Authors: Lily Harlem
As Robbie Harding belts out hit song
packed Wembley Stadium, my heart tears, my mind fudges and my insides heat to a
lusty, pulsing boiling point.
more than the other 90,000 screaming fans?
Because I’m Jenny—he’s singing about me.
The guy is sex on legs with a voice to match and has starred
in all my hot dreams since the day boys became interesting. For three precious
years, it was more than hot dreams. Turns out he wants me back in his life
his bed. How can I resist?
So with lots of naked, sweaty and downright dirty time to
make up for, I wield my backstage pass, hunt him down and refuse to be
starstruck by the boy next door. Seems Robbie agrees, as he insists on tuning
in to my needs and rediscovering our rhythm before we even reach a bedroom.
An Ellora’s Cave Romantica
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Mirror Music Copyright © 2011 Lily Harlem
Edited by Jillian Bell
Cover art by Syneca
Electronic book publication January 2011
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Jenny, Oh Jenny, I’m still here, still waiting, still
No one else has ever compared
Oh, Jenny I’m here, still waiting, still aching
Still breaking my heart over youuuuuuuuu
The final lines of Manic Machines’ latest number one hit
swept through Wembley. As the last, tortured syllable drew to an end, a stitch
tugged at my heart and tears pricked the backs of my eyes. For a bittersweet
second all was silent as the massive crowd held their collective breaths,
hypnotized by the raw emotion, the heartfelt lyrics and the haunting melody.
Then the place erupted. Screams, cheers and wails of
adoration blasted the air in a sonic boom. The lead singer, Robbie Harding,
hung his head over his microphone and shoved a hand around the nape of his
neck, massaging it as though it ached. I strained to see him as hands and arms
shot up in front of me—fingers outstretched, lighters aloft in an eerie salute
Jenny who had, he’d just told his fans in very eloquent,
very emotive words, broken his heart into a million little pieces, none of which
he knew how to put back together.
Four years ago Jenny did that to him. Four long years. But
he doesn’t mention that in his lyrics. He sings as though it was only yesterday
they screamed at one another and he accused her of cheating and lying. He sings
as though it was only yesterday they slammed doors, broke promises and
So how do I know it was four years ago?
Because he’s singing about me.
I’m Jenny. Jenny Calahan, and four years ago I broke Robbie
Harding’s heart. He broke mine too. But he’s the one singing about it in front
of thousands while I watch from the sidelines, still aching, still breaking.
Can I turn on the TV or lift a magazine without seeing his
impossibly handsome face? No. Not a chance. He used to be just across the street
at number 81 and I could avoid him when I visited my parents, but now he’s
everywhere. Manic Machines just keeps getting bigger and bigger. They’ve become
huge in the USA, too, which of course has meant a string of glamorous Hollywood
stars hanging on his arm over the last six months. Not that I care of course.
Who he dates is none of my business.
“That’s a wrap for tonight, folks!” Robbie shouted, his eyes
once more lifted to the crowd and the spotlights illuminating his tall frame
and tousled dark hair. “Thanks for being such an amazing audience.” He grinned
broadly and waved both hands as he stepped to the left. “We love you, London.
But the crowd was having none of it. Feet began to stamp.
Hands clapped. Soon the floor shook as though a thousand elephants were
hurtling across it. My ears rang with the noise. I could barely hear my own
Robbie left the stage. So did Ian and Dean, his two
guitarists. But the drummer, Tim, stayed behind banging away. A slow, rhythmic
beat that sounded like a languid heartbeat.
Duh, duh. Duh, duh. Duh, duh.
The crowd knew what that meant. “More, more, more,” they
chanted. “More, more, more.”
I strained to see the stage. Black except for one
lemon-colored light shining down on Tim. His arms pounded, his head bobbed. The
beat vibrated right to the center of my core and for a second calmed my jittery
Suddenly high-pitched cheers sparked from the front row.
Excited shouts that flowed toward me in waves. I saw the two guitarists step onto
the stage and pick up their instruments. A low bass joined the beat of the
The crowd turned frenzied. They’d gotten their way, another
song was coming.
“Robbie, Robbie, Robbie,” they bellowed in time with their
There he was. Back on the stage in a perfect white circle of
light. He had a bottle of what looked like beer in his hand. Probably Beck’s.
That was his favorite. Or at least it used to be.
I was jostled by a girl to my right as she shoved her camera
in the air and snapped away. She didn’t apologize even though she nearly
knocked me over.
“This really is the last one,” Robbie shouted, his deep
voice booming above the noise of the crowd. “Because you’ve been so amazing
this evening, here’s one more song.”
The audience roared.
“Any requests?” he asked, plucking the microphone from the
stand and holding it out to the sea of people.
!” the girl next to me screamed. “
again,” hollered the lady
on my right. “Sing
“I can’t hear you!” Robbie yelled, cupping his ear and
stretching the microphone out farther. “What do you want? Tell me.”
I struggled to decipher an overwhelming request through the
mayhem of song titles hollered out.
trawberries and Screams
?” Robbie asked, standing
upright and grinning. “You want
Strawberries and Screams
“Yes, yes.” My two neighbors yelled with new enthusiasm. “
The guitarists picked up the first funky lines of
, a record that had been played to death on UK radio and was
obviously still a fan favorite. It wasn’t one of mine. Hearing Robbie sing
about making love to a redhead with pale skin and fruity nipples made my skin
itch and my jaw clench.
“Excuse me,” I said to the girl who’d jostled me. She took
no notice so I pushed past her into the aisle. I’d had enough.
I trotted down the steps and walked into the deserted
corridor. I could still make out Robbie’s voice filling the stadium, swirling
around his crowd the way it used to swirl around me. The beating music vibrated
into my soul, dragging a deeply buried memory to the forefront of my mind.
I stopped and leaned back against the cold wall. Dropped my
head into my hands and braced my knees. I was at the mercy of my mind’s eye,
and like flicking a switch I was suddenly there again.
Robbie’s face hovered over me and the gorgeous scent of
his naked skin enveloped me. He ducked and murmured hot words into my ear. Hot
words that spoke of how he felt and exactly what dirty deeds he wanted to do to
me. My heart fluttered and a flush of tickles traveled over my scalp as his
warm breath shimmied across my neck. He shifted his weight, his long, naked
body solid and lean as he pressed me into the mattress in his small bedroom.
“Jenny,” he murmured, sliding his hands between our
bodies as his legs eased mine apart. “Jenny, Jenny, it’s only you, always you.”
His fingertips created a tingle across the flesh of my
stomach. His touch was so delicate, so full of love. I loved him too, my heart
was swollen with it. He kept moving his hand over sensitive skin as his kisses
headed lower down my neck and trailed across my breasts. He touched my intimate
folds of flesh, separating them and searching out my clit. I thought I might
burst with desire for him, with my need to become part of him, fade into him.
I let out a small moan of longing as he left my clit and
pushed into me, filling me, claiming me with his fingers. But it wasn’t his
fingers I wanted. I wanted more. I squirmed, searching for his erect cock. Desperate
“Patience, Jenny,” he said with an amused lilt.
But Robbie was not a patient man, and the next thing I
felt was the smooth, round head of his cock pushing into my wet channel. He
always got it just right, slow and steady while I stretched around him. I
groaned and hunted for his mouth, plunged my tongue in to find his as I locked
my ankles at the base of his spine.
My palms traveled over the smooth, soft skin of his
shoulders. His body was so perfect, so strong and so amazingly in tune with
mine. He upped the pace, shoving in and out as I clung to him with all my
strength. My breath caught as the blinding pleasure of the orgasm he created
deep within me flooded my veins and strummed my nerve endings. In a tsunami of
ecstasy, we came together, crying out, clinging to one another as though our
lives depended on it. My pussy spasmed and throbbed, pulsating around his cock
as he filled the condom, riding through his insanely intense pleasure as I
claimed mine with a greed I’d never known before or since.
Our breaths slowed and I dropped my hands from my eyes. It
had been a long time since a flashback had overwhelmed me. Blinking in the
harsh light of the corridor, I reoriented myself to my surroundings. The walls
were painted a sickly green and the floor strewn with litter. Robbie was still
singing, hammering out the chorus of
Strawberries and Screams
. A small
tremor attacked my body. I could have told myself it was the cold but I knew it
was the vividness of the memory that had generated the pleasurable little
I glanced left and right and pushed away from the wall. Soon
the corridor would be heaving with thousands. I didn’t want to get caught up in
the surge of people. I should really get going.
I shoved my hands deep in the pocket of my pink hooded top
and my right fist clutched the small red plastic card that had dropped on my
parents’ doormat two weeks ago.
Manic Machines—Full Access Backstage Pass
was written in thick black letters along with the dates and
sent it, along with a single ticket for
each of the Wembley performances. Four tickets in total. Four separate nights.
He wanted me to come.
wanted me to come.
The tickets were strange after such a long time with no
contact but Robbie had never done things the conventional way, which, I
guessed, is why he was the superstar he was.
I hadn’t wanted to come to his
concert and never would have chosen to. I knew seeing Robbie in the flesh would
exhaust my confused, long-buried emotions. Also I didn’t know if I could cope
with seeing him do his stuff. Singing brilliantly and entertaining thousands
with his chat and his devastating smile and all the time him not belonging to
me. But curiosity had gotten the better of me, which was why I was here on the
last night of Manic Machines’ tour.
My soft shoes were silent as I searched for signs to
backstage. Eventually, after what felt like a mile with no luck, I asked a
stern-looking security man who bent my pass with nailbitten fingers, testing
“You’ve come the wrong way, love. Best thing you can do now
is go outside,” he said after he’d all but bitten the plastic between his
teeth. “Then head toward the heavy gates and show this pass. They’ll direct you
from there, it will be quicker than going back the way you came.”
“Thanks,” I said, re-pocketing the small rectangle of
plastic and wondering whether to follow his directions or just jump on the
Tube. It would be easier to ride home and forget all about Robbie. Forget that
I’d seen him. Forget that I’d listened to him sing about the way we’d been when
things were good between us. The way we’d kissed and made love, shared our
fears and dreams. The way he’d held me tight and lost himself in my
vanilla-scented hair. How he remembered I’d used vanilla shampoo was beyond me.
Had he really become lost in my essence when he buried his face in it?
I stepped outside into the cool October evening. It was
pitch dark and the lampposts shone amber. A hint of drizzle caught in the pools
of light and dampened my hot cheeks. I turned toward the looming black gates.
They were huge and spiked. Beyond them was a host of trucks and vans. Several
“Can I help you?” a stern voice asked from the darkness on
the other side of the gate.
“Er, yes,” I said, looking for the owner of the voice.
A small man wearing a suit and a peaked cap appeared.
was embroidered in gold thread on his jacket sleeve.
“I’m trying to get backstage,” I said, holding up my pass as
if it were a golden ticket. But this was no golden ticket. This was no pass to
a chocolate feast. In my hand I held something Robbie had sent to bring me to
him. A key, a whisper, a hope, a plea. Did I really want to unlock our past?
Open up that can of worms again?
The security guy raised his brows. “Of course, madam,” he
said with a polite smile. “Come through this way.” He took several steps to the
right and, using a torch to light his way, unlocked a smaller gate. “Come in
and I’ll get someone to escort you.”
He relocked the door and lifted a walkie-talkie from his
pocket. I listened to him request an escort for an “all area visitor”. “Won’t
be long,” he said to me, smiling.
Within a minute a petite young lady clutching a clipboard to
her chest appeared. Her shoulder-length mousy hair had flattened against her
scalp in the drizzle.
“Hi,” she said. “I’m Sylvia, head of MM’s PR management. Can
I just check your pass?”
I handed it over then turned as a sudden stampede caught my
attention. On the other side of the gates, the crowd was streaming out the
doors into the night, some running for the first seats on the Tube, others
racing to the parking lot before the rush. But many dawdled, singing, with
their arms linked and smiles on their faces.
“This way, Jenny,” Sylvia said. “I’ll take you straight
* * * * *
My stomach tightened as I followed Sylvia down a brightly
lit winding corridor. Several people rushed past us and we had to flatten
ourselves against the wall to get out of their way. As we moved on again I
patted my bubbles of blonde hair, frizzing because of the damp evening. I wore
just the tiniest hint of makeup, a thin layer of waterproof mascara and sheer
Beneath my hoody I had on a small cream t-shirt with a
V-neck. Within the V sat the tiny butterfly necklace Robbie had bought me the
last Christmas we’d spent together. It wasn’t an expensive piece of jewelry.
Neither of us had much money then. But it had meant a lot that Christmas
morning, especially when he said that he knew I needed to spread my wings and
fulfill my dreams of university.