Millwood - 119 West Ox Road: 4:47 PM
After putting in about an hour and a half of practice on his kit, Shooter headed downstairs. He showered, dressed, grabbed a beer and a book, and headed for the beach. From the moment he laid eyes on this house Shooter knew it was perfect for him. It was rustic and remote, far enough from city life but close enough for when he felt the desire to socialize.
As he stepped onto the deck and made his way toward the beach he smiled. This was the first time he had purchased a house that really felt like home. Even if he didn't spend much time here, the idea of having roots, a place to call home, was appealing. It was something he didn't have much of growing up. Flopping into the hammock, Shooter took a long pull from the beer, secured the bottle in the warm sand and began to read.
"I figured I'd find you back here with your nose in a book. What is it - Vonnegut?"
Smiling up at Mackenna, Shooter let his book fall to the ground as he slid his hands around her hips and drew her down next to him. "No, this time it's Thoreau." He kissed her, a long, lingering kiss that Shooter was reluctant to end.
"Hmm, you taste like cinnamon." Shooter smiled down at her. Hell she looked liked cinnamon sugar, warm and spicy mixed with creamy skin.
"Do I?" Mackenna settled in next to Shooter curling her body against his, sliding one leg on top of his as her right hand played idly with the fine hair exposed on his chest. They lay there for several moments as the surf lulled them into an easy, comfortable silence until Shooter spoke.
"I thought we'd stay in tonight, just you, me and a nice bottle of wine."
Mac shifted, easing her body between Shooter's legs seductively sliding her hands along his abdomen and settling them on his chest. His idea of staying in had just increased ten-fold. Mac's lips turned up in a gentle and somewhat playful smile. "Will there be eating involved as well Mr. James?"
Shooter chuckled softly as he kissed the tip of her nose. "Oh definitely there will be eating involved."
Giggling, Mackenna pinched him lightly, "Very funny...we were going to meet Lily at Prime Cut."
Easing off the hammock Shooter sat in the sand and looked up at her. He didn't say anything for a few moments, tossed back the rest of his beer which was getting warm from the sand, considered how to respond and then sighed. "I know and I know what she wants to talk about. She wants to get into the auction doesn't she?"
Mackenna threw her legs over the side, dug the toe of her shoe into the sand and swung gently back and forth. Damn, she was adorable looking down at him with those forest green eyes and long slender neck.
"She hasn't been seeing much of Duff lately; I think she wants to try and bid on him."
"That's really not a good idea Mac." Rising, he took Mackenna's hand and walked toward the house with her. "Believe me she is better off steering clear of Duff. Lily's in over her head with him. Anyway Duff isn't putting himself up for auction this year. He said he has other plans."
Mackenna stopped, pulling his arm until he turned to face her. "Maybe so, but she's a big girl. She has to figure it out herself. She really likes him Shooter and she's already slept with him so if she is in over her head don't you think she'd know?"
What was he supposed to say to that? He'd considered telling Mac about Duff's perversions so she could warn Lily off, but if she'd slept with him she might already know. And if she did and wasn't scared off...maybe the girl wasn't as naive as he thought.
It didn't matter. Either way he wasn't going to the auction and he certainly wasn't going to facilitate Lily's fascination with Duff.
They continued up the stairs and when they reached the top, Shooter leaned against the baluster and pulled Mac close. She eased into him placing her hands on his shoulders. "Did you know your name means born of fire? You think you can start the grill from here?" Shooter slid his hands down her hips and playfully bit her shoulder.
"You're changing the subject..."
"Yes, I am...I'm sorry Mac. I don't want to do it; I wouldn't feel right if she gets hurt and believe me, she will get hurt."
Pulling her close, wrapping his arms around her securely Shooter began to kiss her neck moving slowly and seductively toward her earlobe and finally pulling her lower lip into his mouth. The only prime cut he craved was Mackenna. "I think you need to feed me..."
South Beach Metro Southeast - Candy: 10 PM
It had become trendy to open underground clubs near the heart of the city. Up and coming talent performed there in hopes that their bands would be noticed and propelled to fame and fortune. Others just wanted a place to practice their craft, be heard and appreciated.
Candy was one of the clubs that catered to those bands. Built near the outskirts of the metro area in an old chocolate factory and on a block just short of seedy, it it featured young bands on the weekends and quickly became one of the hottest clubs to be seen in.
Duff enjoyed the atmosphere and the place had become a favorite haunt of his when he was in the mood for company. More often than not he was recognized by the female patrons making his acquisitions even easier. Depending upon what his appetites craved, Duff would either take them to a nearby rent-a-room, back to his place, or just took what he wanted in a darkened doorway above the club. The club had the good sense to turn a blind eye toward certain lascivious behavior as far as Duff was concerned.
What drew him to the place tonight was a particular prize. During a previous visit Duff had noticed a flyer that prominently featured Brew as the headline band. The girl in the center of it had immediately seized his attention. Rayne. Studying the flyer, he remembered the portrait which hung in his house.
He’d been wandering around Chinatown when he saw the portrait on the back wall in a small shop, hung between an old erotic Japanese woodblock print and someone’s idiotic interpretation of Supergirl and a dog. She was exquisite: the innocent sensuality that sent heat straight to his crotch, the girl who wanted to be taught. Rayne was the big game, the pursuit worthy of his interest, the ultimate trophy.
He'd spent many nights thinking about her, devising several scenarios with which he would draw her into his web. It had been a long time since Duff had truly enjoyed the chase, the seduction, and he would savor every moment drawing it out until the ultimate climax. Tonight was just the beginning.
Taking his drink to a table in a darkened corner of the place he watched her. Every movement, every nuance was sublime. She wore a tank top that clung to her damp body like a second skin displaying her full breasts. Duff swore he could make out her nipples. Her short skirt hugged her hips provocatively and accentuated long, tan legs, legs he imagined wrapped around him. Duff's gaze languidly moved from her feet and upward along those legs lingering at the enticing hem of her skirt.
With their set finished, Rayne placed her guitar on its stand and turned to the blond next to her and smiled.
Duff watched, eyes narrowing slightly as the man ran his hands up her arms and kissed her temple, and he abruptly recognized him. Jimmy Breaux. That was definitely not an obstacle Duff couldn't overcome. Lifting his eyes to a girl who had been wandering through the crowd selling flowers, he gestured once with his head for her to approach and selected a pristine, white rose. He'd save the passionate red one for another time. Slipping a ten in her hand, he waved her off, stood and moved toward Cooper’s beautiful daughter.
Rayne finished the set, gently placed her guitar in its stand and glanced across the room. She couldn't shake the feeling that someone had been watching her. It was ridiculous, there was a large crowd here and they were on stage, of course someone was watching. Still it felt...creepy. She bit her lip and drew her hands through her damp hair, sweeping the room again, and again finding nothing. Everyone was moving out of the room toward the bar.
"Everything cool Dumplin'?" Jimmy ran his hands along her arms and gently placed a kiss against her temple.
He was happy. Things were good; they’d had a brief argument about the stupid auction, but he’d been clean and focused and she didn’t want to worry him. "Everything's cool. It just felt..it sounds crazy but I thought someone was watching me."
"Everyone was watching you Ren. Me, I'd watch you if I was out there."
"Yeah that's probably it. I'm going to pack up my Gibson...be right back." Rayne smiled warmly and moved toward the guitar case with her Gibson clasped firmly in front of her, careful not to allow anyone to bump into it.
Someone moved up very close behind her, brushing against her; she could feel the body heat and that peculiar feeling swept over her again, raising the hairs on her neck. She stopped, waiting. If someone was standing directly behind her, he would either have to move or she would catch him when she turned. On edge, Rayne gave whoever it was time to move, tightened her grip on the Gibson, balanced her weight on her left heel and abruptly turned.
A draft of cold wind caught at her hair and her skirt. A man was leaving, not looking back; it might have been him, or it might have been her imagination.
She drew an uneasy breath, feeling the sweat under her arms and under her breasts, feeling foolish, turning away and kneeling to place her guitar in the case. The clasps were open; she was certain she had closed them. Wary, alarmed, her hands shaking, she carefully raised the lid, trying to peer through the crack, wondering if Woody might have booby trapped it with some kind of dumb toy snake that would pop out into her face, hoping that was all it was. Surely it couldn’t be anything dangerous.
It was a flower, a single rose, fine and white as bridal lace. A gift. A beautiful token. Pale, innocent and thoroughly and intimately invasive.
NEXT CHAPTER: Studio Time Chapter Six