Chapter tune: KISS – Reason to live
A/N: Ooof! It’s here! I’m so sorry for being so late! But this chapter was a lot of work (mainly the pictures – which are not great, buuut they will do, lol)! It’s also my birthday today!! 🎉 And although I haven’t prepared something special, I think I’ve come to a point where a regular post could be considered special, lmao! Oh man… when did I become so slow? 😭 Oh, I also realized that I had promised a Jared-Vito confrontation but never delivered, and this was mainly cause I couldn’t find a part in the story to fit it in… sorry about that! (Aaah my poor Jared, sucks to be ignored, huh? 😈 😛) Oh well! Thank you so much for reading! 😀 ❤
After what happened with Skye, Jesse felt hopeless – despite having starkly declared that he was done with her. For a good amount of time, he spent his days strumming his guitar and making some heartbreaking – yet catchy – melodies; with the lyrics to match.
Dylan, despite feeling bad for what his buddy was going through, as soon as he heard the new songs, he was mind blown. He excitedly called Owen, and the three of them started working the tunes to perfection.
Soon after, Jesse’s cousin Basil – fresh out of college and full of unlimited energy – joined the band as bass and rhythm guitar player.
But they still needed a singer. Of course, everyone agreed that it should be someone that looked the part, paired with a killer voice – even though everyone was worried about the moment she and Jesse would meet; because after Skye, Jesse had inevitably returned to his old ways. But the solution came more quickly than anyone had imagined.
Vito, who had just returned from Starlight Shores music festival, declared that he had seen many singers, but especially one of them caught his eye. And he was ideal for the path he thought the band should take. His name was Bryce McLaren and, as it turned out, choosing him was one of the best choices Vito had ever made – despite of the rest of the band members’ original doubts. He was rough, wild and charismatic on stage, but polite, collected and a true professional when out of it. Plus, he had a voice that wouldn’t quit. That man was golden.
From that point on, everything was moving forward fast. The band changed its name to Fourdust – a strange choice, since the band consisted of five members, but a successful one nonetheless, as it – amongst others – stirred everyone’s imagination.
Fourdust’s first album was named Steel Epiphany, and people went nuts about it as soon as it came out. The critics were giving it glowing praises, the fans were increasing non-stop, the magazines and tv channels begged for an interview.
After about two years, they finally made it to Bridgeport, for real this time. Vito announced them that they got to perform not in a shitty dive bar of the area as they usually did for so long, but at the LlamaCo Stadium, since it was the only place big enough to fit their insane amount of devoted fans.
It was going to be just one big concert, but the band had decided to stay in Bridgeport for the summer in order to practice there, make appearances and give interviews, as well as blow some steam and relax until then – Vito would come and find them only two weeks before the concert, so until then, they were on their own. They had rented the most expensive penthouse in the area, with about ten bedrooms, a hot tub and an kickass balcony view, allowing them to have crazy parties almost every day and night.
And did they have to clean up after? Hell no. A team of maids was always at their service whenever they needed it.
Of course, Jesse would never pass up the opportunity to really party like a rock star, so every night there was a different girl on his bed, sometimes even more than one.
He was finally living the dream.
Some rare days they took it more easy though, just hanging and playing video games to fill up their batteries for the next wild party session.
“Hey guys” Jesse said one of those nights “I’m thinking of going to the Prosper Room tonight for a chill drink. Who wants to join?”
“Man, this place is boring as fuck” Dylan declared, even though everyone already knew of his opinion for this lounge “I don’t understand why you’re even thinking of going there.”
“I think I do bro” Basil chimed in “it’s that hot girl that was at our party yesterday, right? She said she works there tonight – or was it at the club below? Anyway, she was all over my man Jesse last night. And my cousin here might have been too wasted to even walk straight but he sure remembers where to find her. Cause that’s my maaan!” he shouted and put his hand up for a high five.
“Well, she had too cute a face to forget…”
“Bro, I’m like 100% sure it was not her face you remember. Those things were massive. Do you think they’re real?”
“No idea man, but I’d love to find out” Jesse smirked “So, are you coming or not?”
“Count me in!” Basil said.
“Count me out” Bryce mumbled.
“Why man? Again no? Come ooon, it’s gonna be fun!”
“Well, it’s about time we had some quiet in this place – uh, no offense. Those parties are fun and all, but honestly, I’m exhausted. And I’d love it if I could finish my book before the concert. It’s about a kingdom’s civil war, and a ton of characters’ battle for the throne. Really exciting.”
“Yeah yeah… you do your thang, you big hairy buzzkill” Jesse teased him and turned his gaze to Dylan.
“Gee man, I don’t know…” Dylan groaned. The door opened just in time for him to avoid answering. “Well if it isn’t our two blonde angels!” he exclaimed as Owen and the band’s stylist/makeup artist, Meadow, made their way inside.
They had been together for almost a year now, practically as soon as Meadow started working with them. Owen was head over heels the minute he laid his eyes on her and Jesse gracefully agreed to step down and not pursue anything romantic with her. Even though it didn’t matter anyway, cause Meadow was one of those rare cases that showed no interest in him whatsoever. Her and Owen though, they clicked right away.
“Man, I’m kicking your ass pretty hard at this game! Say, what time is it?” Jesse asked Dylan as they were on what it looked like their hundrenth time competing at that racing game.
“It’s a little past nine. Time for some pizza maybe? And prepare to have your ass kicked when I switch cars – this one is useless!”
“Yeah, don’t blame the car man, just your poor gaming skills – son of a bitch! You almost drove me off the road! Oh, it is on! What time is it?”
“Eeeasy now…. what?! Nooo! Fuck it, I lost again! You maniac! Oh, it is definitely on! Shit, I told you man: it’s a little past nine. Why do you keep asking?” Dylan glared at his friend. He really hated losing – not as much as Jesse loved winning though.
Before Jesse had a chance to reply, the door bell rang. “Just in time dude, can you open the door? Since you lost and are no longer playing and all”
“Yeah, you’re gonna regret saying that later” Dylan smirked and went to open the door. Everyone almost jumped off their seats by Calla’s ear piercing squeal:
“Bear! Oooh, I missed you so much!”
After a breathtaking kiss from his girlfriend, Dylan could still not believe she was there, in his arms. Hell, he could still not believe she was actually his girlfriend, even after two years together – it wasn’t like she made it easy for him, especially at the beginning.
“What? Baby… why… I mean, how are you even here?” he asked her confused, but clearly thrilled.
“Do you think I would spend all summer without my boyfriend while he parties every night with those groupies… and my brother? Ugh… I don’t think so!” she replied cheerfully “I took some time off, set everything up with Jesse and here I am! I’m gonna stay here with you for two weeks!”
She rushed to greet her cousin, the rest of the band members and to give her brother a hug. “Jesse! I missed you too! How are things?”
“Hey sis, things are pretty sweet actually! You’ll see for yourself. Did you have a nice trip?”
“Don’t get me started” Calla replied “the a/c in the bus was broken, it smelled of sweat everywhere, the seats were filthy and to top that, someone brought a live chicken in it! And the driver let it stay inside! Who does that?! You know what, that’s it. I’m never taking a bus anymore. I tell you, now that you’re famous and kinda rich, next time you’ll send a limo for your poor sister and that’s the end of it” she said half joking, half serious. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go take a shower. I can’t stand that bus smell on me anymore”
“How about I join you?” Dylan swiftly asked her with a husky voice.
“Oh bear, please do… I have been thinking about this all week” Calla purred, tracing her hand along her boyfriend’s chest.
“Man, I don’t wanna hear that shit, go get a room!” Jesse shouted.
As soon as they both rushed upstairs, Jesse got up. “I think that’s my cue to go. So who shall tag along?”
Eventually there were four of them: Jesse, Basil, Owen and Meadow. As soon as they arrived at the lounge, Jesse headed straight to the bar: a drink and a getting to know his current favorite bartender were exactly what he needed this calm, partyless night. Before he went too close, he spent a couple of seconds to admire her well sculpted figure; real or not.
“Hey…” he said “remember me?”
“Hey you” she giggled “of course I do. Sexy Jesse. Are you alright? You were pretty drunk last night.”
“Sexy Jesse, huh? I like that” he grinned “Ah, I’m fine. Actually, I’m ready for more…”
The bartender – named Olive – giggled again. “I bet you are. What can I get you?”
“Whatever’s your specialty baby. You should know… I’m up for anything” he smirked.
After a couple of drinks, the conversation started heating up. It was pretty obvious, there was no way that girl was going to escape Jesse’s bed.
“You know, I’m so happy you came tonight to find me here” she charmingly declared.
“Of course I did baby” he replied while tracing his fingers around her hand “I couldn’t stop thinking about you since I met you yesterday at my party.” A little white lie never hurt anyone.
“Me too… but also because if you came two days later, you wouldn’t find me here. The owner is closing the place down”
Jesse felt a chill down his spine, and at first he failed to even realize the reason behind it. “What? Why?”
“It’s only temporary, don’t worry. They’re going to make some renovations in here – probably turn it to a night club or something”
“What about the upper floor? The one with… with the balcony?” he muttered.
“Oh, the balcony will be gone – nobody went out there anyway, it’s a waste of space”
“So… where do you want to go after?” she asked him, trying to bring his drifting attention back to her.
But Jesse was not in the mood for her anymore. “After…” he repeated, even more distracted than before “well, you know what… I’m really sorry. I forgot that I have to wake up very early tomorrow… would you mind if we called it a night? I’ll call you… or, you know, come to one of our parties again?”
Almost unconciously, he headed upstairs, away from his bandmates and from the beautiful bartender that was willing to keep him company for the night.
He found himself in front of the door leading to the balcony, the place that had served as his personal therapy space for so many times. Although the penthouse they had rented had an undeniably better view, this place was still special to him. It would always be, even if it had been a little more than two years since he last set his foot on it, with her.
He let the soft summer breeze caress his face as he took the first drag from his cigarette. The walls, the plants, the view… everything was in their place. Everything had stayed the same.
Yet it wasn’t the same. Even if they tore the place apart, even if they left it alone… it didn’t matter. It would never be the same again.