Persephone

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CHAPTER TEN

“So you liked your room?” I raise an eyebrow as Dexter and I climb the front steps of a slim townhouse downtown. It’s not the nicest neighborhood, but these guys can obviously take care of themselves.

“Very much, yes.” He smiles at me. “Although it’s incredibly sad that you have all of those beauties hanging on the wall and you don’t play them.”

“How do you know I don’t play the guitar?” I pout.

“Put that away or I’ll bite it off,” he warns again, and pokes my lip. I don’t even have time to reply before he continues, “and I know you don’t play because they’re all specifically placed on the wall. They’re too shiny. No real guitarist would be able to keep them up there for long.”

“Are there guitars all over the room now?” I cock my head.

“No, I put them all back.” He grins. “They’ve got fingerprints all over them now, but at least they got loved a little.”

“Have fun nursing your boner all night?”

“Actually shredding out released some of my frustration.” His voice has an edge of huskiness to it, and my heart skips a beat.

I try not to openly drool over his tone and change the subject. “So, what kind of band lets chicks into their sacred jam space?”

“You’re not a normal chick.” He winks at me.

“Well it makes sense, anyway, I know guy bands have this whole ‘vibe’ going on, but who wants to have a sausage party every night?” I shrug. “One thing could lead to another…” I trail off and waggle my eyebrows.

He opens the door and waves me through with a roll of his eyes. “You have a very active imagination.”

“I work from experience, darlin’, you wouldn’t believe some of the weird shit I’ve seen.” I enter the house and take a look around. “Wow.” I blink.

There’s a sitting area right at the door, with a few couches and a coffee table strewn with beer bottles and weed paraphernalia. The carpet is black, the walls grey, and at the back is a glass wall showcasing the jam area.

To my left is a little booth with a glass window, which I assume would be for recording purposes. I glance in to see a massive mixer and a set of headphones.

A house turned recording studio. Sweet, sweet deal!

“Ah, there’s our girl.” A semi-familiar voice says and the guy I recognize as the lead singer steps into the room through a sliding door at the opposite wall to where we’re standing.

Heat creeps up my cheeks. I’m not sure why I’m nervous. Maybe because I’m afraid these guys will want to slaughter me for getting their lead guitarist thrown in jail. I’ve never really cared what people thought of me… but that’s kind of a biggie. These guys are like Dexter’s brothers… if they hate me, it won’t be long before he does too.

And—for some reason—I care about that?

Fuck, I hate being a girl sometimes.

“Seph.” I extend my hand and he shakes it with a warm smile.

“Rage,” he replies, and I raise an eyebrow.

“Don’t bother asking what his real name is, none of us even know.” Dexter speaks up from behind me and moves forward to give his singer a hug. An exceptionally manly hug, but a hug nonetheless.

“Fuck we thought you were screwed, dude.” Rage laughs. “Wouldn’t have been easy jamming through steel bars.” He claps a hand on Dexter’s shoulder and I smile. These guys seem tight.

“Heeey, jailbird.” The guys all start pouring in from the balcony, and I try to remember who is who.

They all greet Dexter, and then I notice a sweet-looking girl slip in through the door and glance at me with massive emerald eyes. She runs up and jumps into my arms with a squeal.

Fuck, I love being a girl sometimes.

“Thank you!” she says, and pulls back to look at me. “Jeez Dexter, you didn’t tell us she was so pretty,” she compliments me and brushes her strawberry locks behind her shoulder.

Fucking redheads, they always sucker me in. Especially when they’re wearing such a tight little black mini dress.

Her cleavage is so perfect, I’m practically diving into it.

“I’m Lily, I belong to the blonde one over there.” She points to who I’m pretty sure is the rhythm guitarist. “He’s Pat.” I give Pat a little wave. I mentally apologize to him due to the fact that I already know his little slice of heaven is going to be writhing against me later.

“That’s Alec,” she says at the bassist, who answers with a nod and a smile, “and Damon.”

Damon I remember as the drummer, and he doesn’t look happy. Perhaps he’s just raring to play, and got sick of waiting for Dexter to show up.

Or, he wants to slaughter me for getting his lead guitarist thrown in jail.

No time to wonder too much, though, because Lily is whisking me off to the recording booth.

“Okay, you guys go jam, we’re going to talk about you, have fun!” She ushers me inside and closes the door behind her.

The room is totally soundproof. The guys saunter across the lounge, talking and cajoling, and Dexter grabs a beer before they walk into the jam space. Lily turns a knob slightly on the mixer and we can hear everything they’re saying.

“They don’t realize how sensitive those mics can be.” She giggles with a twinkle in her eye. “I have a blast in here.”

“So I guess you fall under the ‘cool chicks’ category if you’re allowed here.” I perch myself on one of the two stools.

“Yeah, I’m pretty cool.” She strikes a little pose and I laugh at her flamboyance. She reminds me a little of Kandiss, in the early days of our dating, when she was still fun. “Plus these guys wouldn’t get anything done without me. I record, advertise, keep in touch with their fans, get them gigs, all that shit. That way they can just concentrate on playing and having a good time.”

“Shit, you’re the perfect girlfriend.” I raise an eyebrow.

“I know.” She preens and cranks the volume a little higher.

“-and they can entertain each other while we work,” Pat’s saying, and I hear Dexter practically spit his beer out in a wet guffaw. I try not to laugh. The man knows my libido and motives at this point. I’m sure he’s picked up on the fact that I’d claimed Lily as soon as she walked in the door.

“So, how is everything, then?” Lily interrupts my thoughts and I turn my attention back on her.

“What do you mean?”

“Having Dexter living with you?” She shrugs. “Court? Almost getting raped or killed or whatever that psycho was going to do to you? Anything, really. How are you holding up?”

Is she kidding?

I laugh out loud, and she stares at me quizzically.

“Honey, I don’t need to hold up,” I tell her. “I’ve been up since childhood. What happened at the bar? That was nothing. The only thing that sucks about it is that Dex got busted. Other than that, well, I take shit as it comes at me.”

Lily chews over this for a moment. “I like that.” She nods finally. “I mean, honestly, if that had happened to me, I’d be so fucked up right now.”

I shrug. “They sent us to a violence support group, which was actually more fucked up for the five minutes we were there.”

“Five minutes?” she asks.

“Yeah, Dexter hit a guy in the face and the group leader didn’t want us to come back.” I stretch my arms above my head. “Pretty sweet deal.”

“I’d say.” Lily fidgets on her chair. “So, you fuck him yet?”

I stifle a burst of laughter. “No,” I reply with a half smile. “Not my type.”

“Not your type?” She turns down the volume a bit as the guys start to play so that our conversation isn’t overblown by noise. “Most people would say that Dex is every girl’s type.”

“Yours too?” I inquire.

“Well he’s no Pat, but he’s definitely fuckable.” She giggles as she checks him out through the glass and I resist the urge to slide my hand up her thigh.

My little redheaded slut.

“What was it like, having him save your life?” she asks, a touch of wistfulness in her voice.

“Just another day at the office,” I reply, though that’s a big fat lie. The only person who’s ever really backed me up in any way was Jade, but that doesn’t count because that’s her job. I know she cares about me, but if she wasn’t a cop we would have never gotten to know each other in the first place.

“It’s a wonder you’re not afraid of your own shadow, with all the things that happen to you.” Lily sighs. “But I guess with a bodyguard like that you’ve got no reason to worry.”

“So what’s up with the drummer?” I change the subject, motioning to the still scowling guy behind the kit. “He seems kind of pissed off.”

“Damon.” She rolls her eyes. “He’s always pissed off. He’s a bit of a downer, but he’s a good drummer so they keep him around. He’s always got a problem with something, whatever happens to be in his way or whatever. He’s a chore to talk to.”

“How can he be pissed about me already?” I furrow my brow, feigning worry. “He doesn’t even know me.”

“He’s an asshole,” Lily assures me.

I pretend to look relieved. “Well, the rest of them are nice.”

“And your reputation precedes you.” A light pink dusts her cheeks. “Dex speaks very highly of you.”

“Is that why you neglected to wear panties tonight?” I lower my voice a bit and her blush deepens.

I can always tell by the way a woman sits whether or not she’s got any underwear on. And no, I’m not sharing that secret. That’s one of my many unique talents.

“How do you know I’m not the kind of girl that never wears panties?” She bats her eyelashes at me.

Good line.

“Because you’ve been trying much too hard to hide it.” I lean a little closer to her, and can practically hear her heart pounding. “And does your man know that strange women make you uncontrollably wet?”

She gasps as I ever-so-lightly run my fingers across her thigh. “Not exactly.” She breathes the words.

“Well,” I reply as I slip my hand beneath the hem. “Your secret is safe with me.”

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