An Excerpt from Crossroads
The new novel from Gwen Masters

(From Chapter Ten)

Anthony tipped up the bottle of Jack Daniels. The whiskey burned all the way down, added to the fire in his gut, but did nothing to erase the thoughts of Janey.

Where was she? It had been a month since he had looked into her green eyes, since he had listened to one of her self-righteous rants on the music industry. A month since he had woken up alone in a cold bed in an even colder city, with her words ringing in his ears.

You don’t need me anymore. You are beyond me.

It wasn’t a matter of what he needed. It was a matter of what he wanted. She had given that foot in the door and then slammed it on his heart. He loved her.

The bottle was almost empty. He had gone through the whole thing in a little over an hour, but he didn’t feel any of the flush of contentment the liquor used to bestow. He wondered where Janey was. She could be in any city, any state, even in a foreign country, but it was damn sure she was chasing another guitarist who was chasing a dream. Anthony sat in the living room of the apartment that cost ten grand a month, looked at the big screen television, at the gold record on the wall, knowing it would soon be replaced with platinum. Precious metals proved that dreams came true.

But would Janey be there to see him accept it?

He sat the bottle down. It made a hollow sound on the hardwood floor as Anthony pulled the small, intricately carved box across the living room table. He had promised her that he wouldn’t do it again. He had promised, but a month ago she had left him. Surely on an anniversary like this all his promises became null and void.

The cocaine was pristine white, haphazardly scattered over the mirror. Anthony contemplated the razor blade. It was always a choice, wasn’t it? Whether to cut the coke or just slice his wrist and be done with it. If someone had told him a year ago that he would be contemplating suicide while he had a number-one hit on the country charts, he would have laughed. Perhaps he wouldn’t have justified the ludicrous idea with a response at all. Yet here he was.

The lines formed under his hands. Four of them. One for every week that Janey had been gone. As he felt the sting and burn of the first one, he wondered again where she was. Would she move on that quickly? Was it really all about the business to her? He liked to think that at some point it was no longer about the music. That is was about him instead.

Two. Then three. Anthony began to feel the rush, the thumping through his limbs, his own personal bass line. He suddenly didn’t care so much about where Janey was. He felt distant from everything around him. Even his emotions were suspended. They were still there, just waiting in limbo for a time when he was more able to deal with them. That was just fine with Anthony. He snorted another line and contemplated having some more.

He wanted Janey. But it didn’t have to be Janey.

Anthony picked up the phone and dialed Tom’s cell phone. Though it was the middle of the night, Tom answered almost instantly. He sounded as though he was wide awake.

“Tom…what’s the number of that place downtown? The massage parlor?”

Tom hesitated. His voice was suddenly wary. “You sure, man?”

“Positive. I need something.”

“What about Janey—“

“What about her?”

Tom sighed. “Want me to take care of it?”

“If you don’t mind.”

Thirty minutes later a knock sounded on his door. He opened it to come face-to-face with a stunning blonde, a bit on the small side, with a sparkle in her eye that said she just might be as high as Anthony was. “Hello there, Mr. Keenan,” she purred.

“Mr. Keenan,” he repeated.

“Want to let me in or should I just suck your cock in the doorway?”

She was smaller than Janey. Her hair was longer. Her eyes weren’t green, but a pretty blue color, an interesting blend of shades. Anthony lay back on the bed and watched her as she sucked him. He was hard as a rock and bound to stay that way. He hoped Tom had paid for the whole night.

He fucked her from behind, bent over the side of the bed. Her pussy was luxuriously tight, and she knew how to use it. When he came, he was suddenly lightheaded. The coke heightened every sensation. She turned and dropped to her knees. Kept him hard.

“What do you want, baby? Anything,” she told him.

“Did Tom pay you already?”

“No pay. This is a freebie.”


“Because you’re Anthony Keenan. All my friends are gonna be jealous.”

He took her up the ass after that, just because he could. He was sure he hurt her, but she didn’t fight him. In fact, she asked for more. He yanked her hair and slapped her ass and called her a slut.

And the third time, when she slowly ground above him and ran her fingers through his hair, he might have called her Janey.

2004/2005 Copyright Gwen Masters. All rights reserved.