Music or Books?
Thank God we don’t have to choose, right? My dad used to love to ask us kids if we had to pick one—being blind or being deaf—which would we choose? Of course, with braille and audiobooks, blind people can enjoy books, but I know what he was really asking—would you rather go the rest of your life without music, or without books? As an avid reader and an adorer of music, he thought this was the dilemma of the century.
This may sound like sacrilege, but if I was on a deserted island and could have limitless books or limitless music, I’d go with music.
Music can take me out of time and place, and tell me a story. It pulls moods from me as well as any book, with the added bonus of making me shake my ass (it needs to be shaken more, I tell ya). Like an author you love—because, let’s face it, musicians are writers and then some—you can get numerous stories from your favorite bands, especially if they’ve been around for a while. And you can hear them countless times. Yes, you may re-read a favorite book, but, at least for me, it’s not something I can do over and over and over again. I think my all-time favorites I’ve read three times at most. My favorite songs I can listen to three or four times a day when they are really new and exciting, and then I revisit them periodically after the honeymoon has faded to “relive” the experience.
Again, I am so glad I’m not on that island. We can have both, and sometimes we can even have both together. My love of music (and hot musicians) inspired me to write my newest release “Forever is Now.” I especially love metal and heavy rock, and went to a number of concerts and called them “research” (if anyone from the IRS is reading this, don’t worry, I’m not deducting the ticket cost). I hit Three Days Grace the week before Adam Gontier left the band. We saw Avenged Sevenfold while I was writing “Forever” (and again this August—hey, they’re my absolute favorite). We caught Foo Fighters with Social Distortion, Stone Sour with In this Moment, and Soundgarden, sans opening act, as well this past year. All in the name of research!
Actually, that’s a load of crap. I was merely feeding my addiction. They were nothing but fun—and so was writing this book.
If you love sexy musicians and broiling-hot manlove, or maybe you enjoy a good friends-to-lovers-to-enemies-and-back-to-lovers theme, you should totally check out “Forever is Now.”
And if you like it, have no fear, the next installment is on the way. I just bought my Pearl Jam tickets to make sure I’m doing things right.
If you love someone, set him free. If he steals something of yours, hunt him down and make him sorry.
Alex Bremen is over Chance Ralan. Ever since his high school boyfriend ditched him nine years ago, Alex has barely thought of Chance at all. Sure, Alex attended a concert or two when his ex’s band, Armageddon Showdown, was in the area, but that was more curiosity than anything else. Who wouldn’t want to see firsthand how his once clean-cut boyfriend transformed into a pierced and tattooed heavy metal god?
But when Chance has the nerve to record a love song Alex wrote for him years ago, Alex crosses the country to confront him. Revenge becomes a dish best served sizzling hot. The two men lock horns, but find the chemistry between them has only intensified with time, and occasionally love needs to do some growing up before it can be done right.
“I bet you never got over that first boyfriend, huh?” Delia must have been a scab-picker as a kid. She just did not quit.
“Him? I gave up on him a long time ago.”
“Well, he sounds like a real asshole, letting you go.” Delia shrugged.
“Yeah, his loss, right?”
Chance picked up his beer glass and chugged the remainder before he slammed it down on the table. He nudged the startled groupie, who scooted out of the booth with him right behind her. Like a pent-up and poked lion, he stalked to the bar. Judging by the two fingers Chance held up, he ordered a double of something clear. He threw back the shooter and stomped off toward the men’s room.
“What’s his deal?” Delia asked no one in particular.
Alex’s glass was low, and he used the opportunity to excuse himself. Jools grabbed his computer and slid it over to pick up where he left off without a skipped beat. Miles racked pool balls across the room, while Jimmy laughed loudly and chalked his cue. Alex breathed a sigh of relief to see his assistant occupied.
He was so stupid for sticking his dick in that guy. He’d have to look for another position for him—one where they wouldn’t work closely together. Obviously, Miles hadn’t gotten past it.
When Alex entered the men’s room, he initially thought Chance wasn’t in there after all. A toilet flushed, and the door on the end stall flew open hard enough to crash against the tiled wall behind it. Chance squinted at him as they both stood before the row of sinks, the rocker washing his hands and Alex giving him a dull stare.
“What the fuck are you playing at, Alex? Why are you here?”
“What am I playing at? You’ve got to be kidding, right?”
“You come here just to screw with my head?” Chance stared accusingly into the mirror, moss-green eyes skewering Alex.
“Like you need any help with that, Chance. I think your head is fucked well and good, and it’s got nothing to do with me. Besides, you sent me a goddamn bat signal on the airwaves when you used my song!”
“So, you didn’t just show up ’cause you missed this, huh?” He grinned maliciously into the glass while he grabbed his crotch in a mocking gesture. In the harsh lighting, even with his dark makeup ringing his eyes from the concert, and the ebony spiral of a dragon’s body curling around his neck and disappearing into the ripped collar of his shirt, Alex could still see flashes of the boy he once knew. The row of stainless steel rings that marched up his left earlobe, and the skinny black leather pants, the anti-social hair and full sleeves of ink—even the cold and cynical glint in his eyes couldn’t completely mask the Chance Alex used to adore.
“How could you sing that song? I know I lost the competition. You needed to be a rock star more than you need me. I’m over it. But here you fuckin’ are, Chance—you made it to the big time without me, and without that song. The least you could do is show an ounce of fucking respect for what we had.”
“I do… I didn’t…” He tripped over his words, and Alex shook his head, about to walk out. Distance was the best thing to have between them. Why did he think confronting Chance would bring some sort of resolution, some kind of healing to the wound that never closed no matter how much time passed? He should have known being so near Chance would tear him apart all over again.
“Wait. Alex?” Chance exhaled a deep breath as if trying to decide if he really wanted to say whatever he was about to.
“I was drunk one night. I couldn’t get you … that song out of my head. I just thought if I sang it, I could sleep, ya know? Cliff heard me. Said we had to cut it.” Chance shook his head as if to negate his words. “He had the rest of the band pressure me.”
“So, once again, I lose to the band, huh? It’s classic Chance. You fucked me over for your career already! Years later, with an entire country between us, you do it again? I let you go, Chance. You should do the same.”
“Did you really?” Chance turned toward him, closing the distance between their bodies. Alex smelled sweat and leather, and Chance’s breath held the essence of liquor as he spoke. “You want to tell me you didn’t think about me at all this whole time? Is that why you never tried to find me? Never called?”
“Are you fucking serious? Is that what I was supposed to do?” Alex clenched his fists, torn between wanting to hit him, and dying to know if his lips, his tongue, tasted like vodka, or beer, or both.
“It woulda shown you cared.”
“I see the world still revolves around you. Nice to know some things never change.”
“Yeah, some things don’t. Your eyes are still that same amazing blue.” Chance leaned closer and the tip of his tongue flicked out to smooth his lips. “I still feel like I could just … dive into them and drown.”
Fuck. A shiver of excitement rumbled through Alex’s body. He had come here to yell at him, to make him realize what a self-centered prick he was. Hopefully shame him, at least a little. After that he was going to leave.
Instead, he leaned in, and his lips were on Chance’s. And, good lord, he tasted and smelled just the way Alex remembered underneath the burn of booze. Chance’s face was rougher against his chin and cheeks, not like the smooth-faced boy Alex used to steal kisses from. Damn, if the man wasn’t so much hotter. He licked the seam of Chance’s closed lips and the guy groaned beneath Alex’s onslaught while his mouth opened in response. Their tongues met, and Chance molded his warm body against Alex’s.
Christ, he feels almost too good.
Alex’s hand wrapped around the back of Chance’s neck. He loved the thatch of hair at Chance’s nape. Different color, but still reassuringly soft. Threading his fingers through the silky mass, he pulled Chance’s mouth closer, his tongue deeper into his own moist heat.
Alex smiled against Chance’s mouth as the rocker ground his hips upward into Alex’s throbbing groin. The guy’s cock was hot and hard, wrapped in buttery leather. It surged against Alex’s hard-on.
Not everything changed.
The squeak of the outer door being tugged open broke the love buzz, and Chance wrenched guiltily out of his arms.
Alex turned on the tap in a liquid-lightning move and started splashing water around as nonchalantly as he could manage. The sink was the right height to cover most of the bulge in his pants, and he prayed it would be enough.
When Dave wobbled in with a shit-faced grin and a “Heyahh!” Alex knew they were safe. Chance was safe, actually, because Alex had quit giving a donkey’s dick what anyone thought about his sexuality a long time ago.
He ran wet fingers through his dark-brown hair and spared Chance a last look. He wouldn’t even make eye contact. The guy was obviously freaked out of his mind.
Alex laughed out loud at the look of abject terror twisting Chance’s face, and gave Dave a nod as he walked out. His balls burned with disappointment, but his heart was lighter than it had been in a long time.
And stop by my blog— www.kimbervale.wordpress.com —to help me name the puppy in book two of my Shooting Stars series. The winner will get a shout-out in my acknowledgments, an e-copy of book two (Double Takes) when it releases, and a $20 Amazon gift card. You have until 10/6 to get your name suggestions in, so get to work on something totally rocking! And thanks for playing!