Read an Excerpt
It's Been Awhile
The blonde girl standing in the corner of the bar licked her lips drawing Ben Hawkin’s attention to her lush figure. In the back of his mind, he knew black satin could kill a man, especially when nothing was underneath.
Ben sipped a beer with his band mates at Smokey’s Pub. They’d been touring non-stop for thirteen months and it was time to relax a little. He needed a little R and R, and soon after their last show on the road, he’d get his wish.
“I’ve got the schedule. Looks like we’re going back home,” David Parker, the band’s manager, announced. “If you need tickets for family let me know by tomorrow. Otherwise I’m not sure I’ll even be able to gain access to the sold-out concert at the town’s community centre. Looks like you’re playing on the old football field for the whole town.”
Ben couldn’t stifle the groan that escaped from his lips. Tyler, Texas was the last place on earth—minus the polar ice cap—that he’d ever want to play with Darkfever, their band. The small Podunk town held one supermarket, one shopping centre, and three restaurants. The founding fathers’ statues sat right in the middle downtown. With a population of just above two thousand, everyone knew everyone and the place didn’t offer much in the dating department.
Tyler was a hole in the wall.
“I take it you aren’t too thrilled,” David commented. He’d met the band in their post-Tyler days when they were nobodies in New York looking to make it big. He didn’t know the past of the small town or the people it held.
“Hawkins will be fine,” Taye Daniels, the bands bass player, announced. He slapped Ben on the back with a smile. “He just left one hot piece of ass back home—pretty pissed, I might add—and he’s a little rattled about seeing her again.”
Memories of her flooded Ben’s mind before he could stop them. Her sweet lips, her bubblegum tongue, her perfect body—all of which he had plenty of experience tasting and loving. She’d drifted into his mind from time to time, but she wasn’t the main reason he didn’t want to go back to Tyler. His parents had claimed that category all for themselves.
“Don’t talk about Marah that way.” He punched Taye’s shoulder, before sipping at the beer he no longer wanted. Thoughts of his parents always took his appetite.
“Okay. Care to tell me what’s going on then?” David sipped at his vodka tonic as he waited for Ben to explain the situation.
“It’s nothing. Marah and I are over and have been for a long time.”
“It’s his parents,” Sin said, turning all heads at the table his way. “That’s why he doesn’t want to go back.”
“Shut up, Sin,” Ben said through clenched teeth. “It’s nobody’s business.”
He and Sin Cannon were as close as two friends could be without being brothers. Neither one had siblings, so the troubled childhoods they’d both experienced allowed them to have something in common. Through football and girls, they’d remained best of friends, sharing their pasts only once with each other. It had been a weak moment for both. Soon after, they’d hopped on a bus heading for the Dallas-Fort Worth International airport and never looked back.
The four men shut their mouths, tension so thick it hung like a curtain between them. Ben’s stepfather Bobby Wilson and mother Veronica weren’t a topic up for discussion under any circumstances. Especially when the conversation involved Ben. They were dead to him as far as he was concerned.
“Okay, calm down, boys,” David said, tipping back his glass to finish it off. “How many free tickets am I getting you?”
The guys named off their respective amounts t