Changing Beats (Book 1)

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Chapter Four

Jason

It was nine o’clock by the time I left the recording studio. I still couldn’t do much with my hand. After a month passed, I was given the go-ahead to drum again, but my hand got sore if I overworked it, and with Asher’s bullshit it was definitely getting overworked. This shit sucked.

I decided to walk a couple blocks to have a smoke and chill before I drove home. I needed to cool my temper and this was the way I knew how to do it. I was running on revved up anger and didn’t really want to go home to be alone all pissed-off, but I couldn’t stay in that studio anymore.

It had been only been a month since Asher and I’d had it out and the dude was back to the same old shit. It was almost June now and he was running on the same sort of mental insanity he always did.

Every year at this time he flipped his shit and was even worse than normal. Destroying equipment when he got pissed, fighting with fans during our concerts and sleeping with any chick that would spread their legs wasn’t anything new for him, but it got worse this time of year. Way worse.

It definitely didn’t help that we were in the studio around this time every year.

June was the month that Bree, our female vocalist, had disappeared from the group.

We were all depressed and uptight around this time. We’d all loved that girl, but it had been eight years now and no one had heard a word. The girl had simply disappeared. She was just gone.

Enough was enough though, the kid had to move on. If he kept this up, we wouldn’t finish another album.

I had walked a good couple blocks when a woman came into view wearing a sexy little black dress.

“Cortney?” I stopped and looked at the pretty blonde. “From the hospital, right?”She was out of place, walking down the sidewalk in this neighborhood. She was barefoot, with her shoes in her hands, but when she got closer something clicked.

“Jason, right?” She looked around, seeming surprised to see me here. “How’s it... hanging? That’s what those metal people say right?”It was definitely her. I’d thought about her nearly every day since she’d bandaged my hand. There was just something about that smile. She was just so pretty and normal. She wasn’t like the chicks we met at the bar or at our concerts. She was real.

“Good,” I chuckled. Although the thought of her being out here alone worried me.

It looked like she was dressed up for a night on the town, but no one was with her.

“What are you doing all the way out here?” She asked with that genuine smile.

“The band is recording a new album right now and I still can’t do much, so I took a walk,” I shrugged.

“You guys are making an album?” That smile was insanely beautiful. “That’s awesome!”

“It’s our third,” I shrugged, still concerned. “Uhm, Cortney? Where are your friends? Were you on a date or something? You really shouldn’t be walking out here alone. Especially dressed like that.”

“I was going to catch a cab, but then I got about a mile down the road and I realized that I didn’t have my purse, or anything.”

“A mile down the road?” I really looked at her. Her eyes were glossy and she looked exhausted. “Wait, are you drunk?”

“Not so much anymore, but I may have chugged a bottle of twelve-hundred dollar, vintage a couple of hours ago.” Her face scrunched. It was so cute I let out a laugh. “I was so angry that it didn’t really hit me until mile two or so.”

“Mile two? How far have you walked? Do you need a ride?” I asked, “I was about to head home. Can I drop off you somewhere?”

“No. I’ve made it this far. Thank you, though.” She started to walk again.

I just stared after her, as she moved to walk past me.

She was beautiful. I thought I’d never see her again, but here she was now. I couldn’t let her walk away. Somehow, we were meant to cross paths tonight.

“Plus, I’ve got my weapons, in case of attack. I’m good.” She held her heeled shoes up in the air defensively and I laughed again. God, she was a breath of fresh air.

“Where are you coming from?” I began to walk beside her.

“You know, smoking is bad for you.” She looked at my hand with the cigarette.

She was avoiding my question.

“You know, walking in the dark, in a fancy dress like that might kill ya’ faster.” I pointed at her shoes, “Doesn’t matter the weapon you have for protection.”

“It wasn’t dark when I started walking.” She sounded a little annoyed.

“Since you won’t tell me where, can I ask what are you walking from?” She was good at being evasive.

“My crazy, oblivious, socialite of a mother,” she started to rant angrily, pointing the shoes in the air. It was really cute to see her all wound up. “The woman is insane! You know, she thinks the world revolves around finding the perfect match and... and money. She’s has no tolerance for people who work hard doing something they love, if it doesn’t involve heavy sums of cash! She would never stop to help someone in need. Hell, she’d probably have her driver run them over with her Rolls-Royce!”

“I take it that she’s riding you about your job?” I asked.

“My career, my marital status, the way I dress, the way I present myself. Everything. All the time,” she complained, “She never stops!”

“You look hot. I don’t see a problem with this dress at all.” I looked at her outfit.

“See!” She directed a hand toward me, “Now why can’t my mother see that? I spent 45 minutes getting ready for this dinner and she treats me like I just rolled out of bed! That’s why I left. I just couldn’t deal with any of her crap! Or anyone else’s for that matter!”

“Look, seriously. I know you’re all hyped up and angry with your mom. Hell, you could probably kick my ass right now,” I told her, “But I honestly can’t let you walk alone out here. Please, let me drive you somewhere. It doesn’t even have to be your house. Just somewhere nearby to make sure you’re ok.”

She was thinking about it. I was at least getting somewhere here. I could see it in her eyes.

“I’ll let you keep the shoes in your hands and if I do something you don’t like you can jab my eyes out with those pointy little heels there.” I scratched my head, “I just know that my mom would be pissed if she found out I let a nurse walk home by herself in the dark.”

After a minute she gave a nod, “Okay, but I’m warning you, I know how to use these.” She held the shoes up. I laughed again.

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