Lick (Stage Dive #1)(10)


by Kylie Scott

“You know everyone else?” I surveyed the room, highly dubious. “There are a lot of people here.”

“There are,” he agreed. “And I know them all. Everyone except you.”

“David invited me.” I didn’t want to drop David’s name but I was being pushed into a corner, figuratively and literally as Jimmy closed in on me.

“Did he now?” His eyes looked wrong, the pupils pinpricks. Something was wrong with this guy. He stared down at the small amount of cle**age I had on display like he intended to plant his face there.

“Yeah. He did.”

Jimmy didn’t exactly seem pleased by the news. He threw back his drink, finishing it off in one large mouthful. “So, David invited you to the party.”

“He invited me to stay for a few days,” I said, which was not a lie. Happily, hopefully, he had somehow missed the news about David and me. Or maybe he was just too stoned to put two and two together. Either way, I wasn’t filling him in.

“Really? That was nice of him.”

“Yes, it was.”

“What room did he put you in?” He stood in front of me and dropped his empty glass into the pot plant with a careless hand. His grin looked manic. My need to get away from him gained immediate urgency.

“The white one,” I said, looking for a way around him. “Speaking of which, I’d better get back.”

“The white room? My, my, aren’t you special.”

“Aren’t I just? Excuse me.” I pushed past him, giving up on social niceties.

He mustn’t have expected it because he stumbled back a step. “Hey. Hold up.”

“Jimmy.” David appeared, earning my instant gratitude. “There a problem here?”

“Not at all,” said Jimmy. “Just getting to know … Ev.”

“Yeah, well, you don’t need to know … Ev.”

The guy’s smile was expansive. “Come on. You know how I like pretty new things.”

“Let’s go,” David said to me.

“It’s not like you to cock-block, Davie,” said Jimmy. “Didn’t I see the lovely Kaetrin with you earlier out on the balcony? Why don’t you go find her, get her to do what she’s so damn good at? Me and Ev are busy here.”

“Actually, no, we’re not,” I said. And why was David back so soon from his playtime with Bikini Girl? He couldn’t possibly have been concerned about his little wife’s wellbeing, surely.

Neither of them appeared to have heard me.

“So you invited her to stay in my house,” said Jimmy.

“I was under the impression Adrian rented the place for all of us while we’re working on the album. Something changed I don’t know about?”

Jimmy laughed. “I like the place. Decided to buy it.”

“Great. Let me know when the deal’s going through and I’ll be sure to get out. In the meantime, my guests are none of your business.”

Jimmy looked at me, face alight with malicious glee. “It’s her, isn’t it? The one you married, you stupid son of a bitch.”

“Come on.” David grabbed my hand and dragged me toward the stairwell. His jaw was clenched tight enough to make a muscle pop out on the side.

“I could have had her against a wall at a f**king party and you married her?”

Bullshit he could have.

David’s fingers squeezed my hand tight.

Jimmy chortled like the cretin he was. “She is nothing, you sorry f**k. Look at her. Just look at her. Tell me this marriage didn’t come courtesy of vodka and coc**ne.”

It wasn’t anything I hadn’t heard before. Well, apart from the marriage reference. But his words still bit. Before I could tell Jimmy what I thought of him, however, the iron-hard hold on my hand disappeared. David charged back to him, grabbing hold of his lapels. They were pretty evenly matched. Both were tall, well built. Neither looked ready to back down. The room hushed, all conversation stopping, though the music thumped on.

“Go for it, little brother,” hissed Jimmy. “Show me who the star of this show really is.”

David’s shoulders went rigid beneath the thin cotton of his T-shirt. Then with a snarl he released Jimmy, shoving him back a step. “You’re as bad as Mom. Look at you, you’re a f**king mess.”

I stared at the two of them, stunned. These two were the brothers in the band. Same dark hair and handsome faces. I clearly hadn’t married into the happiest of families. Jimmy looked almost shamefaced.

My husband marched back past me, collecting my arm along the way. Every eye was on us. An elegant brunette took a step forward, hand outstretched. Distress lined her lovely face. “You know he doesn’t mean it.”

“Stay out of it, Martha,” said my husband, not slowing down at all.

The woman shot me a look of distaste. Worse yet, of blame. With the way David was acting, I had a bad feeling that was going around.

Up the steps he dragged me, then down the hallway toward my room. We said nothing. Maybe this time he’d lock me in. Jam a chair under the door handle, perhaps. I could understand him being mad at Jimmy. That guy was a dick of epic proportions. But what had I done? Apart from escaping my plush prison, of course.

Halfway along the long hallway I liberated my limb from his tender care. I had to do something before he cut off the blood supply to my fingers.

“I know the way,” I said.

“Still wanna get some, huh? You should have said something, I’d be more than happy to oblige,” he said with a false smile. “And hey, you’re not even shit-faced tonight. Chances are you’d remember.”

“Ouch.”

“Something I said untrue?”

“No. But I still think it’s fair to say you’re being an ass.”

He stopped dead and looked at me, eyes wide, startled if anything. “I’m being an ass? Fucking hell, you’re my wife!”

“No, I’m not. You said so yourself. Right before you went off to play in the pool house with your friend,” I said. Though he hadn’t stayed long in the pool house, obviously. Five, six minutes maybe? I almost felt bad for Bikini Girl. That wasn’t service with a smile.

Dark brows descended like thunderclouds. He was less than impressed. Bad luck. My feelings toward him were likewise at an all-time low.