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About Lick: Stage Dive 1

By´╝ÜKylie Scott

CHAPTER ONE




I woke up on the bathroom floor. Everything hurt. My mouth felt like garbage and tasted worse. What the hell had happened last night? The last thing I remembered was the countdown to midnight and the thrill of turning twenty-one, legal at last. I'd been dancing with Lauren and talking to some guy. Then BANG!

Tequila.

A whole line of shot glasses with lemon and salt on the side.

Everything I’d heard about Vegas was true. Bad things happened here, terrible things. I just wanted to crawl into a ball and die. Sweet baby Jesus, what had I been thinking to drink so much? I groaned and even that made my head pound. This pain had not been part of the plan.

“You okay?” a voice enquired, male, deep, and nice. Really nice. A shiver went through me despite my pain. My poor broken body stirred in the strangest of places.

“Are you going to be sick again?” he asked.

Oh, no.

I opened my eyes and sat up, pushing my greasy blonde hair aside. His blurry face loomed closer. I slapped a hand over my mouth because my breath had to be hideous.

“Hi,” I mumbled.

Slowly, he swam into focus. He was built and beautiful and strangely familiar. Impossible. I’d never met anyone like him.

He looked to be in his mid-to-late twenties—a man, not a boy. He had long, dark hair falling past his shoulders and sideburns. His eyes were the darkest blue. They couldn’t be real. Frankly, those eyes were overkill. I’d have swooned perfectly fine without them. Even with the tired red tinge they were a thing of beauty. Tattoos covered the entirety of one arm and half his bare chest. A black bird had been inked into the side of his neck, the tip of its wing reaching up behind his ear. I still had on the pretty, dirty white dress Lauren had talked me into. It had been a daring choice for me on account of the way it barely contained my abundance of boobage. But this beautiful man easily had me beat for skin on show. He wore just a pair of jeans, some scuffed black boots, a couple of small silver earrings, and a loose white bandage on his forearm.

Those jeans … he wore them well. They sat invitingly low on his hips and fit in all the right ways. Even my monster hangover couldn’t detract from the view.

“Aspirin?” he asked.

And I was ogling him. My gaze darted to his face and he gave me a sly, knowing smile. Wonderful. “Yes. Please.”

He grabbed a battered black leather jacket off the floor, the one I’d apparently been using as a pillow. Thank God I hadn’t puked on it. Clearly, this beautiful half naked man had seen me in all my glory, hurling multiple times. I could have drowned in the shame.

One by one he emptied the contents of his pockets out onto the cold white tiles. A credit card, guitar picks, a phone and a string of condoms. The condoms gave me pause but I was soon distracted by what emerged next. A multitude of paper scraps tumbled out onto the floor. All had names and numbers scrawled across them. This guy was Mr Popularity. Hey, I could definitely see why. But what on earth was he doing here with me?

Finally, he produced a small bottle of pain-killers. Sweet relief. I loved him, whoever he was and whatever he’d seen.

“You need water,” he said, and got busy filling a glass from the sink behind him.

The bathroom was tiny. We both barely fit. Given Lauren’s and my money situation, the hotel had been the best we could afford. She’d been determined to celebrate my birthday in style. My goal had been a bit different. Despite the presence of my hot new friend, I was pretty sure I’d failed. The pertinent parts of my anatomy felt fine. I’d heard things hurt after the first couple of times. They sure as hell had after the first. But my vagina might have been the only part of my body not giving me grief.

Still, I took a quick peek down the front of my dress. The corner of a foil package could still be seen, tucked into the side of my bra. Because if it was sitting there, strapped to me, no way would I be caught unprepared. The condom remained whole and hearty. How disappointing. Or maybe not. Finally plucking up the courage to get back on the horse, so to speak, and then not remembering it would have been horrible.

The man handed me the glass of water and placed two pills into my hand. He then sat back on his haunches to watch me. He had an intensity to him that I was in no condition to deal with.

“Thanks,” I said, then swallowed the aspirin. Noisy rumbles rose from my belly. Nice, very ladylike.

“Are you sure you’re okay?” he asked. His glorious mouth twitched into a smile as if we shared a private joke between us.

The joke being me.

All I could do was stare. Given my current condition, he was just too much. The hair, face, body, ink, all of it. Someone needed to invent a word superlative enough to describe him.

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