Night of the Witch


It was the night of the witch, and Diana and her band were playing a witch song. Diana felt like a witch herself, full of power and magic. She was negotiating with a local label she'd written about during her more journalistically oriented days, but it wasn't for another article. This time the talk was of an album. Diana was high and flying, close to confident that a regional record would give her a push into the big time. The fans out there would make sure a first record sold, and that first record might even get out of the greater Portland area.

Looking out at the crowd she hoped would help her to success, Diana saw a long-haired man who looked suspiciously like Wes near the stage. She promptly flubbed up on a couple of chords. When he saw her looking at him, he waved and smiled. Diana's stomach took a nose dive, made a bungee-jump, sprang back up and proceeded to get stuck in her throat. The next line of the song came out as a croak, but her enthusiastic audience didn't seem to notice. With an effort, Diana concentrated on what she was doing and postponed any further emotional reactions until the song was over.

At the next break, Diana vaulted impulsively off the stage into the avid crowd and made her way with difficulty the few feet to Adrian, admirers clinging to her as she went. "What are you doing here?" she asked. It sounded like an accusation.

"I was in the neighborhood, and when I heard what was going on tonight, I thought I'd drop by."

"In the neighborhood, huh?" Diana shook off the admirers, and recognizing a personal encounter of the close kind, they let her be.

Adrian nodded and placed his hand gently on the back of her neck. Diana didn't flinch. They looked at each other eye to eye.

"Cute drummer you have there," Adrian said, nodding towards the stage where Wes was glancing over at them between swigs of Coke.

"He's a woman's man, that's why he gets to play with a woman's band."

"You pick him out?"

Diana smiled. "Oh, he impressed me immediately."

"Don't you think you're repeating yourself?"

"What makes you think I'm repeating myself?"

"Aren't you?"

"Not any more."

"Why not?"

"He may be cute, he may be a good drummer, but that's about it."

"Isn't he good in bed?"

"Of course. But he's a bit young."

"For you?" Adrian asked with exaggerated astonishment.

Diana didn't let herself be baited. "For me."

"And Geoff?"

"He's a bit of a brain."

"So you're unentangled?"

Diana smiled. "For the time being. And what about you?"

Adrian glowed. "Oh, I'm clean. Which is more than can be said of you."

"Clean? You? With all your opportunities?"

"The opportunities were no competition. There was this crazy woman down south with a beautiful voice who laid siege to my brain. No one had a chance of getting in."

"Beds and brains are two different things entirely."

"But bed sports tend to get rather tiring after a while if the brain and the heart aren't in it."

"You have a point there."

"Your brain and heart free these days?" Adrian asked, subjecting her to his most charming blue-eyed gaze. "I don't care about your bed."

Diana met the blue with her own intense brown. "You disappoint me."

Adrian pulled her closer and planted a tentative kiss on her forehead. "Tomorrow's my birthday. Shall we have a party?"

"We're having one already. Isn't this big enough for you?"

"Actually, I was thinking of something a little more intimate."

"How intimate did you have in mind?"

Adrian shook his head. "You're doing your best to make this difficult for me, aren't you?"

Diana looked sheepish. "Aw, hell. I didn't mean to." She buried one hand in his long mane and gave him a lopsided smile. "Shall we take a stab at a few more mutual misunderstandings then?" she asked hopefully.

Adrian gave her a critical look and a slow, deliberate nod. "I think that might be a definite possibility."