34. Peaceful and Inspiring

468 45 20

Jesse glanced over Wynter's shoulder as she stood on the doorstep. "Where's Indio?"

"He dropped me off. He said he's going to hang out with those druggies in his band."

"That's what he called them?"

"Well, no. That's what I call them." She stepped around Jesse into the immense foyer of Lucy's parents' house and dropped her school bag on the floor. Black metal stairs ascended to the next floor, and clusters of large naked light bulbs dangled from long wires in the ceiling. "Why does this place look like a warehouse?"

"It's called modern industrial. Lucy hates it, too." Jesse picked up her backpack and she followed him through a set of black mesh doors into a sitting room where almost everything except the couches was made entirely from metal.

"I don't hate it, but it's not cozy. I'm worried about him, Jesse." Wynter sat on an uncomfortable gray armchair. "He stayed out all night on Saturday after his gig. He was barely home in time for rehearsal. His singer, Bonnie—I'm sure she's trying to sleep with him. I think his resistance is low because things are going so badly with Jenny."

"Nothing's going badly."

"You saw how he barely spoke two words to her on Sunday." That had been their second rehearsal, and Wynter was dismayed by the progress.

"Give them some time."

"You look like you haven't slept in days." She leaned forward, taking a closer look. "God, Jesse, you look awful. You have purple bags under your eyes. Where's Lucy?"

"She'll be here. She spent all day at the mall. I offered to take her. I always offer to take her, but..."

"But?" Wynter prompted.

"She sort of does her own thing, and I do my own thing, except that there's nothing to do here."

"How can there be nothing to do in this entire house?"

"I'm kinda scared of touching most of it."

"Are you sure she's really shopping and not out with another guy?"

"She's not cheating on me. She comes home laden with designer bags. Today she's having a pedicure."

"Is that the one for your feet? Why would anyone pay for that?"

"Beats me." Jesse sat on the couch with a vacant expression.

"So, where's this dog?"

"In her basket in the kitchen. I have to feed her at 4:30 and give her a shot. That dog has put me right off mammalian pets. They're messy and needy. I always knew a turtle was the way to go. What's your homework?"

"I have calculus. That'll cheer you right up."

Jesse flopped back on the couch with a sigh, crossing his arms over his face. He was clearly exhausted, but something else was very wrong.

"Um... You could show me the rest of the house first," she suggested.

"Don't tell Indio, but I've been writing songs," he said, his voice muffled by his sleeves. "This house is very peaceful and inspiring."

"You don't seem inspired."

"I do kinda miss my drums. Lucy wouldn't let me bring them because of the dog. And the neighbors. Are you staying the night?"

"If you want me to, and it's okay with Lucy. You'll have to drive me to school tomorrow. Where am I sleeping?"

"Uh..." He rubbed his eyes vigorously as he thought about it. "There are, like, four guest rooms. I guess you can choose the one you want."

Distortion (Wynter Wild #5)Where stories live. Discover now