When Bane woke up and felt another head on his chest, his first reaction was to push the skank off himself and holler for Tony, but then he remembered. He looked down and saw Anna draped over him, her arm around his waist and her cheek pressed against his collarbone, and he smiled. Not only did he make love to her last night, but she had begged him to. Last night was the best night he could remember in a very long time, and he hadn't even been drunk. That was probably why he could remember every second. He kissed Anna's hair and slowly slid out from underneath her. She moaned and opened her eyes.
"Where are you going, Bane?" she mumbled, reaching for him.
"Nowhere, baby," he said, placing a kiss on her cheek. "Go back to sleep; it's early."
She nodded and closed her eyes, burrowing into the pillow where his head had just been. He watched her for a moment and then got dressed. He needed to run, but he didn't have the right clothes for it, so he walked out of the house and looked around. The sun was just rising over the eastern horizon, and the sky was clear--not a cloud in it. He took a deep breath and walked down the driveway about two hundred yards until he reached the road that had brought him here. He looked down it both ways and saw a stand of mailboxes to his left and a fairly large street to his right.
"Fuck this," he muttered and ran down the road to his right. He reached the larger street within seconds, and then he again assessed his options. As he stood there trying to decide which direction to take, a car came from his left. "Hmm," he said, "people." He turned left and started to run, grateful that he had chosen to wear tennis shoes and not dress shoes after the show. His jeans hampered him a bit, and his button-down shirt wasn't exactly what one would normally exercise in, but he needed to burn off some energy. He was wired because of what had happened with Anna, and he knew he'd be jumping out of his skin if he didn't run.
After about a mile and a half, running on the road when there was no traffic and switching to the half-dirt, half-grass shoulder when a car came by--which only two did, both coming from in front of him--and after passing a few driveways and houses, he came upon one of the tiniest towns he'd ever seen in his life. Smaller even than the flyspeck in Kentucky he had called home for eighteen years. He was barely breathing hard when he saw a general store in front of him. He headed in that direction and entered to the sound of a bell over the door. The elderly man behind the counter looked up and smiled at him. He had on an orange shirt and blue denim overalls, and when he smiled, Bane noticed that most of his front teeth were missing, but it was still a nice smile.
"May I help you, sir?"
"Just looking for some water," Bane said, moving toward the refrigerator at the back of the store. He grabbed two bottles of water and brought them to the counter. "May I ask you a question, sir?"
"Sure thing," the old man said. "Shoot."
"Where am I?"
The man's eyebrows would have soared into his hairline if he'd had one. "You got amnesia or something, boy?"
Bane grinned. "No, I fell asleep in the car on the way here last night, and the girl who drove me hasn't had a chance to tell me where 'here' is."
"Girl? What girl?"
"Annabelle Fortelli. Do you know her?"
The old man chuckled. "Everyone knows everyone around here, boy. Annabelle's a good girl. Heard she went down to Dallas last night. Something about winning a ticket to a concert." The man's eyes narrowed. "You from Dallas, boy?"
"No, sir. Kentucky. Haven't been back for a long time, though."
The man punched in the price of the waters into an old-fashioned cash register. "How come? That'll be four thirty-five."
Bane shrugged as he pulled out his wallet and gave the man a five. "Been too busy. I've been touring the country with my band."
"Band, eh? You the one she went to see, then?"
"Hmph. Heard that concert was all about people wearing black and makeup, even the males. That the case, boy?"
After handing Bane his change, the old man stuck out his hand. "Name's Elmer Hutchins."
Bane took it and shook it firmly. "Bane Scott, sir. It's nice to meet you."
"You doing anything right now, Bane Scott?"
"No, sir. Why?"
"'Cause old Elmer is bored as hell, and you're a new face. Like to sit and talk for a while? We could play some checkers."
Unable to resist the look of hopefulness on Elmer's face, Bane nodded. "Sure. Why not?" He sat down in one of two chairs by a table that had a checkerboard on it, and Elmer took the other.
"So," Elmer said as he set up the board, "Kentucky, huh? Bet you're from some big city like Louisville."
"No, sir. Slaughters, Kentucky is maybe twice the size of this town." Bane moved the first checker. "Where is here, sir?"
"Forestburg. 'Bout an hour and a half from Dallas."
"An hour and a half? Damn, I must've been tired. I don't even remember falling asleep in the car."
"Tell me 'bout yourself, Bane Scott." Elmer jumped two of Bane's checkers. "What you doing with Annabelle Fortelli?"
Bane couldn't keep a grin off his face. "She showed up to my concert wearing a bright blue shirt. Front row, center stage. I couldn't keep my eyes off her. She's so different than almost everyone who attends my concerts. She's so different than me. I started my band seven years ago, and two years later we got a recording contract. For the last five years, we've been touring the country, writing songs, and performing."
"Drugs? I won't let no one who does drugs be with Annabelle."
"No, sir. Never. Alcohol, yes. Drugs, no." When the old man looked at him skeptically, he frowned. "I know what the tabloids say about rock stars and drugs, but I've never smoked so much as one joint. I don't even smoke cigarettes, sir."
"What kind of alcohol? The hard stuff or beer?"
"Usually a couple of shots before the show and quite a bit after." Bane frowned. "Last night was the first time in years I didn't drink after a show. Of course, the person I was with had something to do with that."
"And how does it feel now?"
The frown quickly became a grin. "Fantastic, sir. I haven't felt this good in a very long time."
"You're young, boy. You shouldn't be drowning your problems in booze. What about women? Are you going to break Annabelle's heart? 'Cause if you are, you'd better hightail it back to Dallas. You'll get the shit beat out of you if you do it around here." At Bane's confused look, Elmer chuckled. "She's kind of the town's mascot. After her folks died, we all kind of adopted her. You hurt her, and you'll have fifty Texas farmers out for your hide, boy."
Bane shook his head. "I have no intention of hurting her, sir, but I may do it unintentionally. I'm supposed to be in Baton Rouge for another show tomorrow." He looked at the board, surprised to see that he only had three checkers left. "I don't want to leave her, but I also don't think she'll agree to come with me." His eyebrows came together. "I think that would hurt me more than her, sir."
"Well, you'll just have to ask her," Elmer said, jumping Bane's last checkers with a smile. "She's really got nothing 'round here to stay for. Her daddy left her a sizeable sum when they died, so she don't have to work, and she's got no family 'round here. When you get back to her place, ask her. You never know what she'll say."
Bane stood up and held out his hand. Elmer took it firmly but just held on tightly. "Thank you for the game, sir. I'll think about what you said."
"You do that, boy. But if she says no, you'll leave it at that, you understand me?"
"Yes, sir. I understand."
"You run into town from her place? I didn't notice no car."
"Yes, sir." Bane shrugged. "It's nothing. I usually run about five miles a day. This was just a light jog."
"Well, take another water with you. The sun is up now, and it's getting hot out there." When Bane reached for his wallet, Elmer shook his hand. "No, it's on me. You're a polite young man, Bane Scott, and Annabelle could do worse, but if she comes back to Forestburg heartbroken, there's no place on God's green earth where you'll be able to hide. You'll be hunted down and taught a lesson about playing with girls' hearts."
"Thank you, sir. I understand what you're saying. I truly don't want to hurt her, but the chances of us making it together are pretty slim. It's just the way it is in my business."
"Well," Elmer said, rubbing his bald head, "look at it this way, boy. If you keep it in your pants, and she is willing to look the other way when women faint at your feet, you might have a shot."
Bane stared at the old man. "How did you know women did that?"
Elmer laughed. "I was young once, you know. Things aren't all that different from when it was the Beatles and Elvis." He shook Bane's hand again. "Best of luck to you, Bane Scott. I mean it."
Nodding once, Bane left the store and headed back toward Anna's house, but this time he ran hard. By the time he covered the mile and a half, he was sweating and breathing rapidly. He opened the door of Anna's house and was only mildly surprised to see her at the kitchen counter. She turned with a smile but then it faded.
"Where did you go, Bane?" she asked, stepping up to him. "Why are you all sweaty?"
He kissed her softly and peeled off his shirt. "I ran into town. I met Elmer Hutchins, and he warned me about breaking your heart." When she frowned, he took her upper arms in his hands. "I don't want to do that, Anna, but we need to talk. After I take a shower. Do you mind?"
"Of course not. There's just the one bathroom, though, and I don't have any products for men."
"That's okay. I'll just smell like you when I'm done." He grinned. "There are worse things." He gave her another kiss and went down the hall to the bathroom. Anna followed him.
"Give me your clothes, Bane," she said. "I'll wash them for you while you shower."
"You sure? I don't mind wearing them back to Dallas the way they are."
"I'm sure. You can't get clean and then put on dirty clothes. Give them here."
Bane smiled and stripped off his shoes, jeans, and briefs. When he was standing there in his skin, Anna studied him with a smile of her own. "There are towels in the cabinet by the sink. Take your time. I'll have breakfast ready when you're done."
"Want to join me?"
"No, thank you, Bane. I already took a shower while you were gone. Now go."
"Yes, ma'am," he answered, but he left the bathroom door unlocked just in case.
When he was done with the shower, he dried himself off and wrapped a towel around his hips. Then he entered the kitchen and smelled bacon.
"Fuck, yes," he groaned, seating himself in one of the chairs. "I love bacon."
Anna glanced over her shoulder at him. "Bacon, eggs, and grits. Hope you're hungry."
"Starving. Especially after last night," he said with a mischievous grin.
Bringing platters and bowls full of food to the table, Anna returned the grin. "Last night was pretty amazing, Bane."
He reached out and pulled her onto his lap so that she was straddling his legs. "It was fucking incredible, baby." He brought his lips to her throat. "Let's do it again."
She laughed, and he felt the vibrations against his mouth. "After breakfast," she said as she disentangled herself from him. She gave him a peck on the lips and laughed again when he frowned and growled at her. "Now, eat, Bane Raimond Scott, before you faint on me."
"I never faint," Bane answered. "I cause others to faint."
"Not me," Anna retorted as she sat down across from him.
"No, not you. At least not yet." He had a smirk on his lips, and she laughed again. "That is a wonderful sound, baby."
"Your laugh. I could get drunk on your laugh alone." He became serious as Anna frowned.
"Speaking of, Bane, I read in the papers that you regularly do drugs in your hotel room after shows. Is that true?"
"No! Don't believe everything you read in the papers, Anna. They know nothing about what happens after my shows. I have never done drugs. Never! No one in my band does drugs. If they did, they'd be gone. I won't stand for it!" Bane was almost yelling, he was so pissed, but he took a deep breath when he saw tears form in Anna's eyes.
"I'm sorry," she whispered. "I didn't mean to make you angry."
He shifted seats so he was sitting next to her and pulled her to himself. "I'm not angry at you, baby. I'm angry at the fucking reporters who have nothing better to do than to print lies about me. They don't know me because I don't give interviews."
She pulled back and stared at him. "Why not?"
"What would I say? 'No, I've never done drugs in my life.' Then they'd print that I was in denial and keep saying shit about me."
"Oh, Bane, I'm sorry. I didn't realize what things must be like for you."
He frowned and pulled his plate in front of him. "I have a question for you, baby, and I want you to think hard before you give me an answer." He looked at Anna and held his breath for a moment. "Would you consider coming on tour with me?"
Her eyes went wide, and then her brow furrowed. "You mean travel with you? Why would you want me to do that?"
"Yes, that's exactly what I mean. And I want you to because last night was the first time I'd made love to a woman in years instead of fucking her. It was also the first time in years I didn't pass out in order to go to sleep. It was nice making love you, Anna--no, it was unbelievable. I want to do it every night and every morning. I want you next to me when I sign autographs, and I want you in the wings when I perform. I want to be able to kiss you senseless during the break in my show and to hold your hand over dinner. I want to be able to fall asleep without drinking myself into a stupor, and I want your face to be the first thing I see when I wake up without a hangover." He sighed heavily and looked down at his uneaten food. "I want you, Anna, and I want you to want me." He looked up at her when she put her hand on his cheek, and he caught his breath at the tears on her face.
"I do want you, Bane, but I don't know if I can handle seeing all those women throwing themselves at you, screaming that they love you, and begging for a night with you."
"Baby, please," he begged, taking her face in his hands and wiping away her tears, "please give it a shot. If you can't do it, I'll understand, and I'll make sure you get back here safe and sound. Please, Anna, please just try. One show. Baton Rouge. If you can't handle it, you'll be on the first plane back here, I promise." When she nodded, he wanted to smile, but instead, he just kissed her softly. "Thank you, baby, thank you." Then he stood up and pulled her to her feet before walking her backward toward her bedroom.
"Bane, what about breakfast?"
"Fuck breakfast," he grunted. "I need you now. We can eat after I make long, sweet love to you." She sighed as his lips covered hers, and he gently laid her on her bed. He dropped the towel and ran his hands over her arms down to her waist. He pulled her T-shirt off and groaned when he revealed naked breasts underneath. "Fuck me, you're so goddamned beautiful, Anna." His hands went to her breasts, and she arched her back as her eyes drifted shut. "Shit!"
Her eyes popped open. "What's wrong?"
"Where's my wallet?"
She grinned. "On the kitchen counter."
He kissed her. "Don't move, baby. I'll be right back." He practically ran to the kitchen and pulled a condom out of his wallet. When he got back to the bedroom, Anna had removed her pants and panties and was lying on the bed, gloriously naked, waiting for him. She crooked her finger at him, and he quickly rolled the condom onto his cock before climbing onto the bed between her legs. He dropped one hand to her clit and rubbed it softly. "Tell me what you want, baby."
Her hands came up to his shoulders, and she lightly scratched his back with her fingernails as she groaned. "Please, Bane, make love to me, please." Her hips came off the bed, and he took his cock in hand, guiding it to her pussy.
"Your wish is my command," he whispered and slid into her, his other hand never stopping on her clit. "Fuck, yes, Anna," he moaned. "You feel so fucking good, baby." He began to move slowly, but when she grunted, he stopped. "Are you all right?"
"Just a little sore," she said with a smile, and he started to pull out of her when she grabbed his ass and held him in. "Don't you fucking dare, Bane Scott!"
He grinned and started pumping his hips. "You've got to tell me if I hurt you, understand?"
"Oh, shit, Bane, it doesn't hurt. Please, go faster!"
Latching onto her breast with his mouth, he happily obliged her and started going faster. He held back, knowing that she would be incredibly sore after this, and kept himself from pounding her like he wanted to. He knew it would take a few days before he was able to make love to her with everything in him, and he wanted it to be pleasurable for her as well as for him. When he felt her walls clench around him, he groaned but held back his climax through sheer force of will.
"Fuck, Bane, yes!" she screamed as her orgasm flowed through her. He rode it out and then pulled out of her. She frowned at him, but he just laid down on the bed and pulled her on top of him.
"Ride me, baby girl. Ride me hard until we both cum." He guided himself back to her slick entrance, and she slowly slid down on him. "Holy fuck, Anna, yes!" he groaned. "You're in charge, baby," he said breathlessly. "Do what feels good to you." She had no idea what she was doing, but she rose up on her knees and slid back down. "Fuck!" Bane grunted, and then she leaned backward until she put her hands on his shins. Then she rose up again and came down harder. "Oh, God!" Again and again, she rode his cock, and he threw his head back against the mattress as his hands went to her hips. His thumbs made unconscious circles in the hollow where her thighs met her hips, and she cried out when he dropped one lower to her clit. "Fuck me, baby," he moaned. "Fuck me hard!" She did. Faster and harder until his hands tightened on her hips, holding her down, and he thrust upward with a primal cry, filling the condom with his cum. At the same time, she threw her head back with a scream and then collapsed forward onto his chest, kissing his sweaty skin over and over again.
"You need another shower," she chuckled. He ran his hands down her slick back and cupped her ass.
"So do you," he said with a grin. "You have a microwave, right?"
"Of course I do."
"Good. First shower, and then breakfast. Then I've got to get back to Dallas. I'm surprised my phone hasn't blown up with calls about where I am."
"Oh, it has," she laughed. "You left it here when you went to town. Texts mostly. I answered them for you."
"You what?" Bane said, pushing up on his elbows. "What did you say? Who were they from?"
"Tony mostly, and I just said that you were busy and would be back this afternoon. You might want to call him, though. He sounded a little pissed in the texts."
Bane laughed and pushed her off him. Then he got off the bed and held out his hand. "Shower first. Then breakfast. Then Tony. He can wait." Anna chuckled as she put her hand in his, and they walked to the bathroom.