He leaves and I sit on the bed.
My head is heavy from the hangover I have after drinking all yesterday afternoon and last night, and I’m having trouble concentrating on anything. Besides causing the band all this grief, I haven’t spoken to Presley since I hung up on her yesterday. There are numerous messages from her on my phone, and I’ve tried to call her back but I can’t get hold of her. We’re playing fucking tag team here with messages and it’s driving me crazy. I have a band meeting in ten minutes so I leave her another message, hoping she will call back soon.
I get my shit together and leave for the meeting, which we’re having over lunch in the restaurant downstairs. The hotel has barred all reporters from entering, and Tom’s assigned security to be with us at all times. He came to my room at eight this morning and laid down the law, and I’m fairly sure he’s going to lay it down again at our meeting.
West lifts his chin as I approach the table. Everyone’s here already and the rest greet me in a similar manner, even Van.
I pull out the remaining chair and drop into it, signalling to the waitress that I’d love a coffee.
As she pours me one, West asks, “You’ve seen the news?”
I grimace and look at him with regret. “Yeah, man, I’m sorry.” Not much of the news is true but my behaviour has certainly stirred it all up.
He shrugs. “I know, and fuck ‘em. We know it’s all bullshit and we can all sleep at night,” he pauses and gives me a smile, “and that, my friend, is all the fuck that matters.”
I shake my head. “No, West, that’s not all the fuck that matters. I’ve really screwed shit up here for the band. How can you be so calm about it?”
He continues to smile at me. “Because you stood by me, not a fucking question asked, and you always have.”
I nod at him but don’t say anything else; instead, I gulp back the emotions his words have stirred up. Jesus, what the hell is wrong with me? All choked up over a few words.
“I’ve got your back, too,” Hunter says, “we’ve seen the last ten years together and I sure as shit wanna see the next ten with your crazy ass by my side. West is right – fuck ‘em. They wanna see what Crave’s made of, we’ll show them.”
My head spins; this isn’t what I was expecting this morning. I turn to Tom to give it to me straight but even he shocks the shit out of me. “You’ve got your work cut out for you, but we’ll get through this.”
I shake my head. “Sure, we’ll get through it, but at what cost?” I turn to look at everyone. “I screwed up, and I’m really fucking sorry.” I scrub my face and add, “God, if I could go back and change yesterday, I’d do it in a heartbeat.”
And then Van speaks up and surprises the hell out of me. “Yeah, we know, but fuck, those reporters were assholes yesterday and if it hadn’t been you that cracked, it would only have been a matter of time until one of us had.”
“So this is the plan now,” Tom cuts to the chase, “I’ve cancelled all the interviews we had lined up for this afternoon. I think we all need to regroup and I don’t think it’s in any of your best interests to subject you to anything the press has to throw at you today. I want you all to take the day and refocus. I’m going to try and organise a photo shoot for tomorrow and an interview with a friendly face.”
He chuckles. “You might be surprised, Jett. You’ve got ten years of good behaviour behind you and while the public are quick to judge, there are a lot of people in this industry who know what you stand for and love you. We’ll find someone.”
I drink most of my coffee in one go and stand. “You guys don’t mind if I bail, do you? I think I need some time to myself today.”
They all nod in agreement and I head out of the restaurant, security guy in tow. I have no idea where I’m going; I just know I need to get out of here.
As I’m striding through the lobby, I see a vision and know for sure I’m hallucinating.
It can’t fucking be right.
And yet, the vision keeps coming toward me.
“Fuck me, sweetheart, what the hell are you doing here?” I say as I pull her to me and plant a long, deep kiss on her lips.
Best fucking thing that’s happened to me in days.
She smiles at me and says, “I couldn’t let you go through this alone. So I’m here. For however long you need me to be.”
I stare at her. None of today has gone as I predicted. “Thank God for that because I think I’m gonna need you.”
Still smiling, she says, “I thought you might.”
Jett gets me settled in his hotel suite and what an amazing suite it is. I’ve only ever stayed in standard hotel rooms, but Jett has all the bells and whistles. There’s an open plan living room and dining area, an amazing kitchen you could whip a three course meal up in, a luxurious bedroom with a king bed and a bathroom complete with a spa you could hold a party in if you were that way inclined. The living areas have dark wood flooring with rugs and the bedroom has plush carpet that I just want to take my shoes off and walk on. I can’t help but stare at it all with my mouth wide open. The opulence is breathtaking and I’m speechless.
As I stand in the living room surveying it, Jett snuggles me from behind. He wants to take me straight out for lunch but I tell him there’s no way I’m going anywhere until after I’ve had a shower.