VIP Access (The Road To Rocktoberfest #7) - Morticia Knight

Chapter One

Braylin leaned on a four-foot-tall Marshall amp, using it as a makeshift shield—or perhaps hiding spot—as he awaited the arrival of his rock idol, Zen Diamond. The lead singer of the band Glitter Kink would be arriving soon for rehearsal. In two weeks, the US leg of their tour would begin, and Braylin still couldn’t believe he was part of the crew. How he’d managed to talk the tour manager into letting his skinny, unknown ass be the band’s guitar tech was beyond him.

His heart thundered and he licked his lips. The fevered anticipation of getting to finally meet Zen—the Zen—had weakened his knees. He may or may not be madly in love with Zen, but that wasn’t the point. Pining for a celebrity was an unrealistic and childish form of love—this he understood. But beyond his infatuation, there were the songs. Holy shit, how he adored the music Zen had created for close to two decades.

However, obsessing over Zen’s songs was more than enough incentive for him to lose his shit when Zen walked in the room.

I can hold it together. Won’t make a fool of myself.

Braylin was there to do a job. A job that he was not only very skilled at, but that allowed him to be part of a world he’d dreamed of making a career in since he was twelve.

“Hey, kid. Are you gonna hug that amp all day or check the pedals?”

Gordy, the tour manager, regarded him with a scowl as he approached. The older, somewhat gruff guy was cool, but he didn’t put up with any nonsense. For the eighteen years that Glitter Kink had been one of the top bands in the world, he’d run the roadies and crew with an iron fist. At least that’s what Pete, the drum tech, had told him when Braylin arrived to begin his new adventure. Pete had been part of the crew almost the entire time the band had been on the road.

“I did, sir. I got here early, laid the cords and tested the settings.”

Gordy crossed his arms, his scowl deepening. “Uh huh. Please tell me you didn’t touch Sal’s Strat.”

Braylin straightened, his gut clenching. “Oh, uh… I thought that’s what I was supposed to do?”

How could he know whether the sound was right if he didn’t check it with the actual guitar? He’d already been given the settings and everything.


Here he was, trying to impress the manager on the first day, and instead he’d fucked up.

Gordy sputtered out a laugh. “Jesus, kid. Your face. I’m just fucking with you.”

Braylin almost collapsed in relief. “Oh, okay.” He gave a shaky laugh.

Gordy grinned and patted him on the back with enough force that Braylin almost pitched over. “Expect more of that from the crew. We gotta break in the newbie, make sure you can handle how tough it gets on the road.” He winked. “Gonna be a long four months until we reach Rocktoberfest. Forty-five dates before we hit Nevada. And, I’m taking a chance on you.” He poked a finger in Braylin’s arm. “Don’t disappoint me.”

“I-I won’t, sir.”

Gordy rolled his eyes. “And for the love of Christ, quit calling me sir!”

In his twenty-one years, he’d always called his elders sir. That’s how he’d been raised. Braylin swallowed hard as Gordy eyed him. The man who reminded him of the old sea captain from Jaws probably wouldn’t appreciate being referred to as an elder any more than he appreciated being called sir.”

“Yeah, sure.” He bit his lip. “Should I call you, uh…?”

“Gordy. You call me Gordy.”

A ruckus from the hallway leading to the enormous, warehouse-style rehearsal hall drew the manager’s attention, and he marched away as if he’d forgotten Braylin existed. In some ways, Braylin was fine with that. While he was grateful Gordy had given him this life-changing opportunity, and he knew the man was a good guy overall, his salty manner wasn’t something Braylin was used to. He’d grown up in a loving, quiet home, so Gordy was unlike anyone he’d ever dealt with.

Braylin imagined his entire world over the next four months would be unlike anything he’d ever dealt with.

The moment Zen passed over the threshold of the room, Braylin gripped the edges of the amp, holding on with all his strength to keep from melting to the floor. Seeing the legend in the flesh instantly transported him back to his teen years, a magical time of discovery when he’d spent as many hours as he could listening to music, teaching himself