Sweet possession, p.14
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       Sweet Possession, p.14
 

         Part #5 of Sweet series by Maya Banks
Page 14

 

  She was ushered inside the McMansion and the driver took her into the living room where she saw women sprawled all over the furniture.

  Lyric relaxed and smiled. She recognized Faith, Julie and, of course, Angelina right away, but there was another woman, long and sleek and so freaking beautiful that she made Lyric take a step back and curse the fact she hadn’t worn makeup. She was tempted to pull the shades over her eyes, not that it would hide the fact she wasn’t even wearing concealer.

  To cover up her nervousness, she spread her hands out, palms up, and announced, “I’m here!”

  The women turned and Faith shot up from the couch and hurried over to give Lyric a hug. Which was kind of weird but at the same time gave her an honest-to-God warm fuzzy. Lyric was a little shell-shocked as Faith dragged her over to the others.

  “You’ve met Julie and Angelina, of course, but you haven’t met Serena Roche yet. ”

  Tall and elegant, Serena rose from the couch, her long black hair swinging like silk down her back. Lyric couldn’t help but stare. The woman had such an exotic beauty and startling blue eyes to contrast the midnight hair.

  She extended her hand and for a moment Lyric just stared at it—and the glittering, huge-ass diamond ring that adorned her third finger.

  “I’m so glad to meet you, Lyric. ”

  “Likewise. ”

  A tall, extremely handsome man walked into the living room, and when his gaze rested on Serena, he lit up. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out this was her husband, Damon Roche.

  He had that rich GQ look. Polished, arrogant and extremely confident. He came up to stand beside Serena, his hand sliding up her back to tangle in her hair.

  “Ms. Jones,” he said smoothly. “Welcome to our home. Serena and I are happy to have you. ”

  “Thank you. I’m sorry to be a bother. ”

  “You’re no bother. Micah tells me you’ve had some trouble. I can assure you that while you are here, nothing will bother you. ”

  Strangely enough, she absolutely believed him. He didn’t strike her as a man who made empty boasts. He was too damn self-assured.

  “Can I offer you refreshment, Ms. Jones?” Damon asked.

  Remembering just how much she’d eaten at breakfast, she shook her head.

  “Come sit,” Faith urged. “We have a complete girly day planned. Julie’s even going to give us massages later. ”

  “I want to know who the hell’s going to give me a massage,” Julie grumbled.

  “Oh, hush. You know Nathan will be more than happy to give you one later,” Serena said impishly.

  “Not that girly fun isn’t high on my list of priorities, but us menfolk are going to excuse ourselves,” Damon said dryly.

  He drew Serena to him and kissed her forehead. There was such a look of possession in his eyes that Lyric shivered. Did every one of these women have a man who absolutely adored her? Lyric had never wanted to stab anyone more in her life. And now she had to spend an afternoon with them, and they’d probably go on and on and on about how wonderful their husbands or significant others or whatever the hell they called them were.

  Damon and Micah departed, talking among themselves, but the driver remained conspicuously behind, taking position in the doorway to the living room.

  The women retook their positions and Lyric plopped on the couch next to Angelina, who had her feet curled beneath her and was propped against a pillow.

  “When are you due?” Lyric asked as she glanced down at Angelina’s belly.

  Angelina grimaced. “I still have three months if you can believe it. I swear I’m ready to burst now. ”

  Lyric’s eyes widened. Maybe it was because Angelina was so petite but she looked like she’d swallowed enough helium to float a hot-air balloon.

  “So tell us what’s going on with this freak who’s stalking you, Lyric,” Julie said.

  Lyric sighed. “Well, since my record label didn’t see fit to tell me anything and Connor just informed me day before yesterday, I don’t know a whole lot. Apparently he’s been sending me creepy notes and putting them in places he shouldn’t have access to. Then yesterday he called and left a message on my hotel phone. ”

  “So what is Connor going to do?” Faith asked anxiously.

  Lyric shrugged. “He’s meeting with whatever security firm my label hired, which is why I’m here. Makes more sense for me to be there, but I think Connor is afraid I’ll throw some tantrum. ”

  Julie eyed her with a glimmer of humor in her eyes. “Would you?”

  “Maybe. Depends on what they had to say. Or how brainless they thought I was. And I don’t throw tantrums. I just voice my displeasure in a loud manner. ”

  Serena and Angelina laughed. And then Serena leaned forward. “I have to admit you look a lot different than I expected. Damon and I saw one of your shows in Vegas. You were so flashy and glamorous. ”

  Lyric winced and Serena put her hand to her mouth. “Not that you aren’t now. Oh hell. I’ll shut up now. ”

  Lyric laughed. “I don’t usually go anywhere without full makeup and wardrobe, but Connor seems to think the lower profile I am, the better. I haven’t even colored my hair since my last show. The first time Connor met me, I had pink hair. I don’t think he was impressed. ”

  Faith snickered and Julie rolled her eyes. “That’s because Connor has a stick up his ass,” Julie retorted.

  “Julie, he does not,” Faith defended. “You’re always accusing him of being uptight. ”

  “Pretty good assessment, I’d say,” Lyric muttered.

  “He’s a total sweetheart,” Angelina said.

  Lyric rolled her eyes. “Oh sure, sweetie. ”

  The other women burst into laughter.

  “She totally has you there,” Serena snickered.

  “You know, I could do your hair,” Julie said thoughtfully. “Ice blue would look awesome with all that black hair. If you don’t want to be too noticeable, we could just do the tips. ”

  “Really?” Lyric asked.

  “She’s a terrific stylist,” Faith said in a proud voice. “She owns her own business. She does hair, nails, massages. ”

  Serena nodded. “Yeah, she’s our Jill—or Julie—of all trades. ”

  “Connor would have a kitten if I left here. Maybe we could work it out one day when you’re free,” Lyric said.

  Julie grinned. “Oh, we could send Sam out for what I need and we could do it here. One of you might have to forfeit a massage, but it could totally be done. ”

  Lyric twirled the ends of a thick strand and pulled it up to look, imagining how it would look dyed blue. She shrugged. “Hell, I’ll try anything once. ”

  “Oh, I like her,” Angelina said, her eyes sparkling with mischief.

  “You would,” Serena said. “She’s our resident wild child,” she explained to Lyric.

  Lyric’s brows went up. Sweet, angelic-looking Angelina? Beneath Angelina’s dusky skin, color bloomed and she ducked her head.

  “Boy, that was a guilty look of acknowledgment if I ever saw one,” Lyric said. “I guess it’s true what they say. It’s the innocent-looking ones you have to watch out for. ”

  “Oh yes,” Julie chimed in. “Faith being a very close second in the heathen department. ”

  “Julie! Hush!”

  Faith had turned bright red as a flush crept all the way up her throat and into her cheeks.

  “I’m starting to feel frighteningly boring and normal,” Lyric said in bemusement. “I assure you that never happens. I’m usually the one people are looking at like I just lit my hair on fire. ”

  “If we’re going to do hair and whatever else we get inspiration for, I say we need wine,” Serena spoke up.

  “Oh, I don’t drink,” Lyric was quick to say.

  “What?” Julie scowled. “How can you be such a famous diva and not drink? Haven’t you ever gotten drunk and been arrested for indecent exposure o
r something?”

  Lyric smirked. “Depends on which tabloid you read. ”

  “Seriously? You don’t drink?” Faith asked.

  “Today you do,” Serena said as she turned and motioned for the driver. “Sam, can you bring us a few bottles of wine? Ask Damon for a suggestion. He’ll pick something good. ”

  As Sam departed, Serena turned and shrugged. “I’m pretty wine stupid. I mean, I love it, but know nothing about it. Damon, on the other hand, knows what wine you’re supposed to have with what food and what occasions, et cetera. ”

  “He does serve good wine,” Faith agreed.

  “I’m not happy with any of you,” Angelina pouted. “I can’t have any wine, which means you all will have all the fun while I’m sitting here as big as a house. ”

  “I’ll make sure you get the first massage,” Julie soothed.

  Two hours and six wine bottles later, Lyric couldn’t remember what her aversion to alcohol was. The wine was good. The world was good. The company was good. Everything was good.

  And the room was spinning like a merry-go-round from hell.

  She was sitting dutifully still as Julie worked on her hair.

  “How much has she had to drink?” Lyric asked, gesturing over her shoulder to Julie.

  Julie reached over Lyric’s shoulder and plucked a half-full wineglass and drained it. She set it back down with a thump. “Not nearly enough. ”

  “I’m watching her. She hasn’t had so much that it would impair her hair-doing skills,” Serena said in a solemn voice.

  Faith giggled. “Hair doing?”

  “Well, what else do you call it?” Serena asked in exasperation. “You look like an alien with all the aluminum foil, Lyric. Very impressive. ”

  Lyric smothered her laughter. Of any of them, Serena had drunk the most, and the girl was flying high. Although Lyric had to be close behind her because Serena kept filling her glass. And then the wine disappeared. It was the damnedest thing.

  “I’m done here,” Julie announced. “Well, for the next twenty anyway. Then we’ll rinse you and dry you and voila, you’ll be Smurftastic. ”

  Angelina shot Julie a baleful look. “Smurftastic?”

  “Yeah, you know, the Smurfs. Little blue people? Smurfette? Get it?”

  Angelina’s expression was blank.

  “You’re too young,” Julie grumbled. “And clearly your education is lacking. ”

  “Smurfette was hot,” Lyric said gravely.

  Faith nodded. “Agreed. Maybe we should all get our hair blue. ”

  “Oh, that would be fun!” Serena exclaimed. “It would be worth it to see the looks on the guys’ faces. How long does the color last, Julie?”

  Julie scowled. “Like I want Damon kicking my ass?”

  Serena waved in Julie’s direction like she was an annoying insect. “Come on. We could do it in support of Lyric. Our sister from another mother. ”

  “Just how much have you had to drink, Serena?” Julie asked.

  Serena paused to pour another glass and tipped it in the direction of the other women. “Not nearly enough!”

  “I’ll do it,” Faith said slowly. “Would blue tips look good on blond?”

  Julie arched an eyebrow in Faith’s direction. “Are you serious?”

  “Yeah. It could be fun. We could be like Lyric’s fan club, and if Connor tries to give her shit, we could beat the crap out of him. ”

  “Weren’t you the good sister defending him a while ago?” Angelina asked, her eyes dancing with merriment.

  “Just because I don’t think he has a stick up his ass doesn’t mean he can’t be a typical mule-headed male. Oh, I know! We could even get tickets to go see Lyric at the rodeo. We’ll be all in the know since we’d have hair just like hers. ”

  “Her concert is sold out,” Julie pointed out.

  “Oh I could get you guys tickets if you really wanted to come,” Lyric said and then promptly hiccupped. Then she giggled. Then everyone started laughing. Lyric hiccupped some more and the room dissolved into fits of laughter. Why hiccups were so funny, Lyric wasn’t sure, but the more she hiccupped, the more she laughed.

  “Okay, well, if we’re going to get this done, I need to get you girls started pronto. Otherwise Damon and Micah are going to come lurking to be nosy and then we’ll be busted. You in, Angelina?” Julie asked, looking over at her.

  Angelina grinned. “Yeah. I think it will be fun. ”

  CHAPTER 13

  Connor got out of his truck and waited for Nathan and Gray to catch up to him before he went up to Damon Roche’s front door. He’d asked Nathan and Gray to sit in on his meeting with Lyric’s security team, and the two men had agreed to lend their services whenever Connor needed them. It made him feel better to have at least two men that he could trust.

  Gray gazed up at the imposing stone and wooden home and then grinned over at Connor and Nathan. “The house is still standing, so that’s a good sign. ”

 
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