I pushed a lock of my curly dark brown hair out of my eyes as I continued to lug the heavy suitcase down the street. "Halfway there," I muttered to myself. With both hands clasped firmly on the suitcase handle, I grew even more determined to win this fight.
"Hey Kat, is it over with Derrick already?"
I stopped, arching an eyebrow before shrugging at the man before me. With a playful smile, I turned my brown eyes to Landon. He was the lead singer of my brother's band Rules of Verse. His tall frame with messy brown hair helped him look the part of the lead singer that he was. Since he was so close to my brother, he was always around while I was growing up. "What can I say? He got sick of me."
Landon laughed, pulling me close for a hug. "For some strange reason I think it is the other way around." He kissed my cheek, playfully messing my hair. "Come on kid, I'll help you take your bag up to Rayne's apartment. Be prepared though. Danielle is in."
I groaned, rolling my eyes. Danielle was my brother's wicked girlfriend. The two had been dating for a couple of years now, much to my dislike. I loathed her. The feeling was mutual. I suspected she was only dating Rayne because she knew one day he would be a star. Like all the rest, she wanted in on that money and fame. No one used my brother.
"When is he going to let that bag go? He needs to take some lessons from me," I said, referring to my tendencies with men. It was a weakness of mine, but then again, everyone has flaws. So I tended to get sick of seeing a boy after a little while. It wasn't my fault they got attached so easily. The men in my life all went in knowing what I was like. They should realize it gets old when jealousy comes into play. I followed Landon up to my brother's apartment. "How's Rae?" I asked, referring to his girlfriend of nine months.
"She's good. We're good. Touring hasn't changed anything, thank God. It makes things a little stressful when I don't get to see her though, you know?"
"Things are still good. Oh, she was wondering about you. She hasn't seen you around since this latest boyfriend. Plus, she said that you stopped playing Mario's?"
I shrugged, leaning against the door to Rayne's apartment. "Derrick was cool until he decided to become Mr. Possessive. That's not my bag so I split. The reason I'm here. And Mario told me to stop playing there after I told off some kid. He wanted me to apologize but I wouldn't take back what I said."
Landon shook his head. "You'll never change. We're in town for a month, so you better get some gigs. I want to see you play."
The smirk reappeared on my face. "Only if you bring your new best friends, The Moon Tower!" I pretended to do a mock faint, imitating Danielle. "I can't believe you guys like know them," I said in my imitation of her high-pitched snotty voice.
Landon knocked on the door, a grin on his face. "Be nice, kid. You're staying here for a little bit, aren't you?"
"That's never stopped me before." The door opened and a similar head of curls peaked from behind it. "Hey Rayne," I said.
He smiled, taking my suitcase from Landon. "Hey Kat. Come on in. How's my favorite little sister?"
"Wonderful now that you are back in my life," I replied as I strolled into his place. I smiled at Danielle. My grin grew at the look of horror on her face when she spotted my bag. "Danielle. Lovely to see you again."
"I thought you were living with that new boyfriend of yours," she said, her eyes wide with terror.
"I was. Now I'm not."
"But you just moved in two weeks ago."
I shrugged. "So? Now I'm moving back in here. You know I don't like to sit still for long."
"But it's only been two weeks. Usually you stay for over a month!"
"You missed me that much, huh Dani?" I joked.
She glared at me, spinning towards Rayne who was taking in the conversation. His relaxed carefree manner was mirrored in me. "Rayne?"
"What?" he replied. "Of course she can stay here. She's my family. She always stays here when she needs to."
"But we haven't seen each other in a while. I thought we could get some alone time," she said seductively.
I rolled my eyes, sighing heavily. "Listen, you can still fuck all you want. There are two bedrooms here. Besides I haven't seen him either. He's my brother."
Rayne shook his head at my forthright manner. "Geez Kat. That was crude. True, but still crude."
Danielle once again turned her glare on me. "Fine. Just don't bring all your sleazy friends over here. We have important friends now. You wouldn't want to go to these new parties." She stormed off towards Rayne's bedroom.
He sighed, shaking his head as he walked over towards me, giving me a hug. "You like to make my life difficult." He kissed my forehead. "It's good to have you back, kid. You okay?"
"Yes, same as always. Go tell your girlfriend I'm a bitch so she'll feel better," I said with a laugh, pushing him towards his room. He shook his head, he following my advice. I raised an eyebrow at Landon. "Important friends? Where was I?"
Landon shrugged. "I don't know. I think she means the kids in The Moon Tower. They're nice guys. Didn't you meet a couple of them?"
I played with a strand of my hair. "Yes, I did actually. One time the one kid was seeing you guys play. Then I actually had to go to the lead singer's apartment to drop off a drunken friend of theirs. You know Cassie? It was weird." I turned back around. "That cool kid Robbie I know is good friends with them."
Landon nodded. "He was around a lot when we went on tour with them. It'll be interesting when we go back out with them again. They are bigger alcoholics than we are and they're your age."
I wrinkled my nose. "Oh, two years younger than you ancient jerks."
Landon nodded. "Exactly. You coming to see us play Friday? Tom's having an insane party at his house after the show."
"Maybe." My smirk grew. "I do need to find a new boyfriend."
Landon laughed, shaking his head as he headed for the door. "Tell Rayne I'll talk to him later. He's busy dealing with Danielle's wrath right about now. I won't interrupt."
"Rae's coming Friday, right?"
Landon nodded. "Of course. Can I tell her to expect you?"
I shrugged. "I'll see what I can do."
Landon once again grinned before leaving the apartment. I sighed, looking around the place. It hadn't changed since the last time I moved out. I had to admit I was lucky to have such an understanding older brother.
Some days it amazed me that Rayne and I were related because we were so similar and got along so well. In almost every other family I knew, siblings always seemed to be the exact opposite of each other. We were almost too much alike. He knew me better than I knew myself. He knew what I needed most was for someone to rely on and he was that person for me.
I grabbed my suitcase, lugging it into the guest bedroom, or I guess you could say my bedroom. It was as I had left it a couple of weeks earlier. All of my possessions remained in the same spot I had last seen them. My record player still had my records leaning casually against it. My old guitar was propped against the red chair in my room. I smiled. It was good to be back.