Home > Midnight Blue(6)

Midnight Blue(6)
Author: L.J. Shen


She shrugged. “Just literal. They called me Indigo because of my eye color.”

A blush crept up her neck, crawling to her cheeks and resting on her hairline, like a crown. I shook my head and sauntered to the dining table, leaning a hip against it and shoving a handful of crackers into my mouth.

“Babies’ eye color can change until they’re four,” Lucas pointed out from behind my back. Were they vying for The Most Boring Conversation in the World award? Because they sure as hell had my vote.

“I guess they were risk-takers, too.” Her throaty laugh filled the room.

“Were?”

“They died.” Pause. “Car accident.”

“So sorry to hear.” His posh, public school accent rang in my ears and jam-packed me with fresh, red rage.

He sounded gutted. I wasn’t particularly happy to learn New Girl was an orphan, either. But the thing about Lucas was, he literally was hurting for her, the way children do before they grow up and get hardened by life. He was the most obnoxiously earnest human being I’d ever met. As far as my knowledge went, I was the only person in the world he’d fucked over. Which, one could argue, said a lot about my level of arseholery or likeability. Or lack thereof.

Jenna resurfaced from the terrace, shoving her phone into her bag. Her smile told me if I tried to say no to hiring New Girl, she was going to dump my sorry arse to the nearest curb. There were other agents, big and powerful as she was, but there was only one agent to bail my eejit self from jail at three in the morning when I’d decided to play a one-sided game of chicken with a police patrol car on the Pacific Highway and finish the night doodling on a booker’s tit. I couldn’t rely on my drummer, manager, and bass guitarist to flush the toilet, let alone be there when I fucked up in spectacular fashion. I loved my friends the way you love your pet. Fiercely, but with no expectations of reciprocation. My family…well, that was an entirely different story I didn’t want to delve into.

“Hello,” Jenna said.

I offered half a nod.

“This one talks, Jenna.” I jerked my chin to the girl.

“The last one didn’t and didn’t survive four days on the job. I needed to try something different.” My agent shrugged, and I puffed on my millionth cigarette that day and disregarded her, and the rest of the universe, my favorite pastime since I’d gotten out of rehab.

“Can I tell you something?” Jenna reapplied her blood-shaded lipstick in front of a pocket mirror she held up to her face.

“Manners don’t suit you.” Rhetorical questions channeled my inner bully.

“You need to start thinking about your next album, Alex. Cock My Suck did poorly, and you’ve taken the needed time off to focus on your wellbeing. I was surprised to learn you didn’t write anything while you were in rehab.”

I cocked my head sideways, arching an eyebrow. “Ever been to rehab, Jenna?”

“No.” She clamped the mirror shut.

“I might’ve had a shit-ton of dead time on my hands, but I was too busy crawling up the walls Trainspotting-style and trying not to tear the flesh from my bones.”

“Cocaine doesn’t lead to physical dependency,” she stated, unblinking.

“Ever done coke, Jenna?” I asked her in the exact same tone I’d asked the first question.

“No.”

“Same answer.”

The doorbell chimed again. Blake opened it, again , bypassing a chatting Lucas and New Girl. My band members and manager had already acknowledged she was a part of our landscape. At least they had the decency to ignore her, like she was an ugly vase no one had the balls to move. Other than Waitrose, of course, who made pissing on my parade a form of art.

“Who ordered Mexican?” Blake yelled.

“Stupid question, mate!” Alfie shouted from the sofa.

“Oh, shit. Literally,” Lucas drawled in slow-motion, referring to Alfie’s stomach, which didn’t share his infatuation with the cuisine.

I turned around, moving my attention back to Jenna.

“So. Where did you find the little fighter?” I massaged the velvety part of her earlobe. Women melted under my hands like butter, and my agent was no different, with the exception that she’d never sleep with me because she had enough brain cells to know the outcome.

Jenna examined her nails while she talked. “Does it really matter? All you need to know is I don’t trust you to stay sober on your own. You’re volatile, angry, and bitter at the world. And she—she has too much to gain and a lot to lose if this doesn’t pan out the way I want it to. Sorry, Al. This one’s ready to go to war.”

“Jenna.” I tsked , brushing my thumb along my lower lip. “She’s not a war. She’s barely a fucking sport.”

“If that’s the case, promise me you’ll play clean. She may have sass, but she’s really young.”

“Clean is not in my dictionary.” It wasn’t even a joke.

“Say that to one of your endless strings of one-night stands. I’m sure they’d still hop into bed with you.” Jenna’s eyes rolled so hard they almost hopped to another dimension. She brushed her shoulder along my chest as she waltzed to the door. Indigo shadowed her, her back ramrod-straight.

My agent turned around a second before leaving. “Write me an album, Al. Make it spectacular, settling the score between you and Will Bushell.”

A kill switch clicked in my brain the minute she said his name.

There was no score to be settled. I’d released one bad album. Everyone had one. Even Bad Religion. But of course, I wasn’t going to defend myself, not to her, not at all, and definitely not in front of my entourage and the little smurf she’d dragged into my den.

“It’s on.” I winked and finger-gunned her, turning around so she couldn’t see the anger clouding my face.

The door closed.

I grabbed Alfie’s Mexican food and threw it against the wall, watching the black beans crawling down and making a mess. The guacamole clung to the wall like concrete, fighting gravity. I was restless, and I wasn’t even sure why.

New album?

New tour?

New Girl ?

Will Bushell?

Things were about to change, and this time, there was no magic powder to take the edge off.

 

 

“S oooo. Spill it, girl. What’s he like?”

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