Ella and Micha: Infinitely and Always Page 1

Author: Jessica Sorensen

Series: The Secret #4.6

Genres: New Adult

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Chapter 1

Micha

Encore! Encore! Encore!

Lights blind me from above as I step out onto the stage again and grasp the microphone stand. The background music throbs in my veins as I pour my soul out to a room full of a thousand strangers, all begging me to understand them, see them, connect with them.

Love, it’s always there.

Aching, hard to bear.

Burning inside my veins.

Heart filled sorrow, igniting pain.

Shattered. Your words cut deep.

Strike my soul and let me weep.

It’s not really my soul that I speak of anymore. A long time ago, yes, back when love was hard to endure. Back when it was one-sided. If I were to write a song about how I feel now, it’d end up sounding like one of those frilly, pop ones. I’m too happy now. At least, that’s what my producers have been saying lately.

Too happy?

Is that even a thing?

Apparently it is because it’s been repeated a lot. I’m not sure what they expect me to do. Become less happy? Yeah, even if that was possible, which it’s not, I wouldn’t do it. All of my pre-Ella years—the less happy life they speak of—is something I’d never go back to. Her and our happiness is the most important thing to me.

“Thank you, everyone,” I say into the microphone as I finish up the song. Then I collect my guitar and stride off the stage, dodging around the next band.

I usually linger around and sign a few autographs, but there’s something important waiting for me in the back room. Plus, my heart hasn’t really been into signing lately. I’m not sure why exactly; whether the pressure to change is starting to get to me, or if I’m just exhausted.

At twenty-five years old, I’ve been playing for the same record label for a few years now. I have put out three albums, been on fifteen tours, have written so many songs I’ve lost track, and sometimes, I miss playing just for me.

As my thoughts and worries weigh at my mind, I practically sprint down the dimly lit hallway and past a father and young son, who are waiting in front of one of the doors. Who knows why the dude has a kid back here, but it reminds me of another thing I’m missing out on.

Starting a family.

But, there’s more to that than just being on the road. Ella has made it pretty clear she’s not ready to be a mother—might never be. The last thing I’d ever do is pressure her into that, but as our extended family grows, I find myself wishing for a child of my own more and more.

Lost in my thoughts, I reach the closed door at the end of the hall. As I reach for the knob, I’m side-blocked by my producer, Mike Anderly. I try not to curse under my breath, but it’s difficult. I don’t want to talk business tonight. I want to get behind that damn door and to my serenity I haven’t had in over a month.

“Great job, Micha.” He sticks out his hand to shake.

I shake his hand and offer him a curt smile. “Thanks.”

He fake smiles back, a new routine of ours. “I just wanted to know if you have thought anymore about the tour and the new album.”

“A little.” I switch my guitar into my other hand and then scratch the back of my neck. “Look, I’m not sure if it’s the right direction for me to go. I like singing my own songs, and the whole sexy, manwhore singer thing… Well, I really don’t want it to be my thing.”

“There are a lot worse things than that, Micha. So far, you’ve been really lucky in this business.”

“I know that,” I reply with a weighted sigh. “And I’m grateful for everything you’ve done for me, Mike, I really am, but… I’m just not feeling the new image.”

“Look, Micha,” he says, getting right down to business. “As much as I would love to tell you to keep going in the direction that you are, it’s not really up to me. It’s up to the label.”

I frown. “So you’re saying what, exactly? That, if I don’t change, I lose the label?”

He shrugs. “Sorry, kid, but it’s just how things are.” His hard expression slightly softens. “Look, if it was up to me, I’d let you do whatever.”

Yeah, right. I know Mike enough to understand how full of bullshit he is ninety-nine percent of the time.

He places a hand on my shoulder. “Just think about it, okay? You’ll have a few weeks off coming up in the next couple of months. Go on a vacation or something. Clear your head a little.”

I offer him the same fake smile he gave me earlier. “Fine.”

“There ya go.” He pats my cheek, pleased, as if I’ve just told him I agree with changing my image. Then he turns and walks away to charm whatever other bands he can find lurking around the hallways.

Me, I reach right for the doorknob, glad the tour will be over in two months because this shit is starting to get old.

As I push open the door and step into the small room, I force myself to shed all of my problems and leave them out in the hallway.

“Hey, sad boy,” Ella greets me the moment I enter, wrapping her arms around me and pulling me close.

“Sad boy?” I drop my guitar to the floor and hug her back with everything I have in me. Suddenly, I can breathe freer. “I’m way beyond happy right now.”

I haven’t seen her in almost a month, and I didn’t realize until now just how great of an affect her absence has on me. Ever since she opened her own art gallery and started traveling with me less, being on the road has gotten harder. It’s been almost two years that I’ve been doing this on my own, and the loneliness has begun to take a toll on me.

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