Out of Play (Entangled Teen) Online - Jolene Perry

Chapter One

BISHOP

Bishop! Bishop! Bishop!

The chants from the crowd won’t stop rattling around in my head.

Bishop! Bishop! Bishop!

I stumble from the car to the front door, catching my foot on the step and slamming into the side of the house. The world around me blurs. It always does after a show.

Look, it’s Bishop Riley from Burn!

Left, right, and left again, I look over my shoulder like the paparazzi are still behind me, their voices mixing with fans that haunt me. What kind of rock star can’t handle crowds? It’s pathetic. I’m pathetic the way I let the anxiety practically swallow me whole.

Just get inside. I need to get inside, and then it will all go away.

I wave my personal guard back into the car before grasping the handle, desperate for quiet. But as soon as I push the door open, it’s like I’m back on stage again, everyone wanting a piece of me. People are everywhere, closing in. No one’s supposed to be here. She promised. Maryanne fucking promised there wouldn’t be a party tonight.

I shove my way through the people crowded in her living room. The crowd’s screams during my drum solo overtake me, wipe away the high I get when my sticks slam down on the drums. No one’s staring, but it feels like they’re climbing inside my skin, gnawing from the inside out.

I need Maryanne. She said she had a surprise for me, and it sure as hell better not be this party.

Someone hits me on the left, scoots around me on the right. Each touch amplifies the screaming in my head, the vice twisting around my throat. I flex my hands, wishing I had my drumsticks.

“Bishop!”

I cover my ears, but then I realize it’s Maryanne calling my name.

She bounces over to me, a big-ass smile on her face. “Come with me!” She’s yelling, but I can still hardly hear her.

My feet tangle again as I go up the stairs and follow Maryanne down the hallway. With each step, the vice around my throat gets tighter, flashes of the show tonight playing in my head.

10,000 people.

Burn! Bishop! Burn!

It mingles with the phone call from my asshole dad. He wants more money, he always does. It’s the only way to get him to leave us alone. I squeeze my eyes shut, everything becoming too much.

We slip into one of the rooms…and it’s quiet. Blissfully fucking quiet, the noise of the party muted by the walls. I turn on Maryanne, hating the way my hands shake. “You better have something good.”

She holds up a pill bottle and grins.

My mouth goes dry. “What is it?”

“Come and see.” Laughing, she backs away. As soon as I step toward her, she tosses the bottle at me. When I get the lid off, I toss the pills in my mouth and grab the beer Maryanne hands me to wash them down. Pills and beer gone in three seconds flat. Gone the way we used to be before I had the money to pay Dad off, when he would find us in whatever new town we moved to so we could escape him. Only the pills make me feel a whole lot better than leaving did.

Maryanne trails her fingers down my stomach. “How many did you take before you got here?”

“A couple. I only had a few with me, though.”

“Here.” Maryanne hands me her beer, and I down that as well.

It doesn’t take long for the edge to start drifting away, for the vice, the voices, the hands grabbing for me to fade.

My cell rings.

Shit.

I pull out my phone, knowing I’ll get hell if I don’t answer. People are always checking up on me.

“Where’d you disappear to?” Blake, my band’s lead singer, asks. “I thought you were coming over.”

The room is spinning. How the hell does a room spin? I fall onto the bed to see if that makes it stop. Nope. My body tingles all over. It’s such an incredible feeling. So much better than the hands ripping at my skin during a show or the chanting trapped in my head.

“B.R.?”

Oh, right. I’m on the phone. “Paparazzi wouldn’t stop following me,” I say. “I had to ditch them.” True. The word sounds funny, so I keep playing it over. True, true, true, true.

“You could have ditched them and still come over. I thought we all decided the band would hang together after the show tonight.”

We did? Little bits and pieces try to form in my brain, but struggling to figure them out takes too much