Drake sat on the speaker tapping his black polished fingernails impatiently on the surface. He checked his watch again, the diamonds on the second hand quickly ticking off the minutes. Out of sight on the stage behind him, the support were just finishing.
“Thank you New York! You’ve been amazing! This is our last song – we hope you enjoy it and have a rocking New Years Eve!”
Drake looked back at his watch. Where was he? Marty wandered over, clipboard in hand, suit looking as fresh as it had when he’d met them at Heathrow sixteen hours before. How did he do that? Drake wondered.
“Is he - ?” Marty started but Drake shook his head. No, Henry was not here. Henry had disappeared as soon as they got to the hotel. No, he did not know where Henry was. It was Marty’s turn to check his watch.
“He’s got about fifteen minutes.”
Drake jumped down off the speaker and started to pace. It was wrong to blame Marty for not being able to control Henry. He hadn’t grown up with him. Drake was the one who should have expected this – the European Tour, the X Factor, the interviews, for gods sake. How many times had he sat there and apologised to journalists for the fact that Henry had failed to show up? Henry was the one they all wanted, voted best looking, most charismatic, best hair cut. He thought he could do what he wanted, that Drake couldn’t get by without him. Well he was wrong.
The audience roared their approval as the support finished their set and ran off the stage high fiving each other.
“Killer crowd, man!” Brody whooped as they clattered past to their dressing room. In the auditorium, the crowd was getting louder.
“Lost Boys! Lost Boys! Lost Boys!”
“I’m not going on!” Drake said finally, throwing his hands up. “There’s no point.”
“Don’t be such a drama queen,” a voice said from behind him. Drake turned to see Henry sandwiched between two leggy blondes, arms round their shoulders, cigarette in one hand, bottle of Jack Daniels in the other. “The show must go on!” Henry exclaimed. Drake’s face was set in hard lines now, his teeth clenched together.
“Oh, don’t such be a cliché, Drakey,” Henry said, disentangling himself from the blondes and going to put his arm round Drake. “I’m here now, aren’t I?”
“I’m the cliché? I’m the cliché?” Drake shouted, striding away. “I’m not Mr Rock and Roll, chasing the girls, turning up whenever he feels like it!”
Drake spun round, grabbed Henry by his coolly up-turned collar and slammed him against the wall.
“It was only one night, Drake. Get over it.”
The two men glared at each other. In the background, the crowd continued chanting.
“Right, the rest of the lads are here,” Marty intervened. “Now are you two going to kiss and make up, or shall we call the whole show off?”