Chapter 1 - Veronica
Is there anything worse than your ex jamming up your phone with calls and texts?
At least, that’s how I felt on that sunny Sunday morning, when I woke up to a thousand and one texts and calls from Seth, my ex-boyfriend.
It didn’t seem like he understood the term ex-boyfriend.
I knew he’d been out drinking the night before. That was the only time I ever got messages from him. Thank goodness I slept with my phone on silent, or else I wouldn’t be getting any sleep on the weekends.
My phone rang and I rolled over, throwing my pillow over my head and groaning. I let it go to voicemail and then sighed, finally glancing at it.
It wasn’t Seth, it was Morgan. My friend—well, my boss now. Morgan had managed to get me and Lacie, our other best friend, onto her new Personal Relations team. How she was able to manage that, I’m not sure. But as of tonight, she’d be managing the image for the biggest rock stars in the country: The Mondays. Lacie was going to be the band’s hair and makeup artist, I’d be the band’s official photographer.
The only problem was that they were the biggest rock stars in the country for all the wrong reasons. For the past six months or so, they’d been on a huge downward spiral of self-destruction.
If anyone could set them straight, though, it would be Morgan. She was a superstar at what she did, which is probably why she got this assignment in the first place. Her boss wanted to sabotage her career and watch her fail.
But I had faith in her.
A grin spread over my lips as I thought about it. It might be a career-ending assignment, but damn, I would get some awesome photos.
I picked up my phone and dialed Morgan.
“Vee,” she said. “Did I wake you up?”
“No,” I lied, clearing the sleep away from my throat. “I’ve just been avoiding answering my phone this weekend.”
“Seth annoying you again?”
“Mm,” I answered as I swung my legs off the edge of the bed. “What’s up?”
“I just wanted to make sure you were ready for tonight. We’re meeting the band at their rehearsal space.”
“I can’t believe we have to go to downtown Los Angeles to meet these guys. I thought big-shot bands rehearsed in their mansions in the hills?”
“They’ve been rehearsing there for years, apparently.”
“What time are we meeting?”
“Alright, send me the address again. I’ll bring Lacie as well.”
She hung up the phone and I sighed. She sounded Stressed with a capital ’S’. I’d known Morgan a long time, and she’d always been focused on her career. But this time, it seemed different. She seemed worried about more than just doing a good job. She really did seem worried that if she didn’t do well, she’d lose her job.
And with three big, burly wildlings like The Mondays, who could blame her? They’d been on a drug- and alcohol-fueled rampage for months now.
I texted Lacie.
Brunch? Pick you up in 30 mins.
She buzzed back right away with a simple thumbs up. I jumped in the shower and got ready, washing my long mop of brown hair and shaving my legs.
Hey, you never know.
I toweled off, thinking of the band we were going to meet. I’d seen picture of them, and I’d always had a bit of a secret celebrity crush on the bassist, Carter. He had this bad-boy look about him that made me tingle in all the right places.
I threw my hair in a braid and pulled on my favorite pair of jeans before grabbing my things and going to pick up Lacie. She lived a short drive away from me, which was good because we spent almost all our time together.
She came out of her house with her blonde hair streaming behind her in a golden mane and that effortlessly beautiful look that she had. She jumped in my rusty old Chevy and slammed the door.
“Hey,” she said, smiling.
“Hey,” I replied. “Good night last night?”
She shrugged. “Just stayed home with Mom. Thanks for picking me up, I really appreciate it.”
“Oh stop it, Lacie,” I said. “If you thank me every time I give you a lift you’re going to wear yourself out.”
Lacie chewed her lip and nodded. Her mom was sick—brain cancer—and Lacie had had to sell her car to save up for the down payment of this new experimental treatment. She was broke as f**k, and I wished I could help more than just driving her around when she needed it.
“Well, today is a big day,” I announced, pulling into the street. “We meet our future husbands. Brunch is on me, to celebrate.” And also because I knew she couldn’t afford it.
Lacie laughed. “Future husbands?”
“You never know. Shoot for the moon, and all that.”
“I never understood that expression.”
“What’s that?” I asked.
“The ‘shoot for the moon’ expression. ‘Shoot for the moon. Even if you fail, you’ll land among the stars.’”
“… Yeah?” I asked, glancing at her and grinning. Sometimes I wondered how we’d become such good friends, because half the time it was like we were from different planets.
“Well,” she said slowly, as if she were explaining it to someone incredibly dense. “The moon is a lot closer than the stars. So if you’re shooting for the moon, you’ll never make it all the way to the stars.”
I tried to contain my laughter. “Well, maybe they mean if you overshoot your aim and miss, you’ll land among the stars.”
“You’d have to seriously overshoot. Like by multiple orders of magnitude.”
“I think you’re missing the point, Lacie,” I said, finally breaking down and laughing. “The point is that we’re going to meet our future husbands tonight, in the form of three sexy-as-hell musicians with a bad-boy streak.”
Lacie grinned. “Right, sorry,” she said, rolling her eyes. “That’s just always bugged me.”
“You’re a pedantic weirdo, you know that?”
She looked at me sideways and I laughed.
“But that’s why I love you.”
My phone buzzed in the console between us and Lacie looked down.
“Seth is still bothering you?”
“Was he calling you last night? Why don’t you just block him?”
“I tried,” I said. “He got a new number and kept calling me.”
“That is so weird and stalkerish.”
We both fell silent until we got to the brunch restaurant. When we sat down and looked at the menu, Lacie looked at me.
“Maybe we will marry The Mondays,” she said.
“Maybe,” I replied, grinning.
“It would be perfect. It would solve my money issues for my mom’s treatment, and it would solve your Seth problem. He couldn’t compete with a word-famous musician.”
“That’s true. Maybe I should just go off the pill and let one of them knock me up,” I replied, laughing.
“Good idea,” Lacie replied. “I’ll do the same.”
We giggled, shaking our heads. It was a nice fantasy, but we both knew it wouldn’t happen. I looked at Lacie and grinned.
“And plus, Morgan desperately needs to get laid.”
“Yeah,” she said. “That too.”