The last couple of weeks proved brutal. Convinced by Brandt I decided to give Ami the time she needed. It shouldn’t have surprised me when she had her assistant cancel all of our weekly business meetings. Her new assistant. Thane. The new male assistant. It shouldn’t bother me but my newfound jealousy bit me in the ass.
It all kind of snowballed from there. Quade couldn’t make it to Vegas to play with us so we rescheduled our original jam session to this weekend although we decided to give those fans who bought tickets a stripped-down show too. Quade's daughter had a bad cold and him being the attentive father he was, he couldn’t leave her. It ended up being sort of a blessing. My own solemn mood with my relationship issues put a damper on the event and forced JJ and Brandt to give an all-acoustic set. They played all the old hits. They fought, bickered, and fed off each other but it only proved the magic was back. Brandt even played a song he composed on his own, a ballad about loss called Drowning in Emptiness. He confessed he wrote it years ago when he and Chelsea lost their first child but it morphed into the heartache he went through with the dissolution of his marriage.
Brandt left Vegas shortly after to rush back to the radio station he worked for and after a falling out with them he went to see his family and it seemed his life was finally coming together. That weekend something happened to bring Brandt and Chelsea back together. She moved home with the kids, and they appeared stronger than ever.
An audience member in Vegas secretly recorded his new ballad for a fan website and it became an overnight success from our supporters as well as major social media sites. Ultimately it was Chelsea who pushed for a reunion gig with the rest of us this weekend, and although he dragged his feet, I knew he enjoyed being back. We all agreed to perform at my Vegas club again and now I was looking over my drum kit at the three guys I called my brothers over the last two decades. It felt like old times. The camaraderie we shared put a smile on my face even though my heart still weighed heavy with Ami not being here to experience it with me.
Quade’s wife and daughter were already at a neighboring hotel spending some time with Nina. Lamar, JJ and Nina’s foster son, would be coming with Chelsea in the stretch limo after all the kids finished school today along with Jaeger, Quade's teenage son. It all worked out miraculously for throwing it together at the last minute.
JJ and his wife came earlier this morning after he settled some business at the studio. Since Nina had the weekend off from the hospital JJ told me it would be a nice getaway for the two of them. JJ hated the stress she had been under working in emergency medicine, and it was funny to see him deal with such a headstrong woman. JJ deserved it. He deserved a woman who would keep him on his toes. I would have never thought he would find someone so perfect for him.
It's Friday afternoon and the guys and I were all jamming in my club like old times. It dampened the pain of having them around but I came to a conclusion, I wanted Ami back in my life. Once this weekend was over I would end the wait and force her to give me some answers. Even if she didn’t want me at least I would gain some insight and be able to make a clean break. This waiting around was killing me. I couldn’t sleep anymore and my days only grew darker without her in my life.
Having the band here made me realize how much I missed the old times but it also made me long for someone to share my ups and downs with. The songs, beating the skins, the perfection of a show where I played my heart out and left all the tension behind. I needed this. I needed the camaraderie of my brothers. It helped me to get my thoughts in order and it made me see how important Ami was to me. I went too long without having someone special by my side. I wanted to lay it all out for her and one way or another, find out where we stood. Knowing she worked right down the street and not being able to talk to her, touch her, spend time with her, was too hard to handle. No longer would I sit back and long for a woman who was within reach if I only put myself out there. I couldn’t put myself through it again.
We started doing one of the songs that shot us to stardom and I loved the fond memories it brought back as well as watching us meld as a band once again. Battle Scars had a wicked heavy bass beat, and when we finished the first verse I heard a loud noise as she opened the door to my club and stomped up to me in a fiery blaze. Immediately I knew why Ami was here.
“Ryder, you son of a bitch!”