He stared at my gyrating hips with half-lidded eyes, a painful expression marring his gorgeous face. "You think that affects me?" he bit out, his voice hoarse with lust.
"You think you affect me?" I growled through gnashed teeth, my own voice dripping with desire. I closed my eyes, drinking in the sounds of Jax’s pleasure.
Armed with the image of his long, thick cock, I plunged my fingers inside myself. "Oh god," I moaned, unable to help myself.
"Fuck," he cried. I could hear him sucking in air behind clenched teeth. "Fuck, that’s beautiful."
His knees pressing against mine widened, spreading me as he spread himself. I opened my eyes to gaze at him and saw he was sinking deeper into the hot tub like me. The tortured expression on his face looked like he was teetering on the edge of agony and bliss.
Suddenly, Jax scrambled to his feet, rising out of the water with his rigid member in hand. Droplets of water fell from the lines of his cut pelvis as he reached frantically for the towel nearby, held it in front of the tip of his penis, and turned around. The sight of his perky ass clenching as he climaxed sent me tumbling over the edge. I came in a flurry, my cries of ecstasy melding with Jax’s. My eyelids lowered over the sight of him hunched forward, his butt sporadically flexing as his orgasm sputtered to its eventual end.
Darkness enveloped me, time seemed to stand still as aftershocks seized my boneless body. When I finally opened my eyes, his trunks were back on, and he was standing there gazing down at me. I saw something in his eyes. I’d expected it to be the scorching desire I’d grown accustomed to, but that look was gone, replaced by something wholly different, something grave in nature. I couldn’t recognize it. Remorse? Disgust? All I knew was something had dramatically changed between us.
Without a word, he got out, dried himself off, and left in a hurry.
I remained in the hot tub with bubbles swirling around me. The afterglow of the orgasm wore off quickly—quicker than I ever imagined it could—and I hugged my knees into my chest. I felt confused and vulnerable. Used.
I tried adjusting the dial on the hot tub, but no matter how far I turned it, the water felt cold.
The next night I was in the auditorium of The Palms Casino Resort. We’d gotten to Las Vegas, the city referred to as the "Miracle in the Desert". But the only miracle I was thinking about was how one minute Jax and I had been pleasuring ourselves in front of one another, and the next minute he was treating me like a stranger.
I’d woken up completely alone, and Jax had been ignoring me all day, managing to stay out of sight whenever I tried looking for him. It wasn’t my first time being shut out by a guy, but it still stung. I’d been wary of him hurting me, so I wasn’t completely surprised, but still, it hurt more than I thought it would.
Jax probably thought his conquest was over, or maybe he didn’t respect me anymore for touching myself in front of him—I didn’t know. It pissed me off but whatever, I thought. I had to remind myself that I just wanted to get done with this tour, get my bonus, and then peace out to some tropical island.
The concert was already in progress. I was watching Jax from backstage, this time with a faint, jealous gnaw tugging at me every time he reached out to the crowd. I was suddenly renewed in my conviction that we weren’t from the same worlds. For him, my world was boring, and for me, his was unreachable.
The noise from the crowd was deafening, but the applause made my stomach knot with tension. It was possible that Jax was just getting too famous for me to keep his interest.
"Stop thinking like this," I scolded myself, realizing how it hard was to break bad habits.
Just out of view of the audience, I tapped my foot nervously with the Hitchcocks’ greatest hits as they played, hoping for the set to end so I’d finally be able to corner Jax and talk to him about giving me the cold shoulder. I wanted answers, even if the truth hurt.
While the final song’s drum solo crescendoed, Jax walked toward a shrieking brunette in the front row as he took a swig from a water bottle, then poured the rest of the water onto himself.
With a practiced motion, he grabbed his white shirt from the bottom hem and pulled it up over his head, holding it above him with both hands. He twisted it and water streamed from the shirt, drenching the brunette below, who shrieked with orgasmic glee.
My hands tensed into fists. I couldn’t help but feel used. With a sea of gorgeous women at Jax’s beck and call every night, it’d only be a matter of time before I had to see him go backstage with one. Why had he led me on? I found myself looking over the women in the front row. If it happened—correction, when it happened—what would my replacement look like?
The crowd’s roar registered dimly, but it wasn’t until Chewie came backstage, hand up for a high five, that I realized the set was over. "Now that’s what I call a show!" he said, his half-yell jolting me back to reality. "Rye, have you ever seen a crowd so crazy? I guess that’s Vegas, baby!"
Kev followed right behind him, gripping the neck of his guitar, beaming brightly. Sky ran over from behind Kev and gave a big hug to Chewie—and then one to me. "Rileeey!" Sky squealed. "Tell me you saw that last set. Tell me you saw how incredible it was."
Releasing from the hug, I forced a grin. "Yeah," I said. "Pretty incredible." The band walked into the dressing rooms, and I looked back to the auditorium, my fake smile gone.
Jax bowed deeply and walked offstage, catching sight of me and smiling like nothing was wrong. I turned away. It was bad enough to lead me on and ignore me—now he wanted to get on my good side? The whiplash was just too much.
His hand, unexpected but surprisingly gentle, squeezed my shoulder softly. I whirled back around.
"What?!" I asked, my jealousy and anger bubbling to the surface.
Jax’s dark eyes opened wide. He looked surprised, even worried. "Hey, relax," he said. "I just wanted to know if you’re ready for the encore."
"Yeah, sure," I said with a scoff. The audience showed no sign of quieting down—whether or not I was ready, they certainly were. "Ready as I’ll ever be."
Jax reached behind him and grabbed a brown rectangle thing from a shelf. "Good. Because you’re coming with us." He thrust the metal object into my hands, and as I looked down, I realized it was a cowbell. "You said you wondered what it was like to be on stage? Now’s your chance."