This is bullshit, Gabe thought.
Lounging in his favorite recliner, he crossed his legs at the ankle and took another draw off his Corona as he tried not to glare at the latest intruder on Sole Regret’s tour bus. They had yet another woman touring with the band. As if it wasn’t bad enough that the pregnant chick had decided to set up camp on the bus sofa, now Kellen was courting some red-headed ice queen who’d taken up permanent residence at his hip, and Shade’s ex-sister-in-law turned fuck-buddy kept showing up at their gigs unannounced. He was sure that if Adam’s woman didn’t have to work and Owen’s new flame wasn’t pretending she was mad at him, they’d be on the bus too. And here Gabe was telling Melanie that she couldn’t join them on the road. That the band had a rule about women on tour, and rightly so.
Well, screw that. If the rest of the guys were allowed a little female company to occupy them during the long, boring hours between concerts, then he sure as hell wasn’t going to upset Melanie again by making her feel unwelcome. She was more than welcome as far as he was concerned. Assuming she even wanted to ride on the tour bus. Spending countless hours on the road with a bunch of guys wasn’t exactly the perpetual party everyone thought it was.
Gabe set his beer aside and pulled his phone out of his pocket. He dialed Melanie’s number, his jaw set in a hard line. He wasn’t going to consult the band on this. He didn’t care if they thought he was pussy-whipped, or worse, in love with the sweet little accountant he’d met in Tulsa. He shouldn’t have to take shit for inviting Melanie to the show that night. The guys hadn’t bothered asking if their women could join the tour, so why should he be the only one following the rules?
“Hey, you,” Melanie answered. Her soft voice made the back of his neck tingle with pleasure. “I was just thinking about you. I can’t wait to see you tomorrow night. Did you make it to New Orleans?”
“We’re on the road somewhere in southern Louisiana. We should be there in an hour or two. Are you at work?”
“Yeah, but I can take a little break,” she said. “This spreadsheet can wait.”
He was counting on that. “Can it wait until Monday?”
“I miss you.” He glanced up to make sure the guys hadn’t heard that because even though he was willing to go to bat for Melanie, he’d be much more comfortable if he kept his love life and his band mates as far apart as possible.
If any of the guys had heard what he’d just said to Melanie, no one said anything. Not even Owen, who lived for messing with people. It was weird that the guys had stopped going ballistic any time one of them showed the slightest weakness for a woman. Hell, Kellen was holding Dawn’s hand in front of everyone and no one had said a thing about it. And Dawn was gazing into Kellen’s eyes as if entranced and speaking to him in a soft, sensual tone. Or she was when she wasn’t too busy laughing at Owen’s stream of jokes. Now wasn’t that just a homey trio?
Granted, Gabe was in a bad mood. Sexy conversations, video chats, and text messages from Melanie had him so horny he couldn’t think straight. He hadn’t seen her in five days and five long, lonely, cock-in-a-permanent-semi-rigid-state nights. The woman had him so worked up, he was surprised he hadn’t done something truly embarrassing. Like fly to Wichita on one of Sole Regret’s rare nights off just to see her.
“I miss you too,” she said. “I stopped at a lingerie shop on the way home from work last night. I was going to keep it a secret and surprise you with my new garters and thong—”
“Don’t!” he interrupted. “I can’t take another set of blue balls, Mel.”
“I could help you with those,” she said in that voice he associated with sex, though they hadn’t even had actual sex since she’d started using that sensual tone. Yeah, she had him all sorts of out of his head and into a mentality that focused solely on satiating his libido. With her. He hadn’t even considered sating his lust with another woman, even though he was hornier than a herd of longhorn cattle.
“I’ll head for the ladies room and put you on video chat,” she said in a sultry voice. “I’ll show you what you do to me and then you can show me what I do to you.”
Hell yeah, he could.
“Just talking to you makes me wet,” she continued.
Gabe sucked a tormented breath through his teeth. He could tell, by the low tone of her voice, that she was turned on. He was already familiar with that tone too. In fact, he heard it when he dreamed of her and then woke up so uncomfortably hard that he’d started habitually masturbating in the middle of the night. His cock was apparently trying to reclaim its misspent youth. He didn’t know how Melanie did it—put him in a constant state of arousal—but he couldn’t take it anymore. He needed her. Yesterday. Not to mention now. And tomorrow.