Backstage Pass / Page 30

Page 30

Author: Olivia Cunning

“No, I said they make you look suspicious.”

“Same difference.”

“It’s not the same. At al .”

“You sure are bitchy this morning,” he muttered.

Myrna’s nostrils flared. “Excuse me. Did you just cal me a bitch?”

“No, I said you were bitchy this morning.”

“Same difference.” Realizing she’d mimicked his words, she chuckled.

He grinned at her. “We should argue more often.”

“Let me guess. It’s turning you on.”

“Yeah, my bal s have come out of hiding and The Beast is ready to rol .”

Her eyebrows rose suggestively. “Can I ride The Beast?”

He put his fingertips against her forehead. “You must be at least this tal to ride The Beast.”

“Looks like I qualify.”

“Secure your belongings and keep your arms and legs around the ride at al times.”

The trooper cleared his throat outside Brian’s window. Brian started and then glanced up at the officer as if they’d been discussing the weather.

“Everything checks out fine,” the cop said. “You have no outstanding warrants, Mr. Sinclair. And the car hasn’t been reported as stolen.”

Brian scowled. “You sound surprised.”

The officer laughed nervously and handed Brian his license and other papers. “Next time, make sure you do this at a rest area.”

“A rest area?” Brian ducked his head to hide his grin. “Okay, next time we’l do it at a rest area.”

Myrna laughed, leaning heavily against the passenger door as she clutched her midsection in hysterics.

“Am I missing something?” The cop scratched his head, a puzzled look on his face.

“Nope.” Brian returned his license to his wal et. “She forgot to take her meds again.”

Myrna slapped at him and wiped tears of mirth from the corners of her eyes. “Thank you for checking on us, sir,” she said to the cop.

“Yeah, thanks a lot,” Brian said.

Myrna burst out laughing again. The two men stared at her as she struggled to contain her hilarity.

“We’d better switch drivers now,” Brian said.

He slid to the center of the seat and Myrna climbed over his lap to settle behind the wheel. She gave his crotch an appreciative squeeze beneath her skirt as they switched places. She waved at the trooper and rol ed up the window before shifting the car out of park and easing back into traffic. Brian slid closer and squeezed her thigh.

“Now,” Brian said, “let’s see how wel you can concentrate on driving with my head under your skirt.”

She grinned at him and took his wayward hand in hers. “Wait until we get to a rest area. I already know I won’t be able to concentrate with any part of you under my skirt.” She squeezed his hand. “Not this.” She lifted her hand to touch his lips. “Or these.”

She cupped his package through his pants. “And definitely not this.”

“What about these?” He pul ed his boot off and wriggled his socked toes at her.

“Hmmmm,” she said, keeping one eye on the road. “I’m not sure about those.”

Chapter 20

Tampa 78 miles. Brian shifted his gaze from the green road sign to his watch. Eleven a.m.

“We’ve got plenty of time before we have to be in Tampa,” he said. “Let’s take a detour.”

Myrna took her eyes off the road long enough to glance at him. “What kind of a detour?”

“I don’t know. The spontaneous kind.”

“I like spontaneous detours. We have to be careful not to get lost, though. No Master Sinclair means no Sinners show.”

“We won’t get lost. At your next opportunity, head west.”

“That won’t take us far. The Gulf of Mexico is west.”


She smiled. “West it is.”

Within ten minutes, they were off the main highway and headed west. “It looks like it might rain,” she commented, gazing at the western horizon.

Brian scowled at the bank of black clouds rol ing in from the distance. It figured the weather wouldn’t cooperate on their first real date. He hoped he could manage to keep his hands off her long enough to romance her a little. He had ten days to convince her to stay with him in L.A. In order to get her to comply, he’d need to seduce more than her body.

“Oh wow,” she said. “Look at the water. It’s gorgeous!”

“Not bad,” he said. “California has spectacular beaches.”

She glanced at him sidelong. “I suppose you mean in the Los Angeles area.”

And she was on to him already. “San Diego is better, but yeah, Los Angeles isn’t too shabby.”

“Uh huh. I thought the beaches in California were toxic.”

“Not al of them. Have you ever been to California?”

She hesitated. “Wel , no, but I’m sure I’l get there eventual y.”

Did that mean she was considering joining him? Doubtful.

They entered a smal gulf town. Every sign they passed had some depiction of a clam. Brian’s stomach rumbled. “Do you like seafood?”

“It’s okay. I’m not a fan of fish, but I love clam chowder.”

“Manhattan or New England?”

“New England. The thicker, the better.”

“Hungry?” he asked, watching little restaurants pass.

“Starved. As per usual.”

“Let’s find a place to eat.”

“Just no fast food. I think I’d rather die than eat another french fry.”

“Park over there.” He pointed to the common lot at the end of the block. “We’l walk until we find a good place.”

“How wil we know?”

“Fol ow the locals.”

“Good plan.”

As soon as she pul ed into the nearest parking spot, Brian climbed from the car and hurried around to her side to open her door. He watched her try to straighten her hair in the rearview mirror with her fingers. He liked to keep it in that “just took a toss in the hay”

style. It suited her. And him.

He opened the door and she looked up at him.

“I look like crap,” she said.

“Didn’t your mother teach you not to lie?”

“I never lie.”

“You just did.” He took her hand and helped her out of the car.

“I have eyes, you know.”

“They must not work very wel . You look gorgeous. You always look gorgeous.” He brought her hand to his lips and kissed her knuckles gently.

She surprised him by smiling instead of arguing. “Thank you. You’re very good for my ego.” She stared at the ground as she walked beside him. “Even if you are blind.”

“Are you fishing for compliments, Professor Evans?”

She pointed to her face. “Does this face look fishy to you?”

He shrugged. “It is a little scaly.”

Her mouth dropped open. “Oh real y?”

“No, not real y. I already told you that you were gorgeous. Everyone’s going to wonder why you’re hanging out with a thug like me.”

“I’l tel them I’ve been kidnapped.”

“They’l probably believe it.”

She took his hand. He smiled, his heart warming. She could deny it al she wanted, but he knew she cared. “What that trooper said bothered you, didn’t it?”

Actual y, he hadn’t thought about that trooper since his toes had been used in ways they’d never been used before. He shrugged.

“Eh, I’m used to it.”

She squeezed his hand. “I’m sorry to hear that. No one should have to tolerate being discriminated against based on their looks.”

They paused at a street corner and waited for the traffic to thin enough for them to cross. Brian watched the patrons entering the restaurants in the vicinity. A construction crew, several office workers, and three wel -dressed executives entered a smal eatery in the center of the block. It didn’t look fancy, so the food must be good. Pam’s Clams. Myrna wasn’t watching the pedestrian traffic. She was watching him again. He liked it when she couldn’t keep her eyes off him. He pretended he didn’t notice, but she stared at him a lot.

“Pam’s Clams?” he asked.


“Do you want to eat there?” He tugged her into the street and they hurried across.

“Fine with me.”

By the time they were seated, every person in the place had gawked at Brian at least once. It was a smal town, apparently not used to men with chains, tattoos, dyed hair and leather attire. At least he wasn’t wearing his stage makeup. Had he been drunk, he probably would have cussed them out, but Myrna’s calming presence made it al seem unimportant.

“What sounds good?” Brian examined the smal , laminated menu. Beer sounded good to him. Beer and battered fried clams with french fries. Unlike Myrna, he never tired of french fries.

“They have clam chowder in fresh-baked bread bowls.” She looked orgasmic with delight.

“Is that what you want?”

“Yeah, and a salad. A huge salad. I miss vegetables.”

The waitress appeared. “What can I getcha to drink?”

“Do you have lemonade?” Myrna flipped the menu over to search for their drink selection.

“Yeah.” She scribbled on her order pad. “What for you, dol ?” she asked, pointing the end of her pen at Brian.

“Corona. And we’re ready to order.”

He ordered for the both of them and the waitress col ected their menus before heading to the kitchen.

“We should take detours more often.” Myrna reached across the table and lightly trailed her fingers over the back of his hand. He smiled. “The tour bus does get pretty boring.”

“I wouldn’t know. You never give me the opportunity to get bored.”

“That’s been my plan from the beginning.”

“I’l be in trouble when you final y get tired of me.”

“I think you’re safe for at least a century.” He linked his fingers through hers and rubbed his thumb over the back of her hand.

“Are you always this sweet?”

His eyebrow shot up in question. “Sweet? Now there’s something I’ve never been accused of before.”

“Real y? I’m surprised. You’re so considerate and complementary and generous.”

“Actual y, that’s not typical of me. It’s only because I lo—” He caught himself and shifted his gaze to the red-checkered vinyl tablecloth. “I like to see you smile.” He’d almost spoken that forbidden word of hers. Had she noticed? When she didn’t speak for a moment, he forced his gaze upward, expecting her eyes to be watery as she thought of that other man. That bastard he despised. What was his name? Jeremy. Myrna wasn’t teary-eyed though, she was staring at their joined hands reflectively.

“I do seem to smile a lot when I’m with you,” she said, smiling as usual. “I guess that means you’re charming, too.”

He chuckled. “You forgot virile and sexy.”

“No, I didn’t.”

“Are you saying I’m not—”

She glanced up at him. “I meant that I didn’t forget. It’s obvious, you know. Goes without saying.”

“But you could say it.”

“I could.”

Their waitress returned with their drinks and Myrna’s salad. While Brian sipped his beer, he watched her methodical y move the cherry tomatoes and red onions to the edge of her plate.

“I thought you missed vegetables.”

“I don’t like raw tomatoes. And I thought I’d skip the onions so I could make out with the sexiest man alive after lunch without subjecting him to my death breath.”

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