Home > Midnight Blue(9)

Midnight Blue(9)
Author: L.J. Shen

“Like, legit, we’re gonna be best buds,” I mimicked the whiniest, most valley-girl American accent I could scrape.

Jenna stubbed a manicured fingernail to my chest. “Write me an album, Al. One where you don’t throw shade at half the industry. Make it good. Behave. And just a heads-up—Bushell is doing a similar tour. Your European dates parallel. Stay away from him.”

My ears perked, possibly literally.

I wondered if Fucking Fallon—dubbed as such for ruining my life—accompanied him. Bushell, I never wanted to see again. Fallon? Now, that was a different story. Jenna saw the question on my face, because she was quick to answer it.

“Let me put you out of your misery—Fallon is coming with him. Listen carefully one more time—with. Him . Not with you . It’s over, in case you needed any more clarification.”

“Don’t tell me—” I started, which prompted her to bang her open palm against my torso. I was ninety-nine percent sure that most agents didn’t spend the better part of their time continuously smacking their clients in the chest.

“She nearly ruined your goddamned career! You almost snorted yourself to death. If you want to kill yourself over a girl, one who jumped from your bed to your ex-best friend’s without batting a pretty eyelash—be my guest. But if you pull any funny business on ‘Letters from the Dead,’ I swear to God, your tour title will become literal, because I will kill you.” She paused, took a deep breath, and then slapped on a Botoxed smile. “Metaphorically, of course. My lawyer said no more death threats to rock star clients until the Malibu house is fully paid off.”

I tipped my head back and laughed. A hearty, big, that’s-why-I-hired-your-crazy-arse laugh. Sure, I needed Jenna, but she needed me just as much. I was still the hottest shit since sliced bread in Hollywood, and even after Cock My Suck , which, admittedly, was a sugarcoated, mass-produced, Maroon-5-meets-Ed-Sheeran-in-a-Catholic-school-prom inspired album, I had enough star power in me to light up Vegas. If my next album flopped, maybe, just maybe, I’d be subject to that kind of threat. For now, I needed to make an effort, but definitely not to submit to Jenna’s every whim.

“You’re going to miss me.” I winked at my purse-lipped agent, who didn’t even bother rolling her eyes anymore.

Jenna shoved New Girl in my direction. “Help her when you land in Australia. She’s never been on a plane before. We had to issue her a quickie passport.”

New Girl’s face turned ruddy so fast I thought her head was going to detonate. She tilted her chin up and tightened the grip on her duffel bag. She needn’t worry. I was a cunt, but I’d never make fun of someone because they didn’t have the same opportunities I had. It wasn’t long ago I’d had to count every penny and sneak into the tube when I needed to get places. But, just to be clear, I was still going to make her life hell. I didn’t do positive discrimination. Or a negative one. Call me a saint.

“Anything else?” I plucked a cigarette from my Camel soft pack.

“There’s a manual listing Indigo’s job. Read it carefully and don’t argue. It’s a process, Al.” She slapped a folder onto my chest, her raised eyebrow daring me to argue.

“And you”—she tossed something into Indie’s hands—“this phone has two contact numbers—mine and Hudson’s, Alex’s PA. No Internet connection. No apps. It’s only good for one thing, and that’s reporting back to me. You’ll give me daily updates, got it?”

Then Jenna turned around and walked away, not even sparing her new employee a goodbye. New Girl stood in front of me, her face a mixture of defiance and determination.

“What the fuck are you looking at?” I lit up. Maybe I wanted to get arrested. Jail time meant alone time, and alone time wasn’t the worst thing in the world.

“I’m looking at my worst nightmare.” She blinked, almost willing herself to un-see me.

If nothing else, she was bloody honest. Taking a step in her direction, I made sure we were toe-to-toe, my cigarette dripping ash down to her hair when I whispered the words, “I’m not your nightmare, sweetheart. Nightmares, you wake up from. With me, I’ll keep going until you’re out of my hair. We clear?”

Not allowing her to gather her wits—Arsehole Behavior 101, I trademarked that shit—I turned around, dumping the thick file with her job description into the bin on my way to the leather seats by the huge window.

I hoped, for her sake, she wasn’t too frightened of flights, because she’d need to board one alone after I sacked her curious little bum.



From there on, it was same old shite, different day. We got on the plane. The takeoff was bumpy. Turbulence made New Girl’s face ashen, and I was certain everything in her body clenched, cunt included. Fifteen minutes into the flight, a stewardess strolled into the room with the blond wooded cabinets and asked if we’d like something.

“Ginger ale on the rocks and a loaded gun.” I waved her off, staring at a blank page I needed to fill with inspiring, thought-provoking prose.

“He means for himself, not for you,” Lucas, who was sitting on a white L-shaped sofa next to New Girl, clarified. He was the only one who’d deigned to talk to her, probably to piss me off. “And if it wasn’t for his treating alcohol and cocaine as a recreational hobby, you wouldn’t have to be here.”

I made a mental note to tell Lucas to kindly withdraw his tongue from New Girl’s anus, because his arse kissing was getting on my last nerve.

I didn’t want him to mess around with the girl who was hired for me.

I didn’t want to see how easy life was for him while I was being dragged through a mud of depression every minute of the day, my old friends, alcohol and coke, the only ones able to pick me up from the dirt.

Mostly, I didn’t need to watch them both making out on airplane sofas and backs of vans while I nurtured a breakup fiasco that left my ego bruised. Especially seeing as he was part of the reason I was in this situation in the first place.

“Careful, Lucas. My toys are mine, so keep your hands out of my toy box,” I warned, taking a sip of my ginger ale, my eyes still on the blank sheet.

He didn’t ask what I meant.

He knew.



Sydney, Australia


“Y ou aren’t stupid,” Lucas repeated for the ten-thousandth time.

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