Hot ticket, p.21
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       Hot Ticket, p.21

         Part #3 of Sinners on Tour series by Olivia Cunning
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Page 21

  Author: Olivia Cunning

  “So Aggie, what do you like to do for fun?” Eric asked.

  “Besides make men cry?”

  He laughed uncomfortably. “Yeah, besides that. ”

  “She sews,” Jace murmured.


  “Yeah, sews. ”

  “What? Like pot holders?”

  “No, like leather corsets,” Aggie said.

  “She makes them by hand and sews designs on them,” Jace said, starting to sound more alert now.

  “Embroidery,” Aggie clarified.

  “They’re works of art. ” Jace’s hand stroked her hair lethargically. “And sexy. ”

  “Oh,” Eric said flatly. “Well, that gives me a boner. Now I’m bored and horny. ”

  “And I’m wide awake,” Jace said. “Time for you to leave. ” He reached over Aggie and shoved Eric onto the floor.

  Eric climbed to his feet and stood at the side of the bed with both hands resting on his narrow hips. “Why do I have to leave?”

  “Because those plans I had with Aggie last night…”

  “Destroy the hotel room in a lust-fueled frenzy of sex?”

  “Yeah, those plans. I’m ready to get started now. We have a lot of making up to do before the concert tonight. ”

  Jace rose up on one elbow to stare down at Aggie with his most smoldering look. She smiled, knowing she was about to have a wonderful day. Rock on!

  “So I’ll help you,” Eric offered. “I owe her too. ”

  “Get lost, Eric,” Aggie said, her body already thrumming with anticipation.

  Jace lifted his gaze to Eric. “You heard the lady. ”

  “Aw, come on, little man. I’m dying here. Just let me watch a little. ”

  Jace shook his head. “Not this time. Now go away before I kick your ass. ”

  “Yeah, right. ” But even as he said it, Eric reached for his shirt and tugged it on over his head. “I’m starving anyway. Who needs sex when you can have scrambled eggs?”

  “I’ll see you at the arena,” Jace said.

  Eric launched three pillows at them before showing himself to the door. “Don’t forget we have that thing to rehearse for Jessica. ”

  “I’ll be there. ”

  The door closed, and Jace turned his attention back to Aggie.

  “What thing for Jessica?” she asked.

  He smiled. “You’ll see. It’s a surprise. For everyone. ”

  “Eric’s a bit…” She scrunched her forehead, trying to think of the proper adjective.


  “Yeah, I guess that’s the word. ”

  “Most geniuses are. ”

  “You think he’s a genius?” Aggie stuck a thumb in the direction of the door Eric had just exited.

  “I know he’s a genius. I’ve seen him compose. ”

  “You’re the genius,” she whispered and tugged his lips to hers for a kiss.

  “I really am sorry you had to bail me out of jail last night. ” He trailed suckling kisses along her jaw.

  “I’m glad you realize you can depend on me. ”

  He froze. There she went scaring him off again.

  “But I do think you need to be punished for ruining my evening,” she added.

  He relaxed again, took her hands in his, and drew her arms up over her head. “Later,” he said. “First, I need to offer my apologies. Consider every kiss an ‘I’m sorry. ’”

  It didn’t take her long to realize how very sorry he was.

  Chapter 16

  Aggie stood beside the stage on the stadium floor. Roadies and all five band members milled about in the darkness. It was almost time for Sinners to take the stage. She longed to grab Jace and plant a big wet kiss on his lips. He’d more than made up for that bail-me-out-of-jail incident, and she was primed to show her appreciation. After hours of apologies, she figured he’d be relaxed in her company. Just the opposite. As soon as she’d arrived at the arena, he had become withdrawn and skittered away if she even touched him. She blamed it on nerves. He didn’t seem to enjoy performing live.

  “Are you sure you can sing, Sed?” some dark-haired roadie, adorned with more tattoos than all five band members combined, asked. Everyone was treating the vocalist like fragile glass. Apparently, no one trusted his throat was well enough for a show.

  “Yeah, my doctor said singing was not a problem. I’m supposed to limit my screaming though, hence the violin. ” He lifted a black, electric violin and drew a bow across the strings. It screeched in protest. “I’m still not sure how I’m supposed to hold a microphone and a violin at the same time. ”

  Someone squeezed Aggie’s shoulder. She turned to find Jessica beaming like a lighthouse beacon. “Aggie! It’s been ages. How are things?”

  “Great. Anything new with you?”

  She thrust her left hand in Aggie’s face and did an excited little dance while Aggie examined the small diamond engagement ring on her finger. “Sed and I got engaged last night. ”

  Aggie hugged her and didn’t mention bailing Jace and Eric out of jail because they’d helped make her over-the-top proposal happen. “I’m happy for you, sugar. I knew you and Sed still had a thing for each other. ”

  Jessica released Aggie and snagged her fiancé around the waist. She kissed Sed passionately before chastising him about taking it easy while singing and screaming onstage. Sed assured her that he was fine—his doctor had cleared him to do this concert—though no one looked convinced, least of all Jessica.

  Someone cued the band. Jace pecked Aggie on the cheek as he passed her. She decided that was the most affection she’d get from him until they were alone.

  A bass drum thudded repeatedly. The low, rhythmic sounds of a bass guitar filled the undertones of the song. Aggie held her breath in anticipation of the stage lights coming on so she could see Jace. Now all she could see were four sets of feet in a blue light that shone across the stage floor. A guitar wailed. The crowd cheered. The carried note of an electric violin screeched through the speakers. An astonished hush fell over the crowd. Bright lights bathed the stage. When the note came to an end, Sed held the violin and bow in one hand and plucked the microphone off its stand with his other to sing. The crowd’s enthusiasm increased throughout the song until Sed took to his violin again, grinding one long note against the strings, and the audience fell silent in shock. Aggie wasn’t sure what was going on.

  Jessica stood beside her with both hands clutched against her chest as she watched Sed muddle his way through the song, alternating his singing with violin playing. “What’s going on?” Aggie asked her.

  Jessica tore her gaze from her fiancé onstage. “Poor baby. I’ve never seen him so nervous. ”

  Nervous? The guy was unequivocally dynamic. How could anyone think he was capable of nervousness? Jace, on the other hand, had inched so far toward the back of the stage, Aggie rarely caught a glimpse. She could hear him though. The low pitch of his bass guitar throbbed through her entire body—the sound rich and alive and incredibly sexy.

  When the song came to an end, the crowd cheered and then fell silent as Sed spoke into the microphone. “I guess you noticed the violin. ”

  Fans whispered to each other.

  “Doc says I’m not allowed to scream for a while. So I’ll replace some of my vocals with the violin. If you hate it, blame Eric Sticks. It was all his idea. ”

  “I think it sounds cool!” a fan yelled.

  “Yeah, cool!” someone else yelled.

  The crowd broke into enthusiastic cheers.

  Sed grinned. “Sinners fans are the best. You know that?”

  “Oh shit,” Trey said into his microphone. “I think Sed’s gonna cry. ”

  “And if Sed starts crying, you know Jace will soon follow,” Brian said.

  At the mention of Jace’s name, Aggie’s ears perked. She climbed a step at the side
of the stage and craned her neck to see him. No luck.

  “Better get a mop ready, Travis,” Trey said.

  The excessively tattooed roadie tossed a sponge onto the stage. It skittered to a stop at Sed’s feet. The crowd roared with laughter. Sed picked it up and pretended to mop up tears then threw it toward the back of the stage. A discordant bass guitar note rang through the speaker and then a sponge hit Brian in the back of the head. Aggie wished she could see better.

  “You shouldn’t stand on the steps,” the roadie, Travis, said. “You’ll block traffic flow. ”

  “But I can’t see. ”

  Travis’s pierced eyebrow wrinkled in confusion. “You’ve got the best seat in the house. ”

  “Jace,” she clarified.

  “Oh. ” He took her by the elbow and led her up the steps, around equipment on the edge of the stage.

  When Jace came into view, her heart skipped a beat, and she smiled. Perfectly attentive to his surroundings, yet lost in his own world, he was an expert at pretending disconnection. Aggie knew better.

  “Thanks,” she whispered to Travis just before the next song started.

  Now that she could see Jace, she couldn’t take her eyes off him. His concentration was absolute, every note given equal care and precision. He was caught up in his music, as if nothing else in the world mattered. He played his instrument with the same care and attention he showed her when they made love. Her heart gave a painful lurch when she realized that music was his entire existence. His purpose in life. His reason for being. She would never matter to him as much as his band—these songs, this stage, any crowd. She tore her eyes from Jace and forced herself to watch the rest of the band, terrified by the direction of her thoughts. Why was she so hung up on this guy? Why did she care that she’d never be the most important thing in his life? It wasn’t as if she was contemplating a future with him. She didn’t contemplate her future at all. There was no point. If fate wanted to take her for a ride, it was beyond her control. Why even worry about it?

  When her eyes drifted back to Jace, she found he was watching her. He offered his sexiest, gentlest smile, and she had the inexplicable urge to flee. She forced herself to stay put—to face these alien feelings swirling through her heart. To come to terms with the idea that he was important to her. It didn’t matter if he reciprocated her feelings. She wanted him to be happy, to be with him in any capacity he allowed—devoted and dedicated so he could pursue his first love. Music.

  Oh God, I’m a groupie. Pathetic and needy. Over a guy.

  What in the world was wrong with her? The foreign idea of putting someone’s needs before her own, especially a man’s, had her head spinning. So much so that she didn’t recognize the band had left the stage until an arm slid around her back and a firm pair of lips brushed her neck beneath her ear.

  She shuddered and clung to Jace’s T-shirt with one hand.

  “Enjoying the concert?” he murmured.

  “Is it over?” she asked, astonished.

  He chuckled. “Are you distracted?”

  That was an understatement.

  “We’re taking a short break, but Sed has a surprise for Jessica that we’re all involved in, so I can’t stay long. ” Jace had left her alone in the hotel for a couple hours to practice for this surprise, but he hadn’t shared what it was. Not even when she’d taken her flail to him until he came.

  The side of the stage where they stood was bathed in shadows. Aggie was certain that privacy was the only reason Jace claimed her mouth in a toe-curling kiss.

  “I’m glad you’re here,” he whispered against her lips. “That I can share this part of me with you. ” He kissed her again, sucking at her lips gently. “Like you shared your passion for the dungeon with me. ”

  Well, that had been sort of different. He’d watched her make grown men cry, and strangely, had been okay with her twisted nature. His passion, his music, was so much more than either of them. It touched millions of people around the world. She cupped his face, his beard stubble rough against her fingertips.
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