So some of you may or may not know that I have started writing a new book surrounding twins and rock stars. I am so excited for you guys to meet Emerson and her brother Cade and to fall in love with them as I know I will! Check out the first chapter below and let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment!
“Holy shit!” my brother Cade exclaims, his hand reflexively goes up to cover his mouth.
“What?” I ask, shifting my attention from the screen of my phone to him. His eyes dart back and forth from the screen of his own phone to me.
“The Deafening Silence is going on tour with Glass Houses, Tanks, and A Night to Remember on the Collateral Tour.”
“Oh my God!” I jump off the couch and tackle him. For as long as I can remember, music has been Cade’s life. At least ever since that night when we were twelve. I don’t like to talk about that night, they aren’t good memories for either of us.
I begin tearing up and Cade pulls back like I’m poison oak. “Are you crying?” His hands immediately begin roaming my face protectively.
I swat his hands away and rub the tears from my eyes. “It’s nothing.”
“Bullshit!” he bellows. “Did somebody hurt you?”
“Cade,” I say, hoping he’ll drop it.
“No,” he pushes back. “I want to know why on one of the best days of my fucking life, you’re upset?”
“God, you’re such a fucking asshole, you know that?” I shake my head, not even surprised. I spin on my heel and head back to the couch, plopping back into the cushions.
“What?” he asks, clueless.
“What?” I hear Braxton’s deep voice behind me and then feel myself being suffocated with a pillow.
“Braxton!” I cry out, fighting the soft pillow in front of my face.
He is laughing heartily as he drops the pillow, plops down beside me, and ruffles my hair like I’m some kid.
“We got the tour, man!” Cade exclaims excited.
Braxton exchanges glances with both of us before breaking into a smile and then throwing his arm around my neck and putting me in a headlock.
Grade A Braxton. He’s got the looks of a sex God—over six feet tall, brown hair, brown eyes, and hard rock abs. He’s been my brother’s best friend and sidekick since they met at the end of freshmen year. Unfortunately for me, that means I’m his number one target. It’s like he thrives off making me suffer.
“Well shit, I need to pack!” Cade hurriedly leaves the room, headed for his own.
“You can let go now, Brax,” I say, still stuck underneath his armpit. Maybe some girls like this. I’m not one of them.
Braxton chuckles and then releases me. “Come on, we need to get packing.” He hops up and then extends his hand out to me. What a freaking gentleman.
“I think you mean you need to go pack. I need to meet Breigh for sangria.” I start to make my way past him when Braxton grabs my arm stopping me.
“What are you talking about? You’re coming with us on the tour, right?” His eyes are a little manic, and suddenly his grip around my arm becomes uncomfortable. I pull my arm away, immediately protecting it with the other.
“What’s your deal, Brax? I’m a big girl. I can take care of myself.” He’s acting so strange, and I don’t know why. I’ve been looking forward to some alone time, now that we’re older Mischa is never home.
“Cade!” Braxton shouts.
“Oh my God, Braxton, really?” I pout. I have no idea what his deal is, but it is pissing me off.
“What?” Cade answers from upstairs.
“Yo, come here for a sec,” Braxton orders him. He’s down the stairs not a minute later.
“What’s up?” he asks Braxton, his eyes darting between the both of us.
“Tell me you are not letting Em stay home while we go on this tour of a lifetime. Tell me she is coming with us.”
I sigh. Yeah, the tour would be fun. A lot of fun. But for once I’d like to break out on my own and not follow in my twin’s footsteps. For once I would like to find something that separates me from him. For him, it’s his music. I still haven’t found my thing, so I’m stuck in his shadow. I love Cade and everything, but I want to be my own person not Cade’s twin.
Cade chuckles. “What are you talking about? Of course she is coming with us. Go pack, Em,” he says.
When I don’t move he cocks his head to the side. “Em? What’s going on?”
“This tour is amazing, and I am so happy for you guys, but I was hoping to be able to spend some alone time while you were away. I was going to try to build up my photography portfolio and maybe take a couple of classes on Photoshop.”
Cade shakes his head. “Funny enough, we need a tour photographer, and you’d be great for the job! Just think, you could cushion your portfolio, get the experience, and have fun with us! It’s a win-win. Take the Photoshop classes online, or have Braxton teach you, you know he went to school for it.”
I don’t know if it’s because he is eight minutes older than me, or if it’s because our parents died and he feels responsible for me, but his say is always the final say. I nod, defeated. “Yeah, I guess.”
“Come on, Em! It’s going to be the time of our life. I don’t want you to miss out on this.” He’s my brother and I love him, so I always cave.
Part of the reason I wanted alone time was to be able to try to meet someone. You wouldn’t believe how difficult it is to meet someone when you have an intimidating, overprotective brother and all of his friends who act like their blood relations all cock-blocking you. I can’t remember the last time I was out with someone and it didn’t end in complete disaster.
Online dating here I come.
* * *
“Seriously though, what am I going to do without you?” Breigh asks, her face falling.
“You’re going to be fine.” I dismiss her comment. “Three months is going to fly by.”
“Is Cade excited?” she asks. We’ve been best friends since she sat down next to me in Creative Writing back in sophomore year. She’s been crushing on Cade since before then.
It’s hard because Cade doesn’t want to be tied down right now, and the last thing I want is to lead my friend to the slaughter. I don’t want her to get hurt.
I take a sip of my sangria and bite into an artichoke toast. We’re at our favorite Happy Hour spot, Dante’s. Pitchers of sangria half off? Yes, please.
Breigh sighs dramatically. “I bet he’s jumping off the walls,” she says softly before taking a long swig of her own sangria.
“This is what he’s wanted for as long as I can remember…yeah, he’s stoked.”
“How are you feeling about being out on the road with Braxton and Cade?” she asks, raising her eyebrows; always trying to get the gossip.
I shrug. “It can’t be much different than it is now.”
“To hell it can’t! You and Braxton stuck in a small van or hotel room...you are going to have to watch your back twenty-four seven. Sleep with one eye open!” Breigh slams her hand down onto our table, and our neighboring tables begin eyeing us.
“Okay, Paranoid, what’s the worst that could happen to me? So they pour water on me while I’m sleeping? It would suck, but I’d get over it. So they tie my shoelaces together and I trip and fall on my face, it would hurt, but I’d live. Honestly, I’ve been putting up with Cade’s crazy antics for my entire life, what’s another three months going to do?”
Breigh shakes her head and then takes another sip off her drink. “I’m not worried about Cade, I’m worried about Braxton, you know that boy has no boundaries.”
I roll my eyes. “So, what does your schedule look like for the next three months?”
Her eyes widen and for a moment I feel bad for misleading her. “I’m not talking about the entire tour, but I think it’d be really cool if you came out for a weekend. Plus, you think I’m in danger, so come be my backup!”
Breigh laughs and then takes a bite of her salad. “Okay. Yay, oh my gosh, I am so excited! Should we tell Cade?”
“No, let’s just surprise him with it when the time comes,” I suggest casually. Breigh and Cade have spent a lot of time with each other over the years, as one would imagine, but Cade is such a free spirit, and his eyes never stop wandering. I don’t want my friend to be let down. I’ve been very clear with Cade that he is not to ever engage in any sexual relationship with Breigh. Some might call that overbearing, I call that being a friend.
We finish our dinner and say our goodbyes before I head back to the house. On one hand, I’m angry with Braxton and Cade for taking my choice away. For making the choice for me. On another, I love hanging out with my brother and his friends, and this opportunity may lead to more within a field I am passionate about.
When I finally make it back to the house, and let myself in, all of the lights are off. It’s not too late, I know the guys are just probably upstairs. Either that, or Braxton finally left. I’m crossing through the living room when I get the eerie feeling I’m being watched. I spin around and there is a shadow in the darkness, sitting in the corner of the room. I squint my eyes trying to get a better look before I find a light switch and solve the mystery. “Braxton?” I cry out, when I realize it’s him. “What are you still doing here? Why are you sitting in the dark?”
“I was waiting for you,” he replies simply.
“Ew you creep, did it never occur to you to just call me or text me and ask when I would be home?” Braxton always acts strange, but today is on another level.
He shrugs. “Set your alarm for five.”
“Five!” I cry out. “You’re out of your mind.”
“Em,” he says, batting his long lashes at me. His entire family has them. What I wouldn’t give for luxurious lashes like theirs. “We need to get a head start.”
“On your training. If you’re going to be the band’s tour photographer, you kind of need to know what you’re doing. Now do you want my help or not?”
I’m backed into a corner. I’m going on the tour whether I like it or not, so I might as well suck it up, and utilize the time I have as best I can. “Uggh, fine.” I throw my hands in the air in surrender.
“Good, I’ll see you then,” he says as he brushes past me and out the front door. “Sweet dreams.”
If this is what it takes, then I’m willing to put my big girl panties on and just do it. On the other hand, dealing with Braxton for any longer than usual may be torture...