The Hardest Set (Willow Son #4/Brothers of Rock #19)

BOOK: The Hardest Set (Willow Son #4/Brothers of Rock #19)
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Welcome back to the world of Brothers of Rock!

 

A series built on love, life, and rock n

 
roll romance!

 

The bestselling series continues with rock band,
 
Willow Son
!

 

Meet the band!

 

Colby (lead singer)

Jett (guitar)

Van (bass)

Ryker (guitar)

Brantley (drums)

_____________

 

 

 

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NOW
...
 
are you ready for some

 

BROTHERS OF ROCK!

THE HARDEST SET (A Brothers of Rock

WILLOW SON

novel)

 

Van
took the first
drink from her, but then she offered a second one

and she offered him a place to stay

just for one night.

 

Van
has had his fair share of love

em
and leave

em romances. He

s the ultimate rockstar, living
a wild life as the bassist for Willow Son. But when an old flame finally
decides to move on for good, Van can

t
believe how much it bothers him. He has a cure in mind

some drinks and a new woman.

 

Natalie
has been playing a dangerous game with her heart for years. It

s finally caught up to her
though and she

s in
trouble. Not to mention the school she teaches at lost its funding and shuts
down. Her only choice now is to take any jobs she can get from her best friend
who owns a catering business.

 

When
she meets the sexy rockstar at a party for his record company, she offers him a
drink. Then another

and
another

and soon she

s dragging the drunk and obnoxious
bassist to her car, trying to help him from embarrassing himself or the rest of
the band.

 

Their
one night together reveals they both need to let go of lost loves. What they
don

t expect is for a new
romance to begin right before their eyes.

 

(1)

 

Van stood on the top of the cabinet
of speakers and played his bass like it was the last show Willow Son would ever
perform. Ryker and Jett were going back and forth on guitar solos. Colby stood
at the edge of the stage, one hand to his ear, his other hand holding the mic
stand out over the crowd. Next to Van, down below, the thundering booms of
Brantley

s drums played as
he held the song in check, the rock n

roll to the sound that made all five guys in Willow Son famous.

Even with thousands of people cheering
and wanting more from the band, Van couldn

t
remember a time he felt so alone. Maybe it was the bad decision to get up on
the cab and stand there, hoping he didn

t
fall. Then again, that decision could have been blamed on all the whiskey that
ended up in his system before the show ever started.

How the hell did that happen?

There was some band that opened for
Willow Son

something about
special

Special
Wings? Special Hearts? Special F
eet?

Van smiled.

Then he laughed.

The band had won a local contest to
come and open for Willow Son. The band was actively trying out other bands with
the intentions of picking one to go out on the road with Willow Son for an
upcoming tour.

Jett and Ryker split up from their
solos and Colby backed up. Van plopped down on his ass and leaned forward,
basically sliding down the cab and to the stage. When his feet hit, he stumbled
forward, but he never missed a note. He spun around, yelling, going right to
the edge of the stage. When he looked down, there were twenty people all
pushing forward, wanting to touch him. They grabbed at his dirty shoes and
jeans.

Van crouched down and put his bass
pick into someone

s hand
and then leaned forward letting the fans grab at the four stringed instrument.
They plucked the thick strings, screaming, cheering, some of them now singing
along with Colby.

Standing and jumping back, Van
reached into his back pocket and grabbed a fresh pick. He picked right up with
the song and walked to Ryker.


I

m going in!

he yelled to Ryker.


What?

Ryker yelled back.

Colby yelled,

You all sing with me!

He started to clap and the crowd
followed along.

Van made a line for the edge of the
stage. He crouched again and crept forward. Security was there a second later,
hands out, wondering what to do. Van pointed to the crowd.

I

m going in.

Van stepped into the sea of fans
and lifted his bass up. He plowed through the crowd, moving the fans out of the
way. They grabbed at his shirt, necklaces, and his hat. They grabbed his bass,
his wrists, his arms. He didn

t
care. He needed this. This deep and wild connection with the fans that made him
a household name. They were the ones who really loved him. Nobody else got it.
Nobody else understood it.

When Van turned, he saw how far he

d gone. Way beyond any point he
should have. The fans were still grabbing at him. Hands all over his shoulders,
pulling, pushing, people fighting to get their cell phones in his face to take
a picture or sneak in front of Van for a forced selfie.

Van finally lowered his arms and
took the bass off. He turned and saw a young guy standing there.


You
play, brother?

Van yelled.


Uh,
yeah,

the young guy yelled
back.


Here.Take
this. I don

t want it
anymore.

Van peeled the audio pack off the
bass and then tucked it into his pocket. He then put his hands out and started
to push forward. He needed to get to the damn stage and finish up the show.

When Van got near the gate, two
security guards stepped up and reached for him. They helped him up and over the
gate. Van then jumped and grabbed the edge of the stage. He pulled himself up
and stood there without a bass. He turned his head and a tech came rushing out
with another one for him. The joys of being a rockstar.

Van finished the song and the set
with the band.

Then they took to the front of the
stage together, taking their bow, letting the crowd cheer them along.


Now,

Colby said, waving his hands,

we have a little treat for you
all. It

s not normally the
way to do this

we

re done with the set, but we

re not done playing.

The crowd got louder.


Oh,
okay,

Colby said.


Wait,

Van said, grabbing the mic.

Do you all want to hear some
more songs?

More cheers and whistles.


Then
let

s keep going,

Van said.

The purpose of the few shows they
had booked were to play to packed houses, bring in some opening bands, and then
play a set to support their acoustic album and DVD release.

Maybe most rock bands liked to end
their sets on a high note, with a pulsing rock n

roll sound, but Willow Son wasn

t
like most rock bands. They didn

t
need to end the show with growling guitars to send the fans home with something
they

d never forget. The
fans and the band were all there for one thing - the connection of music. The
love for it. The need for it. What it gave to them and what they did with it.

As Van sat there, looking across
the audience, he took it all in. People lifted their cell phones with
flashlights on, which were at one time lighters, long before technology and
long before lighters were generally banned from shows. Couples started to get
close, women throwing their arms around their men, men sliding their hands
around their women

s waist.

That

s
what the slowed down acoustic sound did. It didn

t
kill the show. It didn

t
stop the show. It gave the show another beautiful dynamic. So much that Van
looked down and sucked in a breath. The stage suddenly felt hot. His right foot
started to twitch. A little panic slithered through his veins, making him want
to stand up and leave.

It wasn

t their fault though. All these people were really
nothing but strangers.

But maybe, in some twisted way, it
was their fault.

The woman Van left behind for the
road to become a rockstar was now getting married. She even kept the goddamn
ring Van gave her. A nice little diamond that cost Van a beautiful bass rig.
She kept the ring along with a promise that she

d
wait.

Yeah

waiting with the guy she
cheated on me with.

Van strummed the guitar and tried
to stay calm. The song was written by Ryker and perfected by the rest of the
band. Van and Brantley strummed the root chords to the song to give it life
while Jett and Ryker played different parts to add rock n

roll texture to it.

After three slow songs, the show
was officially over.

Van bowed, waved, and waited as
long as he could. He then tossed the acoustic guitar to the tech and went on
the hunt for two important things - whiskey and women.

 

**

 

The whiskey was better than the
women.

The whiskey didn

t talk back

usually. And when it did, it
spoke nice words.

Van sat in a chair and saw the rest
of the band pour into the dressing room. They were actually by themselves.
Somehow, someway, most of the band had found a way to fall in love. Colby,
Jett, and Ryker were smitten and wildly in love. It was sickening to watch.
Brantley was still Brantley - focused on banging his drums and pretty women.

Good for you, bro. Keep that up.

Colby shut the door and Van held
the whiskey bottle out.

Take
a drink with me.

Ryker grabbed the bottle.

I think you

ve had enough for all of us,
man.


There

s still some there.


Let
me hold this for now.

Van looked around.

Ah, shit. Is this where you tell
me I drink too much?


No,

Colby said.

You don

t drink too much. But something is pushing you
hard, man. And you don

t
want to talk about it.


So
we

re going to let you
drink,

Brantley said.

Because you get whiskey heart.


What
the hell is that?

Van
asked.


You
drink a ton and confess what

s
going on,

Ryker said.


Hey,

Jett said.

It

s
better than whiskey dick, right?

Van laughed.

That

ll never happen to me. As long as I

ve got blood pumping
…”


Who
broke your heart?

Colby
asked.

We know it

s a woman.


We
know who it is,

Brantley
said.

There was only ever
one woman that could do it.


That
happened a long time ago though,

Ryker said.

That

s what I don

t get.


Eh,
fuck you all,

Van said. He
put his hands to the chair and pushed. He stood and stumbled a little.

I

m
not talking about anything.


Have
another drink,

Ryker said.

Van took the bottle and threw it
against the wall. It shattered, leaving a wet spot on the wall.

The door opened and Harry poked his
head in.

Everything okay?


Fine,

Van said.

Where

s my ride out of here? I

m done.

Van walked to the door. Harry put a
hand to his chest.

Hey,
wait. We have to talk about opening bands for
…”


I
don

t give a shit,

Van said.

Figure it all out.

He left the room and walked to the
back of the venue. He kicked opened the door and stood outside. A few fans were
lingering around, calling his name. Van turned and gave a wave.

A second later Harry was right next
to him.

You want to talk
about this?


No.


You

re letting a woman cut through
that thick skin of yours.


She
already cut me a long time ago, Harry. Before it was thick. She knows where the
scar is and she just ripped it all back open.


I

m sorry, Van. Hey, you knew it
wasn

t going to work. Look
at the names. Van and Vanessa. It didn

t
go together. It was dumb.

Van stared straight ahead.

Is that your way of trying to
cheer me up?


Yeah,

Harry said.

I

m
tired. It

s been a long
week. We

ve got some really
big deals in the works. You

re
up for the cover of the biggest bass player

s
magazine in the world. I got the contracts for all the equipment. You guys are
solid. There

s TV and radio
calling, wanting the band to come on and talk about the DVD.


Good.


Van,
you ever hear the notion that the greatest revenge is to live well?

Van looked at Harry.

You ever give a girl a diamond,
along with your heart, and never get either back?


Can

t say that I have.


Well,
peacefully, I

m telling you
to go fuck yourself. Where

s
my car?

Van got to the car and opened the
back door.


I
fucking love you, Van!

a voice shouted.

BOOK: The Hardest Set (Willow Son #4/Brothers of Rock #19)
4.23Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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