Ace (Band of Brothers #1)(4)

By: Lyra Parish



The way people looked at me never got old. It was the star struck look. I smiled for pictures, talked to fans, groupies, all of the above. Besides being on stage, chatting to everyone that appreciated our music was when I was the happiest.

A woman walked up with an indie vinyl that had a picture of the band on it. All the signatures were there except mine.

"Do you have any idea how long I've been waiting to meet you?"

"How long?" I smiled.

"Two years."

It was impressive. She had come to every Florida show and had never gotten a chance to meet me. "You're always too busy," she said.

These were the types of people I avoided—the confrontational types, the ones that called out my many flaws. I never claimed to be perfect; the tabloids did that for me.

"Sorry about that." I slipped the gold pen from her grasp and signed above my head and handed the record back to her.

"Is it true what that woman said?"

"I only claim to be a musician, sweetheart. The rest is hearsay."

She gave me a smile but when my brothers all stepped off the bus she lit up. She handed her cell phone to a friend and asked if we would take a picture with her. She stood in front of us and we all smiled. When she looked at it, tears filled her eyes. "The best day of my life, hands down. Thank you." I watched as she walked into the crowd showing everyone the picture.

Sometimes I regret the things that I do. The random fucking, the lack of care, and the way I treat those I love. Being in the public eye, makes me want to be a better person, makes me want to be a role model to young musicians, but too often I'm stuck in a dark place. Creativity, I've heard can be dangerous. It can ruin a mind or enlighten it.

We signed until the stage manager told us it was time to leave. Our gear was loaded, the crew was ready, and my brothers and I were starving.

Nik squeezed my shoulder as he loaded the bus with me. Rex and Jex loaded the other bus with a wave. We had to be in Pennsylvania in two days so we would drive straight there. Exhaustion covered me and all I wanted to do was sleep.

Every band had an asshole, and if one didn't know who that was, then it was most likely you.

Not that it was a secret, but after tonight, I realized that I was the lead asshole of Hathway. But my brothers were assholes too.

Nik cleared his throat as he chugged a bottle of water. "I still can't believe you fucked that blonde. Blondes aren't your thing."

I gave him my signature smirk. "It was Florida. What do you expect? They were all blonde."

I sat on the couch and watched the lights of the passing vehicles. I was living the life. I was in charge and I feel powerful.

I was Ace—definitely a fucking spade.





2





Elizabeth




Papers scattered across the floor and around my feet covering the eggshell-colored tiles. I huffed and bent down to pick them up, then made my way to the morning meeting. Late. Of course I'd have to be late to an emergency Monday morning meeting that my boss insisted we all attend.

I walked in with my disorganized notes tucked in my arms and sat down at the conference table looking like a hot mess. Jack, my asshole boss, glanced over at me and I saw his nostrils flare. I had agitated him again. This day was already fucked.

There were moments when I wished I were invisible, days I wished I could sink into the chair, wall, or table. Or even have the power to snap my fingers and disappear, especially when people looked at me the way everyone had right then.

Jack tucked his lips inside of his mouth and waited for me to sit, then continued on and on about the upcoming projects. I knew the analogy "beating a dead horse" in real time because he had a habit of repeating the same idea several different ways even if we all understood him the first time. Meetings that should last one to two minutes usually lasted at least thirty. These were the things I hated most about my job.

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