The bright neon lights of Fifth Avenue Club came into view as Brandon and I left campus grounds and waited for the pedestrian light to allow us to cross. People lined the sidewalk in front of the bar, clearly hoping they could get into the club when they probably had a slim chance. Not just anyone could get into the club on a busy Friday night. Luckily for me, Brandon worked there and he had VIP status.
My nerves were all over the place and the beeping sound of the pedestrian crossing light only made my heart race harder. I hadn’t seen Hayden Lee since high school and I wondered if he would even care that I came tonight. We were best friends and inseparable since grade school and many people thought we’d eventually end up together. It wasn’t that I didn’t want Hayden in that way, it was just that I didn’t want to ruin our friendship. He asked me to ditch college and join him on the road with his band, but I couldn’t. Harsh words were shared between the two of us and we hadn’t spoken since.
The moment I saw the event poster on the brick wall of Fifth Avenue for Hayden’s band, I knew in my heart that I needed to come tonight and try to mend the friendship that I missed so much. I hadn’t been able to stop thinking about him and wondered if I still meant the same to him.
“Brandon!” The big, bodybuilder looking guy at the rope waved us over.
“Jeez, take it easy on the ’roids, am I right?” I joked so only Brandon could hear me.
He choked back a laugh and approached the guy who seriously looked like he was on more steroids than a cow going in for butchering. Veins bulged from nearly every visible surface of skin and his neck was the size of my thigh.
“Got any room in the club for me and my girl tonight?”
The bouncer scanned his eyes appreciatively over my body before he winked and unhooked the red velvet rope. I tugged at my little black leather jacket and scurried up behind Brandon as he led the way inside.
I didn’t mind being checked out from time to time but that guy gave me the serious creeps. If Brandon hadn’t agreed to come with me, I probably wouldn’t have come at all. It wasn’t like me to go out drinking and I’d never go alone.
“So why is it so important that we come here tonight?” Brandon shouted over the rock music that blared through the club.
“To see an old friend of mine,” I shouted back.
I hadn’t told Brandon much about Hayden, knowing he’d go into protective mode and tell me to forget about the guy. Brandon and I met during freshman year and instantly hit it off. He was almost a replacement for Hayden’s place in my life, whether I liked to admit that or not. I always got along with guys more than girls so it didn’t surprise me that my first friend at college was a dude.
Brandon was a pretty-boy and not my type at all, but we often played a couple when we went to parties or bars. We always had each other’s back and tonight was no different. I needed him more than ever and hoped he’d understand why.
“Okay? So where is this old friend of yours?”
Just as Brandon asked, the club lights dimmed and the pounding of a steady drum beat filled the club before the crowd went mad. I turned and stared at the stage as a single beaming light illuminated the guy at the mic: Hayden Lee.
His eyes were closed as both hands grasped the mic and then he began to sing. A deep, raspy voice filled the room as the crowd quieted to hear his words. They were sad lyrics of loss and pain and I found that I couldn’t pull my gaze from him.
Three years apart made him a stranger to me as I took in his appearance. The boy I knew no longer existed behind all black attire straight out of a rockstar’s magazine. His hair was much shorter than I remembered and his bare arms and neck were covered in tattoos. The urge to trace each one as we laid naked in bed together was strong.
Whoa, whoa, whoa! Those were dangerous thoughts that I’d never had over Hayden before. What had gotten into me?!
A smoking hot boy turned into a sexy man, that’s what.
“He’s up there,” I finally replied to Brandon’s question.
He stared open mouthed at the stage before he blew out a whistle and shook his head.
“That’s who you’re here to see?”
I nodded as my mouth instantly ran dry. It had felt like forever since I’d last seen him and now that I had, I didn’t know if I had the guts to speak to him.
The song broke into hardcore metal as Hayden’s death scream shook the building and the crowd went berserk. I normally wasn’t into music like this, but it was actually really good. It sounded like Slayer and I Prevail had a baby, and I liked it. A lot.
My eyes were glued to Hayden’s every movement as he moved and jumped around the stage, screaming his lungs out into the mic before the song mellowed out again. The sounds of shrieking women didn’t go unnoticed as my eyes moved to the front row. They were all screaming and reaching out for him as he winked down at them.
I guess things never changed, huh? He was always a ladies-man and loved to flirt like it was his day job. A moment of pure jealousy raced through my veins before I shut it down. Where these dangerous thoughts were coming from was beside me. I’d always been attracted to Hayden, but I never allowed it to go any further. Now I questioned why I hadn’t pounced when I had the chance.
“Is he an old boyfriend or something?” Brandon asked and I didn’t miss the tone of curiosity and jealousy there.
Brandon hadn’t shown any romantic interest in me during our three years of friendship. We were pretty inseparable but he never made me feel like he wanted me in that way. Hayden, on the other hand, made me question our friendship on a daily basis. If he wasn’t making jokes about getting into my pants, he was making them about what our babies would look like. It was all very confusing.
“No, just a really good friend that I haven’t seen since high school.”
Turning, Brandon waved down the bartender and ordered a few beers. My eyes were still glued to Hayden on the stage and I was glad to be back here in the shadows where he couldn’t easily point me out. I wasn’t ready to confront him yet and needed a bit of liquid courage before doing so.
Several songs and a few beers later, Hayden and his band left the stage before a filler band came on to play in their absence. I knew this was the perfect time to make my way backstage to find him, but I was still too nervous even after a few drinks. Maybe I couldn’t do this at all. It was stupid of me to come tonight, wasn’t it?
“We just going to sit here all night or…?” Brandon asked as he nudged me.
I had almost forgotten that he was there. Sitting here all night actually sounded way better than hunting Hayden down and trying to apologize, hoping he’d forgive me so we could mend the friendship I missed more than anything.
“No, I’ll be back in a minute.” I slammed the last of my beer down before I slid from the bar stool and headed toward the stage.
There were no bouncers keeping anyone from slipping behind the black curtains so I made my way through effortlessly. The back was exactly how you’d imagine it. People milled around like chickens with their heads cut off, musicians lined the tight hallway with guitars or drumsticks in their hands, and beautiful women waited their turn to be noticed by said musicians.
I almost fit in as I searched for the familiar face I hadn’t seen up close for over three years. My attire made me look like a groupie and I instantly wanted to tuck my tail and run. Why I decided to wear my tightest black dress tonight paired with an equally tight leather jacket that left nothing to the imagination was beside me.
“Hey, what are you doing out here all alone?”
I spun around and came face to face with a very attractive guy in black ripped jeans and a leather jacket with no shirt beneath it. His long dark hair was currently pulled back into a man-bun at the base of his skull, and I instantly imagined what it would be like to see it down before I stuck my hands in it.
“I, um, was looking for, um-” I stuttered over my words like a damn fool and the hot guy was clearly judging me by his expression.
He chuckled. “Who ya looking for, sweetheart?”
“Hayden Lee,” I burst out before I couldn’t.
His brows shot up in surprise before he shook his head. “Such a shame. They’re always looking for the lead singer. I was hoping the ladies would realize the drummer is where it’s at.” He held up his hands and winked at me. “We’ve got very strong hands.”
I nearly choked on my spit as my eyes widened. His hands did look extremely strong and thoughts of him grabbing my throat as he pounded into me were relentless. I seriously needed help. I was a virgin, these thoughts shouldn’t be invading my mind.
“Hayden! We’ve got a groupie out here for ya, brother!” The hot drummer shouted.
I flinched as I shook my head.
“No, I’m not a-”
“Is she hot?!” A familiar deep, raspy voice shouted back.
“Smokin’!” The drummer stated as his eyes slid appreciatively down my body.
If I weren’t here for Hayden and my nerves weren’t all over the place, I would have been flattered.
Hayden came out of the room laughing but as soon as he saw me, his smile faded to a scowl. He looked as if he had seen a ghost and froze in his spot. The look of surprise in his gaze quickly melted into anger before he crossed his arms over his chest and leaned against the door frame.
“Hi Hayden,” I replied shyly.
Seeing him up close nearly took my breath away. His sharp jaw was clean-shaven to the skin, but I could see traces of growth that would make the perfect five o’clock shadow. Two tattoos were on each side of his neck, disappearing into his shirt and also reached up to his jaw. His dark, almost black eyes were the same as I always remembered, piercing into my soul.
“Well, I’ll be damned.” He pushed away from the door and stalked right up to me, getting in my personal space before he circled me. “Are you lost, Simone? Because this train left three years ago and isn’t taking on any new passengers.”
I scoffed. Leave it to him to still be this cocky ass wipe. Things never change, do they?
“I’m not looking for a ticket. Maybe a refund? I think you owe me that much.”
The drummer blew out a whistle and held his hands up before he walked away. He clearly didn’t want to be in the middle of this and he was wise for ditching out. Hayden could be a real drama queen and I knew this wasn’t going to be easy.
Hayden guffawed as he threw his head back, and my eyes went straight to his Adam’s apple. Fuck, what I wouldn’t give to lick and kiss that before I trailed up to his ear. No! Focus, Simone!
“Owe you? I’m pretty sure you have it backwards, babe.”
He leaned back up against the door frame as his eyes took me in. I could almost feel the burning sensation on my skin from his gaze. Did he like what he saw? I wasn’t the same Simone from high school and he was getting a little peep show as we spoke.
“The way I remember it was-”
“You told me to get bent and that you never wanted to see me again,” he cut me off. “Yet here you are.”
The irritation I felt made me want to snap, but that’s what he was expecting. The old Simone would have pitched a bitch fit in front of all these strangers and not gave a damn, but I wasn’t that girl anymore.
“Suit yourself, Hayden. I came to say hi and save face with you, but that-”
“And what makes you think I want to save face?”
“Would you stop cutting me off?! If you would just shut up for five seconds, you’d learn that I came to apologize! Why do you have to be so damn difficult all the time?”
The smirk that tugged at his lips immediately cooled the angry inferno blazing inside of me. There was nothing sexier than Hayden’s smirk and it was clear how much it affected me all these years later; the bastard!
“You’re still sexy when you’re angry.”
I scoffed, crossing my arms over my chest. Was he seriously pulling this old game on me again? This confirmed that things truly never really did change. Hayden Lee would always be the hopeless flirt he always was.
“Don’t patronize me, Hayden. I’ve given you my apology and now I’m leaving.”
I spun on my high heels, whipped my long balayage style hair over my shoulder, and stormed for the door that had a red exit sign above it. Hayden Lee could kiss my ass.
But before I could even make it to the door, a strong hand grabbed my arm and spun me around before I slammed right into his chest. He was harder than I remembered, and when our gazes locked, my heart hammered in my chest. Why did he have to be so good looking? Couldn’t he at least be a little bit ugly so I had a reason to hate him?!
“I would never patronize you, babe. Why don’t we both get some fresh air and cool off, huh?” He nodded toward the exit door behind me.
This was what I was here for, right? I came to talk to Hayden and now I could, so why did I want to tuck tail and run again? Because I knew that just his presence alone could make my brain stop working.
With his hand on the small of my back, he led me through the exit door and into the crisp, autumn air. It stung against my heated flesh and instantly froze me, making me have to tug my jacket close.
The heavy metal stage door slammed shut behind us, making me jump. Hayden leaned against the brick wall and stuck a cigarette in his mouth before he lit it. The orange hue of the flame lit his features up in a magical way and I couldn’t stop from staring at him.
“That habit will kill you,” I pointed out.
He inhaled a deep hit, making the end burn cherry red before he blew it out and shrugged his shoulder.
“As if I care.”
That wasn’t something the Hayden I knew would have said. He always had a smart remark for everything, but this seemed deeper than that. The furrow of his brow and the lack of his famous smirk worried me.
“You okay, Hayd?”
Now the smirk was back and a playful gleam filled his eyes as he took another puff of his smoke.
“I’ve never been better, sweetheart. But you wouldn’t know that, would you?”
Oh, so he wanted to play it like that, did he? I wasn’t the only one who walked away three years ago. He could have tried to fix this between us too, but he didn’t.
“I’m sure your STD report would say otherwise,” I snapped back. He wasn’t the only one who could make shitty remarks.
He blew out the smoke from his lungs with a laugh, shaking his head.
“I can assure you that I don’t have an STD report.” His eyes slid down my body, making my knees weak in the way his gaze burned. “But I can’t say the same for you. Did you finally lose your virginity to a college boy in slacks? Was he any good?”
If he was close enough to slap, he’d feel it for a week. My virginity was none of his business and I didn’t think his vulgar statement deserved a reply so I kept my mouth shut. He definitely wasn’t the Hayden I remembered, so why did I like it?
“No comment, huh? Does that mean little miss perfect still holds her virginity?”
He pushed away from the brick wall and stalked right up to me, pinning me between him and the cold railing at my back. My chest rose and fell as I stared up into his dark gaze, almost waiting for him to lower down and brush his perfectly plump lips against mine.
“Actually, my boyfriend is at the bar right now,” I lied through my teeth, knowing that Brandon was probably still at the bar drinking. He always had my back in this type of situation and knew it wouldn’t be any different now.
Hayden’s single brow cocked up in amusement as he chuckled. “You have a boyfriend? Someone was finally good enough to hold that title?”
I scoffed. “You seem to think I act as if I’m some perfect little princess.”
“You’re not? That’s news to me.”
“As a matter of fact, I’m not. I’ve popped lots of cherries in college, sweetheart.” I mocked him with his own words and the smile on his lips told me that he liked it.
His eyes fell to my cleavage before he placed a hand on my hip, digging into my flesh through the thin fabric of my dress. Every hair on my body stood on end as my mouth parted and several breathy pants came out. I didn’t mean for them to, but his hand on my hip did things to me that were unrecognizable to even me.
“Such a shame,” he whispered before he leaned forward and brushed his lips against my neck. “I would have loved to have been your first; seeing your body shake beneath mine as I sank my cock deep into your sweet, tight pussy while your nails dug into my back. You would have felt what it was like to be with a real man and I’d have never let you go.”
His words in my virgin ears soaked my innocent panties. Even for Hayden, those were the most sultry words he’s ever said to me. He used to joke about us being together and having kids, but he never said things like this to me before. Why did my skin feel like a million needles were poking me? And why did my vagina have a heartbeat? Was this normal?
“You’re nothing but a boy compared to my boyfriend, sweet little Hayden. Would you like to meet him so you can take notes?”
He watched me for the longest moment, digging his fingers harder into my hip before he stepped away from me and took another drag from his cigarette.
“Lead the way, sweetheart.”
Fuck. I didn’t think he’d actually agree to this. Well, here goes nothing.