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Wheels of Fire – Hollywood Demons Kickstart Trilogy
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All that glitters isn’t gold. USA Today bestselling author Autumn Jones Lake’s Wheels of Fire concludes the ultra-romantic, emotional adventure that began in Kickstart My Heart.
The most important lesson I’ve learned in Hollywood, is that besides Chaser’s love, most things that glitter aren’t gold. It’s time for us to decide if the struggles are worth the heartache.
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“Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.”
—Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Sometimes the path to harmony isn’t in the doing of stuff, it’s in the undoing of the things that leave you unbalanced. The releasing of the people hanging around your neck. The albatrosses who drag you under. It’s a lesson I should’ve learned a long time ago.
Instead, thanks to my druggie bandmates, I’m sitting in an austere six by eight cell. With no idea whether Andrew is alive or not.
Fear digs the deepest graves. That’s why I’m keeping mine in check.
This is all a big mistake.
I’ll be out soon.
“Adams!” an officer shouts.
Please let that be someone coming to their damn senses and letting me out of here.
I stand and wait by the cell door. The officer approaches, almost apologetically. “I gotta cuff you.”
I hold my wrists out as he slides the gate open. “Do what you gotta do.”
“Lot of us are fans,” he says in a low voice as he walks me through the corridors.
“Thanks.” What the hell else do I say? You’d think growing up in an MC, I’d have a healthy hatred of law enforcement. And I do, to a certain extent. But my father always impressed upon me the importance of showing respect until it’s no longer an option. Law enforcement’s just doing their job.
The grim vibe of the building doesn’t improve as I’m led away from the cells, down a corridor with painted cinderblock walls. All windowless and free of decoration. We stop outside a small room. Inside, a square metal table is bolted to the floor. A crabby-faced detective waits to interrogate me on the other side.
He scowls as the other officer walks me to a chair.
The guy is most definitely not a fan.
Once we’re alone, he sits forward. “Let’s go over your story again, Mr. Adams.”
“This is ridiculous.” I spread my hands on the table in front of me. “Test me for gunshot residue.”
“You seem to know an awful lot about the process.”
I roll my eyes. “While you’re wasting time busting my balls, the person who actually shot my friend is running around free.”
“You and Andrew Lane are friends?”
“Yes.” Most of the time I want to kill the guy but I haven’t made a serious attempt, yet.
It’s probably better to keep those sentiments to myself.
“A number of witnesses say you had an argument yesterday. Over your girlfriend.”
“She and Andrew had a mild disagreement. We resolved it. Hell, I played on stage with Andrew last night.”
“Another witness says you threatened to shoot Mr. Lane a few nights ago.”
“Bullshit.” One of the only “witnesses” was Alvin and there’s no way he’d rat me out to anyone. Jacob and Garrett technically didn’t see anything. I can’t imagine the girl Andrew brought on the bus spilling the story so fast. And Mallory would never talk to the cops. That leaves someone who wants to feel important spreading second or third-hand information.
“So you didn’t threaten to shoot him?”
“We get into disagreements all the time. We’re a bunch of guys on the road cooped up on tour buses.”
Unimpressed, he flips through his notebook. “That doesn’t answer my question.”
“Does Andrew Lane have a drug problem?”
Does he ever.
“What about Jacob Whitfield?”
He’s the whole reason we’re in this mess.
“You’ll have to talk to Jacob.”
“We will once we locate him.” He leans forward. “But come on, he’s your singer. You don’t know his habits?”
“I’m not his babysitter.” Big, fat lie there.
“He’s the one who called you and asked you to meet him and Andrew?”
“Any idea what they were doing in that part of town?”
“I assumed they’d gotten lost.” While trying to score heroin.
“When I got there, Andrew was already on the ground bleeding out.” I squeeze my eyes shut for a second, drowning in the helpless feeling of possibly watching a friend die.
“And?” he prompts.
I take a deep breath. “I put pressure on the wound and slapped Jacob to snap him out of his shock and told him to call 911.” Furious over the whole situation, I may have punched Jacob a little harder than necessary. But I’ll happily take the blame for the crime I actually did commit if Jacob has the urge to press charges.
“Who else was there?”
I close my eyes again, trying to remember details lost in the chaos. I’m pretty sure Vinnie and Garrett took off as soon as I arrived. It’s not in my nature to snitch or volunteer information to cops, though. “I’m not sure. Everything was crazy. I focused on getting Andrew help and didn’t pay attention to who was around us.”
He rolls his eyes at what I’m sure sounded like a self-serving statement. “Where was your girlfriend during all this commotion?”
Unease prickles down my spine. Mallory doesn’t need to be brought into this. “Asleep in our hotel room.”