Author's Note: Yep, that's right. It's me again, finally. I know I shouldn't really be posting this yet, not when 'The Black Book Index' and 'Between the Pages' still aren't complete (though they ought to be before the New Year, so keep your fingers crossed) but I was having update-withdrawal and figured I'd pop in with this. Some of you may have read 'Love Bites' and just might remember the little extract that I posted in the final chapter.
Well, here's the introductory chapter. Hopefully people enjoy this one… Yes, more hot rockers. You know you want it.
Feeling somewhat disoriented as I'm practically pushed towards a white van with the back doors open, I collect myself and take a look around. There's a heavily-built bearded man standing in front of me, and I walk towards him. He looks me up and down critically before muttering gruffly, "Roadie?"
When I nod he jerks his thumb behind him and I peer around his more than solid frame, seeing an assortment of equipment piled up until the various amps, boxes and speakers are almost touching the ceiling of the van. Reaching inside and snaking my hand around the tangle of wires and loose mics, I try to yank out a small- but surprisingly heavy- guitar amplifier, huffing in surprise when it gets caught on a hook protruding from the side of the van. I brave asking the man for a hand and with a roll of his eyes he helps me set the amp on the ground before looking at me expectantly.
With a sigh, I bend down carefully, involuntarily letting out a grunt as I wrap my arms around the heavy amp, lifting it and carefully carrying it inside the venue. It is absolute and utter havoc on stage- people are running around everywhere, the floor is littered with a veritable maze of wires and electrical appliances, and most noticeably, a certain serpentine singer is throwing yet another hissy fit. I try not to look too interested as the infamous vocalist yells at his guitar tech, who has apparently gotten the wrong set of strings for his guitar. And everyone knows that if you work anywhere within a three-mile radius of Chase Holt on a gig-night you do not make mistakes.
"B-but the shop had run out of the ones you wanted…and the guy at the store recommended these," the hapless tech stammers, eyes wide with what can only be described as pure, unadulterated terror.
And rightfully so. Like I said, this is Chase Holt we're talking about.
"Well, why didn't you go find the right ones!? I asked for Ernie Ball Super Slinkies and you give me these- these…whatever the hell they are! Get. Me. The. Right. Strings. Now," Chase growls through gritted teeth, shoving the rejected set of strings back at the tech before stalking off, making sure that his displeasure is shown with every unnecessarily loud stamp that his feet make.
Setting the amp down in the marked spot, I sigh and wipe the sweat from my brow whilst looking bemusedly at the shaking tech. This is my first tour with Chase Holt and his band, The Tear, and we've only done one show so far, but that has been enough to teach me all that I'll ever need to know about this hot-headed singer. He's a prick, he's bossy, he's arrogant, he has almost no regard for anyone around him, and he is a bona fide musical genius. Despite my keen dislike of the man, I can't deny that he has talent. And a fucking hot voice to boot.
"Hey, Flynn! Get your ass over here man- I think I'm going to break my back if I try and move this thing on my own!"
I turn to see Jack, another of the crew, resting against part of what will be a huge Marshall stack, panting breathlessly. I have to gape and wonder how Jack managed to move it that far on his own in the first place before rushing over to try and help out.
"Poor Alex, eh? Really though, he does need to sharpen up quickly or he's going to get the boot soon. Chase is a fickle little bitch and wouldn't know loyalty if it bit off his 'little friend', and that's saying something. It doesn't matter if Alex has been with us for two years- if he keeps fucking up the way he has been recently, I give him another two weeks before the big adios," Jack remarks conversationally, letting out a muffled curse as he stubs his toe on the heavy amplifier stack.
"Well, you're really making all this sound like it's going to be a ball," I remark dryly.
"It's not a ball, but it sure as hell is amazing. Chase isn't too bad when he's not being a complete shit, and everyone else rocks. Seriously man, by the end of this tour you'll be signing up for the next one," Jack winks before strolling off to go unload more equipment from the back of the van, whistling the upbeat tune to Guns n Roses' 'Sweet Child of Mine'.
I take a moment to admire the carnage around me as I carefully weave through the bustle of people, equipment and instruments. I've always thought touring would be exciting, even if it's starring in the role of 'roadie' and not as the lead-guitarist of a world famous band as my dreams would have had me. Yes, I know we're only one show in but it is, dare I say it, pretty damn cool. So far I haven't had any run-ins with the man himself, so I think I'm doing all right for now. And I'd like to try and keep it that way for as long as possible. I have no desire whatsoever to encounter Chase Holt, especially not on nights like these when he's on a pre-gig rampage and sending every second person who crosses his path cowering and shaking in a corner. No, I think I'll steer clear of him for now and enjoy what little peace I can find amongst this chaos.
But then again, they say you always speak too soon…
"Fucking arsehole! Watch where you're fucking going!! Move!"
Startled by the force of someone barrelling headlong into me, I react instinctively rather than letting my poor, baffled brain process any thoughts.
"Hey! You walked into me! May be you should watch it!" I snap back, my heart stopping instantly upon realising who it is.
Two piercingly silver eyes that have girls melting into hormone-driven puddles on the floor stab straight into me. My brain tries to think of something- anything- that might prevent him from disembowelling me with his bare hands- gorgeous as they are- right here, right now.
"What did you say?" Chase snarls, those rosebud lips curling almost wickedly as he spits out his words in a deliciously gravelly baritone that has me debating whether to fall to my knees and beg for mercy or just fall to my knees and- well…
May be it's better to leave that thought unfinished.