Rock hard, p.47
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       Rock Hard, p.47
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         Part #2 of Sinners on Tour series by Olivia Cunning
Page 47

  Author: Olivia Cunning

  Jessica snorted derisively. It was apparent that Beth had never seen her when she was around Sed. There was nothing logical about her interactions with the man.

  Beth patted her hand. “You’ve had a tough day. Sleep on it. I’m sure you’ll see that continuing with law school is what’s best for you. ”

  “I’m really tired of everyone thinking they know what’s best for me. This is my life and I should be able to do whatever I want with it. ”

  “Just sleep on it, okay? And promise you’ll go to the first day of classes. For your bestest best friend. ” Beth offered an exaggerated pout.

  “Yeah, fine, whatever. Now get out of my room and take your nightmare-inducing midnight snack with you. ”

  Jessica would go to the first day of classes, but just to prove to herself that law school wasn’t for her. It had nothing to do with Sed. The big jerk.

  God, she missed him already.

  Chapter 40

  Jessica found a seat near the front of the lecture hall. Old habits died hard. Because she was taking Ellington’s class with students a year behind her, she didn’t know anyone. That was okay. She wasn’t there to socialize, she was there to decide if she was dropping out or working her ass off to get this grade up to an A. As if. There was no way Ellington would ever give her an A. Jessica knew she was setting herself up for failure. That idea settled in the pit of her stomach and started churning out one hell of an ulcer. It just seemed a shame to waste all her hard work. And all that money. Just to… fail. She took a deep breath. You can do this, Jessica. You can. You are not a failure. But she felt like one. It took a great deal of fortitude just to stay in her seat. If she hadn’t just attended an inspiring Criminal Law seminar with one of her favorite professors, who had reminded Jessica how much she loved studying law, she’d have already been out the door.

  An attractive young man sat down beside her. “Hello,” he said, “I’m Curtis. Are you in this class?”

  Jessica nodded, not wanting to talk to Curtis. She wasn’t too fond of men, especially attractive men, at the moment. Soon, another young man sat on her opposite side.

  “Is Curt bothering you?”

  “Not really. ” She pulled her laptop out of her backpack and booted it up. She had a sinking suspicion that the reason Dr. Ellington hated her so much was exactly this. Excessive masculine attention. She didn’t ask the guys in the class to surround her, lean toward her, try to initiate her in conversation, but they always did. Always had. Probably always would. She considered getting up and moving to a vacant corner, but doubted that would keep them at bay.

  “Would you like to grab a coffee with me after class?” Curt asked.

  “No, thank you,” Jessica said.

  “But you want to go with me, right?” the guy on her other side said.

  “No. I have a boyfriend. ” She’d had a boyfriend. She swallowed the lump in her throat. “A big, muscular boyfriend who gets very jealous. ” And dumped me for no good reason.

  The guy chuckled. “I can see why. ”

  The young man sitting behind Jessica leaned forward and touched her shoulder. “I think the three of us can take him. ”

  Dr. Ellington entered the lecture hall, her presence demanding instant attention. The young men surrounding Jessica sat up straighter in their seats. Jessica forced herself not to hide under her chair.

  Dr. Ellington glanced around the room. When her eyes fell on Jessica, she smiled coldly. “Good morning, class,” she said. “I hope you’re ready to work hard. I don’t put up with any nonsense in my class. ” She pulled her laptop out of its case and hooked it up to a projector. “I assume you’re all well rested after lazing about all summer. ”

  No one said a word. Already intimidated, just as Dr. Ellington liked them.

  “How was your summer, Ms. Chase?” Dr. Ellington asked, her blue eyes hard and punishing as she stared Jessica down.

  “Fine. Thank you for asking. ”

  “Just fine? I think it was probably better than fine. Seems to me you had a rather adventuresome summer. A screen debut of sorts. Would you care to share your internet notoriety with your classmates? I’m sure they’d be interested in how Jessica Chase spent her summer. ”

  Jessica’s soul drifted toward the ceiling. This was not happening. “No. I’d rather not. ”

  “Well, I’m sure they’ll look it up online after class. ” Ellington turned her back and started to write on the dry erase board.

  While the professor’s attention was elsewhere, every person in class popped open their laptop.

  They’re just getting ready to take notes for class, Jessica tried to tell herself.

  After a moment’s delay, stunned gasps echoed around the tiered seating.

  Why wasn’t there any air in this room?

  “Now class, this is not the place to view that kind of seedy material,” Ellington said with a cruel smile.

  Jessica took a deep breath. She realized she had to deal with this stuff—she had come to terms with that—but not like this. This was too much. Why would Ellington purposefully draw their attention to it?

  Jessica caught the video on the computer screen beside her. Sed was thrusting in her body over the Vegas strip. Her vocalizations of pleasure grew louder as Curt turned up the volume. He groaned in torment. “Oh my God. That is the hottest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. ”

  Jessica slammed her laptop closed and rammed it into her backpack. She shot from her seat.

  Curt grabbed her arm. “Hey, baby, we could skip the coffee and go straight to the action, if you’d prefer. ”

  Jessica jerked her arm out of his grasp and ran from the room. She managed to keep the tears in check until she collapsed into the driver’s seat of her piece of shit Nissan Sentra. It never failed. Even when absent, Sed always fucked up her life.

  Chapter 41

  On the tour bus, Sed sat at the dining table staring down at Jessica’s picture. God, he missed her. He knew that their breakup was for the best. She deserved to make a life for herself and he wasn’t helping in that regard. Maybe someday they’d make it work. After she finished school and had her career going in the direction she wanted and deserved. He clung to that hope.

  Brian took a seat in the booth across from him. “Hey, you okay?”

  Sed nodded. “It’s still a little raw, but I’ll live. ”

  “Need to talk about it?”

  “Nope. How are you holding up now that Myrna’s back at work?”

  “Can’t stand it. ”

  They stared at the table in cooperative misery.

  “Is it time to head to the stage?” Sed asked.

  “We have a few minutes. Did Jerry get the studio reserved for next week?”

  “Yeah, we’re all set to record the first few tracks. He wants to get the new single on the shelves. ”

  “Are we going to add it to the show, then?”

  “Don’t know. Probably should. It would help sales. ” Rehearsing a new song didn’t hold the appeal it should, however.

  Eric wandered out of the bathroom. “Why are we all hiding on the bus?”

  Sed chuckled. “Brian and I are avoiding groupies. Don’t know what the rest of you are doing. ”

  “It’s been a fucking drag around here for the last three days,” Eric said.

  “Sorry to ruin your fun, Sticks,” Sed said.

  Sed tucked Jessica’s picture into his pocket and headed off the bus toward the concert venue. The small group of fans standing behind the bus erupted into cheers. Normally, Sed would go talk to them, but he wasn’t in the right frame of mind. Brian took up his slack and headed for the fans, while Sed was let into the backstage area of the stadium. He found the dressing room labeled Sinners and went inside.

  “There you are,” a gorgeous brunette in an impossibly short skirt said. “I’ve been waiting for quite a while. ”
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  She looked familiar. Sed was certain he’d fucked her a couple of times, but couldn’t remember her name. “I could use a beer. ”

  “No problem. ”

  She returned less than a minute later with a cold beer and a warm smile. “You don’t remember me, do you?”

  “Yeah, I remember you. I’m not good with names, though. ”

  “Jillian. ”

  He nodded, still not able to place her, and took a long draw from the beer bottle. “I’m going to go get warmed up now. ”

  “Can I help you with that?”

  “Not unless you plan on making me scream for twenty minutes. ”

  “That was my plan, actually. ”

  Sed paused, considering her offer. He knew he’d be back to his old ways eventually. Trying to bury the pain of Jessica’s absence by putting his dick in any warm female recess that would accommodate it, but not yet. The thought of fucking another woman left him cold.

  “Not tonight, Jillian. ”

  He chugged his beer and ate a few pieces of red licorice. The glycerol helped keep his vocal cords lubricated and they seemed to need it a lot recently. He warmed up. First with low growls and then worked his way up the octaves to get his voice ready for the punishment of singing a live show. His cords were getting tired. He needed a couple of days off. He could really feel the difference in his voice after doing several concerts in a row. Tonight was their last show for a week, but he’d be in the studio for several days and the repeated takes brutally punished his throat. He needed to stop screaming so much and sing more, but the fans had come to expect his style.

  Before long, the rest of the band arrived and then a roadie called them to the stage. Sed tried to get excited enough to perform, but he felt mostly numb. He hoped Jessica’s first day of class had been better than his miserable, lonely day.

  Chapter 42

  Jessica stood outside the concert venue, wondering why she’d driven over three hours to see a man who didn’t want her. She still wanted him. She couldn’t explain why.

  Jake, one of Sinners’ roadies, raced past the barrier and climbed into the truck that held the band’s equipment. He emerged seconds later with a length of cord. He glanced up and caught sight of Jessica. His eyes widened with surprise. “What are you doing here?”

  “I’m not sure. ”

  “Do you want to come inside?”

  She nodded.

  Jake drew her around the barrier, talked their way through security, and left her in the corridor that led to the stage. She could hear Sed singing onstage in the stadium. The shouts of the crowd and the band’s music were just background noise. God, she loved him. Missed him. She had to see him. Even if he didn’t want to see her. She’d stay out of sight and just watch him. It would be enough.

  She crept behind the stage and squatted next to the drum kit. Eric stumbled over a beat. She glanced up to find Eric staring down at her in confusion. She pressed a finger to her lips. She just wanted to see Sed. She didn’t even want him to know she was there.

  Eric shrugged slightly and continued to pound his drums and cymbals with his typical enthusiastic flair.

  Jessica couldn’t take her eyes off Sed as he paced the front of the stage, singing, screaming, growling, raising his hands in the air to encourage the crowd.

  Why can’t I let him go? He doesn’t want me.

  She wiped her suddenly leaky eyes on her shoulder and sniffed her nose. What could she have done differently? She wasn’t prepared to live without him in her life. She’d thought things were going so well between them and then like flipping a switch, he’d declared their relationship over. Why? Why would he do that? Had he lied about loving her? To hurt her, maybe? Like she’d planned to hurt him originally. Had the whole thing been a game to him? He was a much better player than she was.

  Brian moved to the front of the stage and climbed on the ego riser to play his solo. Sed moved to the back of the stage to grab a drink of water. He chugged half a bottle and set it down near the drum kit. His eyes fell on Jessica. They widened. He froze. When Brian’s solo ended and Sed was supposed to continue singing, he didn’t move. Jace shoved him and he snapped out of his trance. Sed turned and entered the song mid-chorus. The crowd had been singing the lyrics anyway. They didn’t seem to mind his lapse.
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