Promise Me (Rivers Edge Book 3.5)(4)

By: Lacey Black

“That’s what you signed on for, Jase. That’s part of it,” Phillip counters.

“Yeah, but it didn’t used to be like this. I used to love the fans and the crowds and the stage. Now, it just suffocates me. Everyone wants more, more, more. One more piece. I need a break,” I finally tell him, staring deeply into his dark grey eyes, hoping he can see the seriousness reflected in my own.

“You’re living the dream, man. You have a smoking hot supermodel girlfriend. You have girls throwing themselves at you on and off the stage every night. Guys want to be you. You have more money than Donald Trump, and you’re complaining?” Phillip says with a look of shock and horror all over his aging forty year old face.

“First off, I doubt I have more money than Donald Trump. And second, Camille and I broke up last week,” I tell him.

“What?! How am I just now hearing about this?” he exclaims loud enough to draw attention from those standing around us.

“It was time. She wasn’t into me for anything more than the fame I could contribute to her floundering career. She wanted arm candy and a name attached to hers for the press.”

“So? She’s fucking Camille Douglas. Freaking swimsuit supermodel. You don’t break up with a fucking supermodel, Jase.”

“Well, I did. I’m tired of the shallow and the selfish.”

“How is it that the press hasn’t caught wind of this yet?” Phillip asks as he leans in and whispers so not to draw further attention to our conversation.

“She thinks I’ll come crawling back to her any day now. She thinks I can’t make it in this world without her. She’s not going to the press because she thinks I’ll be back. Well, she’s wrong. I’m done with all that bullshit. I want normal. I want love.”

“Love. What the hell do you know about love, Jase? This business doesn’t have room for love. This business is filled with dicks that will better your career and tits that will help make it happen.”

“Exactly. I’m tired, Phil. I’m not extending the tour again. I want some time off,” I tell him as we make our way to the door. The door separates me from a room full of anxious, screaming fans. I used to love this part of the job. Meeting the fans and spending time with them, with those that bought my records and sing along with my songs. But lately, I’m just about as sick of them as I am the job. Everyone wants something from me. Including Phillip.

“You’re just feeling down about losing Camille. I’ll grab a couple of girls from the show, and they’ll help you get your mind back on track,” Phillip offers with a big wolfish smile on his face.

In truth, I haven’t been into groupies in the last couple of years. I haven’t wanted temporary distractions or temporary relief from life in a while. I want more.

I watch as the band heads through the door to begin the Meet and Greet. I turn my attention towards Philip before I push through the door. “I don’t need groupies, Phil. I’m perfectly capable of finding my own company for the evening if I so choose. And right now, I’m not interested.”

“Suit yourself, man. Just let me know if you need a few girls to drop to their knees or spread their legs. Hell, they could do both – all together – if you want, Jase. Girls like that are a dime a dozen back here as you very well know,” he says with a huge devilish smile on his charming face. Phillip has been known to take advantage of the never ending train of willing groupies backstage. It comes with the business. Just don’t tell his wife.

I don’t acknowledge his last comment, but instead push my way through the heavy door leading towards the Meet and Greet. I hear the screams and the hollers, but my eyes remain cast downward. I watch my worn black boots as I step into the room, through the crowd of people, and head towards the front of the room. Snap out of it, man. I give my head a quick little shake and look up at the crowd. Flashbulbs are popping like fireworks. I give the room my full-watt smile. It’s a smile I’ve perfected in the past six years that brings the ladies to their knees. Sometimes literally. It’s a smile that hides the pain that’s within. I know that if I’m smiling, then no one knows the turmoil that’s brewing and rolling like thunder from deep within my gut. No one knows just how lonely and miserable I really am.

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