Backstage Pass / Page 49

Page 49

Author: Olivia Cunning

“You’re going to tel your daddy on me? You’re even more pathetic than I realized.” Brian jerked him away from the door and shoved him into a wingback chair. “Have a seat while we wait for your handcuffs to be delivered.”

When Jeremy tried to get up, Brian put a fist in his face.

“Now listen to me, you son-of-a-bitch, the only thing preventing me from tearing your head off and pissing down your neck hole is realizing what a mess your blood would make on Myrna’s carpet. So you just sit there calmly or I might do something you won’t live long enough to regret.” Talking trash usual y did the trick with this type of coward, but Brian would be more than happy to turn his threats into reality. He would take great pleasure in rearranging this guy’s overly handsome face.

“I real y don’t understand why you have it out for me. If it’s because I cal ed you a thug, then I apologize for that.”

Jeremy oozed charm from every pore, but Brian wasn’t buying it. “I don’t care what you think of me, you arrogant ass. You hit a woman. My woman. You are on the top of my shit list.”

“I don’t know where you got your information. I would never hit a woman. Especial y not Myrna. I love her.” He closed his eyes and shuddered with tormented ecstasy. “Oh God, I love you, Myrna. I love you so much.”

Brian’s nose wrinkled and the skin on the back of his neck crawled. This guy was five brewskies short of a six pack. “No wonder she hates that word.”

Jeremy opened his eyes, a cold grin spreading across his face. Creepy. Make that six brewskies short.

“She’s never said it to you, has she?” Jeremy chuckled with an odd merriment. “And she never wil . She won’t tel you she loves you, because she stil loves me. I own her heart forever. I made sure of it. She’l always be mine. Eternal y. I ruined her for al other men. And I did it on purpose.” Jeremy lowered his chin, and stared up at Brian with icy blue eyes. “Thug.”

Myrna came back into the room with her cel phone in her hand. “They’re on their way.”

Jeremy launched himself out of his chair and shoved Brian backward with both hands. Brian stumbled, regained his footing, and headed after him. He should never have let his guard down. Jeremy yanked the door open. Brian thrust his arm in front of him to stop his progress. Sneering maliciously, Jeremy slammed the door. On Brian’s hand.

“Ow! Fuck.” Brian cradled his crushed hand against his chest.

“You idiot,” Myrna yel ed and jumped on Jeremy’s back.

Her knees digging into Jeremy’s sides to keep herself clinging to his body, she repeatedly slapped him on the head with both hands. “You stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid—”

“Ow, Myrna, that hurts. Stop it,” Jeremy complained.

She continued to slap him, punctuating her blows with, “Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid.”

Brian watched, strangely amused by her tirade. Jeremy tried to dislodge her from his back, but she had him in a leg lock he had no hope of escaping.

Brian’s left hand was already so swol en that he couldn’t make a proper fist. He hoped to God it wasn’t broken. But seeing Myrna slap the shit out of Jeremy in retaliation? Total y worth it.

Jeremy covered his head with his arms to try to block her continued flat-palmed slaps.

“I hate you,” she bel owed. “I hate you. I hate you.” When the tears started flowing, Brian couldn’t stand there and watch anymore. He touched the center of her back and she hesitated. She turned her head to look at him, tears streaming down her face and dripping off her jaw.

“It’s okay, baby,” he murmured. “Come here.”

She fel into his embrace, wrapping her arms around his neck and her legs around his waist. She sobbed against his shoulder, drenching his shirt in seconds. He stroked her back and rubbed his lips against her hair. “It’s okay. I’m here. I’ve got you. Shh.”

Final y free, Jeremy yanked the door open and found two police officers standing on the threshold.

“Are you Jeremy Condaroy?” one of the officers asked.

“No, but thank God you’re here. You arrived just in time,” Jeremy said. “That’s him. Right there.” He pointed at Brian.

Chapter 36

Myrna didn’t understand what was happening. Why was she being pul ed from Brian’s steady and comforting embrace? Why were two police officers wrestling Brian to the floor and handcuffing him? Why had they let Jeremy walk casual y out of the apartment?

“What is going on?” she screamed.

“It’s okay, ma’am. We’ve got him,” one of the police officers said, and then he started to recite Miranda rights to Brian.

“Why are you arresting my boyfriend?”

The two cops looked at her in confusion.

“I’m not the guy you’re looking for,” Brian said, stil face-down on the floor. “You let him get away.”

The officers looked at Myrna as if they didn’t believe what Brian was saying and needed her verification to proceed.

“That’s Brian Sinclair, not Jeremy Condaroy,” Myrna said. “Jeremy is a tal , prudish, blond man.”

“Shit!” said one of the officers and he took off out of the apartment and down the corridor. “Freeze,” he yel ed, his footsteps carrying down the hal . “I said freeze. I’m going to taser you if you don’t stop.”

The younger of the two officers hesitated, looking down at Brian with a giddy sort of expression. “Brian Sinclair. The lead guitarist of Sinners?”

“Be a fan boy later,” Myrna said. “That dickhead you let escape broke Brian’s hand. Are you just going to let him get away?”

The officer’s eyebrows drew together. “I’l take him down,” he said and headed after his partner. The sound of electrical crackling carried down the hal way, fol owed by a yelp of pain.

“Heh, I think they got him.” Brian smiled. “I hope it fucking hurts, you asshole!” he cal ed. Myrna helped Brian sit up, but there wasn’t anything she could do about the cuffs holding his hands together behind his back.

“I’m so sorry about al this.” She knelt in front of him and touched his face.

“No big deal. I’ve been arrested before.”

Her heart skipped a beat. “You have? For what?”

“Fighting. I used to be a hotheaded little snot.”

She chuckled. “Somehow I total y believe that.” She circled around his body and leaned close to examine his hand. It was horribly bruised and swol en. She couldn’t tel if it was broken and didn’t want to hurt him by examining it too rigorously. “How’s your hand? Do you think it’s broken?”

“I can’t tel . But it doesn’t matter. What’s important is that you’re safe.”

He was so sweet. If Jeremy had caused permanent damage to Brian’s hand, Myrna would never forgive herself. “I’l go get you some ice.” She started to rise from the floor but he leaned against her.

“No, stay with me.”

She stared unseeingly at his shoulder. “I should never have cal ed you.”

“What? You can’t be serious, Myrna. I don’t even want to think of what could have happened if you’d been here alone with that guy. He’s a total nutcase. How is he out on the streets?”

“Parole. His father has friends in high places.”

“Maybe this time they’l keep him locked up. He obviously hasn’t learned his lesson.”

Myrna rubbed her forehead, a feeling of helplessness washing over her. “I guess I need to change my name again. Move to a new city. Start over. God, I’m sick of this. I’m sick of him control ing my life.”

“Fuck him, Myrna.”

Myrna stiffened, the very idea fil ing her with dread. And nausea.

“I don’t mean literal y.” Brian shook his head at her. “He’s the one with issues. You shouldn’t have to hide in fear because someone beat him with a crazy stick.”

“Sometimes it’s easier to hide.”

“Since when are you the kind of person who takes the easy way out?”

She knew she wouldn’t be able to explain it in a way that he’d understand. She didn’t real y understand it herself. Jeremy knew her every button and he pushed them al repeatedly, without hesitation. “There’s just something about him, Brian. He gets to me.”

“I know, sweetheart. You do whatever you need to do to feel safe.” He shifted so his shoulder pressed against hers. “I’d real y like to hug you right now, but I’m sort of stuck.”

She wrapped her arms around his waist and rested her head on his shoulder. “I do like you restrained from time to time, but not like this.”

“You’re going to let me stay here with you in Kansas City until we go back on tour, aren’t you? I obviously can’t record with my hand al jacked up.”

“I’d rather go back to L.A. with you. I don’t know if I can stomach being in this apartment right now.” She glanced around. Yeah, Jeremy’s presence was fouling up the entire place. Forget finding the focus to work on her research. She’d never be able to sleep, much less concentrate.

“If you’re real y set on changing your name, you’re more than welcome to mine.”

She covered his mouth with one hand. “Don’t you dare suggest Vegas again.”

The younger of the police officers entered the front door. “Wel , we have him in custody,” he said. “Let me get you out of those handcuffs, Master Sinclair.”

Myrna moved aside and the officer squatted behind Brian to unlock his cuffs. As soon as he was free, Brian cradled his left hand against his chest. He tried to disguise his wince of pain with a smile of gratitude, but he wasn’t fooling Myrna. His fingers were already black and blue. She needed to get him to the emergency room and have his hand X-rayed.

“I hope there was some police brutality involved in that arrest,” Brian said.

The officer winked. “Maybe a little. I feel stupid asking this, but I’m a huge fan of yours. Can I have your autograph?”

“Yeah, no problem.” Brian climbed to his feet.

While Brian signed an autograph with his uninjured right hand, the officer talked to Myrna. “We probably have enough to keep your ex-husband incarcerated until he goes back to court—the idiot removed his house arrest ankle bracelet, is hundreds of miles outside his perimeter, and violated a restraining order—but I suggest you press additional charges against him. The more we have against this guy, the easier it wil be to keep him locked up.”

She glanced at Brian, who was pushing on the knuckles of his injured hand and scowling. “I need to take Brian to the hospital and get his hand checked out. Can I press charges later?”

“Um, yeah. Just go downtown and file a complaint as soon as possible. Sinclair should press charges, too.”

“I wil definitely press charges,” Brian said. “I’m even considering making some shit up.”

Chapter 37

A week later, sitting amongst a pile of dirty laundry and empty beer cans on the pigsty bus, Brian entered into a pentatonic scale progression and Trey echoed him two notes behind.

When they reached the end of the riff, Sed said, “Yeah, I like that. Eric, what do you have?”

“It’s hard to compose when your drum kit is locked in a truck, dude.” He tapped his sticks on the side of the refrigerator beside him. “That’s the beat I hear, but without my cymbals and my bass drums and…” He sighed and shook his head.

“We real y need to find some studio time,” Brian said. “When’s our next break?” Because of Brian’s injured hand, their last break had been a complete bust. His hand hadn’t been broken, but the swel ing had kept him from playing for almost a week. Al the recording they’d planned to do in the studio had been a complete wash. They hadn’t been forced to cancel tour dates, but Brian knew last night’s performance had been less than stel ar on his part.

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