What do you get when you mix one sultry summer night, one world famous rock band, and one booze-soaked party in the Hollywood Hills"
An evening that’s hot as sin.
On his last day in Los Angeles before leaving for his new job with a high-profile private security firm in New York, Bad Habit’s long-time bodyguard Barney just wants to relax. Too bad the members of the band have other ideas. The bad boys of rock ‘n’ roll might be settling down with wives and children, but that doesn’t mean they’ve forgotten how to party… hard.
And Barney’s going away celebration turns out to be the party everyone will talk about for years.
Sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll are all on the menu in this companion novella to the Bad Habit series, introducing characters from the spin-off Dangerous Beauty series from bestselling author J.T. Geissinger.Books in Series:Bad Habit Series by J.T. GeissingerBooks by Author:J.T. Geissinger Books
Last night, for the first time in fifteen years, I dreamt of my dead wife.
Sevan was a dragonfly in the dream, but I recognized her anyway. Iridescent blue and green, her wings shimmered in the dappled light as she darted toward me through the hydrangeas in the garden. I lifted my hand, and she alighted on the tip of my finger. There she perched, allowing me to admire the delicate veins in her transparent wings.
Change is coming. Remember who you are, Nasir. Remember what you promised.
"I will, my love," I murmured, then watched with a terrible longing as she blinked her eyes and flew away.
"Barney! Hello" Earth to Barney! Are you even listening""
An aggravated huff is accompanied by a pair of manicured fingers snapping in front of my face. I look down and see Kenji, all four-foot-nine of him, glaring at me in exasperation, his hands propped on his narrow hips.
"I was just wondering how much eyelash glue you go through in a month, sweetheart. I hope you get a bulk discount." I smile as I glance at his slender brown legs, clad in a pair of sequined red pumps, exactly like the ones Dorothy wore in The Wizard of Oz. "On the hair remover, too."
Kenji makes a retching noise and rolls his eyes. "Ugh. Kenji doesn"t use hair remover, you barbarian. All those chemicals are bad for the skin!"
"So you"re just naturally hairless""
"No, honey, we wax! It"s much more civilized."
I can"t help but chuckle at the way he sometimes refers to himself in third person and the royal plural, as if he"s a British monarch, but also at his logic, which is lacking. "Ripping out your hair by the roots is more civilized than dissolving it with chemicals""
He regards me with cool disdain. "I"m going to rip out something of yours by its root if you don"t snap out of your little fog and help me with this thing." He makes spokesmodel hands at the rolling garment rack stuffed with clothing that he"s standing next to.
We"re in the cavernous modern living room at Nico and Kat"s house. It"s four in the afternoon, the end of July, and blazing hot despite the air conditioning. My going-away party isn"t scheduled to start for another few hours, but the place is already crawling with caterers and staff setting up for the shindig.
If I had my way, it"d be just the band and their women"family, in other words"but the ladies got it into their heads that I needed to be seen off "in style." So now I"m trying to mentally fortify myself for a long night of socializing with a bunch of industry people and vague acquaintances I don"t give two fucks about.
But this shit is gonna make Kat, Chloe, and Grace happy, so I"ll plaster a smile on my face and mingle like the extrovert I"m not.
Even if it kills me.
With warmth, I tell Kenji, "Maybe you could pick out another outfit from this rack that doesn"t make you look like a demented chorus girl channeling the Vegas version of Uncle Sam."
He looks down at his outfit. The sparkly red pumps are only the start. He"s also wearing tight white shorts, a red velvet coat embroidered with small sequined flags, a blue spandex shirt with a plunging neckline that reveals his hairless chest down to his navel, and a white top hat emblazoned with the words, "Freedom, Bitches!"
He waves a hand in the air. "This was the runner-up outfit for the fourth of July barbeque at Brody"s. I thought, what the hell" It"s only a few weeks later. We can still be festive."
"Oh, you"re definitely festive," I say, chuckling. "I"ve seen less festive Christmas trees."
He bats his long fake eyelashes at me, flashing a million-dollar smile. "You"re just jealous you don"t have the pizazz to pull this off, Nasi."
Nasi. He"s the only one who calls me that. I"ve got old friends from the corps who knew me long before I earned the nickname Barney on account of a bad Halloween costume choice involving a purple dinosaur. Those friends call me Nasir, or Naz for short, but Kenji"s called me Nasi since a long ago trip to Bangkok with the band had us bonding over local rum one night, sharing the kind of stories you only share when you"re drunk and far away from home.
To his credit, Kenji never told another soul the things we spoke of.
And I never told anyone about the operation he subjected himself to on that trip that left him broke, butchered, and nearly dead.
When we got back to the States, I took him to a good plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills. Cleaned out every last dime of my savings, but that"s what you do for friends. He didn"t want the band to know, or anyone else, so I told him it was between us. That"s the way it"s stayed.