The Champ:Bad Boys Book 5(74)

By: Jordan Silver


“Barely. Motherfucking A! My fucking eardrums were hurting from all that caterwauling. I don’t know how you all can stand this shit.” Great, he sounded like a sulking diva throwing a fit.

Dermont chuckled. “The last girl wasn’t that bad.”

He tilted his head to the side and gave his fellow judge a pointed look. “Don’t tell me your ears didn’t bleed. Dude, that wasn’t singing. That was screeching.”

Lilian Dowe, a popular RnB singer joined in.

“But Zeke, she was interpreting a Mariah Carey song!” she said in between giggles.

“That made it waaaay worse. Poor song choice,” he grumbled. “I need to get my ears checked after this.”

“Don’t worry, we’re about to wrap this shit up and call it a day,” Dermont offered in consolation.

“Good, because I’m about to put a bullet hole in my head to end my misery.”

Country legend Harmon Lorren, the fourth member of the panel signaled that the break was almost up and they all need to turn their chairs away from the stage for the next and last hopeful.

Hallow footsteps could be heard all the way from the parquet floor of the stage. Definitely male.

Familiar chords drifted around the auditorium, hitting him straight in the gut like a punch.

“Oh my fucking Zeus! Gimme a break,” he groaned inwardly.

“Man, this kid’s about to—”

“Sing ‘Passion’s Angel’. Believe me, I hear. For the tenth-fucking-time! So sick of these hacks butchering my song!”

“Guys!” Lilian shushed. “He’s about to start!”

Zeke slumped back in his chair, bored. He’d been bombarded by rock posers all day and this wannabe wouldn’t be any different—

His train of thought got derailed when the voice of the auditionee rendered the entire auditorium to a standstill.

Harmon, who was seated at the other end, turned; his silver eyes bulging from their sockets. “What the…!”

Zeke overheard Lilian’s delighted laugh. “Ohhhhhh! I want him!” she announced while hitting the button to rotate her chair.

The smile on Dermont’s face was huge. “Dude, this kid…he sounded just like…”

“Me,” Zeke finished for him.

“He’s gonna be on my team!” Dermont declared as he pressed the “yes” button.

“Not if I can help it!” Harmon challenged.

Zeke couldn't move as he anticipated the next lines of the song, right before the first instrumental break. When the kid effortlessly reached the high altitude notes, goosebumps all over his arms broke out.

Holy shit, this kid can takeover my gig and push me straight to retirement, he thought grimly. I’m done for.

He finally pressed the green button and what he saw on stage stupefied him.

“Not only does he eerily sounded like you, the kid even looked like you! The less cynical version...” Dermont said the obvious.

“You sure you didn't clone yourself, Zeke?” Lilian teased. “’Cause if you did, I wanna sign up!”

Zeke didn’t respond as his unbelieving eyes took in the teen singing his heart on stage. A teen who was a dead-ringer for him.

His shook his head, hoping to clear it.

The band came to a halt.

Harmon was the first to ask the kid. “Wow, what’s your name, man? You got some amazing pipes in there.”

“How old are you?” Lilian asked next.

The kid smiled.

“Jaeger Bailey. And I’m fifteen.”

Jaeger?! And he’s fifteen…

Zeke’s heart began to pummel against his ribcage. It can’t be…

“Did you say Jagger?” he found himself asking. He had to be sure…

The kid turned to him, his amber eyes piercingly familiar…

“Nope. It's Jaeger. J-a-e-g-e-r.”

“Jaeger’s a very cool name,” Harmon added.

“Thanks. My mom said it meant "sharpshooter" in German.”

Zeke’s heart continued to pound painfully.

“Is your mom here with you, kid?”

The kid, Jaeger, blushed.

“Uhmmm...no. actually I didn't tell her until about ten minutes ago.”

Harmon chuckled.

“So you’ve run away to be here, in this audition? I have a feeling you're going to be in big trouble after this.”

Jaeger scratched the back of his head, looking very embarrassed.

Zeke used to do that when he was younger.

“What's your mother's name, kid?” he continued.

Lilian shrieked. “What? Why are you asking him that, Zee?”

“He was asking so he can sway the mom. You play dirty, Zee,” harmon added.

Zeke was unfazed. “Her name, kid?”

“Uhm…Tiara. Tiara Angela Bailey. She’s a chef.”

His jaw dropped in disbelief.

Then rage engulfed him.

Tiara Angela Bailey had a lot to answer for.

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