Chapter 1Mature

". . . love was like squishy orange guts - it was sticky and messy." Sophie broke his heart five years ago, leaving him to join a rock band. Caleb got his own break with his band, Unknown Species. Now here they are, with their bands touring together this summer. He has to either get over her for good, or be miserable every day for the next 3 months. Who ever said it was easy to be a rocker?

The glare of the lights made it hard to focus on the crowd, but with the music pulsing through my body I really couldn't give a damn. All that mattered was that asshole Trent came in too late for his guitar solo and now I had to compensate by adding a few extra chords to cover his error. Amateur night anyone? I sneered at the jerk and gave a flourish so no one would notice. Paul gave me an eye roll behind his drum kit to show he noticed too.

I loved the feel of sweat dripping down my back, because it was testament that I really put my balls into my music. If I ever stopped putting every bit of energy into my performance, then that was a sign I'm done with rock. Speaking of being finished, Trent was really pissing me off. We launched into a new song, but I could tell his heart wasn't in it tonight. He kept making juvenile mistakes in songs we've played together thousands of times. I knew the rest of the guys felt apprehensive too, because they kept giving me looks.

Finally the gig was up and we left the stage to a roar of applause. The house crew hauled our gear out of the way for the next band, and we all collapsed on the musty old furniture in the back hallway behind the stage. Ah, the refreshing aroma of sweat and stale smoke. Really made a guy feel at a home.

"What the fuck Trent?" Raine groaned hoarsely as he leaned forward to put his shaved head in his hands. He was always slow to talk after a show because of the strain on his vocals, but tonight he voiced what we were all thinking.

"I know, I know. Damn the shit to hell," Trent snarled as he launched himself out of the sagging chair to pace the scant space in the tight hallway. I just stared at him. He was usually a pretty easygoing guy; he was the one to keep a cool head in almost any situation. For him to be this agitated did not bode well. We all sat and waited for him to continue.

The End

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