Ace (Band of Brothers #1)(9)

By: Lyra Parish



"If you keep this shit up, I'm going to be you for a day Rex." Jex's nostrils were flaring.

"Pfftt. You can't pull off sexy the way I do," Rex said puckering his lips and moving his shoulders in seductive circles.

Jex shook his head while Rex continued to agitate him.

"You two are annoying. This is why we can't go anywhere, because of you kids." Nik tried to pull off the best impression of Dad, and the whole table burst into laughter. Other guests inside of the room turned and looked at us, a bunch of rowdy guys, talking and eating with our mouths open, being loud like we didn't give a fuck. Because honestly, we had no fucks to give.

The waitress moved our empty plates from in front of us and held out the check. I snatched it out of her hand and stood and pulled a few hundreds out of my wallet then handed them to her.

She tried to hand half of it back. "You gave me too much."

"No, I didn't. That's for you. Thanks for treating us like humans. Not many people do that," I said.

She tucked her lips inside of her mouth and that's when the tears started to fall. "I can pay my electric bill with this. Thank you so much." She wrapped her arms around my waist and hugged me. I patted her on the shoulder and gave her a small smile. My brothers stood, looking like towering gods, and we walked out of the place like we owned it. Maybe I'd buy it. The thought made me laugh because I probably could if I wanted to.

I placed my aviators over my eyes and looked up at the blue sky and the wisps of clouds. That color reminded me of summer and being a kid. A smile touched my lips. Summer was always my favorite time of year. Sleeping late and swimming and riding my bike around the neighborhood like a little terror during the day and piano and vocal lessons in the afternoon. I knew when I was eight years old that I wanted to be a professional musician. I'm proof that dreams do come true if you work hard and never give up.

When we got into the van, Nik spoke. "That was nice of you, Ace. I always knew you had a soft side behind that hard shell."

"Fuck you," I said and stared out the window.

Everyone constantly acted like I was heartless and that shit was starting to piss me off. I didn't do things for recognition. I didn't need it. I would have rather he not say a word about it.





4





Elizabeth




California was hot, but Atlanta, oh my God, it was scorching. I was almost certain that my skin would peel off my body as soon as the heat hit my face. Humidity—I had not missed it since I moved from Texas. My shirt stuck to my skin and beads of sweat dripped down my face and chest. Being outside was miserable. After I grabbed my luggage and strapped my soft guitar case over my back, I stopped at a little place to eat in the airport before I met the driver that would take me to Aaron's Amphitheater at Lakewood.

The whole way to the venue I thought about how I'd be a part of the actual touring crew and stay on a tour bus. Not sure how Jules pulled that one off, but then again that woman had connections I only dreamed of having. One day I'd get there, as long as I didn't fuck this up and get myself blacklisted from every prominent magazine in the world.

The driver stood in a suit with my name on a piece of paper. I felt a little special. He grabbed my bags¸ but I kept my guitar and we headed to the Cadillac that would be my ride. Wow, I thought. Phase had done something right.

When I arrived at the venue, I became a little overwhelmed by the amount of people who were already waiting outside for the show. Though Band of Brothers didn't start for another 4 hours, the line wrapped around the building. As we drove around the back of the parking lot, I saw the arena had a whole Pantheon vibe to it with the large cement pillars holding the roof from the stage. My nerves were already shot, and by the time the driver stopped in the back by the line of buses, I was tempted to ask him to bring me back to the airport. But I swallowed, grabbed my suitcase, camera, laptop, and guitar, then tipped him.

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