Ace (Band of Brothers #1)(10)

By: Lyra Parish

I looked down at my phone and saw it was 2:45 pm and I needed to check in with a woman named Miley, the tour manager, so I could get my passes and bus assignments before 3:00 pm. Jules had written a note on the itinerary: DO NOT be late. She will eat your ass for breakfast. Great.

If I quit now, then I wouldn't have the disappointment of being a failure. There were too many personalities, too many people, which confirmed this wasn't my type of thing. My stomach was tied into tight, double knots; ones that would not be undone any time soon. I hoped I didn't get a stomach ulcer from all the stress.

I wheeled my suitcase to the sidewalk and left it there. If someone wanted to steal my clothes, have at it. My camera and laptop were strapped to my back and I carried my guitar. Those were the important things anyway.

I walked across the hot asphalt toward the back of the venue where technicians were scrambling around. In the distance, I saw a woman who looked a little older than me wearing blue jeans that were torn at the bottom, a pair of converse, and an old t-shirt. The closer she got, the more I realized the heat wasn't only kicking my ass, but everyone else's too, because sweat covered her body and her hair was stuck to her forehead.

"Excuse me, do you know where I can—"

"I'm her. Miley." She held out her hand and gave me a firm handshake. I could always tell the type of individual a person was by their handshake and thankfully she passed my test. When someone gave me a weak one, I always questioned their integrity. Odd, but it never failed. If there was one thing I learned in college, it was to be confident in your shake even if you're not confident in anything else. People will always remember if you give them the dead fish hand.

She looked over in the distance at a man who was wheeling my suitcase toward me.

"Can you take the suitcase and all of this stuff to my bus?"

I handed over my guitar and laptop but kept my camera. "Thank you."

"Do you want to walk and talk?" Miley asked as the man walked away.

She delivered the words to me as a question but it was never intended as one because as soon as she finished her sentence we were walking behind the stage. A radio was secured to her hip and every few minutes she would pick it up and speak into it with direct orders.

"Here is the backstage area. You are allowed over here behind the tape. Make sure to stay out of everyone's way. We're glad you’re here, but you're not to be a distraction. Understood?"

I nodded.

"There is a pit over on stage right if you want to get front shots." She pulled two passes from her back pocket with a lanyard that had Band of Brothers and their names written in different fonts along with Summer Tour. One said Journalist and the other said Photographer. I felt like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory when he was given a golden ticket. These passes were my golden tickets, but unfortunately it wouldn't lead to a day full of fun, more like weeks of nightmares.

"I don't have your bus number yet. We're still figuring out the details and waiting for a few more people to arrive tonight. As soon as I figure it out, I'll let you know. Do you want your guitar with your suitcase?"

I nodded and handed it to her. She turned her head, and in the distance I saw a set of four tall men walking toward the backstage area. I knew exactly who they were before their faces were in sight. This would be the first time that I laid eyes on Band of Brothers.

"Okay, well, it's warm-up time. I've got some more shit to take care of. If you need anything else, holler."

I gave her a smile and she jogged toward the brothers with my guitar in hand. I could tell by the way her head was bobbing that she was giving detailed instruction. Not wanting to be seen, I took a few steps back into the wing and pulled my camera from my sling, hoping for a shot.

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