Manaconda 2: The Second Coming

By: Taryn Elliott & Cari Quinn

A Rock Star Romantic Comedy Series



Hammered Book 1.5



1





Kennedy





I reached for my coffee as I pulled into the parking lot of Amoeba Music. I’d slept like absolute crap the night before and I was on my fourth latte for the day. Every time I did manage to drift off I woke up reaching for him.

My body ached from his touch, and for his touch.

But more importantly, there was too much happiness. I didn’t know what to do with that. Oh, I was happy with my job and my friends, even my mom. But the relationship side of my life had always been a hot mess. I’d never even contemplated letting a man into my life.

The problem with Hunter was that he seemed to have only two settings—steamroller and sweetheart. He didn’t really give me the time to plan or think. Everything was emotion, and all of them were the intense kind.

My phone buzzed in my hand, dragging me out of my stupid brain. It had been blowing up all day thanks to the media coverage for this show. It was the last one for their release week. Three different texts flitted across the top of my screen and another call buzzed in my hand within the three minutes it took to reach the front door.

“Geeze. What the hell has everyone in a damn panic?” I opened the door. The first thing I noticed was a crowd of people blocked off by bins of records.

You know when you walk into a room and know that maybe you should just walk right back out? Yeah, that was today.

The main part of the record store was in shambles. In the center of the stage were a bunch of ornamental rugs bunched up, upside down, and one hanging off like a discarded piece of paper. A cracked black guitar lay on its side, strings fanning out like stripped branches. A red guitar was pretty much confetti. The body of the guitar was smashed eighties’ hair band metal video-style with the fret keys scattered like bullet casings. Wyatt’s drum set was askew, the high hats tipped over, a hole punched into the kick drum. By a boot?

Good fuck.

And there, on the edge of the stage, Hunter and Reed were in handcuffs.

Again.

Why was this my life?

A slim blonde was sobbing into her hands, an officer patting her arm. The helpless and slightly panicked look on his face grew more intense as her cries increased in fervor. I frowned. What the hell did she have to cry about? My stomach dropped as I took in her outfit. White pantsuit and gold dripping from her ears and neck. I’d been in the industry long enough to pay attention to details. And this particular woman attracted trouble.

Victoria Sheer.

Dammit. This so wasn’t going to be good.

I was just about to wade into the fray to try to make some sense out of what was going on around me when Hunter’s voice cut through the din.

“I could trust you with anything—anyone—else but her. She’s the exception to every fucking one of my rules.”

And the blissed-out leftover buzz from the night I’d spent with Hunter after Love & Paws vanished as if it had never existed.

Hunter was struggling in his cuffs, ready to lunge again when the officer pushed him back.

“Sir, if you don’t calm down, I’m going to taze you.”

Hunter’s face was mutinous, but he sat back down. He’d dropped hints that his relationship with Victoria had been acrimonious at best, but this? God, it seemed way more passionate than it should be for an ex.

Was he still in love with her?

Shut it down.

Push it aside.

Not the time for that thought process. I had flames to put out. Huge flames.

Reed—more well known as Bats, as this little moment was proving all too well—broke away from the uniformed officer and stomped on the microphone that was on the floor between them. The feedback made everyone cover their ears.

I winced, but kept moving.

He said something to Hunter. Instead of keeping Hunter in check, it made him go crazy. The blond cop—who looked like a poster child for steroids—slammed Hunter face first into the floor. He pressed a knee between his shoulder blades as he said something into the radio clipped to his shoulder.

Wyatt jumped on the stage and pulled at cords and finally the room was dead silent.

“How could you do that to me?” Hunter roared.

The doors banged open and two more officers came in. My shoulders sagged in relief as I recognized Remy LaFontane as one of the backup officers.

He scanned the room and went right for Bats.

“How could you believe that I would?” Bats yelled back at him.

A manager-type popped out from behind the stage. “I want those two arrested. I want them all arrested!”

Remy held his hand up. “All right, sir. Are you the one who called?”

The skinny man straightened the plaid shirt he wore over a Bowie shirt that hung on his bony chest like a hanger. “Yes. I’m the assistant store manager.”

“Well, store manager—”

“Assistant.”

Remy lifted a brow. “Got it. Your name?”

“Levi, Levi Bauer.” He pushed up his dark-rimmed glasses. “They wrecked the entire stage. Just look at it.” His voice got higher with each successive word until his voice actually cracked.

Bats tried to break away again. Hunter snarled from the floor.

“This really isn’t necessary, is it?” I asked.

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