The night of their lives.

My lady parts heated up a little more.


“Oh, and you’re the one to give it to them,” I sneered.

“I sure as hell try,” he grinned.

“The ones I talked to were pissed that you never called.”

He sighed as he continued to get dressed. “They knew the score. They knew what I was when they went home with me. They were pissed because they didn’t get everything they wanted – because what they wanted was a whole lot more than I was willing to give. But they knew that. Anybody who ever got angry at me afterwards knew that going in, and if they say they didn’t, they’re not being honest with themselves. You don’t go home with the hot guy at the bar – the guy with the reputation – an hour after meeting him, and then expect him to be your knight in shining armor the next day. If they want to dress it up with stories about what an asshole I am, and that helps them feel better, then fine. But I never promised them anything except an incredible night. That’s it. I never lied to any of them, I never played any of them – I just gave them everything I had in that moment, but that’s all I ever promised.”

He was fully dressed by now. He looked fantastic…

…although he had looked a whole lot hotter with water and soap coursing down his naked body.

“Well, some of us want a lot more,” I said in anger (and more than a little frustration).

“Yeah, and some of you are just afraid,” he said, going over to the nearest mirror.

“I’m not afraid,” I protested – and it sounded like a lie.

“Yeah you are,” he said, and squeezed out some styling gel into his palm and made a couple of swipes through his still-damp hair. “And that’s fine. It’s cool. I get it.”

“There’s nothing to ‘get,’” I insisted. “I’m not afraid.”

He walked over, his hair now absolutely perfect with just 30 seconds worth of effort. (Men have it so damn easy.) He tossed the tube in the toiletries bag, pocketed the old, sweaty pair of sunglasses, and slipped the new Maui Jims up onto the bridge of his nose. The last thing I saw before he slipped them all the way on were his emerald green eyes twinkling at me mischievously.

“Yeah, you are. But that’s okay… I’m going to keep trying.”

With a grin, he pushed the sunglasses fully into place, walked past me, and exited the locker room, leaving me alone to stew in my annoyance and sexual frustration.

18

I walked out thirty seconds later, expecting him to be gone. But no, he was chatting with the security guys.

“Ready?” he asked me, as though nothing at all had happened inside.

I nodded my head curtly, and off we went.

I’d never been backstage at a show before – much less after a concert by a world-famous band.

It was pretty wild. And not in a way that lessened my jealousy any.

Apparently Security had standing orders to bring the hottest girls possible backstage.

And there were a lot of hot girls.

A line of them snaked through the cement walkways, with a velvet rope keeping them in place. All of them looked college age through mid-20’s. Tall ones, short ones, lithe ones, curvy ones, white, black, Asian, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, exotic, blonde, brunette, red-haired – you name it, there was some permutation. The only common factor was that they were all really hot, and a good number of them were skimpily dressed. The ones with the most flesh showing tended to get the nastiest looks from the other girls. The vast majority seemed to be in little cliques of two or more, and they would talk and gossip amongst themselves, sometimes throwing disparaging looks at their nearest rivals. They didn’t seem real friendly to strangers – but then, they were direct competitors, right?

It was very, very odd, like seeing a newly discovered indigenous people through the eyes of an anthropologist. I had two X chromosomes just like all of them, and we apparently had all the same working parts – but I could not have felt more different and alien than if I had stepped off a spaceship into the middle of an Amazonian tribe.

Of course, as soon as they saw Derek, they lost their minds.

The screaming began with one or two near the end of the line. Then, as the others looked back and noticed, the screaming doubled and tripled and quadrupled.

“Oh my God, Derek!”

“I love youuuuu!”

“Deeeereeeeeek!”

“I love you, I love you, I love you!”

Not all of them screamed – in fact, only about half did; the non-screamers looked at their noisy counterparts with unrestrained contempt, and then either just beamed silently or played it like they were too cool to give Derek more than passing notice.

Ha! Like he wasn’t the reason every last one of them were here.

The one thing the screamers and non-screamers had in common was that as soon as they saw me walking next to him, they all gave me the Eye of Death. Seriously, Mara had nothing on these bitches. I could feel their hatred raining down on me like scorching heat.

Apparently a few decided to hell with it, they were going for the full tamale. One girl lifted up her silk blouse, exposing her bare breasts, and screamed, “Will you sign them for meeee?”

Derek just grinned and held out his hand to one of the security guards, who slapped a Sharpie pen in his palm. Derek uncapped it, went over, and scrawled out his first name on one breast, then his last name on the other.

Disgusting.

No wonder he treats women like trash, if they throw themselves at him like this.

Meanwhile, the jealousy was eating me alive.

As soon as the first girl got signed, the others around her looked shocked beyond belief – and woman after woman was baring her breasts and screaming to get them signed. Big ones, little ones, fake ones, real ones (although this being LA, there were a lot of big, fake ones). He went down the line, scrawling his name as quickly as he could, occasionally giving them a little squeeze or stroking a nipple.

You would have thought the women had died and gone to heaven.

I was pretty sure I was in hell. Dante must have had a ‘stupid groupies and asshole rock stars’ circle in the Inferno somewhere.

Derek was whipping them all into a frenzy, though, and it was obvious things were on the verge of getting out of hand – the women were pressing up against the barrier and crowding together too much – so security stepped in. One guard said something in Derek’s ear as the other guards moved to contain the crowd. Derek nodded and called out, “I’ll see you inside, ladies – you’ll all get your turn, I promise!” and then he hooked my arm and pulled me past the line.

“What’d you think of that?” he asked me with a massive grin.

“Revolting.”

“You know it’s not me they’re after, right? They’re only acting like this because I’m famous.”

“Yeah, right. Like they didn’t throw themselves at you back in Athens.”

“Well, they did, but nobody asked me to sign their boobs, that’s for sure. Nobody ever acted like this. Whoever said power is the greatest aphrodisiac had it wrong; it’s fame.”

Henry Kissinger, I wanted to tell him, but I didn’t want to sound like a know-it-all, so I just grumped, “Whatever.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll sign whatever part of your body you want me to,” Derek teased.

“Why don’t you sign this?” I asked as I flipped him the bird.

He just laughed and entered the entrance to the backstage area, where the band had hung out before the show.

Except now it was a crowded mass of people, with far more famous faces than before. I saw movie stars, rock stars, rap stars, TV stars. I was pretty sure I saw David Bowie and Iman talking to Ryan. Was that Snoop Dog (or Snoop Lion or whatever he called himself now) in the back corner, sparking up a joint with Killian? I couldn’t swear it in court, but maybe that was Katy Perry talking to Ryan’s little sisters in the back. They looked almost as excited to be talking to her as they had been to Derek.

Riley wasn’t talking to anybody famous, per se; she was just macking on every hot girl she could find. For every four or five that looked disgusted or alarmed, another one was giggling uncontrollably as she (half-heartedly) fended off the Mohawked One’s advances.

Maybe fame really IS the biggest aphrodisiac, I mused. Not that some of these girls weren’t gay or bi… but we were talking about Riley here. Stinky, tiny, foul-mouthed Riley. Fame was the biggest card she had in her deck.

That, and her unrelenting persistence and ‘don’t give a fuck’ attitude. No matter how many ‘no’s’ she got, she immediately moved on to the next opportunity.

And then Derek walked in, and the whole place exploded.

Everyone was shouting his name or calling or waving, the ones nearest the door backslapping him or reaching out to touch him. Well, the ‘unknowns’ were doing that; the famous people kind of hung back and just watched and smiled. I’m sure they had been the recipients of the same sort of attention in their own lives, and were just biding their time until proper introductions could be made. Like well-mannered aristocrats waiting to meet the newly crowned king: courteous and reserved, unlike the overly enthusiastic rabble.

Derek loved it all. He raised his arms triumphantly and shouted, “HEY – where’s the fuckin’ PARTY?!” The entire room roared, and then he was slapping backs and doing fist bumps with everyone he passed as he made his way through the crowd.

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