His concern worries me. I’m still learning the dynamics of the band but I’ve kind of worked out that Jett knows his shit and has directed the band to the success they currently enjoy. I’ve read numerous interviews with them online and all the band members mention that he’s driven them this far, so if he’s concerned this song isn’t the right one, I’m inclined to listen to that.
Van scoffs and turns his attention to me. “Don’t listen to him. This song is different to anything we’ve ever done; it’s gonna get everyone’s attention. It’s gonna be fucking huge.”
Jett’s shaking his head at Van’s statement. “See, that’s where I think we’d go wrong if we release it as a single. It’s fine to have on the album and use to guide our fan base into a new sound from us, but to use it as a single, and for it to be the first single off the album, I think that’ll fuck us.”
“I’m so tired of making the same music we’ve been making for ten fucking years, Jett. We need this. I fucking need this,” Van says, and it’s clear, even to me, that he’s going through something. His hard glare and the tense slant of his shoulders tell me how fired up over this he is, and the animosity in his voice is obvious.
“Yeah, well, if we rush into any change, you’ll need a lot fucking more than new music, Van. I’m telling you that fans won’t buy the album if we give them a single that’s completely different to what we’ve been giving them for so long. And then you’ll be needing a new fucking job.” Jett’s restraint is fraying, and when I lay my hand on his leg like I often do, he doesn’t take hold of my hand like he usually does but rather he ignores me and keeps his attention completely on Van.
Hunter speaks up, and I realise he’s the peacekeeper of this band. “I vote we record the song and keep working on more songs before we make a decision.”
Van replies but doesn’t take his eyes off Jett. “It’s not the song that Jett’s against so much, Hunter. It’s the change in direction I want that he’s fighting so fucking hard. He’s stuck in the past decade and doesn’t want to change whereas I know we have to change and keep up with the industry if we want to keep doing well.”
Jett stands, shoving his chair back, his face wild with the anger he can’t contain any longer. “Get your head out of your ass, Van. I’m all for keeping pace, but I’m also smarter than that, and know we have to do it slowly.” As soon as the words are out of his mouth, he storms off towards the back of the restaurant. I watch him for a few moments and then turn back to Van who is also staring after him.
West is pissed now, too. “What the hell has gotten into you two lately?”
Van directs his hard glare to West and says, “I’m sick to death of him telling us what we’re going to do and making all the band decisions.”
“For fuck’s sake, Van, he doesn’t make all our decisions. We all get a say.”
“It doesn’t feel like it. And this is a prime example. I’m making a suggestion that we need to think about our sound and make some changes and he’s shooting every suggestion down.”
“That’s not what I heard,” Hunter says. God, the man is so calm, and I can’t help but think he must have some serious shit hidden underneath that totally calm façade. People who are that controlled always have heavy shit buried deep.
Hunter’s body is rigid as he leans his face forward but his face is clear of any kind of irritation and his voice is still deathly calm. “I think you’re still fucked up over that bitch cheating on you and I think you’re taking it out on Jett and on us.” He takes a breath before adding, “And I think you need to get your shit together. Fast.”
My attention suddenly shifts when I catch sight of a familiar face coming through the front door of the restaurant. My manager, Michael, walks in and is seated at a table not far from us. He’s with a guy I’ve never seen before; a really fucking good looking guy that I struggle to take my eyes off. I’m committed to Jett and would never stray, but hell, there’s no harm in looking. Van and West are still going at it but it’s like white noise to me while I watch Michael and this dude.
I’m just about to tear my gaze from the hot guy when Michael eyes me and waves for me to come over. I excuse myself from the table and head over to where they are. Flashing a smile at both men, I say, “Hey Michael,” and then I turn to his friend and say, “Hi, I’m Presley.”
The guy’s eyes light up and he stands. Putting his hand out to shake mine, he says, “Presley, we finally meet.”
Oh good lord, I would know that voice anywhere. It’s the Kentucky Fire voice from earlier today. And the voice matches the looks. Diesel’s as hot as they come with an easy smile that lights up his face, dimples that would grab any woman’s attention, and scruff that makes him even more irresistible. His dark hair is shaved close to his head, his arms are covered in colourful tattoos, and his ears are pierced with spacers. He’s the quintessential rocker with jeans that hug his legs, a fitted black t-shirt that paints his muscles, chains around his neck, rings on his fingers, and heavy black boots.
I shake his hand and then try to let go, but he keeps hold, so I’m left standing there in limbo waiting for my hand back. “Hi,” I say with uncertainty, waiting for him to release me, and feeling like I’m on the back foot here. Like he’s got all the control here. And I hate feeling that way.