When Sam arrived downstairs, the Plaza's press room was packed. There were reps from all the major networks, cable news, all the legitimate music magazines, newspapers, and stringers from every supermarket rag that ran covers of alien invasions and three-headed cows, all of them ready to take a bite out of Sam's hide.
Margot preceded him through the door and announced his entrance. The room burst into a cacophony of voices, all shouting questions he could not or would not be able to answer.
Sam began to sweat in his Armani suit, but soldiered on to the podium. He faced the crowd as they settled into an expectant silence.
"Good afternoon. I have a prepared statement and will take no questions afterward. Liam O'Shea, Shattered Glass' composer, lead guitarist, and singer, has left the band due to creative differences. Milo Stamis informed me today that Liam will be replaced for rest of the tour by solo artist, Johnny Borchoi, who graciously agreed to interrupt his sabbatical to fill in for Liam."
The media exploded in protest as Sam prepared to leave the podium. Margot whispered, "Sam, you need to answer a few questions or they'll bombard the office. We won't be able to work."
Looking over the rabble, Sam agreed with Margot's assessment. He returned to the podium and braced himself for what he knew would come.
"I will go ahead and take a couple of questions after all."
Hands flew into the air. Sam pointed at random. The reporter jumped up.
"Rolling Stone. Mr. Stein, didn't you once play the drums for Shattered Glass, and isn't bass guitarist Rick Stein your brother?"
"Bart plastered himself to Milo during rehearsal the day after Milo threw Liam out of the house. Liam hauled off and punched Bart and gave him a black eye." Rick shrugged with assumed indifference.
"Yes. Next question, over there in the corner."
". There are rumors of an altercation at a rehearsal. It's said that Liam attacked Bart Hedge."
"No comment. Second row, third from the left."
"Dex Arthur, Entertainment Tonight. Doesn't Liam owe his fans an explanation?"
"Liam's music speaks for itself," Sam growled. "I'll take one last question."
A stringer for one of the grocery rags stood up and shouted a question that silenced the room. "Sam, were Milo and Liam lovers?"
Milo exploded in an angry tirade against Liam. "If I could find the little bastard, I'd choke him. He's been carrying on with that fucking roadie, Danny, behind my back for years. " Milo was really pissed, his face was red and his eyes were puffy. Sam figured he missed Liam much more than his anger let him show.
"No comment." The right side of Sam's mouth ticked in frustration. Sam abruptly left the podium and disappeared behind the curtain, heading to the private exit.
Their public relations representative pulled Sam aside as he attempted to exit the room.
"Come on, Sam. At least tell me the truth off the record. Are Milo and Liam lovers? Rumors abound of a blowup at the rehearsal, and a physical altercation."
"There are some things I can't even tell you."
The PR rep left. Sam stood, shoulders slumped against the wall. He shook his head. The truth was more complicated than anyone could imagine.