Rock Revenge:Alex's StoryBy: Candy J. Starr
Alex walked back on stage.
Then he started playing again. You could tell he’d been a bit ruffled by the interruption. He sucked in his cheeks. He always did that when he was agitated. I knew. I’d devoted so much of myself to studying that man. There wasn’t a mannerism I couldn’t interpret.
He had a new band now. I’d known that, of course. Still, it made my heart contract to see him on stage with those strangers. It should’ve been Jake beside him playing guitar and Pete on bass. But it never would be again.
There were two guys on stage. Alex must be the only guitarist. The other two didn’t seem like they particularly liked him. His sound had changed. Darker, moodier. And far more controlled, like he had to prove something to the world.
I wanted to feel nothing for that man, prancing around the stage like a sleek panther, all muscle and sinew. The only emotion my heart needed was the black hatred I’d cultivated.
Maybe, one day, he’d be brought to justice and he’d pay for his crimes. I wasn’t even sure if that was possible now. The police said there’d been no evidence, not enough to charge him. If it’d been anyone else driving that car, they’d have been breath tested as soon as the accident had been discovered. Not Alex. And now, years later, it was impossible to prove he’d been drinking. If justice couldn’t be served through the legal system, there were other ways. I’d make sure of it.
He finished the song and said something to his band members, then swapped his guitar for an acoustic. The room became quieter as Alex got settled.
I stood up, my stacked heels making me tower over most people in the room, and pushed my way to front of the stage. People parted to let me through. One man tried to grab my arse but I turned to him, quelling him with a stare. I’d learnt the hard way how to take care of myself.
Alex didn’t miss a beat in his playing. His gaze seemed to merely scan the room without settling on me but I knew he’d seen me. Not just seen me, but recognised me, and he knew why I was there. That was a good thing. I hoped it might trigger some remorse in him but any regret now would be too little, too late.
I leant against the foldback speaker, hoping to put him off his game, just a little. To get a reaction out of him.
In the years since I’d last seen him, Alex hadn’t changed much. I didn’t know what I’d been hoping for. Maybe that he’d aged badly. That he’d put on weight or he’d started balding. That would’ve made it so much easier for me but nothing could’ve been further from the truth. He was a man at the peak of his good looks. I’d forgotten how much his eyes smouldered.
If anything, he looked better than ever. He had a wildness to him, something primal and strong. Every single female in the room would be going a bit moist in the panties watching him play, that was for sure. Their faces softened and their bodies heated. I hated his good looks. I hated the way that my body heated when I looked at him.
He sang the slow ballad with a sorrow that would rack a softer woman’s heart. His voice contained lies. He wasn’t a man who knew regret, that’s for sure. Maybe a little bit of a tantrum over not getting his own way but nothing deeper. I could’ve screamed out and told the room that. This man is a fraud. He manipulates people to achieve his own ends.
I dug my nails into my palms to stop myself. An outburst like that would achieve nothing. It’d just make me look like a loon.
After the song finished, the band started up again. Alex gestured to the sound desk. The music became louder. More than a few people in the room watched me and, it seemed, Alex wanted that attention for himself. Let him have it.
The bass pounded through the room, making the floor vibrate and sending shivers through me. Everything about him became charged with a power that made him hard to resist. I checked myself. I wasn’t here for a romantic interlude. Ice cold, that’s what I was. I couldn’t afford to let one lustful thought into my head.
What I’d felt for him had been a childish crush. Nothing more. Childhood was well behind me now. All of that had been stomped out by this man. I’d never forgive and I’d never forget what he’d done to my family.
Not once did Alex look at me, not in that song or the next. But he was more than aware of me, that I knew. His gaze would sweep the room and stop just short of where I was standing. Purposefully.
He might not want to acknowledge me but I’d make damn sure he did.
I waited for him at the side of stage. I’d nutted out the place and positioned myself so he’d not be able to avoid me. I waited and waited. He took longer to pack up his gear than you’d have thought humanly possible. That made me laugh. I’d put the wind up him. If he wasn’t worried, he’d have swept off stage, leaving someone else to pack up everything but his precious guitars. That’s the kind of guy he was. Instead, he was winding up cords and unplugging pedals.