Eddie Masen – lead singer for Masen Hale, the most popular band ever according to the charts. Bella Swan – a wanna be veterinarian who has her eyes solely on her education. Bella is staying with her best friend, Jacob, until classes resume in the fall. Edward's opted for some R and R and is trying to keep a low profile. When they meet, Edward isn't forthcoming about his background – will partial truths and half lies keep them from making beautiful music together?
OK. So Edward doesn't actually lie. But I did. I swore on a stack of Twilight novels when I signed into this site I'd never write a non-canon spin-off. Oops. I'm having a bit of fun with this one and thought I'd share. All human. Canon pairings – except one. That's the whole truth as I know it now (subject to change).
I, unfortunately but truthfully, do not own any of the characters which all belong to Stephenie Meyer.
"THANK-YOU, LOS ANGELES!" I shouted and ran off stage. The roar of the crowd was thunderous as I high-fived Jazz, Garrett and Em and changed my shirt for the fifth and final time tonight. Living on adrenaline is right – it is the perfect title for our album release tomorrow. But right now, fans await and I can hear the familiar chant for an encore. Then, after tonight, a four month hiatus – we've either been in the studio or on the road or both for the last four years. I haven't slept in the same bed for more than a week even though I do keep a loft in New York. Just to say I have a place to call home.
"Earth to Eddie!" Emmett ruffled my hair and I nearly growled at him. But he is right. We can't disappoint.
"OK guys!" I quickly got back in the groove. "We've rocked it tonight! Let's bring it home!"
The vote went as usual – Emmett wanted to stay all night for the encore, try out the new album. Fans, I know, like familiarity and the sing along.
"Just two, Em. We'll change it up on the fall tour – promise." I told him. He looked so dejected.
"Three then. We'll start with your favorite remix – I just don't like the looks."
"Twenty thousand ladies, Eddie, you've got your pick – and they're already imagining you …
"Naked…I know. Jazz named it that on purpose."
"On purpose, Edward? We were nobodies – that song made us number one… and you voted most eligible bachelor I might add – three years in a row." Jazz defended his song title.
"Let's do it!" Emmett had resorted to pulling me towards the stage. The fans hadn't quieted despite our backstage banter. And I love it but after four years I'm ready for a change of pace. At least for a little while. The boys were still hyped.
"Jazz…" I tried to caution our lead guitarist but he stopped me in my tracks.
"Got it Edward. G not G sharp on the last riff. That's three times you've told me. You're the only one in this whole building with perfect pitch. No one else would notice."
"And if I mess with your lyrics you will have my head."
"True. Let's call a truce...and get out there before there's a stampede of twenty thousand." Jazz nodded towards the stage. They had switched from shouting encore to the band name - Masen Hale. Only in succession it sounded more like hail Masen – the crowd was restless and relentless, just like Emmett.
"Eddie – the record release is in just over an hour…do you think the fans out there might want to get in line?" Garrett asked.
I started jumping – it helped to boost the energy for the final fifteen. I nodded to Emmett. He was running on stage before I could even turn. The incessant energy of the crowd escalated as the drum beat started and the rest of us followed behind at a run.
No one missed a note, the crowd hung on every word, the cat calls and flying underwear were relatively easy to ignore. Though I was so hyped by the last riff which Jazz nailed, I actually took off my shirt and flung it into the crowd. The reaction was deafening. Even before I was off the stage I could guess the video had already been uploaded to YouTube despite the clear banning of video or photography on the ticket stub. There's a first time for everything for the only bachelor of the band.
"Eddie, dear, Eddie…you, my dear brother, now have twenty thousand opportunities to get laid. Don't squander them. And you do know that has to be your signature move, now." Emmett pointed at the crowd behind the curtain and my now-bare chest. I shook my head. I was certainly going to hear about this in every interview from now until the dawn of time. My fault.
"Go for it Emmett. They're all yours." I told him.
"Not a chance. I've got mine. Rose is it. You still need to play the field. And what better place than LA?"
"I'm going incognito. Unwind. I'll write some music. I'll send anything I like to Jazz and see if he can use any of it."
"You're going to have a grand piano on a ranch?"
"I wish. No, I'm just taking a few keyboards. I'm going to buy a truck and hope beyond hope there's not a soul around who owns a radio or has access to the internet."
"Found it already Edward, 'the Masen Hale hottie just got hotter' – " Garrett played the YouTube video - recorded from about the forth row and I couldn't actually deny it. It's a good thing I go to the gym and get a work out every night we're on stage. I figured I'd been embarrassed enough for one night but not Garrett. When the video was done he not only decided to play it a second time – with pauses – he also had some inappropriate sound effects of his own to add. Yeah. I'm never going to live this one down.
"We are working this summer, Edward – radio only per your request. Alice has the schedule. Did you get one?" Jazz asked. I nodded. At least he knew I was done with the current topic of conversation. He'll get me – later. Somehow he'll work it into lyrics. I can read Jazz like a book. Alice had already plugged the dates and details of the interviews into my phone. Jazz was worried that cutting ourselves off for four whole months might be career suicide. We'd decided on the album release, a few summer radio interviews and a tour that was already sold out from September until just after Christmas. This seemed to appease him and his wife Alice, who happens to be PR personified. That, and they could all feel I was about to crack.
Emmett has Rose, Jasper has Alice and Garrett has Kate. Every one of them met their soul mates in high school or earlier and they've had as much fun with our rise to fame as we have. But for me it just gets harder. I meet a nice girl and she's either too intimidated to speak with me or it turns out she thinks telling everyone she's sleeping with Eddie Masen will get her on the next reality show when all we've really done is go for drinks. I'm a little jaded.
Rose had been home the last two months and Emmett was catching the next flight home. He was more than excited that he'd be a proud father in about six weeks and I could goad him for life about never having anyone but Rose and he wouldn't care. None of them would. Garrett and Kate were going to put some personal touches into their new getaway near her parents' place in Alaska. Kate is our lighting director with an electric personality, pun intended. Jazz would write and write. We'd have material for at least six albums by September, he doesn't stop. Rose had mentioned to Alice that it would be nice for them to have kids close to the same age – Alice I think, would be game. She just has to get Jazz out of his notebook.
We're always asked about how we got our start. The boys had had the band in high school but I'd been the periphery. I was always writing music on my piano. Or paper. Perfect pitch meant I didn't actually need an instrument – it was in my head. Jazz put lyrics to a few of my pieces and Em and Garrett added some personal touches of their own. Initially, I believed classical and rock don't mix. I got a scholarship to Julliard and the boys were playing hovels in New York but I frequently thought that playing to an empty room wasn't why I was going to school. I'd join them and soon they realized I could carry a tune vocally, keep them on tempo and write some kickass melodies. We developed a little following. I balanced the band and Julliard for two years. That was until Jazz wrote 'Naked' and I put it to music. Jazz has this connection with people and emotions and really it's a song about truth – the naked truth, bearing all to show your soul to your true love. The combination of the title, Jazz's engagement to Alice (the song was obviously him pouring his heart out) and our ever growing popularity put us in the next stratosphere of music's who's who almost overnight. We had a record deal in a week and the disc out in six and in between the chaos Jazz and Alice got married. Alice had been working for a PR firm and knew her way around a contract. We got the best deal in the music business and haven't looked back. We were on every talk show and sold out our first four month tour in record time. I bought a loft in New York outright six months later. Though, like I said, I've barely been back.
Kate was now directing the tear down. She never even flinched when asked by fans who were still hanging around about Garrett. A lot of them asked about me and offered up either a date or, and Kate didn't sugar-coat anything, a fuck. I was never interested. Kate was always polite, even signed autographs herself and never lied that we'd left the building. She occasionally gave Garrett a discrete call if there was a fan we should meet and sometimes even sought them out. She could have had her crew manage the floor but she liked to be in control and didn't want a precious lightbulb broken.
There were fewer fans than usual hanging around the stadium. It was already eleven-thirty and most of the music stores were staying open for the midnight release of 'Living on Adrenaline'. ITunes wasn't getting the album for a week, we liked the idea of an actual disc and so had our record company. Our promoters also pushed for the stores to be filled with other souvenir items for marketing, so we had shirts, mugs, keychains and the like – if you're not making money there are a thousand other bands waiting to take your place. But Alice had put her foot down on the idea of dolls; Jazz even blushed when she said she was the only one who would ever undress him. Emmett was already packed to go even though his flight was not until five am; he was so excited to see Rose. She'd toured with us since we started but she'd had to stay home in her last trimester and though Emmett lived for the stage I could see how much he missed Rose. But he had made us all agree to autograph a few of the new discs for the stragglers even before we'd started tonight. Kate had been counting and when the numbers became manageable started quietly giving out 20 passes and directed the lucky few backstage – by then I had found another new shirt. A free CD and photos, videos and autographs later the fans were ecstatic. With our security team playing the heavies it was a brief encounter - only half-an-hour – but the fans involved would be talking about it, hopefully all summer.
It was now past midnight and I knew I had to get on the road. Laurent, one of our security team, was going to walk me to my car. I took a chance and drove in early myself. The Ferrari was a little conspicuous but it was my dream car. And once I got to my destination this summer it would be locked away. I'll be able to sleep and write without deadlines looming. And relax – something I haven't done for a very long time. Four years of perfection was a lot of pressure – a toe out of line, a wardrobe malfunction or a scandal could have ruined us but we continued to have the full package and we weren't slowing. I expected a couple of fans to know my vehicle and I wasn't wrong. Laurent is paid well but I think I'll look at a bonus. He had a pen and six discs out of his bag even before I could count the crowd. I got a few requests to take my shirt off again and to their surprise I told them the link to the video, blaming Garrett. They asked about the baby, the Alaska house, the new album and any other new music. They knew more about my brother and band mates than I do. My summer plans were the only ones that were hush-hush and they were looking for details – I was vague but polite reminding them of the interviews we had planned for the summer. All the while Laurent had them taking turns with pictures while I signed CDs. With Laurent's help I got in the car and he had more surprises in his bag – signed T-shirts. I thanked them again with a wave as I could see Laurent making more of a process of it than necessary, just so none of them would have time to follow me on the highway out of town.
Free. At. Last.
Is Edward just a rock star or does he have more to offer?
Bella's next. Oh, and we can't forget Jacob. He has his own problem.
All feedback is appreciated.