The year is 1992, and no one on the rock music scene is hotter than Kiro Manning, the lead singer of Slacker Demon. With a multi-platinum record, total ownership of the Billboard charts, sold-out concerts, and sinful amounts of money, Kiro can have anything—and anyone—he wants.
So when a dark-haired, conservative beauty rebuffs him at a concert after-party, his first thought is, “Who the hell does she think she is?” His second thought: “How do I make her mine?” Kiro has always loved a good challenge, but not every girl wants to get involved with a rock god. Especially this girl.
He let her go that night, but he never forgot her. And when they met again, he vowed not to give up again so easily.
As the world worshipped Kiro, he came to worship the girl, who became everything he never knew he needed. The only girl he would ever love. His Emily.
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Abbi Glines comes a heart-wrenching e-novella in the Rosemary Beach series about the star-crossed romance between Kiro and Emily, first introduced in Take a Chance. This is Abbi’s holiday gift to the devoted fans of the series.
Seeing other women naked wasn’t something I enjoyed. Not even a little bit. Seeing other people have sex wasn’t something I enjoyed, either. Not that I had ever seen that before in my life. Until now. But I couldn’t blame this mess on anyone other than myself. What I was witnessing was all my fault. Bleaching this from my brain would be impossible.
I pressed farther back into the corner of the room and closed my eyes tightly so I could focus on how the heck I was going to get out of here. Watching the live porn in front of me wasn’t helping me concentrate, though. I was too busy trying not to vomit in my mouth.
It wasn’t that I was a prude. I mean, I hadn’t had sex yet, but I wanted to, eventually, with the right guy. The scene I was being forced to bear witness to was not by any means what I wanted. Ever.
Sure, these guys were becoming rock gods. Slacker Demon had just nailed their first multiplatinum record, and the world loved them. They were taking over the Billboard charts with one hit after another. Add to that the fact that three of the five members were really very attractive, in a bad boy kind of way. Women threw themselves at all of them.
Including my cousin, Sonya. She had been lusting after the drummer, Dean Finlay, from the beginning. He was nice to look at, I would give her that, but from what I was seeing tonight, this was not what Sonya wanted. Surely.
It didn’t matter how gorgeous and famous these men were, being a one-time screw for them wasn’t something any female should want. Besides, they had to be carrying diseases. I’d seen so many women on their knees tonight it was unreal.
Sonya saw it differently. She had always turned heads. Even when we were kids. Long blond hair, the biggest blue eyes, and eyelashes a mile long were just the beginning. Sonya was five foot ten and nothing but long, tanned legs and a really nice pair of boobs that she’d purchased with her graduation money from high school. Our grandparents had given us each ten grand in hopes we would invest it wisely and use that money to our advantage to start our lives.
I invested mine with the help of my grandfather. Sonya bought herself a set of double-Ds.
I tried to search through the crowd for her, but she had been missing ever since I saw her flirting with the bassist, Trac Trace. He wasn’t one of the beautiful ones, but he was talented.
I hadn’t realized how talented until I had seen him perform at the last four stops on their tour. Why had I seen the last four tours? Because I loved Sonya, and she needed me. Her father had just left her mother for another man, and Sonya was falling apart. When she had needed to hit the road and get away from all the mess at home, I had told her I would go with her.
So now I was a groupie who hid in corners and closed her eyes. Tonight was the first night we had actually made it back to the after-party room. Sonya had slept with several guys to get us here. I had spent a lot of nights waiting for her with my can of pepper spray held tightly in my hand while I hid in the shadows. I was drawing the line tonight, though. I couldn’t keep doing this. I wanted to go back to South Carolina.
“You OK?” a deep voice asked, close enough that I felt the warmth of his breath. My eyes snapped open, and I stared right into the eyes of a guy I didn’t know. His hair was normal, and so was his clothing. I also noted that his breath did not smell like alcohol.
“Yes,” I replied, watching him carefully. Although he appeared not to be drunk or high, I didn’t know him. I wasn’t trusting him just yet.
He studied me a moment, as if to make sure, and then grinned. “You don’t look like you’re enjoying yourself.” He glanced out at the wild orgy going on in front of us.
“Not exactly, no.”
He placed a hand on the wall beside me and tilted his body toward mine. This was not a good thing. I took a step back and watched him to make sure he didn’t make any sudden moves.
He chuckled. “Can I ask why you’re here? It isn’t exactly easy to get back here. Most babes have worked hard for it.”
Small talk wasn’t on my list of things I wanted to do, either, but talking to this guy was better than watching the love fest. “My cousin wanted in. She has the looks to get noticed. I’m just here waiting on her.”
The guy’s dark eyes did a quick scan of my body, lingering over places I would rather he didn’t. I crossed my arms over my chest protectively.
When his eyes made it back to my face, I scowled at him.
“You could have gotten in all by yourself. I can assure you of that,” the guy said.
Who was this, and why was he bothering me? I shifted farther away from him and focused my attention on the floor.
But that didn’t last long. A crash caught my attention, and I snapped my head up to see what all the laughing and squealing was about.
Standing in the center of the room, wearing nothing but a pair of black leather pants that hung off his hips, was the lead singer of Slacker Demon and the most beautiful man I had ever seen: Kiro Manning. His blue eyes were startlingly clear. His corded arms and washboard stomach were decorated with colorful tattoos. Then there was his hair, just long enough to keep pulled back in a ponytail. Which he did often.
Problem was, he was also the biggest man-whore in the band.
The smile on his face right now, as he commanded everyone’s attention in the room, was wicked. There wasn’t another word for it. He knew he was wanted, and he loved it. “Broke my fucking bottle of vodka. Need a new one,” he announced, then held out a hand and crooked his finger at a redhead who was currently topless and wearing only a thong. She hurried over to him, and he pulled her into the crook of his arm and laid his palm over her breast.
I tore my gaze off him then. I would admit that I had my own fantasies about Kiro Manning alone in my room at night. Seeing him fondle another woman, however, was sure to kill that.
“Gonna get me another fucking bottle?” he asked.
I didn’t look at him. I focused on my hands.
“I better go get him a drink,” the guy whispered, and left my side.
The din had started up again. I was never getting out of here. There was a limit to things I would do for Sonya. Tonight I had met that limit. I was finding her, and we were leaving. We were in a backroom behind the stage. It wasn’t like she could get lost. I just had to suck it up and wade through the naked bodies.
My mother had warned me about going on this trip. I hadn’t listened, and now I was really wishing I had. This was becoming a nightmare. Lifting my head, I scanned the crowd again, purposely avoiding Kiro’s direction in case he was now having sex with the topless girl. If I could preserve my fantasies, I really wanted to.
Moving through the crowd, I kept my eyes open for Sonya and didn’t let myself focus on what everyone else was doing. When I reached the back of the room, I saw the back of Sonya’s blond head as she pressed up against a guy. They were only kissing, but his hands had pulled up her short skirt and were cupping her bottom. From this view, it looked like she had gotten Trac’s attention. I recognized his tattooed knuckles. Having Fuck Yeah imprinted on your hands permanently sounded idiotic to me, but the man was a rocker. Common sense probably didn’t factor into his decision-making.
I really didn’t want to interrupt them, but my desire to leave was stronger. It was almost two in the morning, and I was exhausted. I was also tired of trying to hide in a corner.
“Sonya!” I called out her name over the noise.
She stiffened but went right back to sucking Trac’s face.
“Sonya!” I called louder, letting her know I wasn’t going to leave if she ignored me.
This time, she came up for air and glared over her shoulder at me. “What?” Annoyance was all over her face. She had gotten one of the band members, and I was messing things up for her.
“I’m sorry, but it’s late. I want to go.”
“Not having a good time, sugar?” The raspy voice was Trac’s. His blond hair was also long but with a shaggier look. I didn’t look at him. I kept my gaze locked on Sonya.
“I’m busy,” she hissed, as if she couldn’t believe I was doing this. Could I just leave her here? Was that safe? No, probably not.
“Hey, easy. Don’t be so mean,” Trac said, gently pushing Sonya away from him as he made his way toward me. I shifted my gaze to him and realized we might have a problem. “What’s the matter, gorgeous? Is no one showing you a good time?”
I stepped back, and he smirked. I looked back at Sonya pleadingly. She, however, was looking at Trac with fire in her eyes. Crap.
“Not sure how we all missed you. I know my boys, and if they’d gotten a look at you, we would all be in a fucking brawl right now, trying to decide who gets in those jeans.” He reached out a hand and ran a finger slowly down my arm.
He was a jerk. Surely Sonya saw this and was ready to leave now. We could go home tomorrow.
“Emily, you need to leave. Now. I’ll see you tomorrow.” Sonya’s voice was hard and barely containing her fury. The warning look in her eyes was enough to let me know she didn’t want me messing this up for her. She didn’t care that he was openly hitting on me. What was she thinking?
“I can’t leave you here,” I started to say, but she cut me off.
“Yes, you can.” She wrapped her arms around one of Trac’s and pressed her chest against him. She whispered something in his ear, but I could still feel his eyes on me.
“I don’t want you to leave,” Trac said to me, shrugging Sonya loose and closing the space between us. “Not sure I’ve ever seen eyes that color before. Fucking intoxicating.” His hand reached up to cup my cheek.
I jumped back quickly, and his smile grew.
“And damn, she’s sweet,” he said, as if that was what he wanted most in the world. The man was crazy.
“Leave, now!” Sonya yelled at me.
I decided then that as much as I loved her, I wasn’t staying here for this. Trac made me nervous, and she was furious with me. She should be furious with him, but no, she was mad at me.
I spun around and hurried back toward the door, squeezing between bodies as I made my way. If I weren’t so angry at Sonya right now, I’d be worried. This was so stupid. Why was she staying here?
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Dean Finlay and his bare butt. I wasn’t about to look harder to see exactly what he was doing.
Sonya was wasting her time with this.
“Don’t leave me, gorgeous. I’ll be good. I fucking swear,” Trac called out.
I turned around to see if Sonya was following me. But she wasn’t. Trac was. Oh, crap.
Abbi Glines is the New York Times, USA TODAY, and Wall Street Journalbestselling author of the Rosemary Beach, Field Party, Sea Breeze, Vincent Boys, and Existence series. A devoted book lover, Abbi lives with her family in Alabama. She maintains a Twitter addiction at @AbbiGlines and can also be found at Facebook.com/AbbiGlinesAuthor and AbbiGlines.com.