That I wanted ‘us.’

That I believed in ‘us.’


But… how would I find him when I got to the Wynn?

I could ask for the room number, but I didn’t think they would give it to me.

Shit.

Then I thought, I’m a journalist, goddamn it.

Would a REAL journalist let this stop her from getting a massive break in a story?

But, barring a miracle or a brand-new employee – which I didn’t think was likely – I couldn’t see any way around the problem.

The hotel wasn’t going to give up the room number of a guest, much less a famous one.

Unless…

…unless someone really ‘official’ was asking for it.

Suddenly I had my plan.

110

I got out my cell phone and searched for the Wynn’s number. Then I retreated to Killian’s now-vacant bedroom (I could tell it was his by the lingering stench of pot smoke), found the telephone by the bed, steadied my trembling nerves, and dialed.

After the main switchboard directed me to the front desk, a man’s voice answered on the first ring. He sounded moderately young, maybe mid- to late twenties.

“This is the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas, how may I help you?”

“Hello, I’m calling on behalf of Miles Sumner, the manager for the band Bigger. The lead singer, Derek Kane, is staying at your hotel, and we need to messenger over some contracts for him to sign immediately and send right back with the delivery man. Could you give me his room number, please?”

There was a pause.

Then –

“Derek Kane?”

As in, Really? Derek Kane is staying at our hotel?

For the first time, I felt like I might actually have a shot.

Then his voice dropped back down a notch to normal. “I’m sorry, but we can’t give out that sort of information.”

I had expected that. “Can you call up to his room and ask him if you can tell me the room number for the messenger service?”

“We could just deliver the package ourselves if they drop it off at the front desk.”

“I’m sorry, but it’s a multi-million dollar contract. My boss would kill me if it got into anybody’s hands but Derek’s. Could you call him?”

“Couldn’t you call his cell phone?”

“He doesn’t have one.”

There was a stunned silence. Then, “Really?”

“I know, right? In this day and age? But no, he likes to be a rebel. Which is why it’s really, really important that I get these contracts over to him, because we can’t get ahold of him any other way.”

There was the sound of light tapping on a keyboard. “I’m sorry, but there’s no one by that name staying here.”

My eyes bugged out.

What?!

How was that possible?

Had the guy who tweeted the picture been wrong?

Or was Derek there, and just using a different –

Suddenly our night at the Doubletree in Irvine came flooding back.

Who’s Arthur Lee?

Lead singer of Love, this awesome, underappreciated band from the ‘60s. I always register as him when Miles isn’t handling things.

“Could you check under the name ‘Arthur Lee,’” I said as calmly as I could.

Another pause, more light tapping. “Um… I could connect you to his room, if you like…”

It’s funny to have a reaction where you’re like YES! and SHIT! all at the same moment. But I rolled with it.

“He’s NOT going to be happy about talking to me right now. You know, rock star, end of the tour, and all that,” I lied outright. “That’s why he went to a different hotel. But we have to get these contracts signed by the end of the day, or there’s going to be hell to pay. And it’s kind of my fault, because I didn’t get him to sign them earlier, and I could lose my job over this. Can you please, please, please help me out? Either call him and ask if we can give the delivery service his room number, or… please?…”

There was a long, long pause. Then a sigh.

“Hold on, I’ll call him.”

YES!

“Tell him Miles Sumner needs to messenger over contracts, please!”

“Okay – ”

“And he might try telling you he’s not Derek Kane, that he’s Arthur Lee, but Miles really, really needs those contracts – ”

“Okay – ”

“And tell him Ryan Miller approved of the contracts,” I added, just for the finishing touch.

The guy was starting to get seriously annoyed. “Okay. Hold on.”

Classical music purred in my ear as he put me on hold. It was supposed to be soothing, but nothing could calm my nerves at this point.

I waited for what felt like the length of the Ice Age.

Finally the music cut out and the man returned. “Wow.”

I didn’t know what that meant, so I just decided to gamble. “I know, right?”

He gave a little laugh. “You weren’t kidding about him being unhappy. But he said you could have the messenger service send it to 4029.”

“Thank you SO much,” I said happily, and had to suppress a squeal.

I was back in business.

This was going to be an epic surprise.

111

First I said goodbye to Ryan. Actually, he was still on the phone, so I just mouthed I’m going to go as I pointed at the door. He winced and mouthed back Sorry and I waved gaily and mouthed No problem as I skipped out the door.

I then went shopping real quick. I had it exactly in mind: I was going to wear one of those wraparound dresses, the kind you tie like a robe – with nothing underneath. Then, when he came to the door, I would flash him right there in the hallway with a big grin.

I found the perfect one, a sexy black number, at a boutique near the MGM Grand, and paid with some of the cash Miles had given me. I changed in my room, made myself up perfectly, left everything but my purse, and caught a cab to the Wynn.

On the way I was giddy. This was going to be perfect. I would make amends for all the shit that had happened over the last few weeks… all the fighting, all the jealousy, all the distrust…

My heart was pounding as I entered the hotel. At every step I thought security was going to rush over and tackle me, as though they had figured out the whole ruse to get his room number. But nobody gave me a second look.

Well, that’s not entirely true. I got a lot of looks from nearly every male in the place, which I took as a good omen for how Derek might react.

I found the elevator to the upper floors and got in. It rushed upwards in a burst of speed, but it didn’t bother me at all.

Now I wasn’t nervous anymore.

I was just overjoyed that everything was going to be back to the way it had been weeks before.

The way it had been back in Athens, in that magical night we spent together four years ago.

I got out at the 40th floor and walked until I found Derek’s room. I waited until there was no one else in the hallway, and then I uncinched the ties on the dress. I held it closed with one hand and knocked loudly with the other, then prepared to flash him when he answered.

The door opened.

I froze in utter shock.

A woman was standing in front of me. She was absolutely gorgeous – like Playboy Playmate of the Year gorgeous.

She had long, black, tousled hair. And she was tall. Taller than me by several inches. She was also tanned and thin and toned – and naked.

Well, she was beneath the white sheet she held clutched to the front of her body, anyway.

She looked at me, slightly puzzled.

I stared back at her in complete and utter bewilderment, not a thought in my head except, Huh?

“Can I help you?” she asked politely. She had the most sex-kittenish voice I’d ever heard in my life.

I was just about to answer Um, I must have the wrong room when a voice spoke out from behind her.

It was unmistakable. Low and rumbling.

“Is that the messenger guy, babe?”

Derek.

And in that instant, my entire world crumbled.

Did you enjoy this book? If you did, would you mind leaving a review? I would greatly appreciate it!

HARD AS ROCK (Part 3 of the Rock Star’s Seduction) should be available in fall or early winter of 2014.

For an email when it (and any other future book) is published, sign up for my email list at OliviaThorneBooks.com. I will also be giving away free short stories over the coming months, so sign up now and don’t miss out!

Afterword

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my readers. I originally said that Rock All Night would be ready by January 2014, but the universe had other plans. In late November 2013, I had a recurrence of a particularly nasty health issue that wiped out my writing time in December, January, and February, and continued to linger months afterward.

When I told my fans I was sorry, that Rock 2 was going to be delayed, you know what the almost uniform response was?

“Take care of your health, Olivia. That’s what’s most important. We’ll wait for the book.”

I don’t think I would have ever heard that from a publisher.

Things have definitely improved since the truly dark days, and I have returned to writing full-time – so Part 3 (which I am pretty sure will wrap up the Rock Star series) should arrive a whole lot sooner than Rock 2 did.

But I am left with the countless outpourings of support, and love, and prayers, and well-wishes. It was beautiful – and incredibly humbling. I had never imagined that so many people could be so kind to me, and that I had touched so many people in some small way.

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