Rocking Hard Volume 2
Author: Kayla Bain-Vrba, Alessandra Ebulu, Cassandra Pierce, L.J. LeBarthe, Mell Eight
Categories: Contemporary ● Gay
Length: 38,300 words
Released: Feb. 12, 2014
Format: ebook, paperback
Note: This story is included in the anthology Rocking Hard Volume 2 which is 110,000 words in total
Buy it directly here
Also available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes
When Jackson lands a job to join his favorite band on tour for a few weeks, he think he’s finally gotten his chance. An unexpected attraction to the band’s frontman, however, adds complications to the tour that neither of them wants. Trying to work through it only seems to heap more problems upon their head, and Jackson starts to wonder if he’s finally gotten his big break, or if he’s just going to be left broken.
Excerpt: Fallen Angel
“Feeling like the king of this whole honkytonk fair, prettiest little tank top dancing circles everywhere …”
Jackson Anthony rolled his eyes, shoved black painted nails through his loose hair, and dumped his dish tray at the kitchens. One more country song was all it would take to push him over the edge, he was sure. Kathy’s Kitchen wasn’t exactly known for being “hip” or even “moving with the times”. Employing Jackson’s glam self had been their most risqué move since hiring a black dishwasher in the ’80s.
As it was, Jackson’s poison of choice was glam rock, but no one would ever hear any of that played at Kathy’s. Jackson listened to just about everything; he would even be able to tolerate bubblegum pop playing at the café. But the country—the “honky-tonk” country—would, quite possibly, be the death of him.
“Hi, my name’s Jackson and I’ll be your server today.” He attempted to smile through the monotony, but one look from the elderly couple at his table informed him it was futile. It was true, he was wearing very tight jeans and his jaw length hair was straightened to within an inch of its life, but he wasn’t wearing makeup—not even eyeliner. It was an attempt to get more tips without selling out: aka, a fail.
“Can I start you off with something to drink?”
Not only could he start them off with a sweet tea and a decaf coffee, but they already knew what they wanted to order. He suspected they had been ordering the same thing since the ’60s—or maybe even the ’40s.
He was just pouring the sour-faced man’s coffee when his back pocket began vibrating. Excusing himself, he turned away and pulled out his phone.
“Going on break!” he called to the kitchens and stepped into the back alley before answering. “Hey, Tyler. What’s up?”
“Jackson, man, we gotta talk.”
After a long silence, Jackson prompted, “Yeah?”
“You’re out, man.”
“What?” The foot Jackson was leaning against the wall slid down, and he stumbled forward.
“You’re out of the band. We’re gonna find a new bass player.”
“A new—I am your new bass player!”
“Not anymore. Bass players are a dime a dozen. We’re gonna find someone who fits better with the band.”
“You mean someone who’ll—that’s why you’re kicking me out, isn’t it? ‘Cause of Saturday?”
“You disgusting prick! You’re kicking me out ’cause I wouldn’t suck your dick before Saturday’s gig!”
“Fuck you, man.”
“That’s what you were hoping to do, you fucker! You wanted me in ’cause you saw some pretty boy in makeup and thought I’d bend over for you and your band any time you wanted to get your dicks wet and your girlfriends wouldn’t put out!”
“Like I’d ever come anywhere near some guy’s ass when I’ve got—”
“When you’ve got what?”
“You—I—We’re kicking you out ’cause you’re a shitty bass player!”
“Like fuck I am! You’re kicking me out ’cause I wouldn’t suck your dick!”
“So what if I am? That’s all you’re good for, and you wouldn’t even do that, so—”
“Fuck you! You cock-sucking mother-fucking ass—”
The line went dead.
Hands shaking with fury, Jackson fumbled for his cigarettes and lighter. He took a long drag, held it until his lungs burned, and then held it a little longer before letting go. He slumped to the bottom of the wall, took another drag off his cigarette, and kicked out at a piece of trash.
He should have seen this coming. He should have known that Tyler saw him as a piece of ass, a plaything for the band’s amusement, not as a real member or even as a bass player.
Why did this keep happening to him? Why couldn’t he find a band he belonged with? Why didn’t anything last?
He heard the alley door slam open but didn’t bother looking over, even when Becky shouted that his break was over and she wasn’t covering for him. With a huff, he ground his cigarette into the pavement, got up and brushed the dirt off his ass, and went back to work.
The afternoon passed slowly due to Jackson’s mood. He was surly to the customers, bitchy to the cooks, and essentially wrapped himself in a black storm cloud.
While he was cleaning off a corner table, being decidedly more aggressive than was necessary or prudent as he took out his rage on the stack of dirty dishes, a glass cracked beneath his fingers. “Fuck!”
The customers all turned to stare at the vulgarity coming from the angry punk boy and Becky came rushing over.
“What the hell, Jackson?” she hissed, shoving at his shoulder to get his attention. “You can’t be like this here, not where everyone can see. Just go home, okay? Cool off and come back tomorrow.”
Glaring at her ear, he muttered, “I can’t.”
He met her gaze with his own. “I can’t. I need the money for rent.”
Her eyes flicked down to the jeans she had advised him not to wear if he wanted good tips. She sighed. “Fine. Whatever. Just cool it, okay?” She held his eyes, waiting until he agreed before heading back to the kitchens.
Jackson felt his pocket vibrate again and just barely managed to restrain himself from throwing his towel before pulling his phone out.
Instead of Tyler’s number, he saw a blog update. @Fallen Angel: New bass player auditions. 9am tomorrow. Philadelphia. Info on the website. Good luck, Halos!
Jackson read through it twice, took a deep breath, and called to Becky. “I’m gonna head home after all!”