USA TODAY Bestselling Author Terri Anne Browning’s The Rocker SeriesAnnabelleI’ve always loved Zander Brockman in some shape or form. The boy who lived next door for the first seventeen years of my life has been my best friend, my confidant, my first crush, and my first love. I trusted him with my life and my heart. When he smiled at me I knew everything was going to be okay…
Until it wasn’t.
I haven’t seen that girl in seventeen years, and I’ve missed her every damn day. I knew I wasn’t good enough for her, so the night before I left with my bandbrothers for California, I stole a night with her. I lived off those memories. There hasn’t been a day that has gone by that I haven’t wanted to talk to her just one more time, but I knew she deserved a better man than me. Now, after seeing her again, I realize that I didn’t care if she should have a better man. My feelings were still as strong as they have ever been for her. I wanted to be with her…
But she hated the very sight of me.
***Contains Mature Content***
As I listened, I couldn’t fight back the tears that suddenly threatened to choke me. From the first note that left Axton Cage’s mouth, I knew that there was no way OtherWorld wouldn’t go far with this guy front and center for them. He wasn’t just good; the man had a fucking gift. And it broke my heart into a million pieces. One look at OtherWorld performing with Axton singing their songs and any manager with a working brain would sign them on the spot.Swallowing hard, I glanced at Noah. The look on his face was a mixture of amazement and gut-wrenching pain. He knew as well as I did—as well as everyone in the room—that not only was Axton going to fit with the band, but that this guy was better than even he had ever hoped to be. The pain in my heart at the knowledge that I was even closer to losing Zander than I had been just thirty minutes ago, doubled at the pain my beloved brother was going through right then.
The Aerosmith song faded easily into the Skynyrd song, “Free Bird,” and even though Axton’s vocal range changed, it only showed just how talented he really was. I lowered my gaze to the floor, hiding the tears that were so close to spilling over. I wanted so hard to hate Axton, wanted it with every fiber of my being, but I couldn’t. None of the pain I was feeling was his fault. He’d just shown up to a freaking audition, unknowingly ripping my heart from my chest with that amazing voice of his, and shattered it into a million little pieces.
I couldn’t hate him. Not when he was going to help the man I loved succeed in his goals.
Skynyrd drifted seamlessly into Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters” with Wroth’s talented fingers. Glancing at Zander, watching him keep beat with the bass, seeing how much he loved being a part of this music world, I lost the battle. One tear escaped from my eyes and was quickly followed by a hundred more. I stood, keeping my face averted from everyone as I went into the bedroom and shut the door quietly behind me.