One Year Ago
The concert had been over hours ago, but the band still had another thirty minutes of meeting fans. I tried not to let my irritation at the ten women and five men still standing in line show on my face as I continued to do my job.
I just wanted everyone to leave, so that I could wrap this night up and go out with Devlin. That wasn’t asking too much, was it? To get to spend a little time with my boyfriend, doing what normal couples do rather than having to share him with his fans? Well, I didn’t think it was asking very much.
For the last few days we hadn’t even had a few minutes alone, and it was about to drive me crazy. I couldn’t even kiss the man I loved without having someone pop up on us on the bus, or climb into bed with him at night without something coming up to keep me out of his arms.
I was starting to think that fate didn’t want me and Dev together. But that was ridiculous. It had taken us a long time to get to the place we are now, with us loving each other rather than fighting our feelings. I was happy, and there wasn’t anything on the planet that would keep me from being with Devlin Cutter.
Without even realizing what I was doing, I stopped and my eyes sought out the man in question. He was sitting down at his table while the fans made their way from Axton’s, then to Wroth’s, Zander’s, Liam’s and ending at his. He was smiling up at some guy who was talking a mile a minute. That smile was one of my favorite sights in the world, the way his aquamarine eyes crinkled at the edges and his three-day-old beard hid the dimples that I was such a sucker for. His even, white teeth stood out against his dark tan complexion and made me want to kiss him to see if he still tasted like the toothpaste he’d used before taking the stage earlier that night. My heart melted along with another part of my anatomy when I saw that smile.
“It’s weird that one of my best friend’s sister is dating my dad,” Harris complained as he stopped beside me.
I turned to frown down at him, trying to figure out if he was teasing me or if he was serious. He’d always found something to tease me about over the last few years. He was good friends with my little sister, Jenna, and I’d always had a soft spot for Harris despite the fact that I’d seemed to always be in love with his father from the moment I’d laid eyes on him. But this was a serious matter. If he really thought that it was weird that I was dating his dad, then I wanted to deal with it now.
Harris grinned up at me, reminding me so much of his father that it was hard not to love this kid as if he were my own. Yeah, now that was the weird part. I was twenty-two years old to his fifteen. That was extremely weird to me. “Relax, Nat. I’m just messing with you. I think it’s kind of cool that you are with Dad. He’s smiled a lot more in the last few weeks than I’ve seen him smile in a long time.”
Relief washed over me and I punched him in the arm. “You are such a punk, you know that?”
“Yeah. You tell me that on a daily basis. But you love me anyway.”
“Sadly enough, that’s true.” I punched him again and forced my attention back to the job at hand. I still had things to do so that I could leave when Devlin was finished. “I’ve got stuff to do; wanna help me?”
“You mean work when I could go back to the hotel, order room service and watch newly released movies?” Harris raised a brow at me like I was crazy for even asking such a question. “Yeah, sure, why not? I can help you out, earn brownie points with your sister, and make my dad think that I’m a good kid all at once.”
“Brownie points with Jenna?” I questioned as I led him back toward the stage the band had performed on earlier that night. “Why would you need to earn—?” I broke off when I realized why he would want to. “My sister will never like you like that, Harris.” There were plenty of reasons why I didn’t think that Harris and my sister would be anything other than friends. But the major one was the only one that I needed to know that Harris was wasting his time on Jenna.
My sister had realized when she was fourteen that she wasn’t into guys. Plain and simple. Of course, I was the only one who knew that little piece of information, because Jenna thought our mother would freak out at having a lesbian for a daughter. Jenna wasn’t wrong. Stella Stevenson would probably disown her youngest daughter if she ever found out about her gender preference.
Our mother was a total bitch like that. I hadn’t always thought that way, of course. When you’re a kid you don’t notice the things adults would about someone. It had taken Jenna, however, to open my eyes to our parent’s small-minded bitchiness. When Jenna had run away to find our brothers because she was tired of our mother putting Drake down when Jenna would watch America’s Rocker every week and gush that one of the judges was her brother, I’d seriously opened my eyes.
It was then that I’d realized that my brothers had never been the bad guys, and had their reasons for not wanting a relationship with my dad or me when their own mother had died. It had all been my mother’s doing, and I couldn’t blame Drake and Shane for turning their backs on my dad and me when my mother had forced our dad to turn his back on them when they had needed him so desperately.
With Harris helping me, it still took more than forty minutes to finish up all the after-show things that needed my attention so that I wouldn’t be as busy the next night. When we were finally finished, I gave the fifteen-year-old a hug and told him to head on back to the hotel. Harris yawned and nodded. “I’m beat. Have fun with Dad.” He grinned, flashing those damn dimples of his that were identical to his father’s and, with a wink, left.
Laughing, I watched him walk away before I shook my head and lowered my gaze back to the list I had in my hands, making sure I hadn’t forgotten anything. I was so lost in thought, my eyes critical on the long list in front of me, that I didn’t hear footsteps until a pair of strong arms wrapped around my waist from behind.
Devlin nuzzled my hair aside with his nose and placed an open-mouthed kiss against the sensitive flesh just under my left ear. “Miss me?”
The mere sound of his deep voice made me shiver and I rocked my hips back against him, delighted at the feel of his hardness growing against my ass. “More than you will ever know,” I assured him as I dropped my clipboard on the ground without caring if I’d finished everything on the list or not. Turning in his arms, I wrapped my own around his neck, letting my eyes drink in the sight of his beautiful face before brushing my lips over his in a teasingly soft kiss.