Authors: Hazel Jacobs
Copyright 2016 Hazel Jacobs
All Rights Reserved
This book is a work of fiction. Any references to real events, real people, and real places are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the Author’s imagination and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, organizations or places is entirely coincidental.
All rights are reserved. This book is intended for the purchaser of this e-book ONLY. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or by any information storage retrieval system, without the express written permission of the Author. All songs, song titles and lyrics contained in this book are the property of the respective songwriters and copyright holders.
Swish Design & Editing
Swish Design & Editing
Cover design by Jesh Designs
Cover Image Copyright 2016
I have to dedicate this book to three guys in my life that inspired my stories & characters emotional journeys.
You taught me the most amazing lessons in life about friendship and love. Your friendship even though a lifetime ago still has a big place in my heart. Thank you for that amazing time in my life by my side. I will always love you.
Although you completely broke my young heart once upon a time, I have to thank you for that experience, or I wouldn’t have been able to tap into that emotion while writing. You had a lasting effect on me and still kind of do.
You are and always will be my one true love. If I could clone you for all the women around the world, I so would. Thank you for an amazing ten years.
When Mikayla Strong graduated college, she expected to hit the ground running. Instead, she’s stuck getting coffee and spellchecking contracts for
Bass Note Productions
. She won’t give up her dream of working in events management, but no matter how many hours she spends scrolling through job ads during her lunch breaks there just don’t seem to be any jobs anymore.
A chance meeting with the drummer of
, a hot new band, getting ready for its first international tour, sends Mikayla careening out of her comfort zone and into a world of sex, drugs, and rock n roll. She goes from overqualified barista to overqualified PA overnight, and even though the band’s lead singer, Logan Todd, pushes all of her buttons, Mikayla thinks she might just be able to make this new job work for her.
isn’t as tight-knit as they seem in interviews. As Mikayla gets to know the four band members better, a web of lies and heartbreak begins to show itself. Between fans with knives, fights in hotel corridors, and the bands very strict ‘no dating PAs’ rule, Mikayla’s growing attraction to Logan Todd may be the least of her problems. At this rate, she’ll be lucky if she makes it to the end of the tour...
Firstly I want to thank Karl. You have been so incredible during this whole journey for me and so supportive. Thank you for ignoring the crayon on the walls, the piles of dishes and laundry & most of all believing in me. You are a super dad.
Mum, you have been my biggest cheerleader and supporter this whole time. Thank you so much for your motivational/breakdown talks at three am, being a super-nanny when mummy couldn’t function & investing in my dream. My dream would never have come true without you. I promise to put you into the flashiest nursing home when the time comes. ;)
I have to thank all my girlfriends and my sister, who were constantly hounded by me sending them my drafts for feedback. Courts, Claire, Mel & Era. Your feedback kept me going & I love you all for that. Thank you.
To my editor Kaylene & my author friend KE Osborn. You have helped me so much, and I will be forever grateful for your advice and help. I am so lucky to be working with you girls.
Jess, I have no words that can express how grateful I am to have had you help me with this book, but thank you so much for everything. Seriously!
I have to thank my favorite band Royal Blood for inspiring my boys. Your music brought Black Lilith to life.
Last but not least, my two little monkeys Jacob and Hazel. You bring mummy so much happiness. I did this to make you proud one day and to realize your dreams can come true. I love you both more than life itself.
Mikayla takes a long, hard look at herself in the cracked bathroom mirror. She looks fine. Perfect, in fact. Like a professional. Sure, she maybe could have gone with a funkier blazer or a spangled top, but she hadn’t expected such a relaxed attitude at this new office. She hadn’t expected her boss to show up in shorts or the interns to be wearing ear spikes.
“Oh,” Trixie, the intern in charge of training Mikayla said. She’d looked Mikayla up and down with a slightly patronizing look and smacking her gum so that Mikayla could smell her minty-fresh breath from three feet away. “You’re dressed to impress, aren’t ya?”
As if she’d be anything else. Mikayla had nodded meekly at the time. It was only later when she was standing next to the massive speakers, and staring out at the empty auditorium, that she’d thought of a good comeback.
Mikayla purses her lips and gives her reflection the same critical look that she’d seen on Trixie-the-intern’s face. Her simple pencil skirt is cinched above her hips to provide more depth to her curves, her blouse is ironed to a crisp, and her chocolate brown hair is styled in loose waves. Her freckles are covered with a thin layer of makeup. She’d thought that she had been pushing it with the gentle gold shadow on her eyelids, but she’d wanted to make her light blue eyes pop. Apparently, her idea of popping is very different to a concert production company’s idea. At
Bass Note Productions
, she might as well be a beige blob in a sea of screaming colors.
She remembers the way her father would look every morning as he tied his tie and slid his cufflinks into the little holes on his well-worn, faded dress shirt. “Dress for the job you want, honey,” he would say to her before kissing her cheek and heading to his job at the tire factory. She can’t remember much about her father, but she can remember the way he would stretch their savings so that he could afford a nice new work shirt every year.
Mikayla tells herself that it doesn’t matter what she looks like. This trial is temporary, and the pay is good, but she can already tell that she won’t be here long enough to be required to fit into the company’s culture in a meaningful way. When she gets home, she’ll start looking for new jobs, and hopefully she’ll be out of there by next week.
With that thought, she washes her hands and leaves the bathroom, bracing herself for the assault of drums and heavy bass that plays over the speakers while the sound technicians set up. The auditorium is actually a converted warehouse near Soho, all dingy-chic with huge windows along one wall and high ceilings, which make every noise echo and amplify. The stage is set up at the back of the room with a dais to raise the musicians above the crowd, and a heavy purple curtain separating the backstage area from the rest. The walls are covered in graffiti art and the signatures of the musicians who’d played there before.
“Hey, newbie!” Trixie’s voice calls out over the din, catching Mikayla off guard. Had she been waiting for Mikayla outside of the bathroom? She turns to find the other woman—or girl, really, because she can’t be older than nineteen and Mikayla graduated college a year ago—standing behind her with a scrawny hand perched on her hip, her bright blue hair gleaming in the harsh fluorescent light from above. “Did you bring the
contract? One of the members is coming in early to sign it.”
She doesn’t want to think about how her events management degree is being wasted on fetching coffee and making copies. It’s the economy, she tells herself. It’s not personal—and at least she has a job, which is more than some people can say.
“Of course,” Mikayla replies. “I brought three copies.”
“Why?” Trixie asks, snapping her gum again as her button nose scrunches up in confusion.
“One copy for us, one copy for the band, one spare,” she says.
Trixie takes some time to think about that. She makes thinking look hard. Then she shrugs. “Yeah, sure, why not?” she asks. “Just grab one for me, will ya?”
She leaves before Mikayla can respond, her ear spikes swinging on either side of her head. Mikayla runs her fingers through her hair for a moment, wondering how it would look if she dyed it. Probably ridiculous, she decides. She’s not adventurous enough for brightly-colored hair.
Her purse is backstage with the rest of the gear. She has to climb over a pile of coiled wires that one of the roadies left out, and then she almost breaks her neck side-stepping the drum set at the edge of the stage, but she makes it behind the curtain without any serious injury. She finds her sensible Sag Harbor bag in among the backpacks decorated with pins and pulls out the
contract in its clear envelope. She’s never heard of the band—they must be new.
of feedback cuts through the air.
Mikayla groans and presses her hands to her ears as the shrill note makes her eardrums vibrate. She hears a loud curse from behind her.
“Mother fucking…” A man’s voice runs off a list of impressive and complex swearwords.
“Couldn’t have said it better myself,” she mutters, straightening up and rubbing her ears.
Mikayla turns. Standing behind her is a massive, bear of a man with muscles bulging under a leather jacket and an inquisitive look in his dark eyes. He’s leaning against the wall and rubbing his own ears, his handsome face twisted into a grimace.
“Oh, nothing,” she says. “Just talking to myself.”
“We’ve all been there,” he replies. “Just don’t do anything yourself tells you to. She’s got it in for you… I can tell.”
Mikayla laughs softly and realizes that the music has stopped playing. The feedback must have cut it off. The man looks at her properly then through a fringe of oily blond hair, which would look gross on anyone else. He leans against the wall with the casual elegance of someone used to getting what they want, his biceps as big as her thighs, and one foot cocked up so that the sole of his heavy-looking work boot is resting on the plaster.
“You’re dressed to impress,” he says thoughtfully.
It takes every ounce of self-control she has not to roll her eyes. “I’ve never worked for a concert production company before,” she tells him. “I didn’t realize there was a dress code.”
“What do you do?” he asks.
Mikayla straightens up and brushes an imaginary speck of dust off of her skirt, trying to look nonchalant when she wants to look annoyed. “Mostly I just get coffee and make copies,” she says, waving the envelope with the
contract in the air. “This one’s supposed to go to the band whenever they show up.”
He raises an eyebrow at her. “Which band?”
,” she says, then quickly reads the contract to make sure that she got the name correct. “Yeah,
. Never heard of them, but rock music isn’t really my thing.”
Now both his eyebrows are raised. She wonders if she’s said something wrong, but then he grins at her.
“You’re definitely not a groupie,” he says.
At first, she doesn’t think she heard him right. Then she bristles. “Did you think I
?” she asks.
“Yeah… they usually lurk behind the stage, waiting to catch one of us. You didn’t look like you were with
, so I thought…” he pauses when he sees her expression.
Mikayla has never been very good at hiding her emotions, and she thinks right now her anger must be written all over her face.
Instead of looking guilty or even sheepish, he looks delighted. “Hey, relax, there’s no shame in being a groupie. Some of my best friends are groupies.”
“You don’t say?” she replies, her voice dripping with sarcasm which only makes him grin wider. Then something else he said makes its way through the muddled annoyance in her mind. “Wait… us? You’re with the band?”
“Oh, yeah,” the man says. He pushes himself up off the wall so that he’s towering over her—a good head taller than Mikayla even with her high heels. He holds out a hand the size of a dinner plate. “I’m Slate, drummer for
. I don’t mind that you haven’t heard of us.”
She feels a blush creeping up her cheeks as she shakes his hand, surprised to find that his grip is gentle and doesn’t overwhelm her slim fingers. She thinks Slate is a stupid name, but it’s probably a stage name.
“Mikayla… bachelors in events management… currently working as a glorified secretary.”
“There’s no shame in being a secretary. Some of my best friends are secretaries.”
“You’ve got a lot of friends?”
“Depends on how you define
,” he says.
The music has started up again, but it’s at a much more bearable level, and the tune is milder. Mikayla thinks it’s some pop song from the top one hundred, but she couldn’t name the singer. She really doesn’t belong in the music industry. People bustle past them, and now that she knows who Slate is, she notices the way people avert their eyes self-consciously as they pass. Some of the younger women give Slate hopeful looks.
Slate lets go of her hand and takes the contract from her, still smiling as he glances at the front page. “This looks different.”
Mikayla nodded. “There were some problems with your other one… some legal jargon that got confused. I re-wrote it.”
He looks at her again, this time with some interest. “I thought you were in events management?” he asks.
“You’d be surprised how often contracts and legal stuff comes up in events management,” she replies. “I took a few extra classes to give myself a leg-up.”
He leans back against the wall and gestures for her to join him. “Step into my office,” he says with a wry grin that had probably broken a hundred hearts. Mikayla rolls her eyes, but she decides to humor him. Leaning her back against the wall and kicking up her heel to imitate his stance, she thinks they must look ridiculous, especially her in her business attire. But Slate seems comfortable as he pulls the contract out of its folder and leafs through it.
“Looks more organized,” he mumbles. Then he glances at her. “We have you to thank for that?”
She shrugs. Not feeling like she needs to give him an answer, she’s always preferred to let her work speak for itself. He leafs through a few more pages and then pulls a Sharpie out of his back pocket, signing the front with a flourish and handing it back to her.
“Thanks,” she says. “I’ll get this to Trixie.”
But Slate gives her a look that tells her he wants her to stay a little while longer. Ordinarily, she would have refused, she’s a professional, after all. But then she remembers that all she has to get back to is more coffee runs, and maybe tracking down a prop for one of the stage managers. They could do without her for a little while longer. She leans back more heavily on the wall, and Slate nods his approval.
“So what makes an events manager want to get coffee for a bunch of tone-deaf hipsters?” he asks while leaning over a little so that his chin is just above Mikayla’s eye level.
“The economy,” she answers honestly. “In fact, when I get home tonight I’m going to start looking for other work.”
Slate purses his lips thoughtfully. “Have you ever thought about being a personal assistant?”
“Have you ever thought about being a rodeo clown?”
He throws his head back and laughs. It’s a nice laugh. The kind of laugh that starts in his belly and works its way up to his chest and cheeks. Mikayla finds herself smiling back before she even realizes that she’s doing it.
“Would you believe me if I said I had?”
“Nope,” she replies without hesitation. “You’re too pretty to run with bulls.”
“Ah, too true, too true,” he says, nodding sagely. “But seriously… personal assistant?
a glorified secretary. At least ours were never glorified secretaries.”
Mikayla cocks her head at him, finally catching up to the conversation. “Are you offering me a job?”
“We need someone to keep our schedule when we go on tour,” Slate replies. This close she can see the stubble artfully cut so that there’s a hint of shadow beneath his cheekbones. “We’re all hopeless at that.”