A Gratifying Surprise

It didn’t take him very long to notice her presence. It wasn’t some kind of magical chill that ran through his veins or the hairs standing up on the back of his neck. No, Lindsey knew the moment Stevie walked into the room because audience members’ heads started turning, cameras and iPhones started flashing, and excited shouts started being heard. He couldn’t keep from inching nearer to the edge of stage, trying to locate her up in the balcony and smiling when he finally spotted a glimpse of black fabric and long, blonde hair. Not his wife’s. He took a moment to send up a silent prayer of thanks to a god he didn’t believe in that Kit hadn’t decided to come along tonight… Even if fans occasionally thought Kristen was Stevie from a distance when they were returning from a concert, Lindsey knew both of them too well to ever make that mistake, no matter how quick the glimpse or how little of either one could be seen. No one would ever be able to identify Stevie as quickly as he could, by touch, by smell or by sight. Or taste, he mused, the thought coming unbidden to his mind and banished almost as quickly as it had come. His bandmate took her seat before rising to wave to the audience and then directly to him, blowing him a kiss as well, earning whistles and hollers from the excited crowd.

The energy in the room was electric; the band, he felt, had never played better, and the audience seemed to cheer louder for every song than he’d experienced in a long, long time. Lindsey was fairly certain it wasn’t his heightened senses and emotions overrunning his logic but he also knew one could never be too sure of something like that… He was certain, however, that he felt an irrepressible urge to impress Stevie, to make her acknowledge his talents tonight. Yes, it was arrogant, and yes, it was selfish.

But he wanted and needed the validation. It seemed she still had the ability, after all these years, to surprise him, turning up to his concert tonight of all nights. He wanted to surprise her too.

Every time he saw her standing up to applaud he felt a tightening in his chest and every time she sat back down he tried to forget she was there. An impossibility. At one point, he came in late on a song, too busy trying to catch her eye, and suffered a short snort of laughter from Neal at his side. The talking and introducing was even more rote than on an average night and the well-oiled machine only truly faltered once…

"Um, I don’t usually introduce this song. I, we just play it. Tonight, though, we have a special guest…"

The audience roared. Lindsey took a step back and looked down at his guitar, already preparing to tackle the graceful melody of Stephanie better than he ever had before. Unable to stop himself, he looked back up to see Stevie standing there, hands resting on the edge of the balcony as she smiled down at him, cheeks flushed and hair tousled in that way that always made him just want to wrap his arms around her and bury his face in her soft curls.

"This is for you. Um…" He took a deep breath. It had to be said. "I love you."


She was waiting for him backstage and he barely noticed as his band members exchanged curious looks before leaving the dressing room. The door clicked shut and she stood up, her fingers playing nervously with the hem of her short little jacket as she watched him, almost apprehensively, before speaking.

"Happy birthday, Lindsey."

He didn’t even wait for another word from her, instead striding purposefully over to her and enfolding her in his arms. He felt her exhale deeply and smiled into her hair, pressing several kisses there before nuzzling into her neck. After a few moments, Lindsey pulled back slightly, enough so he could look his bandmate in the eyes. "Thank you.”

"Always. You know that. I’m so proud of you."

There was only one response to that. The kiss began as a sweet peck, a mere touching of the lips, a simple gesture of friendship and appreciation. Several moments, as he lay half atop her on the couch, clothing slightly askew and lips reddened, Lindsey was still feeling appreciation.

He certainly appreciated the way she gasped as his large hand reached high under her skirt to caress her thigh gently, and he certainly appreciated the way she nipped his ear in mock anger when his tongue left her mouth for the delights of her nearly bared chest…


If anyone noticed anything amiss in the appearance or demeanor of Lindsey and Stevie when they left the dressing room sometime later, they had the good sense to stay silent about it. Some of them, however, in the privacy of their own thoughts, wished the two former (and current, apparently) lovers had also managed to be just as silent whilst ensconced in the not exactly sound-proofed dressing room.

Stevie gave Lindsey his birthday present later that same evening after they’d returned to his suite. He thanked her all night.

With a hungry mouth, and intimate touches, and warm arms keeping her close until the rising of the dawn, Lindsey thanked her.

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