Home > Lyrical (Academy of Stardom #2)

Lyrical (Academy of Stardom #2)
Author: Bea Paige

Dear Reader,

As an author music plays an important part in my creative process. I always listen to music whilst I write, and with these books, in particular, music has become even more important to the creative process. The title of this book is aptly named Lyrical for a number of reasons but most significantly because of the style of dance that is a theme throughout this book.

In the barest of forms lyrical is a dance used to express emotional moods with emphasis on song lyrics. It embodies various aspects of ballet, jazz, acrobatics, and modern dance. In this book there are several songs that I picked both for their lyricism and how well they fit the mood of the scene. I thought I would point these out below as you may wish to listen to the song before reading, or if you’re like me, whilst reading (writing).

All these songs can be found on my Spotify playlist. Music helps me to visualise a dance, I hope it helps you to do that too.

I want to take this opportunity to thank my amazing readers of Queen Bea’s Hive, my reader group on Facebook. Thank you. Thank you for all the song recommendations, the links to incredible dance videos on YouTube. Thank you for getting behind this story and immersing yourself in Pen and the Breakers’ world. Thank you for waiting patiently. I had to get this right. I hope you love it.

Special thanks to the following people who found some beautiful songs that really encompass the feel of the scenes I wrote them to.

Erica Marie Beavor, my goodness, woman, you literally supplied me with THE BEST songs. I am so grateful to you!!! Lyrical’s playlist is made up mainly of your suggestions. You’re a queen and I’m forever grateful for your enthusiasm and support. Several of your songs have given me inspiration for scenes in Lyrical. One of my favourites that you suggested was Paralyzed by NF. That song was perfect for a dance I had in mind and summed up how the character felt perfectly.

Lori Todd, thank you for suggesting Elastic Heart by Sia. I hope you enjoy the scene that goes with it. Sia is one of my favourite artists and this song was absolutely perfect for Pen and her emotions and feelings in this particular scene.

Brittany Graham, thank you for suggesting You Broke Me First by Tate McRae. It was absolutely the most perfect song for the scene I had in mind. Can’t wait for you to read it!

Noteworthy songs that inspired specific scenes:

Arsonist's Lullabye by Hozier – Chapter three

Elastic Heart by Sia – Chapter Nine

Paralyzed by NF – Chapter Seventeen

Running Up That Hill by Kate Bush – Chapter Twenty

You Broke Me First by Tate McRae – Chapter Twenty-three

Let Me Down by Jorja Smith and Stormzy – Chapter Twenty-four

I Can’t Make You Love Me by Teddie Swims – Chapter Thirty

Dancing with a Stranger by Sam Smith – Chapter Thirty-one

Demons by Jacob Lee – Chapter Thirty-Three

Halo by Beyonce – Chapter Thirty-six

Play with Fire (feat. Yacht Money) by Sam Tinnesz & Fire on Fire by Sam Smith – Chapter Forty

Happy reading.

With love,

Bea xoxo

 

 

For dance and music.

For expression and self-love.

For hopes and dreams.

For courage and strength.

For friendship and love.

For kindness and empathy.

This book is dedicated to all those things.

 

 

Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan the flames

~ Rumi.

 

 

Prologue

 

 

Xeno


My mum was a wise woman.

She often told me that the strongest, most courageous of us all are not the ones that mete out blood and violence but kindness and understanding in the face of opposition.

She was a good person, unlike me.

I learnt the value of kindness and understanding from her.

I learnt the importance of friendship and loyalty from the Breakers.

And I learnt to be a ruthless, violent bastard from the Skins.

Right now I bet my mum’s rolling over in her grave, praying to anyone who’ll listen to save my wretched soul. Some nights when I’m stuck in my head, I sure as fuck feel her disappointment. It weighs as heavy as the bad choices I’ve made and the souls of the men I’ve killed.

I’ve killed people.

I might not wear the tattoos beneath my eyes like Jeb does, but it doesn’t make it any less true. Sure, they might have been bad men. They might have deserved to get a bullet between the eyes, but that doesn’t change the fact that I took their lives. It also doesn’t change the fact that I used a dance I love to seduce their wives to find out as much as I could about them. I never slept with the women, not ever, but being their private bachata teacher was how I learned their husbands’ secrets. It’s amazing what a woman will say when they think they’re going to get fucked. I don’t feel any guilt. Those women have better lives without their sadistic, violent husbands ruling over them. The truth is, I’ve done many things I’m ashamed of but killing those men, so the rest of the Breakers didn’t have to, isn’t one of them.

Zayn, Dax, York, they’re my ride or die.

The choices I make are for those motherfuckers, my brothers. Every damn time.

When we were kids our crew gave us purpose and dance held us steady, it gave us an outlet that didn’t end in violence. We tried so fucking hard to fight the inevitable, and for a time we stayed out of trouble. We were the best dance crew in London, and when Pen joined us, we became a goddamn family. That tiny little girl who’d walked into our basement battered, bruised and with balls of steel, had done something no other girl could.

She made us love her.

With her by our side we found solace in dance. Peace. We formed a bond that meant something, that meant fucking everything, and over time our friendship grew into more. We would all do anything for her.

She taught us how to love, and then she broke our fucking hearts.

I told her that we’d returned to reclaim what’s ours. She believes that’s her.

She’s wrong.

I let her destroy us once before. There isn’t a chance in hell I’ll allow her to do that again.

She can tempt me with her fire and her fury. She can kiss me and almost bring me to my goddamn knees. She can dance until the very fucking pit of my soul starts to revive but I cannot, will not, let her back in.

And neither will they. I’ll make sure of it.

We aren’t the boys she once loved anymore.

They’re dead.

And when we’re done, a part of her will be too.

I don’t get off on that fact. It’s just a certainty that none of us can avoid.

We’re the Breakers and we break things after all.

 

 

1

 

 

Pen


I have a choice. I know that.

Fight back and sign Lena’s death warrant.

Obey and get raped.

Running is no longer an option. It never was.

“That’s it, Penelope, do the right thing,” Jeb sneers as I turn to face him. His warm breath curdles the air that’s already filled with the heady scent of sex and debauchery. Around us people are fucking like animals, all sense of decency left at the entrance to Grim’s club. Not that any of these fuckers had much to begin with. They’re all gangsters, fucking criminals. They don’t give a shit. Their sense of right and wrong is skewed to suit their own sense of morality. This is probably an average night out for them.

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