Number one on Lindsey’s list was Owen Mitchell, and number two was standing right beside him vying for the top position, Kellen Jamison. Luckily, Lindsey wasn’t in a relationship or pregnant. And her current sexual dry spell might make her feel like a nun some days, but she hadn’t taken vows of chastity. If only she could get close to them. Gain their attention. Offer her body willingly. Then maybe she could have at least one of the three men who made her drool like a recent root-canal-recipient.
In the middle of the song, the lead guitarist of the band, Adam Taylor, moved to the front of the stage to play the solo. His dark hair was thick and cut in a shaggy style that drew attention to his face. He had the most sensual lips Lindsey had ever seen on a man. And a collection of chains around his neck and at his hip that she wouldn’t mind getting tangled up in. Adam’s lightning-fast fingers flew over electric guitar strings, churning up images of fingertips brushing against Lindsey’s highly attentive body parts. He was about to kick David Beckham from the number three spot of her f**k-it list. Unless Shade wanted the honor.
“God, I’m so horny,” Lindsey growled under her breath.
“I can help you out with that,” Joe, who worked at her office, said in her ear.
It was like a cold bucket of water over her head. He hadn’t been sitting beside her at the start of the concert. He must have weaseled his way through the standing crowd when she hadn’t been paying attention. Lindsey shoved him out of her personal space and changed places with Vanessa so she’d have a best friend buffer that no man was likely to cross. The look Vanessa gave Joe—her dark eyes wide, eyebrows threatening her hair line, lips pursed in a harsh line—had him staring at his shoes and running a finger under her collar.
“That’s what I thought,” Vanessa said and churned her neck for added affect. “Lindsey done told you she wasn’t interested. Bye now.”
Lindsey had told him. Many times. She’d thought he’d finally given up. Joe hadn’t bothered her in weeks. She must be flinging out pheromones like a bitch a heat or something. It wasn’t as if she could help it. The members of Sole Regret lit her on fire, but she’d rather sate her lust with her battery operated boyfriend than with Joseph Bainbridge. She was so not attracted to him and never would be. There was nothing wrong with him, but there was nothing right about him either.
Joe sidled away and Lindsey returned her attention to the stage. The song came to an end and the crowd cheered, the riotous noise echoing through the auditorium like waves of an angry sea. Shade moved to the center of the stage and spoke to the audience.
“Thanks for coming to our benefit concert on this cold Christmas eve.”
The crowd cheered.
“Ellie Carlisle wanted to be here tonight to thank you for helping her family out with her medical expenses. Unfortunately, after a strong dose of radiation therapy yesterday, they wouldn’t clear her to leave the hospital. So tonight she’s getting a lot of rest so she can wake up tomorrow and see what Santa brings a perfect angel for Christmas.”
It might have been the sound system, but Shade’s voice sounded a little raw as he talked about the Ellie, a five-year-old girl who was fighting for her life in a local hospital. The town had come together several times to try to help her family out, but pancake breakfasts and silent auctions for afghans only raised so much money. A Sole Regret concert, on the other hand, brought in folks and their money for hundreds of miles.
“Her father is a big fan of ours,” Shade continued, “so when he asked us to come out and help them raise some money to help his little girl fight for her life, we couldn’t say no.”
“Be sure to buy a T-shirt on your way out,” Kellen Jamison said in the deepest, sexiest voice Lindsey had ever heard. How could she possibly think about anything but the sound of that voice in her ear when it echoed around her from every direction? “All of the profits from merch sales go to helping the Carlisle family too.”
Owen stepped up to his microphone. “You know what? Fuck cancer,” he bellowed, thrusting a fist in the air.
He soon had the entire auditorium chanting, “fuck cancer, f**k cancer, f**k cancer” over and over again. Even stick-up-her-ass Mrs. Weston was yelling it along with the others.
When the crowd settled again, Shade said, “Thanks for coming out tonight and supporting Ellie’s cause. Now we’re going to rock your faces off.”
Shade started the next song with a battle cry that caused a thrill to streak down Lindsey’s spine. Hard to believe this group of bad ass men would be willing to give up their Christmas Eve to help out a little girl they didn’t even know. Lindsey was surprised that tears were prickling at the backs of her eyes as she thought of their selfless act. Suddenly, the members of Sole Regret seemed more substantial to her than walking aphrodisiacs. She wondered what kind of men they were. Maybe she could find a way to get to know them. And not just so she could check two tasks off her f**k-it list. She had a powerful need to thank them for being awesome.
Owen glanced around the tour bus, looking from one grim face to another. You’d think his band mates had just come from a funeral, not from a kick-ass benefit concert that would likely save a little girl’s life. Owen shifted his Santa hat to the cocked and ready position and reached for the black garbage bag of decorations his mom had sent along with him when she’d learned he wouldn’t be able to attend their family’s annual Christmas Eve celebration. His brother wouldn’t be attending either—Chad had been deployed to Afghanistan in August—so Owen was somewhat glad that he wouldn’t have to sit across the table from an empty chair and wondered if his brother was dodging bullets while he was dodging Grandma Ginny’s questions about when he was going to settle down and make pretty babies for her to spoil. Though he missed his family as much as the next guy—yes, even Grandma Ginny—Owen wasn’t going to lounge here on the bus and sulk all the way from Wherever-the-hell-they-were, Idaho to Wherever-the-hell-they-were-going, Montana. He was going to make the best of their situation and not let his bummed out band mates ruin his perpetual good time.
Owen’s prime target was Kelly. Not because the rhythm guitarist was the most depressed—that honor went to their vocalist, Shade—but because Owen needed a partner in Christmas cheer and Kelly always had his back. He didn’t even have to ask Kelly for his assistance. They’d formed a pact of mutual mischief long ago.