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Raging Fire

     Five years have passed since Adrian “Bolt” Hall was given a second chance at life and he’s made the most of it. The anger and bitterness of his youth? Vanished. The drama and heartache that once plagued his relationship? Gone. Together with his gorgeous wife, Melody, he has created a loving home and surrounded himself with loyal friends. And just when Adrian thinks life can’t get any better, his band, Lightning, is offered  an opportunity to make a comeback.

     There’s only one thing missing from this idyllic life, and it’s something Melody desperately wants again. A child. But, no matter how many times Adrian makes love to her, his wife doesn't get pregnant. With his virility called into question, Adrian’s perfect world starts to crumble. A tragic death reopens wounds from his childhood. The band’s search for a new drummer leads them to an excellent candidate—one with a very close connection to the man who raped Melody. Long held secrets are revealed, that put his best friend’s life at risk. And when Melody begins receiving mysterious threats…it’s all Adrian can do to keep it together.

     With each new challenge, Adrian’s resolve to remain the good man he has become is tested. He struggles with the temptation to slip back into his old ways of jealousy, mistrust, and anger…the old ways that destroyed his band, took his children from him, and nearly ended his relationship with Melody.

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     So, tell me what’s been up with you guys?” Buzzy asked as they sat around the table eating dinner. “I’ve missed you.”

     Adrian turned away and stuffed more of his baked potato into his mouth. Melody had come by earlier to drop off food for them before leaving to meet Annette. The two had decided on a location for the boutique and were meeting with an interior designer to plan out the décor. Danielle was babysitting the boys.

     “Auditions are all set,” Kat announced. “They’ll all be coming into the studio a week from Saturday. About fifty have shown interest. We looked at their credentials, listened to tapes and narrowed it down to about twelve who sound like good candidates.”

     “Including Giovanni, right?” Buzzy shoved a piece of broccoli into his mouth.

Adrian rolled his eyes.

     “Yeah.” Dagger nodded. “His tape was damn good.”

     Grinning, Buzzy nudged Dagger. “How’s Teona.”

     Dagger smiled back and took a sip of water. “Teona’s great. Things are moving along nicely.”

     “Fucked her yet?”

     “Really, Bolt?” Dagger narrowed his eyes. “Is that all you ever think about? Did it ever occur to you that I might actually like this woman? I’m pursuing a relationship, not a piece of ass.”

     Adrian sneered.

     Buzzy turned to Kat. “How’s Annette with all the separation stuff?”

     “She seems to be handling things well,” Kat answered. “The boys, too.”

     “Adam still being a prick?”

     Kat nodded slightly. “He left River View Hospital and is starting a private practice now. Claims to be busy and not able to see the boys much.”

Adrian huffed, crossing his arms over his chest. “Keeping tabs, huh? Guess you’ll be fucking Annette soon.”

     “Don’t talk about her like that.”

     “Why? You gonna punch me in the face, too?”

     “Maybe someone should.” Dagger kicked Adrian’s chair. “You’re being an asshole tonight.”

     “You were the one who suggested I date Annette, not me,” Kat reminded him. “She happens to still be married and probably has an ugly divorce ahead of her.”

     “That hasn’t stopped Buzz,” Adrian grumbled.

     “What the fuck are you talking about?” Buzzy shrugged before his eyes widened. “Danielle?”

     “You were all over that at the pool party.”

     “That?” Dagger questioned. “That is a sweet woman who has had a rough go at life. She’s very fragile, and the last thing she needs to be doing is starting a relationship of any kind.”

     “Maybe you should explain that to him. I’m sure he’s been banging her. He bangs everything in sight, remember?”

     “Fuck you, Bolt!” Buzzy leaped out of his chair, fists balled, green eyes radiating with anger. “I don’t know what the fuck is wrong with you, but you need to stop talking about these women like this! You know them. They’re decent and cool, like Melody. You’re not the only one who deserves to have a wonderful woman in his life.”

Adrian jumped up. Maybe this was his chance to hit something. He pushed Buzzy and immediately Kat had him on the ground. He squirmed and tried to get loose, but Kat had always been stronger than him, so it was no use.

     Buzzy stood over them. “Obviously, something’s been going on since I last saw you. Dagger told me about the shit your dad pulled, but seriously that has nothing to do with me. Why are you fucking pissed at me and everyone else?”

     He broke down. What the fuck? He hadn’t cried like that  in front of the guys in years. He hated doing so now, but the tears wouldn’t stop. Kat eased his hold on him. He sat up, and Kat wrapped an arm around him.

     Buzzy dropped to his knees beside him and took him in his arms. “Bolt, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to yell at you.”

     “Yeah, you did.” Adrian sniffed and got to his feet. Kat stood and then Buzzy. “And I fucking deserve it.”

     “Maybe so, but don’t hit me or anything.” Buzzy grinned. “I’m a lover not a fighter like you and Kat.”

     Adrian stared at his friend in disbelief. Even through his tears, he couldn’t help but smile. Buzzy was the most insanely silly person he had ever known.

     “I know you’re a lover too and all, but the whole fighting thing was never my scene.”

     Tears ran down his face again as he sat down. “I might not be a lover anymore.”

     “Bolt, we discussed this.” Kat sat next to him. “Your sperm have nothing to do with your dick working.”

     Dagger nodded. “He’s right. And I believe you’ve proven that a thousand times over.”

     “I get it now.” Buzzy took his seat. “That’s why you’ve been so cranky today. You think you’re dick is broke.”

     Adrian looked at Dagger, his serious friend. “Why would I not be able to get it up today when I tried to have sex with Melody?”

     Buzzy’s mouth fell open. “Shit. His junk is broke!”

     Kat smacked Buzzy on the head playfully. “Enough of your jokes or I won’t stop him from hitting you next time.”

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