Rock hard, p.6
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       Rock Hard, p.6
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         Part #2 of Sinners on Tour series by Olivia Cunning
Page 6

  Author: Olivia Cunning

  Blond? Jessica’s brow furrowed. “Do you mean Jace Seymour?”

  “Jace. ” Aggie smiled, her ruby red lips parting to reveal a perfect set of teeth. “Tell him I still owe him a dance. He paid, but ran off to fight bouncers before I could treat him to my special brand of pain. ”

  Jessica chuckled. “Soft spot for him, Aggie? It’s not like you to worry about pocketing some easy cash. ”

  Aggie winked. “Maybe. ”

  “I’ll try to remember to give him your message when I go kick Sed’s ass. ” Her hands clenched into fists. Sedric Lionheart would regret getting her fired. Oh yes, he would.

  Chapter 8

  Sed took a long draw from his beer and gazed down at the picture in the palm of his hand. Jessica had given it to him a couple of years ago. He remembered that smile. Doubted she’d ever share it with him again. She fuckin’ hated his guts. So why was he sitting in the dark, staring at her picture, and drinking by himself again? Tradition, he supposed.

  He set her picture beside his beer can and opened the journal he used to write songs. He couldn’t concentrate well enough to write actual lyrics, but words kept popping into his head. He pictured them, but mostly he felt them. He scrawled words on separate lines with blank spaces between so he could add phrases later.

  Eyes of jade. A heart betrayed.

  Anguish. Languish.

  Pain. Insane.

  Heart of stone. Alone.

  Alone.

  He took a ragged breath.

  Alone.

  The song would come later. He didn’t want to forget the feelings, though. He closed the journal, stuck it back in its hiding place under the bench seat cushion and picked up Jessica’s picture, fingering its worn edges.

  The bedroom door at the back of the tour bus opened, and then the bathroom door slid shut. Sed tossed the picture on the table and took another sip of his beer. A few minutes later, a gentle hand touched his shoulder.

  “Are you out here by yourself again?” Myrna asked.

  Sed glanced up at her. “I couldn’t sleep. ”

  “Can I sit?”

  When he shrugged, she slid into the bench across the table from him.

  “I’m sorry I didn’t take better care of Brian last night,” he said.

  “He told me what happened and I don’t blame you. He’s the idiot who got involved. ” Myrna picked up Jessica’s picture and examined it. “She’s stunning, Sed. Is this Jessica?”

  She glanced up at him and he nodded.

  “How are you doing?” she asked.

  She handed the picture to him and he slid it into his pocket with the crummy engagement ring Jessica had flung at him one devastating afternoon two years before.

  “Me?” He shrugged. “By the time I got out there, everyone was fleeing the scene. I didn’t even get to throw a punch. I just grabbed Trey off the sidewalk, stuffed him in the car with Brian, and we took off. ”

  “I meant how are you doing after seeing Jessica?”

  His heart stuttered every time her name was mentioned. This time was no exception. He shrugged. “It’s no big deal. She still hates me. I still hate her. ”

  Myrna ducked her head, but not before he saw her knowing grin. “I see. So you aren’t going to go back to see her?”

  “Why would I?”

  Myrna shrugged. “Because you’re a glutton for punishment. And… you still love her. ”

  “No, I—”

  “Has she always been an exotic dancer?”

  “What?”

  “Well, I assumed since you went ballistic when you saw her stripping—”

  “I didn’t go ballistic. I lost my cool. ” He pinched his thumb and forefinger together. “A little. ”

  “Uh huh. But you reacted. So was it because you didn’t expect to see her, or because you didn’t expect to see her dancing nude for strangers?”

  Sed chuckled. Dr. Myrna Evans, human sexuality professor, always tried to get in everyone’s psychology. “That’s the last place on Earth I’d ever expect to see Jessica. She’s the independent feminist type. The way you are, I guess you’d say. So yeah, I was stunned. That’s why I pulled her off the stage. Not because I actually cared that she was shaking her tits at dozens of sleazy jackasses. ”

  His beer can crinkled in his fist.

  “There’s nothing wrong with having these feelings, Sed. ”

  “You sound like a shrink. ”

  She cringed. “I thought it might help to talk about it. ”

  “No, it doesn’t help. I was finally over her and then… this. ”

  “You’re over her?” She laughed at him. “I don’t think so, Sed. Who do you think you’re talking to here?”

  A busybody who is too smart for her own good. But he couldn’t say that aloud so he changed the subject. “You’re still marrying Brian tomorrow, aren’t you?”

  Her brow furrowed. “Of course, why wouldn’t I?”

  “You were pissed when you found out he’d been fighting. ”

  “Just because you’re mad at someone doesn’t mean you stop loving them. ”

  Sed nodded. “I guess. ” He reached across the table and squeezed her hand. “Myr, I’m glad Brian found you. You’re exactly what he needs, but if he ever mistreats you, he’ll be answering to me. ”

  “And me!” Eric called from his bunk.

  “No fucking privacy around here,” Sed grumbled.

  “If you want to have one last legal affair before you’re permanently saddled with Master Sinclair, there’s room in my bunk,” Eric called.

  “Do you want me to hit him for you, Myr?” Sed stood up from the table.

  “I got it,” Trey said. He leaned off the top bunk and there was a loud thunk in the bunk beneath.

  “Ow!” Eric yelled.

  Myrna climbed from the bench and gave Sed a warm hug. “Good night, Sed. ”

  He hugged her back. It felt wonderful to hold a woman without any sexual expectations.

  She released him and returned to the bedroom.

  Myrna was a good woman. Sed envied Brian.

  It used to be the other way around.

  Back before Jessica hated him.

  Maybe he should go see her.

  Nah. She’d probably kick him in the nuts.

  Chapter 9

  How was it possible for two people to look that happy getting married by an Elvis impersonator in a drive-through? Brian had pulled into the first chapel they’d found. There wasn’t time for a long ceremony. They all had to be onstage in a couple of hours.

  Sed grinned as Myrna and Brian recited their vows and exchanged rings. The size of Myrna’s rock put Jessica’s cheap piece of shit to shame, but Sed was very conscious of the discarded ring’s weight in his hip pocket as Brian slid a platinum band on Myrna’s finger.

  They’d put the top down on Myrna’s pink convertible ’57 Thunderbird coupe. Brian sat on the back of the front seat with Myrna on his lap. Trey, the best man, sat in the middle beside the happy couple. Sed sat on the passenger side as their second witness. He supposed that made him the maid of honor. Always a bridesmaid…

  “I now pronounce you husband and, uh, wife,” the Elvis justice of the peace said. “I say, uh, you may kiss your beautiful bride. ”

  Brian kissed Myrna deeply. She clung to his shoulders, the Vegas sunshine making her auburn hair glow like fire. She looked absolutely stunning in her white gown. Sed wondered if they’d even make it back to the tour bus before Brian had it off her.

  Eric, who sat behind Jace on the motorcycle next to the car, cheered.

  “Congratulations. ” Sed reached behind Trey to pat Brian on the shoulder.

  The couple continued to kiss. And kiss. And kiss. Tug at each other’s clothes. Kiss some more.

  “You guys,” Trey protested. “You’re making Jace blush. ”

 
The newlyweds drew apart and stared into each other’s eyes, both of Brian’s surrounded by dark purple bruises. “God, I love you,” Brian murmured. He kissed her again, before drawing away to stare at her with the stupidest grin on his face. She smiled just as stupidly, love shining in her eyes.

  Sed had had that. Once.

  But no longer.

  Stupid Jessica. Sed crossed his arms over his chest, trying his damnedest to be happy for Brian, no matter how miserable the occasion made him feel.

  “Are we going to sit here all day?” Trey asked.

  “You act like we’re ordering burgers and fries,” Brian said, glaring at Trey.

  “Well, what do you expect? We are in a drive-through. Hey, Elvis!” Trey called at the window. “Can we get ketchup with that?’

  “One marriage license is all you shall receive from The King. Move along, folks,” Elvis said, his accent evaporating. “We’ve got a line today. ”

  They slid down into the white leather bench seat and Myrna shifted to sit on Trey’s lap so Brian could drive back to the tour bus.

  As they peeled out of the lot, Myrna toyed with Trey’s hair. “How’s your head, sweetie?”

  “Hurts like a sonuvabitch. ”

  “You need to go to the hospital and get checked out,” Myrna said. “You look pale. ” Using her fingertips, she tested his forehead for fever.

  “That’s how the best man always looks when his best friend gets shackled with a ball and chain. ”

  “Ball and chain?” She poked him in the ribs and scooted over to Sed’s lap. Sed wrapped an arm around her back. “Sed doesn’t insult me. ”

  “Not to your face,” Trey murmured. He leaned back and closed his eyes.

  Myrna was right. Trey didn’t look well. At all.

  Myrna’s mouth dropped open and she turned her head to glare at Sed. “What did you say about me?”

  “I’d never say anything bad about you, Myrna. ” He shrugged. “Well, except you have bad taste in men. ”

  She grabbed his chin between her thumb and forefinger. “Don’t be insulting my husband. ”

  “Yeah,” Brian said, an ear-to-ear grin plastered to his face, “don’t be insulting her husband. ” He wrapped his right hand around her ankle beneath her plain white wedding gown. At the top of the steering wheel, the wide platinum band on his left ring finger caught the afternoon sunshine. Sed stared at it. That symbol of together forever.

  Forever.

  “Eh, I’m just jealous,” Sed said quietly. He hugged Myrna affectionately and she placed a kiss on his temple.

  “I hope you find happiness, Sed,” she said. “I really do. ”

  Only one woman could make him happy. And it just so happened that she despised him.

  But he could never despise her. He hoped the money he’d given her at the club had been enough to help her out. If only Sinners’ third album had gone platinum a few months earlier. He could have afforded to buy her a nice ring and put her through law school. Then she’d have never left him in the first place.

  Chapter 10

  Outside Mandalay Bay’s Events Center, Jessica tapped a security guard on the shoulder. “Excuse me, can you tell me where I can find Sed Lionheart?”

  The gigantic, bearded man turned to look at her, but didn’t answer her question.

  “He’s the lead singer of Sinners. Sedric Lionheart,” she said, enunciating the syllables of his name slowly. “They’re playing here tonight. ”

  “Stay behind the barrier. ” The security guard pushed his sunglasses further up his nose with an index finger.

  “I need to give him something. It’s important. ”

  “Stay behind the barrier. ”

  “I am behind the barrier. Does he come out this way after the show?”

  “Look, lady, I have no clue. My instructions were to make all the fans stay behind the barrier. ”
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