Rock, Rattle & Roll

By: Taryn Elliott & Cari Quinn

Dedication


To Mom and Dad who taught me that love and laughter go hand in hand from the very beginning. Your love story continues to inspire me every day. I hope you’re enjoying each other up there in heaven. You two were always happiest when together.

To my brother who outsnarks me at every turn. Yeah, I love you anyway.

To Cari Quinn who stays up with me for hours to create a fictional world where rock stars are attainable and in our very twisted control. I’m so very glad we got that kernel of an idea onto paper and never looked back.

To Diane, Erin, Jennifer and Carolynn for making all of the words make all of the sense.

To Jennifer S. and Rhianna W. for your mad skills in finding music to expand my playlist. You have no idea how much you helped. This girl cannot write without her music.





One


The Getaway

Deacon McCoy stared at his phone. “C’mon. Light up. A text—something.”

“You’re just going to have to go kidnap her.”

Deacon glanced over at the couch where Jazz Edwards sat cross-legged tapping away on her laptop. The drummer for their band, Oblivion, was decidedly un-Jazz like tonight wearing old jeans and a simple black t-shirt. Her dark hair was minus the colorful doodads he was used to. Though that could be because they were all subsisting on three hours of sleep at night.

The new album was freaking killing them.

Deacon stepped over his body bag sized duffel by the door and sat beside her. The house they were renting was decidedly smaller than the penthouse they’d been living in for the last six months. First of all it was a house. They’d lived in the city for so long, the idea of a backyard—okay, so it was a small backyard, but it had grass—was the main reason they’d signed the lease. Like the rest of the place, it required a bit of sweat and creativity, but hey...look at that—it didn’t require their soul.

Evidently they were saving that for the studio. He was tired as hell, and the writing was going...not well. They were fighting over lyrics, fighting over chord progressions, fighting over damn near everything. And if he didn’t get away from the entire band for a few days, he was pretty sure there would be bloodshed.

And not his own.

Possibly Simon’s. At least as of noon that day. Yesterday had been Gray. When he’d started snapping at Jazz, Deacon had known it was time to get the hell away from everyone. Yelling at Jazz was like dropkicking a kitten. Not done. Ever. With Christmas just around the corner, it was a good time to take a break. An even better time to drag his wife away for an actual honeymoon.

Wife.

Shit, it still felt strange on his tongue. Strange in a good way. In the best way, actually.

But there had been no time to write a damn thank you card let alone enjoy being married. The band had dived into the studio practically the day after the ceremony. And Harper McCoy was officially starting a new business. In true Harper fashion, she’d hit the ground running. Donovan Lewis, the head of their new label, Ripper Records, had used her for a last minute dinner party, and that had snowballed into a fledgling roster of clients.

The fact that Donovan seemed to know everyone in the state of freaking California certainly helped. Harper had gone from stressing about finding a client to actually having to turn a few down. Something she’d been loath to do.

But tonight was the last job she had until Christmas Eve. Again, she would be working for Donovan for his big end of the year Christmas bash. So their first Christmas would be full of pastries and canapés and one tired chef that wouldn’t feel like celebrating.

They needed this time away. They’d been in high gear since they’d met. And getting their schedules to mesh took an act of Congress, for fuck’s sake.

They were going on this honeymoon.

No matter what.

He hauled ass off the couch when his phone’s face lit up.

Come now or forever hold your peace.

“Stop grinning at the phone and go. You’re making me sick.”

Deacon leaned over and pressed a kiss to Jazz’s forehead. “What are you going to do around here without me, Pix?”

“If the rest of them are still breathing when you get back, let’s count that as a win.”

Deacon crouched in front of her. “Maybe you should get away for a while, too.”

“What? And leave all this?” She waved around the room. Purple and red Christmas lights framed the huge bay window that looked down on the Hollywood Hills, with its wild mixture of green and desert. Huge L-shaped couches framed the room, making the living room ideal for practice as much as it was for relaxation. Guitar cases littered every corner, as well as a keyboard, cowbell, drumsticks, and a half dozen amps that formed a semi-circle around the Christmas tree stuffed in the corner closest to the window. In the middle of it all were his kettlebell weights for workouts. Jazz was forever banging on them no matter how many times he took them away from her.

They’d downsized in a big way, yet this place felt far more like a home than the penthouse ever did.

Deacon tugged a lock of her hair. “We’re just getting our bearings, Pix.”

“Yeah, I know.” She sighed and flashed a bright smile his way. It wasn’t full Jazz wattage, but it was better. “Go.” She unfolded her leg and pushed him in the shoulder with her foot. “Have fun. Don’t think about us for a whole week. And if you call and check on me, I will ignore every call and text.”

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