Authors: Katheryn Kiden,Wendi Temporado
Fidem Publishing Copyright © 2015 Katheryn Williams as Katheryn Kiden
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events, and incidents are either of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living, dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This book may not be resold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with. May fire ants chew your saggy earlobes if you pirate this.
In association with Fidem Publishing
Cover Image and Design By: Katheryn Kiden of Fidem Publishing
Editing and Formatting by: Wendi Temporado of Ready, Set, Edit
To every person that has influenced this book, hell this entire series, in any way.
Without you it wouldn’t have become what it did.
“Wanna go back on tour?” Abby asks, throwing my bedroom door back.
Grabbing the blanket as fast as I can, I try my hardest to get myself and… shit, whatever her name is, covered. I knew I forgot something, I guess it was to lock my door. “Uh, I’m kind of busy, Abby. Can this wait ‘til I have pants on at least?”
She smiles, her eyes drifting from me to the naked girl next to me, and back again. The glint in her eyes tells me she already knows my answer anyway. Anything to get me on stage behind my kit will always be an automatic yes. Shrugging, she backs out of the doorway, closing the door behind her. “Everyone’s up at the house, come up when you’re finished,” Abby yells, laughing through the closed door.
“Hey.” I nudge the brunette beside me with my elbow. I really should know her name by now since this is probably the tenth time we’ve been together over the past few months — but, I don’t. When she rolls over, cracking her eyes open, I tell her what she should already know. “You gotta go.”
She stares at me. “You’ve never kicked me out this early before,” she deadpans.
Sliding out of bed, I slip my jeans over my hips and button them. “There’s always a first time for everything.”
She barely looks at me as she flings the blanket back and drags her clothes on as fast as she can. Yanking the door back, she doesn’t even say goodbye before she stomps down my stairs, slamming the front door behind her. I guess I won’t be seeing that one anymore. Whatever, girls are easy on tour. Sometimes I can barely keep up with them. Sometimes…
When I finally make it to up to Abby and Jameson’s house, I’m bombarded by more voices than I can make out. When she said everyone was up here, she wasn’t kidding. Making my way into the kitchen I’m stopped suddenly when Abby and Jameson’s son, Zander, wraps himself around my legs. It’s not long before their daughter, Sophia, wraps herself around my waist, and Damian, Jason and Vanessa’s son, does the same with my other leg. It used to be Izzy that was the first to attack me when I walked through the door, but not anymore. She stays seated at the table, but smiles and waves.
“It’s about damn time!” Jason bellows, never dropping his hands from Vanessa’s hips.
I shrug. I didn’t know I was supposed to be here, and I tossed a good fuck out of my bed for this. He should be happy. I say hello to everyone, fist bump Trent, Vanessa’s drummer, as I walk by, and lean back against the windowsill.
“So,” I start, waiting for everyone to quiet down. “What’s all this about going back on tour?”
Everyone looks to Abby and she smiles. “Well, I was wondering if you guys would want to do a summer tour. Izzy’s going to be a freshman, and both Sophia and Zander are old enough to go now.”
“What about Jason? They already have a tour set up for this summer. Do we just find a replacement for him or what?”
“There’s no replacing me and you know it,” Jason jokes, a wide smile spreading across his lips. It’s nice to still see him happy after all those years of him being pissed off all the time.
“Co-headlining,” Jameson speaks up. “He’ll do double duty, but just for the summer months.”
“So everyone is going to be on tour?”
“Everyone,” Abby says. “All the kids, Paul, Tuesday. Even Evan is taking some time off from the shop to come out.”
I can’t help the shocked expression on my face when I search the room for Tuesday. Touring was always something that had her on edge, always watching over her shoulder. Even though they put her ex-husband and father in prison, I know she still worries about what could happen. When we’re home, at least for the most part, she’s comfortable. When I find her, she’s leaning back against Evan’s chest, tucked in behind Austin and Mandi. She shrugs, and even though she smiles, I see the hesitation burning in her eyes.
“Well, you know you don’t even have to ask me.” Pushing off the windowsill, I drape my arm over Trent’s shoulders. “Touring with the whole famn damily sounds great. And since you’re all coupled up, that leaves more groupies for Trent and myself.”
Yeah, I thought it was going to be great anyway, and it is, for the most part. I didn’t think about the fact that I would have to watch what I was doing because there might be tiny eyes watching me. Thankfully I have my own bus so I don’t have to worry about people barging in while I’m fucking some random chick in a town I don’t know even know the name of. I don’t have to worry about having pants on, or someone using the bathroom when I need to go.
I didn’t think about the fact that it wouldn’t be like touring before, where it was the just four of us. I didn’t realize that Abby and Jameson, and Jason and Vanessa, having their own bus because of kids would leave me alone. Well, the alone part I don’t mind so much, it’s the bored part that I don’t like so much.
Flopping down on the bed at the back of my bus, I tuck my arms under my head and stare at the ceiling. I don’t remember touring boring me before. I remember the groupies and the alcohol, but I don’t remember feeling empty.
Just when I’m about to start feeling sorry for myself, Jason pounds on the bus door, telling me it’s time to get going. I grab a black band shirt from the pile and drag it over my head before rushing off the bus. Everyone stands about ten feet from the bus door waiting for me, but the only one that doesn’t see me coming is Paul. I rush up behind him, jumping on his back like all the kids are on Jason and Jameson. I wrap myself around him, tightening my grip so I don’t fall as he stumbles.
“What the hell is wrong with you, boy?” Paul growls once he gets balanced.
I press the side of my head against his, trying my hardest not to laugh. “Carry me, Big Daddy. It’s not fair that the other kids get piggy back rides and I don’t.” I push my bottom lip out and pout. Paul just shakes his head, his graying hair scratching the side of my face as he chuckles. Instead of telling me to get the hell off like I expect him to, he hooks his arms under my knees and trudges forward.
Once we’re finally inside the radio station he drops me back to my feet. Abby pushes me from behind into the tiny studio and I can’t help but wonder how we’re all going to fit in here. Since we’re touring together and Jason plays for both, they wanted to interview both bands at the same time. Mandi, Tuesday, Paul, and Tyrone round all the kids up and watch us from the hall window. And by all the kids, I mean Evan as well.
There is only room for four chairs on our side of the tiny booth, but there are six people. Jason drops into the first chair, pulling Vanessa down onto his lap. Jameson does the same with Abby. I grab the seat next to them, and Austin falls in beside me, leaving Trent standing awkwardly. I grab his hand, pulling him down on my lap just as the DJs come in.
“Come here, punkin,” I say as femininely as I can.
“Oh, AJ, I never thought we were going to let this out.” Trent wraps his arms around me. He sniffles into my neck, pretending to cry. “I’m so happy.”
Never to be the one left out, Austin throws Trent’s legs off mine. “You hussy!” He climbs onto my free leg wrapping his arms around both of us. With his forehead pressed against my temple, he whispers but it’s loud enough for everyone to hear. “I thought we had something special, the three of us.”
I bite my lip, trying not to laugh but it’s so hard because everyone else is in hysterics around us.
“I see there is no lack of love between the groups,” one of the DJs says, trying to catch his breath.
Laying my head against Austin’s shoulder, I pull Trent’s head down on mine and rub his hair. “One big happy family.”
Thankfully we all gain composure before we go on air, but none of us move. We do the entire show with Trent and Austin on my lap. My legs are numb by the time we’re done, but it got us some laughs, and got me out of the funk I was feeling before we got here. There are photos now floating around the internet as proof of what happened because everyone found it so funny.
Stepping out of the elevator, I speak up. “Where to now?”
“Are you serious?” Vanessa laughs from in front of me. “Live studio session. Do you ever pay attention to the shit that’s going on around you?”
“I wasn’t aware I needed to know. I don’t drive the bus, I don’t book the venues. I wake up, show up, and be fuckin’ awesome. What more can you expect from me?” She turns around, glowering at me over Jason’s arm. I wink, stepping up beside her and sidestep her arm when she swings to bat me away. I duck, covering my head as I try not to laugh. “I’m sorry, Mistress Vanessa. Please don’t whip me.”
I fail at not laughing and end up getting swatted across the back of my head by Jason. Everyone climbs into the van ahead of us because I can’t stop laughing. We all know that Jason would be the one wielding the whip if it came down to it. It takes Paul kicking me in the ass with his huge boot to get me in the van so we aren’t late.
Leaning my head back against the seat, I try to calm myself down. Everything in me is itching to pound out against the skin of my drums, but I know that I can’t do that at this show. I almost have myself where I need to be, and have stopped laughing for a few minutes. That is until Jason opens his mouth and mutters.
“Mistress Vanessa my ass…”
I drop the file as the table under my elbows begins to shake again. I can count how long I have until one of my two lovely children come in and interrupt me again, and based on how light the movement is, it’s Sage. By the time I get down to one in my head she rounds the corner and plows into my side. If I hadn’t set my papers down they would have gone flying everywhere and that’s the last thing I need right now. Why did I think that working at home with a thirteen year old and a five year old would be easy?
Sage pushes my arm out of the way, inviting herself into my lap. Her mouth moves a mile a minute which is too fast for me to catch most of what she’s saying because she isn’t signing anything. Reaching up, I cover her mouth with my hand until she stops talking.