Alfred wasted no time in hurrying over to the chair, crawling up onto it and somewhat mussing up his perfect little suit. “I’m Alfred! And I think girls are icky and parties like birthday parties are fun! Least that’s what they look like!” he grinned, hands patting at his thighs as his shiny black shoes wiggled.
Meanwhile, as his Daddy was distracted, Matthew whimpered in his mouth, lips smacking ever so slightly as he attempted to reach for the pudding. The highchair wouldn’t let him get very far, but he continously tried to crane his neck far enough to get it.
Alfred noticed, and pointed. “Mister, your little baby wants to eat that,” he told him, nodding. Alfred liked being helpful. Papa was very strict about when he could be helpful and when he couldn’t, so this was nice!
“Oh! Mercy me…” Apologizing continuously to Matthew, he held the spoon to his mouth so he could have a bite of the pudding on the spoon. He looked back a moment later to thank their new visitor and returned to feeding his son.
Gilbert and Ivan had quite a fun time talking to Alfred. He seemed so interested in the life of being in a band, and he expressed how much he’d just love to learn to play an instrument, but it was hard for him to learn, was all they had found out. They didn’t question it, so they didn’t seem rude.
It had seemed as though word got out that Arthur’s band was a hit at the wedding. It didn’t come as a surprise to the band, in all honesty; they knew they were good, and they had to because they needed to get their name out there.
A meeting had been arranged for the band to meet with an event planner for some big thing going on in Edinburgh. They all gathered in the meeting room at Ludwig’s recording studio.
Arthur raised an eyebrow as he walked in, pushing Matthew in his stroller in front of him. “I didn’t know that it was another wedding we were supposed to play for.” He assumed, taking a seat at the end of the table so he could have room for Matthew beside him.
“Not hardly,” Francis commented, coming into the room just as Arthur finished his sentence. Ludwig was hot on his heels, clipboard in hand as Francis took a seat across the table from the band, face illuminated by the screen of his tablet.
“No, not a wedding,” Ludwig echoed, sitting beside the long haired blonde and greeting each band member with a little nod. “It is something much more ground breaking than a wedding, no offense to Elizabeta.”
Francis sighed and turned around the tablet he had been using and placed it in the center of the table, hitting play on a silent video that showed a huge stage, state of the art technology and lighting equipment, and above all hudreds of TV cameras sending the feed of the band on stage performing all over the world. “This is the international Edinburgh music festival….each year hundreds of bands are chosen to come and perform at outside stages, but only 1, the one most demanded by fans around the world gets to perform on this stage, and have their set broadcasted on live TV.”
Francis peered up at each and everyone one of them, his eyes landing for longer than a fleeting moment on Arthur’s face. “And this year, you have been chosen. It is in 3 months, and in that time, we’ll have to keep you nearby, so no returning home. It is a small sacrifice to make in exchange for this opportunity.”
The four had been ecstatic, so excited that they have become so popular. All of their hard work finally paying off to every band’s dream, but having to live in a hotel by the event location was completely out of the question. Yes, they all knew that doing what they did required sacrifices, but with a baby, a hotel is far too unfamiliar to the area, Arthur didn’t think Matthew, as good of a child that he was, would make it three months in a hotel.
“Absolutely not. I understand, we have to make sacrifices, but Matthew would not last three months in a hotel, nor will I trust a nanny to be able to take care of him for that long. There has to be another way.” Arthur protested.
And neither of the other band members protested against Arthur, they knew better than to do that. Kjell and Ivan had been with Arthur since Arthur had been with Matthew’s mother and even some time before that, and Gilbert just knew where to stand when it came to Matthew. They all cared for Matthew and knew just how he acted and what made him fussy along with what calmed him. Knowing him like they do, they knew it was pointless to argue not staying in the hotel for three months…
They just hoped there would be another way.
Francis sighed, ready to protest against the demands of “diva” musicians, but Ludwig beat him to it, calm as ever. “The hotel is a good one, Arthur. It has a playground and an open floor plan for the rooms. It also has a babysitting program where Matthew could spend the day,…” he tried, attempting to reason with the singer. He understood their protection over the child but he could feel Francis’ building frustration.
"This is a huge opportunity…I wouldn’t want you to ruin it because of a trivial inconvenience," Francis interjected, looking at the singer.
Ludwig sighed, resisting the urge to pinch the bridge of his nose. He didn’t want to get into a fight over this.