Lick, p.31
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       Lick, p.31
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         Part #1 of Stage Dive series by Kylie Scott
Page 31

  Author: Kylie Scott

  “Mm. People say stuff during sex. It happens. ”

  He was giving me an out but I couldn’t take it. I wouldn’t take it, no matter how tempting. I wasn’t about to diminish the moment like that.

  “I am in love with you. ” I said, feeling awkward. The same as when I’d said I trusted him, he was going to leave me hanging here too. I knew it.

  His gaze lingered on my face, patient and kind. It hurt. Something inside me felt brittle and he brought it straight to the fore. Love made spelunking look sensible. BASE jumping and wrestling bears couldn’t be far behind. But it was much, much too late to worry. The words were already out there. If love was for fools then so be it. At least I’d be an honest one.

  He stroked my face with the back of his fingers. “That was a beautiful thing to say. ”

  “David, it’s okay—”

  “You’re so fucking important to me,” he said, stopping me short. “I want you to know that. ”

  “Thank you. ” Ouch, not exactly the words I wanted to hear after I admitted I loved him.

  Rising up on one elbow, he brought his lips to mine, kissing me silly. Stroking my tongue with his and taking me over. It left no room for worry.

  “I need you again,” he whispered, kneeling between my legs.

  This time we did make love. There was no other word for it. He rocked into me at his own pace, pressing his cheek against mine, scratching me with his stubble. His voice went on and on, whispering secrets in my ear. How no one had ever been this right for him. How he wanted to stay just like this as long as could. Sweat dripped off his body, running over my skin before soaking into the bed sheet. He made himself a permanent part of me. It was bliss. Sweet, tender, and slow. Maddeningly slow near the end.

  It felt like it went on for forever. I wish it had.

  CHAPTER SIXTEEN

  Adrian went ballistic over the bruises on David’s face. He didn’t seem too pleased to see me again, either. There was a brief flash of shark’s teeth before I was hustled into a corner of the big dressing room out of harm’s way. Security stood outside, letting only those invited into the inner sanctum.

  The show was in a ballroom at one of the big, fancy hotels in town. Lots of twinkling chandeliers and red satin, big round tables crammed full of stars and the pretty-people posses that accompanied them. Luckily, I’d worn a blue dress, the only one that remotely covered everything, and a pair of the mile-high shoes Martha had ordered. Kaetrin, the Bikini Girl, David’s old friend, had been on the other side of the room, wearing a red frock and a scowl. She was going to get wrinkles if she kept that up. Happily, she got bored with pouting at me after a while, and wandered away. I didn't blame her for being mad. If I'd lost David, I'd be pissed too. Women hovered near David, hoping for his attention. I could have high-fived someone over the way he ignored them.

  There was no sign of Jimmy. Mal sat with a stunning Asian girl on one knee and a busty blonde on the other, much too busy to talk to me. I still hadn’t met the fourth member of the band, Ben.

  “Hey,” David said, exchanging my untouched glass of Cristal for a bottle of water. “Thought you might prefer this. Everything okay?”

  “Thank you. Yes. Everything’s great. ”

  Wonderful man, he knew I still hadn’t recovered enough from Vegas to risk the taste of alcohol. He nodded and passed the glass of champagne off to a waiter. Then he started slipping out of his leather jacket. Other people might put on tuxedos but David stuck to his jeans and boots. His one concession to the occasion was a black button-down shirt. “Do me a favor and put this on. ”

  “You don’t like my dress?”

  “Sure I do. But the air-conditioning’s a bit cold in here,” he said, wrapping the jacket around my shoulders.

  “No, it’s not. ”

  He gave me a lopsided grin that would have melted the hardest of hearts. Mine didn’t stand a chance. With an arm either side of my head he leaned in, blocking out the rest of the room and everyone in it.

  “Trust me, you’re finding it a bit cool. ” His gaze fell to my chest and understanding dawned on me. The dress was made from some light, gauzy fabric. Gorgeous, but not so subtle in certain ways. And obviously my bra wasn’t helping at all.

  “Oh,” I said.

  “Mm. And I’m over there, trying to talk business with Adrian, but I can’t. I’m totally fucking distracted because I love your rack. ”

  “Excellent. ” I put an arm over my chest as subtly as possible.

  “They’re so pretty and they fill my hands just right. It’s like we were made for one another, you know?”

  “David. ” I grinned like the horny, lovesick fool I was.

  “Sometimes there’s this almost-smile on your face. And I wonder what you’re thinking, standing over here watching everything. ”

  “Nothing in particular, just taking it all in. Looking forward to seeing you play. ”

  “Are you now?”

  “Of course I am. I can’t wait. ”

  He kissed me lightly on the lips. “After I’m finished we’ll get out of here, yeah? Head off somewhere, just you and me. We can do whatever you feel like. Go for a drive or get something to eat, maybe. ”

  “Just us?”

  “Absolutely. Whatever you want. ”

  “It all sounds good. ”

  His graze dipped back to my chest. “You’re still a little cold. I could warm you up. Where do you stand on me copping a feel in public?”

  “That’s a no. ” I turned my face to take a sip of the water. Arctic air or no, I needed cooling down.

  “Yeah, that’s what I thought. Come on. With great breasts come great responsibility. ” He took my hand and led me through the crowd of party people as I laughed. He didn’t stop for anyone.

  There was a small room attached to the back with a rack of garment bags and some make-up scattered around. Mirrors on the walls, a big bouquet of flowers, and a sofa that was very much occupied. Jimmy sat there in another dapper suit, legs spread with a woman kneeling between them. Her face was in his lap, head bobbing. No prizes for guessing what they were up to. The red of her dress clued me in to her identity, though I could have lived a long and happy life never knowing. Kaetrin’s dark hair was wrapped tight around Jimmy’s fist. In his other hand he held a bottle of whiskey. Two neat white lines of powder sat on the coffee table along with a small silver straw.

  Holy crap. So this was the rock ’n’ roll lifestyle. Suddenly my palms felt sweaty. But this wasn’t what David was into. This wasn’t him. I knew that.

  “Ev,” Jimmy said in a husky voice, a sleazy, slow smile spreading across his face. “Looking good, darlin’. ”

  I snapped my mouth shut.

  “Come on. ” David’s hands clutched my shoulders, turning me away from the scene. He was livid, his mouth a bitter line.

  “What, not going to say hi to Kaetrin, Dave? That’s a bit harsh. Thought you two were good friends. ”

  “Fuck off, Jimmy. ”

  Behind us Jimmy groaned long and loud as the show on the couch reached its obvious conclusion. My husband slammed the door shut. The party continued on, music pumping out of the sound system, glasses clinking and lots of loud conversation. We were out of there, but David stared off into the middle distance, oblivious to everything, it seemed. His face was lined with tension.

  “David?”

  “Five minutes,” yelled Adrian, clapping his hands high in the air. “Show time. Let’s go. ”

  David’s eyelids blinked rapidly as if he was waking up in the middle of a bad dream.

  The atmosphere in the room was suddenly charged with excitement. The crowd cheered and Jimmy staggered on out with Kaetrin in tow. More cheering and shouts of encouragement for the band to take to the stage, along with some knowing laughter over Jimmy and the girl’s re-appearance.

  “Let’s do this!” shouted Jim
my, shaking hands and clapping people on the back as he moved through the room. “Come on, Davie. ”

  My husband’s shoulders hiked up. “Martha. ”

  The woman sauntered over, her face a careful mask. “What can I do for you?”

  “Look after Ev while I’m on stage. ”

  “Sure. ”

  “Look, I’ve got to go but I’ll be right back,” he said to me.

  “Of course. Go. ”

  With a final kiss to my forehead he went, shoulders hunched in protectively. I had the maddest impulse to go after him. To stop him. To do something. Mal joined him at the door and slung an arm around his neck. David didn’t look back. The bulk of the people followed them. I stood alone, watching the exodus. He’d been right, the room was cold. I clutched his jacket around me tighter, letting the scent of him soothe me. Everything was fine. If I kept telling myself that, sooner or later it would become true. Even the bits I didn’t understand would work out. I had to have faith. And damn it, I did have faith. But my smile was long gone.

  Martha watched me, her immaculate expression never altering.

  After a moment, her red lips parted. “I’ve known David a very long time. ”

  “That’s nice,” I said, refusing to be cowed by her cool gaze.

  “Yes. He’s enormously talented and driven. It makes him intense about things, passionate. ”

  I said nothing.

  “Sometimes he gets carried away. It doesn’t mean anything. ” Martha stared at my ring. With an elegant motion she tucked her dark hair back behind her ear. Above a beautifully set cluster of dark red stones sat a single, small, winking diamond. Little more than a chip, it didn’t really seem to fit Martha’s expensive veneer. “When you’re ready I’ll show you where you can watch the show from. ”

  The sensation of spiraling that had started when David walked away from me became stronger. Beside me, Martha waited patiently, not saying a word, for which I was grateful. She’d said more than enough already. Only the clutter of red stones hung from her other ear. Paranoia wasn’t pretty. Could this be the mate to the diamond earring David wore? No. That made no sense.
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