What does it take to be an Author?

I sometimes wonder, what does it take to be an Author?
Is there some kind of rule that says you have to have written a certain amount of books to be an Author? Or do you have to have a specific education?
Are you an Author only if you have been published?
What is the measure, exactly?
I don’t know, I’m not an Author, am I?
I’ve written one book, and recently started a new one.
But, as much as I love it, I still have a day-job. I still have to make a living, somehow.
This whole thing about being an Author is a work in progress.
Maybe I’ll get there someday.
For now, I’m just a person who writes…

I thought, for the sake of Easter, that I would share another chapter with all of you.
I hope you like it, and if you do, drop me a comment? I would love to hear from you.

Love – Gry

Chapter six

Emma

Things were happening too fast now for me to sort out what he meant. Mac was rushing us downstairs and I could do nothing but concentrate so I didn’t tumble over down the stairs. Sophia and Jack were in front of me, Parker behind me. I saw Caden’s blonde curls turn the corner at the bottom and figured Flame and Lucas were already down. They had a show to do in just a few minutes and I still had no idea where they’d put us. Coming around the corner downstairs I realized we were behind the stage. I could hear the crowd screaming for the band and I knew how they felt. The excitement. The torment of waiting. The tension that had built up during the day. It was all about to be released. Mac turned as we all gathered there. He exchanged a look with Parker and turned to Sophia and me.
“Where do you want to be?” he asked.
Confused, I looked at him, then Parker.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“Well, you can be back here waiting, but you want to see the show, right?”
I laughed, feeling a little nervous.
“Yeah, I would like that.”
“So, your options are, I get you a couple of seats on the side of the stage, or put you down in the front. Your choice.”
Sophia and I looked at each other, not quite believing what we heard. Did he just offer to get us to the front row five minutes before show time? My grin was widening.
“Front row?” I asked Sophia and she nodded vigorously.
“Front row it is,” Mac said. “Let’s go!”
I turned to follow, when Parker grabbed me by the arm.
“Wait!”
In the darkness surrounding us it was hard to see his face, but his eyes had this glimmer in them.
“What do you want to hear?” he whispered.
“You take requests now?” I answered, knowing that would be a first.
“Only for you, babe, only for you.”
His eyes had an almost sultry look and I was about to have a meltdown right there. Parker Hill was flirting with me!
“Just Because It Hurts,” I whispered.
I risked a glance behind me. Mac had his back turned, the band was busy getting ready and Sophia was talking with Jack. It was Parker and me. He closed the distance between us and carefully placed his hand on my hip and gave it a small tug. We were so close now that I felt his flat stomach on mine. His was hard. Mine was soft, but they fit perfectly together. Parker put his other arm around me, engulfing me in his warm arms, and however overwhelmed I felt, I also felt curious, just a little scared and a whole lot of turned on. He ran the tip of his nose from the crook of my neck all the way up to the ear and goose bumps covered my body. I turned my face towards him and we had this beautiful moment right there, where everyone else had disappeared and it was just him and me. When Mac snapped us out of it by shouting “It’s time!” I was disappointed. And left dangling. Parker straightened and let me go. He smiled wide at me making those darn butterflies appear again. I would never be able to resist this man. Tom had made it easy before, but now… I was in trouble. Taking three big strides to the stairs that would bring him to the stage he yelled to Mac, “Get them out there!” and pointed towards the audience. Then he was gone. I gathered my thoughts and looked to Mac for guidance. He had a huge grin on his face and I felt my own go red. I was blushing, I knew, and Mac had seen why.
“We gotta go now if you want to get out there,” he motioned to the crowd.
We moved fast and Mac pulled aside a curtain, only to have the audience go crazy. He spoke to this massive security guard who looked at us and nodded.
“You ladies follow Brian over here. He’ll find you a good spot.”
We walked up, and coming around the curtain I realized that we were in the press pit. Right smack in between the stage and the barriers. Brian waved us forward as he was talking to someone on his intercom. Another guard came up from the other side heading straight to the center of the crowd and started moving people backwards, not an easy task, considering the fact that those people had been waiting outside all day to get the best seats in the house. I grabbed Sophia’s hand as it finally sunk in. Mac was putting us in the front. I flashed a wicked grin at my girl and could tell she felt what I felt. Excitement surged through me as Brian helped us both over the barrier, down into the massive crowd. I turned to apologize to the people behind me, only to see the two nasty girls from the Meet & Greet. Oh, crap. This would be interesting. They were talking between them, giving us both a poisonous look. Brian leaned over to get my attention and said, “Don’t go anywhere after the show, I’ll be back to pick you girls back up out of here.”
I smiled wide but reigned myself in when one of the girls spoke.
“What are you? Some kind of band whore?”
She crossed her arms over her chest and gave me a smug smile. What in the actual hell? “Excuse me?”
I turned back, to look her straight in her eyes but she wouldn’t meet mine. Her eyes diverted to anywhere and everywhere else. Sophia touched my shoulder and shrugged when I looked her way.
“Forget about it!” she whispered in my ear.
“They don’t know the truth.”
She was right. They knew nothing about Parker and me and I was not going to tell them. They were probably just jealous anyway. Let the bitches talk. I truly didn’t care. The music started and I lost myself in Jack’s beats. Pure adrenaline surged through me as Parker came onto the stage not stopping until he was on the edge in front of me. He winked at me and then raised his arms to rouse the audience. They screamed! Parker Hill was known for his naughty boy attitude, his never-ending flirts and ability to charm his way into whatever, or whoever he wanted. He had a dirty mouth, at least in public, and paired with that unbelievably hot body of his, he was the wet dream of every single woman in the room. And he was looking at me. I took a moment just to feel, understanding that this was pretty special. Sophia’s words earlier resonated in me, could she be right this time? Could I be allowed to feel love again? Shutting the world out, I thought about Tom. Would I want him to go through life alone if I had died? Did I think that he’d want that for me? No. Tom would be the first one to tell me to get back out there. I smiled to myself. Pain stabbed my heart briefly, but disappeared again. I wasn’t quite able to decide what to do, but right there I gave myself a free pass for this evening. I threw my arms in the air and joined the choir. Sophia screamed so loud next to me I thought my ears would pop. This was nothing short of amazing. It was just a few songs into the show when a sudden pain in my back startled me. Someone punched me in my ribs. What the hell? A stone dropped and I quickly understood that it was one of those blonde numb nuts that had hit me. I turned, only to witness a seriously ugly look coming from both of them. I lifted my shoulders as if to ask “What?” and they started laughing. Wow, they are such assholes! Deciding not to let them ruin my night, I turned my attention to the stage. Parker was busy singing, but I could tell he had his eyes on me. His face was grim behind the mic. I smiled towards him just to show him everything was okay. He gave a small nod and jumped up on one of the large speakers to the side of the stage. I smiled, he looked so hot. The skanks behind me let me be for a couple more songs. Then, one of them kicked me in my leg. I screamed in pain, bending down to grab the sore spot. God damn, that hurt. One of them pushed me just enough for me to lose my balance and I smashed my head in the barrier. Those damned bitches! I saw stars as I slid down to the floor. I had tears in my eyes and my head hurt like hell! Sophia crouched down next to me. There was some commotion from up front and all of a sudden the music stopped. Parker and Caden were at the edge of the stage, looking worried. Flame was talking to security. Brian, the huge security guy, came up on the barrier in front of me and Parker suddenly jumped down from the stage. Not a smart move as the crowd now went mad to get to him. With Brian on one side and one of his buddies on the other, to hold the audience off, Parker leaned over the barrier to pull me up. He spoke in my ear, “I’m getting you out of here!”
“No, wait!” I felt my head for bumps.
“I’m okay. Can I just see the rest of the show? I really want to see the rest of it.”
I looked up at him as he took measure of the two behind me. Looking pretty furious, he barked orders at Brian who proceeded to grab one of the girls and pull her over the barrier. She straightened as Brian grabbed the other one. Probably thinking she’d be getting “the treatment”, she turned to grin at me, made a face and flipped me off. Parker looked me over one more time.
“Those two are out of here,” he said.
I wanted to jump up and down and hug him, but eyeing the people next to me, I gathered myself and just said “Thank you! Now, get back up there!”
He did, grabbing his mic right away and started talking, “We just pulled a couple girls out of the crowd for attacking another. We want everyone to feel safe at our shows, so please, people, take care of each other! We love you all!”
That’s all it took to get the crowd going again, and in between the cheering, the music started again. The girls in question had been pushed out of the pit and I couldn’t help it, I laughed. Brian now hovered close to us and I was grateful, but the threat was gone with the girls. I settled into singing each song with Parker, cheering with Sophia and checking out the guys on stage, who were all hot in their own way. It was a kind of bliss I hadn’t allowed myself after Tom. Towards the end of the show, Flame brought an acoustic guitar up to the edge of the stage. Parker joined him, bringing with him a barstool to sit on.
“We’re slowing it down a bit this evening.” Parker spoke into the microphone.
The crowd went off, louder than ever. I had to hold my ears.
“This next song was requested by someone close to me, and I’m more than happy to give her what she wants.” he said with this naughty grin, and before I could even think, Flame started the intro to “Just Because it Hurts.”
Everything stopped. Wow. The band who never took requests, and the man who never dedicated a single song to anyone, had done just that. For me. Shit, shit, shit. Sophia’s arms were around me and not knowing if I’d be coming out of this standing, I grabbed onto her. My mind went off. What was happening right now? Was I being stupid, maybe he didn’t mean me? It could have been anyone. What would people say, or think? How could I hide? Did anyone else notice? The thoughts stopped as he started singing. You could do a whole lot with a few good-looking guys, some good songs and a big production. But, when you have real talent on stage, that’s when you know it’ll be huge. Parker Hill had that. His voice was one I could pick out of a crowd…sometimes silky smooth, sometimes rough and hard. He’d go through every emotion in one show. Flame Mayheart had picked those strings since childhood and what he could do with a guitar, no one else could. While the rest of the band was silent in the background, these two played this one, beautiful song, bringing out all the feels with the ladies. I saw tears running, mascara smudged and a whole lot of shiny eyes. This was magic and I adored every single second of it.

Brian hauled us out of there just before the show ended. I wanted to see all of it, but he explained that he would be too busy later to be able to take care of us. I couldn’t argue. Mac was right backstage welcoming us with a smile.
“Did you have fun?” he asked, almost fatherly.
Sweat covered my forehead, I was pretty sure my makeup was smudged and I now looked like a raccoon, but I laughed and nodded my head. Out of all the shows I’d been to, and there had been more than a few, this one would go down in the books as the best one so far. He gave us the thumbs up and motioned for us to follow him. He took us back upstairs, but this time he lead us down the hall to a door with a sign that read “Dressing Room.” I looked at Sophia and mouthed “OMG!” at her. Her eyes were huge and her face was red. We were led into the Dangerous dressing room! Mac opened the door and led us through.
“You ladies are welcome to wait here. The boys will be up soon. And help yourselves to any refreshments.”
He was out the door again before I could even open my mouth. We were in a huge room. There were four giant-sized couches and a couple of clothes racks and suitcases pushed up against the wall. There was a table running the length of one wall filled with snacks, booze, beers and what not. Everywhere I could see, there were personal items, clothes left over the back of the couch, some on the floor, and several boots and shoes, not necessarily in pairs, left in a pile. There were empty bottles and garbage on the floor. The guys were obviously slobs, but I wasn’t surprised.
“Can you believe this?” Sophia squealed.
“I wonder which suitcase is Jack’s?”
“Hah,” I said and laughed at her.
“Are you gonna go smell his socks or something?”
She crossed her arms, as if actually thinking about it, but then started laughing. Her shoulders were shaking, but she managed to answer.
“How the hell do you come up with that stuff? It’s so gross!”
Looking around she quieted down slightly.
“We’re in their dressing room, babe! Seriously! This is kicking everything-cool-we-ever-did’s ass!”
And she was right about that. I mean, we had done some cool stuff with this band. I was closing in on 40 shows over the last decade, and Sophia had seen even more. We’d been there from the very beginning, back to the 2-300 people venues where the band knew the faces of practically everyone. We had travelled all over Europe for shows, the only thing we hadn’t done for them was cross the Atlantic. It was on my bucket list. I walked around the room in complete agreement with Sophia. This was unbelievable, and by far the closest we had ever been to this band. There had been the odd meet at a café. We’d had drinks at a bar with them more than once, and we once won a dinner along with the band and some other fans, but never anything like this. I was wondering what had changed, when the guys shuffled into the room, high-fiving and chatting over each other, clearly still on a high from the concert. Caden went for the fridge and took out a few beers which he proceeded to toss over to the other guys. Looking at me and Sophia, he asked, “You want one, too?” I smiled and nodded and he threw one to each of us. He was lucky I was good at catching stuff. Sophia, though, not so much. She dropped the can and it rolled underneath the couch. She swore and Caden laughed. Leaving them to it, I turned as I opened my can and saw Parker making a habit out of leaning on the doorway. He lifted the beer Caden got him and said “Cheers!”
Right behind him, Mac was trying to get through the door and gave him a nudge in the back. I saw Parker’s whole persona shift into something way more playful before he shouted “Invasion!” and all the guys scrambled on their feet and ran towards the door. I would have paid big money to see the look on Mac’s face one more time as he realized what was going down. Some sort of routine they had? I had no idea, but the excitement in the guys was infectious and we all laughed. Mac started running as they followed down the hall and I heard shouting and laughing out there. A little too freaked to follow, Sophia and I stayed in the room.
“Boys will be boys,” she said and we both burst into laughter.
A couple minutes later, the boys came back, still cheerful, loud and dropping jokes between them. Parker, too, seemed at ease and happy as he shuffled past me to reach for some clothes in a suitcase.
“Shower, then food,” he smiled and walked out.
I sat down next to Flame who was now draped over one of the couches. Lying on his back, he had his feet over the back of the couch and one arm dangling down the side. The other one held a can of beer and he was completely relaxed. Flame was always quiet. He would watch people and probably knew far more about anyone than they would care for. He was currently eyeing Sophia, whose eyes were glued to Jack. Jack was busy getting his sweaty, drenched t-shirt off his back. I chuckled, only to find Flame’s attention move my way.
“She likes him.” was all he said.
I just nodded. He proceeded to say, “I think it’s mutual.”
I turned to look at him again and felt a little surprised that he would share that with me. Then, he lowered his voice and asked, “How are you holding up?”
By now I was downright shocked. Flame wanted to know about me? Wow. I took a deep breath trying to figure out what to say, knowing he was asking about what happened to Tom. What I came up with was, “It feels like I’m being strangled, but the loop around my neck slips a little every day.”
He stood up and let one hand rest on my shoulder.
“It’ll get better, honey. Slowly, but surely it’ll get better.”

“Love Comes Twice” is set for release 04.30.17.
Available for preorder now, on iBooks and Barnes and Noble.

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