Strung

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Chapter 10. - Reaction

“Another drink?” Jesse offered, as a waitress passed us by, wearing a top that could best be described as a string, rather than an actual shirt. I noted that Jesse’s eyes followed her a little too long as she headed back to the bar to grab my third glass of champagne. “Are you a lightweight?”

I chuckled. “Doesn’t matter now, does it? I’m already a few glasses in.” And my head was already feeling fuzzy… But I didn’t tell him that. Jesse, funny, kind Jesse, was still a rockstar, and probably used to drinking. And perhaps more…

He nodded. “Good point.”

The waitress returned with our next round of drinks, and Jesse proceeded to ask me more about myself. The more I drank, the more willingly I shared with the embarrassing details about my life – like the fact that I have in fact painted most of the band naked, with the exception of Brian.

“Did you make my cock big? Because it is.” He said seriously, but then we both erupted in a fit of laughter – me in giggles, and him just chuckling along with my snorts.

“You can’t see it. I try to twist bodies in a way that it’s covered. But your butt is exposed in one.”

He wiggled his brows. “Did you look up pictures of my ass to help make it realistic.”

I shook my head. “No, Brad Pitt from Troy is my inspiration for every naked man-ass I’ve ever painted or drew.” Then, I slapped my hand over my mouth. “You’re not supposed to know these things!”

Jesse laughed. “I think you’re hilarious. And blinking substantially less now that I got you a bit tipsy.” He threw his head back, and emptied the contents of his glass. “Are you ready to dance?”

I glanced at the couch area behind me, where Lukas LaBelle was sitting, with both arms on the back rest, and a horde of pretty women on each side of him. The girls varied from celebrities, to actresses, to even a famous dancer – and they all seemed to be vying for his attention.

I swallowed as our eyes met from across the terrace. I couldn’t see the color from this far away in this lighting, but I imagined it to be a deeper shade of brown now – full of questions, assumptions and promises.

I tore my gaze away from him, just to catch Jesse smirking at me. “Don’t worry. He’ll come.”

“How do you kno-“ But he was already yanking me away from the railing. I only had enough time to set my glass down, so I could clutch onto him with both hands as he dragged me down the stairs. I was praying to whoever was listening that he would be strong enough to hold both of us up when my shoes would catch, and I would go tumbling down face first.

The bouncers at the bottom of the stairs stepped out of the way, and Jesse pulled us into the floor. We navigated between sweaty, grinding bodies, bumping into several people, until we got right in front of the DJ. Jesse raised his hand, and the man on the podium leaned over to give him a fist bump.

The song changed from an upbeat dance number, to a naughty rap song about wanting to fuck. Jesse swirled me around so my back was to him. Both of his hands gripped my hips, and he started moving me to the music.

To his credit, as scandalous as the move probably looked from far away, he kept a respectable distance between our bodies. And by respectable, I meant that his manly parts did not press up against, and all over my ass. “Relax.” He leaned closer, the music much louder here, he had to yell directly into my ear for me to hear. “Act like you’re having fun, baby. This is a good song!”

I closed my eyes. I wasn’t much of a dancer, but for this kind of music, I didn’t need to be. Unsurprisingly, Jesse had excellent rhythm, and his hands were steady on my hips, guiding me from side to side to the beat. After a few counts, I was moving on my own, enjoying the feel of the heavy thump coming from the speaker, running down my body.

I raised my hands, and Jesse pushed closer. My hands landed around his neck, his head bent closer to my ear. “He’s watching.” He yelled, and I didn’t have to ask who he was talking about.

I felt two other hands on my waist, and opening my eyes, I saw my best friend stepping closer to me, grinning. “You look like you’re having fun!” Callie screamed over the music, joining our little group, moving in synch with the music and our duo.

Callie must have been down here for a while now, because a light sheen of sweat was glistening on her tan skin. For a moment, I felt bad that I dragged her out here tonight, and just abandoned her.

Then I remembered who she was, as a very famous, very Troy Brad Pitt-like actor stepped up behind her, sneaking his big hands around her body. She winked at me, before turning in his grasp, and letting him pull her closer.

“Your friend sure knows how to have a good time!” Jesse laughed, and I felt the tremor run through my body, as well.

The hair stood up on my neck, my skin tingling as a tall shadow towered over me. “My turn.” I heard him say, and with an encouraging squeeze on my hips, Jesse was gone.

The man who took his spot behind me had callouses on his long fingers. I felt the roughened skin slide over my exposed waist. Goose bumps followed its path.

“I can’t decide if you’re playing us both, or if my mate is helping you play me.” The first thing that I noted was that Lukas LaBelle had great rhythm too. Which of course, made sense, since he was a musician. The next thing I noted was that he left more space between us than Jesse had done, and I wasn’t sure if it was out of respect, or something else.

But I knew I didn’t like it.

So instead, I turned in his hold, and sneaked my arms around his neck. Lukas was taller than Jesse, but not as broad. He was muscular in a lean way, and I knew he had an eight-pack under his fitted beige shirt.

“I’m playing you both.” I replied, fluttering my eyelashes up at him.

He chuckled. “How much did you have to drink?”

Not enough, I thought, as I felt his big hands slide lower over my sides, and settled on the outside of my hips, his fingertips rubbing against my butt. I had the sudden urge to close the distance between us, and grind on this man like there weren’t hundreds of people around us.

His lips twitched slightly as he fought a smile, his gaze dropping lower to glance between us. I, on the other hand, couldn’t take my eyes off of his handsome face. That chiseled jaw line, those perfectly elegant cheekbones… That small, but defined nose. His angles should have made him harsh, but they were complimented by his soft, plush mouth, and covered by golden skin.

He was full of extraordinary contradictions, that made him beautiful to me.

“Actually, I think you’re too cute and innocent to be playing games.” He said in a lowered voice. “Which makes it so much harder…”

My heart was beating out of my chest, and I was too scared to glance down to make sure it wasn’t hammering against my ribcage. I was pretty sure he could see it speeding out of me, hammering a mile a minute. “Makes what harder?” I breathed.

His golden gaze rose to meet mine. “To resist corrupting you.”

My breath caught, and all I could do was stare at him. My body broke out in cold sweat, and I wasn’t sure if his words frightened me, or aroused me. Perhaps, a little bit of both.

“Who says I haven’t been corrupted?” I managed to choke out, hoping to save a bit of my dignity.

Lukas smiled warmly. “That little blush on your cheeks.”

So that answered my earlier unasked question about whether or not he could see me blushing under all my makeup. Sadly, he definitely could.

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