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Wicked Beat(8)

By´╝ÜOlivia Cunning

The group inspected the bedroom, which was slightly smaller than the one on their last bus. This one still had a queen-sized bed, but there was no room for a dresser. Eric shoved Jace in the shoulder and grinned. He pointed at the ceiling. “No hook for your bondage games, Tripod. How will you ever get your jollies off?”

“I’ll save it up for when I get home. Aggie’s dungeon should be finished by the time we finish this leg of the tour.” Jace flushed, as he was wont to do whenever the subject drifted to anything sexual or romantic. Considering the hard-core kink the guy enjoyed, his embarrassment was kind of strange.

Eric was pleased to find that though the bedroom was smaller, the bathroom was larger. You could actually turn around without dislocating your elbow on the wall. The rest was similar to their old bus, except the colors were different throughout. The dining benches, the sofa, and captain chairs had black leather upholstery instead of cream. The carpet was red instead of beige. Black granite countertops. Shiny, black paneling. Black apartment-sized appliances. The curtains that hid the bunks were red. The bedding? Red. Framing around the bunks? Black.

Everywhere Eric looked: red and black.

“Um, Sed?” Eric scratched behind his ear. “Did you have this thing custom-made in Sinners’ colors?”

“Yeah. It was Jerry’s idea. Cool, huh?”

This nightmare-inducing color palate had been their manager’s idea? Knowing Jerry, he was probably using it in some advertising campaign. “I guess…” Eric shook his head.

“I like it,” Rebekah said. “It looks classy, yet metal.”

“Exactly!” Sed smiled so broadly that both dimples showed. His goofy grin faded into a scowl when his eyes met Eric’s. “Metal,” he said in a low growl.

Eric’s amusement died when Trey leaned into Rebekah’s personal space again. Her cheeks went pink, and she fidgeted with the bangles on her wrist. Maybe if Eric told her that he found her fidgeting absolutely adorable, she’d teach him another lesson. He could use another one. Or a million or two.

“What in the hell?” Brian said from near the bus entrance. He rubbed a hand over his face as he took in the new bus’s décor.

“Brian!” Trey was down the aisle hugging and pounding Brian on the back before Eric could blink.

Eric caught Rebekah’s bewildered expression before she’d managed to hide it with a friendly smile. She followed Trey to be introduced to Brian. Trey was asking his friend a million questions a minute, leaving Rebekah to stand awkwardly waiting for her opening.

Now that Brian was here, maybe Eric had a chance to catch her attention again. Trey didn’t have time for some chick when his best bud, Brian, was within reach.

“Did you have fun in Aruba?” Trey asked. Brian had finally had time to take a real honeymoon with his wife of five months.

“Of course. I was with Myrna,” he said, as if that explained everything. “Why is our logo painted all huge on the outside of the fucking bus?”

“Because our logo is awesome,” Trey said, initiating a fist bump with Brian.

Brian knocked knuckles with Trey, but still looked less than thrilled about their new bus’s paint job. “We’ll have a convoy of groupies following us everywhere we go.”

“So the roadies can sell them T-shirts when we stop at rest areas.” Sed shrugged.

“And we can auction off the utilization of Trey’s lips for beer money,” Eric added.

Trey’s eyes widened. “Uh, no. What if some whacko wins?”

“Then I’ll hold you down until she gets her money’s worth,” Eric said.

“At a rest area, I’d be more concerned about some lonely truck driver winning,” Rebekah said.

Eric laughed. “Or a sexually frustrated politician.”

Rebekah burst out laughing. “Or a demented circus clown.”

“Or an escaped convict.”

“Are you two finished?” Trey said, crossing his arms over his chest.

“Who’s this?” Brian asked, nodding in Rebekah’s direction.

“Our temporary FOH,” Sed explained.

Brian’s jaw dropped. “Our new front of house is a chick?”

“Thanks for noticing.” Rebekah smiled and extended a hand in his direction.

Brian shook it slowly, pinning her with those intense brown eyes of his. When she flushed and lowered her gaze, he shook his head as if to clear it of cobwebs. He dropped her hand and then turned his attention to Sed. “How did we end up with her as our FOH? I thought Marcus was going to stand in for Dave.” He glanced from one bandmate to the next, looking entirely perplexed.