Griffin didn't ask about her when the set was over, but I told him where she was anyway. He nodded at me, so I knew he heard me. But instead of heading out to the bus to be with his baby-mama, he sat in quiet contemplation until it was time for the D-Bags and Sienna to close the show with their number-one smash hit. For the first time ever, I found myself watching Griffin onstage more than Kellan and Sienna. Even smack dab in the middle of the limelight, Griffin seemed uncharacteristically pensive. I really didn't know what to make of it.
When the show was over and the crowd was roaring its approval, the guys rejoined me backstage. Sienna was a step behind them. I thought Griffin would surely want to go see Anna now. We were playing at this venue again tomorrow night, so we had some free time to kill and a peaceful night of sleep at a plush hotel to look forward to. I, for one, was eager to go crash, mainly because Kellan had lived up to his promise and secured us our very own room. But instead of collecting Anna, Griffin turned to Matt. "Let's go drink."
Matt nodded, then asked the rest of us, "You guys want to go out?"
Kellan was already answering "No" when I set down my laptop and told Matt, "Sure." Kellan's eyes were disbelieving when he looked back at me. Kellan and I hadn't joined the group much for drinks once the Kell-Sex explosion had happened. We'd both been keeping a low profile, much to the band's dismay-well, to Griffin's dismay. I wanted us to go this time, though. I didn't like the look on Griffin's face. Griffin rubbed his hands together eagerly, and I liked his look even less.
Sienna had joined us by this time and seemed just as elated as Griffin. "Drinks sound bloody fabulous! I know just the place." She made a move like she was going to wrap herself around Kellan, but she surprisingly refrained. I was almost proud of her. Almost.
Kellan looked my way with a clear question in his eyes: Wouldn't you rather be alone in a hotel room with me than out drinking with Griffin? I forced myself to smile when I really wanted to frown. Yes, I would much rather be alone with him right now. But Anna was my blood, and I needed to look out for her.
Sienna was on the phone making arrangements while we walked toward the dressing rooms. I had no idea who she knew in North Carolina or what place she was taking us to. I wasn't even sure if I wanted to hang out with her, but it was too late now. Kellan and the guys took five minutes to refresh from their show; they pretty much just changed their slightly damp T-shirts and spritzed on some cologne. Griffin's was way too strong, burning the back of my nostrils.
Sienna took considerably longer, and when she reemerged, I wondered if I should change. She was in a bright coral dress that looked made for dancing. Loose and flirty, the bottom of it had wide panels that resembled a flower's petals. The petal layers were slit almost up to her waist, so every time she moved she flashed her tight, toned thighs.
I was wearing jeans and Keds sneakers. Hot.
Knowing I didn't have an outfit like that on me anyway, I ignored the plain feeling washing through my body and stepped up to Kellan's side. He glanced at Sienna, rolled his eyes, then looked down at me. "Even on her best day, you're still more attractive," he whispered.
Flushing, I suddenly felt like I'd just won the Miss America Pageant. His compliment made Sienna seem horribly overdone, like she was trying so hard to be noticed that she may as well have sprayed I'm Sexy on her chest. It brought her beauty down a peg in my eyes, and I felt more on equal footing with her as we stepped out into the chilly night.
Sienna looked freezing as she rubbed her hands over her bare arms. She didn't have to wait long, though. As if on cue, a limo pulled up to the back door, and we all hurried inside. I sighed as I looked around the twinkling interior. So much for blending in with the locals. This luxury also seemed to scream our "importance." It made me miss going to clubs with Kellan in Seattle. It made me miss hanging out at Pete's. It made me miss Justin's tour. Simpler times.
Kellan kept his arm around me the entire time we were in the limo. Sienna watched us, a strange expression on her face. It was a peaceful, supportive look, but there was wistfulness there too. And maybe a trace of sadness. No matter her bravado, I think she had loved someone before, and it hadn't ended well. For a moment her persona seemed cracked, and I almost thought I was seeing the real Sienna, not the celebrity. Then she noticed me analyzing her, and her mask of seductive confidence slipped back into place. She winked at me from across the limo.
When the driver pulled up to the front of a place called Poison, there was a swarm of photographers hovering around the entrance. Like they already knew who was in the car, they started snapping pictures of the limo the second it stopped. You'd think we were pulling up to a movie premier, by all of the photographers outside. Paparazzi in North Carolina? I was pretty positive that their being here wasn't a coincidence. Who the hell did Sienna call when she arranged this little outing? No wonder she had taken the time to make herself look like a million bucks.
With the car idling, the driver ran around to open our door. While I watched the flashes in horror, a small smile lit Sienna's lips. This would be a big moment in the sun for her-a night out on the town with her rumored paramour. Even if they entered separately, there was no way they wouldn't be news tomorrow. And what would the fans think of me in this scenario? Was I a tagalong, perhaps one of the other band member's girlfriends? If Kellan and I walked in together, the speculation about me could be just as spectacular as the gossip surrounding him and Sienna. I did not want that.
As the driver opened the door, Sienna smoothed her dress in preparation for her grand entrance. The driver reached out his hand and helped her out of the car. The flashes went crazy. Sienna stopped and waited for Kellan while my body surged with adrenaline. Evan and Griffin started to stand, but Kellan held his hand up. Leaning forward, he told the driver, "We're not walking through that, take us somewhere else."
Nodding, the driver looked back at Sienna and asked her if she wanted to stay or go. Sienna hesitated, glancing at the crowd still snapping photos, then got back into the car. Pouting as she watched the light bulbs fading into the distance, she muttered, "Really? That was the best club in town."
Kellan leaned back in his seat and gave her a charming smile. "You were welcome to stay, if you wanted to."
Sienna rolled her eyes, then gave the driver the name of another club that she thought would be a "little less crowded."
Much to my relief, no one was hanging around the second club when we pulled up. Once we were inside, deep bass music made my ribs vibrate. An eager man in a suit led us to a private VIP area. By the look on his face, he was elated to have us here tonight and would probably get us anything we wanted. Maybe he was the owner. He had two girls in tight corset tops and black boy shorts beside him. They were either waitresses or strippers. I really couldn't tell.
Sienna ordered a couple of bottles of Cristal, and one of the scantily clad women took off to get them. Waitress, then. Her revealing outfit made me appreciate Pete's simple T-shirts all the more. Smiling at the owner, Sienna sat sideways on a chaise lounge. The deep red cushion clashed with her outfit. It made me smile. No one but the band, the owner, and the one remaining waitress were in the room. All of the regular customers were on the other side of a thick glass wall. It ran along one entire side of the room, separating us from the main dance floor of the club. We had a perfect view of hundreds of gyrating, grinding bodies. I had no idea if the dancing couples had any idea that we could see them or not. It was clear that they couldn't see us, though. It was very voyeuristic. It made me blush as I watched some guy run his hand up some girl's skirt.
Griffin looked around the room, then at the wall of shifting bodies on the other side of the glass. "We need chicks," he muttered.
The owner instantly gave him all of his attention. Snapping his fingers at the remaining waitress, he asked Griffin, "Do you prefer blondes, brunettes, or redheads?"
Griffin smiled; it made me nauseous. "All of the above."
The owner returned Griffin's sickening smile. He lifted an eyebrow and glanced at Kellan. "I'm assuming nothing less than a perfect ten?"
Griffin nodded, his eager grin growing. The owner gave the "perfect ten" waitress beside him a quick glance and she turned to leave. Griffin called out after her, "I need at least a dozen!" She nodded and disappeared.
I narrowed my eyes at both Griffin and the sleazy club owner. I didn't realize you could order women as easily as you could order drinks. Kellan and I settled into a velveteen couch as I struggled to control my stomach. Kellan whispered into my hair, "We can leave any time." I nodded, but I knew that wasn't really true. I wasn't going to leave my sister's boyfriend here in Easy Hookup Land.
Chapter 20: Enough
Our champagne arrived and was dramatically poured into fluted glasses. Kellan and I clinked ours together right as the "entertainment" arrived. Much to Griffin's delight, a parade of hot women streamed into the room. They all seemed to be models in tight shirts, tight pants, or tight skirts. Maybe there was a convention in town? Tittering and giggling, the colorful assortment of eye candy floated around the room like cheap perfume. A handful stopped by Sienna's lounge chair, one or two sat with a disinterested Evan and a red-faced Matt, and a half-dozen flocked around King Griffin. The rest made a beeline for Kellan. In a rather aggressive move on my part, I hopped onto Kellan's lap, slinging my arms around his neck. Back off, bitches. They didn't, but they kept a greater distance than they probably would have if I hadn't. As the girls were handed glasses of alcohol by the waitresses, Kellan leaned in and told me, "I like you possessively sitting on me. Maybe we should hire the girls to follow us around everywhere?"
I made a face at his comment, but I couldn't hold onto it; his grin was just too darn provocative. In answer to his ridiculous proposal, I shifted my weight on his lap, grinding against him in all the right places. His eyes lit up. Grabbing my drink, he placed it on a waitress's tray as she walked by. "We need to dance," he stated. He stood up, and I had no choice but to stand up with him.
Several of the girls around joined us in the center of the smooth hardwood floor. Facing Kellan, I ignored them; he ignored them too. Hands low on my waist, he pulled our h*ps together until we were straddling each other. We moved together in intimate ways that spoke volumes about our true relationship. None of the visiting girls seemed to catch on that Kellan was taken though-at least, not by me.
Some of them kept looking between Kellan and Sienna, but since Sienna was merely watching Kellan with hooded eyes and not throwing a diva-sized tantrum at his seductive dancing, the girls felt just fine being flirtatious with him. As much as Kellan's hands were all over me, their hands were all over him. I had to remove wandering palms from his chest more than once. Kellan shook his head as he batted hands away from his ass. You would think he was a lucky charm by how often he was being stroked. Well, I suppose he was, in a way. I felt lucky being with him.
The thumping beat filled the low-lit room. While I melded my body to Kellan's, I kept an eye on the other boys. Matt and Evan weren't an issue. They were animatedly having a conversation between themselves. Matt was showing Evan guitar chords in the air, while Evan nodded, a wide smile on his face. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if the two were dreaming up a new song. The girls around them looked at a loss as to how to get their attention. I wanted to walk over and tell them to save their time and just enjoy their free Cristal. Matt and Evan weren't going to do anything to hurt their beloved girlfriends.
Slightly to the left of the two D-Bags was Sienna. When she wasn't staring at Kellan, she was flirting with a couple of boys that looked straight out of an Abercrombie ad. I guess the owner thought it was only fair to bring her a couple of treats too. She flicked her hair over her shoulder, exposing her elegant neckline. I could see her laughing, her eyes roving over the boys' bodies, as she fostered their hope that they had a chance with her. But her gaze always returned to Kellan. Always.
Threading my fingers through Kellan's hair, I pulled him a little closer to me; our chests were touching now too. Kellan's smile turned devilish as he focused solely on me. He smelled incredible, and his lips were so tantalizingly close. His hands were making patterns on my back-up the sides, around to my neck, down my spine, over my backside. I thought about having those hands on my bare skin and felt the rush of desire tingle me. Remembering that we had a hotel room waiting for us, I considered his offer of leaving this strange, private party. Then I remembered why I couldn't.