Ignoring them, I found a hard pew in front and sat down. God, I was tired. Today had been a superlong, exhausting day, and I didn’t even feel like I’d done anything. Anna may be right about the chaos of our house. Maybe it was too much. A little peace sounded fabulous. And so did a nap. Surely no one would mind if I dozed off during this.
I closed my eyes, just to rest them, and heard people entering the church and finding places to sit. I recognized Anna’s perfume as she sat beside me. Kiera must have been with her, because I heard her saying, “It still shocks me that you have your kids baptized.”
Anna let out a throaty laugh. “It shouldn’t. You’ve met their father, they need all the help they can get.”
Cracking my eye open, I shot Anna a glare, but then I shrugged. She had a point. Onnika was with her again, and she was staring at me with an intense expression, like she was trying to communicate how utterly awesome it was to be my spawn. Either that or she was trying to poop. Kellan sat down beside Kiera. Oddly enough, he had the same look on his face. If he was trying to drop a load, I would suggest he wait until after the ceremony. If the crowd was going to smell anyone’s excrement, it should be my daughter’s.
Kiera reached over to grab his hand, and he gave her a brief smile. While I watched them, Matt sat behind me. Leaning over the pew, he murmured, “Hey, we’re all getting together to work on the album after this. It’s almost halfway done, and if we keep plugging away at it, we could finish it next month. Then we can start on promotion.”
That made me groan. I didn’t want to work on it today. I had a house full of people, a tired wife, a daughter who was probably plotting the demise of her sister, and a newborn who needed me. I was beat, and I didn’t have it in me to jam on songs that I’d had zero input on. Irritated, I snapped at the last comment he’d made. “Why do we have to do promotional shit? Isn’t that what we pay Denny half our money for?”
Matt snorted and made some comment that we didn’t pay him quite that much, but Denny happened to walk in front of me to sit on the other side of Kellan, so I blocked out Matt’s explanation of just what Denny did for us.
Denny had an odd look on his face that matched Kellan’s. Giving Kellan a sympathetic squeeze on the shoulder, he told him, “You should think about it some more. I know it’s a hard move, but I think it could benefit everyone in the long run.”
That got my attention. I’d already packed up all my crap and moved once because of Kellan. I wasn’t thrilled about doing it again, not without a really, really, really good reason. Leaning forward, I peered past Anna, Kiera, and Kellan to ask Denny a question. “Kellan’s moving?” I shifted my gaze to him. “Where are you going?”
The church had started quieting as everyone found seats. I vaguely noticed the pastor take center stage and start his introduction speech, but I tuned him out. If Kellan was disrupting our unit, I needed to know. Rehearsals would be a bitch if I had to fly somewhere else to do them. And knowing Kellan, he was probably taking his family and moving somewhere even more remote. One of the Dakotas, or something.
Kellan shook his head and shushed me. I didn’t want to be shushed, so I asked him again, “Where you going? What’s going on?”
Kellan sighed, which ticked me off even more. It was a You wouldn’t understand so I’m not going to bother explaining sigh. I got those a lot. “Later,” he whispered.
Someone nudged me in the ribs, and I looked over to see Liam sitting on the other side of me. He was grinning so wide I thought his cheeks were going to crack. “I know where he’s going.”
“Where?” I said, doubting Liam knew anything.
I heard Denny and Kellan both say something like, “Wait, we can explain,” but before they got it out, Liam calmly told me, “Kellan just got offered a solo gig. You’re no longer needed, bro.” His smug smile set me off. Or maybe it was how exhausted I was or how tired I was of getting passed over by the guys, by the fans, by fucking everyone. And now they were just going to cut me out? I don’t think so.
Just as I heard the pastor ask everyone to bow their heads in prayer, I snapped my attention back to Kellan and Denny. “What the fuck, Kellan!”
You Wish You Were as Awesome as Me
Anna somehow managed to calm me down enough that we finished the ceremony. I was steaming mad the entire time though. Who the fuck did Kellan think he was that he could just shuck us off whenever it suited him. We were the D-Bags, not the Kellan Kyle–Bags.
The second the service was over, I grabbed Kellan by the elbow and dragged him outside. This could get ugly, and the pastor was already giving me evil eyes for swearing in his church. A crowd followed us to the parking lot, but I didn’t care. I had nothing to hide here. Kellan was the one deceiving everyone by accepting one-sided deals that excluded the foundation he’d been built upon. He’d be nothing without us, and he knew it.
Dropping his arm, I poked him in the chest. I hoped he appreciated my self-control, since I really wanted to slug him in the face. “What the fuck is going on, Kellan? You ditchin’ us? Think you’re all high and mighty now, huh? Well, who the fuck do you think got you this far!” I poked him in the chest again for emphasis.
Kellan’s face clouded as he batted my hand away. “It’s not what you think, so calm down.”
“I’m perfectly fucking calm!” I shouted.
Denny and the guys had joined us by this time. Evan and Matt looked confused; Denny looked like he was a schoolteacher and we were all his unruly children. His dark eyes locked on mine. “If you stop screaming, I can explain to you just what the deal on the table was. A deal that Kellan rejected, by the way.”
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