Author's Note: There's several ways to deal with cheating and just as many dealing with revenge or reconciliation ... this is just one guy's way of handling it.
My deepest thanks to findingmyvoice for her quick editing. Any grammar or spelling mistakes ... ah hell you know who to blame since I can't spell worth a shytt.
Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident, and riches take wings. Only one thing endures and that is character. - Horace Greeley
Winter 2014 - Brownwood
The young woman sat in her rental car and stared with disgust at the apartment complex. The Spire Apartments were obviously low rent and their location on Southtown Road ensured their rough reputation. She was somewhat surprised he was living here but only somewhat. She knew her ex-husband could afford to live elsewhere but he'd always preferred the 'streets' to the 'wannabe ivory towers' as he'd always used to put it. His third story, corner apartment would allow him to look out over the culture that inspired most of his music.
Belle LeDonn got out of the car and immediately pulled her black leather jacket tightly around her lithe body trying to brace herself against the cold December night. Her long raven hair whipped in the wind, accentuating her trademark look, a combination gothic gypsy. Although not beautiful, she was considered pretty by most and radiated an intense sexuality. Had it been daytime, she easily might've been recognized but at night, she blended into the darkness.
Damn I miss LA. This winter shit is for the birds. She mumbled to herself. Of course if things work out, I'll have to get used to it. Well, at least for a little while.
She looked up at the apartments again and shook her head. Mo had told her Ronnie was living there. Of course she could've been lying. She and Mo hadn't parted on the best of terms and the things that happened after the band split had driven them even farther apart.
But that's just the way it is in this business. Every band breaks up and most marriages don't make it.
Midnight Belle had been the dream of her ex-husband, Ron Beck. He'd created and managed it while they were still at State University. With her lead vocals, Vince Miller on lead guitar, Ronnie on bass, and Kyle Grumman on drums, they'd made a name for themselves locally. The band rose to regional fame when they added Mo, Monique Young, to the background vocals.
That was when things began to go bad. There'd never been a question the main draw of the band had been Belle and Vince. Her looks and soulful voice combined with Vince's mesmerizing riffs and guitar play had separated them from other bands. Ronnie's songs had highlighted those strengths. But when a record company from LA called, they only wanted her and Vince. The breakup left everyone hurt and angry.
For her and Ronnie it was worse. They'd been married less than two years when the band split and for the first time their dreams weren't entwined. He'd wanted them to try and continue on without Vince. He felt he could write songs that would show off her and Mo's voices. Her husband believed one day they'd get another shot at the fame and fortune but it would be together. Belle wasn't as sure.
She knew if she hadn't taken the chance, she'd have resented it for the rest of her life. She also knew if she took that opportunity it would jeopardize her marriage. It was a decision that broke her heart.
Music had always been at the center of their lives. They'd been dating when Ronnie formed the band. He'd built it to showcase her talents. It had been their dream to chase the rock-n-roll life, to live and love together on the road. Now the chance for it to come true was there ... but only for one of them. The other would have to wait for his chance to come.
But that's what love is right? Sacrificing for each other?
Her eyes closed as she grimaced.
But then what had I sacrificed? She asked herself again knowing she didn't like the answer.
Choices had been made, concessions discussed. The record label had promised Ronnie he'd still be a part of the band's management and even act as co-road manager when they went on tour. In the end, the three of them had gone to LA.
It didn't take long to realize the record company had lied to them, well at least to Ronnie. He had no input in the band from the very beginning. As soon as they'd stepped into the studio, he'd been unofficially informed he was there as a courtesy to Belle and Vince. Too say he was angry would've been an understatement. It took his wife begging him to 'let it go for now' to keep him from making a scene.
Several months later, Midnight Belle had cut their first record. Belle, Vince, and their new band mates found themselves as the opening act for Nickelback and Lady Gaga on two of the shorter legs of those tours. In between, they were headlining their own mini regional tour. Ronnie discovered another unpleasant surprise once they went on the road. Instead of being a road manager he was regulated to being just a glorified roadie.
Within a month it was obvious he wasn't going to last the entire tour. The timing couldn't have been worse. Their marriage was in trouble and the band had hit a rough patch as well. Two of the singles off the record had cracked the Top 40 but had stalled. Too make matters worse, the song that was doing the best was the only one of Ronnie's that the record company had grudgingly used.
Things had been tense both personally and professionally and Belle always felt like she was walking on eggshells. Ronnie was hurting and angry and she was pouring everything she had into the band. Belle remembered the fights as the pressure began pulling them apart.
When the Nickelback leg of the tour was done, Ronnie told her he was headed back to the City. She was ashamed to remember the great relief she'd felt with his decision.
They both knew their marriage was in danger, being on the road exposes people to multiple temptations. She could tell Ronnie was worried despite her heartfelt promises.
And he had every right to be didn't he?
Belle thought back to Christmas two years ago. Midnight Belle had been on the Florida leg of their mini tour and neither she nor Ronnie realized the high and low those two weeks before Christmas held for them. Ronnie had surprised her in Orlando by showing up backstage after her concert.
Winter 2012 – Orlando, FL
"Oh god baby, I missed you!" Belle panted in his ear as they fell into their hotel room. She'd flown into his arms backstage and they almost hadn't made it back to the hotel before losing what few clothes they still had on.
Her body had felt like it was melting from the heat of her husband's touch and his kisses. They'd been apart for almost two months and the release of their pent up passion had Belle feeling euphoric. His long moustache tickled as he devoured her neck and throat.
They quickly discarded any remaining clothes and she sprung on him, wrapping herself around him. He chuckled wickedly as he pried her off and tossed her onto the bed. She laid there splayed out before him totally exposed.
She grinned as she watched him stare at her with desire. His gaze slowly worked down her body, devouring her with his eyes. When he began to gently kiss her legs she responded, out of her need for him.
"No baby, no," Belle gasped. "It's been too long, I need you NOW!"
He tried to meet her demand by giving her everything he had, his heart, soul, and body. It had been more than enough. The room had been filled with her low guttural moaning and his groans of pleasure all night long. Her high pitched keening that signaled her impending orgasm had also removed any doubt from any guests in the surrounding hotel rooms of what was happening in Room 411. They'd spent the rest of that night trying desperately to make up for two lost months.
The next morning a very happy but sore Belle found herself on the band's travel bus headed for their next show. Ronnie had headed back to Brownwood. As she watched the road from her window, she sighed as she thought of the love she'd just left behind. There were things they needed to talk about after the tour. Hard things.
But we can make this work, she told herself. We can survive this.
She'd actually believed their marriage could survive then. That night in Orlando had been so badly needed. It'd been like a lighthouse in her dark and chaotic world, a reminder of what was waiting for her at home. However, it only took a week for that hope to shatter.
Ronnie had tried to surprise her again the next weekend in Jacksonville. She'd definitely been surprised ... so was he. When he went backstage he found her in the dressing room sitting on Vince's lap. Her deep guttural moans that had muffled the sounds of the door opening left no doubt she'd impaled herself on him.
When Ronnie slammed the door, they sat frozen, motionless, and stared in shock at the intruder. The look of pain and betrayal on her husband's face would always be burned into Belle's memory.
.... There is more of this story ...