"My need to possess you
Has consumed my soul
My life is trembling
I have no control… "
Elizabeth's melodic voice blended perfectly with the band. Usually, Lucky's appreciation of the music overrode everything else. He'd close his eyes as his fingers strummed the strings of his guitar. His foot would tap the floor in time with Jordan's drums. But today, his timing was off. His riffs came out wrong and his accompanying harmony was either too flat or too sharp. Helena's threats against Dawn latched onto his brain. The older woman's penchant for disaster couldn't be ignored. He and Nikolas had to find a way to stop her once and for all.
"I will have you
Yes, I will have you…Lucky!"
He jumped. "What?"
"You're not even here," she said, sliding the microphone onto the stand. "This rehearsal is a waste of time."
"Sorry," he mumbled. He turned to face the rest of the band. "Let's reschedule. We have enough time for another rehearsal before our next gig. Is that cool with everyone?"
"No problem," Jordan said. With his drumsticks in hand, he headed toward the door. "Call me and let me know when."
Lucky wiped down his guitar and listened for the final pair of footsteps to file out of the rehearsal hall. He longed for solitude. A few minutes alone so that he could get his head together. He'd never seen Dawn so needy before. He had to be strong for her.
Soft warmth closed around his forearm. He looked down into Elizabeth's bright brown eyes. She gazed at him with such expectancy. What could she possibly want?
"What's going on with you?" she asked.
"Just having one of those days."
Her touch sent uneasy sensations coursing through him. He shrugged off her hand and grabbed his guitar case. The scent of her perfume followed. He hitched a sharp breath. He wasn't in the mood to fend off another of Elizabeth's obvious attempts to get him. Why couldn't she get it through her thick skull that he only wanted her friendship? She refused to understand him. It was all about the chase with her.
"I don't believe you." She circled around him, like a viper hunting her prey. "You've never been this out of touch with the music. What's going on? Maybe I can help. Why won't you give me a chance?"
"Because I'm afraid of where you may go with it." He jumped from the stage and propped his guitar case near the door. "Come on. I need to lock up."
"Slow down." She dropped to the edge of the stage. Her shapely, slender legs swung to a silent rhythm. "You're always rushing. Relax and smell the roses."
"I don't have time for that." He leaned against the open door. The evening breeze blew light and airy, ruffling the leaves and his hair. The weight of Dawn's engagement ring hung low in his jeans pocket. Time. What was the right time to ask her to spend her life with him? What did he have to offer her? Right now, he couldn't even protect her from a lunatic senior citizen! Shit.
"Make time." She patted to the empty space beside her. "I've never seen you so tense. You need to chill out before you snap in two."
"Liz," he said, "don't worry about me."
"Someone needs to." Her mouth twisted. Her voice crackled with spitfire. "Dawn isn't stepping up--"
"Nope, don't go there."
"You don't want to hear it because I'm right."
"You don't know anything about it." He adjusted the lock on the door and grabbed his guitar case. "The lock's fixed. Be sure to close the door when you leave."
Steven Lars plunged his tongue deeper. Tiny thrusts mimicked what his manhood wanted to do to her...penetrate and fill her up. Simone's soft gasp escaped inside his mouth. He responded with a low growl. His hands moved down her body, memorizing every soft curve. She trembled. The tiny movement aroused him further.
He moved onto the chair and pulled her onto his lap. Her round bottom rubbed his growing erection in the right way. The sweet scent of her perfume filled his senses. His entire body felt charged with pure, sexual energy. He'd never been this turned on before.
She rubbed his chest. Her fingers toyed with the buttons on his shirt. Then, suddenly she pulled back. "This is crazy. What are we doing?"
The husky warmth of her voice quivered with longing. Steven Lars heard it and wondered if she knew how easily she betrayed herself. He placed his hand over her heart. The rapid thudding pounded his palm. The movement of his hand parted her blouse. He bent forward and kissed the ample flesh straining against the sexy lace bra.
"Beautiful," he murmured. "I bet you taste like chocolate, too. Sweet and decadent."
"Steven Lars." She moaned his name like a plea.
"Tell me what you want." He blew softly on her breast. Her nipple tightened and pushed against the fabric. It took everything he had not to peel the lace back and latch onto the hard peak. "I can take you places you've only fantasized about. Simone, let me love."
Her fingertips grazed the back of his neck. The touch was feather light but just enough to drive him insane. Did she have any idea what she was doing to him?
"Tell you?" she repeated. "I can't tell you."
He stared into her eyes. She kept too much bottled up inside. There was no way in hell his father was fulfilling her. No, Jeff Webber was too busy with his former lover to recognize the outstanding woman he married. For years, Steven Lars craved a certain type of woman but never found her. Until now.
As if reading the depth of his attraction, she turned her head. The sudden stricken expression on her face surprised him. He followed her gaze and saw their family portrait staring back at them. They posed for the photo over ten years ago on one of the rare occasions when Heather permitted him to spend time with his father.
Steven Lars looked into the eyes of the boy he used to be. Even then, he wanted to Simone.
"That's why!" Simone scrambled from his lap. Her fingers trembled as she righted her clothing and smoothed her hair. "Get out."
"No, I don't want to hear it," she said. Her voice shook. Shame washed over her beautiful face. "I can't believe what we just did. What I allowed. What is wrong with me?"
Pain squeezed his chest. He couldn't stand to see that agonized look in her eyes. He reached for her. "Don't blame yourself."
She jerked from his touch. "Don't touch me, Steven Lars."
"I just want you to listen." He dropped his hands to his sides.
She shook her head and grabbed a stack of medical records from her desk. "I've heard enough from you today. Get out of my office and don't come back until you can respect our roles in our family. Dear God, you're my husband's son and my children's brother. How could I...?" Her voice dropped to a low, gritty whisper. "Dammit, Steven Lars. Don't make me call security. Go!"