Home > Give Me Love (Give Me #1)

Give Me Love (Give Me #1)
Author: Kate McCarthy

Chapter One

Performing the transformation into Rockstar Goddess was quite a feat. I’d be up for Heavyweight Champion in the Makeup Application Olympics if I managed to open my eyes under the weight of all the layers. The only other alternative was to look washed out under the bright lights of the stage, so I persisted with my efforts. Many nights performing on stage should have meant I’d perfected the process, but being a natural girl at heart, I still struggled to get it right.

The granite of the bathroom vanity was cool on my near nak*d form as I finished lining glue on the furry black eyelash, leaning close to the mirror to tack it on as quickly as possible. Time was escaping me, and Mac, my fierce and predictable best friend and roommate, would be busting down the door with impatience soon. I didn't mind too much because I needed her to kick my ass into gear on a regular basis.

“Hurry up, asshead!” I heard her shout from outside the closed bathroom door. It was accompanied by a few loud thumps for emphasis causing me to jump in fright and attach the lash to my eyebrow by mistake. It wasn't exactly the look I was aiming for.

“Macklewaine,” I complained loudly.

Mac took it as an invitation to enter because the door burst open hard enough for the knob to whack the back wall with a loud thud, making a dent in the perfectly painted plaster.

“Oh shit!” Apparently, Mac wasn't anticipating an unlocked door.

I folded my arms and flared my nostrils but she just let out a snort of laughter at my expense.

At twenty-four, Mackenzie Valentine was the same age as me but far more beautiful than any one person needed to be. She was tough and direct, leaving me to believe that when God was handing out the looks, she not only jumped the queue, she muscled her way to the front in order to take more than her fair share. She was golden all over, from the shimmery blonde strands of hair to her luminous skin, down to the golden sparkle of polish on her toes. Her eyes were like green emeralds, and not a single blemish marred her perfect complexion. Love her or hate her, there was no in between for a person like Mac. In her defence, she had three older brothers, hence fierce determination wasn’t just a way of life, it was a matter of survival learned from the tender years of childhood.

When it came to appearances, the only thing Mac and I shared was height and shoe size, but considering the footwear collection she housed in her wardrobe, this made me a very lucky girl indeed. My hair was dark brown to her blonde, with highlights of caramel littering the strands from the sun. It hung down my back, almost to my waist, in waves of imperfect wildness. My skin was not golden but olive with a hint of rose, and my eyes were a dark chocolate brown. I wouldn’t ever call myself beautiful, constantly lamenting my nose was a little too wide and my lips not full enough, however, Mac always told me I had an inner radiance that drew people in, and with such a look of “smouldering sex appeal,” she felt prim and proper in comparison. I guess I could deal with that.

“What the hell happened to your face?” Mac said after she finished laughing at me.

I put my hands on my h*ps and glowered at her but the whole furry eyebrow look was ruining my attempts to look fierce. “You. You happened to my face. Everything was going fine until you busted in here like a f**king SWAT team.”

It wasn’t really going fine, but she didn’t need to know I was struggling or her impatience would reach even greater heights.

I turned back to the mirror and peeled the furry caterpillar off the neatly pencilled arch of my eyebrow. The eyelash was ruined now. Gluey dried clumps coated the surface. I leaned forward and began picking the glue remnants out of my brow. Dastardly stuff.

“You’re bathroom hogging again,” she complained, and I didn’t deny the obvious. It was taking me at least a year to achieve Rockstar Goddess status, but defeat and I were not friends.

Mac put the toilet seat down, sat on the lid, and began buffing the already perfect nails on her left hand while I picked at the glue. I watched her warily through the mirror as I began to re-apply a new set of eyelashes. Something was churning through her brain. I could feel the waves of it powering towards me like a tsunami. I waited for her to get to the point since she wasn't known for taking winding side trips through the willows.

I raised a brow as I turned to look at her properly. “Can I help you?” I prodded, just wanting to get whatever it was over with already.

At my question, she tried to feign nonchalance, but she could never manage to get the expression right. Her eyes went a little too wide, and her shrug a little too exaggerated.

“I just got off the phone with Jared.”

Hearing his name made my heart pitter patter, and then plonk somewhere down in the vicinity of my toes. That explained Mac’s willow trip. Being direct on the subject of Jared hadn’t gotten Mac anywhere in the past. In fact, coming at me sideways on the subject of Jared hadn’t gotten her anywhere either. It was a no-win conversation as far as I was concerned.

I turned back to the mirror, finished tacking on the eyelash with smug triumph, and stepped back, doing some rapid blinks to make sure I hadn’t glued my eyes together.

Don’t laugh. I’d done it before. Granted, the emergency glue I pilfered from the shit draw in the kitchen probably wasn’t a good idea.

“Oh?” I replied back with an offhanded casualness that belied the churning of my insides.

Jared is Mac’s older brother by three years. Out of her three brothers, Jared is the one she is closest to, and of the three, he is the only one I look at and feel like time has stopped.

“He said he’s coming tonight to watch the band.”

I was about to burst out with “That’s not fair!” but wisely held my tongue. Tonight was an important night for us and required focus, not distraction, and Jared would be a distraction. Of that I was sure.

It was my band’s debut in Sydney tonight at the White Demon Warehouse, an uber cool venue to hear up and coming indie rock bands. This meant my stomach was already on the verge of dancing the twist and the slight tremor in my hands was making this eyelash attachment a nightmare.

I sucked in a few deep breaths. I could do this. I could.

I am a cool cucumber.

No, f**k that. I am Snoop Dogg. You can get no cooler than that.

Satisfied that one eye had achieved full Rockstar Goddess status, I leant forward to begin layering liner on the second eye. All the while, I could feel Mac’s eyeballs burning into my back, assessing my reaction to her words.

“Is that so?” I murmured, doing my best not to react.

She stopped filing her nails to gift me with a smirk, making it apparent that my lack of reaction was answer enough. Damn! I wasn't good at game playing, and she knew me too well.

“Yes that’s so,” she replied.

I didn’t have the time or the inclination for a man in my life for important reasons. The first of which was that I had a career in the music industry as a lead singer in a band that was going places. Music wasn't just my therapy, it was my life, and as long as I had that, I had everything I needed.

My band had been a family for six years; the four boys were like my brothers. We took it seriously, working long days—and even harder nights—and weekends, playing, creating, and evolving into what I chose to believe was a musical f**king force of nature that would eventually take over, if not the world, at least Australia to start. If we worked hard enough, it would mean months of travel—nationally and internationally—hours, days, and months of recording time, and if successful enough, we'd generate acres of fans and album sales. All of that so we could keep feeding our souls by doing what we loved most in the world.

“That’s nice,” I offered.

Besides music being my world, my heart had already been broken twice in the past, and I had no intention of revisiting that pain. Once by my ex Wild Renny and subsequently by my ex Asshole Kellar. Deciding that the third time was apparently the charm, I changed mid-stride and began dating dorks like they were my new religion. As long as they didn't fit what seemed to be my type—tall, hot bad boy with the consistent ability to put my life in danger—I was safe. No broken heart there. I had needed to change my ways before I started university because my life was spiralling out of control based on my lack of ability to make good decisions.

I met Jared for the first time during my first year at university when he came to check on his little sister, my very new roommate and soon to be bff. After that, avoiding him became my new mission in life because by appearance alone, he seemed to fit my type. All I had to do was ensure that wherever Jared was, I wasn’t. Not an easy feat considering he was Mac’s brother and co-owned a business with my older brother Coby, but the fact that he lived in Sydney while I lived in Melbourne kept him at arm's length.

The trouble now was the whole distance thing no longer existed since we moved to Sydney a week ago which placed me directly in Jared’s determined path.

I risked another glance at Mac through the mirror. She appeared distracted from her current topic choice and was now eyeballing my underwear with a narrowed gaze. It was a vintage blue and black lacy affair with a demi cup bra and little black bows and satin gathering that was both pretty and sexy and so expensive my purse gave out a feeble bleat of protest when exposed to the price tag. I’d only ventured to the shops to pick up milk and bread, but unfortunately that was when all sense went out the window.

“New underwear?”

I nodded because “This old thing?” never worked. She knew more about the contents of my wardrobe then I did. “I bought it yesterday.”

“Um, sorry? I thought I just heard you say you bought it yesterday.”

I cringed at the unhappy tone of her voice. What meditation was for some, shopping was for Mac. She didn’t mind doing it alone, but for some reason, if I shopped without her, I might as well just take myself directly to hell and save the time of waiting around for her to do it.

“We only moved to Sydney a week ago and you’ve gone shopping without me,” she hissed.

When I started putting the eyeliner on in a panic so I could make a quick escape, Henry, my other best friend and roommate, banged hard on the bathroom door to hurry me along.

I jumped again at the noise, eyeliner running wildly up my eyelid, and I wanted to scream in frustration. I’d never achieve Rockstar Goddess at this rate.

“Effing hell, Henrietta,” I screeched and tore open the door. “Can a girl not work her freaking Rockstar Goddess magic in peace?”

“Holy shit, Sandwich,” he muttered.

Sandwich was their nickname for me because of my surname Jamieson. Jam. Jam Sandwich. Now it was just Sandwich. It wasn't really the best nickname, but you just had to roll with what you got because if you kicked up a fuss, you’d likely end up with something worse.

I pursed my lips as his eyes did a full body scan before finally resting on the eyeballs that were glaring back at him.

“Finished?” I asked tersely.

Henry had long since declared Mac and I as asexual beings, so I took his body scan as the insult it intended to be.

“Tonight’s theme is Tartmonkey?” he asked.

Did he think I was planning to hit the stage in underwear alone? Before I could open my mouth, Mac beat me to it, snorting from her seated position on the toilet.

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