Love Struck (Miss Match #2)

By: Laurelin McGee

An hour later, they were holding each other upright, and trying to walk it off as they slowly meandered back toward their brownstone.

“Okay, okay, I admit that he’s a little intimidating.” At least he’d kept Lacy from thinking about her own abandoned wedding dreams.

“I told you so! Shit, Lacy, higeonpol—pigeonholing people is what I do for a living. But no, don’t take my word for it. God, he loved you.”

“He hated me, what are you talking about?” Lacy bumped into a building, and ricocheted back to Andy’s side.

“Nah. He’s extra mean to the people he likes.”

She would have said there was no way that Andy could possibly know that, except that her sister had a certain gift for understanding people with very little interaction. “Do you think getting us drunk before noon was his plan all along? Keeping us pliable, so he’d get his way about everything?”

“Absolutely. How do you think he got me to hire him in the first place?” Andy giggled. “I was deeply impressed by his tactics. I’m going to borrow them at the office holiday party this year.”

“I have to admit, I dig his vision. It’s kind of bizarre, but you’ll certainly have a memorable big day. Wait, where are we?” They looked around for thirty seconds before realizing they’d been heading in the wrong direction for the past ten minutes.

“I’m gonna call Blake. He’ll send a car or something.” Andy fumbled around in her purse, her cell phone continually eluding her clumsy fingers.

“What? No. You can’t call Blake. He’ll blame me for getting you wasted before lunch.” Lacy liked her sister’s fiancé, but he was pretty straitlaced. Surely he’d be pissed.

“Are you kidding? He’s about to get laid so good. He’ll probably send you flowers and a thank-you card. Get my phone, will you?” She thrust her bag at Lacy and wandered into the café they found themselves beside. “We need lots of coffee, and very little judgment, please,” she told the waitress as Lacy dissolved into laughter.

Later, as she watched her sister stumble into the passenger side of her fiancé’s car, the fuzzy edges wore off. “Want me to drop you off at your place?” Blake sounded slightly irritated, but she guessed it was because he wasn’t tipsy along with them and not because he was actually mad.

“Nah,” Lacy said. “I’ll catch the train.” While the happy couple never shut her out on purpose, it was hard to not feel like a third wheel in their presence. And they deserved their time alone.

Lacy plugged her headphones into her iPhone and pushed play on the Blue Hills album she’d downloaded the night before. As the lead singer’s voice filled her ears, it was the banjo player who came to mind—his nimble fingers, his penetrating gaze, his soul-filled eyes. She headed toward the nearest Charlie stop, humming along to the music, feeling considerably less lonely than she had only minutes before.

Chapter Five

“Hey, man, I wanna change the chorus on ‘Godric’s Hollow.’” Jax bounced from foot to foot and stared over at Eli.

Eli stared back at his lead singer. “What do you mean,’ change the chorus’? We’ve been rehearsing it this way for two months. It’s a really good song.” This was so typical of Jax, just making a pronouncement like that in the middle of practice. Admittedly, it had been Jax’s out-of-the-box way of thinking that had made Eli want to play music with him in the first place. And it was his unique style that had bonded them as friends. But lately, out-of-the-box was more like out-of-the-galaxy.

And it seemed Eli was the only one who had the guts to challenge him.

The other guys groaned and dispersed, used to these all-too-common breaks where the two strong-heads would duke out some decision.

“I don’t know, man, I was up there last night and really feeling a connection with the crowd and all, and I suddenly got the idea.”

“We didn’t even do ‘Godric.’” They’d done a pre-tour gig the night before. A chance to test their chops before the real thing, but they’d performed only their older material. The tour would debut their new stuff, which was why these rehearsals were so important.

Also, he noted, his last sentence would have been a good line for someone to follow with That’s what she said. How was he the only one who ever heard the innuendo in time to land a joke like that? Okay, maybe he was twelve.

“Right, but I had an inspiration about it during the show. It came clear as a vision, ‘We should be singing the “Godric” chorus together.’” Jax smiled, nodding at his own wisdom.

Well, that suggestion wasn’t that bad. “Yeah, we could sing it together. Some harmonies there might punch it up a little. That’s actually a good idea.” Eli started humming, already planning how to best complement the existing structure.

“Oh, no, you don’t understand. Me and the audience, man. I want it to be us. So like, where right now the chorus is four lines, I just wanna change it to me singing ‘yeah,’ and then I hold out the mike and the crowd sings it back. It will make the fans crazy.”

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