Rock hard, p.51
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       Rock Hard, p.51

         Part #2 of Sinners on Tour series by Olivia Cunning
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Page 51

  Author: Olivia Cunning

  Eric ripped a piece of tape off the roll and waved it in Sed’s face. “Quiet, vocal one. ”

  Sed rolled his eyes at Eric and glanced at Trey and Brian. “Sorry to mess up the recording schedule. ”

  Eric stuck the tape over Sed’s mouth. “I warned you. ”

  “Don’t worry about recording right now,” Trey said. “We can wait a while to record vocals. We’ll get Eric in here next. ”

  “And then Jace,” Brian added. “Seriously, don’t worry about it, Sed. ”

  Sed peeled the tape off his mouth, wadded it into a ball, and threw it at Eric.

  Trey’s brow furrowed as his gaze followed the trajectory of the tape ball. “Did you piss your pants, Eric?”

  “Sed did it. ”

  “Sed pissed your pants?” Trey shook his head slightly. “Man, that takes pissed off to a whole new level. ”

  “I think that’s pissed on, not off,” Brian said.

  “Yeah, and I’m telling Jessica. She’ll probably break up with you for this, Sed. ”

  “Not likely. ”

  Brian and Trey exchanged glances.

  “Does this mean you two are together now?” Brian asked.

  Sed lowered his gaze. Brian wasn’t too fond of Jessica. He probably wouldn’t appreciate that they’d solidified their relationship.

  “They’re pretty serious,” Eric said, in full-out gloat-mode.

  “How serious?” Brian asked.

  “Exclusive,” Sed murmured.

  Trey beamed. “Congratulations, man!”

  Sed smiled a thanks and then turned his attention to Brian. Brian’s intense gaze didn’t waver from his face. “So when are you going to ask her to marry you?” Brian asked. “Soon, I hope. ”

  Sed gaped at him.

  Brian grinned crookedly. “I mean, you love her, right?”

  “Yeah, of course I love her. ”

  “Will you just blink, goddammit?” Eric bellowed.

  “Blink?” Brian asked.

  “That’s how he’s supposed to say yes, instead of talking. ” Eric peeled another piece of duct tape from the roll.

  Sed flipped him off. “This is how I say fuck you, instead of talking. ” He seized the tape from Eric’s hand.

  “Jessica will definitely cancel your surprise over this. ”

  If Sed hadn’t been so curious about this surprise of Jessica’s, he would have punched Eric in the forehead and given him a real reason to tattle.

  “So are you going to ask her?” Brian pressed. “Soon?”

  Sed hesitated, glanced sidelong at Eric, sighed, and then blinked.

  “Awesome,” Trey said with an unusual level of enthusiasm and a smug look sent in Eric’s direction. Sed wondered why they were acting so weird about it. “How did you ask Myrna to marry you?” Trey asked Brian.

  Brian chuckled. “Which time?”

  “I was there the first time,” Eric said.

  “That’s right, you were. ”

  “He got rejected. ”

  “Thanks for the reminder, Sticks. I eventually wore her down. ”

  Trey thumped Brian on the back. “Of course you did, stud. ”

  “You know, Sed,” Brian said, “if Jessica hadn’t broken your heart, you wouldn’t have been interested in my girlfriends, they wouldn’t have cheated on me, and then I might have never met Myrna. Things happen for a reason. ”

  Sed chuckled. “Strange bit of logic there, Brian. Sorry about all that crap I put you through. ”

  Brian shrugged. “It all turned out for the best. ”

  Brian was such a great guy. Understanding. Forgiving. Sed wanted him to be the best man at his wedding.

  Brian grinned. “Myrna’s going to injure me severely for telling you guys this, but we’re trying to get pregnant. ”

  “Already? Jeez, the honeymoon isn’t even over yet,” Eric said.

  “She says she isn’t getting any younger. It’s now or never. ”

  Sed smiled his congratulations until he saw the look on Trey’s face. Happy for Brian? Not even close. Trey looked physically ill.

  “Is she going to quit that sex professor job of hers, then?” Eric asked.

  Brian sighed. “She wants to finish this year first. We’re trying to time her pregnancy so she’ll deliver at the end of next May. She wants to write nonfiction books for a while and might move out to LA while the baby is small. Maybe, she said. The woman is stubborn. You know?”

  Eric laughed. “You think?”

  Brian glanced over his shoulder at Trey, who quickly covered his horror-struck look with an indulgent grin. “Don’t plan on me babysitting while you and Myrna disappear into the bedroom for hours at a time. ”

  “You aren’t planning on living with us, are you?”

  Trey’s face fell. He swallowed his horror and then laughed. “Of course not. Hard to party when a baby is crying all hours of the day and night. ” Trey nodded toward the studio. “Ready to record the next track?”

  “Yeah. Let’s do this. If we get done early, I can go visit Myrna in Kansas City for a couple of days. ” He balled his fists, bit his lip, and demonstrated his pelvic thrusts. “Practice my baby-making techniques. ”

  “Practice makes perfect,” Eric said and nudged Brian in the ribs with his elbow.

  “I think he’s had enough practice,” Trey grumbled. “Let’s just get back in the studio. ”

  Brian clasped Trey’s shoulder and followed him into the booth. “You’re a fuckin’ slave driver since you got full mobility back in your fingers. ”

  Eric took the seat next to Sed, acting a bit too nonchalant for sincerity. “I think you should wait a while before you ask Jessica, man. Don’t rush it. Do you even have a ring?”

  Sed reached into his pocket and pulled out a folded scrap of paper. He unfolded it and dumped Jessica’s ring in his hand. He pinched it between his thumb and forefinger and held it up for Eric to see.

  “Kind of small, don’t you think?”

  Sed scowled. True. But it was hers and it belonged on her finger.

  Eric snatched the tattered paper out of Sed’s hand. “What’s this?”

  “Nothing. ”

  Eric turned his back on Sed and held the paper up above his head so he could read the lines of scarcely legible scrawl.

  “Is this a song? Did you write it?”

  Sed yanked the paper out of his hand and stuffed it and Jessica’s ring into the front pocket of his jeans.

  “I didn’t know you could write sappy love lyrics, Lionheart. ”

  “Shut up,” Sed said, hoping Eric would forget about his stupid, mushy song. He didn’t know why he was still carrying it around. At least Eric didn’t know that he and Brian had recorded an acoustic version of it two years before. He’d never live that one down.

  Eric rested his elbows on the soundboard with its hundreds of equalizer sliders and knobs. “She’d like it, you know. ”

  Sed pretended to be deaf.

  “Even though it’s obvious that a pussy wrote it. ”

  Ignore him.

  “You should record it for her when you get your voice back. ”

  That was a good idea, actually.

  “So how do you plan to get that ring on her finger? Come on. You can tell me. ” He nudged Sed in the ribs a couple of times with his elbow.

  Why did Eric care so much all of a sudden? Had Jessica put him up to this?

  “Very carefully,” Sed said and covered his mouth with a piece of tape so he wouldn’t have to talk about this embarrassing shit with Eric anymore.

  Chapter 47

  Jessica took a seat directly in front of the instructor’s podium so Dr. Ellington wouldn’t be able to miss her. Curtis, the guy who had hit on her last class, sat beside her and leaned close. Jessica’s instinct was to draw away, but she forced herself to remain where she was, even wh
en his fingers brushed her wrist.

  “I’m surprised you returned,” he said.

  She turned to find his eyes trained on the swell of her bustline. Typical jerk. He chomped his gum, his fingers stroking her skin now. When she didn’t respond, he lifted his gaze to hers.

  “Why are you surprised?”

  He shrugged. “Most girls would be too ashamed to show their face after being seen in such a compromising position. Or in your case… positions. ”

  “I’m not most girls. ”

  “I’ll say. ” His gaze moved back to her chest.

  “Would you mind giving me some breathing room? There’s this thing called personal space and you’re invading mine. Big time. ”

  He leaned back a couple of inches, but grinned at her suggestively. “I was wondering if you do private parties. ”

  Her brow furrowed. “What?”

  “You’re a stripper, too, right? Me and my friends can come up with a couple grand to pay you. You interested?”

  Her jaw set in a hard line, she folded her desk back and moved over a seat. Curtis stood to slide next to her again. Before he could sit down, a young woman hopped over the back of the chair and sank into the seat. “I’m sitting here. ”

  Curtis scowled and moved to take the vacant seat to Jessica’s right. Another young woman shoved him aside and sat down.

  The chairs surrounding Jessica filled with other women. Curtis rolled his eyes and stood directly in front of Jessica. “So, are you interested?”

  “Get lost, jerk. ”

  He curled his lip at her. “Slut. ” Curtis crammed his hands in the pockets of his khakis and took a seat on the other side of the room.

  The young woman who’d hopped over the chair back touched Jessica’s sleeve. “I’m glad you came back. What Dr. Ellington did to you the other day was wrong. All the women in the class think so. ”

  “Most of the men, too,” the woman seated directly behind Jessica said. They all turned their heads to glare at Curtis. “With a few slimy exceptions. ”

  Jessica could barely speak through the lump in her throat. “You don’t think badly of me?”

  “For sleeping with Sed Lionheart? Eh, no. A bit jealous, maybe. ”

  She couldn’t believe they weren’t all pointing fingers and calling her names. She was suddenly glad she’d decided to come back to class, even though it meant entrusting Sed’s care to Eric when she’d left that morning.

  “You’re not in our year, are you?” the first girl said.

  “No, I’m a third year. Ellington failed me on my final paper last year, so I’m supposed to retake the class. ”

  “Are you really engaged to Sedric Lionheart?”

  Jessica flushed. “Engaged? Not exactly. Maybe someday soon. ” If she could find the courage to ask him. “We’re dating. Um. Exclusively. ”

  “No kidding? Wow, what a babe. He’s the reason God gave women eyes. ”

  The door at the front of the room opened and Dr. Ellington stepped up to the podium. She looked haggard and tired, not at all like her usual, polished-ice self. She glanced around the room suspiciously. “Do we have an experiment on gender segregation going on here, or what?” Her gaze landed on Jessica. “Oh, I see. Class is dismissed. Work on your midterm paper. First draft due Monday. ”

  The entire class gasped in horror.

  Dr. Ellington turned on her heel and strode from the room.

  Jessica sat there dumbfounded for a few seconds and then rose from her chair and headed after the woman. Trotting several yards behind her down the corridor, Jessica followed Dr. Ellington to the dean’s office. By the time Jessica stopped at the receptionist’s desk, Ellington was already inside Dr. Taylor’s personal office.

  “I need to talk to the dean,” Jessica said.

  “He’s busy at the moment. Do you have an appointment?”
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