Home > One More Promise (Band on the Run #2)

One More Promise (Band on the Run #2)
Author: Samantha Chase


   It was one of the most luxurious rooms he had ever stayed in, and yet it was beyond unappealing. It wasn’t a comfort—it was a prison.

   Even if it did come with Egyptian cotton sheets.

   Dylan Anders paced the living space, counting each step. He’d gotten in the habit of pacing over the last eighty-nine days. It was a way of making him focus on something other than the hell he was living in. Okay, maybe hell was a bit strong, but…this wasn’t the life he wanted to be living.

   But it was the life he had screwed himself into.

   By being stupid.

   By being selfish.

   By…simply being.

   A soft knock on the door had him stopping and waiting. He knew who was coming and although it offered some comfort, it also brought on a fresh wave of anxiety.

   What if I mess up?

   What if I fail again?

   The door opened and in walked his parents—both with huge smiles on their faces. His mother walked toward him carrying a covered plate, which Dylan was certain contained his favorite dessert—chocolate chip pound cake. His father was a few steps behind her carrying a piece of luggage.

   Wait…luggage? What?

   Carol Anders stood all of five feet tall, and as she reached up and cupped Dylan’s face in her hands—while standing on her tiptoes—her smile was one of pure love. There was nothing Dylan wanted more than to keep that smile on her face.

   “One more day,” she said in a fierce whisper. “One more day and you’ll be free to come home.”

   Free? Somehow Dylan doubted that. He might not be stuck in the rehab facility, but that didn’t mean he was well and truly free. The actions that led him to being admitted here were never going to leave him. And he didn’t want them to. No. It was important for him to remember how far he had spiraled out of control and how much those actions had cost him. The only saving grace—if he had to find one—was that he hadn’t killed anyone.

   But it had been close.

   Tomorrow, he’d finish his required ninety days in rehab and be let loose upon society again. And yet, he didn’t want to be a part of it anymore. He didn’t know what he wanted.

   After a few silent moments, he nodded toward the suitcase at his father’s side. “What’s with the suitcase?”

   Steven Anders smiled. “When you arrived here, your clothes were shoved into a ripped-up duffel bag. We thought it might be nice to leave here and celebrate your fresh start with fresh luggage.”

   Dylan couldn’t help but chuckle. Leave it to his parents to think all he needed to get started on this new life was a new suitcase. Not that it was wrong—it was incredibly sweet of them—but it wasn’t how he tended to view things. His view was a tad bit darker. Sometimes there wasn’t a silver lining. Sometimes people made bad choices and bad things happened because of them.

   When he looked up, he saw both of his parents were watching him with the same patient smiles they always had. Sometimes he wished they’d yell at him, curse him, tell him what a disappointment he was.

   But they never did.

   And how twisted was he that he hated it?

   Just once, he wished they’d call him out on his bad behavior and demand that he change his ways. Not that it mattered at the moment. He was changing his ways. And not only because his legal team and manager told him he had to.

   It was because he was ready.

   Sort of.

   For most of his life, Dylan had accepted that this was the way his family was—he screwed up; his parents forgave him. They never talked about what went wrong or why he did the things he did. As he studied the two people he loved more than anything in the world, he came to a very serious life decision—if he was going to change, then his parents needed to change with him. Maybe it wasn’t going to be comfortable. And maybe it would all blow up in his face. But if there was one thing he had learned through all his therapy sessions, it was that he had to stop hiding from his feelings. That meant no hiding out in a bottle of vodka to avoid his fears, disillusions, or just about anything.

   During the last two weeks, his parents had come to his counseling sessions. It was considered helpful for them to do family counseling—mainly because he had initially started drinking because he was trying to get attention.

   This was the first time, however, that he was initiating the conversation on his own—without a counselor present. Part of what he had learned after three months of being in rehab was that he needed to take responsibility for his actions.

   So if ever there was a time to take that step…it was now.

   Taking a steadying breath, Dylan let it out slowly and felt some of the tension leave his body. “Mom? Dad?” he began hesitantly. “It’s going to take a whole lot more than a new suitcase to get me on the right path.”

   * * *

   The next day, as Dylan walked away from the rehab facility that had been his home for the past three months, he felt a lightness he hadn’t felt since he was fifteen years old.

   And he walked away carrying his ratty, old duffel bag.



Chapter 1

   Dylan prowled around the house feeling restless. His skin felt tight and he was a little jittery.

   And that was how he felt nearly every night.

   After touring with his band, Shaughnessy, for years and then taking time off to join other bands on their gigs, it seemed odd to have nothing to do. Not that he missed it. Much. Now he could look back at the last ten years of his life and realize that while he loved playing the bass—loved the music—the lifestyle had damn-near killed him. He’d spent too many years drinking too much and partying too hard and had paid the price. Dealing with a normal, everyday life was something completely foreign to him.

   He was at loose ends and didn’t know what he was supposed to do with himself. He’d played chess with his manager earlier, and Mick had hung out for most of the afternoon, but he couldn’t be expected to stay all day and into the night. He was entitled to a life of his own. Except…Dylan kind of resented it. Not Mick. Not exactly. But anyone right now. Right now, everyone he knew was doing something with their lives—having lives—and he wasn’t.

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