Punk Rock Resurrection

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Punk Rock Resurrection Page 25

by Jenna Galicki

  “No. Yes.” Jessi was agitated and a little flustered. “Only from the Gala. He wouldn’t leave me alone that night.”

  Angel took Jessi’s hand and rubbed it between his palms. “I told you to just ignore them. They’re only trying to sell a story. They don’t care who they hurt.”

  “Not all of them are like him. Some are actually nice.”

  Jessi was tough, and she didn’t take any shit. To see her visibly shaken and emotionally wounded by the attack from that particular member of the paparazzi made Damien angry. “If I see him again, he’s gonna get my boot in his ass. What does he want, anyway?”

  “I have no idea, but it’s obvious he’s after something. He seems to have some kind of vendetta against me.” Jessi looked back toward the crowd of paparazzi. “I have a bad feeling about him. He’s trying to stir up trouble, and he better let me know why, because I’m tired of the bullshit, and I’m not going to put up with any more spiteful headlines.”

  Damien wandered over to the glass and stared at the crowd of paparazzi still gathered outside. The one he confronted was gone. He wondered about an ulterior motive and if, maybe, there was a crazed fan or archenemy behind the malicious behavior. The press always had an interest in Jessi, Tommy and Angel because of their polyamorous relationship, especially when they first went public, but no one ever took a personal interest or singled out one of them before. Whatever was going on, it would, no doubt, come to a head. The real reason behind the spiteful harassment of Jessi would be flushed out, eventually . . .

  Chapter Thirty-Three

  Less than a week later, the band reunited at Garcia’s, Angel’s dad’s restaurant. They were a colorful bunch and stood out in the family-style restaurant. Some people recognized the band, some recognized Angel as the former sous chef, and others stared because they looked grossly out of place.

  It felt a little strange for Damien to be separated from his bandmates after spending the last few months on tour together. He glanced around the table at his closest friends. Jimmy was to his right, still using any available surface as a drum and banging out a beat on the table with a pair of spoons. Alyssa was to his left. She still wore thigh-high boots with dangerously-sexy stiletto heels, and they still drove him crazy. Jessi sat on the other side of Alyssa. They had been chatting nonstop since everyone had been seated. The two were best friends and a stunning pair. Alyssa was a dark, gothic goddess, and Jessi was a punk rock princess. Jessi had bright pink hair, and her wardrobe was made up of predominately leather and spikes. She was a successful fashion designer and busted her ass to support the band on their rise to fame. Her loyalty to Tommy was unsurpassed. Next to Jessi was Tommy Blade, the guitar god. He was like another brother to Damien. He always sat in between Jessi and Angel so he could share his love equally between the two. Most thought he had the best of both worlds, with the woman he loved and the man that set his soul on fire, but Damien knew the anguish Tommy had endured before they were able to balance their triad.

  Damien had wondered about the closeness of Angel and Jessi’s relationship at first, and the dynamics of the trio. He had outright asked Angel about it, too. It was a question that was on everyone’s mind, friends and fans alike. They had cleared the air early on in an in-depth interview. Angel was gay, Tommy was bisexual, and Jessi was straight. Although they slept in the same bed and engaged in threesomes, their sexuality never changed. Angel’s love for Jessi was purely emotional, not physical or sexual. Angel did confide in Damien, though, that curiosity made him delve somewhere he never thought he’d go regarding the female anatomy – once – but it was strictly a one-time thing.

  Damien’s eyes rested on Angel, his oldest and closest friend. The man had a heart as big as the ocean. There wasn’t a selfish bone in his body, and Angel found the love of his life in Tommy Blade. He wished his lifelong friend all the happiness in the world.

  A waiter approached the table and interrupted everyone’s conversations. “Good evening, Chef Angel.” The waiter bowed in respect. “It’s an honor to serve you and your guests. Can I start you off with a bottle of wine? Or champagne perhaps?”

  “Champagne would be wonderful, Miguel. Thank you. But I’m not Chef Angel anymore. You can just call me Angel from now on.”

  “You’ll always be Chef Angel around here.”

  The sentiment left Angel with a poignant smile on his face. He had worked in his father’s restaurant since he was a kid, but once the band made it big, he was forced to resign, and Damien knew that Angel missed the father/son time.

  “Miguel?” Angel stopped the waiter before he left the table. “Can you also bring us some appetizers, please?”

  “Si, señor. What can I bring you and your guests?”

  Angel ordered without looking at the menu. “We’ll have some tostones, Papas Rellenas, Empanada de Queso and stuffed avocado.”

  The waiter nodded and retreated back to the kitchen.

  “What the hell did you just order for us?” Alyssa asked. “The only thing I understood was stuffed avocado.”

  “It doesn’t matter,” Jessi answered. “Whatever it is, you’ll love it.”

  “Angel knows exactly what to order, especially when it comes to Cuban food.” Tommy gazed at Angel, and the light caught the intense blue of his eyes. “In every city we visited, in every country we were in, Angel knew exactly what to order. And each meal was more delicious than the last.”

  Damien kicked Angel under the table. “Hey, you can cook us dinner whenever you want . . . Chef Angel.”

  Angel flustered. “I know you’re just teasing, but I would love to make a home-cooked meal for all of us. That’s what I missed most about being on tour – being able to cook a gourmet meal for the people I love.”

  “I’ll be over whenever, man. Just let me know.” Jimmy was using his spoons like a pair of drumsticks and the edge of the table as his snare.

  Alyssa shot him a series of aggravated glances. Jimmy’s constant drumming always annoyed her. She put her fingers to her temples and closed her eyes. “Jimmy, can you stop with the noise?”

  Jimmy froze with the spoons poised in the air. “It’s a subconscious habit. I can’t help it.” He cupped the spoons together in his hand, and the water glasses settled and stopped shaking. He shifted in his seat and turned to Angel. “When’s our next show?”

  “We just got back from a world tour. You want to hit the stage already?”

  “Damn straight, man. I wanna do a show at The Quadrangle. I miss that place.”

  Damien laughed under his breath. “Missed The Quadrangle or missed the pussy?” The Quadrangle had been a notorious pickup joint for Jimmy before they became famous. Now, he had his choice of any girl whenever he walked down the street.

  “I can get pussy anywhere, man. I don’t need to go to The Quadrangle to get pussy.”

  Alyssa rolled her eyes. “Can we sit through a meal without talking about pussy? Is that all you guys think about – pussy?”

  Angel flashed an amused smile. “I don’t think about pussy.”

  She huffed. “Still with the pussy? This is a classy restaurant. The people sitting at the next table don’t want to hear the word pussy.”

  Everyone stared at her with a half-smile, questioning if she was serious or just being funny. She literally just said the word four times.

  She glared at everyone. “I mean it.”

  Tommy burst out laughing. “How fucked have we become when it’s Alyssa who’s the moral compass of the group?”

  Damien knew Alyssa’s sarcastic sense of humor. She still couldn’t put one over on him. He turned her wrist around to expose the little skeleton tattoo with the top hat. “You can’t fool me or this guy. We both know you don’t give a shit who hears any of us say the word pussy.”

  She pulled her wrist away and tried to hide a sly smile. She was a rebel, and Damien loved her defiant attitude that never wavered.

  Tommy was lost in thought. “I really like the idea of doing a show at The Quadrangle
. That’s where it all began for me with the band and with Angel.” He gave Angel a seductive smile. “Remember those raunchy shows we used to play?”

  “How could I forget, my prince? You drove me insane on stage with your gorgeous blond hair that glistened under the spotlights. You landed on your knees at my feet playing your killer guitar riffs, and I wanted to do obscene things to you right there on the stage.”

  Jessi put her chin in the palm of her hand and gazed at them both. “I watched from the audience back then. I wasn’t the only one who was getting all hot and wet watching you two.”

  “OK, that’s enough.” Jimmy held up the spoons that he’d been using as drumsticks. “You’re about to set off the sprinkler system in this place, man. Let’s get back to doin’ a show at The Quadrangle.”

  Damien liked the idea, but he had his eye on a bigger prize. “I’m all for doin’ a show at The Quadrangle, but we can play there any night of the week.” He looked directly at Angel. “You know what I want – Barclays Center.”

  Jessi was the first to agree. “Immortal Angel should have played Barclays Center on your national tour. You’re a Brooklyn-based band.” She sat back in her chair. “I’m calling the label tomorrow.”

  Tommy put his arm around her and kissed the side of her head. “That’s my wife – always supporting the band. You miss it, don’t you, hon?”

  “Working for Falcon Records?” Jessi slouched down a little. “Of course I do. I managed you for years, then worked side-by-side with Angel to promote the band, and then worked as the band’s assistant when you got signed. I’m used to being directly involved with Immortal Angel. It’s weird. Sometimes I forget that I’m not part of it anymore.”

  “You’ll always be part of it, hon.”

  “I know. I made my choice. I needed to focus on my career as a designer. And I still get to design merch for the band and costumes for the dancers.” She waved her hand toward Angel. “And his elaborate stage wardrobe. I’m very happy.”

  Jessi had a close relationship with the band’s publicist, Marissa Torres, but it was Angel who had the most pull with the head of Falcon Records, Ron Abelman. Damien tipped his chin in Angel’s direction. “Can you call Bossman?”

  Angel straightened his shoulders and sat back in his chair. “I’m not in the habit of calling Mr. Abelman directly. He calls me, usually when there’s a problem, but I can call Marissa. As long as there’s a date available, I don’t see why it would be an issue. I’m sure we’d sell out Barclays Center.”

  After dinner, Damien and Alyssa jumped into his other new toy – a shiny black Ferrari. He drove up 4th Avenue and made a right turn onto Atlantic Avenue, instead of making the left onto Flatbush in the direction of their loft in Williamsburg.

  Alyssa looked through the car window with confusion. “Where are you going?”

  Damien’s eyes left the road long enough to smile at her. Barclays Center was straight ahead. Most musicians dreamed of playing Madison Square Garden, but when the construction of the elaborate venue in his backyard was announced, Damien set his sights on playing Barclays Center.

  Madison Square Garden would still be a crowning achievement. After all, it was touted as the World’s Most Famous Arena, but he had watched the construction of Barclays Center from its inception. He reminisced over the times he had met Angel and Jimmy at O’Connors on Fifth and Dean, and they would dream about the day Immortal Angel played Barclays Center.

  Damien, Alyssa, Angel and Jimmy had paid top dollar for four front row seats on its opening night to see Jay-Z. Damien hadn’t cared that they stuck out in the hip-hop crowd with his bright blue Mohawk and their punk rock clothing. It had been an opportunity of a lifetime. He had never been star struck before, but when he had watched Jay-Z perform under the lights to 18,000 fans in a venue that made history in the suburb of his birth, it had given Damien a high that lasted a month.

  He could see the lights of the Barclays Center up ahead, and he put pressure on the gas pedal. He pulled the car in front of the venue, stepped outside with Alyssa, and stared up at the impressive arena in awe. “You are my Everest.”

  Seconds later, a car pulled up next to them. It was Angel’s Bentley. Before Angel, Tommy and Jessi could exit the car, Jimmy’s Lamborghini screeched to a halt at the curb. Angel and Tommy stood to Damien’s right, Jimmy was at his left, and the two girls stood huddled together for warmth a few feet ahead of them.

  “I knew you’d stop here,” Angel said.

  Jimmy clapped Damien on the shoulder. “Me, too.”

  The four of them stood side by side and stared at the structure together. Damien was still awestruck by the magnificent architecture. Just standing outside filled him with envy. “I want to be on that stage. We belong there.”

  “We will.” Tommy took a step forward and stared up at the oculus that bore the venue’s name. “We have a platinum album now. We’ve toured the United States, Asia and Europe.”

  Jimmy turned to look at each of his bandmates. “We’re on top of the world right now, and I don’t think we’ve hit our plateau yet, man. There’s no telling what’s in store for Immortal Angel.”

  Chapter Thirty-Four

  Immortal Angel had played The 02 in London, Olympiahalle in Munich, and Bercy in Paris, but it was Barclays Center that registered the band’s success in Damien’s eyes. It was a moment he’d been dreaming about for years.

  The arena was still a quarter of a mile away, but his heart galloped with excitement. Damien ducked his head to get a better view of it from the window of the limousine. “We’re coming,” he whispered to the arena up ahead.

  The limo pulled up to a red light and two girls attached themselves to the car. They slapped their hands on the window and screamed Tommy’s name. Everyone jumped at the unexpected assault on the vehicle, then burst out laughing.

  “Don’t open the window,” Tommy warned Jimmy. “I don’t want anyone nose-diving into the car.”

  “Come on, man. I just want to have a little fun.” Jimmy pressed the button and four inches of daylight blew into the car. The girls screamed and shoved their hands through the small opening in hopes of touching him. He flashed his broad smile which sent the girls into another fit of squeals. “Hello, pretty ladies. Are you comin’ to the show tonight?”

  “Yes!” they answered with a wail. “Can we take a photo and get an autograph?”

  “Sure, honey.” Jimmy opened the window another two inches so he could smile for a photo.

  Tommy shook his head at Damien and chuckled. “I’m surprised he didn’t open the door and let them in the car.”

  “Oh, leave him alone,” Angel said. “He’s having fun.”

  The car slowly pulled away from the traffic light and the girls waved after it.

  “That was really nice, Jimmy.” Jessi leaned forward so she could look directly at him from the other end of the long curved interior seat. “You made their day.”

  “They made my day.”

  “You should be more careful,” Alyssa warned. “One of those girls could end up hiding in your bedroom one night.”

  Jimmy’s bright smile could have lit up the car. “That’s what I’m hopin’ for, sweetheart.”

  Damien didn’t appreciate the affectionate term and leaned forward to scowl at Jimmy. “You callin’ my girl sweetheart?”

  “It’s just a figure of speech, man.” Jimmy held his hands up to proclaim his innocence. “No disrespect.”

  The limo rounded the back of Barclays Center and Damien sat up straight. His foot bounced with restless anticipation. He wanted to bolt inside the venue, but hordes of fans were lined up behind a barricade waiting to get a glimpse of the band as they arrived for the show. The paparazzi were lined up behind a similar barricade on the opposite side, so the band would have to walk down a small catwalk to enter the venue.

  Jessi slid to the edge of her seat in order to get a better look at them. “You’re going to stop and sign autographs, right? These are your hometown fans.”<
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  “Of course we’re going to show our appreciation,” Angel said. “We owe them everything. Some of these people have been following us since the very beginning, even before our Tommy was part of the band.” Angel tapped Alyssa on the knee. “You too. I want you to stay outside with us.”

  “Really, Angel?” Alyssa huffed. “They didn’t come here to see me. They came to see you guys. And they know Jessi from her designs. I’m no one famous.”

  Damien clasped his fingers through hers. He knew she hated the attention and preferred to stay in the background. “Just stick by my side. They want photos of us together. The fans thinks we’re a cool couple, and they think you’re beautiful.”

  “Now you’re making me feel bad. I just hate having my picture taken.”

  “That’s why they want it. You’re mysterious. They want to get to know you.”

  “I wouldn’t mind so much if they didn’t rush at me and try to touch me.”

  “No one’s touching you.” Damien pulled her hand into his lap. “And if the paparazzi get in your face, just tell ‘em to fuck off.”

  That brought a smile to her luscious ruby lips. “OK.”

  The screaming fans could be heard clearly through the closed windows of the limousine. Damien hoped Alyssa was ready. The fans could be overwhelming sometimes, but it was the intrusion of the paparazzi that was most annoying. The high voltage flash of their cameras went off the second the car door opened. Security immediately surrounded the band even though the fans and paparazzi were secured behind a barricade.

  The piercing screams for Tommy went right through Damien’s ear, and by the look on Alyssa’s face, hers too. Tommy Blade was every girl’s wet dream. A group surged toward him, and extra security stepped in to ensure the fans didn’t topple the barricade.

  Jimmy was leaning into the crowd hugging as many girls as he could get his arms around. He loved them all.

  Past the screaming fans and the incessant questions from the paparazzi, the entrance to Barclays Center called to Damien from only a few yards away. In a few moments, he’d be inside preparing to perform for 18,000 screaming fans, most of whom were locals to his home town of Brooklyn. It was a dream come true.


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