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Wicked Beat(3)

By´╝ÜOlivia Cunning

Eric turned, found the nearest wall, and repeatedly banged his head against it.

Chapter 2

Rebekah carried her suitcase up the stairs of the tour bus and came to a screeching halt. This was not the bus that had been ripped in half and caught on fire in Canada, was it? It couldn’t possibly be, but who could tell beneath the piles of debris that littered the aisles and every available surface?

A black-haired, tattooed man, wearing a pair of black, baggy jean shorts over red plaid boxers, emerged from one of the piles. He had various chains connecting his nipple piercings to God-only-knew-what in his pants. Rebekah hadn’t even noticed him sitting there on what might have been a sofa or a cardboard box or a stuffed grizzly bear trophy.

“You must be the new FOH engineer.”

A thrill of pride made her chest swell. Sure, it was mostly due to her brother’s misfortune that she, Rebekah Esther Blake, was Sinners’ temporary front of house soundboard operator, but she was here and ready to prove herself worthy. “That’s me,” she said, beaming. She quickly forced the ear-to-ear grin from her face. She should probably try to act a little more butch or these tough roadie guys would eat her for breakfast.

“I’m Travis. That’s Jake. Marcus should be here soon.”

Rebekah scanned the piles of debris until she saw the movement of a blond mohawk near what appeared to be a dining table under a mountain of laundry and beer cans.

Jake stood, wiped his hand on his black T-shirt, and then extended it in her direction. “Dave’s sister, right?”

“Um, yeah.” She took his hand and shook it. “I’m Rebekah, but most people call me Reb.”

“Are you sure that’s not short for rebel?” Jake asked as he took in her funky clothes and blue hair.

Travis laughed. “That would make more sense, if you and straightlaced Dave come from the same family.”

“My mother has disowned me no less than a hundred times.” Rebekah grinned over memories of all those small victories. “She’s only disowned Dave about a dozen.”

Travis laughed, dark eyes twinkling with merriment, and shook her hand.

“So, where do I sleep?” she asked, wondering if there were even beds in this mess. And then she realized the mess was beds. Bunk after bunk filled with spare pillows, blankets, potentially clean clothes, and obviously dirty clothes. Obvious, because she could smell them from where she stood.

Someone stomped up the steps behind her. “I’ve come to rescue you,” a deep voice said behind her.

She turned and found Sinners’ drummer, Eric, standing behind her. She smiled at him, and he smiled back, looking like he’d just discovered the puppy he’d always wanted under the Christmas tree. “Rescue me? From what?”

“Do you really think we’d make you stay on the pigsty bus?”

“I don’t mind,” she said.

“The place is highly toxic to sensible females.”

She laughed and slapped him on the arm. “Then I’ll be perfectly fine.”

Eric paused and raked a hand through his crazy hair.

For some inexplicable reason she wanted to run her fingers through it too. Like a work of art, Eric Stick’s hair demanded attention. It was long on one side—something to hold on to. The other half was sheared off short. She imagined it would feel soft and silky beneath her fingertips. A row of inch-long spikes ran from forehead to nape, separating long locks from short fuzz. It was shiny and ebony except for the long lock that curled around his throat and hung down to his left collarbone. By some strange coincidence it was dyed the same blue she’d chosen to dye hers—for the sole purpose of ticking off her mother—not a week ago.

She wondered if his was real hair or fake extensions. She reached up and ran a finger over the long, blue strands. They felt real. Silky. Smooth. Warm from his body heat. She stroked the lock again between her fingers and his throat. His Adam’s apple dipped as he swallowed hard. She cocked her head at him, really seeing him for the first time. When she really looked at him, he was actually very attractive. Why hadn’t she ever noticed him before? Obscenely tall (from her low vantage point) and lean. Rugged features. Strong jaw. Straight nose. Thin lips with a ready smile and a sexy cleft in the middle of his chin that begged to be stroked with her fingertip. He was no Trey Mills, but…

Rebekah’s gaze lifted to Eric’s eyes, which were the color of a clear winter sky. “Will Trey be on the other bus?” she asked.

Eric’s slim black brows drew together into a scowl. “Yeah,” he said. “Of course.”

“Then I’m there.”