“There’s no fucking way we’re cancelling the tour,” Ron shouted at the assembled band members. “We can replace Alex. Get someone else to fill his spot until he’s well enough to perform again.”
“If Alex is out so am I,” Lexi glared at Ron “Alex is the front guy. The main vocalist. There’s no way I’m going to stand by and let someone else perform his songs.”
“I should have known you’d take his side,” Ron smirked “I suppose it doesn’t hurt to be sleeping with the guy.”
“That has nothing to do with it,” she shouted back at him.
“Oh really,” he sneered “you’d be singing a different tune if you’d let me take you for a ride.”
“That will never happen,” she spat at him “I’m no little tramp like Ali. I know a good guy when I see one.” She walked over to Alex and wrapped her arms around him.
Clenching his hands into fists Ron fumed with barely contained rage “well that’s two votes for cancelling the tour.” He glared at Alex “I for one think you’re milking this for all it’s worth and don’t care about the fans…”
“Like hell I don’t,” Alex cried attempting to rise but gave in to the pressure Lexi asserted on his shoulder.
“Ron get off your high horse,” Zac said “we all know this has nothing to do with our fans. It’s the money you owe to cover your gambling and drug habit. Go home. Dry out. Get to know your wife and kids. I for one am ready for a break. My vote is for cancelling the remaining tour dates. Refund the tickets. Our fans will understand and we’ll sell out when we come back better than ever. We need the time to come up with something new before our music becomes stale.” He turned and nodded towards Alex and Lei “I haven’t had a chance to congratulate you guys yet. I hope you’ll be….”
A scream of unbridled rage interrupted him as Ron charged across the room. “You can’t do this to me. I’m the leader of this band. You do what I say.” He swung his fists at Zac.
Without thinking Alex stood between Ron and Zac and took the brunt of Ron’s attack. Grunting in pain he fell to his knees. “Alex” Lexi cried coming to his air while Zac and Ron exchanged blows. “Let me see,” she demanded prying his hand away from his side. “O god,” she uttered in despair as his hand came away covered in blood. “Your stitches must have come undone.” Grabbing his arm she struggled to help him up without hurting him worse than he already was.
“I’m alright,” Alex protested still not registering how hurt he was or the damage Ron’s fist had caused when he hit him. He attempted to stand without assistance only to find his head spinning and faint. “I..” he blinked trying to clear his vision “I don’t feel too good.”
Lexi grabbed him before he fell. Screaming she finally caught Zac’s attention. “What happened?” he asked helping her support Alex’s weight.
“Ron punched him and opened up his wound,” Lexi explained while glaring at Ron who was pacing in front of the door like a caged lion.
“That’s not my fault,” Ron pointed at Alex “you can’t blame me for that.” He muttered as he walked back and forth in front of the door.
“Ron we need to get Alex to the hospital,” Zac tried to reason with him “please get out-of-the-way.”
He continued to pace seemingly oblivious to the situation in the room. “Not my fault. Not my fault,” he repeated over and over to himself as he paced in front of the door.
Lifting Alex over his shoulders Zac asked “are you sure you can distract him?” He looked at Ron then back to Lexi “Alex will never forgive me if you get hurt.”
“Don’t worry about me. Get Alex to the hospital before he bleeds to death. I should never have let him talk me into letting him call a band meeting.” She took a deep breath as she stood to confront Ron.
“Ron get out-of-the-way,” she demanded standing in front of him as he turned to pace in front of the door.
“Don’t tell me what to do,” he shouted “I’m so sick and tired everyone telling me what to do.”
She waved Zac on as she engaged Ron. “Maybe we wouldn’t have to if you weren’t so stupid.”
He growled deep in his throat before he punched her in the face. Lexi fell backwards screaming to Zac “just go.” She lay on the floor somewhat stunned from the impact but refusing to back down as Ron came at her again. When he was close enough she kicked at his groin with all her strength. Rolling out-of-the-way as he fell gasping in pain she crawled to her feet and staggered to the door.
Staggering into the waiting room Zac stood up in concern as she approached. “Alex is so going to kill me when he sees me.” He reached tenderly to touch her face. “I shouldn’t have let you face Ron alone.”
“It was the only way,” she said dropping into a chair leaning her head back “how is he?”
“In surgery,” he told her “evidently the punch to his wound ripped open all his stitches and caused some internal damage. Are you sure you’re alright?”
“Do I look that bad?” she asked touching her face wincing when her fingers touched the tender spots. “I was hoping it hurt worse than it looked.” Laughing she said “Ron will be hurting in other more sensitive areas of his anatomy.”
“You didn’t,” he laughed “I wish I had seen it. He deserved it though. He really needs to dry out..”
“Was he high or drunk?” Lexi asked.
“Probably bot,” he replied “ever since Ali kicked him out he’s gotten a lot worse. I think he meant to hit Alex tonight. He blames him for his failed marriage.”
“I’m sure Ali lets him believe that too. She’s been calling Alex nonstop begging for help. I feel sorry for the kids but there’s nothing Alex can do for them without getting entangled with her. It’s tearing him up inside but he hasn’t run to her rescue. In fact he changed his phone number to stop her from calling him.”
“That’s good because Ali will be trying to get her claws into him now that she’s booted Ron to the curb.”
They sat in the waiting room for what felt like hours until the doctor came to talk to them. Standing Lexi asked “how is he?”
“Lucky,” the doctor said exhaustion plain in his voice and demeanor “he lost a lot of blood but we were able to fix the damage.”
Reaching her hand out when the doctor swayed “can we see him?”
Yawning “yeah just don’t disturb him. He needs rest.” Smiling he said “this time I’m keeping him in that hospital bed until he’s healed.”
True to his word the doctor kept Alex in the hospital for a month before releasing him. Sniffing the air outside the hospital Alex sighed “free at last.”
Punching his arm lightly she laughed up at him “it isn’t like you were in jail.”
“It felt like it,” he mumbled. He turned to kiss her lightly on the mouth “thanks for being there for me.”
“Always,” she told him recalling how she had felt the day she walked into the hospital room to find Ali demanding the doctor release Alex into her care. Who did she think she was? Lexi didn’t want to recall the words Ali used or how it made her feel to see that woman pretending she cared about Alex when all she wanted was someone to foist her children on. One thing was clear though was the look of utter relief Alex had when she walked in. The pleading look in his eyes. The tough of his lips on her hand as he took her hand and kissed it. It told her more than words could ever say. He loved her and she had nothing to worry about when it came to Ali. “Are you ready to get our of here?” she asked looking up at him.
“Do you even have to ask?” he grimaced “I’ve wanted out of here since day one.”
“I know but I’m glad the doctor kept you here longer this time.” she looked at him “I’ve got a surprise for you.”
“You’re pregnant,” he half joked.
“No what made you think that?” she asked.
Shrugging “because we….you know….”
“Yes I do know but no I’m not. Sorry to disappoint,” she said “my surprise is much more down to earth. I found a house in Sunlit Tides. By the beach.”
“Can’t wait to see it,” he mumbled.
“Don’t sound so excited,” she glanced over at him “what’s wrong?”
“Nothing,” he shook his head walking towards the car.
“Yes there is,” she rant to catch up with him “Alex please don’t shut me out. Tell me what’s wrong.”
Shuffling his feet he looked across the parking lot “I…I guess I wanted you to tell me you were pregnant.”
She came up in front of him cupping his gently in her hands “is that what you want?”
Meeting her eyes he smiled “I didn’t know how much until now. Yes I want to have children.” Leaning forward he kissed her “more specifically I want to have beautiful babies with you.”
“I might be open to being convinced,” she murmured against his lips.