Marked Steel (Steel Crew #8) - MJ Fields
When a spring flower blooms too early, it often wilts while others blossom during their proper season.
That’s me in a nutshell, and what eventually landed me in the nuthouse.
Through necessity, I found a new passion, one that helps mask the darkness by thrusting me into the spotlight.
Each show is a session, ending in a kiss meant for revenge.
He broke me, and I will make sure I do the same to him.
Wealth is the very thing most people desire above all else, except those who have it and know the truth in its empty pleasures.
Love, the ultimate luxury, is the one thing that even the wealthy cannot afford.
I lived without it all of my life, and when I found love, I could no longer live with it.
On my journey from then until now, I have accepted my fate and found solace in molding beautiful things that others can love.
I am a broken man, but I’ll make sure all I leave behind is whole.
This is a story about two broken hearts—one danced in dark and one in light—who were both marked by tragedy yet found love, and together, they created a beautiful life.
La Défense Arena
“You’ve got this, Tris,” Patrick says loud enough so that I can hear him over the roar of the sold-out show in Paris, France, as he gently squeezes the tension from my shoulders.
I look back at him and roll my eyes dramatically, telling him, no kidding.
He smiles the way he does in a way that is meant to calm me. It does. But, what he doesn’t know is that he isn’t calming my nerves; they have been shot for months. What he is doing is giving me a reminder that I need to calm my monsters.
Closing my eyes, I whisper my mantra, “Note by note.”
In a world full of scrutiny and screaming self-doubt, I’ve found solace in blending sounds together, making music, to drown them out.
My monsters are calmed by taking everything note by note.
“You ready to rock, Trouble?” Finn Beckett, bass guitarist from STD, is standing beside me, his arms crossed over his chest, a slight scowl forming a V between his brows as he looks at the stage from the wing.
Finn loves music, but hates being on stage. On the total opposite side of the proverbial guitar pick is Memphis Black, the lead singer of Steel Total Destruction, which happens to be the band we are opening for on our first ever tour. He loves the spotlight.
Sometimes, I feel like Finn, and sometimes, I feel like Memphis.
The highs and lows of being a teenager blows, and so does the fact that our brains aren’t truly mature until we are close to twenty-five years old. My therapist, Dr. Winslow, assures me that once my hormones are balanced a bit more, and my brain syncs up, I will no longer be inclined to define myself by my past choices, or however it is he is treating me.
By then, I will be better.
I’m getting better.
“Always,” I answer.
“Good luck, One.” Billy, another member of STD, smirks.
Billy calls me One; our bass player, Zoey, Two; Mae, our other electric guitarist, Three; and Rain, our drummer, who happens to be River’s daughter, who is STD’s drummer, is Four.
Keanna, her mom, continues messing with Rain’s pom-pom-like pigtails as she winks at me. “These ladies don’t need luck when they have talent and killer style.”
When this whole music thing started, it was supposed to be just me. I was fine in the studio with Uncle Xavier and Tricks. Even with the radio, podcasts interviews, and performances used as promotion when my one solo single released and hit number one on the pop music charts to help promote the upcoming album and tour. The issue? I didn’t pick up the guitar all that quickly, and Patrick, my cousin, aka Tricks, refused to be on stage. His words, “I wanna stand back and watch you fly.”
The problem for me was that the only time I shined in the past year live, and in living color, was when I went off at Seashore on … him and my “cousins” and ended up getting kicked out of school and spending five days and four nights in the nuthouse. No one, aside from my parents and Momma Joe, my grandmother, know that’s where I was, not even my siblings. Everyone thinks Momma Joe took me on a mini vacation.
Dr. Winslow told me I was giving him power by not using his name.
Marcello had left more black roses in my