The Lemonade Stand has spent years bringing you the best the fandom has to offer, and we are very excited to have the chance to offer you MORE. We've watched stories grow and develop from first post through COMPLETE in The Nursery, and now we're sharing previews of the stories that will soon be your new addiction.
This month, the talented drotuno, author of the incredible Masen Manor, shares a little detail on her upcoming story Man Behind the Mask with us.
Man Behind the Mask
Summary: What you see isn’t always what you get. By all appearances, Masen lives the life of sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll. He’s living the dream that has turned into a nightmare because his life - and his reputation - is not his own. There must be more to life than tour buses, groupies, paparazzi, and slimy record producers. AH/ExB/Rated M
I want to thank The Lemonade Stand for their support. Always. When I was asked to provide a sneak peek for this story, I laughed, because this new one was completely done for the fun of it.
Rain Must Fall was intense to write, emotional, not to mention I’ve been going through some stressful “real life” changes with my work schedule and moving and all around just…stuff. And while I always say I’m taking a break, this time I was able to really relax into something. I took my time writing it and didn’t even consider posting until I was about halfway through it.
My pre-reader, Pamela Stephenson (DrivingEdward), has been asking for a Rock Star Edward for as long as I’ve known her. I just never had the plot. When one finally popped into my head, I wasn’t sure it would work, but it does…at least, I hope it does.
It’s no secret that I love rock music – classic rock, metal, 80s hair bands, etc. I’ve used music before in other fics, but this would be the first time that music and lyrics would play a major part. I didn’t want to imitate any particular group or singer, so Edward and his band, Radiant Eclipse, are sort of a combination of a lot of groups, but a little bit of made-up stuff, too.
I also didn’t want to follow what had been written on this topic before – drugs, women, miscommunication, cheating, angst, heartbreak, etc. If you’ve read anything of mine before, you know I have “rules” I follow, and the subjects of rock-n-roll and bands and relationships tend to break those rules, so I needed to find some sort of middle ground. I know there are fantastic Rockerwards out there with deep, sad topics, but in trying to be unique, I think the plot grew out of that – where what you see isn’t always what you get.
Let’s meet Edward – or Masen, as he’s known around the world:
“Thank you, Seattle! Good night!” I cheered into the mic, reaching down to slap the hands of screaming fans on my way toward the side of the stage.
“Awesome as always, baby brother,” Emmett said with a grin, handing me a towel and a bottle of water. “C’mon. We’ll get you backstage.” He led me through the throngs of people, reaching female hands, and busy crewmen as I wiped sweat from my face and chugged the whole bottle of water. “Damn tight after a few months off, yeah?” he asked, holding my dressing-room door open.
“Yeah,” I rasped, pushing by him for more water.
When there was a knock on the door, Emmett went to tend to it as I fell down onto the sofa. Fuck…live shows were the best part of my life. My heart raced, my adrenaline was still pumping, and I felt like I owned the damn world. It had been months since we’d played a live show, and it would be another few months before we picked back up touring. It was off the stage that shit got…messy.
“Hey, babe,” Emmett sang, letting his wife into the room.
She kissed him and then turned to me. “You have an interview,” she stated without much pause, slipping into the role of Radiant Eclipse’s manager with ease.
“Aro set it up before talking to me about it. She’s just outside.”
Wincing, I shook my head. “Aw, hell… Who is it?”
“Jessica Stanley from Music Mania Magazine.”
“You’ve got to be kidding!”
“Afraid not, brother-in-law,” she sighed wearily. “I tried to reschedule, but it just won’t work.”
“Fuck.” I raked a hand through my hair. “Can’t Jasper do it?”
“I’m sorry, Edward, but I need you to do this. They want Masen. They want the front man.”
I met her gaze when she used my real name, not the stage name. Only those who truly knew me called me Edward, and I never used it in public.
“Apparently, Aro gave her exclusivity to the first interview since you’ve been home. Hell, yes, she’s gonna want details of the last few months. However, I want you to push the album you guys are about to finish recording, not to mention the tour coming up.” Rose sighed again but smirked at me. “She’s a fan, so use that shit. I saw her out there – front row and center. I’d be surprised if her panties are still intact.”
Snorting into a chuckle, I fell back against the sofa, but I checked to make sure that I had everything I needed for this godforsaken interview.
Rubbing my face, I groaned but then mumbled to her to give me a second. “You stickin’ around for this?” I asked when she walked back toward the door.
“Nah, as much as I’d love to see her face when you do this shit, I have to make a few calls, but if you’re good, I’ll send your girls in to save you,” she teased, which made me laugh. She glanced at her watch. “What do you think? Thirty minutes?”
I nodded to her. “Fair enough.”
This Edward is very special to me, simply because he wrote himself. I had intended for him to be a touch different, but when I sat down to actually start typing, he developed into something unlike some of my past Edwards. And in a very good way, I think. As you can see, there’s more to him than meets the eye. He has a few secrets. He has to put on an act for certain things, and it starts to wear on him.
On the other side of this is Bella, and she turned out to be so much fun to write. We get to know her in Chapter 2, but I wanted you to meet her, so here’s a glimpse of their first meeting:
“Bella. Bella Swan. Now…let me get you another beer, and you can tell me why you look like someone kicked your puppy…”
My eyes stayed locked on the gorgeous girl across from me. Girl. The word made me scoff internally, simply because she had to be somewhere near my own age – mid-twenties – so she wasn’t a girl. But she was, indeed, beautiful. It was natural, too. I’d seen so many fake, surgically enhanced women that taking in Bella Swan’s fresh face was like a deep breath of clean sea air. She was smooth skin, a petite, shapely body, dark-brown eyes, and a small smile quirking up on her face as I simply stared at her.
Snorting, I shook my head. “It’s all bullshit,” I muttered, swallowing the last of my beer in three large gulps, only to set the mug down.
“It usually is,” she agreed.
Grinning down at the bar top, I nodded. “Yeah.” I glanced up when my mug was taken gently from my hand and a new full one took its place.
She went back to stocking bottles and clean mugs and followed that up by wiping down the bar. I forced my eyes to stay on the mug in my hands, not the poor girl who was kind enough to save me from the paps. I was just about to thank her again when the TV’s broadcast caught my ear, if only because I heard my name.
“Radiant Eclipse put on a comeback concert tonight in their hometown of Seattle. Front man and songwriter, Masen, who is only two months out of his stint in rehab, led his group in a performance of their chart-topping, critically acclaimed hits.
“Masen, who was arrested for DUI several months ago, took to the stage tonight in his usual wild manner.”
My eyes narrowed on the TV as they showed parts of that night’s show. We sounded tight, though the video was shaky and most likely someone’s damn phone. They switched from Radiant Eclipse onstage to what looked like the photos that Laurent had snapped in my dressing room with Jessica. The prop bottle of whiskey was in my hand, and I was shirtless and working the poor journalist.
“It seems nothing changes about Masen…”
I’d almost forgotten about Bella, but her cleaning had stopped and suddenly the TV’s sound clicked off, leaving my idiotic face in various places up on the screen in silence. Grimacing, I forced myself to meet her gaze, expecting disgust but only seeing curiosity and maybe a little pity.
“Fun, huh?” I asked before drinking from my beer again.
“If I judged everyone who had problems, I wouldn’t have a business,” she said softly, but it was the sweet blush on her face that made me chuckle.
“Very true, Bella.” I took another drink but glanced at the TV, where they were still talking about me. I saw Heidi and the asshole she was seeing now. I’d had suspicions that she was fucking around with her costar, but seeing it was not as upsetting as I thought it would be, or maybe I felt validated. “And if I believed everything everyone said about me, I’d either be the second coming of Christ…or the Devil himself.”
The sweetest giggle met my ears, and I grinned her way, shrugging a shoulder. Sweet God, she was stunning when she smiled. It took over her whole face and caused the most adorable scrunch in the middle of her nose. Suddenly, I just needed her to know something.
“Not everything you see is…the truth,” I sighed, waving a dismissive hand toward the infernal TV.
Bella studied my face, draping a white towel over her shoulder. She took the remote and turned the television off. “Well, if you want to talk about it…” She smiled so sweetly. “They say your bartender is better than a therapist.”
Laughing, I shook my head. “My therapist was bought and paid for by people that simply needed me out of rehab in order to continue my job. I’m a fucking dancing monkey.”
“I doubt that,” she countered, leaning a hip on the other side of the bar. “The dancing monkey part, anyway. However, I’m only the cost of a few beers, for which you are paying this time.” She stepped around the bar, and my eyes followed her as she flipped off the “OPEN” sign and clicked the lock on the front door. “Now you can’t be interrupted.”
These two make me smile – and for completely different reasons. I hope everyone else enjoys them, too. The story will go live tomorrow – Sunday, the 22nd – and will probably follow my usual twice-a-week posting schedule.
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