Lick, p.46
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       Lick, p.46

         Part #1 of Stage Dive series by Kylie Scott
slower 1  faster
Page 46

  Author: Kylie Scott

  The bar was one of the smaller ones, not far from our new home. A four-piece rock band on the small corner stage played grunge classics interspersed with a few new songs. Jo waved us over to a table out of the way. Meeting David was obviously big for her. Puppies jumped less.

  “David. It’s so great,” she said, over and over. That was about it. If she started to hump his leg I was stepping in.

  Amanda, on the other hand, needed to turn that frown upside down. At least, unlike my parents’, her protest was silent. I appreciated her concern, but she’d just have to get used to David being around.

  David ordered drinks for us and settled into a seat pulled up beside me. The music was really too loud for conversation. Soon afterward, Nate and Lauren arrived. A fragile peace had emerged between my brother and my husband, for which I was profoundly grateful.

  David shuffled closer. “I wanna ask you something. ”


  He slipped a hand around my waist, drawing me closer. I did the job better by simply planting myself in his lap. With a warm smile, his arms wound around me, holding me tight. “Hey. ”

  “Hey,” I said. “What did you want to ask me?”

  “I was wondering … would you like to hear one of the songs I wrote for you?”

  “Really? I’d love to. ”

  “Excellent,” he said, his hand smoothing over the back of my simple black dress. Worn because it was his favorite color, of course. Also, I’d strongly suspected the v-neck would appeal to him. Tonight, I was all about pleasing my husband. There’d no doubt be times in the future when we needed to kick each other’s asses, but not tonight. We were here to celebrate.

  Lauren led Nate out onto the dance floor and Amanda and Jo followed, abandoning us to our private talk. I honest-to-God had the best brother and friends in the whole wide world. All of them had taken the news of the plan going boom with calm faces. They had hugged me and not one word of doubt over my sudden change in direction had been voiced. When Lauren recounted her version of how David stood beside me at dinner, I’d even caught Amanda giving him a nod of approval. It gave me great hope.

  I’d even called my mother earlier. The conversation had been brief but I was glad I had. We were still family.

  David had eventually given me my ring back the night before. Turned out his list of things to do to me was long. He fed me ice cream in bed for breakfast while the sun rose. Best night ever.

  It felt right having the ring back on my hand. The weight and fit of it were perfect. As promised, his own had stayed put. He’d been proudly showing it to his brother when I’d stumbled out in search of coffee at midday. Once I’d been caffeinated, David and Jimmy had moved me into the condo. Mal and Ben had been busy at the studio. Nate and Lauren had helped move me too once David and Jimmy finished signing everything Divers-related she could find. Despite her protestations that she’d miss me, I think she was also looking forward to having the apartment for her and Nate alone. They were good together.

  “I’ve got something else I want to ask you, too,” he said.

  “The answer is yes to everything and anything with you. ”

  “Good, because I want you to come work for me as my assistant. When you’re not working at the café, I mean. ” His hand rubbed down my back. “’Cause I know you wanna do that. ”

  “David …”

  “Or you could just let me pay the college money back to your parents so that’s not hanging over your head. ”

  “No,” I said, my voice determined. “Thank you. But I need to do that. And I think my parents are going to need to see me doing that. ”

  “That’s what I figured you’d say. But that’s a lot of money for you to make, baby. If you take a second job we’re never going to see each other. ”

  “You’re right. But do you think that’s a wise idea, us working together?”

  “Yeah,” he told me, blue eyes serious. “You like organizing and that’s what I need. It’s a real job and I want you for it. If we find it starts to interfere with us then we’ll make a new plan. But I think mostly it’ll just mean we spend more time together and have sex at work. ”

  I laughed. “You promising to sexually harass me, Mr Ferris?”

  “Absolutely. ”

  I kissed him soundly on the cheek. “Thank you for thinking of it. I’d love to work for you. ”

  “If you decide to go back to college, then I’ll get Adrian to find me a replacement. Not a big deal. ” He pulled me in against his chest. “But in the meantime, we’re good. ”

  “Best plan ever. ”

  “Why, thank you. Coming from you, that means a lot. ”

  David’s gaze wandered over to the bar where Mal, Jimmy and Ben were hanging out, keeping a low profile. I hadn’t known they were joining us tonight. Jimmy had been steering clear of clubs and bars. “About time they got here,” he murmured.

  Next David turned to the band, rocking out in the corner. They were just in the process of winding up a solid rendition of a Pearl Jam classic.

  “Wait here. ” David rose, taking me with him. He placed me back on the chair and signaled to his bandmates. Then he made his way toward the stage. His tall figure moved through the crowd with ease and the guys fell in behind him. En masse, they were pretty damn impressive. No matter how low-key there were trying to be. But I got the distinct feeling they were about to make their presence known. Once the band finished the song, David called the singer over. Holy shit. This was it. I bounced in my chair from excitement.

  They talked for a moment, then the singer brought the guitarist into it. Sure enough, the man gave his six string over to David’s waiting hands. I could see the look of surprise on both their faces as David’s identity finally sunk in. Jimmy gave the singer a nod and stepped up onto the platform. Behind him, Mal was already high-fiving the drummer and stealing his sticks. Even grim Ben smiled as he accepted the bass guitar from its original owner. The Divers took to the stage. Few in the bar seemed to realize quite what was going on yet.

  “Hi. Sorry to interrupt, folks. My name’s David Ferris and I’d like to play a song for my wife, Evelyn. Hope you don’t mind. ”

  Stunned silence broke out into thunderous applause. David stared at me across the sea of people as everyone swamped the dance floor to get closer.

  “She’s a Portland girl. So I guess that makes us in-laws. Be gentle with me, yeah?”

  The crowd went batshit crazy in response. His hands moved over the strings, making the sweetest mix of rock and country music possible. Then he started to sing. Jimmy joined him for the chorus, their voices melding beautifully.

  I thought I could let you go

  I thought that you could leave and know

  The time we took would fade

  But I’m colder than the bed where we lay

  You let go if you like, I’ll hold on

  Say no all you want, I’m not done

  Baby, I promise you

  Did you think I’d let you go?

  That’s never happening and now you know

  Take your time, I’ll wait

  Regretting every last thing I said

  The song was simple, sweet, and perfect. And the noise when they finished was deafening. People shouted and stamped their feet. It sounded like the roof was coming down on us. Security helped David and the guys move through the crush of people. More had arrived as they performed, alerted to the show by texts and calls and each and every sort of social media. A tidal wave of fans swamped them as they pressed through. A hand wrapped around my arm. I looked up to find Sam beside me with a grin on his face. We got our asses out of there pronto.

  Sam and the security men cleared a path for us to the door and the waiting limousine outside. They were well prepared. We all bundled into the back of the limo. Immediately, David pulled me onto his lap. “Sam’s going to make sure your friends are okay. ”<
br />
  “Thank you. I think Portland knows you’re here now. ”

  “Yeah, I think you’re right. ”

  “Davie, you are a fucking show pony,” Mal said, shaking his head. “I knew you were going to pull something like this. Guitarists are such a bunch of posers. If you had an ounce of sense, young lady, you’d have married a drummer. ”

  I laughed and wiped the tears from my face.

  “Why the fuck is she crying, what did you say to her?” David pulled me in closer. Outside people banged on the windows as the car slowly started moving forward.

  “Are you okay?”

  “I told her the truth, that she should have married a drummer. Impromptu fucking performances!” said Mal.

  “Shut up. ”

  “Like you’ve never gone all-out to impress a girl,” scoffed Ben.

  “What happened in Tokyo?” asked Jimmy, reclining in the corner. “Remind me again about, ah … what was her name?”

  “Oh shit, yeah. The chick from the restaurant,” said Ben. “How much did they charge you for the damages, again?”

  “I don’t even know what you’re talking about. Davie said to shut up,” shouted Mal above the pair’s raucous laughter. “Have some respect for his touching moment with Evelyn, you assholes. ”

  “Ignore them. ” David cupped my face in the palm of his hand. “Why were you crying, hmm?”

  “Because this is ten. If one was us being miserable and apart then ten is your song. It’s beautiful. ”

  “You really liked it? ’Cause I can take it if you didn’t, you don’t have—”

  I grabbed his face and kissed him, ignoring the noise and heckling around us. And I didn’t stop kissing him until my lips were numb and swollen and so were his.

  “Baby. ” He smiled, wiping away the last of my tears. “You say the best fucking things. ”

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