Odette sidled in front of Devin. “Way to kill our postshow buzz, huh?”

“Yeah. And we rocked the motherfucking house tonight.”

“I totally agree.” She twisted her fingers—a nervous habit that put him on edge.

“Spit out whatever’s on your mind, little O.”

“Think you and Liberty will be holed up in the back on the private plane tomorrow?”

“Why?”

More finger twisting. “Because I wanna join the mile-high club with Steve. And I wanted to ask before Tay and Jase did.”

“Fine. Whatever. Don’t blame me if the plane doesn’t have a back room. Chartering one this late means we didn’t have much to choose from.”

“Never hurts to be prepared,” she trilled. “What’s up with you and Liberty? Are you guys fighting? You two are practically conjoined, and I didn’t see you together at all today.”

“With all the new changes to the schedule, she’s been busy doin’ personal assistant stuff,” he lied.

“Oh.”

He hated that one-syllable word. The only time a woman used that word in a good connotation was during sex when “Oh” was followed closely by “God.” It annoyed him to have to ask her, “Oh, what?”

“Oh, nothing.”

His second most hated word from women.

He watched Odette flounce off.

Yeah, he wasn’t crazy about that flouncing thing that women did either.

His security guys—he had three tonight—didn’t speak as they herded him out the back door into a waiting car.

Devin let his head fall back and relived the low points of the day, not the high points of the concert like he should have been. Waking alone, groggy and cold and Crash hitting him with all the issues before he’d had a cup of coffee. By the time they’d hashed everything out with the promoters, he needed to leave for the arena. When Liberty walked into the banquet room tonight, that was the first time he’d seen her all day. Now that they’d both cooled down, they could talk.

They pulled up to the back entrance of the building and the concierge led them to the service elevator. This stealth stuff was such a pain in the ass.

By the time Devin reached his far-too-quiet suite, he was on edge. He poured himself a glass of water and wandered to the big window in the dining area, staring at the twinkling lights of Houston.

Then he kicked off his boots and cut through the living area—complete with a fireplace—to the closed set of double doors at the end of the hallway. He knocked. “Liberty? Sweetheart, are you up?”

Stupid. Like she’d answer if she was sleeping. He opened the door wide enough to stick his head inside. A lamp burned on the nightstand. The covers had been turned down and a small foil-wrapped piece of chocolate had been centered on the pillow.

He didn’t see her suitcase. He searched the room just to make sure.

His edgy feeling escalated. Her stuff wasn’t on the counter in the master bathroom. She wasn’t soaking in the gigantic Jacuzzi tub with her headphones on. She hadn’t barricaded herself in the second bedroom.

Where the hell was she?

He called Crash.

“Yo, Dev. What’s up?”

“Where’s Liberty?”

“I imagine she’s sleepin’. Why?”

“Why? Because she’s not sleepin’ in my bed. And isn’t her job as my damn bodyguard to be close enough to guard my body? Which means she’s supposed to be in my bed.”

Crash sighed.

Not good. “Tell me what the f**k is goin’ on.”

“After last night’s incident and your . . . disagreement with her this morning, she requested her own room.”

Devin froze.

“I agree with her. You’re secure in this hotel, so you don’t need her to stay with you. She had another guard stationed on this floor.”

“I don’t want another damn guard. I want her.”

“Calm down.”

The f**k he would.

“You knew this wasn’t permanent. Before we left Denver, we discussed the possibility that she wouldn’t return for the last three weeks after the ten-day break.”

Devin fought his panicked feeling “Has she said she’s not comin’ back on tour?”

“Not exactly.”

“We’re not on break yet.”

Crash sighed again. “We will be on break tomorrow night. She’s traveling to Jacksonville with us. As soon as the show ends, she’s on a plane to Denver.”

“Not f**king happening. What room is she in?”

“Take it down a notch.”

“Tell me what room she’s in.”

Crash didn’t respond.

“Tell me what room she’s in or I’ll go lookin’ for her myself. And I’ll do that by banging on every f**king door on this floor, Crash.”

“She’s in fifteen fifteen.”

She’d requested the room farthest away from his?

“Dev, don’t do nothin’ stupid,” Crash warned.

“No promises.” Devin swiped his keycard off the table and his spare nylon guitar strap out of his case before he stormed out. He waved guard number one aside, as well as guard number two.

He beat on Liberty’s door. “Open up.”

No response.

“Open up or I’ll get the manager up here to unlock this door.”

No response.

“Liberty, I’m not f**kin’ around.”

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