Illicit Behavior: A Bad Boy Rockstar Romance(2)By: Nikki Wild
The constant attention was overwhelming – too much of a great fucking thing. I had to be careful about the shit I said, because rock stars were even closer to scandal in this day and age.
Everything constantly recorded, rumors spread with the speed of a tweet and the snap of a camera on some girl’s iPhone.
It was all about being careful and avoiding the wrong kind of spotlight. Blogs are eager for clicks, and the whole world is ready to tear you down to build an audience.
I’d paid my dues.
No more practicing in oily garages and filthy bars. No more struggling in hard labor and backbreaking jobs to make ends meet. I wasn’t going to let some little misstep tear me down.
Despite the bullshit, the throne on this rising fucking star felt grand.
But as the light grew brighter…the shadows only grew filthier. Despite all the fame, all the success, all the money and women and the fancy toys. I knew the truth.
The world is a filthy place.
And I am the reigning king of the filth.
Summoning every drop of charisma that I could find, I smiled and plunked down the glasses at the four-top bar table for the graying, slovenly bikers. I rattled off the orders as I sloshed the drinks in front of them in turn, each of them smiling grotesquely.
“Four drafts: Bud, Bud, Miller Lite, and Abita. And four shots of Fireball, because why not,” I added mirthlessly.
“Thanks, darlin’,” the closest biker chuckled, lifting his shot and suddenly grabbing a nice handful of my ass.
I flinched and drew back from him, preserving my pride – and my job – by not responding poorly to the harassment.
“Can I get you guys anything else?”
It was less a question, and more a growl.
“One other thing.”
He dropped his menu on the ground, and looked at me expectantly.
“Step onto that.”
I was used to this by now, and I suppressed a heavy sigh and a filthy look. Instead, I stepped meaningfully onto the discarded menu.
“We’ll take one of you,” he grinned.
“You can’t have one of me.”
“But darlin’, you’re on the menu!”
They broke into riotous laughter, as if this was the cleverest fucking joke ever.
It was pretty funny the first time someone did it to me. Months ago… People are less original than they think. I heard this one twice a week.
“Looks like we’re fresh out,” I responded, scooping the menu off the floor and strolling away.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw their laughter die down, and they were looking at me with annoyance for not playing along.
To hell with ‘em.
To hell with everything about this stupid goddamn job.
I hated working this ancient, decrepit dive bar. The money was just good enough to keep myself afloat, and bartending was fun enough, but not somewhere like this.
If it wasn’t bikers, it was rednecks.
If it wasn’t rednecks, it was thugs.
If it wasn’t thugs…
A shiver went up my spine. I didn’t like to think about that.
Old Greg owned this place, and he was a friendly enough guy. Hell, he’d been a godsend. A lifelong resident of this backwater little town, he was old enough to be my grandfather. His best patron was our sheriff – someone who turned a blind eye when I was brought onboard to tend bar at sixteen.
At least that was no longer a problem. I’d turned eighteen pouring drinks.
When it was slow and I was cleaning glasses or wiping surfaces, I dreamed of exactly what you’d think a bright, young girl who dream about in a place like this:
Getting the hell out of Riverton.
That was the name of this place. The town, not the bar. Well, the bar too, technically.
Riverton Bar, in Riverton… On Riverton Avenue.
Remember when I said people aren’t original?
That applies to the friendly ones, too.
Dropping the drink tray off at the stack, I passed back around the counter and checked on my other patrons – several working-class stragglers, downing cheap beer specials, an older fellow nursing a whiskey neat, and a few older crones sipping heavy martinis.
Satisfied, I began taking stock of my liquors. I was gonna have to pop open a bottle of Crown soon, and we were still out of half our rum…