12. Spark Plugs

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A/N: What kind of nutty person draws a detailed house plan of her story family's house? 

<is a nutty person>

*puts up hand*

At the end of this chapter is a plan of the converted basement, for anyone unfamiliar with the components of a recording studio.

* * *

Halfway through a sublimely smooth rendition of Son Of A Preacher Man, Indio's vocalist, Bonnie, dropped out. Indio followed her gaze across the studio, where Wynter stood glaring at them through the glass wall, her expression thunderous.

His stomach dropped—something was terribly wrong.

Within a couple of bars, everyone had stopped playing.

"Just a second, guys."

Indio set down his guitar and went through to the control booth.

"What are they doing here?" Wynter said.

He huffed with relief. So, the terribly wrong thing was that he'd brought his new band into her basement to rehearse.

"Thought you had classes until four," he said lamely. That just made it worse—an admission he'd hoped to be done before she got home.

"My last class was canceled. Who are they?"

Indio closed the soundproof door. "These guys asked me to play with them for the summer. We've got a gig on Saturday, so we're getting in as much rehearsal time as we can this week."

His heart squeezed to see the look on her face. She was pissed as all hell but knew she wasn't entitled to be. 

"This makes me uncomfortable," was the best she could manage.

"Okay, I know. We'll be done in half an hour. We'll clean up and you'll never know we were here."

She banged on the window suddenly, to his bandmates' bemusement. They would've heard only a soft thud from within the room.

"That woman just lit a cigarette." She shot him a furious look and yanked open the door.

He managed to catch her arm. "Baby, leave it—"

She slid away and walked into the studio.

"Please don't smoke down here," Wynter announced to the room, her voice shaking with nerves because she was confronting four strangers, and because she was livid.

"Hey, little sis, my apologies. I'll head up and out the back," Bonnie said, injecting enough sass into her tone to make it clear she was unfazed by an irate teenager. From what Indio had gleaned of Bonnie's attitude, he figured she was unfazed by anyone but had just enough social grace not to make scene in someone else's house.

Wynter said, "Keep it away from the goats. Please."

"Wouldn't dream of going near your goats." Sweet and mocking at the same time. 

Indio hadn't asked them not to smoke, although he would eventually have to. Another day. He'd only met these guys yesterday, and while they were keen to have him, everyone was still in the breaking-in period when nurturing harmony among the group was as important as finding a groove with the music.

"So... this is my sister, Wynter," Indio said. "Wynter, this is Bonnie..."

He trailed off because Wynter was heading out, uninterested in introductions, having noticed two girls wandering over from the den where they'd been hanging out on the couch. The girls gave her a wide berth as she marched into the den.

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