britt being his favourite person. He led her across the lobby to the elavatro on the other side of the room, which pinged open instantaneously thanks to the lateness of the hour. Entering the brightly lit metal box, he leant against the back wall, crossing his arms over his chest. He didn't like elavators...wasn;t petrified of them, but they made him uncomfortable. Which was weird since he was perfectly okay in cable cars suspended thousands of metres above rocks and the ocean. At least there was no omnious elavator music to accompany the scene, and he only lived on the third floor.

message 8: by Haley, CoMod, Amazing Author (new)

Haley | 9502 comments Mod
Britt just shook her head silently and followed Collin to and inside of the elevator. She relaxed against the wall adjacent to him when he stepped in and leaned against the back. "How is it living here?" she asked, gesturing with one hand to encompass the apartment building. She'd been living with her parents her whole life, and loved living with her father. But she was always curious. She had to move out sometime.

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Alyssa (Lyss) (Lyss4Music) | 8616 comments Mod
He cast his eyes about the elavator, as if he could see through the metal and bricks to the rest of the building. He smiled a little to himself as the doors pinged open and he pushed off the wall, waiting until he was out in the hall before he answered. "It's great." He admitted as he began slowly towards his door. There were only five apartments on this level; his, Sarah's, some rich College kid who didn't want to live at the dorms and an artist who rarely emerges. The last one, two doors down from his, beside's Sarah's, was vacant. "All the people on this floor are around our age. It's got good maintenence and the apartments are pretty spacious." He informed her, speaking to her over his shoulder as he reached his door. Fishing his keys out of his pocket, he had the door unlocked and was leaning against the doorjamb, waving her inside. His lounge was illuminated since he'd left it on to avoid any surprises from Max.

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"Nice," she murmured. That was pretty high praise for a small town apartment building, but it was nice to know it was such a good place. She stepped past Collin into his apartment, hardly having the time to glance around before a ball of fur collided with her legs. Britt laughed in surprise and looked down to see the small puppy that was begging to be given attention. How Collin's apartment looked now forgotten, she knelt down on one knee to pet him. "Hey there," she murmured.

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Alyssa (Lyss) (Lyss4Music) | 8616 comments Mod
Collin chuckled as he slipped in behind her, closing his door with a soft click. He grinned down at the two of them; Maxi, whose tail was wagging so furiously his whole bottim was moving side to side. Some watch dog he was. And Britt who was playong with the little fluff ball's ears. "Meet Max, my supposed fearsome guard puppy." He joked with a roll of his eyes as he slung his leather jacket over the back of the couch, outting the guitar case down bside it, which he'd carried up from his car.

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"Don't listen to him," Britt told the puppy. "You are doing a wonderful job as a guard dog. I'm sure if I were here under dishonest circumstances, you would have chased me right out." Puppies weren't supposed to be good guard dogs. She finally glanced around the place, noting the kind of bare furnishings but modern look and piles of sheet music.

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He leant against the back of the couch for a few moments, eyes crinkling at the corners in mirth. She was adoreable, crouching there in the middle of his apartment, playing with his very cute puppy. Snapping out of his thoughts, he straightened and made his way over to his drinks cabinet, pulling down two glasses. "What would you like to drink?" He asked her without turning as he peered into the depths of the cabinet.

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Haley | 9502 comments Mod
"Oh gosh," she said when Collin spoke. Honestly, what hadn't she had to drink tonight? She finally left Max—who just followed when she stood up—and walked over to where Collin was standing. She examined the drinks over his shoulder. "Umm... I might just stick with beer, for now. Got any?" she asked. She guessed the answer, but it was probably best not to assume anything.

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Alyssa (Lyss) (Lyss4Music) | 8616 comments Mod
He gave her a look as he replaced the glasses, closing the cabinet and stepping over to the fridge. She was honestly asking him if he had any beer? "Do I have any guitars?" He asked with a smirk, indicating one wall of his apartmet which largely consisted of just that: guitars. He pulled the door of the refriderator open, the cool light bathing his features as he bent down to examine his various makes of beer. "Umm...You may as well just come choose." He said over his shoulder. He had more than a few brands, thanks to left over beer after every get to gether he had with any friends at his apartment. Who'd ever heard of leftover beer?

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Haley | 9502 comments Mod
"You live alone in an apartment with nothing but alcohol, a puppy, and music. Should I be worried?" she asked jokingly. His fridge was half beer, half actual food—not the healthiest combination. Though she wasn't really one to talk after all she'd drank tonight. "Bud Light is fine with me," she told him, reaching around him to grab said brand from the shelf.

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Alyssa (Lyss) (Lyss4Music) | 8616 comments Mod
He glanced to the side at her as she leant passed him to get her beer, arm brushing his side as she did so. Smirking, he grabbed his own Bud Light. his usual brand, and stood up, closing the fridge lightly. "What makes you think I live alone?" He asked with a perked brow as he cracked his beer open. He was joking of course, but it was always fun to keep her guessing, at least for a little bit.

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Haley | 9502 comments Mod
She leaned her hip against the counter, not moving too far away from him even though that would probably be smart. She popped the top of her own beer and took a swig, eyes glancing around the apartment. "I assume these are all your guitars, your music, you called Max your puppy... And I like to think you would have warned me if you had a roommate. Or if you lived with an actual girlfriend," she added with a smirk over the top of her bottle.

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Alyssa (Lyss) (Lyss4Music) | 8616 comments Mod
He narrowed his eyes at her as he sipped his beer, leaning against the counter besides her, arms crossed over his chest and Max lying completely over his foot. He leaned forward to shake his head at the little puppy that was obviously fast asleep...on his foot. Sighing he leant back to address Britt. "Okay...fine. I do live alone. But, A. Max is arpeable." He indicated the dog with a small smile on his lips. And, B. At least three quarters of that beer isn't mine. That would be the result of way too many parties hosted here." He admitted with a slightly embarassed shrug.

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"I didn't say anything about the beer," she informed him with a smirk. "The amount of beer made me think you really might have a roommate, not the opposite." She smiled down at Max; he was freaking adorable. She should really look in to getting a dog. She did store the information that he threw parties—a lot—in the back of her mind. Just in case she needed it someday.

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Alyssa (Lyss) (Lyss4Music) | 8616 comments Mod
Damn. She was good, even he had to admit. He shot her a look as he bent down and lightly scooped the puppy up in one hand. "Come on. The couch is a little more comfortable than my kitchen." He said with a smirk as he stepped past her and into the loucge. Still carrying Max against his chest, he switche the stereo on, keeping the volume down but loud enough so that they coud still hear the lyrics of the songs he had playing if they wanted to. He indicated the soft leather couch with his beer as he moved to sit down on it himself, settling the fluff ball in his lap. "Please, sit." The dog had barely batted an eyelash at the movement but just snuggled up into a little ball and promplty went back to sleep. He threw her a smile, laughing quietly at his dog.

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Haley | 9502 comments Mod
((I have to go for a bit. Running errands with my mom and sister))

Britt followed him and settled down on the opposite end of the couch, propping one foot up on the cushions and resting the arm that was holding her beer over her knee. She leaned against the corner where the arm met the back so she could see him. "How long have you had him?" she asked about Max, nodding to him where he slept in Collin's lap. She didn't really have a better conversation to start right at the moment.

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Alyssa (Lyss) (Lyss4Music) | 8616 comments Mod
((Okay, no problem :D))

"Less than a month." He admiited as he noted the comfortable way in which she settle down on the couch. Some people may have been offended by that, but he wasn't. Quite the opposite. It was nice...familliar. He shifted lightly, propping his foot up on the low coffee table before him, tunring a little towards her, beer in hand. His eyes flickered tothe blue streak in her hair and smirked lightly. "How long have you had that?" He asked, indicating his own head.

message 24: by Haley, CoMod, Amazing Author (new)

Haley | 9502 comments Mod
He clearly wasn't big into dog training if he'd had Max for a month. The puppy didn't seem like he would obey a single command. She grinned at reached up to trace the streak in her hair, knowing instinctively exactly where it was. "I've had the blue for a couple months. It was orange before than. And red before that, and purple before that," she informed him. It was probably more info than he wanted, but oh well.

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Alyssa (Lyss) (Lyss4Music) | 8616 comments Mod
His eyes went a little round in surprise at her list of colours, though he was starting to smile. "What colours next?" He asked as he brought the beer bottle up to his lips and took a swig. If he'd had to guess, the only colours that were left were black and pink...somehow he didn't think she'd put something as bland as black in her hair. The couch wasn't very big, only slightly longer than a two seater, so they weren't exactly very far apart, especially in their splayed positions.

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Haley | 9502 comments Mod
"I'm thinking something in the vicinity of lime green," she told him. She'd give the blue a few more weeks before she got tired of it, though. Britt let her eyes wander around the apartment once more. She couldn't read any of the sheet music from here, but she could see plenty of it. "Are those all songs you're learning how to play, or are some of them yours?" she asked him.

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Alyssa (Lyss) (Lyss4Music) | 8616 comments Mod
Hmmm. She was full of surprises, obviously. And he liked that he couldn't guess everything about left something to be wondered about. His eyes flickered over to the small piles of sheet music litered throughout his apartment. "Uhm...most of it's songs I'm busy writing, or wrote years ago that I use for inspiration. But a few others are some of my favourites that I try to incorporate into my songs. You know, a chord her, a note there." He admitted with a small shrug, not thinking much of it.

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"Wow,"s eh said, looking mildly impressed. That was a lot of music to be mostly original stuff. She would have thought it was the other way a around: mostly song he liked interspersed with his own work. "How often do you play your own songs at your gigs?" Tonight at the Grill he'd seemed to mostly play songs everyone knew. The few she hadn't recognized she'd just assumed she hadn't heard before.

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He glanced away sheepishly, taking a sip of his beer just to have something to do with his hands. "I, uh...Havem't. Before." He admited, twirling the bottle around in his long fingers as his eyes flicked to her face to gauge her reaction. That was his one problem; he couldn't sing his own songs in front of an audience. Other songsm sure. His own? No. He was worried that people wouldn't like them...maybe he was insecure.

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"Seriously? This many and you haven't played a single one?" So far since she'd known him, Collin hadn't seemed shy about anything. But he wouldn't play his own music in front of people? She took a long sip of her beer, then—slowly so she could gauge his reaction—she set it down on the coffee table and stood up to go look at some of the sheet music closest to her. If it was all really personal, he wouldn't have it sitting all over the apartment, right?

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He nodded but chose to stay silent. A lot of people judged him on that fact. Even he didn't know hwat it ws. He'd sung in front of at least a thousand people before, and it had gone fantasticly. But as soon as he was expected to sing on of his own, he either forgot the lyrics or messed up the chords. He completely locked up with stage fright. He watched her get up curiously, and start looking over his music. It wasn;t always lying around like it was, especially when he had people over but he hadn;t been expecting someone over tonight. It wasn't private, exactly, but he usually didn't show other people. But, he stayed silent, nervously playing with a loose thread on his purposely frayed jeans.

message 32: by Haley, CoMod, Amazing Author (new)

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When he didn't stop her, Britt studied the music more closely. She was a drummer, not a guitarist, so note every single chord resonated with her like it might have with someone who read music for a living. But she knew enough to get the gist of the songs, and most of the lyrics were wonderful. She found a few that she instantly liked—the more upbeat songs that could potentially have a brilliant bass or drum line in the background. "Have you ever played these for anyone?" she asked him.

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Alyssa (Lyss) (Lyss4Music) | 8616 comments Mod
He actually had to think about that for a moment, drumming a finger against his thigh. "Does Max count?" He asked with a small smile, grimacing a little at the realisation that he had yet to play one of hiw own songs for anyone. Ever. He was fairl sure that Sarah could hear him sometimes, but that wasn;t exactly the same either. "If not...then no one." He admitted with a shrug in an attemopt at nonchalance.

message 34: by Haley, CoMod, Amazing Author (new)

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"No," she said with a small grin over her shoulder at him. "Playing songs for your puppy does not count as playing for an actual audience." She move over to pick up her drink and take another sip, but she didn't sit down yet. "Which one is your favorite?" she asked, not sure he'd actually tell her. She was a little surprised he'd let her look over the sheets for so long.

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Alyssa (Lyss) (Lyss4Music) | 8616 comments Mod
"But he's an amazing audience! He loves my songs." He countered with a slightly more relaxed grin, leaning his head back agaisnt the back of the couch when she moved nearer to get her beer again. It was a legitimate question, and a hard one at that. His eyes unfocused for a few moments, trying to decided in his head. It was sort of like asking a father which kid was his favourite. You were proud of all of them. But, he thought he knew which one was him...which one represented himself so completely. "Wake." He replied, indicating one of the piles lying on top of his amp.

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"He loves everything. He's a puppy," she told him jokingly. She drank a little more while Collin thought—he had a lot of song to go through in his mental list—and when he finally answered she smiled and walked over to the pile he gestured to. She shuffled through the sheets until she came across the right song, then she finally moved back to the couch and sat down, music in one hand and beer in the other. "Any chance you're drunk enough to consider playing it for me?" she asked, aware that she was asking a lot from a guy who had never played his songs for a person, but curious to see if he'd do it.

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He wasn't drunk. Not that he thought he'd ever be drunk enough to play one of his songs in front of other people. But something about her, about this whole night made him feel like he could...should play it for her. He was fairly confident she wouldn;t outright laugh at it...but there were much worse things that could happen. He was torn between saying yes...and saying no. But a part of him knew that if he said no tonight...he'd probably never say singing one of his own...again. Everything started with a baby step, after all. Maybe it was the Fish Bowl that gave him the courage or maybe it was just Britt, but after some time he nodded his consent. "Yeah..." He said slowly, breathing deeply to still his nerves. All of a sudden this seemed way more intimiating than it actually was.

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Britt waited as he thought about the question far longer than she'd anticipated. She'd been waiting for a quick 'no', which she was more than ready to shrug off as completely fine and change the subject. So when he said yes she blinked, and her eyebrows raised fractionally in surprise. She knew he wasn't actually drunk, so he was truly agreeing to play it for her when he hadn't for anyone else ever before. "Alright," she said with a small smile, passing the music in her hand over for him to take.

message 39: by Alyssa (Lyss), Head Moderator (last edited Nov 10, 2012 10:21AM) (new)

Alyssa (Lyss) (Lyss4Music) | 8616 comments Mod
He ddidn't need the sheet music for this song; he knew it backwards, better than the back of his hand. He took it from her, managing a small smirk at her surprise that he'd actually agreed to sing it for her; she'd been expecting a rejection. Hell, he'd surprised himself in saying yes. Placing the pape ron his coffee table, he lightly picked Max from off his lap and placed the small puppy besides Britt. He knew he'd crawl over to her anyway; the thing hated sleeping alone. Standing, he made his way over to one of his accoustic guitars hanging up against his wall -an old, slightly worn one- and strapped it over his shoulder, adjusting the leather strap slightly. It's black polish shining dully as he made his way back over to the couch, sitting on the edge and balancing the guitar on hid leg, he slowly began to strum a few chords on the guitar, looking at the floor and the strings rather than meet Britt's eyes. Swallowing down his nerves, he launched into his song.

'Look around, I'm surrounded by people
Wondering where I went wrong,
Hearing voices telling me boy you're just not that strong.
I'm entwined in a web of confusion,
counting dreams to one day carve in stone.
It's these vines that I have broken, falling to the ground.

So let me go and let me see and let me find myself again.
And all these walls, I tear them down and I move on.
So let me go and let me see and let me find out finally,
And I pray no more vines entwine me, no more vines.

Staring deep inside this mirror,
Trying to figure out whose staring back.
A guess that I haven't decided where my heart is at.
Strange emotions, they posses me,
And they pull my hands, my feet and my soul,
To a place I never thought of but I'm glad to go.

So let me go, let me see and let me find myself again.
And all these walls I tear them down and I move on.
So let me go and let me see and let me find out finally,
And I pray no move vines entwine me, entwine me.

So count me in, I'll stand up right,
I'll wait my turn but I will fight.
And at this stage, I'm paranoid, about these choices, I've destroyed.
So let me go and let me be from all this torment, all these games. And now's my turn, I'll stand my ground

So let me go and let me see and let me find myself again.
And all these walls, all these walls, I'll tear them down.
So let me go and let me see and let me find out finally.
I swear that I'm already on my way.
Cause I'm afraid, I'm a fool now, again!!

Let me go…and let me Wake up.'

message 40: by Alyssa (Lyss), Head Moderator (new)

Alyssa (Lyss) (Lyss4Music) | 8616 comments Mod
((Yes, I took multiple songs and took verses out of it, Lol))

message 41: by Alyssa (Lyss), Head Moderator (last edited Nov 10, 2012 10:22AM) (new)

Alyssa (Lyss) (Lyss4Music) | 8616 comments Mod
((I took the majority of the lyrics from this song and I'm actually thinking about editing the Angel - Sarah M part out and the verse just before doesn't mesh well, obviously.))

message 42: by Alyssa (Lyss), Head Moderator (new)

Alyssa (Lyss) (Lyss4Music) | 8616 comments Mod
((Okay, I took those parts out haha))

message 43: by Haley, CoMod, Amazing Author (new)

Haley | 9502 comments Mod
Britt curled one leg under the other and waited wordlessly for Collin to get prepped. He didn't drag it out as much as she thought he might; he got right to it, grabbing his guitar, his music, and settling down to play. She pulled Max into her lap and stroked him rhythmically as she watched Collin, and she relaxed into her seat a little when he began to play. She'd heard him at the bar, but it was different being part of a private audience for a song he'd never shared before. Though she couldn't fathom why he hadn't played it for anyone else; he didn't falter once, and the piece was brilliant. He didn't look at her the entire time, and she didn't blame him. It was probably nerve-wrecking enough without affirming the fact that she was watching. Rather than launch into a round of compliments that might seemed forced, because that was generally the polite thing to do, Britt smiled at him when he finished and asked: "And why haven't you played that for anyone else?"

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Haley | 9502 comments Mod
((Haha, do whatever you want! Looks good to me))

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((My responses will be delayed cause i'm getting some studyimg done at the same ime (I'm writing in 5 days -_-))

He strummed the last few chords of the song, letting his voice fade out with the melody. He didn't have to wait long for her to say something, thankfully, but when she did his eyes flickered up to meet hers, straightening up slightly from his hunched over position. He laughed lightly at her remark, shrugging as he slid the guitar off his lap and placed it on the coffee table before replying. "It probaby might have something to do with the fact that I lock up and become like a nervous 8th grader in a band all over again." He suggested with a shrug, smiling at the way she'd pulled the sleeping puppy into her lap and was stroking his fur. Max was snorring contently, looking completely in bliss. That was one lucky dog.

message 46: by Haley, CoMod, Amazing Author (new)

Haley | 9502 comments Mod
((No problem!))

"Well clearly that's not the case," she told him. "You didn't screw up once just now. No locking up, no freezing, nothing. And it sounded brilliant," she informed him honestly when he finally looked at her again. Some of the tension he'd clearly had at sharing his work faded when the song was over. She was glad to know she'd said the right thing, that he wasn't looking for straight up compliments right away. She was also glad he trusted her enough to play for her, despite how short a time he'd known her.

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Alyssa (Lyss) (Lyss4Music) | 8616 comments Mod
"That's the first time that's ever happened." He informed her seriously, picking his beer up again. Honestly, half of him had been expecting to freeze up or at least mess up some of the lyrics...but none of that had occured. It had every other time he'd tried to play in front of people, but not tonight. Not with her. He smiled a little at her compliment but didn't take it to heart; that was what you told people when hey played a song for you. It was polite.

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Haley | 9502 comments Mod
"Really?" she asked, more because she couldn't really believe it than because she needed him to confirm the fact. He hadn't even hinted that he was about to freeze up a single time during that impromptu performance. He gave a kind-of-faked smile at her compliment, but she didn't insist that she'd meant it, even though she had. She'd find some way to make him believe it sometime.

message 49: by Alyssa (Lyss), Head Moderator (new)

Alyssa (Lyss) (Lyss4Music) | 8616 comments Mod
"Really." He brought the bottle up to his lips, taking a sip. Only then did it even begin to sink in; he'd actually done it. He'd sung one of his own songs for someone else. "We need to celebrate." He decided with a grin, as he stood. He was at the liquor cabinet in two strides and was digging around in it, the sounds of clinking botttles audible. "Uhmm..any preferances?" He asked without turning around.

message 50: by Haley, CoMod, Amazing Author (new)

Haley | 9502 comments Mod
She was pleased to see him so excited over his success, and glad she could play a part in it even if she didn't quite understand how. But she was definitely up for celebration, though she was sure she was reaching her tipping point as far as alcohol consumption went. "Surprise me," she told him, craning her neck to see him digging in his liquor cabinet, but trying not to disturb Max on her lap. It was Collin's celebration, after all.

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