Ace (Band of Brothers #1)(7)

By: Lyra Parish



I continued reading and made plenty of mental notes. Ace was 24, the youngest of the brothers. Jex and Rex were twins and the oldest of the four at age 29. Nikolas or Nik was the middle child at 26. None of them were married. None of them had kids that anyone knew of. I giggled at that fact. Rock Stars. I shook my head and continued reading.

Ace refused to be interviewed by anyone. Instead of him answering questions, he always allowed his brothers to do it for him. Had a cat got his tongue, or was he that arrogant? Maybe he was nervous? Look at me; I was already making excuses for the guy.

I stared at a picture of him on stage while his guitar hung from his body. The lights gave his shirtless body a warm glow. Sweat covered his chest and he was screaming pure emotion into the microphone. Whatever he sang took over his whole body. The muscles in his neck were strained and with eyes closed, he grasped the microphone with both hands. Fingers from the crowd clipped the bottom of the picture as the lights faded across them. I had to admit that it was a beautiful, powerful shot.

Jack stood in the doorway of my office and cleared his throat. I jumped and placed my hand over my heart.

"You scared me," I said.

He pursed his lips. "Your travel arrangements are confirmed for tomorrow. Remember you're representing PHASE Magazine in everything you do. Oh, and Elizabeth, don't mess this up. You can leave early to get ready for your flight tomorrow."

"Yes, sir."

He walked to my desk with a document typed on legal size paper in his hand. He laid it across my desk and I looked up at him.

"This is your non-disclosure contract. It will need to be signed before you leave."

The letters were small and the line for my signature practically filled the bottom. I sighed and signed and he crinkled the paper in his fist and walked out. I would leave tomorrow and was running out of time. I looked at Jules' desk, wishing she were here, then packed my crap. It all happened too fast.

I shoved a notebook that Jules had written tons of notes inside and grabbed the CDs so I could drop the music on my phone before the flight. I had to be smart about this tour. I had to break out of my shell even if it were temporary. If nothing else, I wanted to prove Jack wrong.

Before I closed the office door, I took one last glance inside.

"Jules, you better know what you're doing or you're going to ruin me."





3





Ace




I was either my biggest fan or my worst critic, and I left no room for creative criticism when I was in one of my moods. It was self-loathing, destructive inner monologues that plagued me. Recently I noticed those thoughts leaking into my lyrics. There were times when I hated myself and other times when I loved who I was. I couldn't make up my mind. But I couldn't let my insecurities affect my performances. No weak links were allowed in this industry.

People often say money can't buy happiness, and believe me when I say that's true. Happiness was something that came from within. Real happiness was something I needed to find. I stared at the ceiling of the bus and allowed my thoughts to consume me. It had to be midafternoon by the way the light shone through the blinds.

I slipped on a faded black t-shirt and blue jeans and walked into the kitchen area and looked out the window. The bus was parked outside of the venue already and the high sun gleamed in the distance. The crew was already working on unpacking our gear and setting up the stage. Sweat formed on their brows. Damn, I knew it was hot by looking at them. Georgia in the summer was like hell. I watched for another moment as they moved in a line like ants. It blew my mind how much they accomplished in so little time.



My phone buzzed in my pocket and I pulled it out.



Rex: We're going for food. Join us?



As soon as my thumbs were in place to send a reply text, the door to the bus closed and a strong hand squeezed my shoulder.

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