Having Hope (The Blow Hole Boys Book 4) (7 page)

BOOK: Having Hope (The Blow Hole Boys Book 4)
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“Thank you, Hope,” he said from behind me.

His words were soft and meaningful. His words were honest, and I wanted to hate him more, but I couldn’t. Something about his behavior was throwing me off my game.

“It’s fine.”

The doors opened as soon as the words left my mouth, and I stepped in. He followed, going to the other side of the elevator and pressing his back against the wall. Once again, we were alone.

I pushed the button for his floor and pressed my back against the wall across from him.

“You shouldn’t get this fucked up, Chet,” I said to fill the stagnant air surrounding us.

He didn’t say anything. Instead, he nodded and turned away.

Why wasn’t he saying anything?

Why wasn’t he defending his actions?

Chet was the kind of guy who would.

When the elevator beeped and opened on the fifteen floor, I stepped off, and he followed. I could hear his heavy boots on the carpet with each step he took until finally we were standing in front of his door.

The entire situation was uncomfortable for me. For months throughout the Rock Across America tour, I’d kept my distance. I’d been doing the same on this tour, but being caught alone with Chet was wrecking my nerves.

“Here you are,” I said, as I turned away. “I think you can take it from here.”

I started back toward the elevator when again a hand on my arm stopped me. My teeth gritted together in aggravation. I was irritated with him for touching me, but I was also annoyed with myself for liking it so much.

I looked back, my eyes landing on his, and the honesty there sickened me. His brown eyes swallowed me whole, locking me in place.

He was good. He was so fucking good at playing the lost and afraid cards. It only made me hate him more.

“Please don’t tell the guys about this,” he requested.

I didn’t respond.

Instead, I nodded and shook his hand off my arm.

I didn’t breathe again until I was in the elevator alone. And it wasn’t until I was in bed and about to fall asleep that the memories of Chet came rushing over me.

Our night together many moons before.

The repercussions of that night.

And the feeling I had when I handed over my heart and left myself feeling empty and broken.

It didn’t matter what Chet had gotten into. I couldn’t let him get back in my head. I couldn’t let myself see him as anything more than the piece of shit who crumpled me between his fingers.

I hated Chet, and when I fell asleep that night, I went to sleep with renewed purpose to stay away from him, while staying as friendly as possible.

The girls could never know about my past, and Chet could never know the weight I carried around on my shoulders every day. I’d do whatever necessary to make sure that didn’t happen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since my diagnosis, I’d had some strange shit go down, but this was new. A few years back, I went blind for two days, which was the main reason I’d gone to the doctor in the first place. A few weeks after that, the migraines started.  But I could say with complete surety that I’d never felt this way before.

I was lost and confused with no clue whatsoever as to where I was. My heart began to beat so fast, I was afraid it was going to leap from my chest. My hands were tingling and shaking, and sweat pushed from my body in sticky waves. Dizziness swooped in, leaving me feeling unbalanced and unsure of moving.

For the first time in my life, I panicked. I hadn’t even panicked that badly when I went blind, but there I was, freaking out like a scared little bitch boy.

I didn’t know panic. I didn’t understand the concept of how a person could be afraid of essentially nothing, but I was scared for my life. I was afraid because I was dying, which was funny considering I’d been staring death in the face every day for the past few years.

I was usually a laid-back guy. Nothing ever got to me. Mostly because of my no-care attitude, but also because fuck it, life was going to end when it was my time, but I wasn’t seeing it that way at that moment.  At that moment, I was grabbing on to life with greedy hands and flipping out.

I stood in the tilting hallway trying to get back to my room, and nothing looked familiar to me. The walls were closing in, and the long hallway of doors reminded me of a horror movie I’d once seen. And at that moment, the air left my lungs and everything began to spin even faster. I struggled to breathe, grasping at the tiny bits of oxygen I could find with ravenous lungs.

I didn’t know where I was, and for a few seconds, I think I forgot who I was, as well. I wasn’t going to make it out of the hallway alive. I wasn’t going to survive. I was dying. Right there, in the middle of a hallway in a hotel in Vegas, I was going to die.

It wasn’t the drinks. It wasn’t the smoke. It wasn’t a bad high from our night out. Honestly, I hadn’t taken anything, and while I used to drink myself stupid, I’d cut myself off an hour before leaving.

No.

This wasn’t something I’d caused.

It was a symptom.

It wasn’t until I saw Hope’s face that reality came crashing back into me like an icy saltwater wave. I focused on her face, which was the only thing familiar to me, and I let my eyes move over her until my heart rate began to slow.

Her hair was pulled up and away from her face. Her cheeks were flushed from our night out and too many drinks. And when she looked at me, I felt her gaze everywhere—waking me up—sending me spiraling back into the now.

Heavily lined dark eyes captured mine and the oxygen came rushing back into my lungs like a tidal wave. She was literally the only thing I could hold onto on the entire Earth at that moment. I couldn’t look away from her because I was afraid if I did, I’d dissolve into nothing and die.

Her body stiffened beneath my gaze, and her teeth sunk into her bottom lip. At that moment, she was everything holding me together. Everything paused around us, and I could hear my hard breaths. The spiraling stopped, and the oxygen continued to rush into me.

I didn’t take my eyes off her until she left me at my door. And once she left me, I stared at the dark wood and wondered what the fuck was happening. The room was cool when I entered. And instead of turning on a light, I crept across the room in the darkness and collapsed against the bed, feeling as though I was being sucked into the mattress. 

I didn’t sleep that night. Instead, I lay there thinking about how lost I’d felt trying to get back to my room. I thought about how fast my heart was beating, and the absolute fear of how it felt to slowly die.

That was what was happening in the hallway. I was sure of it. But Hope had saved me, which was strange considering how much she despised me. I’d have to thank her at some point, which was going to suck since I couldn’t admit to her what was really happening to me. 

Relief came about an hour after she dropped me at my room, and I continued to feel better throughout the night. The confusion slowly melted away, leaving only the embarrassment of being seen so weak and a raging migraine.

I hated that Hope had seen me so fucked up. I’d have to talk to her and make sure she didn’t tell the guys. I’d have to convince her that I’d taken something. I’d make her think I’d been drugged out of my fucking mind and drunk off my ass. Anything to take attention away from the fact that something was obviously wrong with me.

I’d gone this long without anyone finding out, so I couldn’t drop the ball in the middle of a tour. I couldn’t let shit fall apart right as Blow Hole was tearing up the charts and becoming a household name. I wouldn’t let that happen. I’d squash any ideas she had floating around that pretty little head of hers, and I’d fill her mind with something else.

I knew what made me delusional. I knew where the confusion came from, but I didn’t need anyone else to know. So I’d say and do whatever it took to make sure she believed me. I could hardly wait until the sun came up and I could go to her and fix things.

 

*****

 

The next morning, I climbed from bed after staring at the ceiling all night. I took a hot shower and got dressed. I hated confronting Hope since I knew she despised me for whatever crazy reason she had planted in her mind, but I needed to get to her before she met up with the girls and told them everything.

Constance would know something wasn’t right, and she’d go to Tiny. It would be a domino effect from that point on until Zeke, Finn, and Tiny were all breathing down my back looking for answers I wasn’t ready to give. It was the last thing I wanted. It was the last thing the band needed.

I took the elevator down to the tenth floor. I wasn’t sure what room she was in, but I’d knock on every fucking door on the floor if I had to. Luckily, I didn’t have to do that. Once I took three steps down the long hallway of doors, she stepped out from her room as if I’d conjured her.

Shutting the door behind her, she turned my way and went still.

“Can we talk?” I asked, knowing she would probably turn me down.

She stood there, stuck beneath my gaze as I took in her thin T-shirt, which showed her dark bra underneath, and her tight jeans. Her hair was down and wet from her shower, making the rainbow colors in her hair muted and darker.

Her elfin face was clear of all makeup, making her look younger and somewhat familiar, which made no sense to me. Of course, she looked familiar. I’d seen her often over the last three months.

She reached up and pushed her wet hair from her clean face. I loved that about Hope. She could dress up, lining her dark eyes and adding color to her lips, or she could dress down in her jeans and T-shirts and put her hair in knotted updos. But at the same time, she didn’t give a fuck about what she looked like, and something about that made her sexy as hell.

She nodded and stuck the card key into her door to open it again. Once the door was open, she went inside, and I followed her in.

Her room was clean, her clothes organized and tucked away. It wasn’t what I imagined Hope’s room to look like. She was so rock ‘n’ roll, so fucking crazy. I pictured a room that looked as if a hurricane had hit it. I imagined the maid services cursing her as they cleaned her room every day.

It looked as if the maid service had already come through. Her bed was made, the sheets and covers tucked perfectly, but I knew it was still too early for that.

She set her card key on the table by the door and stepped farther into the room. Picking at her chipped black nail polish, she stood, nibbling her bottom lip.

“What do you want, Chet?”

She was annoyed.

I didn’t blame her.

I was annoyed with myself, too.

“I want to talk about last night.” The words were sticky on my tongue.

She shrugged. “There’s nothing to talk about.”

Not true.

We had a ton to talk about, and she wasn’t leaving until I was sure she would keep what happened between us.

She moved toward the door again as if our conversation was over.

It wasn’t.

“I fucked up last night.” I chuckled, trying to cover my anxiety. “I mixed some pills with my drinks. Anyway, I just wanted to apologize for fucking with you last night,” I lied.

I hadn’t mixed anything with anything, but she didn’t need to know that.

She didn’t respond.

Instead, she stood there with her arms crossed staring me down. I could tell by her expression that she could sense I was lying. I wasn’t very good at telling lies since I never did. I didn’t need to. I was blunt and usually didn’t give a fuck, but this time was different. I needed her to believe it was drugs and not anything else.

Finally, she nodded and looked away. She stared at the curtained windows of her room, the sun sending yellow beams of light into her tidy room.

“I’ve never seen you act like that,” she stated.

She’d never paid any attention to me, so I wasn’t sure what that meant. On occasion, I’d catch her staring at me, but that was rare and usually when she was drunk. As far as I knew, I was the last person on Earth she wanted to give an ounce of attention to.

“I’m sure you’ve never seen me act a lot of ways.”

She shook her head. “No. I’ve been on tour with you twice now. I’ve seen you do stupid shit. I’ve watched you with a different woman every day. I’ve seen you so drunk you couldn’t stand—so high you couldn’t stop smiling—but I’ve never seen you lost and confused. I’ve never seen you afraid.”

Fuck.

This wasn’t good.

I had to figure out a way to fix this. I had to think of a way to make my ‘too many drugs and drink’ story stick. Either that or I had to take her mind off it completely, and there was only one sure way I could do that.

“So you watch me, huh?” I smirked, changing the subject to something I was comfortable with.

Flirting and sex.

She turned away from the windows and her eyes landed on mine. They were wide, as if she’d been caught doing something she wasn’t supposed to do.

“That’s not what I’m saying,” she said quickly.

She crossed her arms once again, her arms pushing her tits up higher as if she were serving them up for me.

I moved. Being closer to her was suddenly something I desired. I wanted to smell her freshly shampooed hair and feel her soft skin beneath my fingers. I wanted to taste her. All things I couldn’t really do, but all things I knew would send her mind reeling in the opposite direction of last night’s situation.

She backed away with each step I took in her direction, and I grinned when I saw her throat tighten with her nervous swallow.

“That’s what it sounded like to me.” I moved closer, my knee brushing hers. “It sounds to me like you can’t keep your eyes off me.”

Her breathing accelerated, her chest rising and falling quickly. I was getting to her. I’d never thought it was possible with how obviously she hated me, but I was definitely getting to her.

“You’re pissing me off,” she threatened, her hand going to my chest as she pushed me away. “Stop, Chet.”

“Stop what? Stating the truth?”

Her eyes narrowed, and her lips pinched in anger.

“This is bullshit.” She sighed.

I wasn’t expecting that reaction.

“What’s bullshit?”

She pushed at my chest again, and this time, I moved away from her.

“Twiggy says I should try to be your friend. She says it would be better for the tour if I could get along with you.”

Her words sounded familiar. I’d gotten the same speech from Finn.

“But I can’t be your friend if you’re pushing up on me and shit. I’m never going to fuck you. Never. If you can accept that, then maybe we can get along well enough to get through this fucking tour. But if not, I can promise I will put my fist through your face.”

Well, fuck.

That was about as blunt as it got.

My respect for her moved up several notches, and I felt myself backing away even farther from her.

I nodded my understanding. “I can accept that. But if we’re going to be friends, I need something other than sex from you.”

BOOK: Having Hope (The Blow Hole Boys Book 4)
6.98Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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