- Tattered Angel by Layla Dorine
Tattered Angel by Layla Dorine
Seemed like Dez had been way more interested than he’d wanted to let on. He’d file that tidbit away for later, right alongside the information he’d dug up on Dez’s previous stints as a member of a band. Saint’s Seduction had been easy enough to confirm. They’d cut him loose when their original singer had felt up to the task of coming back after the accident that had nearly killed him.
So, the way it was explained was that the founding members of the band had been thrilled with Dez’s playing, his easy-going nature and his love of all things music. What they hadn’t been enthused about was his newness to the industry. He was an unknown, had barely been playing the club scenes a year when they’d happened on him. Shy, he’d struggled to find his comfort zone in front of a crowd. He’d lacked self-confidence, something that had been painfully obvious in the few interviews he’d given, and he’d been hesitant about putting forth any of his own ideas or original music. When the opportunity arose for them to land a well known and vastly popular singer, they’d jumped all over that. Cutting Dez loose with barely a thank you, while ushering in more problems than they ever could have predicted. It had destroyed their band, ruined their friendships, and remained something they regretted to this day.
As well they should.
At least now he had a clearer picture on why Dez had been so testy. Now all Riley and the rest of the band had to do was figure out how to get him over it so they could move forward with what Riley was certain would be a remarkable collaboration.
As Dez brought the song to a close, Riley couldn’t help but admire the look of pure joy radiating from him as his fingers waltzed along the strings. Eyes closed, head thrown back, it was like Dez was trying to play down the moon. Riley could picture him bathed in lights out in the desert, an ocean of people mesmerized, like Riley as the final note echoed through the room.
When Dez opened his eyes, there was a dazed, faraway look in them that spoke volumes of just where his playing came from. A soul deep shimmer that made Riley think of someone not of this world.
“You sir…,” Damien began, coming up out of his seat in his haste to approach Dez, crimson lace cuff dangling a little as he offered his hand. “Are phenomenal.”
Shrugging, Dez shook his hand before carefully tucking his guitar back in its case, looking everywhere but at the three of them once he was done.
“How long did it take you to learn that song?” Zakk asked. The way he was poised on the edge of his seat spoke volumes for how eager he was to hear the answer.
Another shrug. “Couple days.”
“Why choose that one?” Riley asked.
“It spoke to me. I liked the vibe, I liked the flow, and I appreciated what I could do with it.”
“Yeah well, I appreciated what you did with it too,” Damien replied. “I think we all did. You’re exactly who we’ve been looking for.”
Zakk slid the flyer across the table, forcing Dez to come a few steps closer so he could see what it was. “We’ve got a little less more than a week to send in an audition tape. What I want to know is if you’re capable of learning three more of our songs by then?”
Riley watched Dez’s face as he picked up the flyer and used it like a shield between him and the rest of the band. “So, what happens if you get in?”
“We head out to the desert and play the shit outta Rocktoberfest man,” Zakk replied, grinning like a madman.
Deep lines appeared in the middle of Zakk’s forehead as his frown turned into a scowl. Damien glanced between Dez and Riley, clearly confused as well.
“Like I tried to explain back at the restaurant, we are looking for a new singer, like on the permanent.”
Dez snorted and slid his guitar case strap onto his shoulder. “Nothing’s permanent.”
“Yeah, okay, you wanna get technical, fine. Nothings ever a sure bet. Could get fried by a downed power line on the way to get a gallon of milk,” Riley remarked. “No one’s ever promised another day. What we can promise is that when we say we are looking for a new singer, we are not planning on it being a temporary thing.”
Another snort, and for the first time those gray-green eyes locked with Riley’s. “I’ve heard that too.”
“I know. But you showed up anyway. So, either you want to fill the slot, or you came here just to be a douche and turn it down when we offered it to you.”