Home > Rock Chick Reckoning (Rock Chick #6)

Rock Chick Reckoning (Rock Chick #6)
Author: Kristen Ashley

Chapter One

No One Got in the Way of Me and My Band


The phone rang.

My eyes opened and I looked at the clock.

Three thirty-seven.

In the morning.

I reached for the phone and said, “Hel o?” I sounded awake and alert. This was because it wasn’t unusual for me to be up at an ungodly hour in the morning.

Not only did I have loads of practice taking frantic phone cal s in the hours before dawn but also I was lead singer and guitarist of a rock band. Most of the time, I was just stumbling through the door after a gig at an ungodly hour in the morning.

“Stel a?” It was Buzz, my bass player. He sounded messed up. On the phone at an ungodly hour in the morning he always sounded messed up.

“Hey Buzz, what’s up?” I asked.

His answer could be anything. He needed me to bail him out of jail. He needed me to give him a ride home because he was somewhere, drunk out of his skul and thankful y responsible enough to cal someone, unthankful y, that someone was always me. He was stuck on a bil board on 8th promoting Earth, Wind and Fire’s upcoming concert with no way to get down (don’t ask).

But I was guessing it had to do with Lindsey.

“It’s Linnie,” Buzz said.

I was right.

“Buzz, I don’t –”

“She’s in bed, she ain’t movin’. Something’s weird. It just ain’t right. I’m scared to even touch her. Stel a Bel a, f**k…” he whispered. “I think she overdosed.”

I shot upright in my huge, super king-sized bed and my Saint Bernard, Juno, who was lying ful out (thus explaining my need for a huge, super king-sized bed), sat up too and gave a woof.

“Have you cal ed 911?” I asked Buzz.

“No, I cal ed you.”

Yep, that’s about right. Of course he’d cal me. I was Stel a Michel e Gunn, lead singer and lead guitarist of the Blue Moon Gypsies. I posted bond (mostly for Pong, my drummer, but for al of them on occasion). I soothed drunken angry men (again predominately Pong but they al were good at getting drunk and angry). I counseled relationships on the brink of col apse (this was not my strong suit for your information, the parties concerned always broke up). I listened when the world just did not understand (and the world didn’t understand much according to Leo, who played rhythm guitar and regularly got stoned and reflective). I extricated not-so-horny-anymore saxophonists named Hugo from mini-orgies with gonzo groupies gone bad.

And apparently I was an emergency paramedic.

“Cal 911,” I ordered

“But –”

“Now! ” I snapped.

I hung up and swung out of bed. Juno woofed again and lumbered out of bed behind me.

My first thought was Mace.

In these situations, and there were a lot of them, although not always involving overdosed junkies who used to be sweet girls that were now addicted to smack, my first thought was always Kai “Mace” Mason, the tal est, hottest, coolest, most amazing guy I’d ever met. Mace with the jade green eyes. Mace with the thick, dark hair. Mace with the fantastic bod. Mace with the strong, masculine, long-fingered hands that could run so light across your skin you could almost hear them whisper.

Mace would know what to do. Mace would take care of Buzz and Lindsey at the same time shielding me and Juno.

“Sleep,” Mace’s ultra-deep voice would say in my ear after hanging up the phone (which he always answered) and kissing my shoulder or my neck or the spot behind my ear, his lips making me tremble. “I’l take care of it.” Then he’d go and take care of it and I would sleep.

But Mace was gone. He’d broken up with me a year before.

Now it was just me. As always.

My second thought was to shove thoughts of Mace aside.

My third thought was to find my jeans.

I yanked off my nightgown and tugged on a pair of old Levi’s and my bra. I grabbed a capped-sleeved white blouse with red stitching at the top and dangling tassels that you would expect a girl named Heidi to wear while yodeling in the mountains of Germany.

Just for your information, I loved that effing top.

Also, for your information, I had no idea how to yodel and didn’t want to know how.

I sat on the bed and pul ed on my brown cowboy boots, dusty not from riding the range but from standing on dirty stages in dark bars.

Then I grabbed my keys, shoved my cel phone in my back pocket and snatched Juno’s leash off a hook by the door.

“Let’s go, Juno,” I cal ed, slapping my hand against my thigh.

Juno thumped over to me, not with great excitement, wagging tail and lol ing tongue, ready for adventure. Instead Juno was resigned to her fate which consisted of yet another interruption to her beauty sleep of which she needed a lot.

“Buzz thinks Linnie’s overdosed. Probably just passed out,” I told Juno as we headed out of my room and into the hal . “We’l be back home soon.”

* * * * *

I drove my old, beat-up, dirty, fading red Ford van by Buzz’s place but no one was home. That meant they were at Lindsey’s. By the time I got there so had the ambulance and the police. Lights flashing, the front yard of Lindsey’s broken down house not just holding straggling tufts of grass, weeds and patches of dirt but also uniformed police officers and pajama’ed neighbors.

Worse, parked on a street was a shiny black Ford Explorer.

I knew what that meant.

One of the Nightingale Boys was there.

“What the ef?” I whispered, a chil sliding over my skin (for several reasons). I parked in front of the squad car that was parked in front of the Explorer.

The Nightingale Boys were famous in certain circles of Denver – the circles occupied by cops, felons and others in need of their unique services. They were on the Nightingale Private Investigations Team, al of them highly qualified, intensely skil ed, moral y dubious but total y super cool.

Mace was one of them.

I clipped the leash on Juno and swung out my door, Juno fol owing me on a huge, big dog sigh.

Please don’t let Mace be here, please don’t let Mace be here, my brain chanted.

Then I switched topics.

Please let Linnie be okay, please let Linnie be okay.

I rounded the back of my van, the door to Lindsey’s house opened and Luke Stark, Hot Guy and Nightingale Man, walked out. Black, super short hair, kil er, trimmed mustache that ran down the sides of his mouth, mouth-watering handsome and body designed by the gods.

I knew Luke; I’d met him when I dated Mace. I knew him now because he was living with my friend, Ava Barlow.

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