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Authors: Heather C. Myers

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BOOK: Love's Back Pocket
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Chapter 5


The first sincere smile Holly had seen Tommy smile slid onto his face, but he quickly morphed it into a knowing smirk. However, his green eyes still carried a healthy glow, and he pressed his lips together as he regarded the young woman before him. He had no idea what he was getting himself into. He barely knew her, and yet he had invited her to go on tour with him and his band for the summer. Tommy wouldn’t even be getting sex out of it; she would be his quote unquote psychologist. But there was something about her that drew him to her, something alluring and fascinating, and something he felt he had to figure out.


She was the first person he noticed as he began one of his hits from 1987, and to find her staring at her books rather than up at him … Not that he was conceited, of course … well, not to the point of arrogance, at least. Anyway, one of his character flaws was not the point; the point was her. Holly Dunn. Whoever she was. With strawberry blonde hair and brown eyes, Holly was definitely a natural beauty. That much he could tell from her face, soft and yet sharp at the same time. However, she hid her body in baggy clothing, almost as though she was ashamed of it. Or she felt that she didn’t need to prove anything to anybody. Or maybe both. It didn’t matter; Holly was this fascinating, attractive puzzle that Tommy wanted nothing more than to figure out, and what better way to do that than to take her on tour with him? Okay, so the decision was rash and ill-thought, but luckily, his band was used to his antics and agreed.


He wondered if she would be offended if he took the company of groupies around her.


“Well then,” Tommy said, flashing what he knew was one of his charming grins, “you should probably be introduced to everyone.” He motioned with his arm to Mitch. “This is Mitch Sandburg, the band’s drummer.”


“Oh, I know him,” Holly stated with a polite smile, glancing over at the man. “Tanya’s had a thing for him since forever. His posters are all over her walls—”


“Holl!” Tanya said indignantly, stomping her foot as a blush took over the majority of her face.


“What?” Holly asked, looking somewhat puzzled. “It’s true, right? I would think that, if anything, Mitch would be flattered.”


“I am,” Mitch assured Tanya, and then squeezed her side in a teasing manner. Tanya’s face broke into a delighted smile and her eyes shone as she looked up at him.


Holly studied this with an intent fascination. Logically, she knew all about the feelings of love and the emotions it brought, but she had never seen Tanya look at a member of the opposite sex with such adoration, and even Mitch seemed to be reciprocating the feeling. Didn’t they only meet just yesterday? Could love at first sight really and truly exist? In fact, she didn’t ever remember a guy looking at her that way, nor did she remember ever looking at a guy that way. Realizing that she had been staring, Holly glanced away, rocking on the back of her heels and then through the balls of her feet rather nervously.


“Right,” Tommy said, watching Holly with an amused twinkle in his eyes. “There are two other members of our band though.”


“Of course.” Holly shook her head, as though to clear it of her previous thoughts. “I have a question,” she began, shoving her hands into her jean pockets as Tommy started leading everyone to a nearby tour bus. A few colleagues of both Holly and Tanya’s had stopped to gawk at it, and Tommy smirked, obviously pleased with the attention. “Are we stopping back at the apartment? I mean, I need to pick up some clothes and, Tanya, we need to tell the leasing department that we aren’t going to be there.”


“Everything’s taken care of, Holly,” Tanya told her friend. “Trust me. My father already paid for the apartment three months in advance so we don’t have to be worried about money. I already talked to Mrs. Lovett about picking up our mail, and I packed for both you and me!” She grinned triumphantly, but her smile dropped a little when she saw Holly’s unsure facial expression. “You need to learn to trust me, Holl. I packed everything you need and like. Will you trust me? Please?”


“If you forgot anything, you’re paying for it,” Holly told her friend seriously, trying to refrain from smiling.


“Deal,” Tanya responded.


A few students began to notice Tommy and Mitch and started to walk over to them, asking for autographs and pictures. Tommy Nye and The Futurists
were one of those eighties bands who were known not only for their controversial music, but also their live performances, their physical fights, and their sex lives. It was really not a surprise to Tanya—and even to Holly—that other students heard of the band’s infamous ways.


“Holly!” a familiar voice called, causing her to look away and face probably the most handsome man Holly had ever personally encountered. He was incredibly tall, probably six foot two and very muscular, with rich, chestnut brown hair that was short in the back but fell casually in his face. He had very sharp features, bright blue eyes, and straight, sparkling white teeth. In all honesty, Holly had no idea how she had managed to befriend Brendan O’Connell. While the two weren’t necessarily best friends, they were quite close, probably the closest relationship she had with a member of the opposite sex. He was majoring in political science, and hoped to be a professor at an ivy league school one day. She wasn’t quite sure if she was in love with him or not, given her lack of experience in that department, but she liked him. A lot.


“Hey Brendan,” Holly said, giving him her usual shy smile. At least her whole blushing phase had diminished a few months into knowing Brendan. But still, two years later, and all she could muster up was a demure smile for him. “How are you?”


“Doing really well, actually,” Brendan replied, walking over to her. He seemed completely ignorant or just didn’t care about the fact that he was a mere two feet away from an infamous band. That was another thing Holly admired about Brendan; he was so … grounded. “How’d your final go? I know you were really stressing out about it.” And he remembered the things she said.


“I actually passed!” she answered with a smile. “I aced it.”


“I knew you would.” Brendan reached out and gave Holly’s shoulder a little squeeze. “I told you that you would!” He shook his head teasingly. “You never listen, do you?”


“I never do,” she conceded as he dropped his arm from her shoulder and let it rest back at his side.


“So,” he began, and finally glanced over at the diminishing commotion, “what is all that, exactly? I mean, I know that’s The Futurists; my older sister used to listen to them … But why are they here? Do you know?”


“Um … yeah, actually,” Holly said, looking down as she felt a blush now cascade over her features. “Okay, you know how as a psychologist, I need a thousand hours at a practice with licensed supervision?” Brendan nodded, causing more hair to fall into his face. Goodness, he looked gorgeous. “Well, for whatever reason, Tommy Nye, the lead singer, asked me to come along as his psychologist. He saw me studying at his concert last night and … well, I really don’t know how to explain what happened. He asked me to come along with him and I agreed.” Immediately, she realized how that sounded and she suppressed a wince. “I mean, not like that … Definitely not.”


“Not like what?” Tommy asked. It would appear that his audience had all but diminished and he was now paying full attention to Holly and her acquaintance.


“Nothing,” Holly said firmly, unable to meet either man’s eyes. “Anyway, it’s pretty complicated and kind of ridiculous, but I figured that it would give me some good experience … and all that.” She shrugged, tilting her head to the side slightly.


“That’s really cool, Holl.” Brendan gave her a genuine smile. “I’ll actually be at the New York concert. My older sister lives there, and for a couple weeks I’m going over to visit her. She is definitely looking forward to dragging me along.” Quickly, Brendan swept his blue eyes over at Tommy. “No offense or anything.”


“None taken,” Tommy said, and though he was smiling, Holly noticed that a sort of shine had diminished from his eyes. “Some people don’t exactly like our music, and it says more about them than it does about us, you know?” Now his smile was genuine, and Holly had to hand it to him; Tommy was charming, even when insulting someone. “Plus, I didn’t know Holly had a boyfriend.”


“He’s not my boyfriend,” Holly said quickly, glancing away again. “We’re just friends. Anyway, shouldn’t we get going now?” She reached out and began to push Tommy toward the tour bus. “I’ll see you later, Brendan,” she called over her shoulder, pointedly ignoring Tommy’s knowing look so easily etched out over his face.


“You too, Holl,” Brendan said with a chuckle. “And congratulations!”


With that, Brendan disappeared along with the crowd, leaving Holly pushing Tommy toward the tour bus and Mitch and Tanya suppressing giggles and holding hands, following the odd couple.

Chapter 6


“Now this, ladies and gentlemen …” Tommy began, once the group neared the steel tour bus. He turned so that he was walking backwards; Holly had let go of him a few seconds ago, but her curious eyes stayed glued to him. It was odd; she was beginning to realize how the aura of the rock star before her demanded attention. And even odder was that she was willing and even wanted to give him that attention. “… is truly a sight to behold. Prepare yourselves for our resident stud. Our bus driver, Benny!”


Mitch started laughing, his grip around Tanya’s waist tightening. Holly’s ever sharp eyes watched Tommy’s eyes sparkle, almost as though this was some sort of inside joke between the two of them, or even the whole band. Holly pressed her lips together, but the corners of her lips quirked up into a restrained grin.


Benny, himself, was actually quite handsome for someone who was in his early fifties. He was sitting in the driver’s seat, the door thrown open by the dramatic singer, and his hair was a dusty, greying blond color. He had clear, blue eyes and very defined, full lips. He was dressed casually, opting for comfort, probably due to the fact that he was driving everywhere. He had on a red and black bomber’s jacket and black jeans that weren’t too tight nor were they too loose. On his feet were very worn combat boots.


“Nice to meet you,” Holly said, offering him a demure smile and her right hand.


“So you’re Tommy’s on-hand psychologist?” Benny asked, quirking a brow and shooting her a charming smile. “Good luck! That guy has a lot of problems, let me tell you.”


Holly forced a chuckle, but her eyes stated that she wasn’t quite sure if the man was joking or not.


Tommy, clearly more perceptive than Holly had originally thought, nudged her gently. “It’s a joke,” he assured her, giving her a small smile. Holly nodded and glanced over her shoulder to see Tanya giving Benny a shy wave, her body pressed into Mitch’s. Holly quirked a brow; when was Tanya ever shy? “Now believe it or not, your choice,” Tommy continued, tilting his head in Benny’s direction. “This man gets more groupies than Drew, our bassist.”


“What about me?” an English-accented voice asked from inside the bus.


“He said you don’t get laid very much,” another, this time American, voice replied.


Tommy led the three into the bus. There was actually a larger opening behind Benny’s chair where the band and any guests could squeeze through with ease. The inside of the bus was absolutely stunning, Holly realized as she followed Tommy deeper into the heart of the vehicle. It reminded her of a condensed living room, with couches and televisions strewn about in the center of the room. Everything appeared to be attached so if Benny stopped sharply, nothing would move, and more importantly, nothing would break. Windows adorned either side of the bus, allowing the seepage of sunlight to soak through the tinted glass.


There were two men occupying one of the couches and Holly assumed these were the two who had made the comments they had just heard. One must have been in his early to mid-twenties, much younger than the rest of the band, probably a replacement of some sorts. He was incredibly handsome, with chiseled features and dark blond hair that tumbled down in tangled waves until it reached his shoulder. He had a steely cool gaze with azure colored eyes, and his red lips were curled into what seemed to be some sort of smile. He was tall, maybe six foot, and from what Holly could see, he was very well-built. He was wearing a forest green T-shirt that clung to his body rather nicely, worn-in jeans with a hole in the knee, and black combat boots that differed from Benny’s in the fact that they looked new. He noticed Holly’s gaze and his smirk deepened. Instead of being ashamed in any way, she met his eyes coolly before studying the man next to him. The thought that she was checking him out didn’t even register in her mind; logically, she was merely studying him.


The second man looked to be in Tommy’s age range, with shaggy chestnut hair that fell into his face. His golden eyes were warm, matching the amused smile that was currently occupying his lips. He had a dark goatee that looked well-maintained, though Holly could spot one or two grey hairs residing in the small patch. He was probably an inch or so shorter than the younger man next to him, and though his body wasn’t as defined, he exuded an approachability the younger man didn’t have. He was wearing a long-sleeved black shirt with some sort of logo splattered across it in what looked like white graffiti. He, too, was wearing jeans that fit his frame quite nicely, but his had a big, large belt buckle as an accessory that drew attention to his crotch. On his feet were used Nike sneakers.


“This,” Tommy said, motioning to the younger man, “is Sean. And this,” he motioned to the older man, “is Drew. Sean is our guitarist and Drew is our bassist. Boys, this is Holly, our resident psychologist. If you need to get anything off your chest, feel free to visit her.”


“I’d like to come to her to get my shirt off my chest,” Sean muttered under his breath, causing both men to laugh and high five each other. Holly rolled her eyes at the immaturity of the two before her.


“And this is Mitch’s gal pal, Tanya,” Tommy concluded. Again, Tanya waved shyly, a heavy blush tainting her cheeks. Holly arched a brow at this; was her shyness some kind of response to her new interest in Mitch? “Don’t harass the guests, boys,” Tommy teased, though there was a small warning inflection in his playful tone, and his green eyes darkened just slightly. “They’ll be on tour for a while.” His eyes flickered over to Mitch and he grinned. “Although I’m sure Tanya would be more than willing to have you harass her, Mitch.”


Mitch rolled his eyes and flipped Tommy off. “Anyway, dickheads,” Mitch said, tossing his glance over at the men lazing around on the couch, “don’t touch Tanya or I’ll chop off a certain appendage, you hear me?” The men both rolled their eyes and waved him off as Mitch pulled Tanya closer to him. “I’m going to show her our room.”


“Good idea,” Tommy conceded. “I’ll show Holly to her room.” His eyes met Holly’s, and she smiled humbly. Tucking an errant strand of hair behind her ear, she proceeded to follow Tommy down the hall.


The room Tommy led Holly to was ridiculously small, about the same size as her dorm room’s kitchen. A twin-sized bed took up most of the space, but there was a square-shaped window just above it, and an adjacent closet. Whatever floor room she might have had was currently filled with two full suitcases, and Holly tilted her head a bit, curious as to what Tanya had packed for her.


“The bathroom’s two doors down from you,” Tommy pointed out, standing in the doorframe, and watching her reaction to her surroundings with his sharp eyes. “My room is just to your right, and Tanya will be with Mitch, which is across the way.” He paused a moment, just watching her. “Also, there are just a couple of rules I should probably mention. There’s no smoking or puking on the bus. If there’s a piece of clothing hanging from the doorknob, don’t bother the room’s occupants. Make sure you’re on the bus by the call time, or the bus’ll leave you. Clean up after yourself, obviously. Umm … oh. No sleeping with anybody in the band. No offense, but if things don’t work out, things might get tense since everyone’s living in close quarters.”


“I wasn’t planning on it, actually,” Holly replied, her gaze focused in Tommy’s eyes. Suddenly, her brow furrowed as a realization dawned on her. “Wait, how come I’m not allowed to sleep with anybody in the band but Tanya is?”


It was here that something appeared in Tommy’s eyes that Holly couldn’t quite place. “Because I don’t want you to,” he told her nonchalantly.


“You know you have no control over who I sleep with, right?” Holly asked. Tommy said nothing in response, but he looked at her levelly. Again, she matched his gaze with her own, trying to read his eyes. Holly had a natural-born talent to read people, which was why she wanted to be a psychologist. She couldn’t sing very well, and Lord knew she couldn’t cook. But she could tell what somebody was thinking with a quick flick of her eyes. Except Tommy. And it was really starting to bother her.


“Thank you,” she said, wanting to be alone for a while. “For this. Um,
of this, I should say. I think I want to get settled in.”


“Of course.” Tommy nodded a couple of times so that his dark hair fell into his face. “We should be in San Diego in three, four hours depending on the traffic. You’re welcome to see the show, so …” He let his voice trail off, not knowing what to say, which was odd because he always knew what to say.

“Thank you,” she told him. “Again.” And with that, she quietly closed the door.

BOOK: Love's Back Pocket
13.92Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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