The last ten months had quite possibly been the fucking craziest of my life. Seven months ago I finally got married, and I have heard all the jibs about being a glutton for punishment to the ball and chain, but it’s true! I married an Evil Midget after all. At least I knew what I was in for. In truth it had been incredible, and at 8 and a half months pregnant we are preparing for our second baby to arrive next month.
With the arrival of a new artist to our brand in Sydney three months ago, it had afforded me the opportunity to be home with Charlie while we helped him to settle in. See Jasper wasn’t any old artist, there was something in this kid that both myself and Marcus had noticed instantly, and we were determined to get him signed to the brand by any means necessary.
Following the final show of my tour ten months ago, and Jasper taking to the stage with us, we did a lot of prep work and PR to make sure we kept the connection strong for when his current contract ran out. As a result, when it did, we had signed him.
Of course I was sure it helped his partner lived down here and he was in another state, and I would be lying if I didn’t acknowledge the fact Charlie and the girls had become close with her, tipping the boat in our favour, but I won’t make any pretence of my admiration for his work.
It was funny, when I first heard of him it was through Charlie showing me an interview he did with his girlfriend. He mentioned he was keen as mustard to do a collaboration with me. Truth be told, I was just as keen, seeing what this kid had been doing the last few months since he arrived.
Marcus had been pushing me in a big way to help mentor him, and he need not worry, I had no issues in helping the kid out. Not only was he an extremely talented musician, he was a pretty sound bloke to hang out with.
While his most recent album had been released under his old label, we had still been able to pull leverage off it, given the media hype when he signed to us. We wanted this as we had some work in the process for him to jump straight into and we could use this to build his brand quickly and efficiently.
Of course that was something I had no involvement in, that was Charlie and Marcus’ forte, I just stuck to what I did best, the music.
Pulling myself out of my thoughts and finishing getting dressed, I headed down to the kitchen to grab a coffee before we had to head to the studio.
I had a few meetings with Marcus in the office today and I wanted to head down to the studio in the afternoon to check on how Jasper was going. While Charlie was due to take Maternity Leave shortly, she was coming in with me today as she too was involved in two of the meetings.
As I got to the bottom of the stairs I saw our little possum come running around the kitchen bench, seeing me and stopping dead in her tracks. “Miss Molly. . .”
“Hi daddy.” She clapped her tiny hands as I picked her up. I covered her in kisses as she gripped my face, trying to stop my stubble scratching her. Walking into the kitchen I still had Molly squealing in my ear.
“Morning cutie.” I said leaning over to give Charlie a kiss.
“Morning babe, how did you sleep?” She said as she turned to face me with a coffee ready.
“Good babe, you? Also what time do we have to leave?”
“Brax! When are you going to learn to read your damn emails?” She laughed at me.
“Why do I need to? I have you?” I shrugged, taking a sip of my coffee.
“Ridiculous. We need to leave in forty five minutes. Are you okay with her while I finish getting ready?”
“Shoo woman.” I waved her off towards the bedroom. We are off to watch some Shaun the Sheep.”
“Shaun!” Molly repeated clapping her hands. I winked at Charlie as she headed off to get ready while Molly and I chilled for half an hour before the commute into town commenced.
After dropping Molly off with her Grandmother for the day we found ourselves pulling up into the office and heading down to the boardroom. As we made our way in we could hear some of the guys had already arrived, and by that I mostly mean Chester. “Yeah Colton’s check up went great, doc even said he is going to be huge like his dad if you catch my drift.”
“He meant his mouth right? He’ll be a big mouth like you?” Charlie said as we walked in, much to Liam and Shane’s amusement.
“Of course you would turn up now.”
“Guess I learnt my timing from you, Chester!”
“So apart from the weekly meeting, anyone else know why we are here earlier?” Chester asked as Jasper walked in and said good morning to everyone.
“Hey bro, you good?” Brax asked him.
“Sound thanks mate. Hey Charlie, how are you going. Not long now?” Jasper asked her, pointing to her beautiful bump.
“Not too long thankfully. How’s Lucy?” Chester immediately asked who Lucy was. “Shut up dickhead.”
“She’s good thanks, got exams next week so she’s head down bum up at the moment.” Jasper explained.
“Just the way I like them.” Chester whispered to Liam and Shane as the three of them cracked up laughing.
“Hey guys, sorry I’m a bit late.” Mark walked in already speaking as he did a scan of the room. “Oh never mind, Marcus isn’t here yet, fuck ya all.” The boys laughed.
We sat around talking for a bit before Marcus finally turned up, usual large flat white in hand. “Thanks for the coffee asshole, it’s alright we didn’t want any.” Brax nodded towards the cup in Marcus’ hand as he spoke.
“Sorry mate, racing from one meeting to the next this morning. I’ll shout you afterwards.”
“Do we all get a sorry since you kept us all waiting and didn’t bring us drinks?” Chester questioned him as Marcus turned directly to Charlie before speaking.
“Charlie, I am sorry to have kept you waiting, I am sure at eight months pregnant you were the only one here impeded by my being two minutes and thirty four seconds late.” Marcus confirmed as he double checked his watch.
“Thanks for noticing Marcus, no problem at all.” Charlie continued as they both ignored Chester’s question much to my humour.
“Anyway, we have a ton to get through guys so let’s try not to get distracted alright?” An hour or so later we had finally got through all the general housekeeping and targets for this week when we got to new business. “Right, so last week I eluded to the fact there had been discussion about getting our artists focused on new avenues this year. Predominantly, in the past we have focused on individual tours for each of you, as you boys would know, you have had three big ones over a couple of years.” Marcus continued to explain. “As the label and the brand grows, we have to look at more cost effective ways to get your guys out there more frequently. An opportunity was presented a few weeks ago and discussions have been ongoing behind doors. This is something I truly believe is a good business venture for all of you sitting here and I have fought tooth and nail to make sure I can bring this offer to you today.”
“If you say another Tour right now Marcus, I am telling you to get fucked.” I interjected.
“If you say another Tour right now Marcus, I will bend you over myself.” Charlie came in with the follow up. Chester and the boys roared with laughter as I looked at her shocked.
“Charlie!” It’s all I had.
“What Brax? I am pregnant, tired, hungry and I am going to need to pee soon. Get on with it already!” Of course these fuckers encouraged her again by laughing more.
Marcus finally continued. “Summer Vibes Festival. I have secured you both spots as the acts for it, with Brax to headline the night show.” I heard everyone around the table mumble ‘festivals.’ I don’t think any of us expected that was the direction he really was considering. “You don’t like it?”
“I find it amusing. It is something Charlie mentioned a while back to me, after the car accident on the last tour.” I added so he asked if I did like it then? “I don’t hate it. Jasper?”
“What other details do you have? The line up and stuff?” He enquired.
“And when is it, but most importantly - where?”
“Here’s the line up they are looking to secure. The green category is already locked in, amber in negotiation like us and red with no response.” We all had a look over and it was pretty impressive. Not to mention we all have a similar fan base so the crowd would be appreciative of all the artists lined up. The biggest thing that hadn’t stopped me ruling it out yet was the fact it was six months away and it was local.
If it was any sooner it would be a solid no for me with Charlie. But then again, it was only a festival, it was on the beach and parkland here so we didn’t have to travel and our parents could help us out. I looked over at Jasper who was staring at me. “What do you think, mate?”
“If your face is anything to go by, I think we are on the same page, Brax.”
“Plus it gives us a solid deadline to finish our song?” I added in.
“Well that was going to be my next point. What better night to unveil yours and Jasper’s collaboration?” Marcus asked the group.
“It’s up to you and Charlie bro, you know where I stand.” Jasper said, throwing it back at me. I looked at Charlie and I could already see her answer written all over her face.
“Alright Marcus, let’s do it.”
“Fuck yeah! I don’t miss the tours, but damn I miss the live shows!” The rest of the boys were quick to agree with Chester’s sentiment.
“That’s probably the most intelligent thing I have ever heard you say, bro?” I quizzed Chester as the others laughed.
We started to get packed to get a move on with our day. We were saying goodbye to everyone before catching Marcus on our way out. “Here’s that paperwork for you to sign too mate, then it’s all finalised. I’m excited, and I hope you are too?”
“I am Marcus, thank you.” He patted me on the shoulder before walking off back to his office. I turned to my wife, ready to go pick up Molly.
When I saw Charlie’s face and her hand on her hip, I knew exactly what was coming. “What paperwork Brax? Forget to tell me something again?”