Why does it always appear as if it has to come down to one thing or the other?
Why can’t we have both for a change? I mean that would make everyone happy…wouldn’t it?
So many dilemmas to be dealt with when you’re chasing your dream.
Enjoy this week’s chapter and—DON’T FORGET TO VOTE!
Love Toni xx
“It’s great that you’re here,” I said to Destiny and I meant every word.
The desire to drink bourbon and fuck Destiny was strong—but tonight I knew that the band had a chance to impress the overseas agents and I wanted that.
I wanted that more than I wanted anything else in the world.
“What brings you to Wellington?” It seemed strange, making this kind of small talk.
A hint of a blush began to creep up Destiny’s cheeks and for a moment, she looked uncomfortable. As if she had a secret that she didn’t want to tell me. Destiny was always so sure of herself. It struck me as strange that she seemed to be squirming in front of me.
“We wanted to see you guys,” she said. “You’re all over social media and everyone’s raving about your shows.”
A measure of pride rose in my chest.
We were good.
There was no disputing that fact.
Multiple nights on the road and on stage had turned us from a rag-tag band of musicians into a polished and tight unit who now performed as one.
I leaned forward into the heated scent of Destiny’s body. “Really, that’s all that brought you here?” How many nights on tour had I lay, alone in my bed, thinking about the last time I’d been with Destiny?
She reached her hand up and stroked the stubble on my cheek.
A slow smile spread across her face.
The rest of the people in the bar faded into nothing.
We might easily have been the only two people in the world in that moment.
Destiny leaned her face into the side of my other cheek.
My body enveloped hers.
She whispered, “I missed you. I was wrong to send you away.”
I slipped my arms around her slim waist, my hands coming to rest in the small of her back.
“I missed you too,” I said, “and I’m not going to be on the road forever.”
Our hips still touching, she leaned back and away from me. Far enough away that she could look at my entire face. Her huge brown eyes burned into mine.
“I think that you’re going to be on the road for a long time. But it’s okay. I’ll wait for you.”
I never thought I wanted Destiny to wait for me, but now I realised that it was what I’d wanted all along.
Plenty of women had thrown themselves at me while we’d been travelling—I’d be a liar if I didn’t say I wasn’t occasionally tempted—but really, I was a one woman man.
I realised now that I’d held every single one of those girls up against my idea of the perfect woman—and that perfect woman was Destiny.
She was the only woman in the world who meant anything to me. I’d thought about her night after night while I lay alone in my bed in various motel rooms around the country. Wondered what she’d been doing right at that moment and wanted so badly to reach out to her.
But I’d done what I thought she wanted me to do.
I’d left her alone.
“You don’t know how much that means to me,” I said as I covered Destiny’s lips with mine and fell into the world of all things Destiny.
I could have anyone.
But the only woman I ever wanted, the woman who held my heart in her hands lived on the edge of Milford Beach.
The place I knew I’d always call home.
It was so good to feel Dylan’s arms around me again. As soon as I set eyes on him I realised that I was an idiot to have told him to go on tour and forget me.
The last thing I wanted Dylan King to do was forget about me.
We’d had a wonderful evening catching up.
Ella and I had laughed and, on occasion, almost cried over dinner while Dylan and Marty told us their hilarious stories about being on tour.
We were just finishing up a fabulous plate of lemon meringue pie when their manager wheeled himself over to the table.
“Hey, Calvin, this is Destiny and Ella,” Dylan dealt with the formalities.
“Nice to meet you,” the silver-haired gentleman said as he nodded in acknowledgement, first in my direction and then in Ella’s. “Are you local?” I thought it was a strange question.
“No, we’re from Auckland,” I replied.
“Ella and Destiny are old friends from home,” Marty added.
“Ah, I see,” Calvin said, “you’ve come down for the show?”
“Yes,” I replied as I slid my hand onto Dylan’s knee. “We’ve been watching how well the guys are doing, so we thought we’d surprise them.”
Calvin cocked his head to one side, “I’ll bet they were surprised,” he replied with a half-smile.
I wasn’t sure that I liked the tone of his voice.
Or the way he was looking at me and Ella.
“I’m sorry to interrupt your reunion,” Calvin said as he looked directly at me, “but the boys have a job to do and I’m expecting great things from them tonight.”
“Can you give us a couple of minutes, Calvin?” Dylan asked.
“Rest of the band are upstairs. I want you up there in five for a briefing before the show,” he said.
“Nice to meet you, girls,” Calvin said as he turned his chair and began to wheel himself away from us.
“Is he always so rude?” I asked Dylan.
“He’s the boss,” Dylan replied. “Without him, me and Marty would still be sitting back in Milford scratching round for gigs.”
“But does he have to be so rude about it?” I asked again.
“He’s not rude,” Marty said, “he’s got a show to run. Come on,” Marty said to Dylan, “we better get up there.”
“What’s the rush?” I asked Dylan. “You’re not even on for another hour and a half. There’s the other band on before you.”
Dylan slipped his hand around my waist. “There’re some guys coming to see us tonight, from America. It’s a big deal.”
I still didn’t understand.
“So why d’you need to have a meeting?” Ella asked. “Don’t you do the same show every night?”
“Look, we gotta go,” Dylan said as he leaned in to kiss me. “We’ll catch you after the show, okay?”
A quick peck on the lips and he was gone.
“What do you make of that?” Ella asked me.
“I guess they’ve got a job to do, but it all seems kind of secret squirrel if you ask me.”
Despite my overwhelming joy at seeing Dylan again, it was pretty apparent where his priorities lay. My mind wandered to that first show in Auckland and the discussion I’d had with the woman behind the bar.
What had she said?
Ready yourself for a long distance relationship. He’s going to be working his arse off on the road. Or something along those lines.
Maybe this is what she meant.
Calvin appeared to be a hard task master and I knew Dylan was ambitious—this is what he’d wanted for as long as I’d known him—and that was a long time.
“There are some American dudes coming to see the band tonight,” I said to Ella.
“Did Marty mention that to you?”
Ella shook her head, “No.”
Why hadn’t he said anything to Ella?
“What do you think that means?” Ella asked.
“I wish I knew.”
Deep down, I think I knew exactly what it meant, but part of me didn’t want to acknowledge that this band was going to take off.
That they were going to be big.
I wanted Dylan—I’d worked that much out.
But did I want a long distance relationship?
That was the question that I still couldn’t answer.
By the time Yellow Lady hit the stage, it was standing room only in the pub.
There looked to be hundreds of people standing outside on the windswept Wellington footpath just so that they could listen to Dylan and Marty on stage.
It blew my mind how far the band had come in such a short space of time.
I struggled to get my head around how things had changed since the last time I’d watched them play in Auckland.
From the moment Dylan stepped onto the stage, he held me and the rest of the audience spellbound.
I couldn’t take my eyes off him.
The rest of the band may as well not have been there for all the attention I paid them.
I only had eyes for Dylan.
He owned that stage.
Strutted around it like he’d been standing up in front of hundreds of strangers all his life.
Where was the quiet, almost reserved man I knew from back home?
What had happened to the unsure kid the bullies used to shove around in the school playground?
A rock god stood before me.
Belting out the lyrics of songs that he and Marty had written.
Throwing in a couple of covers so the entire crowd could sing along with him.
I could feel the heat and sexual desire rolling off the women who stood in front of me.
I wanted to climb all over them.
Stand on the stage.
Rage and scream at them.
Declare Dylan to be mine.
But I didn’t do any of those things.
I sat beside Ella—her gaze firmly fixed on Marty.
We drank wine and we behaved ourselves.
Because wasn’t that what the girlfriends of the band were supposed to do?
I had no idea.
But I knew I didn’t want to make a scene.
Someone from America was here tonight, watching the band.
Someone clearly important.
Someone that Dylan and the rest of the band wanted to impress.
I was impressed.
I only half hoped that the men from America were impressed as well.
Ella leaned in to me. “Fuck. They’re good.”
“I know,” I almost moaned.
How long would I have to wait to get Dylan upstairs to his room, or maybe back to where we were staying?
All I wanted to do was tear the tight jeans and shirt off him that he wore.
“Did you see that?” Ella said, horror in her voice.
“That girl, down the front,” Ella pointed in the direction of a chick who wore a bright red halter top. “There! Look! She did it again. Did you see?”
I saw all right.
The chick lifted her top and gave Dylan an eye full of her tits.
I wanted to stand up and smack her one.
Instead, I sculled the rest of my glass of wine.
Dylan, bless him, didn’t miss a beat of his song and carried on as if that kind of thing happened every night.
Maybe it did, an unwelcome voice in my head said.
What the hell was I thinking?
I couldn’t sit at home and deal with this sort of thing. Knowing he was up there on stage and women were throwing themselves at him night after night.
“This is our last song of the evening,” Dylan said, “and I want to dedicate it to Destiny.”
I heard the starting bars of Yellow Lady.
My heart thudded in my chest.
“Did you hear that?” Ella gave me a huge hug.
How could I not have heard it?
No matter how anyone else behaved, I wanted Dylan so bad.
But there were so many reasons that he wasn’t going to be good for me.
Why the hell did I have to fall for a rock star?
“Freakin’ amazing show guys,” Liam said as he slapped me on the back and handed me a beer.
We were sitting to the side of the stage, the black wing curtain keeping us hidden from the crowd below.
The four of us touched necks of the bottles before we downed the contents.
I’d managed to spot Destiny and Ella tucked up against the side of the bar towards the right-hand side of the stage when the house lights went up.
I guess it wasn’t strange that my eyes were drawn immediately to the two of them in the sea of faces that yelled and screamed and stamped for more.
Calvin had taken his usual attitude of, leave ‘em wanting more and called us off stage after the second encore.
“You did well lads,” Calvin said as he wheeled himself into the centre of the group. “You’ve pulled off two great shows here in Wellington. I’m going to give it to you straight, the agency in the US are impressed and they want to sign you.”
“Fuck, yes!” Liam yelled as he punched his fist into the air.
“What does that mean, exactly?” I asked. There was a rushing sound in my ears and I had the sudden urge to sit down. If it meant what I thought it meant, then this was what I’d dreamed about.
“It means you’re on your way, kid,” Liam said as he pulled me into a huge bear hug. “And I never wanted to admit it, but we couldn’t have done it without your and Marty’s incredible song writing skills.”
Now I wasn’t sure what to say.
I’d been looking forward to getting off stage so I could go and see Destiny—but now this.
This was something bigger than I’d expected—especially so soon after we’d started touring.
“How come they want to sign us, like we haven’t even recorded a song yet?” I asked.
“It’ll all be taken care of in the contract, don’t worry about that,” Calvin said. “You’re headed for the big time, guys. All your hard work’s paid off.”
I still felt shell-shocked.
Maybe the news hadn’t quite worked its way to my brain yet.
“We should go and tell Destiny and Ella,” I said as I pulled Marty to one side.
“About the two out front,” Calvin said, interrupting.
“What about them?” I asked.
“Look, there’s no easy way of saying this. Let me give you a piece of advice about women,” Calvin said.
I wasn’t sure I wanted to hear Calvin’s advice, but I wasn’t in a position to shut him down.
Calvin continued, “The girls always say, “It’s me or the band,” and the guys always choose the band.”
“I’m not giving this up,” I said. Astounded that Calvin had even brought it up.
“Those two out there, from back home,” Calvin replied, his voice gentle, “they’re going to make you choose. You guys are good. The four of you have got something special. I’m going to go on record, right here and right now. You four are going to the top. Don’t ever forget that—especially when those girls from back home tell you how much they love you.”
“They’re old friends,” Marty said.
Calvin just looked at the two of us, stony faced.
“Go on,” he dismissed us with a wave of his hand. “Get out there and have some fun. You deserve it. But don’t forget what I just said.”
Marty and I headed out the front to find Destiny and Ella.
We were going to make the big time.
But what exactly did that mean for me and Destiny?
* * *
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