What Rider didn’t know was I actually had a plan. There was a vintage music shop down by the park, in Vampire territory. I’d passed it several times when visiting Armande, and that’s where I planned on checking first. To get an idea of what Alex might like.
The store was just a little hole in the wall, you’d miss it if you weren’t looking. It was a door and a window for the shop but it was long on the inside. Much like most of the shops on that street. I walked in and the door jingled letting the employees know someone had entered. A wise older man stepped out from behind the counter with an open book held between his fingers, “What can I do to help you?”
“I’m looking for a guitar for my boyfriend.” Boyfriend wasn’t exactly right, neither was husband. And mate didn’t exactly go well in the human world. Though even that sounded awkward. So boyfriend was the best choice, my love, my life, my light, my Alex.
“Do you know what he likes to play?”
I shook my head, “I don’t know if he has a preference. I’m looking for something old and acoustic. Something with a lot of history.” His eyebrows rose and cocked his head at me. “So you aren’t looking for something to play?”
“Yes, but I want character. I could go out and buy him any random guitar out there, but I want one that can tell a story.”
He sighed and headed towards the back of the shop. “I don’t know if I have any of that.” We walked in silence through the crowded shop until we came to a bunch of instruments hanging on the wall. “This is all I got.”
I looked and really didn’t have much knowledge of anything.
He chuckled, “You don’t know anything do you?”
I laughed, “Not about music. Put me in front of a kitchen utensils and I could dance circles around you.” I grinned, “Literally.”
The man chuckled. I continued, “But, I like this one, who’s it signed by?”
He shook his head. “It was here when I bought the store, no idea.”
I grinned, “I’ll take that one.” I said running my fingers down the burnt dark mahogany of the instrument. “It tells a story and we’ll have to figure it out.”
He took the guitar down and nodded, “This is a [Martin Street master, she sounds nice, but is a little out of tune.”
I nodded, “I can get that fixed.”
“It’s also a three thousand dollars.” He said and raised his eyebrow in question.
My mouth fell, how fucking much? I glanced down at the watch on my wrist, sure it held a tracker, but it hadn’t been cheap. And it wasn’t about the money. But the thought of using Alex’s credit card made me cringe. Though I did pull it out, and handed it to the man. It wasn’t Alex’s money, it was mine, but still I rarely used it, Alex had given it to me as a ‘just in case’. I remembered asking him in case of what?
Alex had only shrugged, I don’t know just in case.
This probably wasn’t something he had anticipated.
The man rang up the guitar, placed it gently in it’s case. “Where you off to next?”
“To a music store to tune and find lessons.” I said absently as I stepped out the door. Carrying the case by it’s handle I wrapped it in a bubble of air so not to jostle it. Three fucking thousand dollars was a lot to get damaged by people walking by carelessly. Or god forbid I dropped it.
I wasn’t actually doing exactly what I’d said to the guy at the store. I was actually going to visit Angelina and see if she had anyone in mind to teach me guitar. I trusted her more than I trusted anyone else to recommend me a new instructor.
It wasn’t a far walk to Angelina’s Studio. She likely had a class and I would have to wait, but that was alright. I enjoyed watching the kids and other students practicing and learning new steps.
The studio was bustling with a bunch of kids. I sat down with the waiting parents and waited for Angelina to be done. She noticed me and smiled and gave me a beckoning wave. I gave her a smile and stood up, slipped off my shoes and walked out on to the floor. She grinned at me, those bright brown eyes taking in my movement. “Still remember the rules.”
I nodded, “Of course.”
She gave me a hug and then addressed the class of giggling girls. “Class, I’d like to introduce you to one of my favorite students of yore.” Her Spanish accent was heavy, and I did miss it. “How would you like for him to join us?”
The girls all giggled, “But he’s a boy.”
I chuckled. “I am but I could dance circles around the lot of you.”
Angelina laughed, “Do you remember the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy?” She asked simply.
I nodded. “I think I can remember it. Been a while since I’ve done any real ballet.”
All the girls giggled again. “Afterwards, we can have a chat?” I asked Angelina.
“Of course darling.” She said and gave me a kiss on my cheek. “Places everyone.”
I took my place in the front of the class, so all the giggling girls could watch me fail. It was part of the point of it all. Angelina waved her hand, and the music started and we were all off to a good start. Thankfully, I had Angelina in front of me so that I could follow along. I had always been a good follower. I wished Alex would dance with me more, but I didn’t ask him to put himself in that kind of misery often. I’d hurt him with carless words in a dream and it still stung thinking about it.