Sed squeezed her hand, drawing Myrna’s thoughts from her worries. Funny how none of the things that usual y weighed her down had even crossed her mind since she’d met Brian.
“I don’t real y think you’re a whore, Myrna,” he said. “I don’t even want to bang you.”
She chuckled. “Wow, that hurt.”
“You misunderstand. I respect you. You’re the type of woman who I could… who maybe I could…” He shook his head.
“Tel me about Jessica.”
His eyes narrowed dangerously. “Don’t even say her name.”
Bodies shifted in the bunks.
“Weren’t you just staring at her picture?” She was guessing. Turned out she was right. He took a deep breath and bit his lip. After a moment, he said, “I should have burned it with the others. I just can’t let her go. Not entirely. It’s like the pain keeps her close to me somehow.”
She squeezed his hand. “That’s pretty twisted, Sed.”
He pul ed his hand out of hers and rubbed it over his buzzed, black hair. “Yeah, I know.” He slid out of the booth. “I’m going to bed. I think I can sleep now.”
She was sorry she’d chased him off with her prying. “Good night, Sed.”
“Good night, Professor.”
Myrna left the table and used the tiny bathroom before climbing back into bed with Brian.
“Did you have a nice talk with Sed?” he asked.
“Oh, you’re awake?”
“Did you have a nice talk with Sed?”
“Yeah. He’s feeling pretty low.”
Brian sighed. “I shouldn’t have hit him. I know why he is the way he is. That’s why I can’t hate him no matter how much heartache he causes. I know he’s hurting ten times more than those he hurts.”
She cupped his face between her hands, wishing she could see his expression in the darkness. “You’re wonderful. Do you know that?”
He kissed her gently. “I’m horny again. I do know that.”
“I’l never walk properly again.” She laughed.
“I figure if you can’t walk, you can’t leave my bed.” He kissed her jaw. The side of her neck. “Not ever.”
The sun rose entirely too early. He’d touched her, kissed her, stroked and suckled her skin, tasted her lips, embraced her, for hours, and he’d yet to take possession of her body. At least not in the way she wanted him to. He did possess her though, in a way she’d never meant to happen.
Myrna stood next to her stil -in-one-piece car, which had reached Des Moines a ful hour before the buses. Brian stood before her, plucking absently at a button on her blouse. She stared over his shoulder, finding it difficult to look at him. Every time she did, her heart constricted with anguish.
She hated good-byes. Especial y permanent ones.
She slid a hand into her suit pocket and fingered her business card in indecision. She knew continuing this was a mistake. It would just lead to heartache for both of them. They’d both suffered enough in the past, she decided. She pul ed her empty hand from her pocket. No strings. For the best.
They started to speak at the same time. “I—”
They laughed. Their eyes met. Brian drew her into his arms and kissed her deeply, his embrace tight. Her throat was also tight. Don’t cry, Myrna. Wait until…
She pul ed away. “I had a great time with you.” She hoped she sounded impersonal, not emotional.
“This doesn’t have to be the end.”
She ducked her head and swal owed her tears. “Yeah. It does.”
She kissed his cheek and turned to open the car door. Locked. She struggled with the handle for a moment before realizing the keys were in her hand. Brian stepped closer and took her shoulders in his hands.
She unlocked the door with trembling fingers. Don’t cry. Don’t cry.
She got the door open, but Brian didn’t step away. He hugged her from behind, his arms circling her waist, his chin resting on her shoulder. “Stay,” he whispered. “Please.”
“Then tel me when I can see you again.”
She shook her head vigorously. “Good-bye, Brian.”
She pul ed away from him and climbed into the car. Its familiarity comforted her. She closed the door and started the engine, forcing herself not to look up at him outside her window. She drove off, making sure her face was out of sight before she let the tears fal in hot trails down her face. From her rearview mirror, she glimpsed Brian, hands crammed into the front pockets of his jeans as he stared down at his feet. He took a deep breath, glanced up at her retreating car, and then returned to the tour bus alone.
Trey pounded Brian on the back. “You fucking loser, get off the bus. You aren’t doing anyone any good sitting here drinking by yourself again.”
Brian tossed back the rest of his beer. “Shut up.”
“You know what you need? You need to get laid.”
Trey was probably right. It had been two weeks since his weekend of bliss. It was time to forget about the amazing sex professor and move on.
“Yeah,” Brian said. “I guess so.”
“Sed’s getting a circle suck together. Maybe you should join us.”
Brian rol ed his eyes at Trey. “Is that why you came over here?”
“Wel , you always beat him. And he bet Eric that if he didn’t win, he’d give up sex for a month.”
Brian laughed. Sed didn’t even bother denying his sex addiction. A month? The man would spontaneously combust. “Yeah, I’d like to see that.”
“We’d al like to see that. He figured since you weren’t participating, he’d win for sure.”
“I’m in.” Brian climbed to his feet, staggering slightly.
Trey wrapped Brian’s arm around his shoulders to help him walk. “You’ve got to quit drinking so much.”
“I know.” But it dul ed the pain so nicely.
His alcohol-induced buzz had started to dissipate by the time they entered the other bus.
“Brian’s in,” Trey announced.
Eric leapt from his chair and hugged both guitarists. “Yes!” He glanced over his shoulder at their vocalist. “You’re going down, Sed.”
“I thought we were going down,” one of six women murmured, looking confused.
“No one invited Brian,” Sed protested.
A bombshel blonde in red lipstick shot her hand into the air. “I cal Master Sinclair.”
“Are you chicken, Sed?” Brian asked. “Afraid you’l lose?”
Sed grabbed the nearest girl and urged her to her knees in front of his chair. She reached for his belt buckle. “I’m ready. Are you?”
Brian sat in the captain’s chair next to Sed. The eager blonde knelt before him. She reached for his fly, but he caught her hand.
“Who else is in?” Brian asked.
Eric, Trey and Jace sat next to each other on the leather sofa across from the two captain’s chairs. Two girls got in a scuffle over the privilege to suck off Trey. He put his hand on top of the winner’s head and gave the loser his sucker. She went to sulk in the corner, licking her consolation prize.
“I’l fuck you later, babe. Okay?” Trey cal ed to her.
Beaming, she nodded.
“The first girl to make her guy come gets a backstage pass,” Sed said. “And the last guy to spend his load gets bragging rights.”
“And you can’t have sex for a month,” Eric reminded him.
“That’s only if I lose.”
Zippers released, hard cocks revealed, flavored condoms rol ed in place.
The blonde kneeling before Brian pul ed her hand free of his and opened his pants. She soon discovered that he wasn’t hard at al . His band mates were waiting for him so they could get started. Just the idea of a suck circle usual y had him busting the zipper out of his pants, but the thought of this blonde chick with her candy-red lips around his dick held no appeal. Maybe a different girl? He glanced around the interior of the bus, but none of the congregated women was Myrna. His heart constricted.
“I guess I’m too drunk,” he said. He zipped his pants and shoved the stunned blonde out his way before leaving the bus.
“Brian?” Trey cal ed after him.
“Brian’s out,” Sed said as Brian stepped off the bottom step. “Start.”
Brian walked between the buses and leaned against the back bumper. He didn’t know how long he stood there just breathing. Ten minutes, maybe. He knew the guys would rib him for not being able to get it up, but that wasn’t what was real y bothering him. That woman. Myrna. He couldn’t get her out of his head.
Trey wandered out of the bus a few minutes later. He walked past where Brian was standing, turned around and came to lean against the bus bumper beside him.
“I guess you lost,” Brian said.
“I don’t even try to win. The real prize is having a girl working her damnedest to make you come. Who am I to deny her a backstage pass?”
Brian grinned. “My poor girl didn’t even get the chance to try.”
“You’ve got to cal her,” Trey said.
Trey punched him in the arm. “Myrna, you retard. Cal her.”
“I don’t have her number. Besides, she doesn’t want to see me.” He ducked his head to stare at his boots.
“I don’t believe that for a second,” Trey said. “And you could get her number if you real y wanted to.”
He laughed. “I don’t even know her last name.”
“Where is she from?”
“Kansas City,” he said automatical y, but Trey already knew that. Brian couldn’t stop talking about her, so Trey knew more about Myrna than he could possibly want to know.
“And she’s a professor, so she has to work at a col ege around there.”
“And there are only so many human sexuality professors at those col eges. Maybe one or two at each, right?”
He shrugged. “I guess.”
“Myrna isn’t a very common name. And even if every human sexuality professor in the Kansas City area were named Myrna, you could stil cal them al until you found her.”
“She’l be majorly pissed if I cal her,” Brian said, though hope fluttered through his aching heart.
“So what? If she tel s you off, then maybe you’l get her out of your system, and if she doesn’t, then we’l get to see you happy again. Shit, the whole band is suffering because of this funk you’re in. We need you, you know. You’re our glue.”
Brian sighed loudly. “Al right, I get it. I’l try to find her.”
Trey rubbed his hand vigorously over Brian’s hair until Brian leaned away, his scalp tingling.
“No need. I already have.” Trey handed Brian a piece of paper with a phone number scrawled on it. Lefties and their scarcely legible handwriting. “Here’s her work number. Her home phone is apparently unlisted.”
“How’d you get this?”
“Internet. Her last name is Evans, by the way. Her picture was in the faculty directory.”
Picture? He’d have to check it out later. See if she was as beautiful as he remembered. “When did you do this?”
“About a week ago.”
Brian scowled. “And you wait until now?”
“I thought maybe you’d get over her.”
Brian stared down at the slip of paper. “Now I just have to get up the nerve to have my heart shredded again.”
“Don’t take too long,” Trey said. “I mean seriously. I’ve never seen you like this. Not for this long.”
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