Hot ticket, p.46
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       Hot Ticket, p.46
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         Part #3 of Sinners on Tour series by Olivia Cunning
Page 46

  Author: Olivia Cunning

  “Eric, what the fuck did you say?” Trey asked as Aggie stepped off the bottom step.

  “Nothing, I swear! Let’s eat. ”

  Aggie slipped into the jean jacket she’d borrowed and headed toward the woods past the bus. She needed a moment away from the guys to collect her thoughts. She wasn’t running away. She wasn’t.

  She entered the woods, autumn leaves crunching beneath her feet. She circled behind the nearest thick tree and leaned against it, staring up at the darkening sky. What was she going to do? She never liked to think about the future. It never did what she expected—what she planned. She had to live in the now. She didn’t know if she had a future with Jace. She was afraid to dwell on it too much in case things didn’t work out with him. Why did he have to bring up that possibility now? Leaves crunched beside her. She wasn’t ready to talk to him yet.

  He stopped next to her.

  “That’s my jacket. ”

  Not Jace. Jon.

  She leaned away from the tree and started to remove the jacket, but Jon caught her arm. “It’s okay. I don’t mind if you borrow it. ”

  She felt like she was wearing the opposing team’s game jersey, but if she took it off, she knew she’d have to go back to the bus immediately. The temperature was dropping rapidly as the sun sank behind the horizon.

  “What are you doing out here by yourself?” he asked.

  “Getting some fresh air. ”

  He leaned back against the tree beside her. “Stifling in there sometimes, isn’t it?”

  She nodded slightly.

  “I know you don’t like me. ”

  It was that obvious, was it?

  “I’m not always an obnoxious jackass. That’s just what the guys expect. Can’t let them down. ”

  “I think they’ve grown up since you were with them originally. ”

  Jon pulled a hand through his collar-length, wavy black hair. “I guess. I don’t have much to offer. I know that. ”

  He huffed a breath and stared at the few leaves still clinging to the barren branches above.

  “Your guy,” he said. “He has a lot of talent. ”

  Aggie glanced at him, wondering what he was getting at.

  “The band isn’t ever going to take me back, are they? Not for real. ”

  Aggie felt no need to protect this guy’s feelings. “Probably not. ”

  “Not unless something happened to Jace. ”

  Aggie’s heart thudded. “Is that some kind of threat?”

  He rolled his smoky gray eyes and shook his head. “If it was a threat, would I have told you?”

  His words didn’t make her feel better. She needed to tell Jace what Jon had just said. Warn him that he needed to watch his back.

  “I’m going inside,” she said. “It’s chilly out here. ” She headed around the tree and almost ran into Jace.

  “What are you doing out here with Jon?” Jace asked from the near darkness.

  She didn’t know why she felt like she’d been caught cheating. Probably because she knew how much Jace disliked Jon.

  “Nothing important. ”

  “Why are you sneaking around in the dark? Tell me that. ”

  Wait. Was Jace jealous? Of Jon? Aggie chuckled.

  “Why are you laughing?”

  “Don’t you trust me, Jace?”

  He hesitated. “Yeah, I trust you. But why were you out here alone with Jon? And isn’t this his jacket?”

  “I didn’t know it was his when I grabbed it. Let’s go talk inside. I’m cold. ”

  “The guys are inside. ”

  Aggie grinned at her sweet, predictable, tough angel. “Are you afraid I’ll embarrass you?”

  “Well, won’t you?”

  “Yeah, probably. ” She looped her arm through his. They had a lot to talk about, whether she was ready to face the future or not. That was what had her so freaked out. Mentioning marriage suggested Jace was thinking of the future in a big way. “I suppose Sed and Jessica are occupying the bedroom. ”

  “Obviously. ”

  “Where should we go so we can talk and I don’t embarrass you in front of the guys?”

  “We don’t have to talk. ”

  “Yeah, we do. You brought up marriage. ”

  “It was a question, Aggie. I just wondered what you thought about marriage. I didn’t mean—”

  She found his lips in the moonlight and covered them with her fingertips. “We still need to talk. It makes me nervous too. ”

  “It does?” he murmured against her fingertips.

  “You’re trapped by your past. I’m afraid of my future. ”

  “Afraid?”

  “Terrified. ”

  She suddenly found herself in his arms, his lips against her forehead. “Don’t be afraid, baby. I’ve got you. ”

  But would he always? She snuggled closer. She actually found herself hoping—for a future. With this guy. Her heart thudded faster as her mind raced through possibilities, the good and the bad.

  “Maybe both of us should concentrate on now,” she suggested. “Forget the past. Don’t worry about the future. Just be. ”

  “If that’s what you want. ”

  “I’m not sure it’s what I want, but I think it’s all I can handle. ”

  “Okay. ”

  “But we still need to talk. ”

  “Tomorrow?”

  “Tomorrow,” she agreed. “Let’s go eat, and then you can take me to your bunk and have your way with me. ”

  “The guys will hear us. ”

  Aggie chuckled. “Like they don’t hear us when we’re in the bedroom. ”

  “Just don’t call me anything embarrassing like Sweet’ums McSugar Bear. ”

  “I’d never called you that. What if I call you Huge Cock Master Pussy Delighter? Would that be okay?”

  He laughed, and her heart warmed at the sound. “I guess I could live with that. ”

  They entered the bus. Aggie took off Jon’s jacket and tossed it on the sofa on her way toward the kitchen. The rest of the band was squashed together in the small booths surrounding the square table eating spaghetti. Jessica was sitting on Sed’s knee. His hand rested against her lower back. He might as well have been growling mine, mine, mine under his breath. Aggie smiled, happy to see Jessica, but more happy to see her glowing. She’d always been a beauty, but with Sed beside her, she was radiant. Sed fed Jessica from his plate while she talked animatedly to Trey.

  “I can’t really talk about it, but Dean Taylor is still denying all fourteen counts of sexual harassment. If he was smart, he’d plea bargain. We have an incredible case against him. ” She accepted half a meatball into her mouth, chewing slowly.

  “Do you think you’re going to get through that class you had to retake then?” Trey asked.

  Jessica swallowed and nodded. “Ellington and I had a long talk. She’s transferred her hatred to the appropriate party. We get along okay now. ” She turned and rubbed her nose against Sed’s. He grinned, showing a pair of dimples Aggie had never realized existed. He poked the other half of the meatball in her mouth.

  “Eat faster,” he whispered and glanced eagerly at the bedroom door.

  She chewed and swallowed.

  “I’m glad everything is working out,” Brian said, looking ill as he watched Jessica steal Sed’s lips for a tender kiss. “I can’t wait until tomorrow,” he grumbled under his breath.

  Jace handed Aggie a plate full of spaghetti and meatballs. She smiled with gratitude. “Thanks. ”

  Jessica glanced up at the sound of Aggie’s voice. “There you are,” she said, with a bright smile. “I wondered where you’d disappeared to. Trey said Eric pissed you off. ”

  “Not really. ” Aggie shrugged. But she needed to talk to him too. About their nonexistent relationship.

  She looked at Eric, who sat in the booth lodged
between Sed’s big body and the wall. He concentrated on his meal and didn’t acknowledge his name had been spoken. His dark brows were drawn together, his thin lips set in a harsh line as he chewed. Aggie had never seen Eric upset. He shrugged everything off as if life was some big joke. She hoped she hadn’t hurt his feelings, because if she had that meant he had feelings for her, and she didn’t want to deal with that. And she sure didn’t want to become a rift between Eric and Jace.

  As there was no room at the table, Aggie leaned against the counter, balanced her plate on her chest with one hand, and used her other to eat. With one arm trapped in a sling, Jace stood beside her and stared at his plate as if hoping his food would jump into his mouth.

  “I’m full,” Jessica declared.

  “Finally. ” Sed rose from the table, tossed a giggling Jessica over one shoulder and rushed to the bedroom.

  Brian shifted to the opposite side of the table so Aggie and Jace could sit next to each other and Jace could actually eat. They were halfway through their meal before Aggie noticed that Eric wasn’t really eating. He was repeatedly stabbing one of his meatballs with his fork.

  “What’s wrong, Eric?” Aggie asked.

  “He got his period,” Trey said.

  “Fuck you,” Eric grumbled.

  “Are you still moping, Eric?” Brian asked. “Trey didn’t mean to hurt your feelings, bro. ”

  “I was just fucking with you, dude,” Trey said. “Some lucky girl will eventually fall for you. Marry you. Give birth to your ugly kids. You’ll live happily ever after and all that shit. ”

  “You’ll probably find someone serious before I do,” Eric grumbled.

  “Party boy?” Brian jabbed a thumb in Trey’s direction and laughed. “I don’t think so. Who’d be crazy enough to get serious with him? He’s about as monogamous as a salmon. ”

  “A salmon?” Trey burst out laughing. Aggie chuckled with him and shook her head.

  “I mean, even Jace is getting married,” Eric complained.

  Jace stiffened. Aggie’s laughter died. They exchanged nervous glances.

  “I am?” Jace said, his voice uncharacteristically squeaky.

  “Since when?” Aggie demanded.

  “I heard him ask you, Aggie,” Eric said, looking annoyed by her obvious stupidity.

  “He wasn’t asking me to marry him. ” At least that’s what he’d tried to tell her outside. Aggie’s eyes widened with realization. Maybe he had been. Jace wasn’t good at expressing himself verbally. She was well aware of that fact. Aggie’s head swiveled so she could look at Jace. His face was the color of cranberries as he examined his plate with uncommon interest. “You weren’t, were you?”

  “What?” He glanced at the wall. “No. I already told you. I just wanted to know…” He squirmed against her, trying to push Aggie out of the booth. “Let me out. I need to go to the bathroom. ”

  Trey laughed. “He was. Oh my God, Jace, how did you manage to fuck that up so spectacularly? She didn’t even know you were asking her. ”

  “Shut up, Trey. I wasn’t. ” He surprised Aggie by lifting her hand to his lips. He kissed her knuckles gently. “If I was asking her, she’d know it. ”

  She smiled, her heart melting. She leaned closer to kiss him, but hesitated when she realized it would embarrass him in front of the guys. He closed the distance, his lips stroking hers with incomparable tenderness. Her toes curled in bliss.

  “Ha!” Brian said. “You owe me twenty bucks, Mills. ”

  “Damn it. ” Trey pulled out his wallet and handed over a twenty.

  Brian kissed it and slid it into his pocket.

  Aggie leaned away from Jace and turned to scowl at the two guitarists. “What exactly did you two bet?”
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