(Access All Areas, #1)
Publication date: October 30th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Romance
I don’t date rockers. Don’t sleep with them. Don’t even swap spit. I’ve been working as a band booker at Trouble — the coolest indie rock club in town — long enough to know what a bunch of screwed up, egotistical jerks they are. Some of them might seem okay at first but that’s just because they’ve learnt to hide it better than others.
That would be fine if Razer didn’t keep popping into my office, making himself so annoyingly attractive. And he only gets more insistent when the leather-clad Alex hits town.
While they compete for both rock glory and my affection, I get stuck in the middle but all I really want to do is save my job and the club.
That’s the trouble with my life: too many rock stars.
He pulled a set of keys out of his pocket.
“You have a car?” I asked.
“Not a car,” he replied, leading me around the corner where some kind of motorbike was parked. I knew nothing about bikes, nothing at all, but that was no regular bike. It was all black and shiny and huge. Like the kind of bike Satan would ride out of Hell.
“I’m not getting on that thing.”
“Don’t be chicken.” He handed me a helmet.
“I am a chicken. This helmet is all that would be coming between me and scrambled brains.” I checked my outfit. Short skirt, bare legs, bare arms. I had far too much flesh exposed. Flesh that could be grazed, bones that could be broken.
“Just a short ride. I’ll take it slow.”
I screwed up my face, trying to decide if I trusted him. “You promise?”
“Pinkie promise,” he said.
“Kinda convenient of you to have a spare helmet. Were you planning this?”
“It pays to be prepared,” he said and flashed me the kind of smile that hit me all the way down to my knickers. A smile that caressed my body and made my hairs stand on end. A dimply smile that won my trust.
I put on the helmet.
He started up the bike and within 30 seconds, the panic set in.
“Razer, I’m going to kiiiiiiiiiiiiiillll you,” I screamed. But he couldn’t hear. He’d go slow, he’d said. Just a short ride, he’d said.
I’d never trust that guy again. He drove through the streets like a maniac. We were going to die. I knew it. I’d end up as road kill, so mangled no one would be able to recognise my body.
Actually, I didn’t even want to think about my body. About the way my legs were wrapped around Razer and how I had to press myself tight against him to hold on. Bikes, they were just dirty and wrong. They filled your mind with thoughts of sex and death.
We cut through traffic, narrowly missing a truck and running through a traffic light as it was about to change. My grip on Razer tightened. If I hugged him any tighter, he’d end up with broken ribs and that would serve him right. Except that it might make him crash.
He headed out of the city, picking up speed as we hit the open road. Then he one of the roads going uphill. If I’d thought the city streets were bad, seeing that steep drop down to instant death so close had me white knuckled. I ground my teeth down to bare gums and my body ached from muscle tension.
Killing was too good for him. I’d torture him first. I’d tie him in a room and make him listen to Justin Bieber on repeat. I’d feed him on my cooking. I’d get Carlie to serve him warm beer.
Even though, intellectually, I knew I’d be okay with Razer driving, it felt like he was out of control. He pushed me to the edge of my fear but pulled back to let me know I was safe as soon it got too bad.
When I thought I couldn’t stand it any more, he pulled over, skidding and kicking up gravel.
As soon as I could, I jumped off that bike and pulled off my helmet.
“I’m calling a taxi,” I yelled. “I am NOT going back down that road on that bike.”
He just grinned.
“You said you’d go slowly. You said you wouldn’t go far.”
“But it was fun, wasn’t it?” That cheeky grin on his face just made me want to punch him.
“No. No it wasn’t fun. It was horrible. It was the worst.” I stomped around, wondering how the hell I’d get out of this place without getting back on that bike. We were in the middle of nowhere, on top of a hill, with nothing but trees around us.
“You just don’t want to admit it.”
I was about to yell at him some more but, as I turned, I noticed the view below us, the coast line with the sun starting to set over the dazzlingly blue ocean. It took my breath away.
“Amazing, isn’t it?”
I leaned against the bike, taking it all in. The helmet dangled in my hand until Razer took it from me and put it away. Nature could be okay sometimes. I spend far too many hours in that dingy club. Carlie had been right. I needed to get out in the sun. I’d forgotten things like that existed. The sun, the beach, the birds flying in the air. Life wasn’t just about bands and planning rosters.
Razer stood beside me with that annoying grin. I bet my hair was an absolute mess from the helmet and my clothes were all over the place. I pulled down my skirt because it had ridden up. God knows how much I’d been flashing while I was on that bike.
“I didn’t know you had a bike.”
“It’s not mine. I couldn’t afford something like that. It’s my cousin’s and he loaned it to me in return for teaching him guitar. You’ve been so looking so stressed lately, Violet. I wanted to get you out of the club for a while to have some fun.”
To be honest, if he wanted me to have some fun, he could’ve thought of something less dangerous. How was I supposed to be less stressed when he tried to kill me?
Our bodies almost touched. I waited for him to try to kiss me again. I prepared to fight. I didn’t want to kiss him. I didn’t want him to make those kinds of moves. I didn’t want him to make me feel those kinds of feelings.
Our breathing fell into time with each other. My heart still beat so hard. I wanted to move away from him but my legs had turned to jelly. From that ride, of course. I’d been clenching my muscles so hard they no longer worked.
A bird squawked in the distance somewhere. The wind blew through the trees. The smell of eucalyptus filled the summer air. I stayed perfectly still.
The moment drew out and he didn’t move. He just stood beside me until my anticipation turned to disappointment.
I didn’t want him to kiss me but he could at least try. Maybe he’d lost interest in me and only saw me as a friend. That’s what I wanted. That’s the only thing I wanted. So why did my heart feel like a big, heavy stone weighing me down. I couldn’t handle this tension and walked away from the bike, my footsteps crunching on the gravel.
“It sure is pretty here,” I said. Anything to break the silence.
“Yeah, I came up here the other day when I needed to sort some stuff out in my head. It really helps to just sit and watch the sea.”
I nodded. I’d thought he had all kinds of ulterior motives but he was just being kind. He’d not even mentioned that bloody competition, thankfully.
“I guess we should get back,” he said. “If you want to be back at work on time. Of course, we could linger and I could actually drive fast on the way back.”
He winked at me. I gulped.
Candy J. Starr used to be a band manager until she realised that the band she managed was so lacking in charisma that they actually sucked the charisma out of any room they played. “Screw you,” she said, leaving them to wallow in obscurity – totally forgetting that they owed her big bucks for video equipment hire.
Candy has filmed and interviewed some big names in the rock business, and a lot of small ones. She’s seen the dirty little secrets that go on in the back rooms of band venues. She’s seen the ugly side of rock and the very pretty one.
But, of course, everything she writes is fiction.
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