Brendan barely caught the paper before it fluttered to the floor. Seeing his picture on the front cover with his close friend, Misty Waters, concern took over, which quickly gave way to anger.
Broken Hearts in Hollywood. Shaking his head, he frowned in fury as he read the title of the tabloid’s latest article. Against his better judgment, he opened the magazine and flipped to page eight, where the cover story was featured.
Could the platinum single “Trail of Broken Hearts” be a prophetic message for Max Load’s lead singer, Brendan Powers? The hottest single topping the charts now for Max Load, the edgy boy band stealing hearts across the globe, is also the theme for the gorgeous lead singer of the boy band. Now we know that women across the world love Brendan Powers; the six foot one, ash-blonde hot singer that croons sultry tunes in that sensual voice and entices women across the world with those beautiful, hazel bedroom eyes.
But if you’ve been wondering about his love life—and we have—you don’t have to wonder any longer. For quite some time, females have been ecstatic that the hunk has chosen to remain single. Well, I’m sorry to tell you, ladies, but it looks like he’s off the market. At least for a time. Well, that’s not the fascinating news. What’s so exciting about that, you ask? We’ll tell you. It’s whom he’s chosen to hunker down with that has our tongues wagging.
Two nights ago, on a balcony at the Esmerelda in Beverly Hills, our photographer caught him in a steamy embrace with award-winning actress, Misty Waters. Now, although the exclusive hotel does provide privacy, we cannot share with you the details of how we were able to obtain this picture. The only thing we can tell you is that they were heating up the night.
The two appear to be extremely close in this photo, with Misty snuggling close to Brendan. And if the look in his eye is any indicator, he’s head over heels in love—or lust—for her! Sources close to the pair state they have been involved in an on-again, off-again affair for the last six years, much to her husband’s consternation. And where in the world is that hunk? GlamLife Magazine has not seen hide nor hair of her brawny, lumberjack-looking husband in the last several months. He was not at her side at the Emmys, nor did he make an appearance at the viewing of Silvermist, her latest movie. Once again, the blonde-haired, hazel-eyed Brendan was at her side.
Misty Waters and husband, Nick Wade, have been married for the last ten years, and are Hollywood’s hottest power couple on the rise. Her husband has created a name for himself as the director of many of the big screen’s top money-making films. Yet, he seems to be in hiding. Could the creative genius behind the films Idealism, New Vision, and Breaking Edge be hiding away from this scandal? Is he on the verge of becoming a recluse, as he becomes upstaged by music’s young heartthrob?
Perhaps, the greatest question we are asking is: Is the boy-band star leading her down a trail of broken hearts, as he comes between Misty Waters and her husband? He’s been known to leave a few lovers on the sidelines nursing aching hearts in the wake of his departure. Will the same hold true for this new fling between him and Misty? Only time will tell, and GlamLife Magazine promises to bring you every tidbit of this juicy story as it unfolds.
Brendan threw the tabloid across the room, where it smacked into the wall before fluttering to the floor in a crumpled heap.
There were several photos taken of him and Misty that night just before he was to perform to a sold-out crowd. The pictures showed the two of them hugging on the balcony; him wiping her tears away with his hands; him resting his chin on her head; another of him leaning in for a kiss, that had been applied to her cheek, but—of course—they did not share that one. And the last photo was of him escorting her back into the hotel room, with the palm of his hand at her waist.
The story the tabloid failed to tell was how upset Missy had been after an argument with her husband, Nick Wade. She had come to Brendan’s room after he encouraged her to talk to him. They had talked, and she had shared with him the demands Nick was placing on her, and his decision to move ahead with a divorce despite her best efforts to change his mind. When she told Brendan about the divorce, she broke down, and he had difficulty consoling her.
At one point, he escorted her onto the balcony, persuading her to get some fresh air. All his encouraging words and his hugs had been an attempt to offer comfort to a woman who had been nothing but a great friend to him. As had her husband. Brendan would never do anything to hurt either of them, and he resented any insinuations that he would.
“I warned you that you didn’t want to read it. Especially before you go onstage, Brendan,” Rick Miller stated.
Brendan’s elbows rested on his knees as he removed his trademark ballcap and ran his fingers through his short, wheat-colored hair. The last thing he wanted to hear was his manager’s warnings of “I told you so.”
“Rick, now’s not the time for this. If you thought I shouldn’t look at it, why did you even bring that garbage in here?” Brendan pushed off the couch and began pacing the floor of his dressing room.
“Because, you’ll be going right into an interview after this show tonight, and I don’t want you caught off guard by anything. Being aware of the story that’s circulating is important. Reading the trashy details of that garbage isn’t important,” Rick argued, his finger jabbing in a downward motion.
“Do the guys know?” Brendan asked, stopping mid-stride and turning to face his manager. He felt panic rising within him. They all had done everything in their power to stay out of trouble, understanding how important the success of the band was to each of them. Brendan had always been the primary one expounding on the importance of moral and ethical behaviors.
Their band had done numerous speaking engagements across the country, always being modeled as upstanding citizens. And now this. It wasn’t the adult fans he worried about, but the young ones. The ones whose behaviors were molded and shaped by groups such as his own.
“They do now. Kevin was the first to see it on his way up from the convenience store downstairs,” Rick explained. “He was actually the one who bought it. He was on his way up to bring it to you when he ran into me. I told him to get ready. I’d handle it.”
Rick released a deep sigh.
“Look, Brendan, I need you, and the guys focused tonight on giving your best performance as you close out this tour. This is our final performance, and you guys have sold out every concert. Your songs are opening at the top of the charts; every time you release a single, your record sales have gone platinum. We can’t relax now; we must build off this momentum we’ve got going in our favor. Don’t worry about this. I’ve already spoken to Amy, and she’s writing up a piece for you to use as we speak. She’s assured me we’ll have it just in time for your interview tonight. Don’t worry about the rest. We’ll handle it later, okay?”
Brendan and his band Max Load were finishing out the last leg of their tour tonight at the Staples Arena in Los Angeles. He just needed to make sure his fellow bandmates knew he was performing at one-hundred-percent effort tonight. There needed to be no doubts about his ability to perform or the fact that his mind was focused only on giving their fans what they paid for. Any distractions from that would cause them to not be up to par. And he couldn’t have that.
Resting his hands on his hips, he gave Rick a wary glance before heading for the door.
“Where are you going, Brendan?”
“To talk to the guys for a sec. I just want them to be reassured that my head’s on right.”
Rick followed silently behind him, as they made their way down the hall to the band’s gathering room. When Brendan got an idea in his head, there was no stopping him, so Brendan was glad Rick didn’t try.
When he stepped inside, Brendan’s spirits sunk a little as he noticed all talk ceased at his appearance. Looking around the room, he took in the questioning gazes of Kevin, Stephen, and Dylan. Dylan’s twin brother, Tyler, on the other hand, wore a look of frustration.
“You good, dude?” Dylan asked.
“Uh, yeah…yeah, I’m fine,” Brendan stated, forcing a smile that he did not feel. “Look, guys, I don’t think I have to tell you—”
“Hey, you don’t have to say a word. Don’t even give any credence to that trash. Speaking it out loud only gives energy to the negative force behind it. Every one of us in this room knows that you’d never do such a thing. You and Misty have been good friends since this band was getting its rocky start. They’re always going to try to find a way to bring something dark to the good that’s out there. Don’t let this get you down, man,” Tyler encouraged.
Brendan shook his head. “I’m not. I just wanted to make sure you guys were okay, and that you know I’m going out there to give the best performance of this tour so far.”
Stephen nodded his head, getting up from the couch’s arm that he had been resting on. Holding out his fist to the others, everyone circled around. He looked at every member of the band until his brown eyes locked onto Brendan’s hazel ones. Nodding his head, he closed his eyes, and everyone else followed suit. Bowing their heads down, they chanted a quick motto: “Music is our life, music is our blood, Max Load forever!”
* * *
Brendan toed his boots off and plopped down on the couch, one foot planted on the floor, the other resting on the arm of the couch. One arm casually tossed over his eyes and the other outstretched, he listened to the excited talk of his fellow band members bubbling around him. They were still hyped on the performance they had finished. It had been the best one they had given since the three-month tour started. Even the interview at the radio station afterward had gone well, until the DJ—Mystical Mike—had scratched on that open wound.
“So, we’ve talked about your world premiere of the “Trail of Broken Hearts” video, the response from your fans, Stephen’s brand-new baby girl. Thanks for sharing the pics for the first time here at W-K-one-oh-four, Stephen. And we’ve talked about Dylan and Tyler’s pledge to remain single for an indefinite amount of time, much to the pleasure of your fans. The one thing we haven’t broached is the pictures of you and Misty Waters, Brendan. The word on the street is her marriage is on the rocks, and you’re the cause of it. Now, we’ve had you here at the radio station before, and I don’t buy into rumors, but I’d say those pictures are saying a lot. Would you care to discuss the rumors that you are having an affair with Misty Waters? Is your torrid affair leading to the breakup of her ten-year marriage?”
Brendan’s heart had thumped loudly in his chest, as he fought the blush he knew was creeping up his cheeks. Forcing a smile to his lips, he winked at Mystical Mike and leaned into the microphone. “Nah, I’d not care to comment on that.”
“Whoa!” Mike had loudly announced, rocking back in his chair as if the news of the year had just blown him away. “And there you have it, folks! He’s not denying it nor confirming it. So, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens, huh?”
Brendan had leaned forward towards the microphone again and remarked in his trademark soft voice, “Yeah, I guess you will.”
He could see Rick pacing the floor in a fury outside the recording booth, arms crossed on top of his head, and his cheeks a pale shade of red that almost matched his strawberry-blonde hair. He knew he’d have to face his band manager’s wrath afterward. Until then, he was complacent to handle things in the fashion he deemed best for the situation…for his life.
Looking around at his fellow band members, they all seemed pleased with the answer Brendan had given, sharing slight nods and smirks of their own.
The hotel room of their suite burst open, as an angry Rick Miller strode in. “What in the world was that little stunt you pulled out there?” he asked, pointing over his shoulder. He had not ridden back in the car with the rest of them. There had been another meeting for Rick to attend for future appearances, guest hosting, and promo spots to be sorted out.
The other band members grew quiet. Brendan pushed up on his elbows and peered at Rick. “You talking to me?”
Rick shoved his suit jacket back, pushed his hands into his pockets, and looked around the room in disbelief, as everyone else found something to do. Anything was better than meeting Rick’s furious gaze.
“No, I’m talking to the man on the moon! What do you think? Why did you do that, Brendan? That was your time to clear the air and clear your name of the garbage that trashy magazine has tainted it with! Instead, you get cheeky in there, giving all your listeners and the radio station reason to believe it was true. What’s wrong with you? We discussed the plan of action. Amy prepared a statement just for that situation. We were expecting that to come up, and instead of sticking to the script, you veer off course in a reckless move that took no consideration of your fellow band members!”
Brendan rested his arms on his knees and licked his lips before looking up at Rick. “No, the way I recall it is that you and Amy discussed the plan of action. I don’t recall anyone asking my opinion,” Brendan explained, rubbing his hands together. His calm exterior belied the turbulent nature going on inside of him.
From the moment Amy Greene, their publicist, had generated the statement he was upset. He didn’t believe he should give credence to the rumor. In Brendan’s mind, the more he addressed it, the more attention that trashy magazine would garner. He had no plans to contribute another cent to their bottom line. And if he commented on it, those who had yet to read the rag would go out and pick it up just to see the pictures or to read the article. So, no, he wouldn’t be adding to what he already considered a joke.
“That’s her job, Brendan. Or had you forgotten? The last time I checked you weren’t the one who had a degree in communications, so please forgive me if I’m not relying on your expertise in the subject matter.”
“The subject matter you reference happens to be my life, Rick.” Brendan pushed off the couch, standing up to face his manager. Blowing a deep breath out, he smoothed his hand across his head.
“Hey,” Tyler said, hopping between the two men. “Let’s calm down. Rick, I don’t think what Brendan did was necessarily a bad move. No, it didn’t stop the rumors, and yes, it might add fuel to them, but we can’t give in to every power ploy the media wants to throw at us. This is the first time any of us have been involved in a scandal of any level—”
“Which is precisely why he should’ve stuck to the script Amy gave him,” Rick argued.
“But,” Tyler interjected, “I also don’t think we want to set a precedent of chasing down negative commentary and trying to address every ridiculous thing they have to say.”
“He’s right,” Dylan interrupted. “I mean, Tyler and I have denounced relationships, and I can quickly see someone interpreting that into calling our sexuality into question. There are some negative people out there that would rather think bad about my brother and me than the fact that we’re focused on our careers and the success of this band before allowing anything to distract us from it.”
Tyler nodded. “So, what he did wasn’t altogether bad.”
Brendan shook his head in agreement.
“But on the other hand,” Tyler said, raising his eyebrows at Brendan, “I understand exactly where Rick’s coming from. We can’t jump the gun and take things into our own hands. That’s exactly why we hired Amy in the first place. We have to trust her to do her job and Rick to do his and know that they’re going to do what’s best for the band. Whether or not this is what’s best for the band, speaking out on it, or keeping quiet, I can’t say. But I do think this is a time to think about these situations moving forward and to develop a set protocol in the future as to how we manage them. After all, this one caught us all off-guard,” Tyler explained.
Quiet murmurs rippled through the room, as the band members agreed with Tyler’s assessment. Rick finally spoke up. “Look, you’re right. This will probably blow over like everything else. Hollywood and the music industry are always in the spotlight for something or other. Today, it’s Brendan; tomorrow, it could be an NFL or MLB player. The point is, we need some time to cool our heels after this, especially now that the tour is done. We’ve got one final party planned for tonight, and we should be heading out for it soon. After that, you guys are on your own for the next several weeks,” Rick announced, a light coming into his eyes and a smile turning up his lips. He rubbed his hands together, and Brendan knew that, just as the rest of them were, Rick was tired. This tour had taken its toll on all of them, and Rick worked just as hard—or even harder—as the rest of them.