Guess who's only a week away? Pike! So today I thought I'd give you a peek at Pike playing drum, the heroine Oakley, and for those who've read YOURS ALL ALONG, a little cameo by Devon.
“So,” Devon said, obviously searching for a change in topic, “you know a guy in the next band?”
“The drummer. He’s the one helping out with that music project at Bluebonnet. He gave us tickets, thought Reagan might have fun.”
Dev’s eyebrow arched. “Right. Because he thought your kid might have fun.”
“It’s not like that.”
Guitar chords blasted through the speaker for a moment as the crew on stage did the sound check. Oakley turned her head as the big screens on the side of the stage lit up with a publicity photo for Darkfall—the wind making the screens ripple and the bodies in the picture come to life. The crowd cheered.
“Look, mom!” Reagan shouted back at her. “It’s Mr. Pike!”
“I see, baby.” Boy, did she. The larger than life image had Pike staring down the camera with his bandmates. Badass. Tough. Beautiful.
“Which one is he?” Devon asked, following her gaze.
“Whoa,” he said low enough for the kids not to hear. “You had that guy over for pizza and managed keep your clothes on? You have more restraint than I do.”
He had no idea. “I have no interest in being a groupie.”
“Can I be one?”
She shoved his shoulder. “You’re such a tramp. I’m so telling Hunter when he gets back in town.”
“Tell him. He’d agree. But seriously, is the guy a jerk? He looks like he has high potential to be an egomaniac. I don’t want that kind of guy around my baby sister and niece.”
She frowned and dragged her eyes away from the picture. “Oh, he’s got an ego, all right. He’s entirely inappropriate most of the time and a shameless flirt. But I wouldn’t say he’s a jerk. He’s kind of, I don’t know, weird and manic and…funny.”
Devon tipped up the bill of his hat, eyeing her with a sly smile. “Oh, so we have a mad crush then?”
“Oak, you’re here in the Texas heat at a hard rock festival. You don’t even know these bands. And a few weeks ago, when I asked if you wanted to take Reagan to see that 80s cover band, you told me she was too young for concerts.”
Oakley crossed her arms. “Rae has since proven her maturity.”
He smirked. “Bull. Shit. You’ve got the hots for this guy.”
“He’s not my type.”
Dev shook his head and draped his arm around her shoulders, pulling her close so the kids couldn’t hear. “Come on, don’t freak out about it. You work too hard and spend too much time alone. This could be good for you.”
“An ill-advised hookup with a drummer who will drop me as soon as he gets bored could be good for me?”
“Exactly. Look, I know I’m your brother and shouldn’t be saying this, but there’s nothing wrong with a finding yourself a hot, temporary fuck buddy.”
He laughed. “Oh, don’t be such a prude. I mean, yes, you’re right. The guy’s probably not boyfriend material. But you’re a grown woman and deserve some fun. You know we’re always happy to have Rae over if you need a date night.”
“I think you just flunked big brother school.”
He gave her shoulder a pat. “Okay, fine, want responsible brotherly advice? Use a condom. And don’t let him take video.”
She poked him in the ribs. But before she could respond to his comment, the lights on stage began to flash and the crowd surged forward, excitement like a contagion moving through them.
“Come on, mom! Let’s get closer.” Reagan grabbed her hand and dragged her with the flow of the crowd.
They’d already been pretty close to the stage, thanks to the special passes Pike had sent, but now they were only a ten or twelve rows of people back on the far left side of the stage. Bodies pressed close to them and she couldn’t help but get caught up in the fervor of the crowd.
She pushed onto her toes, knowing the drummer was almost always the first one to come out.
“Is that him?” Dev asked.
Devon pointed to the other end of the stage, and Oakley froze up the moment her eyes landed on Pike. Tight gray jeans, combat boots, and a black sleeveless T-shirt that showed off his ink. All swagger and sex and guyliner. Pike waltzed onto the stage like it’d been built just for him. He lifted his hand in greeting, earning screams from the audience, then hopped behind his drum kit. He put in his earpiece, raised his drumstick, and leaned over to his mic with a cocky smile. “Y’all ready for us, Dallas?”
The crowd erupted. Sound exploded from his drums.
And Oakley forgot to breathe.
The rest of the band ran onto the stage, adding guitars and vocals to Pike’s heavy rhythm, but Oakley barely heard the words.
All she could do was stare. Pike took command of the drums like he had a personal vendetta against them, banging hard and violent but with a sharp-edged grace that made it look like moving art. Every part of his body worked in perfect rhythm—muscles flexing, tattoos dancing, sweat flying—and the expression on his face wasn’t far from what she’d imagined he looked like in the throes of sex. He was taking the songs in his fists and making them his with every swing of his drumsticks.
Oakley swayed on her feet, the pounding beat taking on an erotic edge, vibrating though her and invading her like a drug.
He looked possessed.
He sounded amazing.
And she was toast.
She felt the urge ride up her throat and she couldn’t stop it. Her hands went up with the rest of the crowd and she screamed Pike’s name like a goddamned groupie.
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