Ace (Band of Brothers #1)

By: Lyra Parish

She glared at me. "I'm not a slut."

I lifted my hands and shook my head. "This ain't no fairy tale. It was never meant to be. Prince Charming is really a nightmare. That Prince Charming is me."

"Don’t quote your own lyrics, asshole. You're so arrogant. I don't know what I was thinking."

"You weren't. That's the problem."

She shoved her feet into her heels and stormed through the bus with her bra and panties held tightly in her hands. She turned around and flipped me off, then opened the door and walked fast through the crowd of people who waited for autographs outside the bus. I exhaled, able to finally breathe again and was glad she was gone. I hated the cycle and wanted to break out of it but I couldn't. Meaningful relationships and Ace Hathway, are polar opposites from one another. Often, I don't feel like I deserve to experience real love, but at least my dick was satisfied. The beast was tamed for now.

I walked to the kitchen and watched all the fans staring at the blonde who angrily pushed through the crowd and that's when the whispering started. They knew. Hell, the whole town would know by tomorrow. I officially hated Florida.

A few minutes later, my brother Nik stepped on the bus shaking his head. His hair was wet with sweat and he tucked it behind his ears.

"What did you do this time, little bro?" He pulled a beer from the refrigerator and sat at the table. I slid in the seat in front of him and smiled.

"Wait, let me guess." He held out his hand and stopped me from speaking, then took a sip. "You didn't let her kiss you. You were basically a walking dick."

I lifted my eyebrows. "About sums it up."

"And it stinks like nasty sex in here. Shit. Spray something at least. Common fucking road courtesy, ya know?" Nik smiled before he took another drink then sat the bottle down on the table.

Rex and Jex boarded and they were both laughing. Twins. Sometimes they drove me up the fucking wall. Jex was way too serious and Rex was the complete opposite.

"Keeping your touring reputation? That woman has told everyone from here to Main Street how small your dick is," Rex said laughing.

"Bullshit!" I said. "Do you want me to whip it out and slap you in the face with it?"

"Please," Jex said holding out his hand in protest as I stood and started to unzip my jeans. "We don't want your skank stained dick coming out of its home. Keep it in its cave little brother."

I shook my head and opened the fridge to pull out a bottle of water.

"I thought blondes weren't your thing," Nik said.

I took a sip. "They aren't, but they all look the same with the lights off." I grabbed a sharpie from the front of the bus and opened the door and stepped out trying to forget Sara or Chantal or whatever the hell her name was but that'd be easy because I didn't care.

The way people looked at me never got old. It was the star struck look. I smiled for pictures, talked to fans, groupies, all of the above. Besides being on stage, chatting to everyone that appreciated our music was when I was the happiest.

A woman walked up with an indie vinyl that had a picture of the band on it. All the signatures were there except mine.

"Do you have any idea how long I've been waiting to meet you?"

"How long?" I smiled.

"Two years."

It was impressive. She had come to every Florida show and had never gotten a chance to meet me. "You're always too busy," she said.

These were the types of people I avoided—the confrontational types, the ones that called out my many flaws. I never claimed to be perfect; the tabloids did that for me.

"Sorry about that." I slipped the gold pen from her grasp and signed above my head and handed the record back to her.

"Is it true what that woman said?"

"I only claim to be a musician, sweetheart. The rest is hearsay."

She gave me a smile but when my brothers all stepped off the bus she lit up. She handed her cell phone to a friend and asked if we would take a picture with her. She stood in front of us and we all smiled. When she looked at it, tears filled her eyes. "The best day of my life, hands down. Thank you." I watched as she walked into the crowd showing everyone the picture.

Sometimes I regret the things that I do. The random fucking, the lack of care, and the way I treat those I love. Being in the public eye, makes me want to be a better person, makes me want to be a role model to young musicians, but too often I'm stuck in a dark place. Creativity, I've heard can be dangerous. It can ruin a mind or enlighten it.

We signed until the stage manager told us it was time to leave. Our gear was loaded, the crew was ready, and my brothers and I were starving.

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