Rock Star's Ballad (White Mist Series Book 3)

BOOK: Rock Star's Ballad (White Mist Series Book 3)
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Contents

Title

Dedication

Titles by A.P. Jensen

Prologue

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

White Mist Series

Titles by A. P. Jensen

About the Author

Rock Star’s Ballad

White Mist Series, Book 3
   

Copyright © 2015 A. P. Jensen

All rights reserved.

DEDICATION

“Never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about.”

-Winston Churchill

Titles by A. P. Jensen

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If you sign up, you can choose a free book from my catalog!

Standalone Books:

Emma’s Secret

Can’t Let Go

White Mist Series:

Hell on Heels Christmas

The Songwriter

Rock Star’s Ballad
 

Unmemorable Series:

Unmemorable

Unleashed

Cormac’s Pack:

Lost in Wolf Dreams

Cursed Ancients Series:

Clutch of the Demon

Birthright Series:

Birthright

Heart of Shadows

Prologue

Demi refused to meet her father’s eyes as she took the seat in front of his desk. She couldn’t imagine why he called her to his office. There was always work to be done at the executive offices of Ashton Hotels. She did everything perfectly so there would be no reason to talk to him. She managed to avoid him for the past two weeks.
 

“I don’t like the way you’re acting.”

That made her eyes drift up to meet his hard gaze. Her father was a tall, imposing man who had impeccable manners and a keen business sense. He was respected in business circles and beloved by his employees for having fantastic benefits. He was a family man and employees and business contacts alike enjoyed seeing Demi get involved with Ashton Hotel, which had been run by their family for generations. It was a small hotel, but had a great location a block from Times Square.

“I haven’t done anything,” Demi said quietly and resisted the urge to twist her hands together in her lap.
 

“You’re quiet,” he said in an accusing tone.
 

Demi said nothing and just waited.

“You have a future, a legacy to uphold,” he said and gestured around the grand office.
 

“I know my duty,” Demi said with quiet dignity.
 

He glared at her. “You need to get over him.”

Demi tensed and tried to tamp down emotions that rose to choke her. Her nose stung with tears and she looked away from her dad’s intent gaze.
 

“I never should have let you date him,” he muttered.
 

Her eyes whipped back to his and she found her voice. “I’m nineteen!”

“And you want to date a wannabe rock star?” His face twisted in disgust.
 

“His songs are on the radio. He isn’t a wannabe!”

Her father flicked a dismissive hand. “He’s chasing fame. He’s going to end up like his parents—in the press for drugs and stupid antics. Do you want to be associated with bad press?”

Demi wanted to clap her hands over her ears. Her father had been saying this for nearly two years. It didn’t matter that Johnny wasn’t like his parents, her father didn’t want to hear it. “He’s gone, Dad,” she said quietly. Pain filtered through her and she closed her eyes to bottle it up inside of her.

“And you’re moping around the office with bloodshot eyes,” her father rapped out. “It’s embarrassing. Floyd tells me you don’t take lunch breaks.”

Demi stared down at her hands, which trembled. “I have a lot to do.”

“We all have a lot to do. That doesn’t mean you should stop eating.”

“I’ll eat,” she said shortly and scooted to the edge of her seat. “Is that it?”

“No.”

Her back was ramrod straight and she tried to appear unaffected in front of him. He brought her up in the public eye and she was well versed in keeping her emotions in check, until now. Please, leave me alone, she silently pleaded.
 

“Have you spoken to him?”
 

She blinked hastily as tears filled her eyes. “No.”

“He was in the papers this morning. He had a wild party last night after a show.”

She said nothing, too focused on surviving this interrogation to speak.
 

“I want what’s best for you and—”

Demi wasn’t aware of leaping to her feet, but she felt her arm jolt when her hand hit his desk. Her mouth opened without her permission and shouted, “I gave him up, what more do you want?”

There was a beat of silence. She couldn’t see past the tears. She heard something crash to the floor outside. In a dim part of her mind, she knew his secretary could hear them, but she was past caring. She was being torn apart inside and she didn’t need her father to prod the ragged holes in her chest.
 

“I want you to be happy that he’s gone!” he spat at her.
 

She shook her head. “I can’t.”

“You can’t what?”
 

“I can’t be happy he’s gone,” she whispered and withdrew her hand and stood, trembling in front of his desk with tears pouring down her cheeks. The dam was broken and she didn’t know how to stop it.
 

“He’s no good for you, Demi. One day, you’re going to take my place. Johnny will never settle down. If he succeeds, he’ll have money, fame and his pick of women. You won’t be able to keep an eye on him. Is that the kind of life you want?”

Demi dropped her head in a poor attempt to hide her face. It wasn’t the life she wanted, but… She needed Johnny. It was a fact that haunted her for the past two weeks. She felt as if she were half alive. The only thing that got her through the day was a strict schedule. She worked for her father between semesters in college and holidays.
 

“I love him.” The confession slipped from her mouth in a broken whisper. She raised her hands to cover her face, which twisted in agony. A sob escaped from her mouth and she backed towards the door. “I need to go home.”

“Demi—”

“No!” she choked. “I did what you wanted. I broke up with him. You need to give me time.”

“You’ll get over him. You’re so young—”

She regained a modicum of pride and turned back to him. “Just because I’m young doesn’t mean I don’t know what I feel.”
 

Demi walked out of his office and didn’t look at his secretary. She snatched her purse, put on her sunglasses and walked out of the hotel, ignoring those who called out to her. Tears streamed steadily from beneath her lenses. By the time she walked into her parent’s penthouse, she could barely talk. The elevators opened and her brothers and sisters rushed her, screaming her name and throwing themselves at her. Demi lost herself in the smell of crayons, peanut butter and sweet smelling shampoo. There was a huge gap between her and her siblings. The second oldest was Teddy and he was eight. Her parents had a hard time conceiving after she was born and waited a long time to have the rest of the kids her mother always wanted.
 

“Demi?” Her mom came around the corner and stopped when she caught sight of Demi’s wet cheeks. “What happened?”

The kids stopped talking and looked up at her.
 

“Are you crying?” her sister asked, the knowledge in her eyes wise beyond her years. “Is it because of Johnny?”

Demi moved out of the fray and made her way to her bedroom. She needed someplace to scream, cry and sleep. Even as she reached her room and dropped her purse, the chatter of her siblings and mom followed her.
 

“I-I need time,” Demi stammered, yanking Kleenex from the box and blowing her streaming nose.
 

“What happened?” Mom asked.

Demi flopped on the bed and pulled a pillow over her head in a clear indication that she didn’t want to talk. Her body jostled from side to side as her brothers and sisters jumped on the bed and swarmed over her, oblivious to her need to grieve in peace.
 

“Don’t cry, Demi!” Marci said, wrapping her tiny arms around Demi’s neck, nearly choking her. “Mom says no one should be alone when they cry.”

Demi tossed the pillow and tried to pry her arms off. “Marci, I need—”
 

“We should call Johnny!” Teddy said. “He makes Demi laugh.”

More tears seeped from Demi’s swollen eyes and she sat up with Marci hanging from her back like a monkey. Braxton, her two-year-old brother plopped himself on her lap. She wrapped her arms around him as he sang the Hot Dog song from Mickey Mouse. Her misery clashed horribly with the excited, loving voices around her. She blinked away tears and met her mom’s sympathetic eyes.
 

“What happened?” she murmured so gently that Demi let out a keening sound and buried her face in Braxton’s hair.
 

Her sister’s pat her on the head while Teddy shuffled his feet uncomfortably. Braxton raised his voice to sing the Hot Dog song louder. He was so adorable. Demi let out a hiccuping laugh and wiped her eyes. Teddy tossed her a ball of tissues and she blew her nose and mopped up her face.
 

“Dad and I got into it,” Demi said hoarsely and wrapped her arms around Braxton. “He wants me to get over Johnny. I c-can’t act as if he was never a part of my life!”

“Dad’s worried about you,” her mom said. “You’re usually so happy and now you’re…”

“It’s only been two weeks. I n-need time to—” She shook her head and rubbed her hand over her chest. “I don’t know if I can get over him.”

Her mom didn’t comment, just watched her with maternal understanding.
 

Demi drew in a ragged breath. “I know we don’t make sense, but Johnny makes me happy.” She looked around her room, which was filled with reminders of him—fresh guitar strings, crumpled balls of lyrics he would never use and peppermints scattered over her dresser. It was his favorite candy. Her first kiss was filled with that distinct taste. “Dad wants me to run the Ashton Hotel and I will, but…” She shook her head. “I don’t know if I can live without him.”

Demi watched her sisters parade in her heels. Under other circumstances, she would have told them to be careful, but she was too tired. Teddy turned on her computer to play chess. He was just like their dad. Demi knew if she ever had to run the Ashton Hotel, it would only be her burden until Teddy was ready. Demi had no doubt he would take over and she wanted him to. She didn’t want to be responsible for hundreds of employees livelihoods. She didn’t want to be in the public eye or spend her night’s making polite chit chat with business associates. She did it now because she had no choice. None of her siblings were close to her age.
 

“How long does it take?” Demi asked her mother. “How long will it take for the pain to go away?”

“If you really love him, it won’t fade,” she said.
 

“I don’t know what to do,” Demi whispered.

Braxton knelt in front of her and clasped her face between his small hands. He would grow up to be a charmer. He was easygoing and affectionate. Braxton would work for Teddy one day, but his mind would be on an adventure instead of business. Teddy would keep him in line, though. Her sisters would probably work there as well until they got married to businessmen and became like their mother who shied away from the spotlight and gave them a strong sense of family and love. Demi wanted to be somewhere in the middle.
 

“Has he called?” her mother asked.
 

“No.” She cringed every time she remembered the angry words he hurled at her and the pain shining in his eyes. She’d been his support system since high school. When everyone else mocked him, she stood by his side and believed he would be everything he wanted to be and more. Johnny was becoming who he was meant to be, a star on the rise and in the past months, it was rare for him to stay longer than a weekend. She would begin her second year in college and when she graduated with her business degree, then what? She would be stuck in New York, working for her father and Johnny would be on the road, selling out arenas all over the world. She knew Johnny would succeed. He was a driven artist and wrote obsessively. A song he wrote in her bedroom a year ago now played on the radio every hour. She always knew that he would make it, she just didn’t expect it so soon.
 

She and Johnny never made sense—from the moment he asked her out the day he graduated from high school to where they were today. They were walking on different paths and her father’s relentless lectures and nagging finally girded her to break up with Johnny. Over the past two years, he gained in popularity. She saw pictures of him with fans and she tried not to let it bother her, but… Where could their relationship go? She agreed with her dad about most of the things he said and she couldn’t see how they could continue a long distance relationship. It was better to stop it from going further, but… She didn’t realize that by breaking up with Johnny that a part of her would die in the process.
 

BOOK: Rock Star's Ballad (White Mist Series Book 3)
2.76Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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