Integral Instruments - With prelude to Justified Voices (Book 7)

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13

Megan

Once in the bathroom, I began to freak out, thinking about all of the stuff I’d told him... Everything we’d done and everything he had seen in my home and with my girls.

It had all just felt so right at the time, but now it didn’t. How could he be this Rockstar and be into me?!

I was trying to calm myself when the shouting sounded again, “Bree’s back! Whoo! Black Heart and Fallen Angels in the house!”

My body began to shake from my unshed tears. This was bad, really bad. I had allowed myself and my girls to get attached to a man WAY out of my league...

The girls were going to be so heart broken. It would kill me, knowing that I put them in this situation. How was I going to get home and out of this bar before he caught me leaving?

God, I was so stupid! I thought he loved me. I thought I had met a decent guy who liked me and genuinely liked my kids and he lied to me. Nearly 5 months of lies.

Now, I was stuck in the bathroom of my old job, where the one person who I knew did care couldn’t enter, even though he was the owner, and I was about to cry.

The door swung open and three women with heavy ink walked in. Me being their focal point. Oh God. It must be them. The band.

“Wow... You're shaking like a leaf.” The blonde’s eyes bugged out of her head.

“Do you want us to kick his ass?” One girl with electrical green eyes gave me a crooked grin, and I knew, she'd really do it, if I said yes.

“I-uhm...” I grimaced, “I should go.”

I went to walk past them, but the little one with purple hair smiled and stood in front of the door to stop me.

“You need to relax a little first.” She placed her hands on my shoulders and tried to look me in the eyes. I knew that voice. I listened to it every day on my Alexa.

“You’re-? You-” I couldn’t get the words out.

“Just call me Bree.” She smiled warmly.

“And I’m Reegan. The blond is Lou.” The brunette, with the neon eyes pointed to the blond.

“Why are you in here?” I wide eyed stared.

“Ryan was worried about you," Bree gave me a sympathetic smile. "He’s our little brother. We look out for each other. Now take some deep breaths and try to relax.”

“I-uhm...” Lou was right, I was shaking like a leaf, “I should really go. Davis is shorthanded and could really use my help.”

“No. You need to chill.” Reegan smiled dryly, leaning against the sink, while Bree looked around, "We know you aren't going to be tending bar anymore tonight and if you bolt for the door, Ry will flip."

"Ry never flips." Lou seemed confused, "He's the most mellow guy we know."

"I saw him flip a few times." Reegan grinned, "It takes a lot, but he does loose his shit, and you don't think her leaving would tip him?"

“Davis really let the ladies room go to shit.” Bree swung a door to a stall open and closed as she examined it.

I squinted and looked around the bathroom for the first time, the stalls needed a paint job and the floor was gross.

“It wasn’t this bad when I worked here.” I looked around the bathroom, grateful for a distraction, "I cleaned it and painted it when I was young, kept it looking good."

“Davis said you worked at Roxy’s,” She smiled brightly at me, "He didn't say you cleaned it."

“When I was nineteen, but when I turned 21, I became a bartender. I had a baby and wanted to be with her during the day.” I shrugged, “After some stuff happened, Davis pitied me and helped me get through art school.”

Bree gaped at me, “A single mom struggling...”

“I don’t struggle.” I took a deep breath and steeled myself, “Not anymore, I really have to go.”

I made it to the door and threw it open, Ryan was right there with a bunch of other guys, but I ran past him. I really needed to go. I couldn’t do this. Not with an audience. I didn’t need anyone else witnessing my stupidity.

When I made it into the fresh air I felt better, until I realized that I had no way of getting home. My keys were in Davis's office. Dammit!

“Meg, wait up!” Ryan called from behind me and I sped up. I needed to get away from him and... This...

“Meg, please let me explain.” He reached for my arm and I pulled away from his grasp.

“Don’t touch me!” I turned and snapped at him, “What do you even want from me, Ryan?! Huh?!”

His eyes darted to the side, but he spoke softly to me, “Can we go somewhere to talk please?”

People began to crowd around, but my eyesight was too blurry now, from my unshed tears, and everything became fuzzy around me. I assumed it was his friends, no, not his friends, his band. Their band? Whatever infamous band these people belonged to!

“No! I need to go home! To my kids and my house in the suburbs! You know, the huge thing that you didn’t tell me that separates us!” I turned to walk away, but came back to face him again, “When you told me you loved me, was that a lie too?! Huh?!”

“That’s not fair and you know it!” He towered over me and shouted, his hazel eyes were blazing like I had never seen them before and his chest began to heave.

Now I understood what Reegan had meant by him being scary like this.

“Ryan, you need to chill, man.” Someone told him in a low voice and he turned to shout at the guy.

“Mind your own damn business, Gabe!”

“Fair?! Don’t you think fair would have been letting me know WHO you were?!” I pushed on his chest and he fell back a step, but didn’t budge, “Letting me know what you did for a living BEFORE inserting yourself into my life and around my kids?!” Now I added cry-yelling to my inventory as I smacked him, “Your such a dick! I hate you!”

“She’s feisty. I like her.” Someone else said.

“I am taking you home! We will talk about this in private!” He grabbed my arm and began pulling me to the parking lot, but I pulled away again.

“NO! I’m done talking to you! You lying piece of shit!” I screamed in his face as he turned to face me again.

“Get in the fucking car, Megan!” His voice was hard as he shouted at me.

“I’m not talking to you! I can’t believe anything you tell me!” I pushed him again and went to walk back into Roxy’s. Davis would let me hide away in his office until these people were gone.

“I’ll drive her.” Bree gave a nod while cameras flashed. How long had the people with the cameras been there?

“I’m sober.” Bree told him, "Just got here, remember?"

“I’ll drive her.” He spoke through clenched teeth, “I just need someone to get her stupid ass in the car.”

“Oh, so now I’m stupid?!” I laughed through my tears, “Well, I guess so, because I fell for your lies, didn’t I?!"

"I never lied to you!"

"Bullshit!" I shouted in his face, before Bree pulled me away.

His jaw was tight, but he didn’t say another word. He just stepped aside and let Bree usher me to the parking lot.

“Come on, Asher parked around the corner here.” She pointed and I followed.

Then a scuffle sounded and when I turned back, Ryan was staring after me, while one of the guys talked to him. Bree didn’t seem fazed by this, she just climbed into the black SUV.

“One thing about Ryan is that he doesn’t like the celebrity status, he loves his job though. He likes to turn his music into something big. We’re all like that in our ways.” She spoke softly as I buckled in, “These reporters twist things to get a good story. We gotta watch for them.”

Once we started moving I curled against the car’s door and cried. I didn’t cry for me as much as I cried for my stupidity and my poor daughters that were effected by it. How could I have been so stupid to let this guy I barely knew into my life? I had allowed my girls to fall in love with him and I was significantly in over my head.

Bree parked the car in my driveway and turned to me, “Ryan has always been a good guy. He isn't like normal band guys, aside from the fact that he's constantly stoned. He really does love you and I think you love him too.”

“I don’t know what he wants from me. I’m just a normal person.”

“We all want normalcy in one way or another.” She smiled sadly, “Ryan is a passionate guy, once you get through the goofball exterior. He loves his craft, but he’s passionate about the people in his life. I’ve seen it with his parents, his brother and even us and our kids. I’m sure he saw the same passion in you. He wouldn't give anyone his heart just for kicks.”

“What am I going to tell my girls.” I cried.

“All I’m asking is to hear him out. Give him some time to explain. You need to understand that he wouldn’t have inserted himself into your life if he didn’t think you or your girls were worth it.”

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