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Double time, p.31
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       Double Time, p.31

         Part #5 of Sinners on Tour series by Olivia Cunning
 
Page 31

  Author: Olivia Cunning

  Trey headed for the front of the stage and nodded his head in that direction to get Reagan’s feet moving from where they’d rooted themselves into the stage. She stubbed her toe on a foot pedal but somehow managed not to fall flat on her face as she joined Trey on the ego riser. He leaned against her, just as he did when he played with Brian, and an undeniable connection flowed between them. She’d never experienced anything like it. The feeling of oneness was even more pronounced than the one she felt when they made love. She closed her eyes and let the music carry her away with Trey. She might have been lost in that sweet nirvana forever if a shoe hadn’t whacked her dead in the forehead. She faltered and stepped back off the riser instinctually. If Sed hadn’t been there to steady her, she would have fallen on her ass. She finished the solo near the back of the stage. Getting hit with a shoe had hurt, but more than that, she felt utterly humiliated. Someone nudged her arm and she opened her eyes to Trey’s concerned expression.

  “Are you okay?” he mouthed.

  She didn’t know. She’d suffered far worse injuries falling off skateboards, but this had stung more than her pain receptors. It had stung her pride. The fans didn’t want to listen to her play. She didn’t blame them. And she was certain Exodus End’s fans would react the same way when they saw her trying to replace Max.

  The song ended and, without waiting for instructions or looking at anyone, Reagan removed Brian’s guitar. She handed it to Jake on her way backstage. She could hear Sed talking to the crowd, but she wasn’t really interested in his words. He said something about kicking the ass of whoever threw that shoe. And a bright new talent in the guitar world. Someone to watch out for. Someone to throw shoes at, he meant.

  She’d almost made it to the door that led to the dressing rooms backstage when Brian burst through the door and she staggered backwards. He steadied her with both hands.

  “They actually started without me? I can’t fucking believe this,” he said.

  “You have nothing to worry about, Master Sinclair. Your adoring audience awaits,” she said and jerked out of his grip before racing to Sinners’ empty dressing room.

  She went straight for her cell phone and dialed Ethan. He was there. He was always there. He listened to her tirade about the entire incident from before the show until the instant she’d called him. And then he listened to the confession of her fears. And then her discourse of self-pity. And finally her indignation at being treated that way for doing someone a favor. After she’d unloaded all of her feelings, Ethan said, “Are you ready to give up and come home then?”

  “No, I’m not ready to come home. You don’t think one little catastrophe is going to make me give up this dream, do you?”

  “Nope, but with all that bitching, I thought maybe you’d changed your mind about what you wanted. ”

  She wished he was there so she could glare at him. “I just needed someone to talk to. ”

  “And where is that wonderful boyfriend of yours?”

  “He’s onstage right now. ”

  “Does he know you call me every time you have a problem?”

  “If you don’t want me to call you anymore, I won’t. ”

  “I do want you to call me, Reagan. I just wondered if he knew. ”

  “When he’s around, the last thing on my mind is my stupid little problems. ”

  “And the first thing on your mind?”

  She grinned to herself. “His tongue. ”

  Ethan chuckled. “I bet. So other than getting hit with a shoe, how is everything going? Are you learning how to be a rock star?”

  “Not a very good one,” she admitted.

  Chapter 16

  Sed had asked the entire band to be there when he confronted Brian. They were there, but not a one of them looked the least bit happy about it. Trey felt sick to his stomach. He already knew what Brian would choose. It wasn’t them.

  Brian yawned as he came out of the bedroom with his carry-on bag slung over one shoulder. He paused when he noticed his bandmates blocking his route off the bus.

  “I called and cancelled your flight,” Sed said.

  Trey wasn’t sure if Sed was bluffing, but it seemed a pretty extreme measure even for Sed—king of extreme measures.

  “You did what?” Brian asked, his weariness instantly replaced with rage.

  “You’re not going back to L. A. tonight. ”

  “Get out of my way,” Brian demanded.

  “You look like shit, dude,” Eric said. “We all think you should stay on the bus tonight and get some rest. You can go back to L. A. the day after tomorrow when we have three days between shows instead of just one. And then we have two more back-to-back shows before our week off. You can see them as much as you want then. ”

  “When we’re not rehearsing for the new tour,” Sed added.

  “Don’t pull this shit with me right now,” Brian said. “It’s the last thing I need. ”

  “Could Myrna come see you instead?” Jace asked. “Bring the baby with her?”

  “Malcolm is too young to travel. ” The hopeless look on his face was like a knife to Trey’s heart. Trey had been so caught up with Reagan, he’d failed his best friend. Brian shouldered a lot of burden right now and Trey hadn’t even bothered to talk to him about it. When had they gone from a friendship where they shared everything to a couple of guys who just hung out with each other very occasionally?

  Trey took Brian by one arm and pushed him into the bedroom. He caught Sed’s puzzled expression just before he closed the door in his face.

  “You’re not going to talk me out of leaving,” Brian said. “I have to go back tonight. I promised Myrna. ”

  “Does she realize how exhausted you are?” Trey asked. He knew Myrna. She wouldn’t want Brian to wear himself down like this.

  “I’m fine. ”

  “You’re not fine, Brian. You can’t keep going like this. Do you want to cancel the rest of the tour dates? I’ll side with you no matter what. Just tell me what you want to do. ”

  “I want to hold my son. ” His hand was trembling when he pressed his fingertips to his forehead.

  Then that’s what he was going to do. “I’ll contact Jerry,” Trey said. “Tell him to call off the last three shows. ”

  Brian shook his head. “No. We need to finish out the tour. I can do this for another week. ”

  “And then what are you going to do? We go back on the road just one week after this tour ends. ”

  “You don’t think I know that?” Trey felt the crack in Brian’s voice in his chest.

  Trey sighed. “You can’t keep this up, Brian. What does Myrna say about this crazy schedule you’re keeping?”

  Brian lowered his gaze. “She tries to be strong when I leave. Says she and Malcolm will miss me, but they’ll be fine while I’m gone. ”

  “Jessica and Aggie are still helping her out, aren’t they?”

  “Yeah. ”

  “Dare?”

  “Yeah, everyone’s great. Maybe they are fine when I’m gone. Maybe what I really want is for them to need me more. ”

  Trey squeezed his shoulder. “Hey. Don’t say that. They need you. I know for a fact that Myrna cries when you’re gone. She misses you so much more than she’s letting on. ”

  Brian’s breath caught and he shoved Trey aside as he reached for the doorknob. Trey probably shouldn’t have told him that Myrna cried. He grabbed Brian’s arm again and hauled him away from the door.

  “Trey, I have to go. I’m not going to be like my father. I promised myself that I’d always be there for them both. I’m not going to let them wonder if they’re important to me. Or if I love them. I’m going to tell them to their faces every goddamn day. ”

  Now they were making progress. Brian’s father had been a famous guitarist while Brian had been growing up. Malcolm O’Neil had used touring as an excuse to ignore his family, and he
d never been there for Brian when he’d needed him. “You’re not like your father, Brian. ”

  “But I could be. It would be a lot fucking easier if I was. ” Brian pressed his fists against his temples and took a deep breath.

  “I know you, Brian. You’d give up the band before you’d do that to your family. ”

  “It’s crossed my mind. ”

  Trey’s stomach dropped. “What?”

  “Leaving Sinners. ”

  “You don’t want to make music anymore?”

  “Yeah, I do. I haven’t figured out how to do both. If something has to give…”

  Trey didn’t want to even think about the possibility. “Have you talked to Myrna about any of this?”

  Brian hesitated and then shook his head. Trey took his cell phone out of his pocket and dialed Myrna’s number. She answered on the first ring. “Trey? Is something wrong with Brian?”

  “No. The band is trying to talk Brian into staying here for the night instead of going back to L. A. He’s so burnt out, but he wants to go home. ”

  “I already told him to stay there tonight. Malcolm and I will be fine without him for a couple of days. He shouldn’t worry about us so much. ”

  “I know you’re being strong for him, Myr, but he needs to hear how hard you’re struggling without him so he can be all angsty and depressed, but at least he’ll stop trying so hard to prove that he’s not going to be like his father. ”

  “Is that what he thinks?” Myrna asked. “That he’s going to be a bad father? He’s a wonderful father. A wonderful husband. How could he think otherwise? Did I do something to make him feel that way?”

  “I don’t think so, Myrna. ” Trey glanced over at Brian who had his arms crossed over his chest and was staring daggers at him. Yeah, it probably wasn’t his place to force Brian to talk to his wife, but Trey couldn’t stand to see him like this. Brian needed to tell her these things. She could handle it. And Trey needed to keep this band together. It meant everything to him.

  “Is he there?” Myrna asked. “Can I talk to him?”

  “Yeah, he’s here. He’s pretty pissed off at me right now, so make sure you remind him that I got in his business because he’s being a douche. ” And because I love him, he added silently.

  “Thanks, Trey. I’m glad you’re there for him. I figured he was having a harder time than he was letting on, but he’s always so happy when he’s home. I didn’t know he was struggling. ”

  Trey handed the phone to Brian. “She wants to talk to you. ”

  He snatched the phone out of Trey’s hand. Trey gave Brian’s shoulder a squeeze before he left the bedroom and gave him some privacy.

  The guys were still standing in the corridor, watching the bedroom door as if they expected it to explode at any moment.

  “Is he staying?” Sed asked.

  “Don’t know,” Trey said. “He’s talking to Myrna. ”

  “Are you sure that’s a good idea?” Sed asked.

  “I’m sure. No matter what he decides to do tonight, we have to support him,” Trey said. “Even if that means we have to cancel the rest of the tour. ”

  Sed opened his mouth to speak and Jace elbowed him in the ribs. “You’re right,” Jace said.

  “And we might have to cancel the tour with Exodus End, too,” Trey added.

  They all looked at him as if he was insane. “You don’t mean that, Trey,” Sed said. “You know what touring with Exodus End will mean for our careers. ”

  “Yeah, I do. If we push Brian too hard, he’ll leave the band. And Sinners isn’t Sinners without Master Sinclair. ”

  Chapter 17
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