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Doll Face(6)

By:C.M. Stunich

“Yeah? Well, it's also sold millions of records and scored me countless chicks.” Turner sniffles and then looks away, pain flashing over his features like lightning, a jagged slash of brightness that hurts the eyes and promises bad things to come. “But none of that is even half as important as this.”

I reach out and touch my friend's shoulder, giving it a squeeze that I know'll piss Turner off, but will also hopefully distract him. When he doesn't call me a flaming faggot and slap my hand away, I know he's even worse off than I thought.

“You saved her, Turner,” I tell him, still keeping hold of that fragile thread of optimism. She could still die, sure, but until I know for sure Naomi's six feet under, I'm going to keep telling half-truths to my friend's puffy face. Turner Campbell doesn't look like a mega rock star badass right now, but like the boy who used to stumble from his mother's trailer, dripping blood across the dusty pavement, tears streaming down his face. You should've seen him the day she microwaved some of the crappy ass plastic McDonald's toys he used to cart around. They were all he had, other than that one-legged G.I. Joe of course. “Shit, who knows how many lives you saved? I could hear the crowd from backstage, bro. If you hadn't calmed them down, there'd be a dozen or more people out there just as upset or worse than you are right now.”

“I don't care about any of them,” he snarls back at me, but I know that isn't true. He cares, and he knows he did the right thing. Turner jerks away from me and stalks over to Brayden's bodyguards. One of them jerks back the hammer on his revolver but leaves it sitting in his lap like a threat. Huh. It's going to take a hell of a lot more than a gun to deter Turner Campbell. “What I care about is that the love of my life, my fiancée,” Turner says, stressing the word, “is lying bleeding in a hospital bed. I want a phone to call the hospital. Fuck, I want a car, so I can drive my ass over there. Hell, I'll even let you goons come with. Whaddaya say?” I turn and give Turner's back a raised brow. Fiancée, huh? Either he's just doing his usual posturing or something happened between the two of them last night after they disappeared. I glance up at the curtains, at the streaming shafts of light that penetrate the dirty fabric. This is no fancy ass, golden sheets, ass licking employees kind of hotel like we've been staying in. This place is a shit hole. I really don't care since it's kind of what I'm used to, but the light outside does remind me that last night is a relative term. Technically, that was the night before last when Turner disappeared.

“I think you should sit down and wait for Brayden,” the man says, his plain-Jane face peering up at Turner with little interest. Since America's dead, where does that leave us with these assholes? Milo doesn't even know anything about our security detail. That blonde bitch handled everything. “That's about all I can say right now.”

“At least look it up for me,” Turner growls out, leaning towards the guy, close enough that he's making him nervous. “Google her ass. See if she's still alive.”

“Sorry, no can do,” the man says, letting his eyes drift from Turner to the hotel room door. A moment later, it swings open and Brayden Ryker himself storms in, dressed in baggy black work pants and a short sleeved shirt. He lets the door swing shut behind him and puts his hands on his hips, looking between Turner and me with a tight pursing of his lips.

“I'm sorry about the way that all went down,” Brayden says as Turner spins to face him with a poisonous look spreading across his face. “It was never my intention to let it go this far.”

“Oh, aye,” Turner says, lifting up his hands in frustration as he imitates Brayden's Irish accent in a mocking tone of voice. “It twasn't me fault. I guess I just lost some of me lucky charms.” To his credit, the man doesn't react, moving his hands from his hips and folding them across his broad chest. The sleeve of floral tattoos he has stretching across his massive bicep is a little disconcerting, giving Brayden this soft edge that I know is one hundred percent for show. Those green eyes, the tattoos, the accent that makes American girls curl their toes, it's all a front. I imagine if he wanted to, Brayden could snap Turner's neck in like a second.

“Are you done then?” Brayden asks as Turner sags, the hot air going out of him faster than a popped fucking balloon. “'cause if you are, I've got some good news for you.” My friend's head snaps up as I take a step closer and fall into line beside him, mimicking Brayden's pose by crossing my arms over my chest. “Lola and Naomi are both alive.” My friend's body begins to shake as I close my eyes and let out a stale breath I hadn't realized I was still holding. “Miss Saints has been moved out of surgery and is in stable condition.” I open my eyes back up and meet Brayden's moss colored irises, running my tongue across my lower lip and fighting to keep my emotions to a minimum while I wait to hear about Naomi. “Miss Knox is still in surgery, so I can't report much beyond the fact that she's still breathing.”