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Assure Her (Assured Distraction Book 1)
 

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Assure Her (Assured Distraction Book 1)


  Assure Her

  Assured Distraction, Book One

  Thia Finn

  Copyright Notice

  Assure Her

  ©2015 by Thia Finn

  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This book contains material protected under the International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the author/publisher.

  FILE SHARING:

  Please note that this book is protected under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). It has been made available for your personal use and enjoyment. No permission has been granted to upload this book onto ANY file-sharing websites. Doing so is a violation of federal laws and measures have been taken within this file to track the originator of such shared files, should it be found on piracy sites. Thank you for respecting the hard work of the author to produce this content.

  Editor: Kristen Grammar Lands

  Cover Designer: Deranged Doctor Designs

  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

  Disclaimer: The material in this book contains graphic language and sexual content and is intended for mature audiences, ages 18 and older.

  Table of Contents

  Title Page

  Copyright Notice

  Table of Contents

  Dedication

  Prologue

  Chapter One

  Chapter Two

  Chapter Three

  Chapter Four

  Chapter Five

  Chapter Six

  Chapter Seven

  Chapter Eight

  Chapter Nine

  Chapter Ten

  Chapter Eleven

  Chapter Twelve

  Chapter Thirteen

  Chapter Fourteen

  Chapter Fifteen

  Chapter Sixteen

  Chapter Seventeen

  Epilogue

  Excerpt from His Distraction

  Party with the Band

  Playlist

  Acknowledgments

  About the Author

  This book is dedicated to my dad,

  Joseph L. Seal

  He said I could, and I did.

  Prologue

  “Now what am I going to do?”

  “Well, we’ll cancel our long ass tour. I wasn’t looking forward to living in a fucking van with those three guys for the next three months anyway. We can just continue to play our local haunts and make enough money to live. I can get another job, too. I will take care of what’s mine.” Brax held Laina close to his body to feel the connection only she could provide.

  “But this is not how I wanted my life to start off, Brax. You are going on the road to make a name for the band, and you will get signed by a label. I’m going to college. What will we do with a baby? My parents are going to be furious. Everything’s already arranged for me to leave in two weeks.” Laina knew her parents too well with all of the shit storms she had lived through in her life.

  “We’ll deal with it. It’s our baby, not theirs.”

  “If there even is a baby. We don’t know for sure yet. I’m only a few weeks late and with the stress of finals and graduation and scholarship apps being due, maybe I just skipped it.” Tears welled in her eyes as she thought about all that had been happening.

  “OK, calm down. We will get a test, take it, and go from there. We’re in this together Lainey. I think it would be a good idea if we didn’t spread the joy just yet though, ‘til we know for sure.” He wrapped his arms around her tighter.

  “Yeah, you’re right. I’ll get the test and take it when I get home and call you.”

  “No, I want to be there. If you are, I want to know when you know. Together, like always.” They had formed a tight bond of love since their freshman year. Her parents were not too happy about it. He was the typical bad boy, they’d say. Laina would defend him to her parents, explain that he was sweet and cared about her, but all they could see was his long hair, and that he played in a band and drove a motorcycle everywhere. Her parents always brought up those points when they argued about her curfew or being gone with Brax so much. Her mom and dad still held out hope that she would outgrow her ‘bad boy’ phase when he left town and she went to college. Laina and Brax knew though, they were in love and wanted nothing more than to live the life they spent quiet nights dreaming of and planning together.

  “I’ll call you first thing. If you come home with me my mom will know something’s up, and we don’t want her to even suspect there is something going on until we know.”

  She really didn’t want Brax to be there when she took that test. She already had it in her head that she was not having a baby, with or without him. She was determined to go to college. Austin and the University of Texas called her name every time she looked up at the Horn’s poster on her wall. Living her entire life in their small town just miles from Austin’s city limits was not her ideal place to spend the rest of her life. And it certainly was not her ideal location for raising a kid. She mentally put her foot down, again. “That is NEVER going to happen,” she silently swore to herself. “I have plans; Brax has plans, and neither includes a kid.”

  Buying a pregnancy test couldn’t happen in a small town without the news traveling faster than a wildfire through the Hill Country during a drought. The news that she was pregnant, even if she wasn’t, would be unstoppable. So, on her way to Brax’s show in Austin with his band, Steel, they stopped in Bastrop and picked up one. She always took her own car because she wanted to get home at a decent time. She needed to hit to books early. Studying for finals was important if she wanted to keep her top-ten class ranking. The guys usually liked to stay to hear all of the bands, and she knew for a fact the guys wouldn’t be getting home before three or four in the morning, which meant she wouldn’t hit the books before noon, especially if drinking was involved. Of course, with the pregnancy test hanging over my head, there would be no drinking for me. But, her playing it responsible wouldn’t stop the rest of them from overindulging in all they could get by with.

  “I don’t want you driving home and taking that test on your own, Laina.” He hated her driving home after any show but with this test hanging over her head it made him even more reluctant to give in to her idea.

  “I’ve driven home a million times by myself, Brax. It’ll be ok.”

  “You promise to call me first thing in the morning with the test results?”

  “Brax, you know I will. If we’re having a baby, I want you to know immediately so we can make some decisions.” He searched her face with some trepidation then pulled her into his lap and softly kissed her until some of the tension eased from her shoulders.

  “OK, I’ll be waiting.”

  Hours later, when she finally arrived back home, she was exhausted. She had gotten up early to go to Steel’s rehearsals because she always liked to hear them run through the songs for their Saturday night shows, and it gave her more time with Brax. At their shows, she usually watched the audience’s reaction to the band or sold t-shirts and other promotional merchandise during the show, so she never really got to pay much attention to the music. When she finally crawled into bed that night, so ready for sleep, taking that pee test was the last thing on her mind.

  Bailing out of bed first thing Sunday morning wasn’
t even an option. Something was wrong - Laina knew it as soon as she woke up and rolled over. She barely made it to the bathroom before she was clearing out the entire contents of her lurching stomach. She was eventually able to sit down on the floor and lean against the tub, and she

  knew. Without taking that test, she knew what the results were going to say. Tears slid down her face, just a few at first but the longer she sat there on that floor, knees bent and her arms wrapped around them, the harder the sobs came.

  There was a knock at the door a few minutes later. Her mom heard her sucking in breaths through her tears and peeked in wanting to know what was wrong. Laina couldn’t understand how, but just seeing her daughter there, sobbing on the bathroom floor, she figured out what was going on.

  “Oh, Laina, honey. How could you let this happen? You know what? Never mind. It will all be ok. We will get through this. Your dad and I love you. It’s going to be alright, you’ll see.” While offering words of reassurance and comfort, her mom knew what her husband would say, and Laina wasn’t looking forward to it.

  “We bought a test yesterday but I forgot to take it last night. I guess it’s kind of unimportant now.”

  “So, I take it you’ve already told Brax it’s possible?” She knew her mom was hoping she would say, ‘no,’ but they both knew that ship had sailed. Why wouldn’t her mom want Brax to know she was pregnant? It was their baby, after all.

  “No, you should still take it. If by some chance you just have a virus, we’ll know for sure then.” The concern on her mom’s face said it all. Laina knew her mom was trying hard to keep it light but she knew her too well. She was as worried about her dad’s reaction as Laina was. These kinds of things didn’t happen to ‘nice girls’, girls going to college to make something of themselves. Nice girls didn’t chase rock bands or the boys who were in them. She had heard that speech so many times.

  “I don’t know how three minutes of my life could last any longer with news I do not want to get,” Laina thought.

  Two pink lines: staring back at her, just like she knew they would be. Her mind was blank.

  All she could think, over and over, was, “Now what?”

  Now what?

  Little did they know it would be twenty-two years before fate would answer.

  Chapter One

  “I still can’t fucking believe we have to replace Jacoby with only two weeks before we’re supposed to leave on the first real tour we finally land. How in the hell are we going to find someone with only a few days left that can play our shit the way he does AND leave next week for the next two months?” Carter, the bass player for Assured Distraction, complained to anyone in the room who would listen. The whole band was royally pissed but nothing could be done. “I can’t believe he let Janae give him Hepatitis A! How could she be so careless? Do you think she wanted to get him sick just because she is?”

  “I don’t know the fucking answer to that, man. She should have known it was a possibility when she went off to work in South America. I’m sure Doctors without Borders would have warned her since they made her take all of those damn shots before she left. He probably should have taken them, too.” KeeMac’s response let everyone know he was equally pissed at the diseased couple for throwing a wrench in the band’s plans. “If they hadn’t stayed in bed after she got home, fucking seven ways to Sunday to make up for lost time all in the first week, maybe this could have been avoided.”

  “I damn sure can understand making up for lost time but now look how they’ve fucked things up for the entire band.” Carter threw the cup he was drinking across the room where it shattered into pieces against the recently repainted wall. It seemed that wall caught all the hell dished out in this rehearsal studio.

  “We can’t do anything about it now. The shit’s done. The ballbusters from the label are sending over several qualified keyboardists for us to audition. We’ll find someone,” KeeMac huffed out on a frustrated snarl. He was the lead vocals and lead guitar for the group. Being front man wasn’t something he’d planned but he’d had experience in the spotlight with a couple bands Assured Distraction had opened for while playing gigs in the Austin area for the last few years. He fell into the role naturally, and the audience responded well to him, especially the females. The women made it clear he had their undivided attention by screaming his name relentlessly at every show. When he would rip open the snaps on his shirt, revealing his Adonis-like physique, it drove the women insane every time. His six-pack abs and that well-hewn V that made its way down into his low-slung, skintight jeans, had the ladies shouting things a porn star would be proud of. His flawless, naturally-tanned skin and sculptured body made the women crazy, alright, and he loved every fucking minute of it. The women were always available to him after the show and he took advantage every chance he found. He’d never been one to want more than fuck and truck, so living on the road, meeting a new bunch of primed was going to be prime.

  “To hell with that! Who wants a ‘qualified’ keyboard player? Jacoby is an artist, man, not just a ‘qualified musician’,” Gunner added, using his middle fingers extended by his drum sticks on both hands to emphasize his sentiment.

  Gunner and Jacoby had played together in a couple different garage bands while in high school. The two joined up with AD when it formed in Carter’s garage during their senior year. Gunner, the drummer, was a loose cannon most of the time but the others had learned to deal with him easily enough.

  Ryan, rhythm guitarist, spoke up. “Well, I’m here for the day and then my girl is waiting to spend the rest of the night doing what we do best.” His eyebrows wiggled giving him a devilish look and the guys all understood what he was implying. Whenever they needed Ryan, they knew where to find him. He couldn’t get enough of Krissy, ever. They had been together for the last six-months, and most of that time was spent fucking like rabbits anywhere and everywhere they could find five extra minutes.

  The rest of the guys all wondered how the pair was going handle being apart for the next two months. They all joked about how all of Ryan’s money from the tour would probably be spent on flying her to every stop on the tour where he could find time for a hotel room. The others didn’t want them together on the bus for more than a night at a time, the single-and-ready-to-fingle guys refusing to give up their turn to have the one bedroom on the bus to themselves for time the groupies.

  KeeMac gave Ryan a smart-ass look, and said, “Dude, we all know how you feel but the rest of us are looking forward to spending time with the girls out there who love us, one night at a time remember? Our short tours in a van won’t even come close to the amount of women we’ll get to have on the road. You know I like a one and done kind of relationship. Nothing’s going to get in the way of our music and sure not a woman.”

  “I, for one, hope you two get that worked out in the hotels because I sure as hell don’t want her on the bus. That girl is the loudest screamer I’ve ever heard.” KeeMac made a loud scream, mimicking Krissy’s noises. “She sounds like a cat in heat with its tail caught in the gate.” The other members laughed and added their own renditions: “Owwwwh, Ryan!” “Right there, Ryeeeee!” “Do that again, baaaaaabe!”

  “Shut the fuck up. You bunch of assholes know y’all are damn jealous. You can only wish you were gettin’ it that good every time.” Ryan added to halt their shrieks and moans, which only spurred them on further. He took their ribbing good-naturedly though, like he always did.

  When the sounds of mock passion died down, Carter picked back up with the conversation. “Just when we get the fucking break we’ve been looking for, Jacoby pulls this shit. How many damn times have we talked about being able to tour with a group like Frission?”

  “Yeah, it’s our turn to be on a sold-out North American tour with a band like them, even if it’s only for the first two-month leg. Dude, those pricks know we can get the crowd worked up like a bunch of college girls at a frat party. If we can keep our shit together and pull that off at each stop for the whole f
ucking first half, we know they’ll damn sure keep us on for the second leg.” Gunner threw a drumstick high and caught it without looking. “We need a keyboard player. Right. Fucking. Now.”

  Chapter Two

  “Surely, after four years at Juilliard, getting a job in music would be fairly easy.” Chandler Chatam was talking to herself as she moved boxes into the little house she’d found on Austin’s east side. “I mean, I know I have the skills. What if I can’t even get an audition?” A couple hours later, she was finally unpacked and she poured herself a well-earned glass of wine. I’m finally back home. As she sat in her small living room, she thought back to how she got to this point in her life.

  As the only daughter of a Texas State Representative, she had been groomed, educated, coached, primped, and primed for a life amongst the elite baby-kissers and hand-shakers of the country. She knew how to move with the country’s rich, old money and some new, and how to be elegant decadent and comfortable in Washington and New York by her teen years.

  She had a love-hate relationship with the way she grew up, like never getting to be a kid: playful, fun, silly and full of life. Clothes and hair had to be perfect, behavior and manners always minded, and accomplishments measured by awards and mentions in the press. She knew that that life, if she stayed, would eat her alive.

  The past four years at Juilliard she was rarely with her family and had very little time to develop friendships with the other students. Her only escape from the constant loneliness was the piano, her first love and where she always felt at home. During her time at music school, she learned to play the guitar, the violin and a few other instruments well enough, but she always found her way back to the keys that brought her the most comfort.

  She started playing piano as soon as she had discovered how to climb on the bench, open the fallboard and put her chubby little fingers on the keys. The sounds they created delighted her to no end. Much to her parents’ excitement, she began teaching herself songs after hearing them only a couple of times. But the silly children’s songs only held her interest briefly, and she soon began playing jingles she heard on T.V. from ear, and later started copying some of the classical music her parents often played in their home. That’s when her parents knew she possessed more than just a passing talent. She truly had a musical gift that needed to be fostered. She started on the fast track for Juilliard, with private tutors from UT’s Butler School of Music and lessons from members of the Austin Symphony Orchestra, weekends spent at Juilliard for children, and finally there were auditions and a subsequent acceptance into their college program at the age of seventeen, as a high school junior since she had received more than enough credits to graduate early.

 
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