Sneak Peek #1 is here. Sneak Peek #2. Sneak Peek #3. Sneak Peek #4. Sneak Peek #5.
These excerpts are from a Work In Progress and I can't promise the text will be the same as the final version.
The crowds were huge, the energy fantastic, but he was tired and homesick. Didn’t let it show onstage, of course, but every chore seemed to take longer than they used to, an endless delay to getting back to
“It’s all in your head, man. We’re runnin’ like clockwork,” Bob said.
“Tellin’ me you don’t want to be home with a certain redhead?”
“Sure. Tired of being intimate with my right hand but I’m not whining about it. Listen to that crowd and tell me our jobs suck.”
“Realize you’re in love, then tell me how you feel about being apart,” Jacob said. He headed to his dressing room.
“Jake, you have to do the encore!”
“Give me a minute!” His throat was sore and he didn’t think he could get through another three songs without remedying it.
The short PA ran to catch up to Jacob’s long strides. “Sir! Sir, you can’t just walk off. If you need something, ask me to get it for you. The road manager is quite upset.”
He kept walking, opening the door to his dressing room and going straight to his kit. Rummaging with one hand, he found the small bottle of olive oil. “Unscrew the cap for me,” he said, the neck of his guitar still in the other hand. With the bottle open, he took a healthy swallow, feeling the oil coat his throat, and shuddered.
Setting the bottle on the table, he headed back to the wing of the stage. Bob spotted him first and signaled Aaron to start drumming out the beat.
Jacob took his place at the microphone and the roar of the crowd was deafening.
Just three songs and one more gig…
New Year’s Eve
The concert had been timed for the last song to end a minute before midnight. The big screen behind Jake and the band showed the crowd as the camera panned over the audience. They screamed.
“Grab someone you love, and if you came alone, make a friend,” he said into the mike.
A timer popped up on the screen counting down the seconds.
He dialed a number on his cell phone, then held it up to the shouting crowd.
Her voice mail would pick up at this hour, but it didn’t matter.
He held the phone’s microphone close to his lips to be heard over the celebrating crowd. “Happy New Year, baby. I’m comin’ home.”
Bob was playing a guitar solo of Auld Lang Syne, but Jacob doubted most of the arena could hear it. Didn’t matter much—the concert had turned into one big party. He yelled “goodnight” into the mike and left the stage.
Back in the dressing room, their crew was popping champagne. There would be a wrap party at the hotel that he was almost too exhausted to attend, but he owed it to them to show up for a few minutes.
A few minutes became a few hours including a buzz that wasn’t helping his cold. By the time they got on the plane, he felt like death warmed over.
“Dude, you look like shit,” Bob said, handing him coffee.
“Thanks. I’ve got a cold and we’re thousands of feet in the air, you git. My bloody head’s going to explode.”
“Isn’t that what your PA’s for, to bring you Nyquil?” He propped his long legs on the seat across from him. They were on a private jet again.
Jacob sighed. “He’s not Beth.”
She’d set a high bar as an employee within the first month on the job. The new kid tried, but he was in over his head. Several months after being hired, he still couldn’t keep up with Jacob’s needs on tour.
“I’ll start lookin’ for someone else. He’s fine around
“Get Beth back, then.”
“Are you out of your mind, mate?”
“What? You wouldn’t be apart then and I wouldn’t have to listen to you whine about it.”
“You can’t be the boss of your girlfriend, that’s insane. Relationship kryptonite.”
“Just a thought, geeze. You’re so bitchy when you’re sick.”
“Cute, but you’re not my type.” Bob stood and left him alone.
Yeah, he was grumpy, but being cooped up on a plane for ten hours wasn’t his favorite place when he was healthy, let alone under the weather. He wanted sleep and there was no private bedroom, nor could his mates keep the noise down when stuck together.
When they finally landed at LAX, it was evening, but on what day, he couldn’t tell. A car took him home alone, and once his luggage was inside, he trudged upstairs and dropped on the bed still fully clothed.
The world could wait.