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Authors: K.A. Robinson

Tags: #Contemporary Romance

Tainted (3 page)

BOOK: Tainted
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“Holy shit,” I muttered.

I couldn’t believe this was happening to us. We’d been together for years without catching any major attention.

“Let’s not get our hopes up just yet, okay? They’re not offering us a deal. They just want us to come out and record,” Eric said.

“But they’re obviously interested, right? Otherwise, they wouldn’t have even bothered to contact us,” Jade said as she bounced up and down in her chair.

Eric couldn’t keep the smile off his face. “From what the guy said, they’re definitely interested.”

“Yes!” Adam said as he picked up Jade and swung her around.

I laughed. I was happy to see them excited for once. They needed this. I needed this.

“So, I take it we’re going home today?” I asked.

“Yeah, we’re finished with the tour now. We can go home, return the bus, and then fly out,” Eric said.

My stomach flipped as I thought about flying. I wasn’t afraid of flying, but I wasn’t fond of it either. “Can we just drive?”

Jade looked at me like I’d lost my mind. “Drive?”

“It’s been a while since I’ve been on a plane, and it’s not something I want to do again anytime soon.”

Adam grinned. “Better get used to it, pretty boy. If this takes off, we’re going to be flying a lot.”

“Joy,” I mumbled as I laid my head on the table.

After throwing all of my stuff into my bag, I lay down in my bunk, planning to sleep the rest of the way home. We’d played three shows straight in a row over the last few days, and my body was exhausted. It seemed like I had just closed my eyes when someone started shaking me.

“You’re home, asshat. Get up,” Jade said.

I sat up and rubbed my eyes. I felt like complete shit. I grabbed my bag from beside my bunk and started walking to the front of the bus. Through the window, I caught sight of my house, and my heart lightened a little bit. It felt good to be home even if it was going to be only for a day.

Adam and Eric helped me grab my guitars and anything else I had stashed under the bus, and then they carried them to my door for me.

Jade followed behind us, watching me closely. “You going to be okay by yourself?”

I rolled my eyes as I unlocked the door. “Yes, mom. I’ll be fine.”

“Don’t be a smart-ass. You know, we’re all worried sick about you, Drake, and being here without…
her
will be hard on you.”

“You can say her name, Jade. I won’t break.” I turned to look at her. “Chloe. See? I’m still standing here in one piece,” I said sarcastically.

The truth was I felt broken. I was glad to be home, but I wasn’t sure how I’d feel walking back into my house and seeing her things—if they were even still here.

“You know what? Fuck off, Drake. I’m trying to be understanding here, and as usual, you’re being an ass.” She sighed, clearly frustrated with me. “Try not to overdose before we leave for L.A.” She turned and went back to the bus.

“Ouch,” I said, pretending to be hurt.

I tried not to be bothered by the fact that I’d just pissed Jade off. She’d been temperamental since Chloe left, but now, she was downright livid. I sighed as I turned back to the door and swung it open.

“She’s right, you know. This Drake sucks big, fat monkey ass. You’ve been acting like a big ass prick, and it stinks. I wish you’d get your shit under control before we all drown,” Adam said, glaring at me.

“I’m fine. Thanks for the concern,” I said.

“Bullshit. We know you’re still using, and we’d be blind not to know that it’s getting worse. I’ve sat by and said nothing, but this shit needs to end. You need help.”

“Shut the fuck up! I said that I was fine. What I do is my business and no one else’s!” I yelled.

“You’re our friend, our brother. Of course it’s our business, especially with this possible deal in L.A. We don’t want to lose it because of your problem,” Eric said.

I was so sick of everyone ganging up on me. It was like the whole world was plotting against me. I knew I was getting in deeper than I had originally intended, but I didn’t care. What did it matter now anyway? Chloe was gone, and she wasn’t going to come back.

“We just want the old Drake back,” Adam added.

“Look, I’m sorry. I don’t mean to be a dick. It just comes naturally. I’ll try to keep my cool, okay?”

“We want you to get help, Drake. We don’t want to lose you,” Eric said with concern in his voice.

“Just drop it. I can’t deal with this right now. Besides,” I said, holding up my bag, “I have laundry to do.”

Adam rolled his eyes. “Whatever. Deny it all you want, but you’ll have to face this sometime. I just hope it’s not too late when you do.”

I threw my bag inside and then grabbed the things they had set down by my door. After I put those inside, I picked up my guitars. “Thanks for the concern.”

With that, I walked into my house and then slammed the door in their faces. I couldn’t deal with this shit right now. I slipped off my shoes and went into the kitchen, hoping that I had some food that was still edible after being gone for so long. I found a can of peaches and ate them straight from the can as I leaned against the counter.

I glanced down and froze. There was a key sitting there. I set the can down and picked up the key. I turned it over and over in my hands, thinking of Chloe. She had been here. I threw down the key and ran back to the entryway. Her shoes and spare jacket were both gone. I checked the living room next and saw that her books were gone from where she’d left them on the table. I went to the bathroom and found the same thing. Her toiletries were no longer there.

Taking a deep breath, I walked down the stairs to the basement where most of her stuff was boxed up. We’d planned on unpacking it all when we got back home. Everything was missing. I slid down the wall until I was sitting on the floor with my head on my knees. Everything was gone
.
She was gone. I’d hoped that her things would still be here. That maybe, just maybe, she hadn’t completely given up on us. But knowing that she’s come to pick up all of her shit was like being slapped across the face.

I stood and grabbed the first thing I saw—one of my uncle’s stupid bowling trophies. I threw it against the wall and watched as it shattered from the force of the impact. I couldn’t handle this. I was done. If she didn’t want me, then fuck it. Fuck everything. Fuck
her.

I stomped back up the stairs and grabbed the cocaine I had stashed in my bag. I walked to the couch and sat down. I poured what was left in the bag onto the glass top of my coffee table. I pulled out a credit card from my wallet and used it to crush the powder and separate it into lines.

After grabbing and rolling a bill, I snorted each line. It was more coke than I usually did at once and I felt the effects start to take over quickly. I relaxed as I lay down on the couch and stared at the ceiling. I wanted the drug to take away all my pain, my anger, and the betrayal I felt. I was so tired of feeling all the time.

Sometime later, I heard a knock on the door. I had been playing my guitar on the couch, but stopped as I stood up to see who it was. I could still feel the effects of the cocaine in my system as I stumbled to the door. The knock came again just as I reached for the knob and opened the door. Jade was standing on the porch, holding a bag of food from the Mexican restaurant by her house. My stomach growled loudly as I smelled the food. I hadn’t realized just how hungry I was until then.

She looked concerned as she took in my appearance. “You okay?”

Between the coke and finding out that Chloe had moved all of her things out, I knew I had to look like shit. “I’m fine. I was just messing around with my guitar.”

“Oh, okay then.” She held up the bag. “I come bearing food. Consider it a peace offering.”

I swung open the door to let her pass by me. I followed as she walked past the living room and straight into the kitchen. After setting the bag on the counter, she pulled out two to-go boxes and handed one to me while stashing the other one in my refrigerator. I grabbed a fork from a drawer and sat down at the kitchen table.

“Thanks.” I opened my container to see two enchiladas and rice waiting for me. Compared to the peaches I had earlier, this was heaven in a box.

“No problem. I figured you wouldn’t have much to eat, so I thought I’d bring you something.”

“I appreciate it.” I waited for her to tell me why she was really here.

Three. Two. One.

“And I kind of wanted to talk to you about earlier.” She said as she watched me devour my food.

Bingo.
I remained silent as I shoved food into my mouth.

“I just feel bad for how we acted earlier. You’re like my brother, and I’m worried about you. I don’t want to lose you.”

My stomach clenched as I watched her eyes fill with tears. Jade was not an emotional person, and I felt like an ass for bringing her to tears.

“Don’t cry, Jade. I’m not mad at you. Honest. I promise that you aren’t going to lose me.”

She sniffled as she wiped away the tears that had fallen down her cheeks. “You’re not my Drake anymore. I’m not sure who you are, but I know that I don’t like him. I want my Drake back.”

“I’m right here, Jade. Please don’t cry. You’re killing me.”

She laughed. “You always did suck with emotions.”

“You’re telling me,” I grumbled.

“Anyway, will you please just think about getting help? Don’t do it for me or the guys or even Chloe. Do it for yourself. You’re better than this.”

I sighed as I put my fork down. “I know. I’m working on it, okay? I refuse to go to rehab, but I’ll get my shit together for you guys. I promise.”

She stood and walked around the table to stand beside me. “I hope so, Drake. If not, you’re going to rip the band apart.” She leaned down and kissed me on the cheek. “I’m going home, but I’ll see you tomorrow. Call me if you need anything, okay?”

“Thanks, Jade. I will.”

I stared at the food in front of me as she let herself out. What was I doing? How had I become this person? I hated myself for being weak. I was better than this. I shoved the food away from me. My appetite was gone. My leg started bouncing up and down as anger and disgust flooded my body. I stood up and kicked the chair away from me. It crashed to the floor, but I ignored it as I walked to the front door and threw it open. I couldn’t stay here by myself tonight, or I’d go mad.

Instead of taking my car, I decided to walk to wherever my destination might be. I ended up standing in Gold’s parking lot, staring at the building that I’d spent countless hours in. Maybe going back to my roots would help clear my head. My home wasn’t really my home anyway. It was my uncle’s house, and without Chloe there, it was nothing more than a shell of a life that I’d never have.

I shook my head to clear it and walked across the lot to the door. The usual bouncer, Jerry, was standing just inside the entrance, and he smiled when he saw me.

“Well, look who decided to grace us with his presence. Where’s the rest of the band?”

“Good to see you, too, Jerry. I’m assuming they’re at home, sleeping off our summer,” I said as I shook his hand.

“Ah, gotcha. What brings you in here by yourself then? Where’s that pretty girl of yours?”

My stomach clenched at the mention of Chloe. When I decided to come in here, it hadn’t crossed my mind that the regulars wouldn’t know Chloe and I weren’t together anymore. That was something I didn’t want to repeat over and over again.

I sighed as I ran my hand through my hair. “We’re not together anymore.”

Jerry’s mouth dropped open. “Wait…what? Why? I figured you two would run off and get married this summer or some crazy shit like that. It seemed like you two were meant to be together.”

I snorted. “Yeah, I thought so, too, until I fucked everything up.”

“Dude, tell me you didn’t cheat on her. If you did, I will personally kick your ass. Chloe is such a sweet girl.”

“I didn’t, and she is. It’s complicated, and I don’t want to talk about it.”

He nodded. “Sorry. I didn’t know. I wouldn’t have brought it up if I had.”

“It’s fine. Listen, I’m going to grab a beer. I’ll catch ya later.”

“It’s good to see you again. Don’t be a stranger, all right?”

BOOK: Tainted
5.74Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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