Title: Syncopated Hearts Part 1
Character/s: Merlin, Elyan, Leon, Annis
Summary: The band gets a gig.
Word Count: 659
Prompt: 372 Bingo Round 1, AU Band
Author's Notes: I'm trying for a blackout. Pray for me.
It starts as it always starts with a boy and a girl….
The boy, a man with a plan and a bass, was Arthur Pendragon. Blond blue eyed and born with a silver spoon in his mouth, that is until his father cut him off the day he left home to join the band on the road.
The girl, a songbird and a beauty, was Gwen Leodegrance. Petite and as beautiful as her voice. She was born on the poor side of town and her voice was her ticket out.
The problem was they didn't see what was coming until it was too late. And what exactly was coming? Well you're just going to have to sit down and listen to their story.
Merlin Emrys ran his hand over the ivory keys of the piano and frowned. It could use a tuning. He wouldn't complain because they were lucky to get the gig. A jazz ensemble with no references couldn't be choosy.
Merlin stood up and walked to the center of the stage and looked out at the empty tables. He still wore the frown on his face.
Behind him, Leon knocked over the cymbals. "Damn it!" Leon swore. "Merlin, this stage is going to be a tight fit."
"I know but we need the work." Merlin turned around and picked up the cymbals off the floor. "Good thing we aren't a large group."
They weren't a large group. Besides Merlin, Arthur, and Gwen, there was just Leon on drums and Elyan, Gwen's little brother, on saxophone. They would fit on the small stage but Leon was right. It would be a tight fit.
Annis Carleon, the proprietress of the Fox Club, glided down the stairs from the street level and eyed the band. She dumped her fox stole on a nearby table and walked to the edge of the stage. There was a glint in her eye as she leered at Leon's behind as he bent over his drum set.
"I hope you're finding everything you need." Annis didn't wait for a response. She sat down at a front table. "When is rehearsal? You are going to rehearse, aren't you?"
"Yes ma'am. We are just waiting for the drummer to get set up." Merlin smiled but it didn't reach his eyes. "Any requests?"
Annis shook her head and eyed Leon's behind again. "Something smooth."
Merlin nodded. "Excuse me for a moment. I need to see where our other bandmates are." Merlin headed off the stage for the dressing room.
Arthur and Elyan were leaning against the wall on either side of a clossed door when Merlin found them.
"What are you two doing back here? Madame wants us to rehearse something before the show. I think she wants to see if we can really play or not." Merlin told them.
Elyan pointed to the closed door. "There's only one dressing room and there's no lock on the door. I can't exactly leave my sister unprotected."
Merlin nodded the turned to Arthur. "So why are you still back here?"
Arthur shrugged. "Thought he might need some help."
Merlin sighed. "Go get set up, Arthur. Oh and don't bend over in from of our new boss."
"Why?" Arthur chuckled.
"I think she's looking for a new plaything. She's been looking at Leon's behind like he's dinner and she's starving." Merlin wiggled his eyebrows.
"Ugh." Elyan shuddered. "She's old enough to be his mum."
"Grandmum more like it." Arthur grinned.
Merlin grabbed Arthur's arm as he passed. "Just go and try to behave. If we get a good reference here then we can get a better job soon."
"I got it." Arthur pulled away and headed for the stage.
Gwen opened the door and peeked out of the dressing room. "I'll be out in a minute Merlin. I just need to do my hair."
"Fine. Elyan will stay until you're done." Merlin nodded at Elyan and went back to the stage.