an exciting plot twist!
For everyone who was worried this was getting sucky and predictable, an exciting plot twist! (funny how it says that in the summary) Enjoy!
Izzie blinked her eyes open and looked around the empty room in the morning light. Maybe she really WAS drunk and had dreamed what had happened last night. She peeked under the blanket at her naked body. Nope. Wasn’t a dream. She sat up in bed, holding the blankets up around her and craned her neck to see into the bathroom. “Pete?” There was no answer. She pulled on her shorts and tee shirt and shuffled over to the door connecting their rooms. It was open slightly, so she stuck her head in and looked around. That room was empty too. “FUCK!” she banged her head against the wall. “Guess this is some kind of payback.” She mumbled to herself. Her eyes started tearing up as she headed into the bathroom to shower and get dressed.
Izzie was driving through Wilmette on her way home from the mall. The band had a couple weeks off before they headed out on tour, and were spending that time relaxing at home. Suddenly her cell phone rang, she picked it up and glanced at the screen. –Dale Wentz- It had been almost two and a half years since she had last spoken to Pete. He had cornered her in the alley behind their houses a few days ago when she was taking the trash out and had tried talking to her, but she told him to fuck off and ran back inside. She couldn’t think of why Pete’s mother would be calling her, unless it was him trying to be sneaky. She contemplated ignoring it, but had a weird feeling and picked up at the last second before it went to voicemail. If it WAS Pete, she could always hang up on him. “Hello?”
Izzie was dressed in black skinny jeans and a black and white striped tee shirt with a bright blue baby doll tank over it. She had purple eyeliner with just a little silver glitter as her only makeup. She was just finishing straightening the last piece of hair when she heard the door creak open. She stuck her head out the bathroom door to catch Pete trying to tiptoe into the room. He froze mid-sneak when he saw her glaring at him. She went back into the bathroom to take one last swipe at her hair before stomping out.
“It’s not what it looks like.” He held his hands up in surrender.
“What does it look like?” she narrowed her eyes at him.
“Like I left you. Like I did what you did to me five years ago. But I can explain.” A tear escaped down her cheek.
“I thought it was some kind of twisted payback.” She sniffed as he quickly closed the space between them, wrapping her in his arms.
“God no, baby. I had to take care of some stuff at home so I could take you out. I tried to get back before you woke up.”
“What?” she wrinkled her eyebrows.
“I want to spend the day with you. Without any interruptions.”
“But where were you?”
“You live here?”
“Yeah. I have for a while.”
“Then why were you staying at a hotel?” She squinted at him, confused.
“Because you were staying here and I wanted to be near you.” He looked at the ground, sheepishly.
“Aww. That’s so pathetically adorable.” She playfully shoved him.
“Hey! You make really sexy little noises when you sleep, by the way.” He grinned.
“Shut up.” She blushed. “So what do you want to do?” She grabbed her hot pink converse and pulled them on.
“Whatever you want to do.” He shrugged.
“Ok, I want to go shopping.” She grabbed her purse and followed him to the door. He slipped his hand in hers as they stepped out into the hallway. She grinned like a high schooler asked to the prom by the most popular boy.
“Oh, Izzie. Thank god you answered.” A panicked voice wavered down the line.
“Hi, Mrs. Wentz. What’s wrong?”
“Sweetie, I know you and Pete have had some issues in the past few years, but something’s terribly wrong. I just got a very strange phone call from him and I think it might be an emergency. I’m at a meeting in the city, and won’t make it back in time. Would you please go find him? For me?”
“Of course, do you know where he is?”
“He said he’s at the Best Buy.” She said, on the verge of tears. Izzie hung up and immediately received a text message from Pete. She opened it and read the single word.
“So when am I going to get to see your house?” Izzie smiled.
“Maybe this afternoon, but only if you’re good.” Pete glanced over at her, grinning slyly.
“Hm, I can’t guarantee that. Where are we going first?” she looked around as he pulled into a parking space.
“Virgin Megastore, to buy your CD.”
“But you already got a copy at the party last night.” She wrinkled her nose, hopping out of the car and joining him on the sidewalk.
“Yes, but I promised you when you were 16 years old that I would go to the store with you the day your album came out. The first time I was on tour with Arma, so you took Joe.”
“But I DID meet Patrick.” She nodded.
“Yeah, so then I promised I’d go the next time. But there was no next time. So I’m taking you today.”
“That’s so sweet that you even remembered that.”
“I remember everything.” He snaked his arm around her waist.
“Everything?” she grinned.
“You can test me.”
“What band shirt was I wearing the first time you met me?”
“What’s my middle name?”
“You have two. Gibson Disco.”
“Because Gibson is your dad’s favorite guitar brand, and they were sponsoring him at the time, and disco will never die.”
“Disco will NEVER die! I’m surprised I’m not in therapy by now.” She shook her head, sighing.
“I’ll take that.” Pete offered, as they walked out of Sephora, adding Izzie’s shopping bag to the pile in his hand.
“Are you sure I can’t carry a couple? Those look heavy.” She tried taking one of the bags before he pulled his arm away.
“I’ve always wanted to move out here.” She grinned, looking around the street. “Even just an apartment or condo that I could come to when we have time off. New York gets so cold in the winter.”
“Then why don’t you?” Pete shrugged.
“Are you kidding? I can afford to buy a house.”
“But your band’s bigger than mine. You should be rolling in money.”
“I don’t know. We have a lot of expenses and Mike only gives us a certain allowance each month. And you have a bunch of side projects that probably earn a lot.”
“You could do something. You have a lot of talents.”
“Mike says side businesses take our focus away from the band and out music will suffer. Having our attention split between careers means neither is as successful as they could be.”
“That’s a load of crap.” Pete shook his head.
“The guys won’t leave me alone.” She sighed, silencing her phone for about the fiftieth time in twenty minutes. “Hold on, I need cash.” She pointed to an ATM on the corner. She stepped up to it, sliding her card in and pressing the appropriate buttons. She groaned in frustration as her phone rang again. “Can’t you guys take a hint?! What do you want?”
“You need to get back here right now.” Taylor’s voice cracked down the line.
“But it’s my day off.” She whined.
“It’s an emergency.”
“Are one of you bleeding?”
“Then it’s not an emergency.” She giggled glancing over at Pete.
“It’s worse than that.” He said, seriously. Her attention went to the machine in front of her as it beeped angrily.
CURRENT BALANCE: $12.74
“I’ll be right there.” She snapped her phone shut. Pete noticed her panic and stepped over, looking at the screen.
“You didn’t spend THAT much, did you?” his eyes widened.
“I barely spent anything. We have to go.”
She spun her car around and sped to Best Buy on the opposite side of town. She scanned the parking lot, spotting his car in the far corner. When she got closer, she saw his figure slumped over the steering wheel. She jumped out of her car, banging on his window. She tried the door but it was locked. He flinched but didn’t look up. She grabbed her phone and flipped it open, working on autopilot. “911. What’s your emergency?” a woman chirped down the line.
“Um, yeah. I need an ambulance, my friend’s unconscious. I think he tried to kill himself.” She croaked out, staring helplessly in the window.
“What’s your location?”
“The Best Buy parking lot in Wilmette. It’s at Chestnut and Anderson Street.”
“Someone is on their way, try to keep your friend attentive until help arrives.” The phone disconnected. Izzie looked around for someone or something that could help her. She ran around the passenger side and picked up a big chunk of concrete that had broken off of the curb. She held it over her head, and will all her strength smashed it through the window. She dove head first through the window, landing on the broken glass and grabbed Pete’s shoulder.
“Pete!” she pulled him upright. He groaned slightly. His face was pale and his eyes were half closed. She picked up an empty Ativan bottle off of his lap. “Pete, what did you do?” she teared up as his head flopped forward.
Izzie practically ran down the hallway and pounded on the door to Taylor’s suite. Andy opened his door across the hall and poked his head out. “What’s going on?” he asked Pete, as he followed after Izzie.
“I have no idea, I think something’s wrong.” The door swung open and Izzie pulled Pete into the room with her. “Can you hang on to these for a minute?” he shoved all the bags at Andy as they retreated into the room.
“My bank account only has twelve dollars.” Izzie looked between Taylor, Steve and Kyle as they all gathered in the entrance.
“I know, come on.” Steve pulled her into the room by the arm. They walked into the living room area and were met by three men and a woman, all with serious looks on their faces. “Hey, Carrie.” Izzie smiled at their manager’s assistant. “Have we heard from Mike?” she glanced over at the other guys, who just looked at the floor, uncomfortably.
“Dad?” Pete wrinkled his eyebrows at his father, who gave a small wave.
“Ok. Now that we’re all here, what’s going on?” Steve sighed, as they all sat down on the long couch opposite these stern businessmen. Carrie glanced at Pete and looked questioningly at the band.
“Whatever’s going on, he’s cool.” Izzie casually waved in Pete’s direction as the guys nodded in agreement.
“So, do you want the good news first or the bad news?” Carrie gave a weak smile.
“Good news.” Izzie nodded.
“Your album has officially gone platinum. Mr. Hastings is here with your plaques.” Carrie motioned over at the man from the label they had met the day before.
“Awesome!” Kyle grinned.
“Congratulations.” Mr. Hastings pulled four picture frames out from behind his chair.
“Now the bad news.” Carrie sighed.
“Pete! Look at me!” she slapped him repeatedly in the face as his eyes half focused on her. She could hear the sirens in the distance.
“Iz?” he whispered, his breath shallow.
“Yeah. We’re going to get you help.” The tears streaked makeup down her face.
“I’m sorry.” He coughed as a paramedic pulled him out of the car and began CPR and another one held her back. She watched as they strapped him to the stretcher and placed him in the back of the ambulance. She wasn’t allowed to ride with them since she wasn’t injured and wasn’t a direct relative to the injured. She had never spoken about that day to anyone.
“Is it about Mike?” Taylor asked.
“Is it about my twelve dollars” Izzie held up her ATM receipt.
“Yes and yes. So, we’ve brought your lawyer to help explain some things.” She gestured at Mr. Wentz. “And this is Mr. Thompson from the FBI, he’s working on the case.” She pointed at the last guy in the corner.
“You can call me Dave.” He shook everyone’s hands.
“FBI, like…the FBI? Like the government?” Steve asked, as they all stared at him with open mouths.
“Not the government, but close.” Dave grinned.
“So then what’s the deal, because I swear that weed wasn’t mine!” Izzie shook her head.
“I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that. It’s about your manager.”
“And why he didn’t show up last night.” Carrie interrupted.
“Yes. We’ve been watching him for several months now, and we have every reason to believe he’s been funneling significant amounts of money from you.” Dave continued.
“So then where is he now?” Izzie shook her head.
“Last night, we notified him that he was being charged with embezzlement and tax fraud.”
“So he’s in jail?” Taylor wrinkled his eyebrows.
“He emptied all your bank accounts and fled the country.” Carrie nodded.
“What?” Izzie squeaked as their jaws all dropped.
“Now, unfortunately it seems like he’d been planning this.” Mr. Wentz shuffled some papers around, handing them each copies of their recording contract. “He’s been taking advantage of you all along. When you signed your contracts, you wanted to be independent and didn’t have any parents or lawyers read through it, which might have saved you. Your contract is set up so that all your money, from recording, ticket sales, promotions licensing, everything goes through him. Which was fine when you were starting out and you were all in high school, but he’d been taking a percentage as a sort of handler’s fee before you saw any of it.”
“How much of a percentage?” Steve asked.
“Almost 40%” Dave nodded.
“The good news is that you were only 16 when you signed these contracts, and you didn’t have a parent co-sign, which makes it void. So we’ll be able to get everything back. It’ll just take time.” Mr. Wentz smiled.
“But that’s most likely going to take several months, if not years. In the meantime, the IRS is repossessing all of Mike’s belongings. Including the apartment.” Carrie looked at them, solemnly.
“Our apartment?” Steve asked.
“The lease is in his name.” she nodded.
“So, we’re broke…AND homeless.” Kyle chuckled. “Perfect.”
“The RIAA is going to work to get you everything you earned, and everything you deserve.” Mr. Hastings smiled.
“And we’re going to freeze all of your accounts for the next couple weeks, so he can’t access them.”
“All $12.” Izzie scoffed.
“Now, I believe you have a concert to get ready for. We’ll leave you to that.” Carrie said perkily, leading the men out of the room as the band sat, stunned, with their heads in their hands.
“I’m so sorry, baby.” Pete kissed her temple. “I’m going to go say hi to my dad.” She nodded silently as he headed out the door.
“What are we going to do?” Izzie asked the guys quietly. “What if my dad finds out? This is exactly the reason he forbid be from becoming a musician.” She started tearing up.
“Hey, no crying!” Taylor pointed at her sternly, standing up in front of the group. “We’ve got to man up! We’re going to go, play that show tonight like nothing’s wrong. Our CD’s already gone platinum. Then we’ll figure it out in the morning, without freaking out. We’re a family, we have to stick together.”
So...I had 0 reviews of the last chapter! I'm going to assume no reviews means no one's reading this, and I'll stop writing. I have plenty of better things I could be doing instead. And that's your loss, because it's going to get better in the next couple chapters. There's going to be a couple more famous characters that pop up. (I'm not going to say who, but throw your fangs up!)
Seriously, if I don't get reviews, I'm not motivated to write. Even if you say it was the most horrible chapter in the history of writing, don't ever write something that bad again! Then I'll know not to write something that bad again. Or you could just tell me your favorite color. Mine's purple and hot pink...and sparkly. (yes sparkly is a color)