Chapter 3: Pink-Haired Trouble

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Indio emerged from his bedroom to find Jesse making coffee in the kitchen.

"You look surprised," Jesse said. "Anyone would think you forgot I drove down last night to see you play."

"I do remember." In fact, Indio's memories were quite clear because he'd drunk a couple of Jim Beams and that was all. Some kind of post-gig record. Still, he and Jesse had hardly spoken and he wasn't even sure how Jesse had made it to the apartment. "Did Turk bring you back?"

"Yup. Are you guys friends again yet? I couldn't tell."

"We're halfway there."

He and Turk were all the way there twice a week on stage and any time they jammed, but off-stage things remained subdued. Half Indio's fault—and he'd admitted to it—and half Turk's girlfriend's fault. Ex-girlfriend, following that weird night in January when they'd shared a joint that she somehow forgot to tell him was laced with opium. She'd tried for hours to get him off while he was barely conscious—enjoying it, but frustrated nevertheless at the discovery that opium's tendency to prevent orgasm was one of its two lesser charms.

Jesse said, "He took me to this lame rave first—only stayed twenty minutes. You would've hated it."

"I hate all raves, lame or not."

"Yeah, well, this one was particularly lame, and then Wynter called at some godforsaken hour this morning and I couldn't get back to sleep. Gotta say, I wasn't expecting to see you before noon. And you look stone cold sober."

"Trying to be good. Set an example."

"For Wynter?"

"Sure. Whatever."

"So you don't have a pink-haired girl with a New Jersey accent in your bed right now? The one who was sitting in your lap backstage?"

Indio scowled at his nosy little brother, elbowing him out of the way to open the refrigerator. "I'm cutting back on my vices one at a time."

"How come you never worried about setting an example for me?"

"You were never in danger of getting into trouble."

"What're you talking about? I've taken drugs. I got stoned last weekend for the fourteenth time. You never once told me not to take drugs."

"I figured you'd learn from my poor example. Ever peed in a churchyard?"


"There you go, then." Indio scraped old bacon grease into the trash before setting the pan on the stove to heat.

"I took LSD at that New Year's after-party thing you made me go to." Jesse was getting defensive, which meant he was going to ramble on for a while. "That's what they told me it was. It's supposed to expand your mind or whatever, but I couldn't get one thought straight in my head. Had a lengthy philosophical discussion with... someone, a male human, I think, and I'm sure it was brilliant but I don't remember a word of it. What's the point of that? I'd rather be clear-headed when I'm being brilliant. What is that—bacon?"

"Hickory smoked." Indio dropped slices of bacon into the pan. "My go-to hangover cure, not that either of us needs it this morning, apparently."

"If you're spontaneously cooking me bacon, you're gonna ask me for a favor, I just know it."

"I need to sell a couple of my guitars. Can you deal with that in Seattle? Or bring them down here if someone in Portland shows an interest?"

"Sure, for a twenty percent commission."

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