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Authors: Roni Loren

Wanderlust (10 page)

BOOK: Wanderlust
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“Good morning,” he said, his gaze quickly skating over her. She knew she looked less than put together. Her hair was still wet at the ends, and she’d only had time to throw on lip gloss and a little mascara before rushing to work. “Nice dress.”

She ignored him and turned to the other guys. “Where’s Sean?”

Jared cut his gaze back and forth between her and Lex. “Um, he stepped out to smoke, I think.”

Gunner grunted and pointed to the notebook on the table. “No, he’s licking his wounds because we like Lex’s new song better than the one he tried to write.”

“Can I see it?” she asked.

Gunner lifted the notebook. “Su—”

“No,” Lex said, cutting him off.

Aubrey frowned.

“Band eyes only for now. You can buy the single when it comes out,” Lex said, shooting Gunner a death glare.

Jared looked down at the lyrics and grinned. “He wrote it, um, last night. So, maybe you should wait until it’s more polished.”

She gave Jared a tight smile. “Sure, no problem. Do you guys need anything for now?”

“No, we’re good,” Jared said. “Why don’t you stop by once we’re all prettied up and ready for the shoot?”

“And if you see Sean,” Gunner added, “tell him to get his ass back in here.”

“Will do.”

Aubrey decided to return to her office and type up the notes she had gathered on the band so far. She had to turn in her finished article by next week if she wanted to make this month’s edition.

On the way to her office, she passed by Nick’s closed door. The plastic mail holder on his door was overflowing with papers, envelopes, and flyers. A few pieces of mail had fallen to the floor. She shook her head. Brittany really worked hard at not making any extra effort in her job. Aubrey gathered the mess of papers and straightened them into a neat pile. With her other hand, she grabbed the handle and shoved her hip into the solid wooden door. She blinked in the unexpected darkness.

Nick, being the big, bad music writer that he was, had landed a corner office, complete with two walls of windows. She had never been in his office when the black mini-blinds were closed. She tripped over a trash can and the stack of papers slipped from her arms.

“Dammit.” She hit the light switch with her elbow. The chair behind Nick’s desk spun around, and a yelp of surprise escaped her.

“Oh,” Sean said, his eyes a little wild. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know anyone was using this office.”

She swallowed, her heart racing from the startle. “Well, it’s Nick’s office. What are you doing in here?”

He rubbed his nose and sniffed. “I, uh, needed to get away for a few minutes. Figured no one would look for me in here.”

He shifted in the chair, and Aubrey caught sight of a line of white powder spread across the top of the cherrywood filing cabinet behind him.

“Sean.”

He followed her eyes and grunted. “Hey, look, I’m sorry. I should’ve never snuck into an office. I just . . .”

“Needed a fix,” she said, her voice flat.

He grimaced, his face paling. “Look, I’ll get it out of here. But please don’t say anything to the guys. Or, shit, report it in the press.”

“You’re worried about the press? Sean, I should call the police. What the hell are you thinking doing this here? Or at all.”

His jaw clenched. “You can’t tell anyone. Seriously. It would ruin everything. It was a stupid mistake. I hooked up with an old friend last night and he gave me some for old time’s sake. Please, Aubrey.”

She shifted in her shoes, glancing over her shoulder at the half-open door. “If you’re hooked on this stuff, you need to get some help.”

His gaze went cold. “You don’t know what I need, okay? I appreciate your concern, but I’m not hooked. I haven’t done it in years. I’ve just been stressed this week, and it helps me write. I can stop whenever. But if Lex finds out I used, he’ll throw me out on my ass.”

She folded her arms over her chest. “Or he may help you.”

He scoffed. “You don’t know Lex.”

He was right. She didn’t. But she knew this wasn’t okay. “You’re putting me in a bad position, Sean.”

He stood, came around the desk, and took her hands in his. His fingers trembled against hers and his eyes made a quiet plea. “Look, I know you mean well, but please don’t tell anyone. That was the last of the stuff I have. I don’t plan on getting anymore. I screwed up, okay? I don’t want to pay for one mistake by losing my band.”

She wanted to believe him. He sounded so sincere. She knew how it felt to be branded by a single mistake. One weak moment could ruin how everyone looked at you for the rest of your life. Her hands slipped from his and she sighed. “I won’t say anything for now unless you give me a reason to think you’re continuing to use.”

He nodded and put his hand over his heart. “Thanks. You have no idea how much I appreciate this.”

Her gut twisted into an anxious knot. She hated secrets. But this wasn’t her place. “You better get down to the dressing room. The guys are going to start looking for you.”

He glanced over his shoulder at the remaining cocaine.

She cocked her head toward the door, feeling full-out nauseous. “Go on. I’ll clean it up.”

A fleeting glimmer of longing passed through his eyes, but he quickly covered it with a smile. “Thanks. You’re the best.”

He hurried out and shut the door behind him.

Aubrey grabbed a half-empty bottle of water off the desk, dampened a few facial tissues, and started wiping up the powder. God, what the hell was she doing? Last week she was writing up an article about fried frog legs and now she was cleaning blow off a filing cabinet. If this was what music journalism was like, then maybe she should stick to food. Maybe Lex was right—she wasn’t cut out for sex, drugs, and rock and roll.

“You bend over any farther in that dress, and I’m going to find out whether or not you got to go home this morning.”

Aubrey jumped and sent the water bottle rolling to the floor.

Lex gave an apologetic smile as she whirled around and found him standing in the doorway. “Sorry, didn’t mean to scare you. I ran into that receptionist chick in the hallway. She said she saw you come in here.”

Aubrey leaned over and righted the water bottle, which had spilled its remaining contents onto the carpet. “What do you want?”

“I thought we should talk.” He clicked the door shut and turned the lock. “Privately.”

She tried not to stare. His eyes were rimmed with smudged black liner, making the blue of his irises glitter like the surface of a lake. Somehow, he made the makeup look masculine. “You have a photo shoot.”

“Yeah, well, that Travis guy is a bit of a perfectionist. It will take him a while to get through the other three guys. They need more work. They’re not as naturally stunning as I am.”

She snorted. “You have on more eyeliner than I do.”

“Hey, it’s guyliner. Very popular these days.” He walked toward her and sat on the edge of the desk. “It’s supposed to make me look devilish and wicked.”

“Like you need any help with that.” She tossed the soiled tissues into the wastebasket under the desk, praying she’d gotten all the remnants of powder off the filing cabinet.

He chuckled, his gaze tracing down to the hem of her skirt. “So,
did
you get to go home this morning?”

She clenched her teeth. “Yes, Lex, I did. Is that the only reason you’re here? To find out if I’m wearing panties or not? Or are you just here to embarrass me more? To make me feel worse about last night?”

His smile dipped downward. “Is that what you think I’m doing?”

“Why else would you wear that shirt but to rub my nose in it all day?”

He looked down, touched his shirt.

“This? I didn’t wear it to piss you off.” He reached out and put a hand on her waist, guiding her closer. “I wore it because it smelled like you.”

She put her palms against his chest, trying to keep a sliver of air between their bodies. “Lex.”

“I’m sorry for what I said this morning and for walking out like that. It was a shit thing to do. You pushed a button of mine and it made me want to push back.”

“Which button?”

He smirked. “That part where I felt like we shared something real last night and then woke up to find I was just a convenient ride home.” He looked down at where her hands pressed along his chest. “A lot of people use me for a lot of things in this job. It’s part of the deal. But I didn’t want it to be true of last night.”

She blanched, knowing he was right. They’d both acted out of line. She’d been drunk, but she’d known what she was doing. And she remembered every damn second of that mind-blowing orgasm he’d given her—rough-tipped fingers inside her, his tongue against her breast. Her skin warmed and she cleared her throat. “I’m sorry. You’re right. What I said wasn’t fair. And it wasn’t true. I didn’t know what to say this morning. I’m not the girl who wakes up hung-over and wearing some guy’s boxers.”

“What’s so bad about that?” he asked, brushing her hair away from her face.

She sniffed. “Because it’s trashy.”

He laughed, deep and low. “According to who? Your parents? Polite society? Who gives a shit what they think?” He slid his hands down her back. “What’s wrong with two grown adults wanting each other and indulging in that? Just for the fun of it. Simply because it feels good and they enjoy each other’s company.”

Her back tingled as his fingers passed over it, her nerve endings blinking on like streetlamps at dusk. She rolled her lips inward, trying to ignore her body’s instant response. “Everything has consequences. Nothing can be just for fun.”

His hands reached the top curve of her ass, and her hips automatically moved forward as if seeking a matching set. His eyes searched hers. He dipped his head and whispered against her ear. “Lies, Aubrey. Let yourself go, and I’ll prove it to you.”

She closed her eyes. “I don’t know how. That’s why I drank last night.”

“You don’t need that crutch. I promise you. It’s all there. I know it. I’ve seen it. You just need to let yourself breathe and enjoy it.” He slid his hands beneath the bottom edge of her skirt and caressed her ass with light fingertips. “Trust me to take you there. I’ve got you. It’s okay.”

She closed her eyes as the warmth of his touch moved across the silk of her panties and set fire to her senses. His body was so firm against her, his words like a hypnotic song. And his scent—God, it wasn’t fair that a man smelled so goddamned amazing. It was like sex and sin and everything forbidden had been bottled and then rubbed all over him. She wanted to bury her face in the crook of his neck and then lick her way down slowly.

“Tell me yes,” he said, his lips brushing against the sensitive spot behind her ear. “Tell me you want me.”

The last shreds of resistance began to fray. Her arms trailed down from his chest and encircled his waist. The nagging voice that always told her why something was wrong, impractical, or stupid quieted. A new voice, soft and sensual, replaced it—whispering things to her that she would’ve never allowed herself to think before. That pleasure for the sake of pleasure was okay. That she deserved this. That this was right. She buried her forehead against his shoulder and took a deep breath. “I want you. Let’s do this.”

His finger traced the edge of her panties. “Do what, gorgeous?”

She wet her lips. Blood pounded in her ears. “Make love.”

His breath tickled her ear, his voice dark and gritty. “No, Aubrey. Tell me what you really want. Don’t hide behind pretty words. Own what you want.”

She swallowed hard. They both knew that she wasn’t asking for sweet nothings and murmurings of love. There would be time for that one day, when she found her forever person. What she needed right now was pure and carnal, a release from years of holding back. A taste—no, a feast—of the maddeningly sexy Lex Logan. She lifted her head, looked him dead in the eye, and told him exactly what she desired. “I want you to fuck me. Right now.”

His eyes darkened and something she’d never seen there before flashed over his expression—
hunger.
Ravenous and unapologetic. It would’ve scared her if it hadn’t sent desire flooding through her. He lifted her off her feet with one swift motion. She wrapped her legs around him and hooked her arms behind his neck, her mind whirling from the realization that this was actually happening. With ease, he carried her to the worn suede couch Nick used for guests and laid her on it. He didn’t give her time to second-guess anything. Their lips met first—a breathless, urgent claiming that had her grappling for him. She couldn’t figure out where she wanted to put her hands first. But soon she didn’t have to worry about it. His body molded against hers as he sank onto the couch with her—hard against soft, the delicious feel of him pushing away any lingering uncertainties. This would be good. This would be worth it.

His tongue, hot and sweet, explored her mouth, the line of her jaw, her throat. Each place his lips touched turned flushed and sensitive. Every part of her needed, begged. She arched into him, nestling the steel of his erection against the throbbing between her thighs. She wanted to cry out with the force of all that desire but fought to stay quiet. Her fingers fumbled with the buckle of his belt. Clumsy and desperate. Not willing to take her time. Scared that she would back out if she let herself think too much.

“Not yet,” he whispered, a smile touching his voice. “I’ve been thinking about this since the moment I met you. I don’t want to rush it.”

She resisted the urge to fight him on that. “You have too many clothes on.”

“Mmm, a bossy side. I like it.” He sat up a little and tugged off his shirt, providing an eyeful of tightly packed muscle and inked skin for her hungry gaze.

Good god, he was pretty. She dragged her nails across his stomach, tracing the deep V of his pelvis. The thick outline in his pants flexed in response. Her hand ran along the length of it, the denim rasping against her fingers. A deep groan escaped his throat, and heat flared in his eyes.

“You don’t listen very well, do you?” he said, the corners of his mouth hinting at a smile. He grabbed her wrists and pinned them above her head. “I said patience, beautiful.”

BOOK: Wanderlust
3.02Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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