Bad Beats: A Rock-Star Step-Brother Romance

BOOK: Bad Beats: A Rock-Star Step-Brother Romance
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A Rock-Star Step-Brother Romance

 

C.L. Riley

Bad Beats

A Rock-Star Step-Brother Romance

 

By C.L. Riley

 

Copyright 2016 C.L. Riley

First Edition

 

Names, characters, and incidents depicted in this book are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental and beyond the intent of the author or the publisher.

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the written prior permission of the author/publisher. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of 250,000.00 (www.fbi.gov/ipr). Please purchase only authorized electronic or print editions and do not participate or encourage electronic piracy of copyright material. Your respect of the author’s rights is appreciated

 

 

Book design by
Swish Design & Editing

Editing by
Gemma Newey

Cover design by
Gemma Newey

Cover image Copyright 2016

Blurb

 

He's a household name. Posters of his tattooed body are plastered across bedroom walls from San Francisco to Singapore. Women want to be with him. Men want to be him. He's brash, bold, and bossy as hell, and he is about to become my employer and my step-brother, which wouldn't be so bad; except...

 

He's already been my lover.

 

Hot Scoop Magazine's Sexiest Performer Alive, Sean 'Shag' Steal, is the front-man for Crude Element, the hottest band on the scene. With every song he pens, blazing up the charts, he's got the world at his feet.

 

Attempting to change his public image as a kinky, womanizing pig, hasn't stopped his wayward ways. I should know.

 

He played me his music. He played with my body. And he played with my heart, leaving it tattered in tiny painful pieces, nearly broken beyond repair.

 

I was finally putting the pieces back together, when his mother and my father decide to blindside us. They're getting married!

 

Could things get any worse? The answer to that question is a resounding yes.

 

Pushed by my dad to replace Shag's former PA, I find myself working for the one man who lives to torment me. He won't take 'no' for an answer, and he always gets what he wants. This time he wants me back in his bed, at least until our parents say, 'I do.' I have to resist. There is no way I can handle another heartbreak.

 

If only he hadn't earned his silly nickname because of his 'shagging' skills, resisting would be so much easier.

 

 

Warning: This book is for mature audiences and contains sexual situations, language, drug use, and subject matters some readers may find offensive. If you like dark, damaged bad boys, you're in the right place.

Dedication

 

To anyone and everyone who ever showed me how magic could overcome madness and how love conquers hate.

Acknowledgments

 

There are so many people who need to be recognized when it comes to creating a book. I need to say thank you to my kids. Jordyn and Jade, you two have put up with a single mom who works a day job and writes at night, sometimes very late at night (more like the wee hours of the morning). You’ve seen me tired and grumpy (manic) but understand what this means to me. Love you both!

Thank you to all the Rock-Stars I had the privilege to meet and mingle with back in the late 1970’s and 1980’s. Yes, I was a groupie. Shame on me! But it was so much fun. For stories about this crazy time in my life, you can find me on social media. Contacts listed in the back of this book.

Thank you to my friends. Times have been hard this past year, especially with numerous health challenges. I couldn’t do what I do without you.

To my amazing group of beta readers (Addison, Andrea, Angel, Caroline, Teresa, Two Tracy’s, Mandie, Gemma, and anyone I am forgetting.) And thank you to my incredible author friends (too many to list) who are willing to help when you too are busy with your writing careers. Thank you to the bloggers and book pimps like (Rosa, Francesca, Mary Orr, Angel Dust, Rosarita Reader, Roxanne Rhoads, Blogging for the Love of Authors and their Books, and all the rest…again too many to list them all) who help spread the word for authors. You rock!

And readers, thank you for choosing this book when there is such an abundance of awesome authors and stories available. I am honored. Thank you for taking time to write reviews and for sharing your thoughts. Cheers to my awesome and talented editor cover designer for this book, Gemma Newey, who is an author in her own right. Check her out and congratulate her on her new baby!
Click here for Gemma Newey’s Facebook Page

Also thank you Swish Design & Editing for your last minute assistance. You finally made real chapter links for me. To learn more about their comprehensive author services visit here:
Swish Design and Editing Website

Prologue

 

Shag Steal

 

“I like people who shake other people up and make them feel uncomfortable.”

– Jim Morrison

 

Shifting from foot to foot, I can’t wait to own the stage, eager to feast on my adoring fans. I’m like a vampire, sucking the crowd’s swelling vein, feeding on their energy and the way they worship my music. Adrenaline pumps through me, taking me ten stories higher than the blow I just snorted in the dressing room.

Hang on. Don’t go all preachy on me, and don’t judge; and whatever you do, don’t confuse me with some desperate street addict. I’m not dependent on any chemical, just a rock-star who likes a boost before the lights flash and the fans roar.

Booze, blow, and of course, a nice fat blunt – are vital for any progressive rock n’ roller – and always on hand, thanks to my dedicated personal assistant. A critical part of my PA’s job description is to keep up with my consumption of the ‘Three B’s. Considering I consume all three—before, during, and after our performances—I keep Misty very busy.

When we finally reached the coveted number one spot on the charts, Misty got a raise. When we hit number one, three times in a row, she received an obscene bonus. She’s damn good at her job and gives an even better blowjob. Like the rest of the Crude Element ‘family’ her compensation is high, encouraging confidentiality and unfailing devotion. I demand both from my staff. From roadies to upper management, I value and expect loyalty above all else.

Growing up, my dad’s adopted adage and the one positive thing I learned from him, “Scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours,” stuck with me. Because of that timeless wisdom I’ve always been generous and will reward you if you’re backing me and mine.

There’s a flipside too.

Don’t share private shit about me or my band, if you do, expect to be blacklisted. On my team, backstabbers get one strike before they’re out. A former friend prompted the need for my tougher, no-tolerance-for-BS stance.

Not wanting to think about friends turned enemies, I lean around the curtain and stacks of equipment cases to study our opening act.

Killer Refux is on their second encore, something that pisses me off. One encore, if any, is enough for an opener. Their lead singer, Tramp, a hardcore biker, is screaming the lyrics to their most popular song. In my opinion, what I hear, doesn’t qualify as music. I could bang on a pail and screech, getting the same result. The audience has been approving for the most part, but not enough to warrant a second return to the stage.

I don’t need to look to know my own band mates wait impatiently nearby, ready to take their positions. Stix is no doubt, twirling his drumsticks and grinning like the maniac he is, both on and off the stage. Our rhythm guitar player, Roxie, the only girl in Crude Element, is probably applying her tenth coat of Berry Blast lipstick. Stix’s twin, Marx, two minutes younger, will be taking a final swig from his ever-present bottle of Jack, ready to match his twin’s beats with his bass. Slyder, our lead guitarist, is off rubbing on his wife’s expanding belly. As the only one in a serious relationship, he’s an anomaly. But as long as he keeps his licks fresh and his solos hot, I don’t care how many kids his girl pops out.

Crude Element has been making music together since high school, never expecting the level of success we’ve somehow managed to achieve in just five years. We’re talented, but so are a ton of other bands. What makes us more marketable?

Okay, I won’t lie; we’re some good looking motherfuckers, which doesn’t hurt, and our pasts are interesting, plenty of angst, grief, and drama. We’ve also had our fair share of newsworthy catastrophes, despite all the confidentially agreements and my commitment to banishing backstabbers. It doesn’t help that the paparazzi are relentless and creative, finding ways inside places a snake couldn’t slither into. 

Making it worse, is my reputation as a controlling, womanizing,
sex machine
(some second-rate, celebrity website actually gave me that title) who likes whips, chains, and handcuffs. I’ve been known to tie up a girl or two. And I won’t lie; I enjoy spanking a nice round ass. So what? Don’t get what the problem is. What I do in my hotel room or at the exclusive adult club I belong to is my business.

Unfortunately, what I do has become
everyone’s
business after a rendezvous with Senator Winchester’s virginal daughter went public. I’d just been featured as
Hot Scoop Magazine’s
Sexiest Performer Alive when the story broke. What should have been a private hookup turned into a very public incident, thanks to my over-active mouth, fueled by too much booze and a savvy interviewer who took advantage of my inebriated state. What a fucking fiasco. Because of that mess, I’ve been ordered by our record label’s handlers to stay out of the spotlight, except on stage.

For someone like me that isn’t an easy task, especially with the pap-hounds hungry as ever and on my heels, looking to sink their teeth into the next big scandal.

Well, I gave them something to write about, but not what they expected or wanted.

In select cities, the band is hosting a series of VIP meet-and-greet parties. Tonight is the final event. Ten lucky winners, from each stop, will be entered in a drawing to take an all-expense, paid cruise with us.

Personally, I don’t see what the all the hype is about, but the radio stations have played the whole thing up, creating a furor of excitement. The promotion has also increased record and digital sales, and we’re getting good press for once. I have no complaints about that.

What I can complain about is the fact I will be forced to put on a smile when I’d rather smirk, sign autographs, pose in selfies, and answer stupid fucking questions after the show. Typically, I don’t mind those tasks, but this is our last concert before the cruise next week. I want to get high and take a couple of groupies I spotted backstage to the hotel, for some up close and personal time with Crude Element’s lead singer ― that being me, of course. Because of the contest, I’ll have to put my post-concert amusement on hold.

A drumstick jabs me in the back. “Shag, man. It’s time.”

Stix’s prodding brings me back to the moment, where I belong.
It’s time all right. Show time!

Tramp and his leather-clad posse’ swagger from the stage, drenched in sweat and amped up, basking in the energy tonight’s crowd has so generously bestowed, the energy I plan to tap into and take to a level that Killer Refux can’t begin to imagine.

After a couple of handshakes, high fives and congratulatory remarks, we’ve done our duty as the headliner and rush onto the now-darkened stage. The audience screams and stomps, and the light, courtesy of 15,000 cell phones and glow sticks, shines throughout the auditorium, piercing the shadows. I even spot a few fans that have gone old school, the tiny flames from their lighters, flickering amongst a sea of technology.

My mood skyrockets, soaring beyond any worries about after show parties, rabid fans, or the paparazzi. This is what I live for, sharing our music with the world, one stage at a time. Rock n’ Roll always trumps sex and drugs. Nothing compares.

Marx picks at his bass and Stix joins in, building the beat on his drums. The guitars are next, leading into one of our number one singles,
Hard Drive
.

Wearing my jeans, slung low on my hips, I know the waistband of my Diesel boxer briefs is on display for the ladies. I’m shirtless, exposing my tattooed muscles to my admiring followers.

Yes, I’m conceited. I work fucking hard to stay in shape. What I do on stage is a workout in itself.

“Portland, Oregon!” I shout as the auditorium lights come on, bathing the audience in their bright glow and giving me my first real look at the sold out stadium. “How does it feel to be last but not least?”

Portland is our final show after six months on the road. This city is about to get rocked hard.

They scream louder, if that’s even possible. Everyone is on their feet now, jumping, fists pumping ― everyone except one lone female in the front row. 

What the fuck?

I know by the seating arrangement, she’s in the contest winners’ section, front row, stage left. I can see a laminated, all-access pass, hanging from a glittery lanyard around her neck. She’s dressed conservatively, in a t-shirt and faded jeans. Her hair is long and unruly, but the lights give me a perfect view of the radiant color.

She’s a redhead.

I don’t do redheads, ever. My first and only heartbreak was caused by a crimson-haired beauty.

This girl pushes up her glasses and fiddles with her cell phone, clearly uninterested in what’s happening on stage and the mayhem unfolding around her. A cute blonde, to her right, smacks her shoulder and points at me.

Shit.
I’m busted.

I gift them with my famous, panty-melting grin. They both blush, but the redhead just shakes her head and goes back to her phone. Her friend, on the other hand, does what any sane female should do; she lifts up her top and flashes her lacy bra.

I laugh, “Portland, you’ve got some fine ass women up in here!” I wink at another front row contest winner who swoons. I’m thinking she might pass out before the first song.

Launching into the lyrics, the lights dim and the room rocks with the music. I belt out the words, my voice gravely and deep.

Everyone is dancing, jumping, singing along with me ― everyone except the redhead in the front row ― who looks like she’s being forced to watch sea turtles mate.

I strut around the stage, like the rock-star I am, glancing her way every few seconds, tempting her to meet my gaze. Her friend nudges her again, but Miss-Bored-Out-of-Her-Mind doesn’t bother looking up.

There is a first time for everything, it seems.

I’ve just been ignored.

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