Dead Serious(5)

By: C.M. Stunich

“You're talkin' out your asshole, Ronnie. The man waited seven fucking years to start after America again. What makes you think a break is going to do any good?” I inhale deep, letting the sweet scent of tobacco fuck my lungs. “What we need to do is massacre this bitch, just friggin' destroy him and the ship he sailed in on.” I exhale in Ronnie's face, but he doesn't care, just keeps staring at me with that contemplative look in his eyes. At least he's not somber, sad sack Ronnie anymore. Little Lola has really put the pep in his fucking step. I don't know the chick well, but I plan to get to know her. Any bitch that digs this deep into my bro's heart has to be investigated. Ronnie wouldn't survive being screwed over. It's Lola Saints or bust at this point.

I debate reaching out and touching his hand. It's kinda gay, but I do it anyway. It's a Ronnie sort of thing to do.

“Look man, you have no clue how fucking ecstatic I am for you. I'd give my left nut to see you happy, all shacked up in a three bed with your friggin' rug rats running around. But we can't wish our way out of this crap. Balls to the wall, man.” I lean back and swing my boots onto the pavement, eyes scanning the windows for Naomi. I got the itch, baby. Whenever we're apart, my mind goes into overdrive imagining all the ways she could be taken away from me. I'd never survive. It sounds lame as fuck all, but I love that woman. She makes my dick hard, and my heart beat. 'S all there is to it.

Ronnie sighs and shakes his head, running his hands over the snake tattoos on his neck and threading his fingers behind him.

“Balls to the wall,” he says reluctantly, but I can tell his mind is still spinning. Hey, if I thought giving up Naomi's manager would win us all a get out of jail free card, I'd be all over that shit. Thing is, I know this shit ain't that easy. Nothing ever is. Except maybe pre-Naomi Turner Campbell. I try not to grin at myself. Yeah, I was easy. I'll admit that.

I rise to my feet, toss my cig over my shoulder and start towards the door. I've been out here for like, a fucking hour now. I'm tired of waiting. Turner Campbell doesn't wait. Not patiently anyway.

I push through the glass doors, ignoring the guards and their stoic expressions. Just like everyone else in my life, they'll follow after me. Except for maybe Naomi. I get this squirrelly feeling sometimes that I am this close to getting my ass kicked to the curb. And I like it. I really fucking do.

“Turner, thank God,” Milo says, latching onto me as I move through the lobby and head towards the elevator. “Is Ronnie outside? I need to talk to you about something. The rest of the band is already waiting upstairs.”

“If this is about that bitch,” I point at my head and pull the trigger. “Blowing her Goddamn head off, we've heard. We're over it, Milo. Go write up a blog post or something, assure everyone that the show must go on.” My manager pauses as I climb into the elevator, forehead wet with sweat, skin tight, eyes droopy. Poor guy is overworked and tired as all shit out. I feel sorry for him, really. But what can I do about it? I didn't ask for all of this. Sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll. That's what I showed up for. But I'm adapting; we all are. “And Mr. McGuire?” he asks as the elevator doors slide closed. I ignore him and lean against the wall, pretending I don't notice the security guard standing across from me.

Thirty floors up, I climb off and the guy follows me straight down the hall to America's door. I don't even have to knock, coming to a stop just as Naomi spills out and runs straight into my chest. She doesn't look all that good, even considering the circumstances.

“What the fuck happened?” I ask her, the hair on the back of my neck standing on end. Nobody touches my woman and lives to tell the tale. Naomi shushes me with a kiss, trailing her lips along the edge of my jaw to whisper in my ear.

“Don't say a word. Just back up, and let's go.” Don't have to ask me twice. I slide my arm around her waist, letting the buzz of my body replace the rush of adrenaline. The spots on my jaw where her mouth touched me burn like crazy, even as I'm wondering what the hell is going on. I try to stop at our room, but Naomi keeps me going, back to the elevator and then in. As we turn around and watch the doors slide closed, I catch glimpses of her fellow band members. They don't look so good either. Could be the Hayden thing, but I think there's something else, too.

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