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Authors: Melodie Murray

Redemption Song

BOOK: Redemption Song
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Redemption Song


by Melodie Murray


Copywrite 2012 Melodie Murray
Smashwords Edition


Smashwords Edition, License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. 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 it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.





Table of Contents

Part One

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Part Two

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Part Three

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32


About the Author





Part One


Stars Weren’t His Only Creation


So the last will be first and the first last, for many be called, but few chosen.

Matthew 20:16





Chapter 1



“Oh, Ethan, come on! Don’t leave like this, baby. The party’s just getting started!”

Ethan smirked and kept walking. Truth be known, it was three o’clock in the morning and the party had
over five hours ago. But that was Vanessa. She’d say anything to get what she wanted.

Ethan was finished answering to Vanessa Snow. He didn’t even bother a backward glance as he jerked open the double glass doors that led to the balcony of the upscale Hollywood loft. Of course, a normal person would simply escape through the front door, but with Ethan being the hottest new teen pop sensation since Justin Bieber, taking the risk of meeting anyone in the apartment building on the way downstairs was absolutely out of the question—especially considering he’d partaken in a few too many Tequila shots to seem convincingly sober. No, Ethan would be taking the fire escape.

Sometimes, fame could be so glamorous.

When Ethan had climbed down as far as the steel ladder would allow, he leaped from the last rung onto the dirty concrete sidewalk below, throwing his arms out to steady his wobbly balance. Shaking the dust off of his new designer jeans, he sighed and thought,
what a day

First, he’d tried to present some new songs to his agent, only to, once again, have them shot down with the slightest of glances. (Apparently, Ethan had enough talent to play everyone else’s music, but not enough to perform his own.) Then, his mother flipped out when he refused to spend his entire night cooped up with her in their suite at the Roosevelt Hotel. Did she really think that he had nothing better to do? And, as if the aforesaid wasn’t enough, Vanessa had decided to pick a fight with him in the middle of a crowd of her friends at the party, people that Ethan had never even met!

All Ethan wanted was a little peace, some time alone to relax.

Ah, there it was. The means of escape that would grant him peace. Ethan felt a sigh of relief escape his lips as he laid eyes on the canary yellow Camero that Vanessa had convinced him to purchase upon his arrival in California. It was parked in the shadows of the alleyway, simply waiting to offer Ethan the getaway he needed.

But there was a problem. He couldn’t take the car. He’d been drinking.

Ethan allowed for a momentary pause, considering all of his options while he tried to keep his vision in focus. He could always call his mom to come pick him up . . . Ha! Yeah, right! She was furious enough with him already. There was no way he was going to admit to her that he was too drunk to drive. He knew precisely how well that would go over.

Ethan’s eyes shifted across the street. Illuminated under a flickering street lamp was a bus stop. Okay, that was an option . . . if Ethan wanted to chance finding passengers on the bus that would recognize him and want to make a little cash by turning in photos of a celebrity taking public transportation because he was too inebriated to drive himself—yep, scratch that. Ethan reached his hand into his back jean pocket and felt for his phone. He’d have to take a cab. But wait. He’d given all of his cash to Vanessa earlier in the evening to buy party provisions.

Ethan let out a frustrated grunt and kicked the back tire of the car. What was he going to do? He couldn’t just hang out in the alleyway all night. His eyes darted back and forth from the car to the bus stop and a burning sensation rose in his gut, as though he was fighting some inward battle against himself.

He knew better than this. He had been raised differently. But what choice did he have?

I don’t
, he decided with an inward chuckle.
I don‘t have a choice in any other area of my life; why should this be any different?

So against his better judgment, Ethan fell into the driver’s seat. He twisted the key in the ignition and the Camero’s engine revved to life. He blasted the radio in attempt to silence the pestering voice in his mind telling him that he was an idiot. It was only a drive, he kept telling himself. A drive like any other. He’d driven tired before; wasn’t that basically the same thing?

Ethan decided to allow some time to sober up a bit before heading downtown. He was fairly certain his mother was still waiting up for him at the hotel, and the last thing he needed to do was stumble into the suite and have her asking how he’d gotten there. So instead of endangering anyone on the crowded Hollywood streets, he would take a drive up the mountain where vehicles were scarce at that time of morning. What could possibly happen up there?

Ethan flashed a guarded glance down both ends of the surprisingly vacant street ahead, and determining that there were no visible cop cars, he pulled out slowly and headed for the edge of town. As he flipped through the dials of the newly installed stereo system, he finally settled on a station that fit his musical taste—102.6 Pop, Rock, and Hop. The latest Black Eyed Peas song rang out and Ethan cranked up the volume to a deafening level.

Ethan struggled to keep his focus evenly split between the road and the glowing GPS as he followed its directions to Beachwood Drive. He wondered how long it would take the effects of the liquor to wear off to the point he could face his mom again. He understood why she worried about him; he was her only child, after all. But lately, she was bordering on overbearing. “You’re only seventeen!” she’d say. “You’re changing, Ethan.” “You’re out of control.”

Ethan didn’t agree. The only thing that felt out of control to him was his career. As much as he hated to admit it, what had started out as a passion for writing music that expressed his deepest thoughts, and an uncontrollable desire to sing those thoughts to the world, now felt like nothing more than an avenue to make some money. He was never allowed to sing his own songs. He had absolutely no say in how his concert tour was set up. Lately, it seemed that all of his decisions were being made for him.

Maybe that was the reason for his recent attitude change. Writing had always been a release—a means of de-stressing and screaming onto the paper every thought that he was unwilling or too afraid to say aloud. It was a way of telling the world who he really was. But now, Ethan Carter was just a name—a product to be marketed and sold. A puppet in the game they called the music industry.

Of course, Ethan’s mom didn’t share his viewpoint. She attributed his recent ill thought judgment calls to the fact that under-age drinking laws seemed to be non-existent to a star of his caliber. Ethan had started out slowly, but fell easily into the after-party scene. A natural born entertainer, it wasn’t hard to fit in with crowds of unknown people, especially with a little liquid encouragement on his side.

It was in this scene that he met Vanessa Snow, the rich, unbelievably built daughter of Carl Snow, also known as the owner of Ethan’s record company, Platinum Spins. Vanessa was one of
girls that looked air brushed even while sleeping. She was obviously a party girl, but Ethan felt as though he’d hit the big time with Vanessa. She had enough money that he didn’t intimidate her, and although she wasn’t famous in her own right, she was well-known enough through her father’s name, she fit right in with his crowd. Granted, she was twenty years old, but that only fueled Ethan’s ego. He liked the idea of dating older women.

Ethan rolled down the windows of the Camero, expecting that it might keep him more alert, and started singing along with a dated Nickleback song. The cool night air served to be quite invigorating, further enabling Ethan’s confidence in his intoxicated driving skills. He decided that maybe he wasn’t as drunk as he’d originally expected, and pressed his foot to the gas pedal, speeding up the mountain. If he was actually getting a little time to himself for once, he might as well enjoy it. And Ethan knew exactly where he wanted to go.

To the Hollywood sign.

Of all the places for a celebrity to go in Hollywood, right? Yeah, Ethan knew it was ridiculously touristy. But truthfully, he’d never been to the lookout spot on the mountain and he wanted to go—just like all of the normal tourists.

But the farther Ethan drove up the mountain, the heavier his eyelids became. He tried singing along with the blaring radio, but it was to no avail. He couldn’t shake the grogginess that seemed to be oozing from his head to his toes like molasses being poured from a jar. He felt his consciousness slipping. A voice in the back of his mind screamed to wake up, to snap out of it! To pull over and sleep off the Tequila before he did something stupid! But the lingering haze blocked his body from responding to these subconscious warnings.

Slowly, Ethan’s eyelids gave up the fight. A black world spun inside his mind, but he was still so comfortable, so tired, so . . .


Ethan wondered. Hadn’t he been doing something? He’d been at a party. Something about a fight . . . He’d wanted to see the Hollywood sign . . .

Had he seen it yet?

No, he’d been on his way . . .

Ethan pressed past his comatose state, forcing his mind back to consciousness. He had no idea how long his eyes had been closed, but what he did know was that he was still behind the wheel of that car! Ethan popped his eyes open wide, and his stomach leapt to his throat. The road was no longer visible. A bright light was all that encompassed the entire front glass. No, make that two lights . . .


Ethan did all he knew to do, having little control over his extremities. He jerked the wheel to the left, swerving directly to the side of the oncoming vehicle, avoiding a head-on collision by mere inches. The Camero jarred up the edge of the mountainside, banging and denting with every tree it ricocheted off of. Ethan held onto the steering wheel with a grip of unnatural force. He tucked his head between his arms and screamed in a tone he’d never before heard echo from his own mouth. Ethan’s body flopped around the car’s interior like a rag doll, his seatbelt lying comfortably in its original position, having never been used since he’d bought the car. Finally, with the steep incline becoming too great for car’s current angle, the Camero flipped over on its side and skidded along the pavement until it eventually came to a screeching halt, lying perpendicular to the faded yellow lines of the dark road.

BOOK: Redemption Song
12.43Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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