Authors: A. L. Wood
Tags: #Rock Romance
Rock Romance #3
For you, because chances are if you’re reading this right now that means you have followed my journey. One that I couldn’t have ever foreseen continuing as it has. This journey has been an adventurous one, I have learned so much and I am still learning today.
I am beyond humbled that so many of you have wanted to read words that I wrote. It blew me away then, months ago and it still blows me away today, this very moment.
I couldn’t possibly thank you enough for taking a chance on me, an unknown independent author. A stay at home mom who lives in New York, and no not the city. A mother who’s mind is filled to the brim with stories fighting to get out.
So again, thank you. This series started out as a dream, maybe a hobby. One that I surely didn’t expect to have such a readership.
I said it months ago, in December 2013. I would be happy if only one person wanted to read my book. I’ll say it again, right now, I would be happy if only one of you wanted to read this story. So from the very depths of my soul, I thank you. A million times, thank you.
There are so many people that I have to thank, for if it were not for you, this nor any other of my stories would not exist. I love you all.
Chad, one of the greatest loves of my life. I truly cannot say where I would be, if it were not for you. You’ve always supported me, in everything that I do and for that I am so very lucky. You also gave me the greatest gift in life, which is, life.
Payton, my Boog, kiddo you have no idea what I would do for you and for you alone. You are my life. There isn’t one day that goes by that I am not so thankful for the gift of you.
My Wife, my Bina. You are one half of my completed soul. For if you were a man you would so have been my husband. Our past, a lengthy one I might add is filled with laughter, tragedy, learning, hardships and again laughter. You showed me what strength looked like, and you used
through the river of grief. You are a beautiful soul, and one of the strongest people I know. Your shove into this will get us there. Remember it’s not just a pipe dream.
Amber, my sister from the same mother. I don’t think I could ever tell you enough how strong I believe you are. We’ve been blessed beyond belief, and we’ve been dealt some terrible cards. But we made it through with scars forever lashed into our hearts. You of all people are aware that every single line is ingrained with a small piece of my soul. The truth to the words are absolute.
Mom, I love you and that you gave me life. I also love those awkward random texts about nothing of consequence, it’s so you.
Dad, I loved that we surprised you with my book and had no idea that it was I who authored it. I miss you, so much.
My groupies, or should I say Steele’s Groupies? You guys are absolutely amazing. The never ending support and pimping. Always offering feedback and wise words. Even inspiration when desperately needed. I could not ever thank you enough for every single thing each one of you do. Even though we’ve never met I hold a place in my heart for all of you, and one day we will meet.
To every book blog that has taken time to share one post, or message me about a takeover,
I thank you. There are so many and I would feel horrible if I named one and left another out. So this is to you in general, thank you immensely.
An open letter
I wasn’t sure I wanted to include your name, let alone type it. The name that I gave you, in reality. That day, the day you left me, the day you left us, still ricochets through my soul, leaving pain and heartache in place of peace. High above me you hold a chunk of my heart, a piece that I can never nor would I ever want to retrieve. Sometimes knowing that, is what helps me get through one day, knowing a part of me is with you.
Five years still feel like yesterday.
Yesterday when I found out my sister was expecting you. Yesterday when I found out that you my man, were a boy. Yesterday that I named you, Hayden Michael. Yesterday that I was alongside your mother when you entered this world.
Yesterday that I held you in my arms for the first time, and fell in love. Yesterday when I heard your voice for the first time. Yesterday that you were in my house using furniture to walk. Yesterday that I felt your kiss upon my cheek for the first time.
Yesterday, the last time I said goodbye.
I’ll love and miss you forever my Chunker Munster.
“If you don’t get lost, there’s a chance you may never be found.”
“He’s going to propose.” I reveal to Layla. Who happens to be sitting in the chair beside me and hasn’t stopped bouncing her legs up and
down since we arrived.
“What?” Layla asks, in a shock
, he is planning on proposing. You know, ask her to marry him.”
“He is? How? When?” She asks.
“I don’t know all of the details. Just that he’s going to ask. I think after the baby is born.” She puts her hand over her mouth and her eyes start watering. She’s going to cry. I hate when females cry.
“That is the sweetest thing ever. I hope she says yes
. If not, I’m going to have to steal Ryan for myself.” She says jokingly.
Layla and I have been sitting in the waiting room of the hospital all night. Ryan called me as soon as he and Princess arrived. He was a nervous wreck.
“The baby is coming. The baby is- what do I do Liam?” He had asked me. The realization that he was going to be a father smacking him in the face.
I hesitated in answering. What the hell did I know about raising a kid? Or childbirth
, for that matter. I knew that Natalie was pregnant, and I had kept it from him for months. Something he hasn’t let me forget, nor has he forgiven me for- yet. But he will. He has to.
“I don’t know
, Ryan. Just go in the room, be with Natalie. Hold her hand and whatever she says- don’t hold it against her.” I advise.
“Can I really be a dad? What if I mess up?” His self-doubt coming out.
“You think that people are great parents overnight? You learn. It doesn’t matter how many times you mess up. What matters is if you’re there to make it right. Now get your ass in there with her.”
“There are chapters in every life which are seldom read and certainly not aloud.”
, as I have now dubbed her, had her Princess last night. I think the last time that I can remember seeing Ryan this happy, was the day that we got signed. Temperance, a beautiful name and fitting for one so innocent and small. She is the spitting image of her mother, only she has Ryan’s blue eyes.
Before Layla and I
left last night, we got to hold her for a bit. I was nervous as hell, because I never once had a chance to hold such a tiny baby
Thought I would drop her, but with Natalie’s urging and confidence, I picked her up. I cuddled her to my chest and held on tightly.
We stayed for a few hours, all
the while I was inconsiderately selfish with Temp, not even wanting her own parents to hold her. The Queen and I shared a bond. I don’t know why, or even how, but we did, and that bond carried on to her newly born child. I was jealous that Ryan got to be with her and have a family.
I wanted what he had.
I wanted to take care of her.
My body, my emotions, owned her and she me. But when it came time to leave, I kissed Temperance on the forehead and laid her in her father’s arms and walked away. I gulped in the stale air around me, swallowing my emotions. I hid my inner turmoil of jealousy well. But not well enough.
“We’re going to let you both get some
rest, we’ll come visit in the morning.” I say, glancing between Ryan and Natalie, who are snuggled together on the hospital bed with Temperance laying on Natalie’s chest. I take a step closer to them, almost begging for the punishment of having to feel the emotions of longing and loneliness taking over my heart.
I am my own worst enemy.
I take another step closer to Natalie’s side. I look down at the beautiful baby girl and then back into her mother’s eyes. “You did well. Queen.” I whisper. Then place a chaste kiss upon her cheek. I stand upright and notice Ryan giving me a furiously questioning stare, but I ignore him and his unspoken questions. Questions that I don’t want to answer. I turn around and walk away.
Natalie doesn’t know it yet, but seeing her and Ryan laid together as a family upon that bed made the decision for me. To cut this bond and walk away. I can be her friend
, but not her best friend. I can’t be that close. It wouldn’t be fair to Ryan, I, or her, and especially not Princess.
I make it back to the waiting room
, when I am confronted by the guys. Gage, Jason, and Zepp all stand up to greet me. I had called them as soon as Ryan had called me, to let them know that the baby was coming. I suggested they wait until the morning to visit. Thankful that they had not listened.
I don’t want to have this conversation right now
. All I want to do is get in my car and drive back to what used to be Layla and Natalie’s apartment, but is now mine and Layla’s apartment. When Natalie moved in with Ryan, I took her old room out of convenience. Layla didn’t need a roommate to help with bills, but I couldn’t let her live alone and if I were to be honest with myself, I wanted- no needed something to hold onto of Natalie’s at the time.
ve canceled the tour until later next year and Ryan installed a studio in the basement of his house, so we could all conveniently work out of his house and I refused to room there as the other guys did. I knew I didn’t want to put any roots down in Boston. As much as my heart yearned to be close to Natalie, I knew that there would come a time that I had to cut myself off from her due to my having an interest that’s more than friendly. I just didn’t think it would have been so soon. That it would have had to be now.
“Well aren’t you going to tell us how she’s doing?” Gage interrupts my thoughts.
I hesitate. I would rather be anywhere else at this moment. These guys have the power to read right through me. I can try to hide my emotions all I want, but they will always see right through it. Effortlessly.
What am I supposed to say?
“She’s beautiful, the baby I mean.” I stumble with my words. “She looks just like her mother, they’re still exhausted, but I’m sure if you guys were to peek in for a few minutes, they wouldn’t care.” I walk away awkwardly, unsure of what else to say. I don’t want their questions, and they are one hell of a nosy bunch.
I exit the waiting room and make my way to my car
, when Layla starts talking. I forgot that she was with me or that I was her ride.
What is your problem?” She asks.
“Nothing. I’m fine. Maybe tired.” I reply dismissively
, while getting in the car.
She lets out a sigh,
exasperated with my short answers. Since I started staying with her and Natalie, she has done nothing but give me hassle about my feelings for Nat. I tried like hell to tame my shit down toward Nat. I always knew that she belonged to Ryan, much to my regret.
But I couldn’t help how I felt
. I tried and tried. The more time I spent with her, trying to help her heal, watching over her, the more my feelings grew. The pregnancy was just fuel added to the flame on the torch I had already begun carrying for her. I knew she wasn’t ready and even though it made me a shit ass best friend to Ryan, I could not help it. As the saying goes, the heart wants what the heart wants.
I slam the car door shut and throw the keys in the ignition while Layla’s buckling her seat belt. I keep my lips compressed shut, all the while the battle in my heart is losing. I was such an idiot to allow myself to fall so deep into this all-consuming emotion of wanting what isn’t mine. Overplayed and overused, the term love is. It’s one I swore I would never allow myself to feel and the barriers I had long since set in place, dropped the second I laid eyes on her.
I felt protective, like I had to shield her away from the world’s demons. I really believed that I could somehow protect her from all of
life’s evils, all the trials and tribulations. Her overdosing proved to me that I couldn’t be the savior I wanted so much to be. It also rehashed long ago memories that I wanted nothing more than to forget.
Sitting at a red light
, I turned the dial on the radio to put a blockade between Layla and I. She thought hard and loud. I knew that if I didn’t divert her mind, she was going to start barraging me with questions. Questions that I refused to answer, because if I did, my feelings would be known and it would mean I left myself vulnerable to someone. And that someone happened to be twined at the hip with the one person who was at the center of my universe.
Devour The Day
starts wafting melodic chords of rock music out of the speakers, a song that speaks volumes of my own personal crisis. I hammer my fingertips on the steering wheel to the beat and start singing along, when suddenly Layla switches the radio off.
I quickly cock my head sideways, “What the fuck?”
“You know, Liam, I am so sick of your constant mood swings. You need to get whatever it is you have in your ass, out. You knew she was going to have a baby nine months ago. Nine. Months. Liam.”
“I’m not having swings of any kind. I told you, I’m fine.” I reply curtly.
“Stop spewing lies. You haven’t been fine since the day Nat moved in with Ryan. I’m also pretty sure the only reason you’ve stayed is because you’re living in her room and you don’t want to lose the connection you’ve had tied to her.” Layla accuses.
Natalie isn’t the reason I stayed, Layla. I stayed because I didn’t want you to be alone and the rest of the band is here. I just chose not to stay in Ryan’s house.”
I turn the volume up on the radio. Again. Commercials are playing
, so I decide to hit the seek button until I come across a song. After skipping through a few stations, I land on one that is playing one of our songs. I leave it there and start singing along.
It’s not long before I reach the apartment
and I park the car. I attempt to stride ahead of Lal, so I can make it back before her and lock myself in my room. The energy I started out with earlier today has dwindled, leaving nothing for her. I am tired of evading her questions, and I wish she would stop altogether.
Locking her out will prevent me from saying something that I would later regret. Whether it
is out of anger or desperation for her to stop. I would rather her keep speculating on my feelings, than actually know the truth. I sure as hell don’t want to risk Ryan or Nat knowing either.
I unlock the front door
, then swing it wide open, allowing Layla entrance when she makes it to the door. I quickly pass through the kitchen, grab a soda out of the refrigerator, and head to what is now my bedroom.
I shut my door and lock it from the inside. Grabbing my cellphone out of my pocket
, I unlock my phone and click the music app. I choose a random playlist and set it on the iPhone dock. I kick my shoes off and toss my shirt onto the floor, then flick the switch to shut the lights off and climb in bed.
Praying the music will drown out Layla’s knocks on my bedroom door.