Avery’s Desire Pt. 08

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The parks office was packed full of young men and women all eager to sign up the upcoming “Battle of the bands.” Boomer walked in and his jaw dropped. He couldn’t believe the turn out for this thing, but with the amount that was being offered for the grand prize it made sense. Five grand was the largest amount that had ever been offered for this particular event; most of the money had been donated by local businesses that wanted to draw a little attention to their tiny town.

It seemed to work; people were coming from all over the place hoping to get a shot at playing. A good number of bands would be going home disappointed since only the top ten bands would be selected to play. This left Boomer a little worried. With so many bands competing, he had to figure out a way to make sure that Desire was going to be among those who were chosen. He had a lot of faith in his boys, but there were bigger and more experienced bands applying. There had to be something he could do to make sure his boys stood out, he just wasn’t sure what that was yet.

He read over the application carefully. This would take a bit of work. Not only did he have to write a promotional statement about the band, but the application had to be turned in with a demo CD, and he only had a week before sign-ups would be closed. As he read over the rules and regulations though, an idea started to form in his mind. It was a good idea, probably one of the best he’d had in a while. He just hoped the boys (and now girl) would go for it.

Boomer folded the application and put it in his pocket as he walked back out to his car. Once seated behind the steering wheel, he pulled out his phone and made a call. “Hey Cole, it’s Dad. Are you busy? I really need your help with something.”

_____________________________________________

Mikey was just leaving the parks office when he noticed a familiar face sitting in an old, rusted, ford pick-up truck. He recognized that truck at once; it was Kenny “Boomer” Rhoad’s truck, the owner of Shaggys Tavern.

“What the hell is he doing here?” Mikey wondered. He walked over to the truck and stood by the driver’s side. Boomer was talking to someone on his cell but he looked up and nodded to Mikey, acknowledging his presence. Mikey waited. Boomer finally ended the call then rolled down his window.

“Hey Mike.” He said, frowning a bit as he spoke to him.

“Hey Boom.” Mikey said back.

“How’s it going?” Boomer asked. He didn’t really want to make small talk with Mikey; he never did like the guy, and he liked him even less after what he did to Avery. Boomer had known Mikey longer but he had a soft spot in his heart for Avery. The first time Boomer had met Avery was a real shock for him. He reminded him so much of his youngest son Devin. Devin was sixteen when he came out to his family and Boomer hadn’t taken the news particularly well. He loved his son, but he didn’t like or accept his choices and he let him know it.

Boomer always regretted the way he’d reacted and how he’d pushed Devin away. It was a hard time for him. His family wouldn’t accept that he was gay, his friends had all but abandoned him, and he was so lost and confused. It was a time when he really needed his parents support but never got it. Boomer was the one that found him.

He’d come home for lunch and noticed that Devin’s car was in the drive. Wondering why he hadn’t gone to school, Boomer walked into his room and saw him lying on the bed. At first he thought he was asleep. He looked so peaceful, so content. Boomer was annoyed though; Devin’s grades had been slipping so he really couldn’t afford to be playing hooky.

“Dev!” Boomer kicked the side of the bed but the boy didn’t move or show any signs of waking up. “Devin!” He called again. He walked over to him and grabbed his shoulder, shaking him. His skin was ice cold and his body heavy and limp. His head lolled to the side and fell off the pillow; his mouth gaped open as his jaw went slack. Boomer took a step back, gasping. That’s when he noticed the empty pill bottle on the bed.

Devin had taken his mother’s prescription Percocet’s and over dosed on them while his parents were at work. Boomer remembered that day like it was yesterday, he felt like all the air had been sucked out of the room. He fell to his knees and cried as he held his sons hand, begging him to open his eyes and wake up, knowing full well that he wouldn’t. Devin was gone long before Boomer had found him. When the paramedics arrived, all they could do was pronounced him dead. There was no way to bring him back at that point.

That was ten years ago, but the memory of that day haunted Boomer every day of his life. When he had heard Avery’s story, and learned that his parents had never accepted Avery as being gay, Boomer remembered his own son and how his choices as a father led to his son’s suicide. He didn’t want the same thing to happen to another young man so he decided to take Avery under his wing and be a father figure to the boy. He bolu escort bayan thought that Devin would have liked that, and maybe in some way, he’d find redemption for his own insensitivity. Maybe, one day, Devin could forgive him.

Mikey shrugged. “It’s going great.” He said. “Just signed my new band up for the battle of the bands; we’re totally going to rock the place and win that cash.”

“A new band huh?” Boomer raised an eye brow. “That was pretty quick.”

“Not really, I’ve known the guys for a while now. They’ve been begging me to leave those losers I used to play with and join a real band. I finally decided that it was better for me; I mean, Desire ain’t going anywhere anyway. They were only holding me back. I’m the only real talent that band ever had. Without me they ain’t got a snow ball’s chance in hell.” Mikey grinned and laughed a deep belly laugh, obviously sure of himself as he boasted.

Boomer raised an eye brow. “I don’t know about all that.” He said. “They have a new guitarist and she’s pretty damn good, and with Avery’s voice I think they have a pretty good shot. In fact, I’m here getting an application for them. I have every confidence that they’ll be selected as one of the ten bands to play so get ready for some competition.”

Mikey frowned. “They ain’t no competition for me. If they’re really planning to sign up then they better get ready to be disappointed. No way is that half rate band of amateur musicians going to beat ‘Screaming metal’ we’re ten times better and we ain’t pulling any punches. If Desire goes up against us, they’re going to fail miserably!”

“We’ll, see who the better band is,” Boomer started the truck and revved up the engine. He gave Mikey a quick, stern, glare. “Don’t underestimate my boys. They have talent, but they also have heart and that’s what really counts.” He pulled out of the parking lot, spinning his wheels in the dirt and sending up a cloud of dust.

He didn’t give Mikey the chance to respond. He really didn’t want to hear his mouth anymore. That kid was really pissing him off. He was going to make damn sure that Desire got chosen to play now, and they were going to win. It was high time that somebody knocked Mikey down a few pegs; the kid was just way too cocky.

It was easy to push around people like Avery. He was young, sweet, and a little naive. Boomer however, was none of those things. “Damn punk!” He grumbled as he drove back to the bar. “I hope Mikey’s band does get chosen to play. I’d pay good money just to see his face when Desire crushes his ass!”

___________________________________________________

Trash and Kat were already at the bar when Rick and Avery arrived. Trash was hyped up and raring to go. Rick wondered how much he’d had to drink before showing up but he genuinely seemed to just be in a really great mood. Kat on the other hand wasn’t as excited. The first thing she pointed out as the other two members walked into the room was how late they were. She glared at them with great annoyance and started complaining about punctuality and commitment.

‘Wow,’ Rick thought. ‘Talk about nerve.’ Trash wasn’t lying about her being cute but he didn’t mention that she was bossy and a little over bearing. Though, Trash seemed to find her harsh and unforgiving nature to be somewhat endearing. In fact, the bitchier she got, the more Trash seemed to like her. Rick was just waiting for him to fall to his knees and lick the souls of her boots while she called him ‘maggot’ and beat him with a whip.

Rick grabbed a folding chair, turned it around, and sat on it backwards, straddling it with his legs on either side. “I take it you’re Kat.” He said, raising an eye brow.

“And you must be Rick.” She crossed her arms over her chest and looked him over with a hard, scrutinizing scan. He seemed to pass her examination as she gave a slight humph, then turned her attention to Avery. She looked him up and down carefully, circling him like a predator circling its prey.

Avery regarded her with mild indifference. His attention was elsewhere, on other matters. Rick had noticed it since they’d gotten up that morning. Although he was surprised to find Avery in his bed, he was also a bit worried. Avery seemed different, quieter than normal, and his mood was slightly darker than was usual even for him.

Trash didn’t seem to notice, not that Rick was very shocked about that, Trash didn’t seem to notice anything or anyone but Kat. She was currently the center of his entire world. Rick couldn’t really complain though, it occurred to him that he regarded Avery the same way. Especially now, he could tell something was bugging him, he just didn’t know what it was and Avery wasn’t forthcoming either. Rick figured he just needed time to work it out on his own, and if he wanted to talk about it later, Rick would be there for him.

For the time being though Avery seemed content to just sit and stew over whatever the issue was. This was evident escort bolu by the way he’d entered the back room. He’d walked in, not saying one word to the others, not even acknowledging Kat’s presence as he found a seat in the corner and slouched down in it, doing his best to conceal himself within the shadows.

This behavior didn’t sit well with Kat though. Rick noticed the subtle frown on her face slowly twist into something more sinister. She stopped circling Avery and stood directly in front of him, looking down on him, her eyes bore into him as a disappointed groan escaped her lips. She took the stance of a drill sergeant who was getting ready to admonish one of his privates.

Rick stiffened. Avery was a sweet kid, and normally he had a very calm and likeable disposition, but he did have a darker side, and Kat was about to meet that side if she didn’t tread lightly.

Avery lifted his gaze and locked eyes with her. His face was cold and emotionless. He didn’t say a word, he didn’t need to; his eyes conveyed his feelings well. ‘Go ahead,’ they challenged the girl. ‘Say something, I dare you.’

The staring contest had commenced, and neither of them were about to back down. It was a right of passage Rick supposed, with each of them attempting to mark their territory so to speak. Avery being the newest member of the band before Kat came along; he had less standing than Rick or Trash and so he had less seniority. Kat on the other hand had something to prove. She wanted him to know that she was not someone to trifle with and that she was willing to fight to stake her claim.

Rick watched them both with careful trepidation, viewing them as two mighty beasts meeting on the battlefield, ready to rip each other apart. Avery was the strong and fierce lion protecting his pride, while Kat was the wild and savage tigress attempting to encroach on his territory.

Kat’s ice blue eyes were fixed on Avery’s emerald orbs. She glared at him hard and cocked an eyebrow. “This is the front man of the band?” She smirked mockingly. “Is this a joke? He’s a kid, and he has absolutely no charisma at all, just look at him. I’d have to stick a mirror under his nose just to see if he was still breathing. He even looks like a corpse. He’s way to pale, especially with that mane of black hair. Where did you boys dig him up? Literally, because he looks like he’s ready to go back in his coffin.”

“Oh boy,” Rick sighed.

Avery’s eyes widened as he listened to her. When she was done, Kat stood back, grinning, obviously proud of herself. Rick and Trash remained silent. Seeing the look on Avery’s face, even Trash had lost his previously jovial expression. Avery stood up slowly and put his hands on his hips as he glared at her. He was shorter than either Rick or Trash but was a good three or four inches taller than Kat, and despite his slender frame he was well built and had some muscle.

Kat didn’t seem the least bit intimidated by him though, in fact, she seemed amused that she’d struck a nerve. “What?” She snapped. “You have something to say?”

“Oh I have a lot I’d like to say to you.” He growled. “The first being that this whole she-hulk attitude of yours…” He made a circle in the air with his finger in front of her face, “It has to go. We’re a band, so there’s no room for your petty, one against the fucking world, bull shit!”

Kat’s smile faded. She recoiled back from him as though she’d just been slapped across the face. She opened her mouth to speak, but Avery wasn’t done with her.

“Second, you’ve never seen me perform, so save your judgments until you actually know what you’re talking about. My performance and stage presence has never been in question so don’t underestimate my abilities as an artist. And, as for your half-assed assumptions about my character as a person, you know nothing about me at all. I may be young, but I am not a kid. You have no idea what I’ve been through, or where I come from, and you sure as hell have no idea what I am capable of!”

Avery flung his hair over his shoulder and leaned to the side as he gave Kat a once over just as she had done to him. He smirked and chuckled some. “You really think you’re something don’t you sweet heart? You may be a hell of a guitar player, at least according to Trash cause I’ve heard nothing so far, but even if you are, keep this in mind. You’re the guitarist, but I’m the singer. When people come to see us, they are coming to see me!

You may think you’re going waltz up in here in be the queen bee but honey, that positions already been filled! So, you just keep your opinions about me to yourself, do your job, and stay the fuck off my throne princess, or you’re gonna feel my sting. The last thing I plan to do is allow myself to be up-staged by a spoiled, stuck-up, little bitch!”

He turned on his boot heels, pushed passed her, and stormed out of the room, slamming the door hard behind him and leaving everyone in the room speechless.

Kat bolu escort stood there, her mouth open and her face bright red. She was mortified. Rick swore he even saw steam coming out of her ears. He choked back a laugh then turned and shot a quick glance in Trash’s direction. Trash shrugged. They could handle Avery’s normal ‘Emo’ behavior but neither of them had ever seen him go full on Diva.

It was scary but also a little funny, especially after seeing the horrified look on Kat’s face. Clearly no one had ever spoken to her that way before, and she had no idea how to handle it. Apparently, as far as the ‘Queen bitch’ was concerned, Kat had met her match. It was defiantly going to make for some interesting rehearsals.

____________________________________________

Kat angrily plopped down in the chair Avery had been sitting in and glared at the door menacingly. She shook her head then looked at Trash. “And here I thought I was the only girl in this band.” She rolled her eyes and frowned.

“You got a problem with gay men?” Rick was eyeing her carefully. The next words she spoke would determine her future with Desire, and Kat knew it. Five minutes ago Trash looked like he was ready to propose, but now he was watching her, waiting for her response with a look of uncertainty. Rick on the other hand looked stern and cold. His disapproving gaze sent chills up Kat’s spine. It was obvious to her that there was no way this guy would ever take her side over Avery’s, for any reason. The bond between them was just too strong.

Kat shrugged. “I don’t have a problem with gay people in general; men, or women. What I have a problem with is his prima donna attitude. If we’re a band then let’s be a band, that means that not one of us is more important than another. If he honestly feels that he’s the only talent here, then maybe he should go solo. I’m not here to up-stage anyone, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to fade into the back ground as just some nameless guitarist for-hire.”

“Right now you ARE a guitarist for-hire.” Rick said as he stood up. “If you really want to be one of us you’ll need to earn our respect. You can start by figuring out what it means to be in this band. We’re family, and we support each other. If you can’t handle that, then you have no place here, and we’d be better off without you.”

Rick gave a quick, friendly nod to Trash as he walked to the door. He stopped long enough to glance back at Kat. He guessed she’d taken what he said to heart because her demeanor had changed. She was sitting there, staring at the floor. She still looked slightly pissed but nothing like before. She seemed to be contemplating the situation. Maybe even trying to decide if she wanted to stay or leave.

Either way Rick was fine with it. If she left, then she wasn’t the right person for the job. There was no room in Desire for a self-important guitarist with a chip on her shoulder. If she decided to stay, then it meant she was willing to try and maybe she really did want to be a part of the band, and not just a guitarist for-hire. She had spirit; Rick had to give her that. If she put that same amount of passion and determination into her playing as she did in running her mouth, there might just be hope for her yet.

_________________________________________________

Avery was standing by the jukebox, violently punching the buttons to the song he was trying to play. With a groan, he dropped another couple of quarters in and then kicked the base of the machine. “Play mother fucker!” He hissed. As if obeying him, the arm dropped down, plucked the record out from between the stacks, and dropped it on the turn table.

“You know, if you break that thing, Boomer will kick your ass.” Rick walked up behind him, cracking a slight grin as he spoke. He leaned forward, his lips so close to Avery’s ear that he could feel the warmth of his breath on his skin as he whispered, “It’d be a shame too; it’s such a nice ass.”

Avery turned around and leaned back against the jukebox. He could feel the vibrations from the speakers as the music began to play. “I’d be doing him a favor if I busted it.” He snarled. “This thing is so outdated it only plays music from the 70’s and 80’s.” He rolled his eyes and crossed his arms over his chest as he pouted. “Seriously, hasn’t the guy ever heard of a CD?”

“Dude, I know you’re not upset over the lack of grunge in the box, so tell me what’s wrong.” Rick hooked his thumbs in the pockets of his jeans and Leaned against the jukebox beside Avery. He smiled some, nudging the boy with his shoulder. “Come on, you know you can talk to me, what’s eating you?”

Avery raised an eye brow. “Other than Beelzebitch in there you mean?”

“Something’s been bothering you since early this morning.” Rick told him. “Long before we came here. I kinda figured something was wrong when I woke up and found you lying beside me. The last time you crawled in bed with me your cat had just died.”

Avery blushed some. “It’s nothing.” He said, turning his head away from Rick. He couldn’t stand the way Rick was looking at him. That pitied and worrisome stare sliced right through Avery’s heart and into his very soul. Rick could read him like no other could and seeing him so concerned brought tears to Avery’s eyes.

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