During the one intermission we had scheduled for the night, I sat with the band in my office awaiting the time to go back on stage and play. The whole day had been surreal. First, Amilyn admitted she loved me and now I got to jam out with my brothers doing what we did best. I missed this. Performing on stage was great but I missed the chance at getting the ‘family’ together, and now it felt complete with Ami by my side. I couldn’t have asked for a better day.
The girls stormed into my office, let in by the extra bodyguards hired for tonight. They giggled and talked amongst themselves but split up as soon as they entered the door. Nina to JJ, Sienna to Quade, and Chelsea to Brandt. When I looked up and saw Amilyn’s sexy swagger coming my way, I couldn’t believe my luck.
Ami replaced her usual business attire with a pair of jeans to hug her hips and a band t-shirt. One of the throwback kinds that depicted our first tour. Scalpers sold it for cheap outside the club, and she bought it to put a smile on my face, but really, there was no wiping it off. My life took a turn for the better. After Ana, I never thought life could get back to a traditional ‘normal’ way, nor that I would want it to. Bearable yes, but this fucking great? No way. Even with the band hitting stardom years ago and my business taking off soon after, it still didn’t make me feel the way I felt right now. After giving up my biological family for their safety, these guys have been with me through thick and thin and their happiness for me now meant everything.
Ami came in close to me without saying a word. The look on her face told me everything I needed to know. She had been eye-fucking me on the side stage for the last hour and the look of downright lust already made me hard. She bent down and kissed me deeply from where I sat on my office chair and it took heroics not to throw her on the conference table and drill my cock inside her until she screamed my name with an audience around us or not.
It was no small kiss either. Her lips attacked my own as her tongue sought refuge in my mouth tasting me ferociously. Her hands slid through my hair and landed on the back of my neck, and although I was still slick with the sweat of performing live tonight, I did nothing to impede her. The kiss lingered well after I heard Chelsea fervently clearing her throat.
“Christ Amilyn, could you just wait until later?” Chelsea only looked half-joking. “I’m still trying to come to terms with the two of you together.” Chelsea wavered her arms in our direction motioning to the debacle in front of her. Ami laughed into our kiss and finally separated from me to my dismay.
“Chelsea, why didn’t you ever drag me to one of these concerts before? It just might have saved me a shitload of time.” She laughed and looked at Chelsea but didn’t seem to want to leave the enclosure of my arms around her midsection. I didn’t want to get too close with all the sweat dripping off me, but she didn’t seem to mind, and I loved how she wanted to experience this side of me.
“I tried! You were always running off to Europe, too busy to come with me.” Chelsea pouted, but it was all in fun. We both knew things wouldn’t have worked out for us any other way. Ami and I needed to find each other the way we did. If fate stepped in sooner things may not have worked out until we had the time to grow.
Turning my head back to look into her beautiful green eyes I inquired, “You like watching me bang on my drums?” She wore heels, but even with them, there wasn’t much of a height difference from where I sat.
“I would rather you bang me. No wonder you have such impeccable rhythm in the sack.”
A choking cough sounded behind us as Chelsea appeared stricken, “Did I just hear you say that?” I laughed as I watched Ami roll her eyes. I thought I was the only one to make Chelsea blush and sputter in disgust. It seemed Ami had a knack for it as well.
“Oh my God! You two really were made for each other. I would like to think Ryder has rubbed off on you, but I seem to know better. You are both deplorable.” She grinned as she said it and the rest of the group laughed.
“Being with a man with rhythm has its advantages. JJ has a way of strumming his guitar that weakens my knees. No wonder there is a sold-out crowd outside the door.” Nina smirked at Ami and winked as she said it becoming a conspirator to the lewdness to surround our band. Sienna blushed but nodded her agreeance as well.
Seeing Ami and Nina get along gave me an idea. JJ confided in me about Nina’s voyeurism. She liked to watch but since being a respected physician, not to mention them becoming foster parents for Lamar, they calmed things down in that realm. JJ only looked for discrete ways for her to get her fantasies fulfilled and I thought I could make it a win-win for both of us. It wouldn’t be as risky as what we did in Paris. I needed to file the thought away for later as a crew hand came in and gave us the five-minute warning.
“So soon?” Ami whined slightly and it only made my dick jump. I liked having her here. I liked how the guys knew she belonged to me. That she was going home with me and would be with me from now on.
From now on?
When was the last time I let myself hope for a future with a woman as fine as Amilyn? I felt cheated out of a relationship years ago and I couldn’t think of letting it get away from me this time but would I be ready for marriage? Shit, I haven’t even had her stay the night with me. But I realized I wanted it. I wanted her with me for the rest of my life. I haven’t wanted anything this much and that included the band and my businesses.
But what would she think?
She said she would never get married again but, in all reality, she said she didn’t do relationships either and I proved her wrong on that account. I should wait until we were in this longer. We haven’t discussed it at any length yet. She understood the risks in committing to me, insisted I kept up my side venture even, but I needed to know she would be taken care of. I needed to know I could keep her safe, protect her.
JJ and Brandt talked quietly in the corner and I knew what they were discussing. We pulled Quade aside earlier and talked through the situation with him and we were all agreeable. Ami saw the look on my face and followed my gaze over to the guys. She turned back and smiled at me and it made me feel like I was her whole world when she looked at me with those gorgeous eyes.
Pulling her with me we all gathered around Brandt and JJ. “Brandt, we all talked about it. You should do it.” He looked at me and then at Quade before returning his attention to JJ, who also nodded at him to convey his thoughts as well.
A look of incredibility passed over Brandt’s face, “Are you sure?”
“We signed over the rights to all Social Offender songs, ” I said to Chelsea cluing her in. “He can use them for a solo album or tour.”
“And I already have it set for him to record the solo album if he would let me help produce it.” JJ’s usually stoic face had a smile on it. He had been smiling more and more and it was mainly because of Nina. She somehow brought the old JJ back. The one I saw in him before the fame and drugs took over. The good guy who wanted to be part of all of this.
“Don’t forget the musicians he’s got at his disposal.” Quade’s big grin was met with Sienna’s apparent look of admiration to the point he actually blushed.
“Brandt you’ve got exclusive rights to the songs. Even the last album the record company shelved. Maybe you could remix it with the help of JJ’s record company once you get it out of the clutches of Galeo Records. JJ can produce it, and the rest of us will help get the tracks down so you can go out on your own.”
Chelsea gasped as she turned to Brandt, “This... This is great.” Her excitement was contagious but Brandt still had a weary look on his face.
“Chelsea we just got back together and another album, even a solo album, would need a tour. Being a solo act requires more of my time than being a fourth of a band and--”
She cut him off as she jumped in his arms. “Brandt this is exactly what you need! To be out on the road. You love the thrill of the audience and getting to perform for your fans. This is your calling, your dream.” She didn’t need to elaborate. Brandt was always the performer. He made the band a legend and needed an audience to play for as much as he needed air. It didn’t make it less hard on him though.
“But the kids... And you are thinking about going back to work...”
“We’ll make it work. The kids understand how important this is to you. Please, Brandt. I have only wanted you to follow your heart.” She cupped his face and all his focus turned to her as she continued, “You live for your family, but your first love is music. You gave it up to be with us but it is time you get back to it. Believe me, we will make it work.”
He gathered Chelsea close to him and rested his forehead on hers letting out a big sigh as he deliberated on the offer. She had seen through him. Hell, she knew him better than he knew himself. He loved her enough to give it up, always would, but denied how much it affected him and I only hoped he would give in now.
“Okay but on one condition.” His eyes were smiling when he looked around the room at us all.
“We tour together next summer.” His whole face lit up as he insisted, “I don’t care if it is hitting a couple of festivals around the immediate area or going on a full-fledged tour, but I want a chance to make our fans remember why we were the best fucking rock and roll band to ever hit a stage.” He focused on each of us one at a time as he said it. One by one he received a smile back and a nod, and then we all let out a whoop and a ‘hell yeah.’
It shouldn’t be hard. We had at least six months to come up with a plan. And the best thing of all? Ami would be with me all the way. I could tell by the way she nodded in my direction. She was all in, and I couldn’t be happier.
“Fuck yeah!” Quade came in and wrapped his arm around JJ pulling him over to me as Brandt made his way over.
JJ had a way of summing it up, “Fuckin’ A! We should do like old times and trash the place.”
He only said it to fuck with me and I gave him a quick glare but couldn’t let him get the last word, “Yeah, let’s get the cops here. You know the saying...”
We all finished together, “All PR is good PR!”
The laughter took us over in the small room until the roadie came in and ended our break, mentioning how the crowd was getting anxious. I looked around and sighed knowing how bad I needed this. I needed this closeness and the love of a good woman, and the feel of solidarity to help me reach the pinnacle of well-being.
Yes, we had our own lives, but we seemed to make it back to each other when we needed it. I couldn’t wait to tour again next summer and would start as soon as tomorrow to make plans knowing Connor would need to be involved if only covertly. My dragons may have all been slain but I had to be sure we would all be safe going around the states.
Besides, now I had a woman to bring into the strip clubs with me. I didn’t doubt she had the balls to do it either.
As we all got up and made our way to the door it was as if the air appeared clearer around us.
“You can all go to the VIP section if you want.” I had the area cordoned off for the women, but they were having fun at side stage.
“No, we decided to watch from the crowd for the rest of the night. I like watching my man up close.” Ami looked seductively at me and the use of the words, ‘my man’ made my pants a little tighter. Fuck, I loved hearing those words.
The women all took their time leaving their men to go out into the crowd. I couldn’t help but watch Ami’s ass in her jeans as she strolled out in front of me. By the time we got back to the stage, the cheering intensified and the women split to make it to the front before we started.
Climbing behind my drum kit, I could see her off to the left. After we got situated behind our gear, Brandt called out our next song. It was a song off of the album that never made it to the airwaves and consisted of a fun mix of old-fashioned rock and a newer style of blues. JJ had picked up on it quick and added his own flair missing from it. The best part of the song was the drum solo in the beginning. The song fucking rocked and the heavy beat only added to my good mood as my muscles worked harder than ever to keep up.
With the crowd getting into the song even though it was unknown, I kept watching Ami as I played. She danced with the other women in the front of the stage and looked so sexy grinding her hips to the beat of my drums. The faster I went, the more hip action she gave me.
It wasn’t until closer to the end of the song I noticed her eyebrows dipping into a frown. A guy behind her crowded her, and she didn’t look too enthused about it. The first time she turned and gave him a stern look and some heated words I caught the attention of our main security officer. He nodded and slowly pushed through the thick array of fans from the other side of the club.
Before he could get to Ami, I saw the guy’s hands make their way to her ass. Nothing short of a nuclear meltdown would suddenly prevent me from explaining to this douch bag that he was not to ever touch her again. The drumsticks flew as I jumped from behind my drum kit. “The lady said no!” An immediate hush centered over the crowd as all music ceased playing and I jumped into the audience at Ami’s feet.
Before my toes even hit the floor I noticed the jerk laying on the ground and cupping his groin. “Ryder? What the fuck?” Ami looked up at me quizzically, as if she had no idea why I would run to her defense.
“Ami...” I was breathing heavily with the adrenaline running through my veins.
She just stared up at me and smirked, “Did you really think I couldn’t handle myself?”
The security officer finally reached the area we were standing, and with the help of a bodyguard, got the asshole to his feet. Huh? I guess she really could take care of herself. It didn’t mean I wouldn’t defend her until my dying day though.
“Take him out front and make sure everyone gets a good look at him. He isn’t allowed back in any of my clubs. Ever.” The bouncer nodded my way as I turned back to Ami. I hated to admit how impressed I was.
“Ryder Jurdaine, you really need to trust me to deal with this shit.” She called me on it. She was a hell of a woman and not in the least the timid, anxiety-ridden type I needed to protect. It didn’t make me want to keep her safety a top priority any less, but I realized she could certainly hold her own, maybe only one of a few who could accept my unlawful business and still encourage it without any hesitation.
“Marry me.” It came out of my mouth before I could stop it. It wasn’t a conscious decision but it also wasn’t wrong.
She stared up at me dumbfounded. Although a little flabbergasted on my end as well, I always felt it a win for me when I got her speechless. We stared at each other as the surrounding crowd seemed to ooh and aah.
“We... We haven’t even...” She didn’t finish although thoughts were filling my head. We haven’t even woken up in each other’s arms. We haven’t even dealt with the day-to-day of living together in the same house. We haven’t even talked about a future and what it would look like. But none of it mattered since I had no doubt she was meant for me.
Ami’s back straightened and she smiled slowly. “I should say no but when did I ever do anything with thinking it through?”
I thought I knew what it meant, but I needed the words, “Does that mean...”
Ami jumped in my arms and wrapped her legs around my waist as I held her crotch to my hardening midsection. “Yes!” She smiled the most beautiful smile and kissed me like it was the only thing she had ever wanted to do.
Absently I could hear Chelsea and the rest of the women gushing behind us as well as the guys cheering from the stage. The crowd erupted, and the whole club felt electric around us. We kissed. The kiss grew long and steeped with a promise. The promise to love each other forever.
Setting her down I took the time to brush her cheek with my thumb, tracing her hidden freckles only I knew were there. She grinned up at me with love in her eyes, “Now go and finish this concert so I can take you home and fuck you.”
Only Chelsea’s groan could be heard above the cheering