Rock star, p.1

ROCK STAR, page 1

 

ROCK STAR
 


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ROCK STAR


  © 2019 by SC Daiko Romance

  All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written consent of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotation embodied in critical reviews and certain other non-commercial uses permitted by copyright law.

  This is a work of fiction. The locations are a mixture of real and imagined. The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, or any events, is coincidental and not intended by the author.

  Cover Design: Mayhem Cover Creations

  Photographer: Wander Aguilar

  Cover Model: Zack Salaun

  Content editing: Trenda Lundin

  All enquiries to info@scdaiko.com

  Created with Vellum

  For Victor, with love xxx

  PLAY LIST

  Everybody Hurts R.E.M.

  Creep Radiohead

  Hard to Explain The Strokes

  Run for Cover The Killers

  The Drugs Don’t Work The Verve

  Oh My God Kaiser Chiefs

  Times Like These Foo Fighters

  All I Want is You U2

  What a Wonderful World/Fix You Coldplay

  Contents

  Prologue

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  Chapter 18

  Chapter 19

  Chapter 20

  Chapter 21

  Chapter 22

  Chapter 23

  Chapter 24

  Chapter 25

  Chapter 26

  Chapter 27

  Epilogue

  Acknowledgments

  About the Author

  Other Books By Sc Daiko

  The Chimera according to Greek mythology, was a monstrous fire-breathing hybrid creature, composed of the parts of more than one animal.

  The term "chimera" has come to describe anything composed of very different parts, or perceived as wildly creative, incredible, or amazing.

  Prologue

  British rock band, ChiMera, to resume their world tour five months after the shocking death of backup singer, Ella Wainwright.

  By Julia Smith, The Music Mag

  Front man Axel Wainwright announced yesterday that British rock band, ChiMera, would be flying to Milan, Italy, to resume their ‘Ghost in the Heart’ world tour at the end of next month. The twenty-seven-year-old singer and bass player, who came out of rehab with his bandmates last week, stated. ‘My sister is irreplaceable, but we owe it to her to resume the tour.’ He went on to confirm that the first round of auditions had already taken place and he would announce the name of the new band member shortly.

  The ‘London Lovers’ singer declined to answer questions about a rumored estrangement from his billionaire father, Blake Wainwright, co-founder of the UK property development company, Lombardi & Wainwright, who supposedly has refused to speak to his son since Ella overdosed on heroin after ChiMera’s sell-out concert in Madison Square Garden last September.

  Axel, aka ‘the British heartthrob’, and his bandmates Rhys Williams (lead guitarist), Zach Copeland (keyboard player) and Pierce Fox (drummer) checked themselves into the Betty Ford Center in California following Ella’s tragic overdose to get themselves clean of drugs. ‘We won’t go down that road again,’ the bad boy of rock told this reporter. ‘We’ll focus on our music and our record label instead. Ella loved ChiMera. It’s her legacy. If we didn’t resume the tour, we’d be disrespecting her memory. Besides, we owe it to our entire team and all our fans…’

  Despite their ‘sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll’ reputations, ChiMera are shrewd businessmen. They set up CM Records with a loan from Lombardi & Wainwright at the start of their rapid trajectory, and within two years, due to their phenomenal early success, were able to repay the debt and start signing other bands and solo artists to the label. Apparently, they carried on running the company even while in rehab…

  It is this reporter’s opinion that whoever takes Ella’s place will need to be one special lady, not only to support Axel while he sings those amazing songs, but to maintain a professional stance. All four band members are drop-dead-gorgeous rock gods living the free and easy ‘wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am’ lifestyle. They are serial daters of beautiful women. How will any woman working in close proximity be able to resist them, I can’t help asking myself? This reporter sure as hell wouldn’t…

  1

  I tucked a strand of my long blond hair behind my ear and parked my butt on a plush sofa in the lobby of ChiMera’s headquarters, waiting to be called in for my live audition. Nerves fluttering in my stomach, I reached for my phone and opened Music Mag. An article about the band appeared on the screen, but when I read the words, ‘How will any woman working in close proximity be able to resist them?’ sudden anger flared through me. Disgusted at the insinuation, I decided not to bother reading the comments and began to warm up my voice instead.

  I hummed in my throat, then sang Do-Re-Mi-Fa-So-La-Ti-Do in all the major and minor scales, using the tones from my cell’s piano app as staring notes, and thinking about what had led me to this juncture.

  Initially, when I’d answered the advert, I had no clue I was auditioning for arguably the best rock band in the world. The groups I’d been singing with hitherto had a habit of breaking up and reforming at the drop of a hat. I needed something more permanent. Correction. Mom’s medical bills needed me to have something more permanent.

  At my try-out in downtown LA, I’d sung Adele’s Rolling in the Deep, having the same alto voice range as her, and I’d belted the crap out of it acapella, without any backup sound. After I’d nailed the last note, Jake Stanley, ChiMera’s Creative Director, revealed the audition was for the European leg of the British rock gods’ tour; he said he’d check out the information on my resumé and then he’d be in touch.

  I’d walked out of the audition stunned. ChiMera were my idols; I’d loved them since their first album went triple platinum in the States and earned them a Grammy four years ago. Frequently compared with U2, not least for their lead guitarist basing his style on The Edge’s, their moody, atmospheric songs spoke to my heart. Even if the contract would only be short-term, it would be an amazing opportunity, a chance to become recognized and turn into a star.

  Well, a girl can dream, can’t she?

  While struggling not to get my hopes up for a call-back, I’d resumed my life of rehearsing, performing and coaching sessions, not to mention a crappy part-time job waiting tables at a local diner; I told myself they’d be auditioning hundreds of other girls and might not pick me.

  I’d experienced a moment of disbelief when Jake Stanley phoned yesterday, asking if I was free to try out with the band today. When I’d realized it was for real, I couldn’t resist a squeal of happiness before confirming my availability.

  So here I was, about to sing with the front man himself, and I’d be lying if I said my knees weren’t knocking together. At least I knew all of ChiMera’s catalog and had practiced his sister’s harmonies until I was practically hoarse; I was ready to give it my all.

  The door to the waiting room swung open and Jake appeared. He was a good-looking dude— dark brown hair slicked back from his forehead, cornflower blue eyes— but too preppy. And, even if I’d fou
nd him attractive and wanted to respond to the way he was giving my body the once-over, I’d made the conscious decision to swear off men. My long-term boyfriend had dumped me last summer for a curvy redhead who didn’t spend all her time working her ass off like me. After I’d cried a river of tears, I decided to become an ice maiden rather than risk getting hurt again and, as time had gone by, I’d gotten used to being on my own. Made life a whole lot simpler, I told myself.

  “Phoenix,” Jake said in a plummy British accent, “we’re ready for you.”

  Heart thudding, I stepped into a wide rehearsal room.

  Holy shit.

  I stifled a gasp.

  I hadn’t seen any pictures of ChiMera since they’d come out of rehab.

  Wow! They’d changed.

  My eyes widened. No longer the scrawny-looking guys they’d been while using, they were standing in front of me, so beyond ripped they were freaking shredded. They must have been working out; they’d bulked up hugely... tight t-shirts hugged their pecs and bulging arm muscles.

  But it was Axel Wainwright who drew my full attention. He was so beautiful I forgot to breathe… not something anyone, let alone a singer, should ever forget to do.

  Dirty collar-length blond hair all mussed up.

  A close-cropped beard.

  Smoldering dark-brown eyes.

  Eyes that were trained on mine.

  Tormented eyes…

  “Phoenix.” He caught his lower lip with his teeth as he unleashed his sexy trademark smile, the smile that made women all over the world swoon. “I like your name.”

  The breath I’d been holding left my lungs with a whoosh, and I felt my cheeks burn. “I hope you like my voice too.”

  He stepped forward, his Gibson Thunderbird guitar slung across his broad chest, and I caught his masculine scent as he handed me a mic. “Let’s make a start, then,” he said in a curt, businesslike tone.

  Okay…

  In the background, Pierce slammed four trash beats on his drums before he played a roll. Rhys’ guitar started singing a keening note above Pierce’s pounding. I recognized the start of ChiMera’s big hit, ‘Live, Love, Lose,’ and remembered to breathe.

  This was it.

  Do or die.

  This whole gig was an awesome opportunity for me. If I fluffed it now, I’d regret it for the rest of my life.

  I’ve got this.

  One hand clasping the mic, I smoothed down my hair with the other and came in at exactly the right moment.

  Axel

  Phoenix had done her homework; she sounded so like Ella I almost broke down. It was as if my sister had fucking returned from the other side. I shook my head to clear it of dark thoughts and leaned into the silvery microphone on its stand, playing a low beat on my bass.

  I turned my head to gaze at Phoenix as I sang. She was staring at the opposite wall, her entire attention focused on the music. Only twenty-two, three years younger than Ella. And she was doing a great job, matching my vowel sounds. She was the third girl we’d played with today, and she was by far the best.

  My chest ached as I thought about my sister. No one could replace her, no fucking way. I’d loved her so much; I’d never get over her loss. We’d been on the same wavelength our entire lives. Being siblings, our voices harmonized perfectly but Ella was always careful not to let hers stand out. Phoenix was doing the same. The guys all sang backup, but I didn’t have to push my voice so hard when a woman harmonized with me. Ella never wanted to be in the limelight. Would Phoenix be happy with that?

  Ella had been strictly off-limits to the guys, resulting in them treating her like their kid sister as well as mine. If Phoenix joined the band, we’d have the same arrangement. No sex with the backing singer or it would rip us apart.

  Bending into the mic, I raked my eyes down her smoking hot body, lingering on her gorgeous ass encased in those skin-tight jeans. Her t-shirt hugged what looked like a luscious pair of tits. I wondered if they were real…

  Not that I’d ever find out.

  Not with her.

  Anyone else, and I’d have already scored a hit.

  I liked women, and they liked me.

  I liked to fuck.

  Hard, and often.

  Apart from singing, writing songs, and running CM Records with my bandmates and management team, fucking was the only other thing I was good at… even when I was high on coke. Never used anything harder, unlike Ella. By the time we found out she was on H, it was too fucking late.

  I stopped staring at Phoenix and swiveled my gaze to where hers had landed on the opposite wall, imagining a vast arena filled to capacity. The vision injected a spark into my performance. Rhys was doing what he does best on his guitar, his musical rawness taking us to the killer bridge I’d written.

  “I want it, I need it,” I sang with Phoenix, who was maintaining perfect pitch.

  If only Ella had lived…

  I focused on the music, to stop my baritone voice wobbling as a result of the sadness invading my spirit, and I got to the end of the song without breaking down.

  It would become easier with more practice.

  Easier but not better.

  “Thanks, Phoenix,” I turned to her with what I hoped was an encouraging smile. “You did good. The guys and I will make our decision asap. Jake will call you...”

  My smile had made her nervous, I could see it in her beautiful green eyes. She handed me the microphone, her fingertips brushing mine as her flowery perfume invaded my senses. Heat filled my body, going straight to my balls.

  Fuck, my bloody dick had hardened.

  Phoenix picked up her bag from where she’d dropped it by the door and I stared after her as she made her way out of the room.

  I whirled around and caught all the guys’ eyes hooded with lust and glued to her ass. “Band meeting. In the boardroom. Now,” I growled.

  2

  The four of us secured our instruments on their stands and trooped into the board room with Jake. We pulled out chairs at the center table, the mythical creature after which we’d named our band etched into the middle of the glass.

  ChiMera operated like a democracy, we voted on every decision, but I was the driving force and spokesman. I’d met Rhys, Zach and Pierce, aka Foxy, at UCL, University College London, where we were all studying Economics. But the four of us were there essentially to meet likeminded musicians and form a band. Jake, our fifth member, had been at boarding school with me and was my oldest friend. We’d both enjoyed the same privileged upbringing, spoke without a regional accent, and had jammed together on our acoustic guitars while growing up. But Jake’s heart wasn’t in performing. Instead, he helped build up ChiMera from nothing, taking on the role of our first manager and becoming our Creative Director when we got so big that we moved to LA and needed a management team. Jake also became everyone’s best mate and had our backs; we couldn’t function without him, not least when everything fell apart after Ella died.

  “Whoever we pick is off limits.” I sat and swiveled my gaze across their faces. “We keep our dicks in our pants, agreed?”

  They held up their hands, feigning innocence.

  Like they weren’t fucking Phoenix with their lust-filled eyes.

  Foxy twirled a drumstick in his left hand; he was never without one. “The last girl was such a babe. But we’re gonna pick her, aren’t we?”

  “She had perfect pitch.” Rhys’ Welsh voice was deep and melodic. He glanced at me briefly, then continued, “Just like Ella.”

  “Her name is Phoenix Johnson,” I reminded them all. “If we give the job to her, we’ll treat her with respect, ok?” I paused, chewed on my lip. “Is it a unanimous decision, then? Shall we vote on it?’ In typical British fashion, I said, “All in favor of offering the backing singer position to Phoenix, say ‘aye’.”

  Five ‘ayes’ echoed around the table and my cock wanted me to punch the air.

  Careful, Axel.

  She’s out of bounds.

  You and
your dick need to look elsewhere.

  “We gotta get back to rehearsing,” I said to no one in particular, changing the subject. “It’s been a while.”

  For obvious reasons.

  “Yeah, man,” Foxy rolled his drumstick over his knuckles and flipped it back between his fingers. “Felt a little rusty just now.” Foxy was a Londoner like me, except his accent showed his origins… unlike mine.

  Zach, the quiet one of the five of us, originally from Northern Ireland, blew out a breath. “You gonna call Phoenix, Jake? Get her in here tomorrow so we can rehearse with her?”

  “Sure,” he got to his feet and headed out of the room.

  The rest of us eyed each other morosely, our expressions saying more than words ever could.

  Rhys cleared his throat. “Maybe we should dedicate the rest of the tour to Ella? She’d have liked that, I think…”

  “She was stoked about us headlining at Glastonbury,” I sighed. We were scheduled to perform at the world-renowned outdoor music festival at the end of next June, after the tour’s London finale. I stared at the guys and, even now, even after everything that had happened, I’d have given anything to lose myself in a cocaine induced euphoric haze. We were due a meeting with our drugs counsellor this afternoon, then tonight we’d go out, get hammered, find ourselves some hook-ups.

  At least booze and pussy weren’t off the agenda…

 
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