Being in the Band's Odd Like That

Marching band is Kadence's life. The only downfall? Rocky Billings. But when Kadence breaks up with her abusive boyfriend, she finds herself oddly attracted (?!) to Rocky. Why? Well, because being in the band's odd like that.

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AL

******

“Kad, Kad, Kad!” I heard, standing up. I looked around.
 

“Calla, Calla, Calla!” I yelled back as my best friend nearly tackled me to the floor. “Hey, easy there. Alone in my bedroom, remember?” I teased, laughing slightly. She let me go.
 

“Ready to rock n’ roll?” she asked, excitedly waving her flute.
 

“Wow, don’t kill me with that.”
 

She laughed. “Sorry.”
 

“It’s cool.”
 

“Hair up Color guard!” I heard the Color guard captain shrill. I rolled my eyes, pulling the hair tie off my wrist. Trying to be resourceful, I put my hair in a low ponytail at my neck, only to hear her yell again: “High ponytail.”
 

I groaned, causing Calla to widen her eyes at me. “What’s wrong, honey?” I shook my head, pretending I was fine. “Oh. Okay. Tell me later, then.” Damn her, she could see right through me. Then again, I suppose that’s why she’s my best friend.
 

“My hair look fine?” She nodded as I finished pulling my hair back. This was going to suck. Well, maybe if I acted like everything was perfect no one would notice. Right? Turning my back against the wind, I looked up. “It’s so totally gonna rain.”
 

Calla as well looked up. “Good thing we’re about to go on.” She looked down to me. “Why’s the weather been so--” She abruptly stopped, staring at me.
 

“I turned around to face her. “Huh? What about the weather?”
 

“C’mere.” Placing a hand gently on my shoulder, she pushed my hair back and looked a few inches under my neck. Squeezing my eyes shut, I bit my lower lip. “What the hell is that?!” she shouted, loud enough to wake the dead.
 

“Shh, shut up!”
 

“Well, what is it?!”
 

I had to think of something to say quick. “I fell...off my bed?”
 

She raised her eyebrows. “You don’t sound so sure of that. Your bed, you say?”
 

“Yep. I did it this morning. You can ask Ruby.”
 

“Uh, no, I believe you.” But I could tell she didn’t. “Learn to be more careful, ya klutz.”
 

I forced a smile. “You know how I am in the morning. I’m not a morning person.” She laughed before joining the rest of the flutes. I sighed, my shoulders going forward. God, how I hoped no one had heard that...
*
Rocky’s POV
 

“What the hell is that?!” I heard someone yell as I slipped on my gloves. I looked up to see Calla staring a Kad’s back, a horror-stricken expression on her face. Trying not to draw attention to myself, I leaned against the uniform bus and listened.
 

“I fell...off my bed?”
 

“You don’t sound so sure of that.”
 

Wasn’t that the truth. So what was it--had she hurt herself? Craning my neck, I tried to see it, but found myself unable to. My eyes scanned. “Hey Aaron.” The little freshmen was at my side within two seconds. “I need a favor.”
 

“Huh?”
 

I tipped my head in Kad’s direction. “What’s up with her?”
 

He glanced at Kad then back to me. “Who, Kadence?” I nodded, still pretending to not care. “Her back’s bruised or something--it’s all black and purple. Why?”
 

“No reason. Can you go find out for me?”
 

He rolled his eyes. “Rocky, I don’t--”
 

“Hey, do you want to be section leader next year or not? You know I have my say being a senior who’s a section leader.” That changed his mind quick. See, it all worked out: Aaron was my little servant and I put in a word for him to be section leader next fall. Fair to fair and everyone won.
 

“I’ll be back.” He left me, going over to Kad. I watched as they talked and suddenly had a strong urge to smoke a cigarette. Closing my eyes, I imagined it. Maybe that should be my goal. I need to give up the smokes.
 

“She fell off her bed.” I opened my eyes, realizing Aaron had returned. “She got like two hours of sleep and when her alarm went off, she just wasn’t ready.”
 

“Who the hell’s ready when their alarm goes off? Is that shit to you too?”
 

“Why do you care? You hate Kadence, remember?”
 

“Kad.”
 

“What?”
 

I shook my head. “She hates the name Kadence--too many people make fun of it.”
 

“And you know this how...?”
 

I rolled my eyes, sighing. “Go get your instrument off the bus dude and get ready. Just drop everything else.”

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