Being the daughter of two chart topping artists was not easy, but when your parents were Bree and Asher McGhee, it made a normal life virtually impossible.
Especially, when your father has some sort of crude sex tape out there and your “secret existence” was the scandal of Hollywood for nearly ten years.
Hell... It was still talked about, even now.
After finding my father, just shy of my sixteenth birthday, I hid out for the rest of my childhood, buried my head in my books and swore to never end up in the spotlight again.
As soon as I could, I booked it out of Maine and moved far away from the press that came with being who I was.
I used my mother’s maiden name as much I could, but legally I was a McGhee, and it was still an issue from time to time... But I was making a life for myself, outside of the spotlight, and I generally minded my own business day in and day out.
Here in Portland, I wasn’t DC McGhee. I was Declan Welks, co-executive to Kids Count, INC. and I was a force to be reckoned with.
I ran benefits to raise money for kids in need. My partner and co owner, had been my best friend from birth and was a sister, of sorts...
Bailey and I had grown up together, until everything went awry. She had gone to law school, so she dealt with the law aspect of our company, while I did the leg work for the benefits we ran.
They weren’t fancy benefits, by any means. I wasn’t the fancy type, I think my ripped jeggings and converse shoes, that I wore through the airport, were proof of that.
Our benefits were primarily concerts. That’s what I found brought the money in, but it was dealing with the bands and their members that I did best. Which is why I was currently on my way to Cali, from Portland, to run my latest benefit concert.
I had bands flying in from all over the US and was excited about one band in-particular.
It was a newer band, that was knocking my parents off the charts and it didn’t hurt that their lead singer was a total babe, with vocals to back up his brawn.
I was at the airport, waiting for my flight. It was a rainy day outside and the windows of the airport were splattered with water. Instead of finding the rain ominous and depressing, like most people, the artist in me found it entrancing.
I pulled out my pen and notepad, unheard of in the 21st century, by any normal twenty-seven year old, and began to write.
Writing, playing and singing were my passions, but the career was not for me. I couldn’t deal with even watching my parents go through the backlash from all that press, let alone live through it myself. I prided myself in keeping my head above water and being scandal free.
My life was already out there, sure. With the leaked videos and what was put on my the band websites, but I wasn’t willing to share more than what was already out there.
I yawned. It took a lot to run these functions and I was exhausted from all the planning that it took just to get to this point.
I looked around for a feasible option to keep myself alert and saw a coffee shop a few rows over from where I sat. Airport coffee was the worst, but I needed it, to get through the night.
It was only three o’clock now, but when I got to my parent’s house in Cali it would be nearly six and I knew I would be in for a long night.
I got in line to get my crappy-chino as my phone rang to life.
I checked the caller ID. Smiling when I saw that it was my mom. If I didn’t answer it, she’d freak out.
“Hi, Mom.” I smiled into my phone, “We’re on a delay, because of the storm here, but it’s lightening, so I think we’ll be flying out soon.”
“So you made it to the airport okay?” She sounded a little too excited, “We just got to the house an hour ago. Noah was sulking because you weren’t here yet.”
“I am currently in line to get a very crappy cup of airport coffee, while I wait for my probably high turbulence, very delayed flight.” I sighed.
I always liked beating them there, to tease my baby brother upon arrival, but it was just one of those days.
“That’s my girl, always the optimist.” She giggled.
“Your dad went to check the venue for you. I haven’t heard anything from your brother yet, so it must be a good sign.”
Mom and Dad were performing at this benefit, to help me raise money for The Hospital’s NICU. It was a subject that hit close to home, since my little brother was a preemie, so they wanted in on it.
“Just don’t let him get arrested. We need him for tomorrow. I’ll make sure I get there early enough tomorrow to check on things.” I told her.
My father had a temper, which is where I got it from, but the thing with my dad was that unless you REALLY knew him, you wouldn’t notice the smoke before the explosion.
“Do you still want Jake to pick you up at the airport?” She asked, “One of us could always pick you up.”
Jacob Quil Moody had been my savior, when my parents moved us to Cali. He was four years older than me, but had been a good friend over the years.
When my parents were away all the time, we'd play baseball, mess around with guitars and had even started to play a little something extra.
We dated when we were young, sure, but it was awkward, to say the least. Jake just helped me keep my scandal free lifestyle private now.
Jake was a special kind of friend in private. One without strings and attachment. There was no press, because as far as they were concerned, Jake was closer to my father than anyone and was just looking out for me.
“I would prefer Jake get me, but thanks. I actually have to call him and make sure he’s still coming.”
“You should have just taken the private plane." She sighed heavily, "Are you sure you don’t want your dad or I to get you?”
“Mom, I’m positive. I don’t want to get hounded by the razzi the second I step off the plane,” I smiled at her concern, “Besides, Jake is more than capable of driving me from one destination to the other.”
“Okay, so I’ll see you in a few hours?”
When we hung up, I dialed Jake’s number right away.
“If it isn’t my little ray of dead, cold sunshine!” He spoke dryly, but I could hear the smile on his face. It made me smile in return.
“Hey, man. You coming to get my ass at the airport?”
“What kind of friend would I be if I let your parents show up there?”
“A horrible, hideous one!”
“Ouch!” He sounded wounded.
“Just make sure you’re there, so I don’t have to call daddy dearest to pick my ass up.”
“Bossy little thing aren’t you?”
“Wait until you see me do my job.” I laughed, “I’m vicious.”
“Can’t wait. I’ll be there.”
“K. Talk to later.”
As soon as I hung up the phone there was a low, wolfish whistle behind me. Honestly, the guy in line behind me was checking me out?!
I turned to give the idiot a dirty look and recognized him right away... As the totally hot lead singer of one of the bands I’d signed for the benefit.
Kade Rhodes. He made women swoon. Normal women anyway... He had made me swoon at one point, but I was beyond that, at this point in my life...
His blonde hair fell over one deep brown eye and a cocky smile played on his sexy, full lips.
He was wearing light colored jeans with a matching jacket and his white button up tee had the top four buttons undone. Revealing full muscles, covered in tattoos. The lips tattooed on his neck showed that he was happy with his social status, of being a player.
“I don’t know what flight you’re on, but I’d love to be your final destination.” His voice was smooth with a mild rasp that gave me goosebumps, but the line was so corny that it reminded me of why I didn’t like these guys. They expected women to fall at their feet.
“I’m not your type.” I rolled my eyes and turned forward, finally moving up in the line.
“Really, ’cause you look like my type.” I could hear the smile in his voice and when I turned my head to say something he was caught, openly staring at my ass.
The worst part of it was that he had the balls to give me that lazy, sexy smile when he saw that I had noticed him looking.
“Because I have two legs that separate?” I felt my eyes go wide and my words came out icy, “No thanks.”
He let out a chuckle. He thought this was a game? I had to shut this guy down quick. No matter how hot he was.
“Name’s Kade.” He leaned forward a little, to get closer to me. Oh, he was pulling out his big guns. Too bad I was used to it.
“Don’t care.” I shrugged.
“So, I don’t even get your name?” He asked.
“Ouch.” He actually sounded taken aback. I smiled internally. I didn’t feel bad for him. Not one bit.
“I’m the voca-” He began, but I cut him off mid-word.
“I know who you are,” I sighed heavily, “Kade Rhodes. Your music is good. The vocals and lyrics are hardcore. I rock out to Death Mark’s sound on the daily, but I’m still not interested.”
“You know music?” His brow furrowed, but the smile never left his lips.
“Yeah.” I huffed a laugh, “You could say that I’m a fan of the hard rock genre.”
His mouth was gaped open, but his smile remained. Oh, he was good...
“You can close your mouth. You’re not the first band guy I’ve turned down and you won’t be the last.” I turned back to the moving line and was finally able to order my coffee.
When I retrieved it, I went to the corner and sat on the floor, putting my earbuds in and ignored him standing there still, gaping at me.
When he didn't get the attention he was looking for, he then proceeded toward his group, as they laughed and joked, most likely about him being shot down.