Rock the Band Page 1

hapter 1

Light flickered across the room as the bus rolled down the highway. The constant rumble of the wheels below us comforted me as I held the woman I loved in my arms. This was finally home. Everything I needed was on this bus. Lane had finally chosen to give herself over to me and be completely mine.

I traced my fingertips over the soft skin on her bare shoulder as she rested her head against my chest. I admit I was shocked to see her in the bar earlier tonight at the end of my gig.

That Riff could be a sneaky bastard. He was always able to pull fast ones if the situation called for it.

I never expected to see Lane so soon, but he knew how much I had been suffering and took it upon himself to arrange for us to talk things out. Over the few days we were apart, after Sophie and Mike revealed they completely fucked up my life, I’d gone over everything I wanted to say to her at least a million times. How sorry I was. How it was wrong for me not to try harder to make things work between us. I should’ve stood up to Sophie after she tried trapping me in a relationship I didn’t want for the sake of a child—a child that turned out to not even be mine.

I closed my eyes and tried not to think about that or how stupid my thought process was over the whole situation. The idea of being the best father I possibly could’ve been clouded every judgment I made in all the other aspects of my life, including the way I tried to keep my relationship with Lane a secret until I figured the Sophie thing out. It was wrong of me to ask that of her, and the realization hit me hard when I thought she’d left me for good.

The bus slowed down. Our driver, Jimmy, probably needed to hit the head.

Lane stirred in my arms. “Are we nearly there?”

I smiled and ran my fingers through her brown hair. “Not yet. We still have an hour or so.”

I couldn’t wait to get her back to my place in Kentucky. I knew after she saw it, she’d finally agree to move in with me. It was the perfect spot for us. When I bought it, I was looking for someplace like my parents house on Cedar Creek Lake back in Texas. As much as I hated to admit it, I missed that place like crazy. One of the best weekends I’d had in a long time was when Lane took me home with her to our old neighborhood. Hopefully, my place would remind her of being home and safe.

She lifted her head and placed her chin on my chest. I took a lock of her brown hair and twirled it around my finger. There was odd comfort in doing that. At times, I wished it were physically possible to wrap her entire body around me like I did with her hair on my finger. It was crazy to love someone so much, I knew that, but I couldn’t help it. Being around her made me want to be a better man.

Big Bertha jerked to a stop and Lane pushed her self up on the bed. She raised her arms over her head in a delicious stretch. I tucked an arm behind my head and took in the sight of her bare chest in the moonlight. I bit my lower lip as I trailed my eyes over every inch of her body. It was amazing how fucking sexy she was.

She dropped her arms into her lap and whipped her head in my direction. Her lips pulled in to a heart-stopping smile. “Why are you looking at me like that?”

I furrowed my brow but couldn’t fight back my grin. “How am I looking at you?”

Lane shrugged. “I don’t know, like you’re studying me.”

A chuckle escaped from me as I sat up with lightning speed and pulled her back down in bed with me. I brushed a few stray hairs free from her face and then traced her delicate jaw line. She really was absolute perfection.

“Maybe I am studying you.”

She readjusted her head on the pillow. “Why?”

“Just wondering why you came back to me tonight? I mean, I was fully prepared to grovel to win you back, but I was just giving you space.”

She sighed and brought her hand to cup my face. “I left to give you time to figure things out. You just had your entire world rocked. I didn’t want to add any more drama.”

This was one of the reasons I loved this woman. She actually cared about my feelings. No one had ever done that before. She was the only person who ever put me first in their life. Not even my parents did that. The only time she ever considered herself was when she left me on the dock, but she was right to do that. I never used to put her first back then, and I see now how shitty that made me. Her leaving pushed me to succeed. It drove me. In a way, I owe her thanks for that.

I leaned my head down and placed my lips on hers. “You are my world, and you’re welcome to dramatize it all you want.”

Her mouth turned up into a smile. “I think it’s time we live drama free for a while, don’t you?”

I nodded and stroked her face.

Drama free? Was there really such a thing? Life for me had always been filled with it. The only time I’d ever experienced true peace was on stage. The surge of the crowd and the heavy thump of the drums always pulled me into almost what felt like another dimension and made me forget all the bad shit in my life. It was true, I felt nearly the same way in moments like this one with Lane, but deep down I always had to fight back the fear that someday I’d fuck things up and she would decide to run from me again.

Then it hit me. I needed to make this thing between us permanent. I had to show her I meant what I said earlier at the show, that I was hers—forever.

I stared into her green eyes and made a silent promise to myself that somehow, someway, I would make this girl my wife. The mere thought of us being apart again caused an ache I didn’t think I could bear. Yes, giving her my last name would rectify that fear.

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