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Tales From Another Broken Home
Book 7:
The Rockstar Returns.
Chapter 63:
When the road signs scream Phoenix.

"That look was priceless,
Oh please don't let me get carried away,
I've seen it before and it still suits you the same.

You catch on quick as the cynics stop before they give the same review

You had your chance, You had your chance
Open arms reject assuming hands.
We're making an example out of you.
From "Spin." By Taking Back Sunday.

I woke up early, still in Ryan's arms. We had slept nose to nose and I couldn't help but stare at him as he slept. His nose twitched every couple of seconds and his lips would curl into a smile at the same time. He was everything I could ever wish for but today was going to be a long one and I needed to get going. Mike had loaded all of our stuff into his car and he was going to drop us over to Jerry's later that morning. I gave Ryan a gentle pat on his belly and he moaned. I kissed him softly on the cheek and massaged his shoulders.

"I'm still sleepy." Ryan moaned.

"Come on man. We need to get up it's nearly 12am."

"Just another ten minutes."

"Dude we have to be at Jerrys at 1."

"Ok I'm up."

Ryan rolled out of the bed and stretched as he yawned. He had his usual morning boner and it took all my willpower to go get ready instead of being with him. When I came back from my shower Ryan was dressed but asleep on the couch.

"He likes his naps." Ryan's Mom laughed as she walked in.

I only had a towel on and my face was turning a bright shade of red.

"It's okay honey, I saw it all yesterday." She laughed as she gave Ryan a poke.

"Sleepy." Ryan shouted.

"Come on honey you need to get up."

"Mom, what are you doing here?"

"Well I wanted to see you as much as possible before you leave, so Alex invited me to breakfast."


"Come on there's coffee and breakfast for both of you downstairs."

We devoured a large breakfast of eggs, waffles, sausage and bacon with loads of coffee and toast. After that it was time to go and Mike dropped us to Jerry's and helped load up the van. The R.V. arrived as we were packing up the van and it was pretty old and beat up lookin. I went inside and it had four bunks and a couch that folded into a double bed at the end. There was a t.v. mounted on the ceiling and a c.d. player but that was about as technical as it got. The bathroom smelled like crap which was strange cuz you weren't allowed crap in it. Jerry had turned the front section of his truck into a bed for him and Hailey and the back had all the gear. Aaron arrived with his Dad's and brought one of those portable dvd players which was cool cuz it turned out the t.v. didn't work. Everyone had booked a bunk and since me and Ryan were the only couple in the R.V. we got the double bed. Mike talked to Aaron's Dad's for awhile and then left. Him and my Mom would be coming to the show later that night with Ryan's Mom.

We'd been trying an acoustic set in practice for the last few weeks in case there was any problems with the gear and since there were so many acoustic guitars lying about, we played a few songs through in the r.v. Ryan was pretty good at setting up guitars and he had my new strat all setup to play and restrung Freddie's PRS rep. We played around for awhile and had a few drinks before Hailey arrived and we all headed to the venue. The R.V. ride there was pretty cool, it was like a traveling party. When we got there I helped Ryan and Hailey setup the merch stand. There was badges, shirts, hoodys and some copies of the old cd me and Aaron had made in Hartigan. Ryan was wearing one of the shirts and Hailey had our badges all over her shirt. We were headlining the show but the first bands started pretty early. From the moment the doors opened our merch stand was flooded.

"Jerry I think we're gonna need more merch pretty soon."

"Yeah I got it done by a company with shops all over the place so I can get more done up at every stop. This should do for the Phoenix show too and I can pick up another order there for the next show."

Mike, my Mom and Ryan's Mom arrived just in time for the show and I had just enough time to give my Mom a hug before I ran onstage. We played nine songs and then an encore of two acoustic songs. The hometown crowd were great and when I leaned over the barrier into the crowd I got my shirt ripped off and all kinds of stickers, demos and stuff were thrown onstage. When I got offstage my Mom was waiting for me.

"That was an amazing show kiddo." She smiled hugging me.

"Thanks Mom."

"That was great Riley. The new guitar sounds great." Mike smiled walking up and joining in the hug.

"We all bought shirts." My Mom smiled.

I hung around backstage for half an hour before Jerry came over.

"I'm sorry guys but it's time to go. The tour's kicking off now."

When I turned around my Mom was wiping back tears from her eyes.

"I'm sorry baby. It's just I'm gonna miss you."

She hugged me tight for what seemed like hours, then Mike picked me up and hugged me.

"You get back safe now Riley. Have a great time." Mike smiled.

We all got in the r.v. and I setup the bed with Ryan. We sat around on the bed with Aaron and Freddie and watched movies while Stevey drove us to Phoenix. Aaron started pouring shots and after six or seven I was pretty much passed out on the bed while Aaron and Ryan kept on drinking. Stevey swopped with Freddie and started hitting the shots. I fell asleep and woke up feeling like crap the next morning. The R.V. was pulled up at some sort of festival and Jerry was in the R.V. with Hailey.

"Ok guys let's get you guys ready to perform."

I took some herbal remedies and went looking for Ryan.

"Has anyone seen Ryan?"

"Yeah he's setting up the merch stall. I'll show you were it is." Jerry yawned.

"What is this place?"

"It's a small festival but they've got Sum41 headlining."

"Wow. When are we playing?"

"It's 1:30 now and we're soundchecking at 2 and onstage at 3."

"That big stage up there?"

"No dude the smaller one over there."

" It's still bigger then anything we've ever played before."

We got to the merch stall and a pretty hungover looking Ryan was selling shirts to some preppy girls.

"Oh my god you're Riley!!"

"Yeah. You guys know about the band?"

"Well not really about the band but my friend sent me your picture over MySpace and your sooo hot."

"Oh that's nice but I gotta go help out here." I smiled hiding in the back of the merch stall.

"Wow your a preppy pinup." Ryan laughed.

"Shut up." I moaned.

"Want some of this?" I said handing Ryan some of Haileys remedies.

"Ok, I feel like crap. I puked up half the morning."

"I feel pretty bad but Haileys stuff seems to help."

"I've just been drinking water upto now."

"You enjoying the tour so far?" I smiled.

"This merch stalls pretty hard work."

"You want some help dude?"

"Well if you'd just put those shirts out."

"Riley soundcheck now." Jerry shouted as he walked by.

"Sorry Ry. I gotta go."

We went to a backstage area and soundchecked for the next hour with a proper P.A. system. Everything sounded great and the soundguy was really good. When we were finished soundchecking a guy came up and introduced himself.

"Hey I'm Dave. I work for Scott."

"Oh hey, I'm Jerry." Jerry smiled shaking his hand.

Jerry went off and talked with Dave for awhile and we headed up towards the stage. We listened to the band that was on finish up and then we made our way on stage. The crowd was huge, well it was the biggest crowd we'd ever played to. I ran up and grabbed the mic as Freddie hit out the opening chords of our first song. It was a tense few seconds but a lot of people had heard bootlegs of our songs so we won the crowd over pretty quick and soon enough we had a pretty good moshpit going in the centre of the crowd. I screamed to the crowd as Aaron played a mean drum solo and I could see Hailey and Ryan cheering us on from the side of the stage. The whole crowd was in my hands and I felt a huge rush from their cheers. We nailed our first two songs and all are transition pieces. During the third song I leapt offstage and ran through the crowd. The band kept the song going and it took some security guys to get me back onstage but it was pretty cool. We played all eleven of our songs and when we were done the whole band dived into the crowd. Security rushed us backstage and I got punched in the stomach by a pissed off security guy. When we got backstage Dave rushed us to the press room and we took photos and did interviews with three of the magazines but the journalists said we probably wouldn't make it into the magazine. I took some cool photos and the photographer gave us copies on a disk. After the press I went and signed a load of autographs and shirts. Lots of girls wanted to take a photograph with me and security had to drag this one crazy chick away when she grabbed me and wouldn't let go. After all the autographs I crashed in my bed before Ryan arrived in.

"Dude we sold most of the merch."


"Hailey's cooking dinner but there's catering for the bands."

"Let's go get some then." I smiled.

"It's bands only." Ryan smiled weakly.

"I'll have dinner with you and Hailey then."

"I heart you dude." Ryan smiled.

"I heart you too." I laughed hugging him.