Dead Serious

By: C.M. Stunich


“What the fuck?” I ask, or maybe I'm screeching. From the look on Turner's face, I think that might be a more accurate description. “The … the fuck?” I try to lower my voice, but shit's just gotten real up in here.

“Don't make me repeat it,” Dax whispers, his voice cracked and broken. “Please, don't make me say it again.” I sit down hard on the side of the bed, feeling pretty fucking stupid in my black lacy lingerie. I only agreed to wear it because … well, shit. I don't know why I even agreed to wear it. It was Turner's idea.

“What's going on?” he asks, grabbing a shirt and tugging it over his head. I guess he can tell from my facial expression that sex is off the menu for the moment. I think the downstairs has gone dry after what I just heard. “Naomi?” I swallow hard and adjust myself, moving the phone from one ear to the other.

“What do you mean she's dead, Dax? She can't be dead. She's … ” A stupid narcissistic, self-aggrandizing bitch. The woman who held me virtually hostage for the last few years. Our lead singer. My ex-best friend.

“She shot herself in the fucking head.” Dax's voice drops so low, I have to strain myself to even understand what he's saying. “And now she's gone. Hayden's gone, Naomi.” His voice breaks again on the beginning of a sob.

Hayden. Is. Dead.

Hayden is dead.

“Hayden is dead,” I breathe, and Turner's brows raise.

“What the fuck?” My sentiments exactly.

I raise my eyes and meet Turner's brown eyed gaze. He's frowning heavily, standing there in his black boxer shorts and scratching at the hard muscles on his lower belly in thought. I squeeze the fingers of my free hand against the floral bedspread. I don't know how to feel right now. Some part of me wants to jump for joy, praise the Gods of Rock that Hayden is dead, but a deeper, more human part of me wants to fucking weep. Hayden was so broken and shattered; she wasn't even a whole person anymore. I hated her yes, but I also felt sorry for her.

“Naomi?” A woman's voice comes through on the line. “I'm sorry, but Dax just dropped his phone. I think he's in shock.” It takes me a second to figure out who I'm talking to. Sydney. My skin breaks out in goose bumps, and I have to fight back a small wave of jealousy. I'm not unhappy with the decisions I've made, but seeing this woman waltz in here and take Dax's attentions, just like that? It's weird. Really weird. I mean, I think I like her. She did backtalk America after all.

“Understandable,” I say, and the word comes out flat. I am in fucking shock. I fall to my back on the bed and throw an arm over my face. Sydney clears her throat, and then I hear the sound of a door opening and closing over the line.

“Sorry. I had to let myself out of there.” I listen to the sounds of traffic layered behind her voice and wonder where they're at right now. The police station I presume? “Look, there's more to this than just Hayden.” Sydney clears her throat again. “I don't really know how to say this without betraying Dax's trust, but … there was a girl.”

“A girl?” I echo as Turner climbs onto the bed next to me and puts his ear next to the phone. One of his warm hands slides across my bare belly, and my heart skips a beat. Shit. I don't know how to deal with this whole couple thing. It's weird for me to be in such an intimate relationship with a man who I once idolized, then demonized, and now … There is so much going on. So, so, so, so much.

“A girl from Dax's past. Hayden murdered her before she, you know. Boom.” Sydney pauses. “I imagine you'll be hearing from your manager or something soon. Brayden's guys were relaying this all over the phone to him. Dax just thought you should hear it from him first.”

I don't know how to respond to that, so I let Turner take the phone when he tries to pry it from my fingers.

“Yeah, alright, thanks,” he says, sounding strangely contemplative. “I'm worried about that little emo bitch. Don't know how well his pansy ass can handle tragedy. Keep him safe and warm, eh?” Turner hangs up the phone and tosses it onto the nightstand with a sigh. I can sense his eyes as they slide over to me, judging my mood. Can't be an easy thing to do considering I'm not even sure what that is. “Ding, dong, the bitch is dead, right?” he asks, but he doesn't sound all that sure of himself either.

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