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Wicked Beat(9)

By´╝ÜOlivia Cunning

“I have a degree in audio engineering,” Rebekah assured him. “I graduated in June.”

“As in June of this year?” Brian’s voice cracked at the end.

Trey grabbed Brian’s arm to gain his attention. “Dave’s little sister,” he whispered out of the corner of his mouth. “He trusts her with his trade secrets. No one else. Just her.”

Rebekah lowered her eyes. “Yeah, he gave me thorough instructions on how to set up and run the entire show.” Eric wasn’t sure why she looked so depressed about that. Dave was a wizard at mixing a live show. The audio engineers of other bands would have paid big money to learn his methods, especially for his seamless mixing of a rhythm and lead guitar in a dueling solo.

“But our set list is changing to accommodate the new single,” Brian reminded them. “Totally uncharted territory for us. Piano intro. Bass solo. A vocal duet.” Which frankly made Eric a bit queasy. He’d be singing vocals live and, at the same time, maintaining the insanely fast drum track of their newest single, “Sever.”

Rebekah brightened at the mention of a new song, her blue eyes flashing with excitement. “I’ll make it sound awesome!” She thrust a fist in the air. “Just you watch.”

Eric grinned at her enthusiasm. Absolutely adorable. But not metal. Like, at all.

“Dave needs to work out the new mix, not some freshly graduated coed. Ummmm,” Brian said. “What’s your name, miss?”

“Reb,” she supplied.

“Reb, I need to have a little meeting with my band.” He swept a hand at them. “Would you excuse us for a minute?” He glanced pointedly over his shoulder toward the exit.

Rebekah’s bottom lip trembled. For a second, Eric thought she was going to burst into tears, and then she straightened her spine. She nodded curtly. “Of course.”

She started toward the exit. Eric’s first instinct was to follow her and make sure she was okay. Brian had been too hard on her. Eric figured it was mostly the shock of knowing his complicated sound would be at the mercy of some amateur. Master Sinclair expected perfection in his live sound and so did Sinners’ fans. But he shouldn’t have said those things in front of Rebekah. She glanced over her shoulder with longing and then grabbed the handrail to start her decent of the steps. Eric couldn’t stand to see someone so full of life look so downtrodden.

“Hey, Reb,” Eric called.

She glanced over her shoulder, her pale eyebrows raised

in question.

“Would you do me a huge favor?”

She grinned deviously and his heart skipped a beat. “Depends.”

“Um, could you move my car into storage? Travis can show you where to park it.”

She smiled and nodded eagerly. Eric tossed her his keys and she caught them. She cradled them against her chest and hopped down the stairs with a spring in her step. Eric grinned. He just prayed his stubborn car would start for her.

“Uh oh,” Sed said in his typical, low baritone growl.

“Houston, we have liftoff,” Trey said. He cupped his hands around his mouth and made CB radio scratch noises. “Head in the clouds confirmed. Roger.”

Eric turned his attention to his bandmates who were staring at him with wide grins.

“What?” Eric asked.

“Someone has a little crush,” Sed said.


“Dude, you let her drive your car,” Trey said. “You don’t let anyone drive your car.”

“Drive is a relative term in the case of that piece of shit.” Sed chuckled.

“Fuck you, Sed,” Eric grumbled.

Sed just laughed harder.

Eric shook his head. “That isn’t why I let her drive it. I don’t like her, like her.”

Jace choked on a laugh. Eric sent him a look of warning. No one needed to know he had already locked lips with Rebekah. And oh yeah, he’d liked it, liked it.

“She just looked…” Eric sought the right word to explain why he’d broken his no-one-drives-my-car rule. “…sad.”

“If you do like her, and I’m not saying you do, but if you think you might, do not let her walk all over you like the others,” Trey advised.

“I don’t like her,” he insisted. “Besides, she has a thing for you, Trey.”

“Does she?” Trey grinned. “I guess I’ll have to use that to its greatest advantage.”

“What do you mean?”

Trey’s grin widened. “You’ll see.”

“I didn’t call a band meeting to discuss Eric’s nonexistent love life,” Brian interrupted. “How could you guys just hire her without consulting me?”