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

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Meg and Ryan’s wedding went off without a hitch. Everything was smooth and Arlee was amazing with her performance.

She was at ease as she played and her mother and father watched her in amazement.

Ethan used a dubstep emulator, June played back up, but Arlee’s violin was on point. I didn’t know you could hit one that fast. It was rock, but played with a classical instrument.

The girl was fantastic. She was far too good for my stupid ass, but she wanted me and she was mine.

I knew it wouldn’t last and eventually we’d go out separate ways, because she was so fucking angelic and perfect, but I’d take her while I had her. She was the closest to heaven that I would ever get.

I thought about this as I sat on the couch and watched a movie. She was at the orchestra tonight and I was ditching band practice to “pack”, since I’d gotten my own place.

I had just purchased a duplex and with Gina, so it was a good excuse, but in all actuality, I was just waiting around to see my angel.

She’d been at my parent’s for almost a week now, while her parents were on their honeymoon and three of those nights were spent together, before I crept out in the early hours of the morning.

God, I was gonna be broken when she left.

“Hey, Noah.” Dad came in with a drink in hand and a huge ass grin on his face.

“Hey, what’s up?” I paused the movie.

“I just heard some of your shit from that Kickstart album,” He smiled, “That’s some good shit.”

“It’s not bad.” I shrugged, “It’s Ian’s tunes, my lyrics and vocals.”

It wasn’t my kind of sound. It was more alt/metal and I wasn’t into screaming all the time. It killed my vocal chords.

“It’s killer.” He pointed toward the studio, “You guys work well together.”

“We aren’t you and Uncle Chris, but it works.” I told him.

“Your vocals are amazing and his guitar is like his mom’s, your going places, kid.”

“Only because Mom signed us.” I scoffed.

“Hey, don’t think this is because of your mom.” He pointed at me, “You have talent.”

“Yeah.” I cleared my throat.

“Noah, I’m proud of you and your sister,” He took a swig of his drink and moved toward the patio door, “So fucking proud. You get that? You kids are fucking amazing and I can’t believe that you’re mine.”

“I do know we’re amazing.” I gave a nod and smiled, “We get that from mom, and I think you need to lay off the weed.”

I chuckled and he joined in.

“So, what’s up with you and Ford’s girl?” He asked as he lit a cigarette.

“You get caught with that shit and I don’t know your ass.” I pointed at his shit stick. I hated the smell of it. I didn’t blame my mom for wanting him to quit. Weed was it for both of us, but dad had smoked since he was a kid so, even though he’d tried over the years, he hadn’t been able to quit.

“Shit, if I get caught it’s yours.” He smirked, “Your mother will fucking kill me. You? She might smack around a bit, but me she’d kill without hesitation.”

He took a drag and blew it out the door, “So anyway, Ford’s kid? Saw you coming out of her room 2 nights ago.”

“Wow, so we’re just going to be blunt about it?”

“Just curious.” He puffed his spoke, blowing it out the door, “I see the looks.”

“What looks?” I gaped at him in shock.

“You sleeping with her?”

“She’s smart, funny and fun to chill with.” I played it cool, like it was nothing.

“Don’t play dumb, Noah.” He shook his head and took another drag, “I just said that I see how you look at her.”

“Okay,” I clenched my jaw and tried to relax it. “I like her and we hang out and watch movies. The other night we fell asleep watching some BBC drama.”

Technically, it wasn’t a lie. We had, but what had happened before was no one’s business.

“She ain’t like us, Noah.” I could tell he didn’t believe me, “She’s lined up for Julliard.”

“I think that’s why I like to hang out with her.” I smiled to myself, “All this band shit is new to her, but she understands music in a way not too many people do and I’m not talking about bands, I’m talking about music... It’s good to talk to some in depth about it all.”

“Was she the one you were fighting with Ian about?” Dad scratched his head, he was trying hard to keep it cool with his inquisition.

“What makes you think I was fighting with him over a chick?” My brow furrowed.

“I’m just saying, it was senior year and my kid, who never gets into trouble and has a cool temperament, beats the shit out of his cousin. Something’s up and the only change in the script was the exact day that Arlee started school that day.”

“You used to fuck people up at the mention of mom.” I scoffed.

“I did and my guys stood by my side, just like Ian is with you, but they weren’t interested in her like I was and I saw Ian with her at the wedding. We all did. He’s interested.”

“Ian isn’t interested in anything more than a good screw.” My lips went tight.

“All I’m saying is don’t let a girl break up your band, you got something good going with your cousin.” He tossed out his butt and closed the door, leaving the room and me to my thoughts.

Ian fucking thought he could control my life. Why? Because he was a year older than me? Because me was a McGhee? Honestly, for not doing his own vocals, Ian had too much fucking say in the band.

The fucking direction of the tunes, the way the vocals were delivered and it was supposed to be mine, not his. I wasn’t going to allow his ass to run my personal life too.

I needed to go the gym or something. I needed to blow off some steam. The corner of my mouth rose in triumph.

Ian didn’t know it, but I had won one fight. I pulled out my phone and shot Arlee a text.

I’m stressed.

Her reply was instant.

I can be there in 20. Do you need me?

In your room in 45.


Be gentle with me.


I smiled at my phone as my mom came out of her office.

“I smell that, Asher!” She howled.

My smile turned into a smirk as my excitement grew.

Arlee would be back soon and she’d be ready for me.

“He was smoking in the living room. Threw it out the back door.” I walked by my mother, giving her a kiss on my way through, “I’ll be in the gym if you need me.”

“And why are you so happy?” She eyed me as I smacked the top of the door frame on my way through.

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