Treat Me (One Night with Sole Regret #8)

By: Olivia Cunning

One Night with Sole Regret 8



Chapter One


Shade checked over his shoulder to make sure no one was on the tour bus—they’d only reached the venue in New Orleans an hour ago, but the overcrowded vehicle had cleared out almost immediately. Finding the place deserted, he pulled Adam’s notebook out from under its bunk-mattress hiding place and flipped through the pages. Shade knew he shouldn’t be going through Adam’s private stuff again, but just as he suspected, the lead guitarist and head composer for the band still wasn’t writing jack shit. Comparing the pages to the snooping he’d done that morning—when Adam had caught him with the same notebook—Shade discovered a new, lifelike and detailed sketch of a spider on the corner of one page, but not a single verse. Fuck, there was only a single word written: the. What would happen to the band if Adam couldn’t compose new music? Shade had tried his own hand at a few verses, but as much as he hated to admit his own failings, he sucked at writing lyrics. He could sing life into them, but write them? No way in hell. He’d always had some sort of mental block when it came to written language.

Maybe Adam needed a bit of encouragement—perhaps in the form of a boot to the ass. Shade had talked to him earlier that day about his progress, and Adam had assured him that he was locking himself in the tour bus bedroom to work on new songs, but the pages were still as devoid of ideas as they had been when Shade had examined them earlier. He wasn’t sure if badgering Adam was the best way to spark the man’s creativity, but as leader of the band, he felt he had to do something. No one but him seemed to care enough about the band’s future to be a nuisance. And if Adam didn’t get his shit together soon, Shade would be forced to do something drastic.

He shoved Adam’s void-of-creative-genius notebook back into its hiding place and went in search of the man in question. He started by asking the road crew if they’d seen him.

“I think he went off on his own,” said Kris, head of their stage crew. He contemplated Shade with a pair of dark eyes nearly lost in the shadow of the wide skull-and-crossbones bandana he had fashioned over his forehead to keep sweat from dripping. Shade didn’t envy the road crew having to unload the trucks in the sultry heat. “I’m pretty sure he had the limo driver take him somewhere right after we arrived,” Kris added.

“Thanks,” Shade said. After giving Kris a friendly whack on the back, he went in search of the limo driver. He found the long black car parked behind the tour bus and its driver sitting nearby in the shade of a huge cypress draped with swags of Spanish moss. When Shade asked about Adam’s whereabouts, the young man stopped fanning himself with a pamphlet long enough to answer.

“He had me drop him off at a Harley dealership,” said Parker—assuming his engraved nametag could be trusted. “Told me he was renting a motorcycle, so I didn’t have to wait around for him.”

So much for offering to brainstorm with Adam so they could come up with some new songs. “All right,” Shade said. “Thanks.”

Maybe Shade could try writing lyrics with the other guys and see what they came up with. How hard could it be? Gabe was a smart guy. Even though he was their drummer, surely he could throw a few meaningful words together for a song. Or maybe he should talk to Kellen. His female guest was a classical music composer. Unfortunately, that meant she never had to create lyrics. Inspiring, complex music scores, yes. But words? Nope.

A feeling of hopelessness began to seep into Shade’s pores, but he shook it off. He wasn’t the kind of guy who took anything lying down. Except women. He also took them standing up, kneeling, against the wall, suspended from his ceiling and— Shade shook his head to clear his thoughts. Maybe he shouldn’t have asked Amanda to wait for him at home. If she were here, he could have filled his spare time, and her, instead of sticking his nose in Adam’s business. But since he had nothing or no one better to do . . .

Shade had had every intention of talking his bandmates into attempting a new song without Adam’s assistance when he entered the dressing room backstage, but somehow he got distracted by socializing. He’d never been the type to isolate himself the way Adam did. Shade craved human contact. He didn’t like to be stuck in his own head for long. Maybe that was why he was so bad at writing lyrics.

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