Sunday, March 29, 2015 | By: Drotuno

Man Behind the Mask Chapter 11 & Pics

Chapter 11 – Let There Be Rock
And it came to pass
That rock 'n' roll was born
All across the land every rockin' band
Was blowin' up a storm
And the guitar man got famous
The business man got rich
And in every bar there was a superstar
With a seven year itch
There was fifteen million fingers
Learnin' how to play
And you could hear the fingers pickin'
And this is what they had to say
Let there be light
Let there be rock
“Let There Be Rock” – AC/DC
“He won’t be doing it!” Mom snapped, glaring my way. “I’m blaming you for this, Isabella!”
I grinned, shaking my head. “Fine, blame me, but you really can’t stop him, Mom.”
Mike looked like he was about to be split into two separate pieces. He wanted so badly to go back into the bar to be with Edward and the band, but he also looked like he was about to be sick because my mother was livid.
“He’s eighteen, Mom. He’s been a legal adult for a few weeks now. You could no more stop him from doing this than you could stop him from serving burgers through a drive-thru,” I told her, shrugging a shoulder. “It’s just a tryout. An audition. He may not even make it,” I said, shooting a wink my brother’s way. “Though, I doubt it. He’s damn good.”
Mike grinned, gazing to the floor. “Thanks, B,” he whispered.
Wednesday, March 25, 2015 | By: Drotuno

Man Behind the Mask Chapter 10 & Pics

Chapter 10 – Nothing Else Matters
Never opened myself this way
Life is ours, we live it our way
All these words I don't just say
And nothing else matters

Trust I seek and I find in you
Every day for us something new
Open mind for a different view
And nothing else matters

Never cared for what they do
Never cared for what they know
But I know
“Nothing Else Matters” – Metallica
I didn’t move from the welcome mat on Bella’s threshold, but the sound of the door thumping softly open made me jump a bit and my heart beat heavy because things were about to get real. I was no stranger to sex, but suddenly, my palms and brow were sweaty, my heart was pounding, and my breathing was shallow.
When Bella wriggled a little to set her feet on the floor, I snapped out of the haze I’d been in. She reached for my guitar and then my hand, guiding me inside. She leaned the guitar against the wall of the kitchen, closing her front door. It was like I’d developed some sort of tunnel vision, because all I could see was her, and I realized that she was just as nervous as I was.
“We… We don’t…” I started to say we didn’t need to do anything, but I knew it would be a blatant and outright lie. I needed her. I needed her on a level I couldn’t control, nor did I want to anymore.
Sunday, March 22, 2015 | By: Drotuno

Man Behind the Mask Chapter 9 & Pics

Chapter 9 – Question All You Trust
Walk the razor's edge
Cut into the madness
Question all you trust
Buy into the fear
I see the man ripping at my soul now
I, I know the man
I know him all too well

There's nothing here for free
Lost who I want to be
My serpent blood can strike so cold
On any given day
I'll take it all away
Another thought I can't control
“This Means War” – Avenged Sevenfold
The city of Seattle blurred outside the window of the cab. My phone was almost dead from the texts I was receiving from Emmett. Apparently, he was heading to our mother, who had called him about the same time that Bella had called me, while I had to go clean up the mess that was our dad. Something had happened between them; we just didn’t know what.
My forehead thumped softly to the car window. I hadn’t been lying to Bella. All I’d wanted the entire time I was in L.A. was to come back and just see her. With her, I didn’t have to put on any act, didn’t have to hide behind a mask of indifference. That last thought made me close my eyes. That wall of indifference I’d had to wear for so long had started to become a part of me, and it wasn’t me. And knowing my dad was sitting in Bella’s bar, saying who knew what, that indifference meshed into anger.
If he said something to hurt her, if he offended her in any fucking way, I didn’t know if I could control myself. She was too sweet, too important to me to have him come in and destroy the barely there relationship I wanted so damned badly.
My phone bleeped, signaling that my battery was just about gone, but it bleeped again with a message from Bella.
I closed the bar early, Edward. Come in the back door.
I wanted to ask a billion questions, but just as I started to type back, the phone died in my hand.
“Fuck,” I sighed to myself but sat up when we pulled into the alley.
Wednesday, March 18, 2015 | By: Drotuno

Man Behind the Mask Chapter 8 & Pics

Chapter 8 – Figure it Out
Broke my shoe, tripped and fell on you
But you didn't know I planned it out
I said I'd go, cause I won't see you later
And we're not allowed to figure it out

Nothing here to see
Just a kid like me
Trying to cut some teeth
Trying to figure it out

Nothing better to do
When I'm stuck on you
I'm still in here trying to figure it out
“Figure it Out” – Royal Blood
Can I see you before I leave tomorrow?
The smile that curled my lips as I read Edward’s text couldn’t be stopped if I tried. It spread across my face slowly, causing a chuckle from Tori.
“Is he sexting you?!” she squealed, running from one side of my bar to where I was standing at the other end.
“What? No!” I scoffed, typing back that I was right downstairs at work, but I tucked my phone away before she could snag a peek. I laughed at her pleading face. “We’ve been on one date, Tori, and it was dinner at my apartment with my little brother.”
She looked at me like I was lying or crazy, but even though she’d seen him a hundred times in the bar since he’d moved into the apartment upstairs, she still saw him as Masen. She had no idea that he wasn’t the persona he projected all the time. Or maybe she did but chose to objectify him anyway. I understood it, simply because he was gorgeous. It was easy to get wrapped up in his looks, his slow, sexy half-smile. His quiet nature made him a mystery to people who didn’t know him.
The phone bleeped from my pocket, and Tori stared at me until I sighed, pulling it out. I had to spin, duck, and weave to keep his message to myself.
I’m not home, but I will be in like five minutes. Meet me in the alley, angel. Please?
I quickly closed the screen, turning to face a very disappointed Tori.
Sunday, March 15, 2015 | By: Drotuno

Man Behind the Mask Chapter 7 & Pics

Chapter 7 – Sad but True
You're my mask
You're my cover, my shelter
You're my mask
You're the one who's blamed
Do my work
Do my dirty work, scapegoat
Do my deeds
For you're the one who's shamed

I'm your dream, make you real
I'm your eyes when you must steal
I'm your pain when you can't feel
Sad but true
“Sad But True” – Metallica
The heavy guitar and low bass gave me a rhythm to run. I needed to run off my stress, my nerves, and my need to scurry downstairs just to kiss Bella again. And again.
Shaking my head, I zoned out, pushing myself harder on the treadmill. It had been a long damn night without much sleep. I’d walked Bella to her door after she’d closed the bar, and we’d kissed again for what seemed like hours, and by the time we’d finally pulled apart, I could barely think straight – much less walk straight – up to my apartment.
Once my body had calmed down, my brain took over, and every insecurity, every concern, and every fear chased away the euphoria that kissing Bella had brought my way. She’d felt so damn good in my arms, and her mouth was like a drug to me. And that was just her mouth… I couldn’t imagine what the rest of her would do to me.
My legs started to burn as I tried to run away from it all, but essentially, I stayed in one damn place, which was pretty much my life in a nutshell. I focused on breathing, on putting one foot in front of the other, and on the music in my earbuds, not the thoughts of Bella.
Wednesday, March 11, 2015 | By: Drotuno

Man Behind the Mask Chapter 6 & Pics

Chapter 6 – Beautiful People
Hey you, what do you see?
Something beautiful, something free?
Hey you, are you trying to be mean?
If you live with apes man, it's hard to be clean

The worms will live in every host
It's hard to pick which one they eat most

The horrible people, the horrible people
It's as anatomic as the size of your steeple
Capitalism has made it this way,
Old-fashioned fascism will take it away
“Beautiful People” – Marilyn Manson
The studio was a din of noise. The producer was working with James and Jacob, laying down the bass-line track of the song we were recording. Glancing up at the clock, I noted I had a few hours before I needed to head over to the AA meeting.
“Got a hot date?” Jasper teased softly, giving me his lazy half-smile as he tuned his guitar.
“I wish,” I sighed, shaking my head. “AA meeting tonight.”
He paused what he was doing for a second, studying my face, only to nod and go back to work. “If you like her, ask her out,” he stated cryptically, picking a note and glancing back at me. “Bella. She’s good people, dude.”
Nodding, I smirked a little, but I didn’t say anything. Bella was definitely “good people.” She was more than that, and the more I saw her, the more I got to know her, the more I liked her. She was strong, independent, and kind. Even more, she was sweet and beautiful, and I’d almost fucked up the day before.
Sunday, March 8, 2015 | By: Drotuno

Man Behind the Mask Chapter 5 & Pics

Chapter 5 – So Wild, So Free
I'm outa luck, outa love 
Gotta photograph, picture of 
Passion killer, you're too much 
You're the only one I wanna touch 
I see your face every time I dream 
On every page, every magazine 
So wild so free so far from me 
You're all I want, my fantasy
“Photograph” – Def Leppard
Buzz, buzz, buzz…
Buzz, buzz, buzz…
Groaning from beneath the covers, I slapped a hand around on my nightstand to shut my phone off. I couldn’t imagine who kept calling me. Most everyone I knew respected the fact that I worked late and slept in the next day.
The buzzing stopped, and I sighed in relief, sinking back down into the heaven that was my bed, only to growl when my cell started to vibrate across the wood again.
“Dammit,” I grunted, sitting up and snatching my phone. I read it through blurry vision and with only one eye before swiping my finger across to answer. “Are you dying, Mother?” I rasped into the damn thing, rubbing my face.
The derisive scoff came across the line just as clearly as if she’d been standing at the foot of my bed. “Obviously not, Isabella,” she answered. “I was just checking on you.”
Thursday, March 5, 2015 | By: Drotuno

Man Behind the Mask Chapter 4 & Pics

Chapter 4 – I’m No Hero
I heard from god today, and she sounded just like me.
What have I done, and who have I become.
I saw the devil today, and he looked a lot like me.
I looked away, I turned away!

Arms wide open, I stand alone.
I'm no hero, and I'm not made of stone.
Right or wrong, I can hardly tell.
I'm on the wrong side of heaven, and the righteous side of hell.
“Wrong Side of Heaven” – Five Finger Death Punch
“Just coffee…black,” my dad ordered once we’d taken a seat in the booth.
The girl’s eyes lit up with recognition when they landed on my face, but she didn’t say anything.
“Same…cream and sugar, please,” I ordered, and she stuttered a bit before walking toward the barista.
The coffee shop was filled with soft chatter and music, along with louder sounds coming from the machines pumping coffee out by the gallons, it seemed. I could see a few familiar faces from the AA meeting, but this place was about a block from the church, so it made sense people would come here after it was over.
I could feel eyes staring my way, but it wasn’t from any of the patrons. My dad’s dark-blue eyes were on me when I faced him across the table.
“Why are we here?” I asked, trying to keep the anger out of my tone, not to mention the volume down, as well.
Sunday, March 1, 2015 | By: Drotuno

Man Behind the Mask Chapter 3 & Pics

Chapter 3 – Gilded Cage
Living on a lighted stage
Approaches the unreal
For those who think and feel
In touch with some reality
Beyond the gilded cage

Cast in this unlikely role
Ill-equipped to act
With insufficient tact
One must put up barriers
To keep oneself intact
“Limelight” - Rush
Charlie’s Pub looked completely different by the light of day. I pulled my car up to the curb and turned off the engine. My eyes took in the neon signs, the darkened windows, and finally the steps in the alleyway that led up to Bella’s place.
Suddenly, I realized that she may not even rent to me. Truly, I came with a lot of baggage. It was quite possible that Bella’s quiet life was about to be invaded by my crazy one. Frowning down at my hands, I wasn’t sure that was fair of me to do to her.
However, it was the selfish side of me that had me stepping out onto the sidewalk, setting my car alarm. The cold wind of fall that was turning into winter hit my face hard, so I pulled my wool cap tighter down onto my head before reaching for the door of the bar.
Warmth and music rushed out at me, but the smell inside was the same as the night before – beer, wood, and some sort of cleaner.
“Hoshit,” a girl with bright-red hair breathed, dropping the mop in her hand to the floor. “You’re…You… Do you know who you are?!” she squeaked, her finger pointing my way as her mouth hung open.
“Sometimes,” I said with a chuckle.
“You’re Masen! Oh my damn… I love you… I mean your shit… I mean…music.
Finally, I laughed out loud. “Um…thanks?”