Hard Freak

By: Candy J Starr

Rock Stars on Tour, Volume 3



Chapter 1





IT MIGHT NOT HAVE BEEN the best idea I’d ever had, but once it gripped hold of me, I couldn’t think about anything else. Who knew that it’d lead to so much trouble.

My life ruled. Really. I found it hard to believe myself, sometimes.

Not that long ago, I’d been lazing around watching Netflix and wondering what to do with my life. Then my cousin Polly had phoned, and I’d been skyrocketed from regular college student to fronting her band on this European tour. I’d always known I was destined for greatness, but I hadn’t expected it to happen so suddenly.

Of course, I was only a provisional member of Wreckage. I’d replaced Polly’s ex, Miles, the big jerk. My whole reason for being in the group was that I knew their songs, including the bass parts. But, hey, their desperation was my gain. And theirs. I rocked the heck out of fronting that band because I had way more charisma than Miles.

There was only one black cloud.

Crow.

Not Crow himself, but I wanted it to be Crow and Fay. The two of us, together. Friendship was all well and good, but I wanted a whole lot more than friendship. Convincing him of that would have been a whole lot easier if Polly hadn’t been dead set against it. She’d become a bit creepy about keeping the two of us apart. Not only did she feel like she was responsible for me, but because she dated Damo, the lead singer of the Freaks, she’d kind of taken over as mother hen of the whole tour. Damo hated drama, and he hated being disturbed, so making sure Damo had the peace and quiet he loved had become Polly’s mission.

The whole lot of us—my band, Wreckage, and the headliner band for this tour, the Freaks, plus assorted management—had bussed from Amsterdam to Brussels, arriving late in the afternoon.

Of course, there were a lot more crew on the tour, but they had their own bus and their own schedules. We got the night off while they had to set everything up for tomorrow’s show.

We were only playing a few shows here before the Freaks hit Paris to headline a big festival there. Then both bands would be playing Paris.

See, that’s how much my life ruled. I’d be onstage in Paris. Not that Brussels wasn’t awesome, too. But Paris would be extra-special.

When I left home, Mom had told me to defer study for the year so I had something to come back to. I’d agreed, but I had no intention of ever going back. I’d have to be dragged kicking and screaming from this life.

We checked into the hotel, and I went to my room.

I’d only had time to shower when Polly called to say everyone was going to dinner. Yikes, I needed to find something to wear. Something sexy but not too sexy. Jeans and a tight t-shirt fit the bill.

We got to the cafe, just a standard burger bar with pop art prints on the walls and bright colors everywhere. Jax and Damo pushed a couple of tables together to fit us all in. While they did that, I moved closed to Crow. That way, when Damo and Jax finished, I’d be sure we’d be sitting together. If only Damo would stop his fussing.

Sitting together at dinner wasn’t such a bit deal, but maybe I could convince Crow that the two of us should go out drinking afterward. Just the two of us, not in a group.

Before we seated ourselves, Polly wedged her way between Crow and me. She put her arm around my neck.

“How’s it going here, kids?” she asked. Then she pushed us toward the table, making sure she sat between us.

I groaned. Every single time I started getting close to him, she did that. It wasn’t that she didn’t like Crow; she just didn’t approve of the two of us together. But Polly should just mind her own business instead of interfering with mine all the time. Even though I appreciated her asking me to join Wreckage, the way she tried to rule my life was proving a real pain in the butt.

“What do you think?” she asked, handing me a menu.

I handed it back to her. “Whatever,” I said. “I’m not that hungry.”

My stomach rumbled. I could eat a horse. I just didn’t want to say that to Polly. And, sure, that probably proved my immaturity to her, but I wanted her to know I was annoyed. Instead, she ignored me and discussed the burger options with Damo, leaning over Crow to do it.

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