The story of Mick Mars's sister. She goes to live with Mötley Crüe in L.A., and of course everything in her life is turned upside down. It's set in 1982, before they got famous.
The Beginning of a New Life
It took six hours and forty-five minutes to get to Los Angeles from Garden Grove, California, by bus. However, it only took two hours and twenty minutes to read six through issues of Rolling Stone - and to hear the guy sitting in front of her hum Van Halen's entire album. For the last four hours and fifteen minutes of the ride, the only thing Jennifer Deal had to keep herself sane was the constant reminder of the fact that, this time, she would not be making the trip back to Garden Grove.
There were plenty of reasons why she had left home when she did, one of them being the fact that she could hardly bare the idea of spending the next two months of her summer listening to her father talk about how she needed to continue on her education and apply to college.
"It's not too late, you know?" he would say to her when he picked her up from school (her parents could never afford to buy her a car). "They might still accept late admissions. With your grades, you'll definitely get in. C'mon, Jen, you're too brilliant."
It wasn't that she didn't want to go to college at all. It was just the fact that she really had no idea what the hell she wanted to do, not even in the slightest. Maybe that had been the reasoning behind why she had thought of her brother, Robert, or whatever the fuck he was calling himself those days. She had never kept up with him; it was too hard. However, she had heard a couple of years back that he had been putting up an ad under "Zorky Charlemagne" when he had still been looking for a band. She had wondered what kind of calls he had been expecting with that ad. She sure as hell would not have taken that ad seriously, no matter how desperate she might have been for a guitarist.
Then again, he had made it into a band, so obviously, it had gotten him somewhere. Now whether or not the band itself was going somewhere was a totally different story.
Either way, her brother had always known what he wanted to do with his life: Music. She was around three years old when he had joined his first band, and, ever since then, he had never stopped trying to do just that; which is why it hadn't surprised her in the least when he had told her that he was part of a band in Los Angeles. What did surprise her, however, was that this particular band was a metal band. She had definitely not expected that. Her brother's first band had been a Beatles cover band. What the fuck was he doing playing metal?
Honestly, she didn't even care. She had spent days trying to find his number and had pissed off a few people around who demanded to know who the hell Zorky was and why she would even think he lived with them. She soon found out he no longer went by that name, but by Mick Mars, which wasn't too much of an improvement. Why her brother had an obsession with UFO's and space was beyond her.
When she had finally reached the right number, a woman had answered.
"Who the fuck are you?" she had demanded, obviously upset with the idea of a girl calling for Mick.
"I'm his sister, nobody to worry about, so chill out."
Talking Mick into simply asking his band mates if she could move into their place made finding his number and going through his girlfriend like a piece of cake. After all, if she was planning on moving to L.A., she'd definitely need a place to stay. She couldn't afford a place of her own, and living with her brother and his girlfriend was definitely out of the question.
"Fuck no," was the first thing that had snarled through the phone before she could even finish her question. "Jenna, are you out of your fucking mind? You shouldn't even be asking me this."
Then he had hung up on her. When she called back, he answered after the first couple of rings, to her surprise. He then rattled on about how his band mates' house was "definitely not somewhere a seventeen-year-old needed to even be around" and that the fucked-up situations that happened there already pissed him off; that the last thing he needed was his younger sister to hang around people like his band mates, much less live with them.
However, after nearly an hour of arguing and yelling, by some God-given miracle, he finally spat, "Fine, I'll only ask them so you can shut the fuck up. They'll say no anyway. Then I won't even have to argue with you about this."
The next day, he called back, practically fuming. Jenna could already tell that his band's answer was not the one he had expected. She listened, beaming, as he told her that they had said something about needing a chick around the house so it wouldn't be so disgusting (and they wouldn't have to clean it). Apparently, they had all agreed to let her skip out on rent if she would clean up and cook for them.
"But it doesn't matter," Mick had growled. "You're not living there."
It had taken a dozen phone calls, a thousand pleas, and a few screaming matches to coax her brother into finally agreeing to meet her when her bus got to Los Angeles. Jenna figured that he had just accepted the fact that she was going to move in whether he wanted her to or not and would rather make sure she didn't get lost somewhere once she got there. However, that did not stop him from calling back everyday the week before her bus left to try to talk her into changing her mind.
"The place is disgusting," he had said to her one day, for the hundredth time. "I don't even think it's fucking possible to clean it. You'll wanna go home within the first five minutes that you see it."
"Well, I'll guess I'll figure that out on my own," Jenna had challenged. "Besides, if that's the truth, then you got nothin' to worry about, do you?"
He had hung up on her.
Mick had even talked to their parents, telling them what she was planning on doing. That had made it even more difficult for her, but she left anyway with the argument that she would be turning eighteen not too long from now anyway. Their parents had never stopped any of Jenna's brothers from doing what they wanted. They had even let Mick drop out of high school to pursue his music career. Why shouldn't she have the same freedom? Of course, she didn't want a music career. She didn't know what she wanted.
Now, as the bus finally halted to a stop after what had seemed like days, Jenna jumped up from her seat and grabbed the few bags she had brought with her. The bus wasn't very full at all, and she practically skipped down the aisle, past the other passengers, and stepped down onto the sidewalk.
A sense of relief washed over her as she took in her surroundings. Even the air had a dramatic sense of change and smelled differently from back in Garden Grove. She had been to Los Angeles before, but something about this time was different: It was as if her senses knew that, this time, she would be here for good, not temporarily.
She whipped around, instantly recognizing the voice that had called her name. However, as she looked around, she did not see a single person standing anywhere near her that even began to resemble her -
"Oh my gosh," Jenna said suddenly, her eyes falling upon one particular person that was staring right at her.
It had been the eyes. Even from the distance, she could see her brother's bright eyes clearly through the mass of hair that fell all around his face in tufts. He stood a few feet away from her, towering above most of the people walking past them. He was wearing a pair of very tight black pants and high heels (a sight Jenna could have gratefully gone without seeing). His hair was jet-black, big, and long; it probably gave him a whole extra foot of height. Upon closer inspection, she could see traces of thick black eyeliner around his eyes. She should have expected this: All of the guys in metal and punk bands used hairspray and makeup. However, seeing it on her brother was totally weird.
They no longer even looked related. His black hair contrasted her dark red and the small smatter of freckles across her cheeks. The only similarity now was their eyes, both the same shade of green.
"Well..." Jenna said carefully. "You look different."
Mick did not say a single word. He merely began to walk down the sidewalk. Immediately, she followed, falling into step beside him as she began to look around again. She could not help but notice the double-takes being made from passerby. It was obvious Mick looked different than the other people around them; his style was a lot more extreme.
"Alright, so... no offense, but you sort of look like a stray dog or something," Jenna said, a sad attempt to start a conversation. "Could you maybe tame your hair just a bit, like at all?"
"Could you maybe not wear anything that will make my band mates want to share a room with you?" he rounded on her, glaring down at her flimsy white top and purple skinny jeans.
"Please," Jenna scoffed, rolling her eyes at him. "I hardly look sexy right now."
Mick glared even harder at her remark, and she winced. She had expected this. She knew Mick would never be able to accept the fact that his very own sister was going to be moving in with three members of a metal band - a metal band he was the guitarist for nonetheless.
However, Jenna refused to let Mick's protective older brother feelings get to her. She was completely stoked at the idea of living in Los Angeles; even more so about the thought of living with an actual band there. After all, famous or not, they were still a band.
They took a taxi to the house, and, to Jenna's surprise, Mick actually spoke to her in a calm tone. He spent the whole ride telling her about who she would be living with. He spoke as if he had a disgusting taste in his mouth: "Mötley Crüe - that's the name of the band. I came up with the name, you know?"
Jenna was surprised by this, simply because it was actually a pretty cool name; and, after hearing about the name he'd given himself for an ad, she could hardly believe he could ever really come up with a cool name. She didn't let Mick know this, although she was tempted to make fun of him about the name "Zorky." She figured it would be better not to piss him off anymore than she already had in the past few weeks.
Mick told her all about the band: How he was the lead guitarist - which, frankly, she could have guessed without him telling her. The lead singer was a guy named Vince ("His voice isn't that great, but girls practically shit themselves watching him sing," Mick said); Tommy took the drummer's position ("He's pretty fuckin' good with the drums, but he's just a kid."); and the band's bassist, Nikki, "had a great vision - but his lyrics weren't too great." However, according to Mick, despite all of the small setbacks, when they all played together, they sounded awesome.
Jenna barely listened to him, even though it was pretty interesting. However, she knew all too well that her brother always had some sort of negative comment to make on just about everything. It always drove her insane. He took everything ten times more seriously than he should, no matter what it was.
The taxi eventually pulled up beside a shitty-looking house that looked as if it were about to fall apart at any moment. She had already expected something like this after listening to Mick's endless speeches about how bad the house looked. However, it didn't bother her in the least. It wasn't as if she had ever been used to anything fancy in the first place. Besides, she knew that a metal band that was just starting out couldn't possibly afford anything that great.
"Alright, I'm just gonna go ahead and say this," Mick said suddenly as he stepped out of the taxi an onto the sidewalk, glaring down at Jenna accusingly.
Jenna rolled her eyes. "What is it?" she said dryly.
"I won't be a jackass and think that if I tell you not to do it, you'll stay away from drugs and booze," he began, "but - "
"Oh, geeze, seriously?" Jenna demanded. "Are you really gonna give me the 'say no to drugs' talk? C'mon, Mick. Dad already gave me this talk, for one thing. For another, do you really need to go there?"
"Yeah, I do," he growled angrily. "I don't even think there's a full five minutes where there isn't coke or pills in there. But I'm not telling you to say no to it. I'm not even telling you that I'll tell Mom and Dad if you do it. But if you do... just don't tell me about it. Don't let me know or figure it out."
"What...?" Jenna looked up at him incredulously.
"You fucking heard me," he said, looking angrier by the second. "Just don't let me know about it. The last thing I wanna know is that my sister's fucked up on some shit. So please, just don't tell me."
"Uh... alright," she agreed slowly, nodding. "Can we just go in now?"
Mick sighed heavily, looking towards the house with an expression filled with dread; he then turned back to look down at her. His eyes were covered by the mop of hair that fell over his forehead. "Look, you really don't just wanna move in with me - ?"
"With you and your girlfriend?" Jenna asked, her nose wrinkling in distaste. "No, thanks."
He sighed once again and shook his head, then, very slowly, led her to the door. She hadn't expected him to actually walk her to the door, so it took her a moment to begin following him. When they reached the door, Mick hesitated before even gripping the doorknob. With a deep breath, he twisted the knob and threw open the door.
As they stepped inside, Jenna immediately realized that she had extremely underestimated the conditions of what she had thought the band's house would look like: She was already practically dizzy from the extreme smell of booze, smoke, and spoiled food. Apparently, they really hadn't been kidding when they said they needed someone to clean for them.
The walls were black, and it looked as if they had been scorched at some point in time in random spots along the wall. There were even more scorch marks on the carpet - these larger and weirdly shaped. Jenna wondered what all the burns were about, but at the same time, she figured that she probably would rather not hear the explanation. However, the marks were nothing in comparison to what else was destroying the carpet. There were stains (some of which, to her absolute horror, looked like blood stains), cigarette burns, cigarette butts, booze bottles spilling into the fabric, and needles strewn all over the floor. A few pizza boxes and napkins were littered around the living room as well, most of them with what looked like forgotten lyrics scrawled all over them. The place was literally deteriorating before her eyes.
There was a leather couch against the wall, and sitting on it was who Jenna assumed was one of the band members. However, what had drawn her attention was not him, but what looked like a shard of a broken mirror on his lap on which lay a small, neat line of white powder. Right in front of her, he leaned forward, bringing his nose down towards the line and sniffed, hard. When he rose back up, the line was gone.
Jenna stared, wide-eyed with a feeling of mingled horror and amazement. She had never seen anyone snort cocaine before.
She could hear Mick groan beside her. Obviously, this had not been the first situation he had wished for her to witness. However, the guy on the couch seemed completely indifferent and oblivious to the fact that he had just snorted his drugs in front of his band mate's younger sister. He expertly wiped his nose, put the mirror down on the ground, and turned to look up at Mick's glare and Jenna's astonished expression.
"You must be Mick's sister," he said, getting to his feet and bounding over to him. He gave her a toothy smile. "I'm Nikki."