Avery’s Desire Pt. 18
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“There are only two weeks left until the battle of the bands. We need to know if you’re up for this or not because if we’re going to pull out, now is the time to do it.” Cole was seated at the bar, his guitar case at his feet. Avery sat at one of the tables next to Rick with the others gathered around them. Boomer was leaning on the bar and like the others he had his eyes on Avery. They were all waiting for an answer.
Avery leaned back in his chair and sighed as he thought it over. He didn’t want to drop out, that would be admitting defeat and then Mikey would win. Avery couldn’t stand the thought of that asshole gloating over the fact that he’d actually made Avery drop out of the competition, but Avery had to really stop and wonder if he was ready to proceed with this.
He’d just gotten out of the hospital, he had a lot of healing left to do, both mentally and physically and if he were to be honest, he wasn’t one hundred percent sure that he was up to competing in the battle. Normally he was at home on stage, with the lights following him, all eyes watching him and the audience hanging onto his every word. Singing was the one thing that truly made him feel alive.
He’d gotten his voice back, at least his speaking voice, but it was still raw and scratchy. His throat hurt when he spoke too loud and that was a problem. Avery was known for hitting notes so high that most men were incapable of hitting. If he lost that ability his singing would be mediocre, he’d be just like every other singer out there trying to make it and failing because they didn’t have something special that set them apart from everyone else. Without his unique voice, Avery was doomed to fail.
Avery looked at each of his band mates. All of them had worked so hard. Cole had taken time away from his family to be a part of the band. Kat, trash, and most importantly Rick, they had all stood by Avery. Boomer had worked hard to get them picked as one of the ten bands playing and Avery didn’t want to let any of them down. He loved them all so much but he knew that whatever he decided they would support him. In the end, the final decision came down to Avery, what was he going to do? Could he go on, or was this the end for Desire?
Avery thought about it seriously. His band mates were important to him but he couldn’t just think about them. Did he really, in all honesty, feel that he could stand on that stage in two weeks and compete? The longer he thought about it the more he came to realize that if he didn’t get up on that stage, he’d never be able to live with himself. He looked at the others and he knew the answer that he would give them, yes he could do it, and he would. He had to. If he didn’t at least try, he’d never be able to take the stage again and his career, as short lived as it was, would be over.
Avery nodded as he looked at Cole and the look in Avery’s eyes told everyone that he had not made his decision lightly. “Yeah.” He said softly. “I’m up for it. We can’t back out now, we’ve come to far.”
Rick squeezed his hand. “You know you don’t have to prove anything to us babe. You have to do what you feel is right.”
“This is what’s right.” Avery smiled at Rick and kissed his cheek. “I want -no, I need to get my life back on track- Mikey thought that he could beat me and keep me down but he’s wrong. I can’t let him win Rick. But it’s not just that. I may not need to prove anything to you, but I have something to prove to myself. I’m sick of being bullied and pushed around. I’m sick of being scared to walk down the street alone or kiss my boyfriend in public. I’m sick of being a victim and it stops now. I’m not going to just hide away anymore. I can’t live that way.”
“You’re not a victim.” Kat smiled sympathetically at Avery. “You’re scared but that’s normal. What’s important is that you stood up and faced your fears. Not a lot of people can do that, but you did. You’re a fighter and a survivor, and I admire that in you. I do know what you’re saying though and I agree. If you want to get your life back then you need to get back up on that stage and show everyone that you can’t be beat. That’s how you reclaim your life. People will respect you for it too.”
“That’s all well and good but I’m not sure that he can physically handle the stress of competition.” Rick looked at Avery with fear and worry in his eyes. “I just think you’re moving too fast is all. You need to give yourself time to recover.”
Avery shook his head. “I love you Rick, but your wrong. I can’t just lay around in bed all day long feeling sorry for myself, and as sweet as you are, you can’t keep waiting on me hand and foot. I’m not as fragile as you think and I’m not going to crack under the pressure. I promise that I’ll take it easy, as easy as I can, but I have to get back to our normal routine. I thought the other night would have showed you how eager I am for things to get back to normal.”
Avery winked at him and Rick blushed. “The other night aside, I still think you’re rushing things. I just worry bahis firmaları about you is all. I can’t bear the thought of you suffering anymore.”
Avery pushed his chair back and stood up then slid himself onto Ricks lap. Rick wrapped his arms around him and held him close. “How can I suffer when I’m with you?” Avery asked him. “I was close to death laying there in the hospital. For a while I wishing for death but then I heard your voice. It was your voice that brought me back. Rick, as long as I’m with you I can do anything. You’re my strength. You make me whole.”
Rick slipped his hand under Avery’s chin and pulled the boys face around then he kissed him full on the lips.
“Damn, someone open a window!” Trash pretended to fan himself with his hand. “It’s getting pretty steamy in here.”
Kat laughed. “Yeah, I think Avery is going to be just fine.”
“Well if this thing is still on then you have the next two weeks to devote to practice and you really need to buckle down. With everything that’s happened and Avery being in the hospital, you’ve lost precious prep time.” Boomer walked over and put his hand on Cole’s shoulder. “That means more time for you away from your family. Are they going to be okay with that?”
Cole nodded. “We’ve discussed it already, they know it’s crunch time and they’ll support whatever we decide. Besides, a few missed dinners is worth it just to see daddy on stage.”
Boomer laughed. “I remember the first time you ever heard me play. You said I was lame.”
Cole chuckled some. “Well you were. Your band played nothing but old sixties songs.”
“Hey, that’s what was popular when I started out.”
“Yeah and I’m sure the golden oldies are a real hit with all the retirement homes.”
“Hey watch it.” Boomer playfully slapped him on the back of the head. “Those golden oldies put food in your mouth boy.”
“Do you ever miss being on stage?” Kat asked Boomer.
He shrugged. “Sometimes I guess I do but I’m also glad to be out of it. It was fine when I was younger but once I started having kids it became a lot to juggle. I wasn’t home as much as I would have liked to be and I missed out on a lot with my kids. Eventually I had to choose my family over my music but I was fine with that. Family is more important. Don’t ever lose sight of that.”
“We are a family.” Trash spoke up.
“That’s true.” Boomer agreed. “But it will be different when you get married and have children. You’ll still be a family and you’ll always love your band mates, but it’s not the same as starting your own family.”
“I don’t think me and Ave ever have to worry about that.” Rick said.
“We can always adopt.” Avery winked at him.
“Uh oh.” Trash smirked. “You ready to be a dad Rick?”
“Not for a very long time.” Rick laughed. “But I wouldn’t be against it…someday.”
“What about you?” Kat looked at Trash. “Are you against having kids someday?”
The question had caught Trash off guard. He suddenly realized that all eyes were now on him. He smiled sweetly at Kat. “Honey, I’m not against having kids at all, as long as I have a good woman by my side that I can grow old with. I would suggest that we be married first though. If I’m ever going to be a family man then I want to do it right.”
A silence had fallen over the room as Kat stared at Trash with tears in her eyes. Suddenly she threw her arms around his neck and crushed him in a huge bear hug. “You’re amazing!” She whimpered into his shoulder. “Just…totally amazing!”
Trash chuckled as he patted her on the back. “I’m just being honest. I can see myself being a dad someday. I think most men have the desire to carry on their names. I mean, even if we made it big and became famous, it won’t really last. Fame doesn’t last forever but blood does. Long after we’re gone its our kids and grand-kids that will remember us.”
“Now it’s getting depressing.” Avery said softly. A quiet had fallen over the room. Trash’s words had really caused the others to think, but Avery was right, the once bright mood had suddenly taken a darker turn.
“So, if we’re really going to do this then we should get to work.” Cole changed the subject back to the concert as an attempt to elevate the mood some. “We need to figure out what songs we’re going to do and which one we’re going to open with.”
“What about Avery’s song.” Rick spoke up. “He’s written a really great song, I think it would be perfect for the concert.”
“We haven’t really practiced it.” Kat said. “We don’t even know what it sounds like.”
“I’ve heard Ave sing it.” Rick said, trying to convince them. He turned to Avery. “Sing a bit of it so they can hear what it sounds like.”
“Well, I…” He stammered as all eyes turned to him. “I don’t know. I think it still needs some work. Maybe in a few days.”
“It’s great baby.” He smiled and squeezed Avery’s waist some. “You got the sheet music for it at home right?”
Avery nodded slowly. He didn’t want to think about the apartment. kaçak iddaa When he did, all he could think of was what Mikey had done to him, how scared he was, and how he no longer felt safe there. He knew that he had to go back though. They’d already stayed in the hotel for two nights and he just couldn’t justify staying another night, not when his father was paying the bill. It wasn’t a matter of if he could afford it or not. Avery knew that he could. He just didn’t want to keep taking advantage of his father’s generosity. That wasn’t his reason for wanting to fix things with him.
“I’ll get the music later.” Avery told them. “We can go over the song then.”
“Sounds good.” Cole smiled at him. “Right now we should just focus on getting back into a routine. We need to be practicing everyday. It wouldn’t hurt even to do a couple live shows here. Avery, are you sure you can sing? How’s your voice? I know you’ve had some swelling in your throat. Are you 100% percent yet or not?”
Avery shrugged some. “It’s still kind of scratchy but it doesn’t really hurt that much anymore. I haven’t really sang anything since the last time we had rehearsals. The doctor at the hospital told me to take it easy for a couple of weeks and not strain my vocal cords.”
Cole nodded. “I know you’re not going to like this, but I think it’s best if you to just rest for a few days. I’d feel more comfortable letting you sing when your doctor clears you.”
“But I…” Boomer shook his head and Avery closed his mouth. He knew that if Boomer agreed with Cole, the rest of the group would too and so this matter had been settled. Avery wasn’t going to sing until he saw his doctor and was cleared to sing again.
The others were ready to get to work though so Avery followed Rick to the back. He was going to sit and watch for now, but that was fine with him. As long as he didn’t have to go back to the apartment alone. He wondered silently if he would ever be comfortable being alone again.
Rick was exhausted when they got back to the apartment. All he wanted to do was crash in bed and sleep until morning. Avery was half tempted to tell him to go ahead and go in and he’d stay out on the porch but he knew that Rick would never do that. Rick stood next to him and held his hand as Avery stood in the doorway and looked nervously into the living room.
“Just take your time.” Rick whispered.
“If I keep putting it off I’ll never go in.” Avery sighed as he looked at Rick. “I hate feeling this way. My home is supposed to be safe and I don’t feel safe at all here, not anymore.”
“We could move.” Rick suggested. “I know it won’t help you now, but in the long run you might feel better in a different place. Maybe a place where you have to be buzzed in.”
Avery shrugged. “That’s an idea. I can start looking at some different places. I’m sure my dad would help with the deposit if I asked him.”
“Yeah,” Rick agreed. “You should ask him. He’s already mentioned that this isn’t the best neighborhood. I don’t really think he likes you living here.”
Avery looked up at him. “When did you speak to my father?”
“Earlier today.” Rick told him. “I called the maintenance guy to see about getting the lock changed, maybe adding a dead bolt too. He said it would be a couple of weeks before he could get to it. Even after I explained to him why I wanted it changed he still said that he was too busy to get to it right away, so I called your father and asked him to speak with him. The lock was changed this afternoon.” Rick smirked. “I guess old Terry wasn’t too happy when he found out your dad was a big time attorney. Your dad gets things done though and he was happy to help.”
Avery laughed a bit. “He started out doing real estate law and then some in civil rights. He did a lot of cases involving tenants rights so I’m sure he knew the right things to say. It doesn’t take more than a well placed threat of legal action to get something simple done.”
“What type of law does he practice now?”
“He’s a criminal defense attorney.” Avery said. “But he has his own practice so he can make the final decision on which clients he accepts. He typically won’t take on anyone unless he’s convinced of their innocence.”
“Well if I ever need a lawyer he’s hired.”
Avery smirked. “You couldn’t afford him.”
“Maybe he’ll take me on pro bono.”
“I’m sure he would.” Avery kissed Rick and smiled at him. “Let’s just hope you don’t ever need him.”
“I’ll try not to kill anyone.” Rick joked. “The only guy I’d be tempted to kill is in jail right now anyway and I hope he stays there.”
“If he doesn’t…” Avery sighed. “I’d be half tempted to kill him myself.”
The thought of Mikey sitting in a jail cell made Avery smile. With him locked up Avery could rest easier. He still worried that the case against him wasn’t going to be strong enough to get a conviction but Hanson assured him that the evidence was compelling. kaçak bahis The prosecutor seemed to feel the same way and Avery’s dad said that it was a good sign. The prosecution planned to bring charges of first degree sexual assault and attempted murder against Mikey, and they were prepared to ask for the maximum sentencing which in this case could be five to ten years in prison.
Avery hadn’t really thought about what he was going to do when Mikey did finally get out. He was worried that he might come after him again. He supposed that if he and Rick moved they would be okay but staying in the same town might not be that smart. He really had no idea what he was going to do but it was a long way off and he knew that he had time to worry about it later. Besides that, as long as Rick was with him, he supposed that it didn’t really matter where they went, so long as they were together.
Avery took a deep breath, squeezed Rick’s hand tighter and looked at him with trepidation. “Okay, I think I’m ready to do this. You won’t leave me, right?”
“Never.” Rick kissed him on the lips. “I’ll never leave you.”
Avery nodded, smiled at Rick, then stepped into the apartment for the first time since he’d been assaulted. It was probably the hardest trip he’d ever made in his life.
The guard walked Mikey into the room and shoved him down hard into the metal chair that was waiting for him. The room was tiny, smaller than the interrogation room. There was one window that was covered by frosted glass. It allowed a small amount of day light into the tiny room but most of the illumination came from the yellow glow of the overhead light above him.
Hanson looked at him and smiled. “You look good in orange.”
“Fuck you.” Mikey hissed.
“Michael, that’s enough.” Jackson put his hand on Mikey’s shoulder, urging him to calm down a bit.
“This is a bunch of bull shit.” He growled again. “I’m the one who gets the shit beat out of him and yet you have me in this fucking place. Arrest that bitch. She attacked me for no damn reason!”
“As I understand it,” Hanson told him, “She was defending herself against you.”
“Yeah of course they’d say that.” Mikey rolled his eyes. “Anything to put the blame on me.”
“There really isn’t any proof that he did anything other than just show up at the hospital.” Jackson said. “All you have is the word of four people who have an obvious grudge against my client.”
“All he did was just show up?” Hanson leaned over and looked Mikey in the eyes. “What I would like to know was why he just showed up? He knew that Avery, the boy he assaulted was a patient there. He’d already been asked to leave once, so what was his reasoning for being there?”
“Allegedly assaulted.” Jackson corrected. “The boy he allegedly assaulted. There is no proof that my client had anything to do with the unfortunate attack on Mr. Duprey.”
“The proof is in the DNA.” Hanson leaned back in his chair and sighed. “We have more than enough proof for a conviction. That along with the witness statements that corroborate the stalking and harassment. Not to mention he has previous arrests for assault, vandalism, public intoxication and more.” Hanson laughed sarcastically. “Hell, the jacket on this kid’s as thick as a paperback novel.”
“So, what are you offering?”
Hanson pushed a manila folder towards Jackson. Jackson opened it and scanned through the pages. “A plea?” He asked, not sounding too impressed.
“It’s the best the DA is prepared to offer. He pleads out to first degree sexual assault and battery and we drop the attempted murder charge. He’d be looking at a five years minimum. If we go to trial he could be looking at ten to fifteen.”
“You sound pretty sure of yourself.” Jackson closed the file and raised an eyebrow as he stared Hanson down. “I’m not convinced that a trial wouldn’t be in my clients best interest. At least then he’d have his chance to tell his side of things.”
“You put him on the stand in front of a jury and he’s done for. This is your best shot. Take the plea to the more serious charge, we drop the attempted murder and he could be out in five to eight years. If we take this thing to trial we will put Avery on the stand and with his testimony Michael won’t stand a chance.”
“I’ll have to confer to my client.”
Hanson sighed. “Fine, but just so you know, this offer has a shelf life of twenty-four hours then it’s off the table.”
Hanson stood and headed for the door. “Good luck counselor.”
Jackson nodded. He waited till Hanson had left the room then he turned to Mikey. “They’re scared. If they really thought they had a chance of winning they wouldn’t be so quick to offer up a deal.”
“Screw the deal.” Mikey said. “I’m not copping to something I didn’t do.”
Jackson leaned back and sighed. “You’re being totally honest with me right? You have to be honest with me because I can’t defend you if I don’t have all the facts.”
Mikey leaned across the table and stared Jackson in the eyes. “I’m telling you the truth. I had nothing to do with what happened to that little whore.”
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