There was one thing I knew for sure, and it was that I wasn’t ever getting caught up with feelings like Grayson Cook. A lot of people say that, but I was determined. I’d fuck women, even regularly, but I wasn’t doing the relationship thing.
I’d done that in high school and that led to a heartbreak that I never wanted to experience in the future. I couldn’t imagine caring about someone so much again, then poof. They were gone.
Not ever going to happen again.
“Of all of us, though, I knew it’d be Grayson,” Jamison said right before taking a nice, long drink of his beer. His dirty blond hair hung in a mess.
The seven of us were on our tour bus, a couple of weeks into the tour. And there were seven of us. The band: me, lead guitar; Grayson Cook, our lead singer; Lennox Weaver, rhythm guitar; Thatcher Hoffman, bass; and Jamison McCall, drums. On top of that, we’d been joined by Lilah Chambers, Grayson’s girl, and her best friend Becca. The two of them were also our stylists for the tour.
It was a cozy fit, but when we weren’t being grouches, there was plenty of room and the women were trying really hard to not get in the way.
“Why’s that?” Grayson asked. He sat over on the couch with a beer in his hand and his woman in his lap. His dark hair looked like Lilah had been running her fingers through it. Which she was doing lightly right now.
Lilah had her feet shoved between Grayson’s legs like she was trying to warm them up. We’d just finished a show and were on the road to the next one. We did keep the bus fairly cool, and she was in a pair of cotton shorts and a tank top—her pajamas, I assumed. She had her chocolate hair pulled into two small braids on each side of her head, and her hazel eyes danced as she watched Grayson. It was a little nauseating, to be honest.
“I don’t know,” Jamison continued. “It just seems like you.”
“Really?” Lennox cocked his head to the side. “I figured we’d all hold out and live the rock-star life until we were old.”
“Rock-star life?” Becca asked, as if she didn’t know what he was referring to. “What exactly is that?” Becca was the opposite of her best friend. Lilah had the shorter dark hair while Becca’s was long, blonde, and curly. They were about the same size, though.
With the smile playing at the corners of her mouth, it was clear she knew exactly what she was doing. Stirring up trouble, or trying to see if she could make Grayson uncomfortable. I didn’t give a shit. I’d tell her exactly what we’d done on the road so far, but for Grayson’s sake, I wouldn’t.
He and Lilah as a couple were new and I wasn’t hitting that bees’ nest with a stick.
“Quit making trouble,” Lilah told her best friend.
“Me?” She held her hand against her chest as if outraged. “I would never.”
Lilah smiled and shook her head. I supposed if Grayson had to hook up permanently with someone, I was glad it was a woman like Lilah. She didn’t come off as bothered by anything he’d done in his past and she was chill in general. He could’ve done a lot worse.
The only downside was that with the women being here, the dynamic had shifted. There was no denying that. So far, we hadn’t wanted to do any after-parties, but I was curious to see how it would go when we did.
Most of the time, I was up later into the night playing with my guitar. Or one of the other guys and I worked on new material. That was the great thing about how we worked together. Whenever the mood hit, whoever wanted to work on a new song or something, we did it. There were no egos here where that was concerned.
After a while, almost everyone found their way to their bunks, leaving just Thatch and me. Grayson had been my best friend since before we’d started the band, but all five of us were as tight as we could’ve been. We didn’t have any issues like Courting Chaos had a while back with one of their members. Not a single one of us would even think about having sex with underage girls. Good thing they got rid of that guy.
That was fucked up.
“Do you regret this?” Thatcher asked as he popped another top off a beer.
“Regret what?” I strummed softly on the acoustic guitar that I used on the bus.
“This.” He waved his hand around as if he meant everything, but I knew exactly what he was talking about.
“Nah. It wouldn’t be better if Grayson was on the other bus.”
“True, but it’s only been a little while.”
“I know. If he’d picked someone else, someone very un-Lilah like, then we’d probably have some problems. I think this is going to be fine.”
“And when one of us wants to bring a woman back to the bus?”
“Lilah and Becca will have to learn to live with it,” I said. He nodded as I changed keys. “If you think about it, this bus has enough room that we could add a few more people if we had to.”
Our bus had been somewhat customized by the previous owners. There were eight bunks (four on each side) in bunk alley and a small lounge near the bag where we could’ve technically fit a couple of people who were cool with grabbing a sleeping bag on the floor. The bunks could fit two people, though you’d better like the person because it was going to be tight. Then we had the main living area with a couch, a nice table area, and a small kitchen. Oh, and the restroom was off to the side before bunk alley.
“Where the fuck would we put more people?” Thatcher scoffed.
“Eight bunks. Two people per bunk. Then sleeping bags on the floor in the back.”
“I’m not sharing my fuckin’ bunk.”
My chuckle bounced my guitar on my leg. “No one’s asking you to. I’m just saying.”
Thatcher was quiet for a minute before he said, “I really hope there’s no emergency.”
There was no doubt the dynamic was changing. Or had already changed. That was bound to happen and we were going to have to roll with it.
I was happy for Grayson. If Lilah was what he wanted, then I wanted him to have her.
But it was easy for him. He didn’t know the heartbreak that loving someone like that could bring. He’d seen it secondhand with me, but he didn’t know. He hadn’t experienced it and I hoped he never did.
As for me, there was no room in my heart or my life for love or anything close to it.