Authors: Heidi Hutchinson
Learn To Fly
By Heidi R Hutchinson
2013 Heidi R Hutchinson
Design: Heidi R Hutchinson
Design: Heidi R Hutchinson
by Damien Lovegrove
Hillary Hanson and J. Dan Barnes
part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic
or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval
systems, without permission in writing from the author. The only
exception is by a reviewer, who may quote short excerpts in a review.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places,
and incidents either 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.
they call them betas but
I will always think of you as the alpha
since you were the first believer
Two years ago
Luke rubbed his eyes, trying to clear the aggravation
and exhaustion from his head simultaneously. His mind raced with
flashes and images of the previous six months, compiling a staggering
montage of lights, music, chicks, booze, fights, landmarks, more
booze, plane flights, brawls, interviews, parties and even more
This isn't how it's supposed to happen.” He
realized his words were probably a waste in the quiet hospital room.
It didn't matter. He had some things he needed to get off his chest
and Mike was the only one he told things to. Ever.
We were gonna become mega rock stars and see the
world, remember that? We had a deal. We promised we wouldn't do all
the stereotypical bull crap that so many who'd gone before us did.
We were smarter than that.”
He sighed heavily and ground his teeth together at the
lack of argument that came from the still figure in the bed. Luke
would prefer a straight out brawl to the steady sound of the
ventilator and gentle beeping of the bedside monitor.
He wished Mike would defend himself. Shout and yell,
give him an excuse or explanation. But the soft hum of the machines
keeping him alive was the only response.
The past twenty-fours had been the worst kind of wake-up
call Luke had ever received. He'd been at a bar with Blake, ignoring
Carl's incessant cellphone harassment. All while his best friend and
drummer had been rushed to a local hospital for a drug overdose. By
the time Carl got through to them, Mike was already in a coma.
No one knew what Mike had taken, but Luke suspected it
was heroin. The toxicologist would know soon enough. The real
question, the one that had Luke's stomach tied into a thousand and
one knots, was whether or not Mike had done it on purpose.
You can't die.” Luke said sternly, his
hands raking back his dirty blonde hair. “I need you to wake
up so I can kick your ass.”
He should have seen this coming. He knew Mike was
upset. He had been for most of the tour but Luke was too busy
having...a good time. He didn't want to get weighed down by Mike's
sour disposition. So he had started avoiding him. Ignoring him.
I'm sorry,” his voice cracked as emotion
filled his throat. “I should have been there. I would've
But that was a lie. Luke had spent the majority of the
tour completely wasted, he wouldn't have known what to do at all. It
was a miracle that Carl, their ever-loyal tour manager, had checked
on Mike on a hunch. And it still might not have been in time.
Seriously, wake up.” Luke said again,
swallowing hard. “I don't know what happened with Ilsa and I
don't know where we go after all of this but I promise...I promise
you won't go through it alone. And I promise I'll be the brother to
you that you always were for me.”
Hot tears dripped down Luke's face. “But you
can't die...You just can't.”
Lenny glanced down at the silver and
pearl face of her watch again.
more minutes, plenty of time.
She pulled open the large glass door to the downtown Los Angeles
business building. Her blonde hair reflected briefly in the mirrors
behind the front desk as she strode purposefully past security to the
elevators around the corner. Going to an interview in a building
where her father owned half the floors gave her a twinge of guilt,
but nothing more.
The lobby was a smattering of suits, briefcases and
clacking high heels. Lenny pressed the button to the lift, shifted on
her feet considering her options, and then started up the stairs
She took the stairs two at a time at a full sprint,
taking advantage of the need to expel some of her nervous energy. She
didn't bother removing her high heels and smirked to herself at how
stubborn she was about even the smallest things. She couldn't
squelch the anticipation that built in her with every stride; as if
she was finally headed in a direction that was taking her somewhere
better than where she had been. Her long legs quickly carried her to
the third floor where she exited, barely winded. She straightened her
pressed white blouse and strode to the receptionist’s desk
The woman behind the desk looked up at Lenny's approach
with a practiced smile. “May I help you?” Her deep red
hair was pulled back into a tight bun and her wide green eyes were
framed by thick, trendy glasses.
I have an appointment with
Jerry Douglas,” Lenny responded professionally, “My name
is Lenny Evans.” She almost hesitated saying her full name,
but decided that it was highly doubtful the receptionist would
recognize it. The woman gave her a split-second double -take; Lenny
kept her face impassive. The woman narrowed her eyes slightly but
waved her to a seat with a perfectly manicured hand and picked up the
phone to announce her arrival.
Lenny sat in the chair stiffly. She hated the scratchy
fabric of her dress pants against her legs and the pinch that
accompanied wearing heels. Hopefully it would be worth it. She could
suffer a few minutes of physical discomfort if it meant changing the
direction her life had been going. Nearly any new direction would be
welcome at this point.
She adjusted her small purse on her lap, more practical
than eye catching, and thought again about the conversation she'd had
with Simone the night before.
Simone, the long-suffering girlfriend of her brother
Scott, was a well-established photographer from the east coast. At a
shoot the day before, she had overheard a conversation involving an
immediate job opening and called Lenny that evening.
I didn't get a lot of details
but apparently the job is for a personal assistant and there's a lot
of travel involved.” Simone's voice was hushed, as if she
didn't want anyone to overhear her. That made sense, she was
probably with Scott. And if Scott knew Lenny was looking for a way
out he'd pitch a fit. Older brothers tended to assume they could run
the lives of their siblings.
Thanks, Simone.” Lenny
scribbled down the phone number. “I owe you one.”
Lenny had called the number and set up an interview
immediately. The required travel was the most appealing part. She
needed to get away. Now. She really didn't care, apart from
prostitution or porn, what she had to do to make that happen.
Double doors opened to her right, and a short, bald man
in a suit came out to greet Lenny. When she entered the posh office,
she was surprised to see another man already sitting in one of the
chairs in front of the desk. Baldy shook her hand and introduced
himself as Jerry Douglas.
This is Carl Darrow,” he
motioned to the second man who had already stood up and was reaching
his hand to Lenny’s.
His attire was very different from Mr. Douglas, wearing
plain blue jeans, a faded green t-shirt and scuffed cowboy boots. She
noted his hand was calloused when she shook it and his posture
indicated he was just as uncomfortable in his surroundings as she
was. His brown eyes narrowed at her and he ran a hand roughly
through his hair as he looked her up in down and failed to hide his
Lenny, is it?” He asked,
his voice edged with annoyance.
Lenny nodded and smiled, “Or Lenna. It was my
We sorta thought you were a
guy from your resume.” He waived at the paper on Jerry's desk
that she had faxed over that morning. He didn't even try to hide his
disappointment as he seated himself again and Lenny heard Jerry sigh
Happens all the time,”
Lenny tried to reassure him, taking a seat in the chair Jerry offered
her. She avoided crossing her legs completely and just crossed her
ankles, turning her knees out to the side in the most ladylike
posture she could manage.
The men exchanged glances and both sat down. Lenny got
the impression they had already made their decision but were going to
go ahead with the interview anyway. She swallowed hard and squared
This job might be a
little…unconventional for you,” Jerry began, searching
for the right words, trying to be delicate. “It’s long
days, long nights, hard physical labor and you’d be on the road
constantly.” His eyes skittered around his desk and his hands
straightened his pen, then his name plate, then his pen again.
Is it because I'm a chick?”
She asked, seeing the slight break in his serious demeanor and his
eyes flicked to Carl.
Carl slouched back in his chair and rubbed his chin with
his fingertips. “No, it's 'cause you're pretty.”
Lenny felt her mouth tug up slightly on one side. She
could see him measuring her, gauging her reaction, testing her. So
she remained silent.
Carl studied her placid silence for a long while. But
it was Jerry who asked the next question. “What makes you think
that being an assistant is where you'd...fit?”
I'm organized, I work hard and
I have nothing keeping me in town,” she answered honestly.
“I'm not afraid of dirt and sweat and I know I can do the job
Carl watched closely as Lenny and Jerry discussed the
ins and outs of the job. She was focused on Jerry but her expansive
eyes would flit around the room occasionally, as if taking inventory.