“I like your shirt,” Van says, a confident smirk curling his wide lips. With messy black hair bleached at the ends, and barbells in his ears and eyebrow, he looks like he just walked off of the cover of a rock magazine.
I gaze down at my shirt, understanding what Joel meant. I’m wearing the name of Van’s band, and he’s definitely flirting with me. I’ve seen enough guys use that look and that voice to know what he’s doing. And Joel must know too because he squeezes me even tighter against his side, and that small gesture gives me a million more butterflies than seeing Van Erickson did.
“Thanks,” I say, unable to prevent the smile that consumes my whole face.
“Why didn’t you wear one of theirs?” Van asks, nodding toward Joel. It’s obvious he’s doing that thing guys do where they fuck with each other, so even though he’s Van freaking Erickson, I decide to pay Joel back for all the favors he did me this week.
“Oh, I didn’t want to cut one of theirs up,” I say, pinching the hem of my black Cutting the Line T-shirt and staring down at the design. “I’ve never heard of these guys. Are they any good?”
When I glance back up at Van, he’s staring at me like I just told him I was born with a split tongue. I maintain a straight, innocent face, but Joel doesn’t last more than a few seconds before he breaks into a guy-giggle that makes the corners of my mouth twitch.
“She’s kidding, man,” Joel says, and I break into a wide smile. “She knows who you are. She’s a big fan.”
To my relief, Van laughs too. “You had me going,” he tells me as he takes a beer from a girl he doesn’t bother to acknowledge. “What’s your name?”
“Dee,” I answer, and he walks across the circle to shake my hand.
A million introductions and three beers later, I’m sitting on the grass between Joel’s spread legs listening to Van talk about the international tour his band has been on and how crazy the shows have been. Joel’s chin is cradled in the curve of my bare shoulder, his arms are coiled around my waist, and Rowan calling me an idiot is stuck on replay in my brain.
Friends don’t touch each other like Joel has been touching me. His fingers have been playing with the fringes of my cut-off shorts, exploiting the open slits in the side of my shirt, and brushing through my hair. It’s like he knows I haven’t gotten off in over a week and is dead-set on making me explode.
“Oh!” he suddenly says, breaking me from my internal countdown. “Dee actually asked me a question today you guys should weigh in on. She wanted to know what it feels like to be onstage at a show.”
A bunch of cliché answers get tossed out by random people in the circle—it’s like being high, like being in a dream, like being a hero—and then Van muses, “It’s like getting your dick sucked by a thousand chicks at once.”
A round of laughter sounds, and I roll my eyes.
“I don’t know,” Joel chides. “Dee can do this thing with her tongue that—”
I shut him up with an elbow to his stomach, which makes everyone laugh even harder.
“Damn,” Van says, sporting a shit-eating grin. “Now I’m curious. Dee, want to show me?”
“Sure,” I say, flashing him a bright smile as Joel tenses behind me. Van’s grin stretches even wider, but it falters when I wrap my fingers around Joel’s wrist and bring his hand to my mouth. I shift to the side so Joel can watch me as I lick my stiff tongue up the length of his index finger and suck the tip into my mouth. I draw it out slowly, part my lips, and roll the flat of my tongue in lush waves over his fingerprint. I finish him off by sucking the entire length of his finger deep into my mouth and lavishing it with my tongue as I slowly draw it back out, gently scraping my teeth over the pad of his finger before I finally release his wrist.
When I’m finished putting on my little show, Joel is staring at me like he wants to fuck me right there in front of everyone, and I smirk with satisfaction.
“Holy shit,” someone near us breathes, and Joel snaps out of his daze, shifting me off his lap and hauling me to my feet. A second later, his fingers are laced with mine and I’m being dragged toward the buses.
“Lucky bastard,” someone says, initiating a chorus of catcalls that get drowned out by the sounds of my blood rushing in my ears and my heart pounding in my chest.
We don’t even make it to the bus before Joel spins around and crushes his lips against mine. I wrap my arms around his neck, breathing him in like air I’ve desperately needed to breathe. His hands grab my ass and lift me off my feet, and I wrap my legs around him, clinging to every hard edge of his capable body as he carries me further into the dark.
My back flattens against some other band’s bus, and Joel breaks his lips from mine. “Fuck,” he breathes, his voice rough with need.
Suffocating without him, I grab his jaw and bring his lips back to mine, moaning when his tongue slips back into my mouth and his hips grind against me. He fries every neuron in my brain, making my closed eyes roll back in my head. “Joel,” I gasp, tightening the circle of my legs around him, fitting him where I want him most.
His lips break from mine again when he pins his forehead to the bus behind me, the stubble on his jaw brushing against my cheek. “Dee, if you’re not ready for this . . . you need to tell me now. And you can’t be doing that fucking thing . . . with your tongue.” His hips twitch forward reflexively with the memory, and he groans when the hardness in his shorts grinds between my legs. His fingers tighten around the bottoms of my thighs, and his forehead is still resting on the bus when he says, “God, I’m such an asshole.”