“Luca, I love you. So much. But I can’t just drop my whole life to go follow your dreams. I have my own goals. I can, however, make you a promise. I will be here, waiting for you, no matter what.” I leaned in and kissed him gently on the lips.
“That settles it. I’m not going.”
“Luca, you and I both know you’ve got to do this. Do you have any idea how few opportunities like this come along? You’ve got the talent. People need to hear your music. Besides, you can’t just screw the other guys in the band like that. This is a shared dream, and you owe it to them to give it a chance. We can FaceTime and Skype and fly out see one another. We’ll make it work. You owe it to yourself to at least give it a fair shot.”
Luca grabbed me, putting his arms around me and holding on so tight I could barely breathe. He seemed like a man taking the plunge and I was his only lifeline, his beacon of light through the darkness. I knew no matter what happened that Luca and I would always find shelter in one another. If he shared his music with the world, there would just be more of him to love. We’d endure, no matter the circumstance—because our love was the real thing, and it could weather even the worst storms.
One Year Later
It had been six months since I’d seen her. Six months of pure fucking torture. After coming to LA, things took off for the band. More like skyrocketed, faster than anyone saw coming. We got two number one singles, and then tour opportunities started popping up. Even a Euro tour option was on our plate. Playing Europe was almost unheard of for a new band, but we were hot—hotter than I even cared to admit.
“What the fuck? You know I don’t like the Jonas Brothers,” Trevor bellowed.
I laughed, knowing he was checking out the song list. I knew it would seem like a weird selection for the show, but I also knew that my girl was going to be in the audience. And that was how we communicated, via the songs I’d sing to her. It always had been, and I imagined it would always be that way.
“Stop your bellyaching and learn the damn riffs. We only have an hour before we hit the stage.”
“Mr. Masterson, you have a guest. Your agent told us to bring her directly to you,” the security guard said while blocking my view of Steph.
“Let her in!”
I smiled as I walked over with a damn goofy smile on my face. The security guard moved away, and who I saw it wasn’t Steph but rather Madeline. I had no fucking idea what that chick was doing at the show, nor did I care. She’d been harassing me with constant emails and would randomly show up at shows. I think she even might have fucked Mike to get closer to me. Mike denied it, but I’d seen her sneak out of his hotel room with her disheveled clothes and smeared lipstick. If they didn’t fuck, then they sure as hell had an intense make-out session.
“Oh, there he is,” Madeline cooed. God, her voice was irritating. She had this nasally, high-pitched speaking voice. “Oh, Luca baby, it’s been so long. Three weeks is too long to go without seeing you, baby.”
“Baby? Who’s she calling baby?”
I froze. My whole body went numb. The sweet voice I’d been longing to hear had picked the worst damn time to make an entrance. The look on Steph’s face broke my heart; I knew what she was thinking, and it didn’t look good—nor could I blame her. Madeline had messed with our relationship on more than one occasion. She was an annoying airhead who didn’t get the point. Too bad I couldn’t pawn her off on one of my bandmates—permanently.
Last year, she followed the band around everywhere. She must have dropped out of school to do it. I started carrying a picture of her to every gig to show the bouncers so they could keep her out of the venues. I wanted nothing to do with her. Some of the guys said she was sleeping with Ziggy, one of the roadies. I should have fired the fucker just to get rid of her.
“Came to watch the show, but I see you have other guests,” Steph said.
I walked over to her, intending to wrap my arms around her and never let her go—show her that Madeline meant absolutely nothing to me.
“Don’t touch me,” Steph warned. She backed away like I was contagious. “Put me on the first flight home, please,” she told the promoter who’d walked her in.
“She isn’t going anywhere, but this one here”—I nodded toward Madeline—“you can escort off the fucking premises.”