I'm sorry about not posting on Monday...Was VERY tired. I'm correcting that now and I've started an author page on Facebook, so go there and like my page! Thanks!
Chapter 17: Get at Me, Dog
The tension in the room was almost a physical presence. Terry felt like he could literally wade through it, as if it were slowly replacing the oxygen in the room. He sat down on an easy chair and rested his gaze on Dominique and Booty-Bass as they were talking during a break from rehearsal.
All morning, Terry and Dom were very cordial towards one another, careful to speak only when necessary and keeping things rather cool. Beneath the icy exterior, there were flashes of the chemistry between them, but pride and ego on both sides kept them from allowing it to catch fire and melt their resistance. Terry kept his distance and his peace, but that didn’t stop him from looking at Dom and Rob with judgment in his eyes.
Terry saw Rob look up at him. He could’ve looked away and avoided a conflict, but Terry was tired of being nice, so he looked right back at Rob, nakedly throwing down the gauntlet. Booty-Bass didn’t disappoint Terry.
“What da fuck is yo damage, nigga?” Rob shouted as he stomped over to Terry.
“Excuse me?” Terry calmly replied.
“Why you eyeballin’ me and Dominique? You already had yo chance, Romeo, so step off and let a real man do his duty.”
“When I see a real man, I will.”
Rob hit Terry on the side of the head. Terry sprang up, tackled Booty-Bass to the ground and began wailing on him. Eric and Larry hustled over and pulled the two of them apart. Even though Rob had about thirty or forty pounds and five inches on Terry in height, his lips were swollen and one of his eyes was beginning to puff up. Terry, for his part, only suffered a torn shirt. Terry strained against Eric to get to Rob, something not human, almost bestial was in his eyes, making them gleam dangerously.
Before things could spiral further out of control, Eric dragged Terry outside. He let Terry go and blocked the door as Terry tried to get past him.
“Move outta the way, Groove.” Terry spat.
If I gotta beat you down to get past you, I will.”
“You’re welcome to try.” Eric said and folded his arms across his chest.
“I’m serious, Groove.”
“So am I.”
For a long moment, the two of them silently matched wills. Terry knew that Groove had seen his angry side before and wasn’t fazed by it in the least. Groove may’ve been calm and easygoing, but Terry knew the diamond–hard resolve behind Eric’s placid demeanor. He knew Eric wouldn’t move, no matter how much he raged.
Finally, the humanity came back to Terry’s eyes and, after a few deep breaths, he calmed down.
“Are you ready to come back inside and act like a normal human being?” Eric asked.
Terry sighed loudly and said, “Yeah.”
He started towards the door, when Eric stopped him with a hand on his chest and a serious look.
“No more of this bullshit, Terry. The fighting about Dom is over as of right now.”
“Tell Rob. He hit me first.”
“Seeing how Rob has the fucked up face, its better I tell you.”
“Fine, it’s squashed.”
“Thank you.” Eric said as he opened the door and they walked inside. Dom was fussing over Rob. Eric sent Terry over to the risers where Larry, Wanda and Lisa were playing the bare bones of a House song, as he asked Rob to come with him. A moment or two later, Eric and Rob made their way to where Terry was standing. He glanced at Lisa and nodded for her to come down and join them.
“Earthquake, Wanda!” Terry bellowed. “Can you give us a moment please?” They did and Eric, Lisa, Terry and Rob were left by themselves.
“What happened?” Eric asked.
“Terry was talkin’ shit so I clocked his ass.”
“Notice he left out that he stepped to me first.”
“The nigga was all up in me and Dom’s Kool-aid.”
“But, did he do anything?” Lisa interjected.
“But, nothin’.” Eric snapped. “The both a ya’ll are losing one night’s performance pay.”
“I didn’t do nothin’!” Terry thundered.
“Man, that shit ain’t fair!” Rob added.
“I don’t give a fuck.” Eric said flatly. “The bullshit fightin’ stops now. When we’re here, we’re here to work. I don’t give two bumfucks ‘bout what happens outside the Warehouse, but you leave that shit outside. Don’t bring it up in here! Is that understood?”
Terry and Rob mumbled that it was.
“Good. Let’s get back to work.” Eric turned his back on them and called everybody back to their instruments. Everyone took their places and continued with rehearsal.
Dominique, for her part felt bad about everything that happened. She knew that Terry and Rob couldn’t stand each other before she’d come along, but she felt guilty for being a cause of more friction between them. Avant Groove started working on a version of “Mind Blowin’ Decisions” by Heatwave. How ironic, Dom thought to herself. Somewhere along the way, her act of liking Rob ceased to be an act, but she still carried a torch for Terry. Dom didn’t know what she was going to do, but a decision would have to be made and made soon.
(c)2014 Courtney and W.L. Sherrod