Jude squinted against the light, groaning. She passed a hand over her face and wiped a trickle of drool from her mouth, squeezing her eyes closed again and snuggling farther into the couch.
Jude, wake up!
"Sadie, please…lemme 'lone," she mumbled. She rolled over, burying her head underneath a pillow, and sighed. Five more minutes…maybe fifteen. I'm warm, I'm happy, I'm…I'm being poked. The insistent prodding at the bottom of her feet tickled the longer she tried to ignore it, so she kicked a foot out in protest.
Jude pulled herself up, running fingers through the tangled mess of her blonde hair. Tommy sat on a stool at the end of the couch, rubbing gently at his now-bruised thigh and glaring at her playfully. Something about him seemed wrong, but having just been poked awake…she was willing to bet she was the one who was "off."
"Quincy, didn't we go over this? I am not a morning person." She yawned and stretched, taking in her surroundings. Studio C had always been one of her favorite spots at G Major; the hodgepodge of equipment that didn't get used in studios A and B didn't make for an easy recording session, but when did Jude want anything easy? The cozy, beat-up yellow couch in the recording booth was a great spot for hanging out and working through difficult lyrics, and definitely top of her list for excellent nap spots.
Tommy chuckled. "Harrison, didn't we go over this?" he began in a lightly mocking tone. "If we're here, you're supposed to be awake. Additionally…it's two o' clock in the afternoon. We've got to get back to it and you're wasting time, Sleeping Beauty!" She shook her head, pouting.
"I don't wanna."
"Come on, girl. You're wasting ti-ime," he sing-songed. She shot an annoyed look in his direction, but softened when his ice-blue eyes connected with hers. His lips curled up into a smile, and she immediately knew that any resistance was futile. Tommy stood and stretched, heading for the soundboard, and Jude snuck a peek at his jean-clad butt as he walked out. "We're here to record, not for you to ogle me Harrison," he called out over his shoulder. Despite his back being turned, she could hear the smirk in his voice and rolled her eyes.
"Why can't I do both?" she laughed, blushing faintly.
She turned to find the source of the sudden sound, and she half expected someone to be standing right beside her…but she and Tommy were alone in the studio. Am I losing it?
"Everything alright, girl?"
Tommy's voice over the intercom soothed her nerves slightly, but she couldn't shake the feeling that something was off. "Yeah…did you hear something?" she asked.
"Just the sound of Darius docking my paycheck for wasted studio time," Tommy joked with a wry grin. "What do you hear?"
Jude eyebrows knitted together in confusion, her ears straining to pick up the voice again. "I thought I heard someone, maybe…"
"Nobody here but us musicians," he replied. "Let's get to it Harrison, no more excuses." He checked the levels, slipping on his headphones and indicating for Jude to do the same. Something was still raising the hairs on the back of her neck, but she placed the headphones on anyway. "'White Lines' in three, two…"
Jude closed her eyes, letting the music take her away. A dull ache started in her legs, and she shifted uncomfortably on her stool. "I tried to tell you…I have to get away…"
You're not doing this, Jude. You have to stay!
"It's a lyric, Tommy! Chill out," she snapped, her eyes opening to find the soundboard unattended. "Tommy?"
A slight buzzing started to cut through the silence. "Tommy?" Jude frowned, goosebumps prickling at her forearms as a strange dissonance started to scramble her mind. Wasn't he just here? You don't need him, you can handle this!
She attempted to clear her mind and began again. "I tried t-to…I…" A tickle formed in her throat, halting her progress. She coughed lightly, working to dispel the uncomfortable feeling of something stuck in her trachea…only to find that she lacked the air to do so.
Tommy re-appeared suddenly in the booth, scowling at her as she slid to the floor gasping for air.
You can't stay here, Girl.
Tears forming at the corner of her eyes, she reached out to Tommy and let out a strangled gurgle. The buzzing grew louder, grating at her eardrums…my head…please…
"Now we have to start over," Tommy's voice admonished over the intercom, fading as if spoken from miles away. "This is no time for another nap, Harrison." With herculean effort Jude managed a wet cough from the floor, grasping at her aching throat as a cacophony of unfamiliar sounds roared in her ears. Her vision began to grow blurred at the corners, and a shiver she couldn't control ran through her as the world slid into darkness.