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Music . . . the heart’s greatest librarian.

The average song is three and a half minutes long; those three and a half minutes could lead to a slow blink, a glimpse of the past, or catapult the soul into heart-shattering nostalgia.

At the height of my career, I had the life I wanted, the life I’d always envisioned. I’d found my tempo, my rhythm. Then I received a phone call that left me off key.

You see, my favorite songs had a way of playing simultaneously. I was in love with one man’s beats and another’s lyrics. But when it came to the soundtrack of a life, how could anyone choose a favorite song? So, to erase any doubt, I ditched my first-class ticket and decided to take a drive, fixed on the rearview.

Two days.

One playlist.

And the long road home to the man who was waiting for me.


EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: Drive

Kate Stewart

An emotional tale of second chances, soulmates, and music is now available from Kate Stewart, and I have a sneak peek for you.

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Excerpt

There’s something about music that brings people together. But it has to be the right music. When it came to the music that touched me, I was addicted to the drive of emotion it brought: anger, love, hate, greed, hunger, thirst, desperation, redemption, peace, and fantasy. Music was my touchstone, my place of worship. If I went without it too long, I felt an addict’s itch. I could live on it. I thrived on it. It was my second air.

But the night I saw Reid Crowne play, that balance shifted.

“Hurry up,” I squeaked as I showed the doorman my ID and pushed past the bar crowd to take one of the last tables on the side of the stage. Paige sat down next to me as Rye took the stage and began running through chords on the guitar. He looked our way and gave us a nod.

My heart galloped as the club went dark. Neil joined us at the table with fresh beers, obstructing my view. I grabbed the offered suds and damn near yelled at him to get the hell out the way before he moved, and I saw Reid was already sitting behind his battered set.

Inside. I was rattling as I took a sip of beer and sat back in my seat. I’d been to hundreds of shows and had never been nervous. And before I could catch my breath from the sight of him in his usual attire— steel toed black boots, jeans, and a T-shirt, that were totally unoriginal, but like catnip for me—I heard the tick of his sticks. And then I was surrounded.

It took every bit of strength I had to keep my mouth closed. Everything about their dynamic changed when Reid was playing with them, at least it had for me. His sat composed behind his set, completely affected, yet totally relaxed, the stick and extension of his arms keeping perfect rhythm. Ben brought down the house while Rye slayed it on guitar and Adam executed on bass.

“Stella!” Paige yelled in an attempt to get my attention. She nudged me with her shoulder and forced me to take my eyes away from Reid.

“So, what do you think Ms. future Rolling Stone?”

I think I’m falling in love with the King of nothing.

But it wasn’t nothing. It was anything but. “They’ll be signed in less than a year,” I stated without hesitation.

Baffled I looked back at the stage.

“Told you,” Paige said to Neil as I zeroed in on them individually noting how well they played off each other before I turned my attention back to Reid who never, not once, acknowledged the crowd. He was all business, but I could tell as he glanced over to Ben who occasionally fucked with him—that playing was his second air. I was riveted, completely and totally enthralled. Sweat gathered at his temple, his movements were second nature. I’d been to hundreds of shows and never in my life seen anything sexier than Reid Crowne skillfully spinning his sticks with expertise before he gunned his beats, his sweat drenched hair flying loosely around his face while he dug in and reacted to the music with his body, immersed in his rhythm. Heat glistened off his neck as he rode the wave of music, his timing flawless. He bit his lip when he sped up rocking his body and as my chest rose and fell with desire. I was thirsty and wanted nothing more than to drink the salt off his skin and straddle his lap and rock myself against him. Newly addicted, Reid’s beats my fix and I would never get enough of the sight of him in his element while he owned the stage.

The Sergeants mixed a few originals I’d heard at practice that had serious potential with some on point covers. Ben had told me at the garage that covers weren’t the time to make music their own, because it wasn’t their hard word to fuck with. It was a time to pay tribute. Reid had told him that was the biggest load of bullshit he’d ever heard in his life, and that some of the most remembered songs were remade covers, but he played the same drum beat anyway to appease him. The two seemed to playfully duel often about direction, while Rye and Adam were the less temperamental and just eager to play. And even without knowing their personalities, I knew they were all a match. Their sound was a mix of straight-laced old school rock paired perfectly with elements of metal, psychedelic and punk. I was utterly manic and more than floored bearing witness to the beginning of something. I damn near lost my shit when they started an acoustic version of Freak on Leash by Korn that turned it into a masterfully crafted crescendo of epic metal feedback through their amps. Reid tore his drums to shreds while Ben fucking blew the lid off with vocals. And I wasn’t the only one in the club reacting. Paige was on her feet unleashing her screams right along with Neil and it wasn’t until I noticed them standing that I realized I was doing it right along with them. The whole floor filled within an hour of the start of their second set, people busting at the seams full of recognition and admiration. There was no shortage of women either, who were vying for the attention of the charismatic lead singer with a versatile voice, both guitarists, bassist and the drummer, who didn’t bother to acknowledge they existed. I was fully intoxicated, and hadn’t touched my beer since they started. And I was thankful. I played off the crowd as we gathered and worshipped at the altar of the Dead Sergeants and they rioted.

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