Ace (Band of Brothers #1)(8)

By: Lyra Parish

"No choice, little bro. You're coming with us. By the way, you look like shame and regret," Jex said.

"Only because I'm about to hang out with you." I laughed and we stepped off the bus and walked toward a black van parked by the sidewalk. Rex and Nik crossed the parking lot toward us.

Our tour manager, Miley walked with determination in her step wearing her signature look: converse, jeans, and an old school band t-shirt with bright colored Ray-Bans.

"Be back by three. Don't be late. I'm not fucking kidding. Warm up at three-thirty. That gives you exactly two hours. Okay?" She pointed her finger at us.

We all nodded at her like she was our mother because on the road she practically was. She tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear that had fallen from her sloppy pony tail and smiled, pleased by our reaction. Miley had her shit together and I never questioned her actions. There were some people in the world that I depended on without question, few and far between, but she was one of them. Miley didn't take our lip; she drank like a man and cursed like a sailor. She was one of the dudes and not one of us had the balls to not follow her direction. Her temper was scary.

"I'm serious, three on the dot!" She gave us the look that would make anyone else tremble.

We nodded again and the van door slid open and we all climbed inside.

"The venue is sold out; nineteen thousand people. Doesn't even seem like a real number," Rex said.

"None of this seems real," I replied.

"You got that right, little bro. It's a constant state of dreaming but you better wake the fuck up because this tour begins," Jex said with a laugh.

"Did you decide to play up the whole identical twin thing again today?" I asked, nudging Nik with my elbow. Jex and Rex looked over each other who were wearing the same clothes.

Jex instantly became pissed and Rex laughed.

"We aren't five anymore," Jex said. "Stop doing that. It's not cute."

"I think it's adorable," Nik said with a huge grin on his face.

"I thought it would be fun to be you today when I meet people," Rex chimed in.

"You better fucking not. I don't think that's funny. At all." Jex was not kidding. But if people didn't know them, it was hard to tell them apart. Jex started cutting his hair differently and Rex would get the same cut to drive him nuts. It was an ongoing joke that Jex did not like.

"Sometimes I hate being your twin. I have to look at your ugly face every morning when I look in the mirror." Rex couldn't even finish without busting up laughing in the middle.

Twin jokes, sometimes I didn't get them.

The van rolled up to one of the oldest burger joints in Atlanta. They had 1950’s-styled malts and checkered table clothes and even before we walked into the building it smelled like greasy French fries. A bell dinged as we walked in, and a waitress that looked like she came straight from the era sat us in a booth in the corner and smiled the whole time.

"Are y'all brothers?" she asked. Obviously she had no clue who we were. Sometimes I loved that. It gave me the opportunity to be myself and not be in the limelight, until the fans interrupted whatever we were doing.

"Brothers?" Nik asked. "Do we look alike?" He glanced over at the twins. It took everything I had not to laugh.

The waitress gave him a funny look as if he had asked the stupidest question in the world. "Look at these two wearing the same clothes," she said holding her thumb out at Jex and Rex. Jex was steaming mad.

"Yeah, I'd say you all look the same. No doubts about it. So what can I get ya to drink?"

We ordered our drinks and food. When the burgers came out, Rex took Jex's sandwich and told the waitress they switched places. Jex was ready to blow a gasket by the end of the lunch.

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