Read Dead Serious Online

Authors: C. M. Stunich

Tags: #Rock Star

Dead Serious


“You ever see one of those old western movies where the sheriff and the outlaw face each other in a dusty street? Revolvers at the ready? Good versus evil and all. Well, this is kind of like that. Only more fucked.”

C.M. Stunich

Sarian Royal

Dead Serious

Copyright © C.M. Stunich 2013

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.

For information address Sarian Royal Indie Publishing, 1863 Pioneer Pkwy. E Ste. 203, Springfield, OR 97477-3907.

ISBN-10: 1938623800 (eBook)

ISBN-13: 978-1-938623-80-6 (eBook)

Cover art and design © Amanda Carroll and Sarian Royal

"Optimus Princeps" Font © Manfred Klein

"El&Font Gohtic!" Font
© Jerome Delage

The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, businesses, or locales is coincidental and is not intended by the author.





if you've ever lost yourself in the music,
if you've ever forgotten to breathe because of a beat,
if you've ever felt a melody in your soul,
this book belongs to you.


*Author's Note: Warning - this is book six in the Hard Rock Roots series. If you haven't read any of the previous books, you'll probably be sitting here scratching your head and wondering how anyone could possibly love a douche-y train wreck of a man named Turner Motherfucking Campbell. Trust us though, he's absolutely scrumptious. I've included the reading order below, so you can find your way to book one. For everyone that's caught up, you're probably sitting there smiling, knowing that within a couple of pages, you'll be reading the most ridiculous Turnerisms the world has ever seen. Enjoy!

“Hard Rock Roots” Reading Order:
Book #1: Real Ugly;
Book #2: Get Bent;
Book #3: Tough Luck;
Book #4: Bad Day;
Book #5: Born Wrong;
Book #6: Dead Serious;
Book #7: Doll Face




“What the fuck?” I ask, or maybe I'm screeching. From the look on Turner's face, I think that might be a more accurate description. “The … the fuck?” I try to lower my voice, but shit's just gotten real up in here.

“Don't make me repeat it,” Dax whispers, his voice cracked and broken. “Please, don't make me say it again.” I sit down hard on the side of the bed, feeling pretty fucking stupid in my black lacy lingerie. I only agreed to wear it because … well, shit. I don't know why I even agreed to wear it. It was Turner's idea.

“What's going on?” he asks, grabbing a shirt and tugging it over his head. I guess he can tell from my facial expression that sex is off the menu for the moment. I think the downstairs has gone dry after what I just heard. “Naomi?” I swallow hard and adjust myself, moving the phone from one ear to the other.

“What do you mean she's
Dax? She can't be dead. She's … ”
A stupid narcissistic, self-aggrandizing bitch. The woman who held me virtually hostage for the last few years. Our lead singer. My ex-best friend.

“She shot herself in the fucking head.” Dax's voice drops so low, I have to strain myself to even understand what he's saying. “And now she's gone. Hayden's gone, Naomi.” His voice breaks again on the beginning of a sob.

Hayden. Is. Dead.

Hayden is dead.

“Hayden is dead,” I breathe, and Turner's brows raise.

“What the fuck?” My sentiments exactly.

I raise my eyes and meet Turner's brown eyed gaze. He's frowning heavily, standing there in his black boxer shorts and scratching at the hard muscles on his lower belly in thought. I squeeze the fingers of my free hand against the floral bedspread. I don't know how to feel right now. Some part of me wants to jump for joy, praise the Gods of Rock that Hayden is dead, but a deeper, more human part of me wants to fucking weep. Hayden was so broken and shattered; she wasn't even a whole person anymore. I hated her yes, but I also felt sorry for her.

“Naomi?” A woman's voice comes through on the line. “I'm sorry, but Dax just dropped his phone. I think he's in shock.” It takes me a second to figure out who I'm talking to. Sydney. My skin breaks out in goose bumps, and I have to fight back a small wave of jealousy. I'm not unhappy with the decisions I've made, but seeing this woman waltz in here and take Dax's attentions, just like that? It's weird. Really weird. I mean, I think I like her. She did backtalk America after all.

“Understandable,” I say, and the word comes out flat. I am in fucking shock. I fall to my back on the bed and throw an arm over my face. Sydney clears her throat, and then I hear the sound of a door opening and closing over the line.

“Sorry. I had to let myself out of there.” I listen to the sounds of traffic layered behind her voice and wonder where they're at right now. The police station I presume? “Look, there's more to this than just Hayden.” Sydney clears her throat again. “I don't really know how to say this without betraying Dax's trust, but … there was a girl.”

“A girl?” I echo as Turner climbs onto the bed next to me and puts his ear next to the phone. One of his warm hands slides across my bare belly, and my heart skips a beat.
I don't know how to deal with this whole couple thing. It's weird for me to be in such an intimate relationship with a man who I once idolized, then demonized, and now … There is so much going on. So, so, so, so much.

“A girl from Dax's past. Hayden murdered her before she, you know.
” Sydney pauses. “I imagine you'll be hearing from your manager or something soon. Brayden's guys were relaying this all over the phone to him. Dax just thought you should hear it from him first.”

I don't know how to respond to that, so I let Turner take the phone when he tries to pry it from my fingers.

“Yeah, alright, thanks,” he says, sounding strangely contemplative. “I'm worried about that little emo bitch. Don't know how well his pansy ass can handle tragedy. Keep him safe and warm, eh?” Turner hangs up the phone and tosses it onto the nightstand with a sigh. I can sense his eyes as they slide over to me, judging my mood. Can't be an easy thing to do considering
not even sure what that is. “Ding, dong, the bitch is dead, right?” he asks, but he doesn't sound all that sure of himself either.

Suddenly, I'm scrambling to my feet and racing across the carpet, bare skin sliding across the rough fibers as I skid to a stop next to my duffel bag. My fingers tear open the zipper and dig through the clothing inside like they're possessed. By the time my hand closes around my iPod, there are tears streaming down my cheeks.

“Naomi?” Turner asks, moving up behind me. I can feel his fingers hovering over my skin, but he doesn't touch. Even self-assured, self-possessed Turner Dakota Campbell can't figure this one out. I yank my headphones up to my ear and push play on one of our songs, listening as Hayden's voice cuts through the fog in my brain and drops me to my knees.

I wanted her dead, but now that she's gone? I'm not so sure anymore. I'm not sure about fucking anything. Or maybe I'm just selfish, maybe what I'm really freaking out about is this: with Hayden gone, Amatory Riot fully and truly belongs to me.

I'm sitting on the end of America's bed with the rest of the band. Brayden Ryker stands nearby, obviously not nearly as much of a badass as he pretended to be, as America made him out to be. If he's so fucking amazing, then why is Hayden dead? Why?

“I … don't understand,” Kash whispers, touching his fingers to his forehead.

“No big surprise there,” I snap, feeling irritated with him, with all of them. I want to go drown myself in drugs and alcohol. That's it. I feel so fucking numb inside, and that's scaring me. I don't want to block this pain out; I want to get rid of it.

“Hey, screw you, Naomi!” Kash growls, whirling on me. “You probably Goddamn drove her to it!” I spit in his face and then things get fierce. He lunges at me and I knock him back on his ass, all while America screams at us to knock this shit off. Kash comes up swinging, but before I can get a nice hit in on his balls, Brayden is there pulling him back.

“Infighting is not the best use of our current resources,” he says in his magical Irish lilt, setting our bass player back on his feet. Kash pulls away with a snarl, running his hand through his blonde hair and starting to pace.

“So says the man who assured us not to worry,” I say caustically. My voice could burn it's so friggin' acidic. I run my hands down my face and put on a tight smile that I don't feel. I hate to admit it, but I actually wish Turner was in here with me. His presence is … comforting. I shiver at that thought, wrapping my arms across my chest and grasping hard onto my biceps.
Son of a bitch.
“The man who wasn't there when Hayden killed this … this Tara girl. When she fucking killed
” All of a sudden, my mind is just freaking filled with Hayden's voice, all of my words spilled from her lips. I can't stop thinking of every cruel little thing I did to her and vice versa. We were so toxic together. I should've just walked away from all of this.

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