Home > My Night with a Rockstar(6)

My Night with a Rockstar(6)
Author: Michelle Mankin

When he leans in and whispers in her ear, I’ve had enough. I vault off the stage, limbs flailing and fists tight. The audience grapples for a piece of me, but I part the crowd like Moses in the Red Sea.

Chaos erupts. I step into his personal space, my face pinched in anguish. “Hands off my girl, asshole!”

Maribelle blanches. “Last I checked, I wasn’t your property.” Her brown eyes thin to a razor-sharp glare that filets me open.

Silence slices the club like a knife. The spotlight swings between us. “Get backstage, Maribelle.” Heat pricks my skin. The coke and Jack taint my emotions like a poisonous snakebite. I’m hyperaware of my surroundings, yet the fury boiling within darkens the corners of my vision until Maribelle’s face is all I see.

She folds her arms across her chest, her tits heaving in her low-cut top. “No.”

The yuppie in the Miami Vice jacket steps forward. “I’m not here looking for trouble, guy.”

“Oh, yeah? Well, you sure fucking found some.” My arm flies on its own accord. His head snaps back when my fist finds his face, but it’s not until blood spews across my knuckles and dapples the creamy skin of Maribelle’s cleavage that I realize I struck first.

“What the fuck?” he cries, holding his nose.

Maribelle rushes to his aid. “Steff!”

“Steff? You’re cheating on me with a guy named Steff?”

She whips around, smashing my shoulder with the butt of her hand. “Like you’re one to talk, Lizard.”

Heat flows through my tense body like lava. I step toward her, locking my wild gaze on hers. A rosy hue blossoms on her cheeks and neck, her lungs heaving, her eyes glimmering in pure, unadulterated fury. My brain and my heart fire separate synapses, creating a bluster of feelings too fucked up to register. I’m seething with rage, yet so turned on I can barely see straight.

“You know first-hand how I got that nickname . . . you’ve been the one screaming it for the last two years.” I flick my tongue in her direction.

“You’re not a lizard, you’re a pig,” she simpers, but her nostrils flare and her lips tremble. Fuck, she feels it, too. This electric current that zaps between us. Love and war, anger and sex — they go together hand-in-hand. Maribelle and I have that in spades.

“And you love that about me.”

Her icy gaze deflects my heated words, yet she can’t argue what she knows is true. She loves the fire as much as I do, but the yuppie asshole bleeding next to her is the wind that blew it the fuck out.

A guitar riff cuts through the silence. I glance toward the sound and bring the microphone to my lips again.

 

“You blew in like a hurricane

Lips like heaven, kiss like hell”

 

I run my thumb across her quivering lips as I sing aloud.

 

“Searing through me like a beautiful pain

Your love is a cursed blessing

Entrapping me in your venom

Let me go”

 

With two quick moves, I’m up on the bar. Neon lights explode around me. I’m a golden God, hovering above the ocean of worshipers as I muster the strength from deep in my core and scream the chorus for all to hear.

 

“Baby, I’m begging, release me from your spell

(Baby, release me)

I need out of this shell”

 

Maribelle’s lips tremble as she watches, but I tear my attention away from the girl who broke my heart and offer it up to those who deserve it.

 

“(Baby, release me)

Let me go, release me”

 

I pretend not to care, but a piece of me dies the moment I see Maribelle lock arms with Steff and saunter out of the club.

 

 

Lizard

 

Violent banging jars me awake. I open my eyes, the light cascading through the filthy windows. It highlights the glass strewn about, twinkling in sea green and hazelnut brown, the remnants of a night spent at the bottom of a bottle.

Another rap rattles the door. I grumble something of a greeting and peel myself off the floor. My head spins, my stomach plummeting as I push to my feet and reach for the knob. “Do you know what fucking time it is?”

The guy at Slade’s door looks down at his Rolex. “It’s nearly one in the afternoon.”

I narrow my bleary gaze as it wanders over the blackened skin around his eyes. Memories of last night develop like Polaroid snapshots, the images gradually coming into view. “Look, if you’ve come to slap me with some bullshit lawsuit, good luck. I don’t own anything.”

“I’m not here to sue you.”

I pull my brows together. “Then what do you want?”

“What do I want? I want to tell you that you’re a drunken buffoon. An uneducated cave-dweller who, despite his own Neanderthalic tendencies, still puts on a good show.”

The mid-afternoon sun burns through my eye sockets, confusing my half-drunk brain. “What?”

Steff huffs as if he’s bored. “Can I come in?”

“You fuck my girl?”

Shaking his head, he shoves his hands in his pockets. “Didn’t even kiss her.”

I turn away and shuffle to the couch. The clink of bottles follows my fall as I plop onto the cushion. I push them to the floor and grab a slice of cold pizza from the open box on the table.

Steff follows yet scowls at the couch as if it’s a pile of rancid trash. I suppose his privileged ass is too good for Salvation Army’s finest. He probably only sits on rich Italian leather, and Slade lives like he’s homeless. Everything used and broken, dirt permeating every surface. My glare darts around the room and down at myself. I belong in this hovel. A fact that didn’t occur to me until now. I’m garbage just like the couch.

I don’t know why Maribelle even wants me.

If I were a better man, I’d step aside and let him have her. He could give her the life she deserves. But, lucky for me, I’m an asshole who was never good at sharing his toys. Maribelle is mine, and I have no interest in letting her go.

“Despite our” — he clears his throat — “rocky first meeting, I think you’ve got something special. Charisma. Stage presence.”

“Yeah. And?”

“And I think you’re just what I’ve been looking for.”

“Well, I like women, so . . .”

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