IN THE SPOTLIGHT ~ Sounds Complicated by Frances Fox #Excerpt

Sounds Complicated
by Frances Fox

Series: Reluctant Rockstar (book 2)
Editor: Lourenza Adlem
Release Date: 15th August, 2023
Price: $3.99
ISBN: 9798223112495
Length: 97 Pages (per Kindle)
Keywords: MM, Rockstar, Contemporary, British, Hurt-Comfort, Opposites Attract, Spicy.

Sounds Complicated is not in KU and is available wide.

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A pining drummer and a snarky sound engineer have been walking around each other for months…


Heggarty’s Bow drummer, Mordant, sticks firmly to the adage ‘don’t screw the crew’. He’s seen bands crash and burn over something like that before and he’d rather not risk the band dynamic. However, he knows he’s attracted to the charms of Pink the sound engineer and he’d determined to keep him at a distance. He’s got no interest in becoming just a notch on his bedpost, anyhow.

Pink is surprised and a bit hurt that Mordant makes no secret of avoiding him like the plague. Mordant’s a quiet, laid back guy most of the time, but he only interacts with Pink to criticise his work. Pink’s decided it’s best to just try to ignore him. He’s got enough history with moody blokes that he doesn’t need to take on any more trouble. He just needs to get on with things.

When one of Pink’s exes shoves him and he falls down the stairs at work, though, he’s surprised to find Mordant the one who volunteers to take care of him. Mordant is surprised as well. Where will the two of them go from here?


Chapter 1: Pink

Fuck. Pink could see the steps coming up to meet him as he twisted sickeningly in mid-air. Should he put his arms out to break his fall? Or not?

In the end he couldn’t stop himself. It was pure reflex. He heard his wrist break as his palm hit the floor and he swore as he slid forward down the remaining stairs.

Fuck. Arse. Shit. Wank-fuck-bollocks. That was going to hurt.

Sure enough, as he tumbled to a halt at the foot of the steps, splayed on his back like a latter-day Omega Man, looking up at the stage, the pain kicked in and he swore aloud.

“Fuck!” he said, lying there for a moment whilst the auditorium spun around him. “Ow! Ow ow ow!” His head hurt, too.

What the hell had happened? One moment he’d been taping the cables down to the steps and arguing in a low voice with Ant, who’d been trying to persuade him to go on another date…and then he’d been falling. Had…had Ant shoved him? He couldn’t remember.

He started to sit up, pushing up on the elbow of his good arm and blinking dizzily, but a hand landed firmly on his chest and held him still.

“Stay there,” a voice he recognised said.

He blinked again. “Mordant?” he queried.

“Yeah,” said Mordant. “Stay put, will you? I’m calling an ambulance.” The hand disappeared.

“What?” Pink said, outraged, struggling to sit up and failing. “Don’t do that! I’m fine!”

He collapsed back onto the floor, making a liar of himself.

Mordant looked at him, one eyebrow raised in that annoying way he had, and continued dialling. “Yeah, hello, ambulance, please,” he said. “The Fallow Arena…stage door. Someone’s fallen and hit his head…”

Pink stopped listening. Had he hit his head? He raised his non-hurty hand to feel his forehead and his fingers came away sticky. Oh. That was probably why he felt a bit dizzy then. Fuck, his other arm hurt.

“Ow,” he said, again, plaintively.

Mordant patted his chest reassuringly, still on the phone to the ambulance people.

Things went a bit blurry again for a while after that, but he was conscious throughout of Mordant’s big hand on his chest, warm through his thin t-shirt. “Stay with me, Pink,” he said at one point, patting his face gently. “Keep your eyes open, Sunshine.”

Pink struggled…it would be so very easy to drift off to sleep and if he was asleep, he wouldn’t be hurting. Then he blinked, suddenly wide awake. “Sunshine?” he said. “What?” Not a word normally in Mordant’s lexicon, specially where Pink was concerned.

His face drifted above Pink’s against the hazy background of the high Arena roof. “What?” His expression was innocent.

“You called me Sunshine,” Pink explained earnestly, trying to focus his vision.

“Nope!” Mordant widened his brown eyes in fake disbelief. “I did not. That’s not something I call anyone!” Let alone Pink, was the unspoken corollary.

Pink shook his head and then winced. “I know what I heard, Mordant. You did!”

Mordant gave him a small smile. “Keep your eyes open, Pink,” he said. “They won’t be long now.” He spoke into the phone again. “Yeah, he’s still awake and talking sense. Mostly. Five minutes, okay. I’m going to hang up. I’ll have to ring security and tell them they’re on their way. Okay. Thanks. Bye.”

He glanced down at Pink and then up to someone Pink couldn’t see. “Yeah, actually, could you go and tell the gate? And tell them where to come?”

Pink was suddenly aware that there was a ring of people around them, a respectful distance away, but still. Some of the other techs and the bass player of the Purple Lizards. None of the other Heggarty’s Bow people that he could see, though.

“Bollocks,” he muttered. “What am I? The support act?”

“Shhh,” Mordant said, patting his chest again. “They’re worried, that’s all. You went down with quite a crack.”

“Send them away,” Pink said, shutting his eyes. “They’re looking at me.”

“Keep your eyes open,” Mordant told him firmly. “And you lot, bugger off. The show’s over. The ambulance guys are here.”

After that it was all can you move your thumb? and how many fingers am I holding up? and who’s the Prime Minister?

“That fucker!” Pink replied, which must have been good enough, as the EMT peering into his eyes with a little light laughed at him and said, “That’ll do, you’ve got all your marbles!” She switched off her mini-torch and stuck it back in the pocket of her overalls, continuing, “I want to take you in, though. I think you’ve got a bit of a concussion. And that wrist is broken.”

Pink grumbled under his breath but there wasn’t much he could do about it with Mordant glaring at him from behind her shoulder. “Do I have to?” he whined, as they discussed getting a stretcher. “I can walk,” he told them.

“Uh-uh.” The EMT shook her head. “You’ve got a head injury. Let us get you on the stretcher.” He looked at her pathetically and she said, “Humour me, all right?” before turning to Mordant and asking, “Are you coming with him?”

Mordant looked momentarily nonplussed, but before Pink could tell them he didn’t need anyone, he said, “Yeah, I will. I’ll need to tell Pete, hang on—” and stepped out of Pink’s sight.

“Come on then,” the bossy EMT said. “Let’s get you on this thing.”

They helped him to his feet and he was pleased for the aid. As he came upright, he was overcome with a wave of nausea that had nothing to do with the pain in his wrist, now wrapped in a soft, supportive splint. It was entirely down to the sickening, shifting sensation in his head. “I’m going to throw up,” he announced.

The second EMT expertly manoeuvred him so when he chucked up it was on the floor, not all over himself. He was shaking by the time he’d finished. Someone offered him a bottle of water and he took a sip and handed it back, before realising it was Mordant. Damn. He didn’t want anyone who knew him to have seen that. Too late now.

“Come on, let’s get you lying down again,” Bossy EMT said. “You’ll feel better then.”

He did as he was told, although she was lying, he didn’t feel better at all, he felt swimmy and hot and cold and nauseous. “I feel a bit odd,” he told her.

“Not surprised mate, you’ve got quite a bump on your noggin. You’re fine, though, just stay put and we’ll sort you out. Shut your eyes, we’ll wake you up when we need to check you, all right?”

“So he didn’t need to keep me awake?” Pink muttered.

“Don’t blame me,” he heard Mordant say. “I was only doing what the lady on the phone told me.”

“Huh,” Pink said.

He felt much better with his eyes shut. It was annoying not to be able to see Mordant, though. “You don’t need to come,” he told him again. “I’m fine. You need to get on and do the show. I gave you an extra monitor,” he told him. “You always bitch about the monitors. I found another one for you.”

He felt a hand pat his own. “I noticed,” Mordant said, looking gravely down at him as he opened his eyes. “It was very kind of you, thank you.”

“You’re only being kind to me because I’ve hurt my head,” Pink told him. “You don’t usually call me Sunshine.”

“I didn’t,” Mordant told him. “You imagined it. You’ve got a head injury.”

“I don’t want you to come,” Pink said. “I don’t want you to see me when I’m ill. You don’t like me anyway. It’ll make it worse.”

Mordant coughed. “Shut your eyes again,” he said. “You can now, remember?” He patted Pink’s hand again. “Do you want me to call anyone for you?”

Pink shook his head and then winced. “No,” he said. “No, thanks. No point worrying anyone. Mum and Dad live in Cornwall; they’d want to come up and it’s a stupid long way. Leave them be.”

“Boyfriend?” Mordant asked.

“No,” Pink replied shortly. “No-one. Stop fussing. Stay and do the show.”

“There’s hours yet,” Mordant replied comfortably. “I’ll come. It’ll be fine.” He turned to the paramedic. “I’ll go and get my kit and meet you at the wagon, all right?”

The paramedic nodded, talking to Mordant over Pink as if Pink wasn’t there. “Yeah, we’ll wait,” she said and looked down at Pink again. “Come on then, matey, let’s get you loaded.”

About the Author

Frances Fox writes contemporary MM romance. The Rockstar series is a new eight-book series of novellas following the musicians, stage-crew and friends of Heggarty’s Bow. If you like to read spicy MM stories about vulnerable guys looking for love, she’ll have you covered.

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