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LOVE THE WAY YOU 
 
CHAPTER TWENTY FOUR
 
We arranged to meet Benjamin Lockwood at Larry’s bar where it had all started.
 
Stan Morgan would not allow me to go and see him on my own saying that we had to have someone there that had the bands best interest at heart so I agreed to take him and Blake with me since Nigel and Kane were of doing something for him.
 
Benjamin this time was dressed more casually with designer jeans and a checkered shirt on.
 
He got to his feet smiling at me and the boys warmly before looking at Stan and Blake wearily “oh sorry I didn’t realize that we were brining our lawyers with us” I chuckled shaking my head before making the introductions “oh no these aren’t our lawyers this is Stan and Blake Morgan and they are just here for support.”
 
Benjamin still slightly uncomfortable but took his seat and shuffled some papers around while he waited for all of us to take our seats.
 
Addressing just me and the boys he past us each a contract “okay this is the contract that I have had my company to draw up for each of you and it tells you how long we expect you to work with us for and how much you will get for each label we manage to sell and it also states that we will put you all up in a house together while you are living and working in New York and we will cover all your living expenses as well as any traveling expenses so I need you to have someone that knows what they are doing to look them over and if you are in agreement with everything sign it and get it back to me as soon as possible so we can get to work.”
 
Stan took the contract Joshua was holding and started to look through it his eyes widening at what Benjamin was offering us before he made his expression blank and looked up at Benjamin “so Mr. Lockwood who will be keeping these kids safe while they are living and working in New York?”
 
Benjamin gave us all a reassuring smile “we are well aware that Annabelle and the guys are only seventeen at the moment and wont be eighteen for another few months so percussions will be taken to keep them out of trouble and there will be an adult living in the house with them at all times.”
 
Blake lent over and whispered something to his uncle “alright now we gather that they also will be doing some tours if this all takes off so will someone be with them then?”
 
Benjamin again nodded “yes myself and a female will be with them at all times day or night they will not be out of our sight.”
 
Stan nodded then looked at me “Annie do you have any questions that you want to ask” I nodded “yes actually um well the thing is I was once a victim of domestic abuse and I want my songs to represent this in some way so that I can show people that even though you are in a bad situation that you can escape and that there are people out there who love you and will help you get through it all.”
 
Benjamin rubbed his chin and nodded thoughtfully “yes we could work with that and make it what the band is all about but firstly does your band have a name?” I nodded growing nervous as I told him what it was “yes we are called the Broken Dolls” he grinned nodding delightedly “that is a great name and one that will work well with the message we want people to hear.”
 
Stan got to his feet signaling an end to the meeting “alright I think that is it for now Annabelle and the boys will get these contracts looked over and talk to their families and get back to you.”
 
Benjamin nodded then got to his feet shaking everyone’s hand before kissing mine then we said goodbye to Dana and Larry and headed home.
 
When we got back Nigel and Kane were back and sitting in the lounge room with some girls, I stood beside Blake and looked at them wearily wondering what was going on.
 
Nigel jumped to his feet “hey how did it go?” I held up the contract while never taking my eyes of Kane and the dark headed girl sitting beside him “I just have to get this looked over then I am headed to New York.”
 
Nigel raced over pulling me into a bear hug “I am so proud of you Annie” I smiled sadly while watching Kane lean into speak into the girls ear.
 
Nigel noticing where my focus was gave me a harder squeeze and whispered close to my ear “just forget about him Annie and focus on your career” I nodded but felt tears starting to fill my eyes “can you put me down please Nig.”
 
He put me back down on my feet and gave me a concerned look but I gave him a small smile that I had to force then turned and ran upstairs to my room.
 
Turning my stereo on I sat at the window and stared out of it through my tears while trying to sing a song that would make me feel better.
 
can almost see it
That dream I am dreaming
But there's a voice inside my head saying
"You'll never reach it."
My sobs stopped me, I shook my head and tried again telling myself that this was what I wanted a new start that I had to forget Kane Morgan.
 
Taking a breath and wrapping my arms around myself I tried again.
 
can almost see it
That dream I am dreaming
But there's a voice inside my head saying
"You'll never reach it"

Every step I'm taking
Every move I make feels
Lost with no direction
My faith is shaking

But I gotta keep trying
Gotta keep my head held high

There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose

Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb

The struggles I'm facing
The chances I'm taking
Sometimes might knock me down
But no, I'm not breaking

I may not know it
But these are the moments that
I'm gonna remember most, yeah
Just gotta keep going


And I, I got to be strong
Just keep pushing on

'Cause there's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose

Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb, yeah!

There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Somebody's gonna have to lose

Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb, yeah!

Keep on moving, keep climbing
Keep the faith, baby
It's all about, it's all about the climb
Keep the faith, keep your faith, whoa.
Wiping at the tears sliding down my cheeks I didn’t feel like I would make it, I felt like I was failing big time, shaking my head sadly I got up and went and laid down on the bed and closed my eyes praying that in the morning things would look better.
 
Things looked far from better when I went downstairs to find all the guys and those girls at the kitchen table and knew that the girls hadn’t gone home.
 
Ignoring the pain I felt I headed to my stool and grabbed my bowl of cereal and started eating it as quickly as I could just wanting to escape from the obvious flirting going on behind me.
 
Stan walked into the kitchen and glanced at everyone at the table then came over to the bench and grabbed a coffee while smiling down at me “hey Annie how did you sleep last night?” I couldn’t help but lose color as I thought about the nightmares I had all night that had Reece and those three guys in them, all taking turns to hurt me anyway they could “I didn’t really I had to much on my mind.”
 
He gave me a concerned look but didn’t say anything thankfully, I pushed my empty bowl away and looked up at him thoughtfully “so I have looked over the contract and I was just wondering what you thought after looking over Josh’s yesterday?”
 
He finished his coffee and sat the cup in the sink then leaned on the counter looking like the scary business man that he was “well I think it’s a good deal that would be good for the band but I have concerns that this Benjamin may not only be interested in you for your musical talents” I blushed at his words and shook my head “please he is like fifty years old and I am still a kid why would he be interested in me?”
 
Stan gave me a look that said are you serious girl “why the hell wouldn’t he be interested in you he may be an old man by your standards but he is still a man” I nodded “okay so what do you suggest I do about it?”
 
Stan looked thoughtfully a head for a few seconds “well I would suggest you get yourself a boyfriend but after everything that you have been through lately that may not be a good idea so what I suggest is you let me hire you a female body guard that will live with you in New York and will accompany everywhere you go” I gave a harsh laugh “isn’t that taking things a little to far?”
 
Stan shook his head “nope not at all, look Annie you know better then anyone what some people are capable of and since you also have been associated with us everyone will feel a lot better if you had someone with you all times that could protect you if needed.”
 
I gave a tight nod while getting to my feet “fine you find a female that can take care of me while I go round up my band and get these contracts signed so we can get this ball rolling.”
 
Turning towards the door I was again faced with everyone at the table, Kane had the dark headed girl sitting on his lap and his arms wrapped around her waist, I blinked away tears as I hurried past them and backup stairs to ring the guys.
 
I arranged to meet the guys at the bar and also organized for Benjamin to be there so we could give him the signed contracts.
 
Taking my old truck I pulled into the bar ten minutes before I was due to meet the guys and headed inside.
 
Dana and Larry were at the bar talking and looked up as I walked in “hi love what brings you here?” Dana asked, I shrugged walking over to join them “I am meeting the guys and the guy from the recording company here in about ten minutes but I wanted to do a little singing to relax my nerves first if that is okay with you?”
 
They both nodded and Larry gestured towards the stage “go for it honey it would be nice to hear you sing one more time before you leave us” I nodded and hurried towards the stage while trying to think of the best song to sing.
My eyes are open wide
And by the way, I made it
Through the day
I watched the world outside
By the way, I'm leaving out
Today

I just saw Hayley's comet
Shooting
Said why you always running
In place?
Even the man in the
Moon disappeared
Somewhere in the
Stratosphere

Tell my mother,
Tell my father
I've done the best I can
To make them realize
This is my life
I hope they understand
I'm not angry, I'm just saying...
Sometimes goodbye
Is a second chance

Please don't cry
One tear for me
I'm not afraid of
What I have to say
This is my one and
Only voice
So listen close, it's
Only for today

I just saw Hayley's comet
Shooting
Said why you always running
In place?
Even the man in the
Moon disappeared
Somewhere in the
Stratosphere


Tell my mother,
Tell my father
I've done the best I can
To make them realize
This is my life
I hope they understand
I'm not angry, I'm just saying...
Sometimes goodbye
Is a second chance

Here's my chance
This is my chance

Tell my mother,
Tell my father
I've done the best I can
To make them realize
This is my life
I hope they understand
I'm not angry, I'm just saying...
Sometimes goodbye
Is a second chance

Sometimes goodbye
Is a second chance
Tell my mother,
Tell my father
I've done the best I can
To make them realize
This is my life
I hope they understand
I'm not angry, I'm just saying...
Sometimes goodbye
Is a second chance
Tell my mother,
Tell my father
I've done the best I can
To make them realize
This is my life
I hope they understand
I'm not angry, I'm just saying...
Sometimes goodbye
Is a second chance.
 
 
Looking at Dana and Larry I gave them a sad smile “I really hope that everyone understands why I am doing this it really is my second chance and maybe I wont make it big, god maybe I will get to New York and want to turn around and come straight back home but after what Reece put me through for so long at such a young age and not having a say in anything I want this so I can say I did something for me.”
 
Dana started to say something but I cut her off when I continued “Kane Morgan showed me that there were good people in this world that would never do the things that people like Reece do but while I am taking this chance I am all so letting him go, I know that he will not wait around for me to come back and I would never ask him to, he is a great guy that deserves a great girl that loves him and I really hope that he finds her and that he stays safe while working for his uncle, could you please pass that on to him for me?”
 
Dana and Larry nodded Dana with tears falling “we all will miss you honey but we all are so happy that you are getting this chance that other people in the world will get to hear your story through you voice” I nodded while wiping away my tears “I am not sure if I will get time to say goodbye to everyone and I have no idea where Tony has disappeared to but if you could pass on this to everyone for me, for so long I was lost and thought that life would never get better for me.”
 
I took a deep breath “the day I found out I was pregnant I was so scared not that I was going to be a mother, hell I would have been a good mother to my baby, I was scared because Reece’s anger problems were getting worse and I knew that it was only a matter of time before he killed me so the day I found out I was pregnant I locked myself in the bathroom and I prayed for someone to come and save me before it was too late but no one ever came then I killed Reece.”
 
Sobbing and wiping at my tears I struggled to continue “then my brother and father tried to get back that little girl I had been before Reece but I thought she was gone that Reece had killed her until the day that Nigel introduced me to the Morgan’s , god I hated them on sight and couldn’t wait to get away from them but the more that I got to know them the more I came to realize they were great people then I met you and you all showed me what real love was and helped me to realize that the girl I was wasn’t gone she was just in hiding.”
 
Shaking my head I gave them a watery smile “sorry I am rambling what I want you to tell everyone for me is that they saved me, they are all my hero’s and thank you, without people like you in my life I wouldn’t be here right now with this opportunity.”
 
Stepping down from the stage I excepted Dana and Larry’s hug, while I was hugging Larry I asked him to pass on a special message “tell Kane that I love him and not to wait for me” he nodded kissing my cheek “I will honey.”
 
Stepping away from them I headed for the table to wait for the guys and Benjamin to turn up so we could start our new lives in New York.
 
 
 
 
 
 


Submitted: April 06, 2011

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