Punk Rock Resurrection

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Punk Rock Resurrection Page 20

by Jenna Galicki

  She continued to hold him and pressed her cheek to his. “I love you, Damien. I’ve been by your bedside practically every minute. Angelita and Angel, too. Jimmy was here yesterday, and he’s been calling nonstop. We’re your family.”

  He took a deep breath and pulled away just enough so he could look at her. Her beautiful, caring eyes were filled with tears. He never meant to hurt her or cause her grief. “I’m so sorry for everything I put you through. I don’t deserve someone as wonderful as you.”

  Her eyes turned intense. “You deserve everything. You had a fucked up life. That’s behind you now. We have a future together, and we’re gonna live it . . . but you have to promise me something.”

  “Anything, Alyssa. I love you so much. Whatever it is, just say it.”

  “You need to promise me that you’re going to give up the drugs and alcohol.” Her eyes filled with tears again. “I love you, Damien, but I can’t watch you die.”

  “I promise.”

  A nurse entered his room, accompanied by Angelita. She probably wouldn’t leave the nurses’ station until one of them came back to the room with her. The nurse checked his vitals and examined him. She placed her thumb on his brow and pulled up his eyelids, one at a time. “Are you having any pain in your abdomen?”

  It was the pain in his ribs. “Yeah. My right side.” She cranked his bed down and pressed her hands along his ribcage. He winced under the pressure.

  “Your liver is still enlarged, but it’s better. It’ll be tender until the swelling goes down.”

  Damien saw the worried look on Angelita and Alyssa’s faces, and it made him nervous about the extent of the damage done to his body. He had been abusing drugs and alcohol since he was a teenager. “Am I going to be all right?”

  The nurse kept writing in his chart and never looked up. “This time, yes. Your liver is a little overloaded. If you keep feeding your body with toxins, not only will it fail, but your kidneys and possibly your heart will as well.”

  She was trying to scare him, but she was scaring Alyssa. Angelita had the same no-nonsense look on her face as the nurse.

  “Next time you might not be so lucky.” The nurse clicked the top of her pen and returned it to the breast pocket of her light green scrubs.

  Damien looked directly at Alyssa. “There won’t be a next time.”

  “I’m glad to hear that. The social worker will be here to see you in the morning.” The nurse deposited his chart in the bin at the end of his bed. “Get some rest.”

  Angelita kissed him on the forehead. “I will leave the two of you alone. Goodnight, mijo.”

  “Thank you, Angelita.”

  She gave his hand one last squeeze, hugged Alyssa, then followed the nurse out of the room.

  Damien patted the bed next to him, inviting Alyssa to join him. She snuggled next to him and rested her head on his shoulder, just like she did when they went to sleep at night. Her stark black hair and boots contrasted sharply against the crisp, white sheets.

  Now that they were alone again, the lump returned to Damien’s throat. He took her hand and placed it over his heart. “I was doing good. I swear. It was the first time in days . . .” He couldn’t finish his sentence. He couldn’t revisit the incident with his mother. Not yet. “I’ll never touch drugs or alcohol again, Alyssa. I promise. I don’t want to hurt you anymore.”

  She lifted her chin so she could look at him. “You need to do it for you, Damien.”

  He nodded. “I want to stop. This was my wakeup call. You make me happier than I’ve ever been in my life. I don’t want to miss one minute of that time with you. I need you.”

  She didn’t pressure him into telling her why he took too many pills. She wasn’t the type to pry information out of him. If he wanted to talk, she’d listen, but she would never press him to talk about something he wasn’t ready to share. He would talk about it when he was ready, and she would be there to listen. “It was an accident. I just wanted the pain to go away. I was drinking and the pills weren’t kicking in fast enough.”

  Pain and empathy was glistening back at him through Alyssa’s tearful eyes.

  Guilt ate away at his gut from the betrayal. “I’m sorry I never told you that I was still taking pills. I know you thought I’d stopped. I’d cut down, but I still needed them.” He closed his eyes and sighed. The look of disappointment on Alyssa’s face when she’d caught Jerry leaving his apartment, and then left him, was still fresh in his memory, and it sliced into him.

  “I’m sorry, too. I feel guilty because I never asked. I think I was afraid of the answer. I convinced myself that you were clean, because I didn’t know how to deal with it.” Moisture covered her eyes, and she pressed her lips together. “I’m sorry that I ran out on you. You needed me and I wasn’t there.”

  He gazed at her with all the love in his heart. “You’re my salvation.”

  She cupped his face in the palms of her hand and placed a long kiss on his lips. “You’re moving in with me.”

  It wasn’t a question or a suggestion. It was a statement. She was taking charge, and his spirits were uplifted. “Are you sure you want that? I leave my socks all over the place.”

  She smiled at him. “I love you and your socks. We’re going to get through this together.”

  He held Alyssa in his arms. The sharp pain in his side reminded him that he still wasn’t fully recovered. He was ready to start living his life and leave all the bullshit behind. “I love you, Alyssa,” he whispered.

  Damien must have fallen asleep, because when he opened his eyes, Angel was at his bedside, still in his chef’s apron fresh with stains from the restaurant. He had a tilt to his head and concern in his eyes. “I came as soon as I heard you were awake.”

  Alyssa stretched and stepped down off the bed. “I’ll be right back. I’m going to find a vending machine and some coffee.”

  Damien reached out to her. “Don’t go.”

  She smiled back at him. “I won’t be long.”

  Angel grabbed Damien in a powerful hug. “You scared the hell out of me! I was the one who found you.” His voice started to waver. “I’ll never forget the blank, glazed look in your eyes. I thought you were dead.”

  It was Angel who saved him. It was another debt he owed his friend. “Thank you for everything you’ve done me for, Angel. If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t have made it on my own. And your mom . . . she’s a hell of a lady.”

  Angel’s brows slowly creased together and his mouth bowed into a frown. “What happened?”

  Damien was still embarrassed and fiddled with the sheet between his thumb and index finger, but Angel deserved an explanation. “It was my mother. I tried to talk to her.” He shook his head, regretting the confrontation and ultimate outcome. “I should have just turned and walked away when I saw her. I struggled my whole life because of her. She’s the reason I got hooked on pills and alcohol. She wanted me dead, and she almost got her wish. I can’t believe I was so stupid! I was drinkin’ and I didn’t realize how many pills I took. I didn’t do this on purpose.”

  “I’m glad to hear that. You need to forget about her and get well.”

  The answer sounded easy, but deep down Damien knew that the evil of his mother’s rejection would never leave him.

  “I wrote a song about you the other night,” Angel said. “It’s called Cyanide Sensation. It’s about the glorification of drug use and how it can kill you. I called Jimmy and his cousin, and they wrote music to go with the lyrics. It’s good. You need to get better so you can write a baseline, because right now it’s just a spineless jellyfish. You need to give it backbone.” Angel put his hand on Damien’s shoulder and his voice was low with emotion. “I need my bass player and my best friend. My brother. I know how hard it’s been for you, but that was the past.” Angel lowered his eyes, and his brows creased with apprehension. He hesitated before he continued. “I have to tell you something. Please don’t be mad, but I went to your mother’s house. I’m sorry. I . . . I just
thought she should know what happened. I had no idea you saw her or that she was the reason behind this.” He hesitated again. “She wouldn’t talk to me. She was in the middle of packing. The only thing she said to me was that she sold the house and was leaving New York. So she’s gone. You can leave that part of your life behind and move forward. You were given a second chance, Damien. You can start your life over right now. Consider it a rebirth. A resurrection.”

  Everything Angel said sounded like the perfect answer, but Damien doubted he could ever outrun the devils that chased him. He knew that no matter how hard he tried to forget about his mother, his heart would always mourn the loss of her acceptance. He would never be able to sever his ties to her. “You make it sound so simple, Angel, but I’ll always be Damien Hardy. Nothing can ever change who I am or where I came from. Every time I hear my last name, I’m reminded of my mother and my past.”

  “It doesn’t have to. You can change your name to whatever you want. I personally like Damien. It’s a strong name, and it fits you. You could change your last name to something a little more polished.” Angel tapped his index finger against his lips and looked off to the side in deep thought. “Diamond. Your new name could be Damien Diamond – because you’re a diamond in the rough.” Angel’s face broadened into a wide smile. “It sounds like a rock star to me!”

  Damien Diamond. It felt right. The sound of it lifted his spirits and filled him with confidence. He was offered a second chance at life. He needed to take advantage of the opportunity to make a change. His life was headed in the right direction. He was moving forward with a new name. He got his girl back and they were moving in together. The band’s popularity was starting to skyrocket on the indie scene. Immortal Angel could resurrect punk rock and bring it to the forefront of the music industry. He saw his future as a bright light on the horizon. He nodded at Angel. “Damien Diamond. I like it.”

  “It’s nice to see you smiling again.” Alyssa stood in the doorway with a tray in her hand. She offered Angel a cup of coffee and glanced down at his apron. “Plan on cooking?”

  “No. I left the restaurant as soon as my mom called and forgot to take it off.”

  “Too bad, because I’m starving.”

  Angel placed his hands on Damien’s shoulders and stared at him for several seconds. Their years of friendship passed between their eyes with unspoken affection. It left another knot in Damien’s throat. Today was an emotional roller coaster.

  Angel tightened his grip on Damien’s shoulders. “I’ll be back in the morning. If you need anything at all, just call me. I mean it. I don’t care what time it is. Call.”

  He nodded at Angel. Too many emotions were running around in Damien’s head, and he wasn’t used to so many people showering him with attention and concern. It was overwhelming.

  Angel kissed Alyssa on the cheek and left the hospital room.

  “You need to drink a lot of liquids to flush out your system.” Alyssa handed Damien a glass of juice. “Drink this whole thing.”

  He gave her a smile. “Are you going to play nurse for me?”

  She sat on the edge of the bed and didn’t answer him. A shiny film slowly covered her eyes, and her smile turned into a straight line. “I know you feel like you’re all alone in this world sometimes, but a lot of people love you, not just me. Angelita was here the whole time. She said you needed her to be here when you woke up. Me and Angel have been taking turns sitting vigil at your bedside. Jimmy calls every ten minutes and his cousin keeps texting me. Spyder and Axel are worried sick. And you have fans, Damien. I know you’re absorbed in the music when you play, but after the show, you see how many people gather around to meet you or talk to you.”

  Shame made his cheeks flush red hot. “Everyone knows?”

  Alyssa took his hand and rubbed his arm. “No. Just the band. But I had to tell Spyder something, so I said you were in the hospital having some tests done and they admitted you. Angel told the bars the same thing when he cancelled the shows that were scheduled for the next few weeks.”

  Damien didn’t realize his life affected so many people. He mattered. He needed to take a deep breath in order to stabilize his shaking body and frazzled nerves. Shielding his emotions and the pain they brought had always been easy for him. It was a subconscious act. The walls were always in place and never faltered. Now they were gone. Nothing protected his fragile heart from the raw and gritty truth. He was an alcoholic and a drug addict. Despite his faults and his weaknesses, people still cared about him, and the outpouring of love made his heart swell.

  Chapter Twenty-Six

  Damien left the hospital with his dignity restored. He tilted his face up to the warm rays of the sun and let it wash over him. He hated being imprisoned in the stuffy hospital. It was like he hadn’t breathed in the fresh air for a lifetime.

  A taxi was waiting at the curb, and he opened the door for Alyssa. He followed her inside, and she clasped her fingers around his hand.

  “I wish you would have checked yourself into rehab like the social worker suggested.”

  “I don’t buy into the 12-step bullshit, and I don’t need to find God in order to kick a drug habit. The only thing I need to do to kick a drug habit is stop taking drugs. They had me sedated for three days while I detoxed. They wouldn’t let me out of this place for two weeks and that social worker visited me twice a day. I’m halfway through a 30-day program already. Don’t you think I can do it on my own?”

  “Of course I do, but you have issues, Damien. I think it would do you a lot of good to continue to talk about them, that’s all.”

  He nuzzled her check with his lips and kissed her neck. “You can be my therapist. We can talk for one hour every night before we go to sleep.”

  Alyssa challenged him with her raised eyebrows. “I’m going to hold you to that.”

  “Good. I like to talk to you.”

  “I mean it. There’s going to be serious consequences to pay if you don’t follow through with your promise.”

  They hadn’t slept together in almost a month and the sexual tension was killing him. He ran his hand down the calf of her leg. “Consequences that involve these boots?”

  “These boots.” She ran her stiletto heel up his leg, then scratched at his chest. “These fingernails.” She put her lips to his ear. “My piercing needle . . . that’s been dying to make its way through the tip of your cock.”

  The blood rushed to his sex-deprived organ and his erection painfully stretched the limits of his jeans. “Keep talking like that and I’m gonna bust a nut right here in this taxicab.”

  She fingered her long hair, with a self-satisfied grin on her face. “All those things that I just mentioned, they’re your rewards. If you don’t make good on your promise, they all go away.”

  “Go away?” He slipped his hand between her thighs. It traveled upwards and cupped the warm spot between her legs. “You can’t keep this from me.”

  She gasped, and her body melted under his touch.

  “You want it just as much as I do.”

  “More.” She let out a deep breath and sighed. “I missed you so much.”

  “You know what the best part is?” He didn’t wait for her to answer. “They gave me all kinds of blood tests in the hospital. No hep C and no HIV. I’m clean.”

  “Was there a worry?”

  “No. But I never had a test before. I wanted to bring it up, since I really wanted to ditch the condoms, but I didn’t know how.”

  She rolled her eyes and shook her head slightly. “Don’t be afraid to ask me things, Damien. I love you. You can talk to me about anything.”

  “OK. Have you been tested?”

  “Of course. I get tested all the time. I deal with blood every single day. Clients are supposed to disclose if they have bloodborne diseases, but not everyone is truthful. And to be honest, I’ve pierced people who’ve checked ‘Yes’ on that little box.”

  It made Damien nervous and fearful. He never realized her profession con
tained health risks. “So . . . what were the results?”

  She clasped her fingers around the back of his neck and her lips grazed his ear. “Negative on all counts. When we get home, it’s going to be skin on skin, baby.”

  His erection swelled and tingled between his legs. He didn’t know if he could wait that long. His body was begging for release, and he let out a small whimper.

  Alyssa knew exactly what was going through is head . . . and his body. She slid her hand down his abs, tickling him with her soft touch. She fiddled with the button on his jeans and it popped open with ease. Her hand ducked inside his waistband, and the teeth of his zipper ripped open from the intrusion.

  He lurched at the sudden stimuli that shot through him as soon as she grabbed his cock and freed it from the constraints of his jeans. He sucked in a deep breath and tried to remain calm, so he didn’t alert the taxi driver of the illicit activities going on in the backseat. His flesh was burning hot from the heat of her hand as it stroked him. Up and down, rubbing the tip with her thumb, and squeezing his cock with just enough pressure to make him clench every muscle in his stomach, his body shuddered and his breath came in short gasps.

  Her lips met his in a passionate kiss, and her tongue circled the inside of his mouth with skill and domination. His thighs were shaking from exercising control and suppressing the urge to throw Alyssa down on the seat and fuck her while the taxi drove through the busy streets of Brooklyn. It only took a few more quick swipes of her hand before he was blinded with a euphoria that sent white spots before his eyes and hot liquid all over his jeans.

  He broke his mouth away from Alyssa’s in order to get enough air to breathe. He lolled his head back and stared at the black headliner of the taxicab, breathing deep enough to arouse suspicion from the driver. He didn’t care. He had waited too long to feel the touch of the beautiful woman who owned his heart and his body. He pulled Alyssa to him and kissed her. “I love you, and I can’t wait to get you home so we can finish this.”

  The taxi pulled in front of Damien’s apartment building just as he finished zipping up his jeans. He stepped outside and viewed the dilapidated building with a fresh eye. The brick was weathered and the mortar was crumbling in spots. Bars covered the windows on the first floor reminding him that the neighborhood wasn’t the best. Still, it had been the first apartment that he paid for out of his own pocket without the help of public assistance. Even though it solidified his independence, he was happy to leave it behind and move forward with his new life in Alyssa’s stylish apartment.


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