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Double time, p.47
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       Double Time, p.47

         Part #5 of Sinners on Tour series by Olivia Cunning
 
Page 47

  Author: Olivia Cunning

  “Now, Ethan. Make me come. ”

  He released her wrist and moved his hand around her body to find her swollen, throbbing clit. Two strokes of his fingertips against the overexcited nub of flesh sent her flying over the edge. Her core convulsed with blinding pleasure and she bucked her hips against him involuntarily.

  Behind her, Ethan grunted. He plunged deep and tightened his arm around her waist to hold her still as he spent himself within her.

  His body leaned heavily against her back as he regained his bearings. His breath came in hot and heavy bursts against her shoulder.

  There was a knock on the door. “Ten minutes,” someone called on the other side.

  Ethan pulled out slowly and then released the wrist he was still holding. “You okay?” he asked.

  “I needed that,” she said and turned to face him.

  Ethan chuckled. “Trey would punch me in the balls if he saw me treat you like that. ”

  “He likes to be treated like that too. ”

  “At least I know I’m good for something. ” Ethan removed the condom and worked at rearranging his clothes.

  Reagan didn’t have time to assuage his fears. She had to be onstage and she was quite certain her two hours in hair and makeup had been destroyed by ten minutes of hard fucking with her face smashed against wall. “We’ll talk later,” she promised Ethan and hurried into the bathroom to clean up, return her clothes to their proper locations, and fix her lipstick. At least her hair hadn’t moved. Not that it could with the amount of product they’d gooped on it. Reagan hurried out of the dressing room with Ethan on her heels. Backstage, someone handed her a guitar, and she tossed the strap over her shoulder. The new stage setup allowed for no transition time between their set and Sinners’, so when the last note of Sinners’ encore went silent and the crowd roared its approval, Reagan felt her stomach drop into her boots.

  “Knock ’em dead, baby,” Ethan said and wrapped an arm around her shoulders to give her an encouraging squeeze. “I’m so proud of you. ”

  When she passed Trey, who was just coming offstage, she couldn’t meet his eyes for some reason. She didn’t have time to puzzle out her sudden feeling of guilt.

  Trey caught her arm and tugged her against his body and out of the flow of traffic from the stage. “You’ll do great. ”

  “Promise you won’t watch. I’m nervous enough. ”

  “You don’t want me to watch?”

  She shook her head. Accompanied by a mechanical whir, Eric’s drum kit was moved offstage in one piece on a platform so Steve’s could rise from the floor at the initiation of the first song. The sound of the stage realigning kicked Reagan’s heart rate up another notch. This was really happening.

  Trey brushed his fingers over her jaw. “If that’s what you want. ”

  “Thanks for understanding,” she whispered. “I love you. ”

  “I love you too. Now break a leg. ” He hesitated. “Not literally. ”

  “No guarantees in these damned boots. ”

  “Reagan, take your place,” Exodus End’s soundboard engineer, Mad Dog, said in her ear.

  She pecked Trey on the cheek and entered the little door beneath the stage. It was dark under the stage, but someone in the stage crew was standing next to her platform with a flashlight. She was careful not to hit the strings of her guitar as she carefully stepped onto the flat piece of metal. She could just make out the forms of Dare at the opposite end of the stage and Logan who was between them, but farther back. She heard a mechanical whir and then the hard heavy thump of a bass drum as Steve and his entire drum kit were lifted up from behind the stage. The crowd was going insane. This was an entirely new and innovative stage design. If it worked properly it was sure to wow everyone. If not, well, Reagan would be trapped under a dark stage for the rest of her short life.

  Logan entered with the deep repetitive bass line of the first song, “Ovation. ” His platform started to rise first, lifting him out of the floor of the stage into the spotlight. Reagan played the rhythm riff on cue and almost took a tumble when the platform beneath her lurched into motion before rising at a snail’s pace. When a bright blue light hit her in the face, she forced herself not to wince. I’m a rock star. Be Maximilian Richardson. You can do this. Don’t mess it up.

  Dare entered the song and his platform didn’t lift slowly like Logan’s and Reagan’s; it propelled him upward at a faster velocity and he used the momentum to jump out of the floor onto the main stage, wailing out his intro in true rock star fashion. The crowd went insane. Dare Mills was a star. Reagan was an imposter. She did her part though. Playing the rhythm guitar sections so close to Max’s style that his own mother probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. Assuming her mother listened to metal.

  There was a sudden explosion of fire and smoke—part of the show, but it still made Reagan start—and Max appeared center stage, singing the first long note of the song like a metal angel who had descended from the heavens.

  The entire crowd was one huge mosh pit. No one seemed to care that Reagan was playing guitar instead of Max. They were all too enthralled with music to pay her any mind. She watched Dare work the crowd. Logan work the crowd. Max make the people in the crowd ricochet off each other like bowling pins. Even Steve stood up behind the drum kit at one point and tossed a cracked drumstick into the audience. Reagan stuck to the song. When it ended, Max spoke to the crowd. “How are we feeling tonight, Los Angeles?”

  The crowd roared its enthusiasm. Steve played a drum line to get them to settle down. “Did Sinners rock your world?” Max said/screamed/sang.

  The crowd cheered again. Sinners rocked Reagan’s world, too. Especially the naughty one. She peeked over to the side of the stage, hoping that Trey had gone against her wishes and was standing in her corner. She didn’t see him.

  “Carpal-fucking-tunnel is a very serious malady for a guitarist,” Max said, sounding incredibly grave.

  “Who’s a pussy?” Logan said in a deep, announcer’s voice. “Max is a pussy. ”

  Max used his good hand to give Logan the finger. “You might have noticed we have a new band member up on stage with us tonight. Reagan, come up here and say hi. ”

  Heart racing, Reagan forced her feet to move forward, concentrating hard on not tripping over anything in her spike-heeled ankle boots. “Hi,” she said into the microphone on her end of the stage.

  She saw her own face on the giant screens all over the stadium and she froze.

  “She’s covering rhythm guitar for us,” Max said. “Doing an excellent job. ”

  Reagan felt her cheeks flame. She nodded and then took a step away from the mic.

  “I love you, Reagan,” some guy screamed in the audience and pulled up his shirt to flash his thin chest at her.

  “That only works when chicks flash their tits at stage hands,” Dare said to the guy, pointing at him with his guitar pick. “No backstage pass for you. ”

  “‘Bite,’” Reagan heard Mad Dog announce the next song in her ear. “One. Two. Three. ” The band followed his cue to start the abrupt beginning of the song. Logan apparently thought Reagan needed to get closer to the front of the stage. He leaned his back against hers and hopped backward, pushing her forward several steps. He repeated the motion and she almost missed a note.

  “Stop it,” she growled at him.

  “Relax, Reagan,” he said. “Have some fun. ”

  When she scowled at him, he shrugged and went to play his bass on the opposite end of the stage.

  By the end of third song, Reagan was really feeling the pressure. And her feet were freaking killing her. She glanced over at the side of the stage and caught sight of Trey standing in the shadows. Feeling stronger and somehow relieved, she took a deep breath and trotted up to the front of the stage. The guys in the front row of the audience all surged against the barrier fence as if they wa
nted to grab her. She glanced at Dare who grinned at her. She lifted the neck of her guitar and gyrated against her instrument slightly. Nothing too extreme. Just a little sexy. One guy launched himself clean over the barrier fence and was promptly escorted to the end of the barrier and forced back into the crowd. Reagan went down on one knee to play the next stanza and her little cluster of fanboys cheered her on. This was kind of fun. She had to be careful not to lose Max’s sound though. She couldn’t get too carried away.

  The song ended and Max made a low growling sound in his microphone. “I see Reagan has broken out of her shell for you. Do you like it?”

  The crowd cheered and Reagan found herself displayed on all the screens in the stadium again.

  Reagan walked over to the nearest microphone and asked, “Would anyone be horribly offended if I took off these fucking boots? They’re killing my feet. ”

  The crowd started chanting. “Take it off. Take it off. ”

  She popped her feet out of both boots, tossed them to a stage runner, and stood barefoot on the stage wriggling her toes in delight. “Now I can get my rock on. ”

  She played a random string of notes that sent the crowd into a frenzy. Okay, so this was a lot of fun. She dug her fingers into her hair, messing it all up and feeling damned good about it. She threw up her devil horns on both fists, shaking her extended pinkies and index fingers at the crowd.

  “I’m ready to get dirty,” Reagan said.

  Dare chuckled into his microphone. “Oh hell yeah,” he said in a sexy growl.

  “I’ll get dirty with you, Reagan,” Logan said.

  “Let’s all get dirty,” Max yelled, and the band segued into their gritty ballad, “Stained. ”

  Reagan made an effort to get involved in the rest of the show. Not too involved. She didn’t want to overstep her bounds and upstage anyone else in the band. She felt she did an excellent job mimicking Max’s guitar work and was rather proud of that, even though she felt a little disconnected from the music the entire time.

  When the final lights went down and she stepped off the stage, she looked for Trey, but he’d vanished. He probably didn’t want her to know that he’d been watching when she’d specifically told him not to. Ethan was there though and he gave her an encouraging pat on the back.

  “You were awesome!”

  “Thanks,” she said.

  “Good show,” multiple people said to her as she was ushered through the crowd back to her dressing room. She was expected at the after-party, which was being held at the hotel across the parking lot. She wanted to find some shoes that didn’t cripple her toes before she headed over.

  “Nice work,” Dare said to her just outside her dressing room door. “We’ll rehearse again before tomorrow night’s show in San Francisco. See if we can’t figure out what’s causing your disconnect. ”

  So he’d noticed that, huh? She bit her lip and nodded.

  “I’ll see you at the after-party,” he said and left her standing there feeling unsure of herself.

  “What disconnect?” Ethan asked her.

  “I’m not really feeling the music. ”

  “I couldn’t tell. You were fabulous up there. Everyone loved you. ”

  She smiled. “I thought it went well. After I got rid of those fucking boots. ”

  She entered her dressing room and reached for a bottle of water. She chugged half of it before she noticed the bouquet of flowers sitting on her dressing table. How thoughtful. Who had sent her flowers? Trey? Obviously not Ethan, because he looked as surprised to see them as Reagan did. Maybe one of her friends. Someone from the record company. Or dare she hope they were from her daddy?

  She practically skipped across the room and pulled the card from the bright assortment of gerbera daisies.

  Her name was printed neatly on the outer envelope. She tugged the card free and read it. Her smile faded.
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