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Authors: A.m Madden

Back-Up

BOOK: Back-Up
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Back-Up

A.M. Madden

Published by A.M. Madden at Smashwords

Copyright ©2013 A.M. Madden

First Edition, ebook-published 2013

ISBN:

All rights reserved worldwide. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without the written permission of the author, except where permitted by law.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.

The use of artist and song titles throughout this book are done so for storytelling purposes and should in no way been seen as advertisement. Trademark names are used in an editorial fashion, with no intention of infringement of the respective owner’s trademark.

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient.  If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or if it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

 

BACK-UP

By: A.M. Madden

Table of Contents

Chapter 1-Leila

Chapter 2-Jack

Chapter 3-Leila

Chapter 4-Jack

Chapter 5-Leila

Chapter 6-Jack

Chapter 7-Leila

Chapter 8-Jack

Chapter 9-Leila

Chapter 10-Jack

Chapter 11-Leila

Chapter 12-Jack

Chapter 13-Leila

Chapter 14-Jack

Chapter 15-Leila

Chapter 16-Jack

Chapter 17-Leila

Chapter 18-Jack

Chapter 19-Leila

Chapter 20-Jack

Chapter 21-Leila

Chapter 22-Jack

Chapter 23-Leila

Chapter 24-Jack

Chapter 25-Leila

Chapter 26-Jack

 

Chapter 1-Leila

 

 

Calm down, Leila

Nervously tapping my foot, I keep repeating the same words over and over in my head. I have never been this anxious or nervous in my entire life. I can’t believe
that I am here, sitting in a recording studio and waiting to audition for a real live rock band. Devil’s Lair, a band I love and have been following for years!

Every child i
s asked the rhetorical question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Since I was a little girl, I’ve wanted nothing more than to be a rock singer.

Most answer and change their minds hundreds of times bef
ore they become adults. Not me. My answer has always been the same…singing rock and roll. That’s always been my dream, mission, and goal. Two key factors played a huge role in my career choice.  First off, I can sing. Secondly, I grew up in a household that loved to listen to classic rock. I think I knew the words to
Born to Run
before I knew
The Itsy, Bitsy Spider
. Singing rock makes up as much of my DNA as being Italian does.

So needless to say, this audition is huge for me. It seems so surreal that I’m having a hard time wrapping my head
around it. I want this so badly that I’m not sure how I’ll survive the disappointment if I don’t get this job. The optimist in me tries to reason with the pessimist. Obviously getting this job would be my first choice. But if I
don’t
get the job, this is a great experience for me that can easily open other doors and opportunities. I believe in fate and I believe things happen for a reason. There’s a reason that I’m here.

It was a lucky tip that got me here. It’s very hard to get your foot in the door. I don’t have a rich famous record producer as an uncle. American Idol isn’t my thing. Hoboken, New Jersey isn’t exactly
the birthplace of rock singers either.  I constantly scour the papers for opportunities to get my voice heard. I’ve entered competitions and won many of them. Besides what I’ve been doing, I’m at a loss for other ways to put my dreams into motion. These last few years have come up empty and I’ve been increasingly getting more frustrated.

Last weekend, I was singing at our regular gig at a bar called The Zone
in Hoboken.  I sing with four guys I’ve known for most of my life. During our break, a petite girl with long blonde hair and big blue eyes strolled over to me and held her hand out. 

“Hi, I’m Patti.” The way she measured me up immediately put me on the defensive. I was a pro at declining propositions from men
, but getting hit on by a woman would be a first for me.

Cautiously I introduced myself while I shook her hand. “Leila.”

She smirked and answered, “Of course you are…that’s just perfect.”

Thinking…what the hell does that mean?  I smiled politely, while I slowly extracted my hand from her grip.
The wacko alarm was ringing loud and clear in my head
.

“Excuse me…I have to use the lady’s room.” 

She grabbed my wrist and said, “I’m dating Scott Malone.  He’s the guitar player in the band Devil’s Lair. Do you know them?”

The mention of Devil’s Lair snapped
my focus from her hand up to her pretty face and captured my attention.

“Yes, I saw them perform in the city last year. They are fantastic.” I chose not to divulge how obsessed I actually was with this band, especially with the lead singer.

“Well, they’re looking for a female back-up singer. I’m here with friends tonight, and I saw your show. I think you’d be perfect. In fact, they are holding auditions next week. Would you be interested?”

OH MY GOD
!

I was trying very hard not to bend over and start
hyperventilating in front of this total stranger.  I secretly said a silent prayer thanking the bar gods for sending Patti to The Zone this night. Maybe a guardian angel was responsible…or perhaps it was fate? Either way, a higher power
was
involved.

Patti gave me her phone number and asked for me to call her on Monday.  And so here I am three days later and about to audition as back-up singer for Devil’s Lair.

Hopefully it will open some doors for me and give me the kick in the ass I need to make my dreams come true.

My dad wishes
that my dreams weren’t so ambitious. He feels that as long as I’m choosing singing as my profession, my voice is perfect for Broadway and so he’s constantly trying to push me in that direction. Dad tries hard to be supportive. Being his only daughter, he is naturally over protective. Inexcusably, he still uses every opportunity he has to sway me. To quote him verbatim, “Living a quiet life in New Jersey, while commuting to Manhattan to star in a successful Broadway show would be a very honorable way to make a living, Leila.”

Ugh
!

A tiny,
tiny
part of me can’t blame him for trying.  Having done the school glee club thing, the church choir thing, and having really good range, my voice can easily acclimate to any musical genre…whether it’s rock and roll or Broadway.

Dad finally conceded that he lost the battle
. All things considered, he is taking it fairly well. Other than my decision to skip college and my career choice, I’ve rarely disappointed him. Dad wanted me to go to college to get a degree and have a back-up plan. I simply couldn’t justify having him spend all his money on exorbitant college bills.  I wouldn’t have learned anything that I didn’t already know. I know I can sing, and I don’t want or need a back-up plan. Cocky as that may sound, I’m good at what I do. Whether it’s as a famous rock singer or its continuing on the path I’m on now as a back-up singer in a bar band, it’s what
I
want to do.

P.S. – for the record, the famous rock singer would be my preferred choice.

Unsurprisingly, Dad wasn’t very happy hearing about Patti’s fateful visit to The Zone. I dropped it on him during our weekly Sunday brunch.  I know he loves me, and that he’s happy for me, but his eyes couldn’t conceal his trepidation. I’m a master at interpreting my dad’s looks. After spending way too much time explaining whom Devil’s Lair was, I decided to show him a video clip that I took of them a few years earlier, and a few songs I have on my iTunes account. He reluctantly admitted that they had talent.

Coincidentally, my friend Evan and I saw Devil’s Lair perform in a dive bar in lower Manhattan. We were as far back from the stage as you could get and it was dark. Even from a distance,
the lead singer Jack Lair looked edible. Looks aside, his voice had me swooning. His voice oozed sensuality.  At the time, if you would have told me that I’d one day be auditioning for them, I would have said, “Shut the eff up.”

I’ve seen a lot of bands perform, but
none have impressed me as Devil’s Lair had that night. I became a touch obsessed at the time. It wasn’t the kind of obsession that had me searching where he lived or stalking him. It was the kind where all I wanted was to listen to his voice while imagining all sorts of other stuff. What can I say? My sex life had been somewhat stagnant.

Jack finally strolls into the lobby and walks over to where I’m sitting.

Holy hell…he is gorgeous
!

I am really nervous, and my nerves are already wreaking havoc on my insides. Unfortunately, as I stand here and stare at this breathtaking specimen, I can now also thr
ow my raging libido into the fray. The combination has my stomach roiling and my lady parts throbbing…definitely not a good mix.

Seeing him on stage was nothing compared to seeing his b
eauty a few feet away. In the flesh, he is simply stunning.

“Are you Leila?” 

“Um, yes... I’m Leila.”  My response sounds completely winded.

Sweet Jesus… he is so pretty.

I’ve never been hypnotized before, but I’m guessing this is as close as it gets. I literally fall into a trance, staring at Jack while he pins me with his penetrating gaze.  A few seconds later (or maybe even minutes?), my stupefied state causes him to call my name for the second time.

“Sorry…yes, I’m Leila
. Um…my dad loves Eric Clapton, but mine is spelled differently, my mom didn’t like Clapton’s spelling...” I pause uncomfortably. “Um…sorry. Yes, I am here for the audition.”

Oh crap! Shut up Leila!
A stinging blush rises from my toes and creeps up my entire body.

Smirking he says, “So do I.”

“Excuse me?”

“Love Clapton.”

“Um…oh.” 

Um…oh?
Really
?

I sound like a complete moron.

He’s got me all flustered. Using the word
handsome
to describe Jack Lair seems inadequate.  Dark brown hair that is shorter on the sides, and is floppy, sexy, and screams
touch me
on top.  I have to hold my hands behind my back to avoid the impulse of doing just that.  His eyes are just WOW. They are a smoky grey and completely mesmerizing. The light stubble on his face subtly defines the cleft in his chin, which is square and masculine. He’s absolutely gorgeous.

I continue to devour him with my eyes
and commence a mini sex dream that plays in Technicolor glory in my mind.

His body is long and muscular.
I’m guessing he’s six-two or three? His long legs seem to go on forever in his dark denim jeans. Levi’s…God, I
love
Levi’s on a man.

Bulging biceps are straining the sle
eves of his t-shirt, which is charcoal grey and a shade darker than his eyes. It also happens to be tight enough to show a spectacular upper torso. There is a tattoo that is barely visible under his left sleeve and I’m dying of curiosity to know what it is.

Jack smiles kindly and asks, “You ready to get started?” Not trusting my voice to respond in a calm and normal manner, I simply nod.

Somehow remembering how to walk, I follow Jack out of the lobby and down a long hallway with posters of famous bands covering the walls. The band I am auditioning for today is on the precipice of fame. They just signed on for a three album record contract.  They have a tour starting this fall in North America only. The shows are at small to medium sized venues. With Jack as their lead singer and the way they sound, they are going to be huge. It’s definitely a great time for me to get on their
bandwagon
, so to speak?  That’s if I get this job. Which I now sincerely doubt since I just basically eye-fucked the lead singer in the lobby.

At the end of the hall is a small recording studio where three guys are patiently waiting for our arrival.  Behind the drum set is a really cute guy with spiky light brown hair.  Hi
s one ear is heavily pierced. He has a lip piercing and he has a really nice smile, too. I think his name is Hunter. 

To the front, left side of Hunter is a tall, very rocker looking dude.  He has lots of tattoos and is
dressed entirely in black, even sporting black sunglasses, black hair pulled back into a short ponytail, and a black bass guitar. I don’t remember his name, and maybe that’s because when I saw them perform, he scared the hell out of me? I doubt this is Patti’s boyfriend. They are the yin and yang to each other in looks.

To the right is a guy of average height
who looks more suited to be Patti’s boyfriend? Clean cut, strawberry blond hair, nice smile, and he is holding a guitar. It’s probably Scott. It’s funny though, he does not look the rocker type at all. 

Jack strolls right over to a mic
rophone that is facing a plate glass window that separates us from the control booth. A few guys are sitting at a huge panel with all sorts of buttons and lights. Unfortunately they all look bored and it makes me nervous. I have no idea what number I am in the revolving door of auditions and I hope they haven’t been doing this for days.

Standing behind them is a stunning blonde who is assessing me coolly with piercing blue eyes. She looks like a runway model in a black fitted suit without a blouse underneath. The way her arms are folded effectively displays her impressive cleavage.

Noticing another microphone positioned next to Jack, I can only assume it’s meant for me.  Panic stricken, I stand frozen. My feet won’t cooperate and they feel like they’re cemented to the floor.

“Leila, do you think you can actually stand in front of the
mic so we can hear your audition?” Someone provokes Jack to laugh by chuckling, which then causes my face to turn tomato red.

Turning back to me he says, “Leila, none of our songs have back-up vocals, so we’ll try something else. Do you know
Come Undone
, by My Darkest Days?”

Thankfully, I know this one. “Yes, I know it.”

Jack signals Hunter, who hits his sticks together twice. This prompts Scott to start playing his guitar. The song begins with a short guitar intro, and then Hunter and the bass guitarist join in when Jack begins to sing. Goosebumps appear all over my body from hearing these fantastic musicians playing a few feet away. I’m captivated as I watch Jack’s reflection in the glass. He has both hands on the mic, and his eyes are closed. He looks like he is making love to the music.

BOOK: Back-Up
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