Zachary just texted that’d he’d be here any minute. It’d been nearly two months since we’d seen each other and honestly, it was like a stone dumped in my stomach. I was so conflicted. A part of me couldn’t wait to see him but another part felt trapped.
Was I being stupid by keeping our relationship like this? My life just didn’t have time for him. He’d wanted me to join him at the SFL draft night. But I had a high paying gig and fought with my bandmates over it. Our first band fight. Mateo got so angry, he almost flipped a table and stormed out.
Zachary was so sweet about it when I let him know about our argument. But I felt like such an awful girlfriend. He deserved better. Draft night was the biggest night of Zachary’s life. I should have been there. His girlfriend SHOULD have attended and cheered him on but…I couldn’t. He didn’t get the team he’d wanted. Since he was taken in the first round, the awful, lowest ranked Bridgeport Bears snagged him. Bridgeport was on the other side of the country from Del Sol Valley.
I shook my head. A dozen times, I’d gone over and over about breaking up. But how could I? I loved him.
When I thought about it, I belonged with these guys. My bandmates. We were already so close. And I’d forget about Zachary until he’d call me. It was like Zachary and I were marching toward the end of a cliff. But he was at the other end without a bridge.
Rubbing my elbow, I sighed, steeling myself for what I was about to say to him. I was going to do it. Break up. I had to.
Suddenly, I heard a deep voice, “Hey, sexy.”
His handsome face enveloped me and I gasped, startled. “Zachary!”
“Is it okay if I come in?” It was as if he could feel my inner turmoil. But looking at his face made my heart melt. He was like coming home. I’d never break free from his spell.
Giddy feelings swept through me and I jumped into his arms. “Oh, God, babe. I’ve missed you so much!”
“I missed you, too.”
Our eyes locked and I wanted to take him to my bedroom right there!
Cheyenne was so excited about her new living arrangements. I hated the fuck out of it. Living with four guys 24-7? My friends thought I was crazy for even considering sticking with this relationship. I knew I was nuts, too, but when you’re a man addicted, there’s no logic. You have to have your fix. Cheyenne Day was my drug habit I would not give up.
But was I happy? Where was our relationship leading?
Since she didn’t attend my draft, I saw the writing on the wall. We were sunk. Unless somehow her band would break up in the next year. That was what I was giving myself on us. One year of these once every two month meet ups. And if things didn’t change, we’d have to go our separate ways.
“What do you think?” she said, her voice bringing me to the present. I had to stop thinking about our future or I was going to mess up any good times we would have this weekend. She went on, glancing around. “It’s still a little rough but we got this furniture at an old vintage shop and I just fell in love with the vibe.”
I didn’t give a shit about what the place looked like. I just wanted to be with her.
Cradling her body, we just blended together like usual. I couldn’t get enough. “You wanna show me your bedroom?” my voice rumbled. I wanted those clothes off. Now.
Fuck. Damned boyfriend ruined everything.
Just when I was beginning to think I was out of the friendzone, Mr. SFL had to come around and rip her heart away from me.
I’d been attracted to Cheyenne Day from the first time I’d seen her play at that party.
And now, we had a routine with each other. Like an old married couple.
We liked the same things–writing music, practicing, cutting up, being lazy if we wanted and just kicking back, talking.
She was the one for me.
But hell. She didn’t know it.
And now the guy who was all wrong for her was visiting.
I marched in unannounced, not ashamed for breaking them apart. “Hey, guys! How’s it going?”
Got a kick at seeing Jockstrap’s glare. He was onto me.
Cheyenne beamed at me. “Hi, Mateo. Are we all loaded up for tonight?”
I nodded. She was always thinking ahead. Ever since Cheyenne joined our band, we were more organized and flowed better once we got to our gig. “Yep. PA’s and mics are in the van. Just need to bring our instruments. Hunter’s going over our checklist now.” Yeah, I’m ignoring you, Jockstrap.
Getting ready for our gig, butterflies hit per usual. This was a huge venue for us. Not big in the way of size, but big in future. Grandpa was going to bring a producer to watch us and if all went well, we might get a label. That’s HUGE for an indie band. It meant contracts, bigger tour schedules and social music support like Simify might pick us up.
I just couldn’t screw it up.
Glancing at Zachary in my big warehouse bedroom, he looked small and lonely in that corner of my room. Like he didn’t belong.
I shook my head. I couldn’t think like that. Didn’t we have an amazing time christening my Murphy bed?
And it was nice to know he’d be in the audience, supporting me.
I was praying for this break. It would be life changing.
Mateo made it clear I wasn’t wanted in their band bus. Said there wasn’t room with the equiptment and all. The guy wanted Cheyenne. Might as well have tattooed her name on one of his pecs. And if I was going to be honest, it wouldn’t surprise me if I got a call one day with Cheyenne telling me they finally hooked up.
But here I was running around Del Sol Valley, taking in the sights until I got to the dive bar they were playing at. Like an unwanted fifth wheel.
The place kind of reminded me of their home–an old abandoned warehouse with a dirty street vibe.
When I walked inside, I was immediately hit with the musky scent of weed. I hoped I wouldn’t get tagged with that shit in my bloodstream. Second hand smoke was no joke and I couldn’t test positive for crap like that. Would ruin me.
I could hear the reverberating bass and fans screaming. Guessed BLITZED got started already. I thought they said they’d begin at 6 pm. Walking toward the back, I noticed a bodyguard narrowing his eyes.
Who did he belong to? Was there a mega star around here?
Then I heard a familiar voice. James Sanderson was here with some person who looked special. Didn’t know who she was. But they were in a heated discussion.
When James noticed me, he smiled and gripped my hand in a strong hello. “So glad to see you here, Zachary! Congratulations on your draft. First round. That’s amazing! I know Cheyenne is proud of you.”
I smiled, taking in the compliment. That meant a lot coming from a huge star like him. Although things were happening so fast with my career, it still was all surreal. “Thanks, sir. But that’s just the first hurtle. Gotta play my best and get the Bears from worst to first. Am I right?”
He patted my arm. “I’ve got no doubt you’ll do well. Hey, I want to introduce Dusty Blair to you. She’s the producer for one of the biggest labels in metal rock.”
He waved his arm at Ms. Blair. “Dusty, meet THE Zachary Hawthorne. Just got drafted in the SFL first round. He’s Cheyenne’s boyfriend.”
She took my hand and said, “I know exactly who you are, Hawthorne. I’m sad the Bears got you. Maybe you can work a trade and come to the Del Sol Valley Llamas, huh?”
“I will whenever I get the chance.” But I didn’t tell her that if I did well, I wouldn’t be going anywhere. Trades early in a career killed careers. “So…you’re here for Cheyenne’s band?” I wondered why Cheyenne didn’t tell me about this. If she was a producer, the band might get a label. That would change everything.
She scratched her cheek. “Like I said to Grandpa over here, the sound is right but the band members themselves are like a mish mosh of delapidated parts. Not sure if we can make a Smarley Savidson motorcycle out of them.”
James put his hand on his hip. “Bah! That’s all window dressing, Dusty! You could work your magic on them. It’s the sound that counts.”
The two argued for ten minutes and I grew tired. The stress of what could happen hit me like a laser slashing my flesh.
When I saw the fans screaming and heard the amped up beat of the metal music, my heart pounded.
My Cheyenne looked like a goddess in a garbage dump. She didn’t belong there. I knew that.
Maybe I could convince her to drop the band once and for all and pursue acting. That was her first love. Bridgeport had the top theaters in the country. Getting to work in some of them could catapult her acting career that would eventually translate to film.
The elation of the crowd buoyed her. She was such a natural performer.
If only she hadn’t said yes to this. Unfortunately, she was in the band deep. But I’d do my best to convince her.
I had to or we were finished.