Punk Rock Resurrection

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Punk Rock Resurrection Page 3

by Jenna Galicki

  “You’re giving me a free massage, and now you’re telling me that you watch me, too? You barely know me.” She was a little creeped-out, but she still wasn’t telling him to stop rubbing her shoulders.

  “We can change that.”

  She closed her eyes and relaxed under his heavy touch. “Change what?”

  “We can get a drink after work, and you can tell me all about yourself.”

  Her eyes flipped open and she stared up at him. He quirked his brows and flashed her a quick smile. He was cocky. He had a hard edge that screamed rebellion. He was trouble, and she knew that she should stay away from him. “OK. My last appointment is at eight.”

  Damien ordered a whisky, and she ordered a beer. She didn’t want him to pay for her drink and tossed a twenty dollar bill on the bar.

  He threw her a sideways glance. “Put your money away.”

  “You’ve been a big help to me these last few days, and you won’t let me tip you. I had a good day today and made a lot of money. I’m taking care of the drinks.”

  He ignored her and paid the bartender, so she stuffed the money in the front pocket of his jeans. They were low on his hips, and as she pushed the money deep into his front pocket, her fingers graced the crease between his lower abdomen and his thigh. It was accidental, but her heart thumped at the intimate touch.

  Damien gave her a suggestive smile, while he took his change from the bartender.

  Dammit. He thought she did it on purpose.

  He left a tip on the bar and picked up their drinks. “Let’s sit in a booth. It’s quieter and we can talk.”

  “No. I’m fine right—” She didn’t want the intimacy of a booth, but Damien was already on his way with their drinks in his hands.

  He turned back toward her and motioned with his mohawk to follow.

  She let out a frustrated breath, hurried to catch up to him, and slipped into the seat across from him. The stained glass lamp bathed them in its warm glow, and she studied his face. He was sexy and handsome. Everything about him – the bright blue pronounced mohawk, the studded leather jacket, the gory tattoos that covered his body, the hard set of his jaw, and his confident walk – all screamed defiance and attitude. It affirmed her original assessment that she should steer clear of a relationship with him. “So, do you have a girlfriend?”


  “Why not? I would’ve thought girls would be fighting over a badass, tattooed musician like you.”

  He shrugged. “I haven’t met anyone who can hold my interest. Why don’t you have a boyfriend?”

  “How do you know I don’t have a boyfriend?”

  The corner of his mouth drew back into a lopsided smile. “Because I get the feeling that if you did, you’d have told me to fuck off by now.”

  She threw her head back and laughed, then clinked her beer bottle against his glass for affirmation. “So, what do you want to know about me?”

  He took a long swig of the whiskey. “Where are you from? I grew up in this part of Brooklyn. I’ve been here my whole life.” His eyes traveled down to her breasts. “I would have remembered seeing you around.”

  “I just moved here from the Bronx. Manhattan was too expensive.” She waved her beer bottle in front of her. “So, Brooklyn it is. Although rent isn’t much cheaper.”

  His eyes continued to roam over her face and shoulders and they kept falling to her breasts.

  “Why are you staring at me like that?”

  “Because you’re beautiful. Where else am I supposed to look? There’s nothing in this room I’d rather look at than you.”

  Good answer. “You’re a smooth talker, aren’t you?”

  “I tell it like it is.”

  She tried to read him. There was history behind his eyes. To everyone else he was hard, and his eyes were hooded with suspicion. He was sometimes defensive and often curt, but with her, his eyes held a spark of fire and his mouth wore a teasing smile.

  He tipped back his glass of whiskey, never removing his eyes from hers. “So what’d you leave behind in the Bronx? Family? Friends?”

  “Are you asking if I left because of an ex-boyfriend?”

  He nodded.

  “No. I’m kind of a loner. I’ve never really done the relationship thing. Not for long, anyway. I have one or two close friends in the Bronx and my mom. That’s it.”

  “How’d you get into piercing?”

  “Well,” she took a sip of her beer and smiled, “you may not believe this, but I was studying to be a registered nurse.”

  His eyes opened wide, and a devilish smile spread across his face. “You look like you’d be my kind of nurse.”

  A waitress came to the table and asked if they wanted another round of drinks. Alyssa waited until she left to finish the story. “I loved being a nurse. I thought about becoming a surgeon.”

  “What happened? Why’d you quit?”

  “They kinda let me go. They said I scared the patients.”

  Damien raised his brows with intense interest.

  “They said I enjoyed my job too much. I fell in love with penetrating someone’s skin with the needle. I used to offer to take blood and deliver intravenous medication to all of the other nurses’ patients.” Her voice took on enthusiasm at the memory. “They said I was freaking out the other nurses and I made some of the patients uncomfortable. I never understood why.” There was teasing sarcasm in her voice. “Would you be worried if I came at you with a 12-inch hypodermic, a short skirt, and a sinister smile?”

  His mouth literally dropped open.

  The waitress chose that moment to deliver their drinks. Damien finished his whiskey and the waitress replaced it. When she left, he stared down into his glass.

  “What’s wrong? Did she bring you the wrong drink?”

  “No. I just don’t like ice in my Johnnie Walker.” He held up the red plastic straw that was floating in his drink as if it were a foreign object. “What the hell is this?”

  “A straw.”

  “What’s it doing in my whiskey?” He tossed it aside, fished a cube out of the glass with his fingers, popped it in his mouth and crunched it between his teeth. “Tell me more about your job as a nurse.”

  “When they suggested I find another profession, I thought about what I loved most about being a nurse. I realized it was the needle.” She smiled and spread her hands out to her sides. “That’s when Piercings by Alyssa was born.”

  He crushed more ice between his teeth. “Well, Piercings by Alyssa, do you have a last name?”


  “Everyone has a last name.”

  “It’s Taylor, but I haven’t used it in years. I just go by Alyssa. What about you?”

  “My last name is Hardy.”

  She was waiting for him to elaborate or offer some personal information about his background or his family, but he was quiet. “You just grilled me for the last hour. Aren’t you going to give me more than your last name?”

  He shrugged one shoulder. “There’s not much more. I’m from Brooklyn. I’m a bass player, and I work in a tattoo shop.”

  “And your family? Brothers? Sisters?”

  His eyes clouded and turned to steel. Deep creases formed in his forehead and he stared into his drink. “I have no family.” He was despondent and kept his head tucked into his chest. The transformation from confident alpha male to the tormented soul sitting across from her was like night and day.

  The smile fell off Alyssa’s face. “I . . . I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to bring up a touchy subject.”

  He swallowed his glass of Johnnie Walker in two gulps and pressed his lips together. The alcohol washed away most of the pain that was splayed across his face, and his eyes brightened a little. “It’s not touchy. It’s not anything.”

  She needed to say something to change the subject – fast. “Tell me about your music. Why the bass guitar?”

  “I fell in love with the deep howl of the bass guitar the second I picked it up.” Happier images d
anced behind his eyes now. “When I play music, I’m transported into another dimension. Everything that’s wrong in the world is suddenly right. I’ve been playing since I was 14, and I’ve played every single day since then.”

  “Have you ever considered another instrument?”

  He folded his arms on the table and leaned forward. “When something’s right, you know it the minute you lay your eyes on it.”

  He looked right through her, and it sent a chill down her back.

  They gazed at each other until he slowly lowered his eyes to the table and fiddled with the plastic straw. “Tell me about your mom.”

  “She’d be in love with you.”

  Damien raised his brows high on his forehead. “I never heard a girl say that before.”

  “My mom’s really cool. She helped me dye my hair black when I was 13, and she volunteered to be my first customer when I told her I wanted to be a piercer.”

  “You’re kidding?”

  “Nope. We have fun together, but I don’t get to see her that much anymore. She’s an artist, and she’s always traveling. She flies all over the place to find things to paint.”

  “Do you go on trips with her?”

  “No. She invites me to go everywhere, but I hate to fly.”

  Another long silence left them staring at each other. A tingle ran up the center of Alyssa’s chest while Damien’s eyes bore into her.

  “This Saturday is that show at The Quadrangle I told you about. I want you to come.”

  It was more of a demand than an invitation, and his confidence continued to challenge her. “I’ll think about it.”

  Three hours later, Damien still hadn’t offered much about himself other than his love for music, but Alyssa knew everything she needed to know about him. He was blunt and assertive. There was some disturbing secret about his past that he was guarding, which is probably why he liked to knock back the alcohol. She lost track of how many drinks he ordered. The last thing she needed was an insolent punk rocker with a shitload of baggage. Damien was trouble on all counts. The warning lights were so bright they were blinding. Her inner voice told her to run. “So, what time is your show on Saturday?”

  Chapter Four

  Damien rode the subway back to his apartment with a smile on his face. Alyssa was giving him all the right signals, despite her aloof and spunky attitude. He knew she questioned the lack of personal information he shared, but she didn’t pry, and she didn’t run out of the bar screaming. She stayed and teased him with her quick retorts for four hours before she said she needed to get home.

  While he walked to his apartment from the train station, he wondered if he would eventually tell her about his past. No one knew the emotional trauma he suffered as a child. Angel knew some of the neglect, but he didn’t know the full extent.

  After spending the last few hours in Alyssa’s company, Damien’s apartment seemed emptier. He had spent most of his life alone, but he would never get used to the solitude. He stripped off his clothes and slid into bed, but sleep wasn’t an option. His mind kept reverting back to the night with Alyssa.

  He never met a woman like her. She was gorgeous and self-assured, and she was wicked cool. Her dark hair and makeup, accompanied by those blood red lips, sent his heart galloping. She was a piercer. A naughty nurse. A sinister angel of mercy. An image of her long legs tucked inside those black leather thigh-high boots with the six-inch heels was branded behind his eyes. His cock stood straight up and raised a tent in the sheet. He wrapped his hand around it and stroked it. He pictured the spiked heel of Alyssa’s boot digging into the hard muscles of his chest, and he let out a long sigh while his hand pumped in a fast, hard rhythm. He envisioned her lips and her teeth on his neck and nipping their way down to his cock. He imagined her fingernails scraping his inner thigh and pretended it was her mouth sucking him, instead of his right hand bringing him pleasure. His breathing grew heavier as the images flashed behind his closed eyes and he started to tingle all over. He shuddered with such intensity that it shook the bed, and warm liquid erupted into his hand. His body twitched, and he grunted while he squeezed his cock until the pulsating beat subsided. A smile spread across his lips, and he rolled over and finally fell asleep.

  Covered in sweat and shaking, Damien bolted upright. Disjointed images flickered behind his eyes. His mother was yelling. Screaming. He was cowering in the corner of his bedroom in his footed pajamas. She was looming over him, and he was shrinking down in size. The room was getting bigger, she was growing taller, and he was withering down to nothing. The rest of the dream was a blank memory, but he woke deeply traumatized. There was a vivid and very real pain that tore at his gut. He was bleeding from the inside. It was a physical pain that crippled him. He rolled over and put the pillow over his head to block out the images that still lingered. Nothing eased the ache in his chest. He hugged his knees and curled into a tight ball. His heart was pounding in his ears with a deafening thump. He needed it to stop before either his head exploded or his gut ripped open.

  He flipped the covers back and stuffed his feet into his boots. Each step brought him closer to relief as he covered the short distance to the kitchen, but Johnnie Walker hit his lips with little satisfaction. The real remedy was a little yellow pill in an unmarked amber bottle, one cabinet over. The nightmares wouldn’t stay away without them. He twisted off the cap and emptied the contents into the palm of his hand. It was a small mountain of pain-relieving analgesics that would make him dizzy enough to cloud and mask the torment that churned inside his head. Sometimes he wanted to swallow the whole damn bottle, but tonight he only took one. Gripping the handles of the kitchen cabinets with both hands so tightly he thought he might pull them off the wall, he squeezed his eyes shut and waited for the medication to take effect. Usually, it would be about fifteen minutes before his body reacted, but he didn’t know if he could wait that long. There were too many images flashing behind his eyes and they made no sense. He contemplated taking another pill, but decided a shot of whiskey would make it kick in faster. It was the better alternative.

  Johnnie Walker still sat on the counter. They had been friends for a long time. He chugged the alcohol back and gulped it down his throat. The walk back to the bedroom seemed to double in length. His boots were heavier, and it was an effort to lift each leg. The floor felt like quicksand, and his vision started to blur, but he could still make out the silhouette of his bed a few feet away. He kicked his boots off, ducked under the covers, and let the haze infiltrate his mind. The nightmare no longer haunted him, nor did he remember it. Nothingness filled his head, and the combination of alcohol and the medication deadened his heart. Peace finally settled upon him and he drifted back to a mindless sleep.

  Chapter Five

  It was Saturday night at The Quadrangle, and Damien sat in the back room with his bass across his lap. He plucked an Immortal Angel song and wondered if Alyssa was going to show up tonight. Her backhand, flirtatious innuendos where subtle and mysterious, but he could see right through them.

  Jimmy Wilder, Immortal Angel’s drummer, sat down next to him. Besides Angel, Jimmy was Damien’s closest friend. He was one of the best drummers on the indie circuit, and his father was a legendary drummer in a classic rock band. Music was Jimmy’s birthright, and it was in his blood. His beats were effortless and imaginative. Schooled by his famous father, he was a protégé’s dream. His only downfall was that he was a ladies man and had a wandering eye. He was old school punk rock with a rockabilly throwback – greased pompadour and long pork chop sideburns. He was carefree and perpetually in a good mood.

  “What are you doing back here by yourself, man? I’ve been looking for you. I met this chick, and she’s got a girlfriend glued to her side. I could use a wingman.” Jimmy was persistent. “Do you want to entertain a pretty lady tonight?”

  “I already got a pretty lady coming here tonight.”

  “Really? Who?”

  “This new chick at the tattoo shop.” Damien fing
ered the barbell in his brow. “She’s the new piercer.” A faraway look passed over his face as he conjured up Alyssa’s image inside his head. “She’s a dark angel. A mysterious gothic princess of the night, with a quick tongue and a sharp needle.” He loved a little pain with his pleasure, and the needle stirred up all kinds of sadistic images in his mind.

  Jimmy let out a hard laugh. “She sounds just like your style.”

  Alyssa complemented Damien perfectly. He knew his appearance was brash and hard on the eyes, but it made him different. He never conformed to cookie-cutter standards for anything. He preferred to go against the grain and pushed freedom of expression to the extreme. Alyssa had the same aesthetic. She wasn’t a prissy girl. She dripped raw sensuality, from her deep black hair to her leather thigh-high boots. Her prolific tattoos screamed trouble. She was his female doppelganger. Her strong personality matched her outward appearance, and it added to her allure.

  “Why are you hiding back here?” Jimmy asked. “She could be up front looking for you, and some asshole could be hitting on her right now.”

  Damien pursed his lips together in thought. “She can take care of herself, but I guess it won’t hurt to take a look.”

  The Quadrangle was mobbed with people, and fans intercepted his search for Alyssa with conversation. He tried to look past the crowd, but it was too congested. Everyone wore black and blended together in the same opaque palette.

  Someone cut the juke box, which meant the band was due to take the stage shortly, and the crowd cheered. Damien needed to get backstage before he missed his cue. He had just enough time to grab his bass and head to the side of the stage with the rest of the band.

  “I almost thought we were going on without you,” Angel whispered to him as they waited by the curtain.

  “I got lost in the crowd. You know how it is once people start talking to you.”

  The lights went down and a loud roar rose up from the crowd. The band ran on stage together and took their designated spots. Jimmy jumped behind his drum kit and clicked off four beats on his sticks. There was no intro, just a fast beat that got everyone’s blood pumping. The opening lyrics flew out of Angel’s mouth like butter. He had a voice that pleased the ear and raised the roof at the same time. Power was effortless. Pitch was perfect.


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