Title: Uneasy Hearts Weigh The Most
Summary: Things aren't always in black and white. Adam Carson is a music journalist in New York City. He has a thirst for good music and loves women. Or at least he thinks he does. Things change when he meets the stunning event planner, Jade Puget.
Music has always been the one thing that keeps me going, my passion, heart and soul. I eat, breathe and sleep it. There is no world without music. I don’t see how the world could get by without it. At UCLA, I majored in journalism and played in a band. But, being in a band wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life. I didn’t have the passion for it so I didn’t purse that. If I don’t have passion for something there’s no point in wasting my time doing it. I knew I wanted to have a career in music journalism. Writing album reviews, concert previews and interviewing bands and musicians sounded like the ideal career.
I started out writing album reviews for a small website. It was cool to be holed up in my room listening to an album for hours trying to piece together words to write about it. Sometimes, the words flowed out and the article was easy. Other times, it took me days to produce an article that was up to my standards. It was hardest to write about the albums that I wasn’t crazy about. I wrote album reviews for about a year and then started searching for other jobs in the field. All the while, I stayed in California, but I was tired of album reviews and California. I needed to hit a new music scene and broaden my horizons.
There was an opening in New York City for a music journalist at Shockwave Magazine. Shockwave Magazine was one of the magazines I swore by in college. I read every article I could and it’s what gave me the idea of being a music journalist. For them to have a job opening was unreal. My boss at the website promised to give me a glowing recommendation because he said I was too talented to stay there the rest of my life. Not long after that, I was on a plane to New York City for my interview. Marilyn Ross is the editor of Shockwave and a shark when it comes to her field. I was so nervous for my interview, but when she saw how passionate I was, she told me I had the job.
Another plus that goes along with my job is that it’s a great way to meet women. Hot women frequent concerts and music events. I just had to flash a smile and let them see my press pass and it was a guaranteed way to get laid. The women I chose to sleep with weren’t ideal girlfriend material. I didn’t see them in a girlfriend way, only cared if they were good enough to get my rocks off. There was no falling in love or bullshit like that. I wanted to remain free to write my articles and have sex whenever I wanted it.
I was twenty five when I first got the job. Five years later, I’m thirty and still loving my job just as much as I did the first day I stepped into my office. New York City was everything I’d hoped it would be. It was a welcome change from California and I wasn’t holed up in a room listening to albums anymore. I was thrown out into the field, covering concerts and interviewing the musicians. The satisfaction from seeing my name in print along with my article in Shockwave was enough the keep me there. Along the way, I met Davey, my best friend.
It was a concert and Davey and I were both in the front dancing and jumping to the music. I didn’t know him, but his energy was infectious. It was hard to remember I was there doing a job and not having fun at a concert. After the show, Davey drug me to the bar and we started talking. I learned he was a fashion photographer, but has a great love for music which we bonded over. He broke me out of my shell and showed me what New York City was. It was the city where everyone had a dream. I didn’t want to be alone in the big city. The thing I craved most was to belong. But, it still felt as if something were missing.
I walk into the tall sleek, silver building on Eighth Avenue with blue-tinted windows that is Shockwave Magazine. It’s Monday morning at work and I pull open the glass door. I’m met with the scent of fresh coffee. Several people are running around the office to their various places trying to get started for today. The reception desk is occupied by a pretty brunette with brown eyes typing away at her computer. She was just hired a week ago, Alyson is her name.
“Good morning, Adam. Hunter asked me to tell you to meet him in his office before you do anything else,” says Alyson.
“Morning, Alyson. Thank you, I’ll get right up there,” I say, smiling at her.
“You have a good day, Adam,” she says, blushing slightly.
I smile at her once more and walk to the elevator.
I press the button for the fourth floor and step in. I sip my coffee and wait. The doors slide open and I step out and take the familiar route to Hunter’s office. I walk down the hallway and find room 103B. “Hunter Burgan, Assistant Editor,” reads the plaque on his door. I open the door and go in.
I’m greeted with the sight of Hunter sitting at his desk, with his feet propped up. I take the seat across from him.
“Don’t you just look thrilled today?”
“You know I’m not much of a morning person until I’ve had my caffeine. Why did you call me up here?” I ask, not really in the mood for his sarcasm.
“Alyson has had a crush on you since she started working here. So, I told her to give you the message I needed to see you,” Hunter says, chuckling.
“Yeah, I know. She’s pretty, but just not my type. So, what’s up?” I relax back into my chair.
“Adam, do I have to have a reason? Maybe I just wanted to talk to my friend,” he says, rolling his eyes.
I laugh and shake my head. Usually with Hunter, there is a reason. I met him when I first got a job as a columnist here. He showed me the ropes and helped me improve my writing. He also turned about to be a fun person to hang out with and we just clicked as friends.
“Sure you did. What kind of crazy scheme have you come up with now?”
“There is no crazy scheme. I just wanted to talk about my weekend. I went to that show I was telling you about and met this really hot chick. Her name was Joanna and she’s got this shiny black hair and great body. She started flirting with me and needless to say, I didn’t go home to my hand that night,” he says, with a glint in his eye, apparently remembering the great sex he had.
“Why am I not surprised? You always meet a girl at one of those shows you go to,” I say, not really too interested in his latest escapade.
“I know I do. I just have that personality that women love. They can’t keep their hands off me,” he says, grinning.
I snort. “Keep telling yourself that Hunter. You have casual sex all the time. It’s not you that women love, but rather what’s between your legs.”
“There’s nothing wrong with that. It just means they’re attached to my dick and not me. But, I did have hot sex all over my apartment with her. Anyway, look at you. Women always fall all over you,” he says, looking at me skeptically.
“Of course they do, I’m Adam Carson and that means something.”
“Yeah, I know. So, how was your weekend?”
“It certainly wasn’t as exciting as yours. I laid around the house and watched the Yankees game,” I say, laughing at the comparison of my lame weekend to his.
“I know you have game. You just like being lazy sometimes. I guess you better go to your office, before we waste the whole day away, talking,” he says, shuffling some papers around on his desk.
I get up and stretch. “Yeah, I’ll talk to you later.”
I stare at my computer screen as I try to come up with the right words to describe this band. My goal is to finish this piece today so I can leave early. I finally just search their music on the internet and listen to a few songs to give me some needed inspiration. After that, the words just flow. I save the document and lean my head back in the chair. I close my eyes and rest for a second.
I think about Hunter and laugh at his quirkiness. My stomach growls and I know it’s time for lunch. Normally, I would call Hunter and we would go out. But, today I need something different. I look at the picture of Davey and me on my desk. I haven’t spoken to him in a while because we’ve both been so busy with work. How much I really miss him, suddenly hits me.
I pick up the office phone and dial his cell.
“Davey Havok,” comes his voice across the line.
“Hey beautiful,” I say.
“Adam Carson. Where the hell have you been? I miss you,” he says, his tone changing from business like to casual.
“I miss you too. Are you too busy to have lunch with me today?” I ask.
“For you, I’m never too busy. We were just finishing up actually. Why don’t you swing by here and we’ll go out somewhere?” he suggests.
“Sounds like a plan. See you soon.”
I hang up the phone and get ready to leave. I turn the light off and walk out of the building. Davey is shooting at the fashion magazine that’s not far from my office. I put my aviator shades on and proceed to walk down the street. I stride down the street and smile at every attractive woman I see. Another thing Davey taught me was confidence. Confidence is vital if you want to get anywhere in life. I was on the shy side when I first came here, but Davey broke me out of that.
I go into the building up the street and direct myself to the photography studio. Models and fussy assistants litter the room. There is also a rolling rack with clothes. I search the room for the striking figure of Davey. I see the back of his head and smile as I see him fixing his camera.
I walk up behind him and bend down to whisper in his ear, “You’re looking sexy.”
Davey turns around and smiles, putting his arms around my neck.
“Addy, if I didn’t know you were straight, I’d think you were gay, the way you talk to me, “he says, laughing.
“What can I say? You could probably turn a straight guy gay,” I say, flashing him a smile.
“Awe, you’re too adorable, Adam,” he says, leaning in and kissing my cheek.
People have turned their attention to us due to Davey’s display of affection. If I had been the Adam of five years ago, this would have bothered me. I haven’t been that Adam for a long time, therefore I stand my ground. Even in a room full of perfect people, you have to be sure of yourself or be eaten alive.
“Carry on with your business. I must steal Mr. Havok away for lunch,” I say, addressing the group of on lookers.
Chatter breaks out and I notice a tall, gorgeous blonde walking towards us, long sleek blonde hair, cherry pie red lips, a tight short black leather dress, stilettos, and a killer body. The way her hips move have me questioning why I’m single. She reaches us and throws her arms around Davey.
He hugs her back, “Brook, you were incredible out there. Everyone around here walks around like they’ve got a stick up their ass. I do enjoy you working with you very much.”
Davey’s smiling at her and I’d be jealous if I didn’t know what team he played for and come on it’s Davey. Everyone’s charmed by him.
“Is this your boyfriend, Davey?” questions the blonde.
Boyfriend? I laugh at the ridiculousness of that thought. I can’t help checking her out as Davey talks to her.
“No, this is my very straight best friend, Adam. Adam, this is Brook. She’s one of the models I shot today,” Davey says, knowing what’s going through my head.
“Adam Carson,” I say, smiling and offering her my hand.
She shakes my hand and smiles.
“Brook Alexander. Pleasure to meet you, Adam. I just adore Davey.”
“Don’t we all? Everyone wants a piece of him,” I say, looking at Davey.
“Not as much as they want that hot ass of yours,” Davey says, winking at me.
“I agree with Davey. You’re quite blessed in that area,” she says, looking around at my ass.
I raise an eye brow. “Oh you do? I regret to tell you that this ass is reserved, for Davey, this lunch.”
“Well duh. He’s mine, obviously,” jokes Davey.
I laugh and shake my head. That is so Davey.
“We must be on our way. Nice meeting you, Brook,” I lean over and kiss her cheek.
“I’ll see you at the next shoot, Brook,” says Davey, waving bye to her.
“See you guys.” She smiles and struts back to the group of models.
I watch her for a minute before turning back to Davey.
“I know what you’re thinking.”
“Of course you do,” I say, trying to rid myself of thoughts of the blonde.
“You’re so predictable, you straight men are,” Davey says, shaking his head.
“Like you gay ones aren’t?” I say, throwing a glance at him.
“Addy, I always win,” Davey says in his harsh business tone. He’s smiling regardless though.
We walk in silence until we get to the local diner we frequent. It has a very relaxed atmosphere and you’re less likely to run into a big name. Davey leads me to a booth by the window. I sit across from him being glad of the opportunity to gaze out of the window.
“So what have you been shooting today?” I ask.
“Oh, you know, some bullshit urban fashion thing this magazine wanted. My vision made things look better, of course. The way I set things up and captured what I wanted, set it off. What about you, Addy?”
I was about to answer when the waitress came up. I order a coffee and Davey orders a water.
“I just worked on an article today. Not too much going on. I’ll be glad for the next time I get to escape the office.”
“You seem kind of restless lately,” Davey says, laying his hand on top of mine.
“I mean, I love what I do, it’s just difficult to find the right words to write sometimes. There are days when I’m on top of my game and days when I can’t find the motivation to write. I just need a break from staring at my computer screen,” I tell him honestly.
“That’s understandable. It’s the same for me. Today, I had the right thing going on and everything came together, but it’s not always like that. We all need to get away at some point. Maybe we can get away together and I’ll relieve some of that stress for you, baby,” Davey says, winking.
I laugh and smile. He always knows just what to say.
Davey and I pay for our lunches and make our way back out onto the busy streets.
“Are you going back to work?” Davey asks.
“No, I’m finished for today."
“You want to come to my place later and hang out, maybe have a drink?”
I think about it and realize I need Davey’s company. I don’t need to hole myself up all the time.
“Yeah, that sounds great. What time you want me?”
“Anytime is good for me. You could come tonight and have dinner with me. I’ll think of something to whip up,” he says, smiling.
“You sure know how to treat a guy, Davey. I’ll definitely come by later.”
“See you then,” he says, hugging me and walking the other way.
I watch him disappear down the street and finally I start walking. I go to the parking garage my trucks in and get ready to leave. I see my white Chevy Silverado and unlock it. I get in and turn on the radio. I sit there for a minute and just let the day sink in. I only worked half a day, but that didn’t bother me. What bothers me is when I feel bored. I don’t know, it’s like my life has been leading up to this point of me having a career I love. Now that I have it, I can’t help but wonder, what’s next? Where do I go from here?
Right now, I need to go home and relax before I go to Davey’s. I can ponder my life anytime. But, I have to go. I can’t sit here all day. There are just too many thoughts to focus on one. I start up the engine and pull out. I drive out of the parking area and into the traffic.
I’m going about 30 miles per hour, when I notice a blonde walking down the street. Long legs in skinny jeans elevated by stilettos, adorned in a black v neck t shirt, with oversized shades and her hair in waves. I turn my head to look at her and slam on my brakes, before I kill myself trying to watch her.
I hit the button and roll down my window and call out to her.
“What’s a pretty girl like you doing on this street?”
I watch as she turns around with a look of amusement on her face.
“Oh my God, Adam. I thought you were some random guy that I was about to have to tell to fuck off,” she says smiling and walking up to my truck.
“Nah, it’s just Adam, the stranger you just met an hour or two ago.”
She smiles and laughs.
“Guess you aren’t much better than a random guy. Except for the fact that you look a tiny bit better than some forty year old would,” she says looking at me with her light blue eyes.
“Oh yeah, definitely. So what are you doing out here?”
“Well the shoot’s over for today. I was going to go grab something to eat and then head back to my apartment,” she says, putting her hand on her hip.
She still has on bright red lipstick and her long hair is blowing slightly in the wind. I can’t help but feel enamored by her.
“Let me give you a ride. I can eat with you if you want,” I suggest, in a casual manner.
“Didn’t you just eat lunch with Davey?” She raises an eye brow as if she can’t believe I would offer to drive her. I didn’t think I was being too forward.
“Yeah, but the company wouldn’t hurt either of us.
Davey’s so much of a chatter box, I could barely eat,” I say, trying to ease the mood. It’s not like I’m a serial killer of psychopath. Well, I did kind of stop in the middle of the street just to talk to her.
“I guess that would be okay, it’s just—“
“Hey baby. Who’s this?”
What the fuck? I look to the right and see and see a guy with long hair and skin tight pants. PC Brinkley is the lead singer for a shitty local band that I’ve saw play a few times at venues over the years. He’s young and arrogant.
He saunters over to us and places an arm around her waist. I try not to let myself be too affected by this obvious display of ownership.
She looks torn between yelling and crying.
“PC, we’re not together anymore. Get the fuck off me,” she says after a second of hesitation.
“Babe, you know that’s complete bullshit. You need to get over being pissed off at me. I’ve got a show tonight. Go home, put on a tight little mini skirt and come shake your ass while I’m up there singing,” he says, confidently.
She flinches and pushes him away.
“Why would I do that? You’re going to get wasted after the show and pick up whatever hooker is around,” she says.
“If you kept me satisfied I wouldn’t have to. Let’s face it. The only reason I even looked in your direction was because you weren’t easy. You didn’t have your tits hanging out for everyone to see. You were a challenge and that turned me on that I had to work for it. Now I’m bored with the game. Either play or get the fuck over me,” they guy says staring determinedly staring her in the eyes.
She looks like she’s about to break. I decide to step in even though I had thoughts of fucking her too. That’s out of the question now that she’s been fucked over by this loser. I can’t repeat the experience for her. I’m not that heartless.
“I know you, PC. You must not be doing your job if she isn’t falling into your arms right now begging you to fuck her. It’s like this, you’re just a local band douche bag. You are never going to do anything except play a few shows and do some drugs. Brook, get in. Let this idiot find his way into a bar,” I say glaring at PC.
He grabs her by her hips and tilts her head up to meet his eyes. “Baby, I know you still have feelings for me,” he says, stroking her cheek.
I roll my eyes. Please tell me she isn’t going to fall for that.
“You’re nothing but a tool. Go fuck yourself,” she says, pushing him into a brick building.
I lean over and open up the door.
I’d go ahead and beat his ass, but I don’t know for sure that she won’t cry. I don’t want to be the cause of any pain. I’m not even her friend. I don’t want to over step any boundaries. She bites her lip and walks over to the passenger side.
She closes the door and I pull away from the curb and drive.
“Thank you for taking up for me, Adam,” she says looking at her hands.
“No problem. I barely know you, but he shouldn’t have disrespected you like that. He’s headed nowhere fast,” I say, watching the road.
“We met at one of his shows and he seems really nice and a little cocky. I didn’t realize what he was when I first started dating him. He didn’t want just one girl, he wanted everything. That included groupies, strippers, or whoever else was willing to sleep with him just because he’s in a band. It broke my heart but then I realized, he’ll never stop,” she says, with a hint of bitterness lacing her voice.
“He didn’t deserve you. You shouldn’t have had to put up with shit like that,” I say, looking at her intensely.
“Yeah, I know. Good thing you were there or I would’ve ended up putting my foot all the way up his ass,” she says, brushing her hair out of her face.
“By the looks of him, he might’ve liked it like that, who knows? I say, raising an eye brow.
“He mostly hooked up with girls. But, he hung all over their male guitarist. There might’ve been a gay side to him. I definitely didn’t need to be messing around with him, if he was also tapping guys,” she says, laughing.
”Yeah, I witnessed that the first time I saw them play a show. It looked more than just two guys up there playing music. I’m a music journalist for Shockwave magazine. I interview new and old bands. Modify the Moment is your typical shitty garage band."
“Wow. I read Shockwave sometimes. I don’t know why girls always want to be with musicians. It’s over rated.”
I can tell that she’s been through a lot. There are just some lessons that can’t be taught. You have to learn the hard way.
“I wouldn’t worry about it. You’ll find someone better. He’s never going to change and you can’t make him. I’ve seen a lot of heart ache through the years. I know it’s a tough thing to go through, but you’ll come out of it as a better person.”
“Thank you for everything. I definitely feel better now. Bet he was jealous when he saw me drive off with you.”
“Gorgeous man like me, yeah he’s bound to be,” I joke.
“He was too young anyway,” she says.
“It’s time for him to grow up. He’s not in high school anymore. He probably won’t though,” I tell her.
“You know, half his friends are in high school. I really must have been strung out on some strong stuff when I thought there was anything outstanding about him. Like you keep telling me, he’s a local band douche bag,” she says, laughing at my choice of words to describe her ex.
“Nah, you weren’t strung out. I believe when you first meet someone, there’s a part of them that draws you in mentally and physically. We have no control over who we’re attracted to. There’s just something unexplainable about a person that lures you to them.”
“You’re right. Like when I saw you today, there was something strong about you that intrigued me. Then you defend me in front of my ex and take me away from him. My mind is spinning, trying to figure out why you’ve done all this and haven’t asked me for anything in return,” she says, looking at me from underneath her eye lashes.
I swear her eyes have turned a shade darker since I last looked at her. It’s a dark smoky shade of grey that I have a feeling reflects her train of thought right now. I know what she’s implying and that was my original intention with her. But, I’m starting to see she can be a friend. She’s not someone I want to toy with and throw away after the fun’s over.
“I wouldn’t take advantage of someone just because I did something nice for them. Why did I do it? It was the decent thing to do. A simple thank you will suffice nicely,” I say giving her a smile.
Her eyes returned to their original piercing blue. It looks as if she wants to say something, but she doesn’t. I hit the brakes and stop at a red light. I look over at her again.
She leans over and kisses my cheek. “Thank you, Adam.”
I take her hand that’s lying on the seat and squeeze it. I look back up and notice the light’s green and hit the gas.
I end up taking Brook to a sushi bar for a meal. We mostly talk about our careers and laugh a great deal about different things in our lives. I drive her back to her apartment and walk her to the door. I tell her I hope to see her again and to tell me if any of her other exes bother her. She laughs and I give her a peck on the lips. She smiles and hugs me goodbye. I hug her back and wave to her. I definitely need a drink to unwind after all of this. I drive to Davey’s penthouse in Manhattan.
I pull behind Davey’s black Bentley and put my truck in park. I jump out and knock on the door. Davey comes up, opening the door in jeans and a t shirt.
“Thanks for dressing up for me, baby,” I say, eyeing his attire.
“Shut up, I felt like being simple. I’ve been cooking for us and didn’t want to ruin any of my good clothes. It’s not ready yet though. And since when do you ever dress up for me, Mr. Non Designer Jeans and Random T Shirt?” He gives me a nasty look.
“Point taken. Now, where’s the beer? I need a drink.”
I push past him and go into his kitchen.
“I think there’s bottle of Corona and Lime in the fridge. My last ex left it in there,” he says, grabbing my shoulders and pushing me down onto a bar stool.
“You don’t trust me to get my own drink?"
“No, I don’t,” he says, bending down and pulling out a bottle of Corona and a soda for himself.
I roll my eyes and he hands me my drink. I pop it open on the edge of his marble counter, knowing it pisses him off when I do that.
“You know I have a fucking bottle opener, ass hole. Let’s take this to the living room,” he says, throwing me his disapproving look.
I grin and stand up, moving to the living room to my favorite spot on his leather sofa.
“You obviously went somewhere else after out lunch. I can tell you didn’t go home.”
He takes a sip of his soda and looks at me expectantly.
“Of course, you always know everything. I was going to go home, but I saw your model Brook walking down the street and I couldn’t help but stop. We talked for a minute and PC Brinkley, singer of that shitty band, walks up and calls her baby. I’m thinking, oh fuck, please tell me this isn’t her boyfriend. Come to find out, it’s her ex. He says some pretty rude stuff to her. It didn’t fly with me. I call him a local band douche bag and tell him he won’t ever do anything in his life except play a few shows here and there. She gets in my truck and we leave. She tells me their history together and how he cheated on her after every show. That’s typical rock star behavior for you, always looking to get laid by anyone. We keep talking and she asks me why I haven’t asked her for anything in return. Obviously, she meant sex. She was on the verge of crying, I could tell. I tell her that a thank you would do just fine. She kisses my cheek and tells me thank you. I took her for sushi and then back to her apartment. I kissed her goodbye and here I sit,” I say, taking a long sip of my drink.
“Sounds like you had quite the experience. I’m guessing at first, you thought you were going to get laid” says Davey.
“I wanted to, but when PC started showing his ass, I knew I couldn’t do the exact same thing to her. She’s too good to be one of my hookups. I would like to keep her as a friend.”
Davey sits there for a minute, just staring into space. “That was decent of you. I didn’t know anything about her personal life. It shows you aren’t completely hopeless. But, not everyone wants to be in a relationship. You’re my best friend either way.”
I smile at Davey and he leans his head on my shoulder.
Davey and I continue to chat and he serves me a delicious Italian dinner. We’re back in the living room having a drink and it’s getting close to ten o clock.
“I would stay longer, but I’ve got work tomorrow,” I say, getting up and walking towards the door.
“I do too. Glad you stopped by.”
“Thanks, Davey. I love you.”
I smile at him and open the door to my truck.
“I love you too, Addy. Bye.”
The next day at work, I find myself in the senior editor’s office. Marilyn Ross is a half Asian woman with the trademark long black hair and a strong personality. She’s very pretty and the reason why more men work here than women. If you screw up, God be with you. When things don’t get done, you’d wish you were dead when she gets a hold of you.
“Adam, I know you’re a journalist. But, I also need you to do something extra. We are throwing a benefit for one of our charities next month and there will be bands lined up to play. I haven’t decided what bands I want there. But, when I do, you’ll call and confirm with their managers that they’re going to be there. You will write the piece on the benefit and also interview one of the bands for next month’s issue. My assistant’s sick with the flu and I’m going to need you to meet with one of the top event coordinators in New York City and discuss the details. The location I’m not sure on. I don’t know if it’s best suited for outdoors or indoors. Write down the suggestions the event coordinator gives you and call me afterwards to discuss it. This guy’s the best in the business. He’ll handle everything else. Leave the food, decorations, and invitations to him. I still have to get the guest list together. He puts together fabulous events and I trust both of you to work hard together and make this amazing. You will meet him for lunch at Dolce to talk over the event. I’ll give you my card to pay for you food. You really won’t be doing that much more work. Are you up for it?” she asks, and I know the answer she’s expecting.
“Of course. Who’s the event coordinator I’ll be meeting with?”