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A genius, an underachiever.
I’m the song, the voice, the passion, the pain.
I am failure.
I do music because it’s what I am, but sometimes that’s not enough.
A slave to my nature, I wait for it to show mercy and drop a gift in my lap.
Because the music chose me.
I’m its victim not its gift.
Ruined my life.
Pushed me from the shadows and exposed my lies.
She’s the fire that destroys lesser men,
and now her flames are aimed at me.
She loves to watch me burn,
but the part we never saw coming?
And slay the darkness.
“Hey, rock star,” she purrs, homing in on me. I feel the amusement of our audience. Just as long as they keep it to themselves.
“What’s up? Enjoy the show?”
Eye-fuck. Yep, that’s a thing. Those curves, too. I glance back at the guys who are pretending… no they’re not even pretending.
“I’ll be back down to pack up.” I take Becca’s arm amidst a chorus of farewells. If all goes well, they’ll each have their own girl by the end of the night. Well, except Reece who remains faithful to his imaginary lady. He’ll make a real woman happy one day.
Now I’m snickering.
“What’s so funny?” Becca asks as we board the elevator.
“Nothing. You cool with heading up to my room for a while? The guys can be a lot to take when they unwind.”
“Fine with me.” The flirty tone is back. She even takes my arm to reinforce it. “You guys were so so good.”
I manage a quick smile. “Thanks.”
“I mean it. Like, one of the best shows I’ve seen.”
“I’ve seen a lot, too.” She supports this by listing every single one of them as the elevator crawls to the 9th floor. I clench my jaw while counting each number on the slowest climb ever.
“Did you know I bought the songs from your first EP? Even before you were big. I’ve been talking about you guys for years. Ask Rach.”
“That so?” Don’t know Rach.
“Yep. Omigod. Look,” she pulls down the neckline of her shirt to expose a tattoo on her shoulder. It’s the candle from the cover art of our Candlelight EP. “See? Toldya.”
I guess she thinks tattoos come with timestamps?
Shit. I was hoping for an easy night.
The elevator finally finds our floor, and I motion for her to exit.
“Ooh! And polite too? Such a gentleman.”
“Which is yours?”
“Omigod. I love that number.”
Of course she does.
“You’re not gonna believe this but my dorm room freshman year was 907!”
I check my phone but there are no urgent messages to get me out of this.
“You want a drink?” I ask as we move inside.
“Really? Omigod! I can’t believe this is happening! My sisters are going to die!”
I force a nod as my brain runs through a quick inventory of recent groupie failures:
- DEA Girl.
- Regret and Bolt Girl
- Natasha—Assault Girl.
With that track record, of course I’m about to hook up with Omigod Girl.
Maybe I need to try celibacy for a while.
I find her enraptured with the minibar when I tune back in.
“They’re so adorable! Omigod, look at this one. Ahh! What are you having?”
“Help yourself. I need a minute.”
I lock myself in the bathroom and lean against the sink. I can do this. I need this, just…
“I’m gonna rinse off,” I call out, unnecessarily I learn when her face appears in the crack of the door.
“Want some company?”
“Thanks, but it’ll be quick.”
I click the lock and soothe my head against cool wood. This is my life. These are my connections.
It used to be enough.
A hot shower and booking a high-profile gig do wonders for my mood. I shake the water from my hair and wrap a towel around my waist. I feel somewhat guilty about my harsh appraisal of groupie Becca as I pull open the door, especially when she no longer hovers right outside. Maybe she’s not as clingy as I feared. Clingy ones are the worst. Another hard-learned truth that required Luke’s intervention on tour.
I cross into the main area of the room and…
“Uh, hi,” I say to the four additional girls in my room. My room. My crowded, invaded room.
“Oh hey, babe! These are my sisters: Rachel, Liz, Elisa, and Lara.” They look nothing alike, as in: “Sorority sisters!” she shrieks for the sake of my confusion.
They all laugh at that and—shit.
“I hope it’s okay. When I told them about us, they just really wanted to meet you. They were at the show too.”
“We love your music. We play your stuff at the house all the time,” the redhead says.
“All the time,” Becca clarifies with an emphatic nod.
“That’s great. Uh, you mind if I get dressed?”
“What if we said yes?” The Blonde’s lashes flutter with mischief straight out of a ‘50s movie. A six-some? Is that even logistically possible?
I force a tight smile, and open my suitcase.
Whispers and giggles scatter behind me like I’m back in middle school. It’s not attractive and not at all how I planned for this night to go. No, I’m a pair of jeans and a t-shirt away from returning to the green room with the guys. Maybe they’ll be more interested in a college orgy.
“Hey, I’ve got to get back to help pack up our gear. You ladies want to hang down in the green room?”
“We’d rather hang here.”
Becca is right there when she says it, and I take a step back.
For two seconds I hesitate. They’re cute. I’m horny… and then I remember my track record.
- DEA Girl
- Regret and Bolt Girl
- Assault Girl
- Omigod Girl who’s now multiplied into five Stalker Girls
Shoulder-Luke screams: Is it worth five Stalker Girls?
Is anything worth five Stalker Girls?
Then again, they’re cute and I’m horny.
I suck in a breath and grab a change of clothes. “Thanks for the offer, but as I said, we’ve gotta pack up. You’re welcome to join us.”
“Aww, you sure?” Becca asks. “We don’t mind waiting.” Her fingers trail up my arm, and I don’t know why I’m surprised by her boldness. She’s done nothing but overstep boundaries since the moment we met. I was okay with that until she multiplied.
“Sorry,” I say with a shrug, and back out of reach. “I’ll meet you down there.”
A chorus of whining reinforces my decision, and I’m relieved when they take the hint and file toward the door. I smile apologetically through a veil of disappointed looks as it clears out.
What the fuck?
I lower myself to the bed and run a hand through my hair. I’m twenty-three years old. A musician. Single. Why the hell can’t I find a sane girl? Not asking for a soulmate here, just a girl who won’t freaking try to kill me or invite an entire sorority house to intrude on our night together. Am I being unreasonable?
As if on cue, my phone buzzes with an update from the Queen of Kingdom Crazy.
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About the Author:
I’m a writer, musician, and cat lover. I also have an alternative music obsession. Seriously, it’s a real problem.
I write what needs to come out, whether it’s pain, tears, or laughter. I write people and relationships, about the beauty and horror of what we do to ourselves and each other. I write Love. Vengeance. Compassion. Cruelty. Trust. Betrayal. Forgiveness. Darkness, and the incredible way humans destroy and heal each other.
I like to eradicate barriers, refusing to be confined by the laws of physics or limitations of reality. I will befriend a vast population of possibilities and introduce them in ways that might surprise you.
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