Convincing Constance (The Blow Hole Boys)(10)

By: Tabatha Vargo

“So where’s the replacement guitarist? Zeke asked in aggravation.

The room filled with laughter like I was a joke, and it pissed me off. I stood and crossed my arms to show them I wasn’t dicking around.

“That would be me,” I said sternly.

Zeke looked me up and down without a drop of sexual awareness in his gaze, and I appreciated the fact that he was simply sizing me up, not checking me out. It probably had something to do with the petite blond that had followed him into the room.

“Is that so?” he asked.

He was acting cocky, and honestly, he had every right to be.

“Yep. Want me to play or what?” I asked.

Everything depended on this job and while I knew some would call me stupid for being such a bitch, I knew the boys would appreciate it. I’d been a part of their world before. I knew all about the girls that chased rockers around with their legs open. I was sure it was refreshing to have a woman in their presence who didn’t drool all over them. I’d definitely checked them out, but I wasn’t the drooling type. Not to mention, I knew band boys weren’t for me—at all.

Zeke looked around the room at the rest of the guys. “Is this some kind of joke?” he asked.

Again, the boys burst out in laughter, which did nothing but make me madder.

“It’s not a fucking joke. Quit being a chauvinistic asshole. Either you want me to fucking play or not. Say something and quit wasting my goddamn time,” I snapped.

His stern expression cracked into an appreciative smile. “Then play,” he said with a careless shrug.

Stepping over to my guitar case, I flipped it open and pulled out my baby. It was a candy apple-red Les Paul from my dad. I barely played it, but I thought of this audition as a special occasion. The boys of Blow Hole didn’t need to see my normal guitar.

I strapped it on, took a deep breath, and began to play. My fingers dug into the strings and I closed my eyes and let go of everything. Rips and grinds filled the condo, bouncing off the walls and shaking the windows. I mimicked Zeke’s playing perfectly. I even ripped through his unique chords that other guitarist seemed to have a hard time with.

I played an entire song and no one stopped me. When I was done, I unhooked my strap and set my guitar back in its case. The room around me was silent, and when I looked up, looks of shock stared back at me.

The only girl in the room, the tiny blonde with ice-blue eyes, began to clap.

“That was amazing!” she said with a smile.

I nodded at her compliment and turned my attention back to Zeke. He stared at me with angry eyes. That was his thing. I don’t think I’d ever seen a real smile from him ever.

“What did you say your name was again?” he asked.

“I didn’t. No one bothered to ask. My name’s Constance,” I responded.

He looked around the room and then back at me. The side of his mouth lifted in an almost grin. “Well, Constance, welcome to Blow Hole.”

A week later, after living in my car and snacking on what I could steal from the gas station, I stepped onto the Blow Hole tour bus with nothing in my pocket, two duffle bags, and two guitar cases—my old guitar that meant the world to me and my Les Paul for the shows.

The boys, minus Zeke, were sitting and playing video games. They didn’t even acknowledge my existence. I crept through the bus and worked my way into the small kitchen space. I tripped over shoes and caught myself from falling. The last thing I wanted was to embarrass myself in the first five minutes, and knowing them, they’d laugh their asses off and help later.

Smoke swirled around me. The distinct smell of burnt ass filled my senses and took me straight back to the summer I spent on tour with my dad, which of course led me straight to the one memory I spent every day trying to forget. In the back of my mind, I knew going on tour with rock stars was a bad idea. I knew it would do nothing but help me remember, but it’s not like I had much of a choice.

I threw my bags down on a pop-out table and the loud bang made all the guys turn toward me.

“Ah, there she is. Welcome aboard the love bus, baby,” Chet said as he flicked his tongue at me without taking his eyes off the game.

I pretended to gag. “This place smells like ass.”

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