Strung

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Chapter 24. - Breathless

The band started to play, starting out with a slower ballad. I was instantly pulled in, amazed by the rich voice of the singer. It was an art form of its own, and the supporting lyrics spoke to me on another level. The song was about a lover, wishing so hard the girl of his dreams would notice him. He adored her with near obsession, but nothing ever seemed enough. The girl eventually moved on, and he was left in pieces.

My stomach tightened at the end, as the singer finished the last few verses.

Lukas leaned closer, his mouth near my ear as he spoke to me in a hushed voice. “What do you think?”

I nodded. “Breathtaking.”

“I agree.”

“Thank you so much for coming out to see us tonight!” The singer said, with a charming smile on his face. He was handsome, early 20s if I had to guess. His hair was a lighter shade of brown, buzzed short on the sides, but kept long on top. He had a nose ring, and another barbell through one of his eyebrows, giving him that rock star edge.

While he introduced the next song, Lukas nibbled on my ear, giving it soft kisses, followed by gentle little bites. The band faded into the background. What they played, or how they sounded no longer registered in my brain. I was completely under the trance of Lukas, and that talented mouth of his.

And I would’ve gladly stayed in that trance, were it not for the two giggling girls right next to me. The back of a shoe probed into my calf, and I yelped with pain, turning to them.

The blonde one was laid over Ash’s lap, with her butt sticking into the air, feet wagging about haphazardly on those dangerous looking heels. Ash’s hand came down on her behind, causing her to giggle, while the other girl tried to shush her. We were in public after all.

But when he righted the girl, the other whined. “Me next! Please, spank me next!”

I felt disgusted just looking at them.

Sure, he was a famous, rich guy, and I supposed he was handsome in his own weight class and style. But the way these women degraded themselves around him was hard to look at.

“Ash!” Lukas let out a low whistle, catching his friend’s attention. When Ash’s black eyes focused on us, Lukas added. “Control them, man!” Ash only winked and bit the brunettes lip, pulling it out so far, I swear I saw some blood.

Ugh.

“He’s not so bad once you get to know him.” Lukas whispered in my ear, seeing my reaction.

I nodded for his sake, but I wasn’t at all convinced. I was a fan – a die-hard fan of the whole band. But being a fan of their music didn’t make like who Ash was. And most importantly, how he treated women.

And men too, as matter of fact.

Lukas’ hand came to rest on my thigh, his fingers moving in slow circles as he drew absentminded patters on my skin. Slowly, the frustration I felt toward his best friend started to fade.

“This is my favorite song.” He told me, as the first few notes of a quicker melody started playing. The singer bobbed his hand back and forth, clearly getting into the song. “This is the first one I’ve heard from them and the one that made me decide we need to have them come on tour with us.”

The lead singer started blurting out the words, his voice clear and hitting every note, as he told a story about a one night stand he’s gotten addicted to. By the end of the song, I found myself singing along with the chorus. Lukas was right. This was a catchy melody – a song that would most likely get picked up by the radio if they were to make it big.

“I love it.” I told him.

And I did. Every word of the song was scandalously appealing – the kind of music that made me want to own a fast convertible and blast this on repeat while the wind blew in my hair. “They’re good.” Ash noted, making the first comprehensible comment of the night.

“This would sound soooo much better if you like.. sang it!” One of the girls cooed, and while her voice repulsed me, I couldn’t exactly disagree with her. Ash was incredibly talented, and if he was good at singing something, it was these sexy, baby-making songs – as Callie would’ve called them.

“You sound better than anyone!” The other girl cheered, her voice dripping with honey.

I rolled my eyes, and turned back to Lukas, trying my best to ignore them. “I think they would be an excellent opener for you guys. Especially with tunes like these – I can only imagine how great they’d sound with the full bass.”

Lukas nodded. “I’ll talk to our label about signing them.”

A few more songs passed in a very similar fashion. With Lukas toying with me, and me continuously getting distracted by the giggling girls and the deep rumbles of laughter from Ash. Finally, he picked three of them up – one under each arm, and one hanging off his back, while the fourth followed, sulking – and started walking out, right in the middle of a song. “Leaving early?” Lukas asked, chuckling.

“They’re good to go!” Came Ash’s reply. “And you know I never say no to good pussy.”

And with that, he was out.

The moment Ash left, it was like a weighted blanket has been lifted off my chest. My entire body relaxed, as we finally had the couch to ourselves. “I can’t blame him really.” Lukas whispered, leaning closer to me as his golden eyes bored into mine. “I can’t wait to get you alone either.”

My cheeks flushed, and I felt my body respond to his insinuation. “But you love this band.” I teased.

“Yes, well-“ He inhaled. “-I like you more.”

My heart squeezed painfully in my chest, and I let myself feel the sensation for a moment. This could be enough, I kept telling myself. His flirty comments, the way he completely ignored the groupies who were clearly eyeing both band members, the way Lukas LaBelle kept coming back and choosing me instead…

This all was turning into precisely what I used to fantasize about, in my teenage bedroom, while hiding away from the real world. I wanted this Lukas – this quiet, private, sensual man, who made the hair stand on end along my spine, and the butterflies in my stomach go haywire.

“Are you insinuating that I’m just like those groupies?” I grinned, teasing him.

Lukas chuckled. “You’re just about the furthest thing from them, Nairobi.”

I batted my lashes at him. “But Lukas…” I whined, making my voice higher to mimic the girls that just left with Ash. “This song would sound like, so much better if you played the guitar! You’re like so talented!”

His lips pulled into a smirk as he leaned closer, his pink tongue darting out to lick the corner of my mouth. “You think you’re just teasing me, but I’m lapping up these compliments.”

I rolled my eyes. “Lord knows your ego doesn’t need it…”

I felt his fingers dig into my sides, tickling me, and I had to clamp my hand over my mouth to keep from laughing too loud. After all, we were still at an acoustic event. “You’re on a roll tonight, aren’t you?”

“Lukas!” I whispered in warning. “You’re going to draw attention to us!”

“Please!” He huffed, but he did pull back slightly. “People have been watching us since the moment we walked in. And if they didn’t notice who was sitting back here, Ash and his girls would’ve taken care of that.”

I swallowed, realizing that he was right. “Should we leave?”

He shook his head. “Only if you want to. I would like to speak to the band during the break.”


It turned out the band wanted to speak to Lukas as well. As soon as they put their instruments down, and announced a half hour recess – which would also serve as the perfect opportunity to mingle – the singer headed straight toward us. “Lukas! So good to have you here!” He extended a hand to him, and Lukas gave it a shake.

“Great set!” Lukas replied, before angling his body toward me. “This is Kade. And this-“ He motioned toward me. “-is my girl, London.”

My heart did that usual flip-flop thing at his words, as Kade extended his hand to me. “Pleasure to meet you. I, of course, know who you are.” He winked, hinting at the media circus that has been following me around, ever since that picture of me on Lukas’ bike came out. “How are you liking the music?”

“It’s incredible! You guys are very talented.”

He nodded in appreciation, before turning back to Lukas. “Come, meet the rest of the guys. Our manager will also probably want to take a picture of you with us – if that’s okay.”

Lukas shrugged. “Fine by me.” And with that, he followed singer, walking on the little pathway that led toward the illuminated stage. Just as he was about to step on, he turned around. “Are you coming, baby?”

I smiled, my insides warming like they always did whenever Lukas LaBelle paid me any attention. I only hesitated for a moment, before rushing on to catch up with him.


The rest of the Chemical Reaction proved to be just as friendly and nice as their singer. Lukas posed for a few photos with the band and promised to get Ash – or another Hazmat member – to do the same next time around.

“I’m sorry, but I think we’re going to bail out on the second half.” Lukas told the band, completely catching me off guard. “My girl here has had a long day.”

Melt.

I nodded, going along with his story, but the truth was that I’ve never been more awake. I didn’t want to miss a single thing that happened around the man that was, and has always been, the center of my universe. I hung onto every word, every one of his gestures or precious thoughts. And sleep wasn’t an option when the alternative was to spend time with him.

Which was exactly why I was looking forward to getting out of here. “Good luck on your next set. You guys are killing it!” I smiled, hugging each member of the band before Lukas pulled me back.

“I’ll have Nikki get in touch with your people Monday.” He said and turned us both around.

Security was waiting for us by the door, and with Lukas’ long, swift strides, we made it through the crowd in no time. People were already beginning to line up to get not only Chemical Reaction’s pictures, but also Lukas’, but he kept his head tucked close to mine and walked us out of there.

“I don’t mind if you want to stop.” I told him in a low voice, referring back to the fans staring after him in longing.

Lukas shook his head. “Not now, Lagos. I want to get you home, and all to myself.”

“Your place or mine?” I smiled up at him, as we slid into the backseat of the darkened SUV.

Lukas grinned back. “Whatever the lady chooses.”

I pretended to think about my reply, and tapped a finger against my chin as I drew out my answer. “Yours will do, I think.” I said finally, dying on the inside to get to see the top floor of his quiet beach home.

“Are you spending the night?”

My brows pulled up in feigned shock. “Is that an invitation?”

Lukas rolled his eyes. “I didn’t realize I needed to invite you, London. We’ve spent the night together, I just assumed that at this point it would be a given unless said otherwise.” When I remained silent, he sighed, leaning closer. His big, calloused hands captured mine, his long fingers spreading over and caressing my skin. “Yes, I would love it if you spent the night with me. Please, stay.”

“Hmm.” I hummed. “I’ll have to check my calendar…” I trailed off, but my face broke out into an earsplitting grin. I couldn’t help myself! Lukas looked so adorable, brooding over the fact that I may have left him hanging.

As if.

“Of course I’ll stay, Lukas.” I reassured, no longer smiling.

The mood shifted in the car, going from playful and teasing, to sensual. My body’s awareness of his quick proximity switched on like a light bulb, and now the air around him seemed to be shimmering. “Was this an okay date for you, London?” His words were soft and low, like he didn’t want to break the spell.

I nodded. “It was perfect.” Just like everything about you – I thought. “But you’ll have to let me plan the next one.”

It was Lukas’ turn to look shocked. “Oh! There’ll be more?”

I rolled my eyes. “There better be!” I chuckled, only half joking.

The tour dates for Hazmat’s next album were coming dangerously close, and I was becoming more and more aware of the little time we had left. I had no idea what would happen after – and if I was honest, it probably would’ve been too painful to know. For now, all I could do was focus on him, and make the best of the time we’ve had left together.

That was, if he allowed me to.


I texted Callie before we pulled up to Lukas’ house, asking her to pack me a little bag of essentials for the next morning. Lukas promised that one of his men would stop by tomorrow, and grab it for me, and until then, I could use his things.

“There are worse things.” I murmured under my breath, obsessed with the idea of borrowing a shirt from Lukas LaBelle to sleep in, or using his towel. And holy fuck! I was going to sleep in his actual bed!

We barely made it through his front door, when I kicked off my shoes, and rushed through his living room, and up the stairs. I was vaguely aware of his laughter, coming from behind me, but I was much more interested in seeing the rest of his home than for him to slow me down.

If the downstairs area of his house was bare and showroom-like, the top was the exact opposite. There were pictures hung on every surface – old Hazmat album covers, photos of the boys from the early days, all the way to today. The hallway had memorabilia from other famous people – like a personally signed card from Mick Jagger or a vintage Beatles pin.

“Holy fuck!” I gasped, glancing around, examining every photo, every framed little surface.

“Make yourself at home!” Lukas teased, standing patiently behind me, and waiting for me to get my fill.

I pointed at the closed doors. “What are these?”

“Guest bathroom.” He nodded towards one. “Two guest rooms.” He pointed at those doors as well. “And my bedroom.”

The words were no sooner past his lips that my hand tightened on the handle, opening the door wide.

His room was enormous. A big, wide open space, with floor to ceiling windows looking out over the dark ocean. Thick, automatic blinds were idling on each side, ready to be pulled in if he so desired some privacy. His bedroom floor was made of a deep, nearly black wood, which switched into stone tiles at the far end. Two steps led to an open tub, positioned in front of the glass wall, and a spacious standing shower was right beside it. There was a double door at the furthest corner, leading to a private toilet area – I supposed – and a giant walk-in closet opened to the other.

“You really like this open concept, huh?” I shook my head, turning in circles as I took in every detail of the place.

The pictures in this room, matching the black furniture, were black and white – including an old, torn up portrait of a young Lukas.

“Like I told you before-“ He started, and I felt him step closer to me. “-I’m here alone. There’s no need for walls or dividers. And I love how everything looks at sunset.”

“I can only imagine.” I whispered.

Lukas’ long arms wound around my waist, pulling me back to his chest. “You don’t have to. You’re welcome to come watch it any time.”

“Lukas…” I trailed off, my voice cracking at the end. I love you – I was screaming at him on the inside, but the words couldn’t make it past my lips. It was too early. Too soon, too little. He was a rock god. A legend!

And I was just a small milestone, lost in the endless road of success that was his life.

“Let’s get you to bed.” He whispered, his lips tickling my earlobe.

I melted into him, like I always did. And that night, we made love, holding onto each other and this moment, and squeezing out every precious second of it until our bodies tired. Lukas’ movements were slow and measured, his hips thrusting against mine just right, touching the inside of me, stroking my most secret walls that only he could reach.

“Fuck…” He groaned, his lids dropping lower over his golden eyes. “It always feels so fucking perfect with you.”

“Then don’t stop!” I begged, my pelvis rising from the bed so I could take him deeper. I wanted more, and again, and then some after.

Lukas discarded the used condom and rolled both of us so I was now on top. I leaned down, our mouths meeting in a passionate kiss as his long fingers laced into my hair, twisting my head just how he wanted it.

I straddled him, grinding against his sculpted body, always needy for more. Nothing was ever enough when it came to Lukas, especially when we were alone.

His lips never left mine as he removed a hand from my hair, and reached into his nightstand, producing another condom. He rolled it on, and lifted me onto his impressive length, and as soon as he filled me, the fact that Lukas has had those packets waiting there, readily by his bed, faded into the back of my mind.

His past didn’t matter. What the future would bring didn’t matter.

All I cared about was here and now, and I would’ve been damned to miss out on a single second of this bliss.

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