The bright lights from above the stage threw the crowd into darkness, giving off so much heat that sweat poured off of his body, soaking his shirt, running down his face. The crowd hadn’t stopped cheering since he stepped out on stage over an hour and a half ago and was only outdone by the amplified sound coming from his band behind him. With his guitar hanging around his neck, Brent Kane grabbed the microphone and threw his head back, pouring every ounce of energy he had left into holding the last note of his last song to his screaming fans.
The crowd went wild as Brent clung to the microphone stand and caught his breath. “Thank you. Thank you. I love you all. Have a good night.” With a small bow and his hand held up in a wave, Brent, the country singer crossed over into rock star status, left the stage.
He knew the fans wouldn’t let him off that easy. He was expected to do at least two encores, if not more before the night was over, but he’d been counting down the sets since he’d first gone on stage. Two more songs he could handle.
No one could blame him. He was at the end of his tour, and he was tired. Dog tired. Every show, every long night, seemed to take more and more out of him just to make it through. Not that anyone could tell. Everyone brought their A-game—his band, his backstage crew, the sound crew. All gave a hundred and ten percent…he had to do the same. And he had. He’d brought it tonight, but now he was spent.
And Brent never took his fame for granted. Never took for granted that he made his living, a damn good living, because his fans bought his records and came to his concerts. Usually, when the lights came on, with his band behind him playing their guts out, and the crowd chanting his name, Brent got jacked up.
He fed off the energy, the high, the noise, and the pumping of the bass that lived in his blood. At times it would take days to come down.
But he wasn’t twenty-one anymore, and he’d been having one great show after another and the sleepless night and long days, were catching up with him.
“You killed it.”
Brent acknowledged each person as he walked through the gauntlet of back slaps and smiling faces. He grabbed a bottle of water from the young intern who always seemed to be everywhere he was. Handing him water, throwing out compliments, flashing him smiles. Or maybe it was just him. Maybe he was just irritated.
Brent opened the bottle and downed it. The cool water was heaven, extinguishing the raw burn that was his throat. He reached for a second one the intern just happened to be holding out to him.
“Thanks Kimmey,” he said to the girl with wavy blonde hair and the bluest eyes he hadn’t remembered noticing before.
Yes, her name really was Kimmey, and yes, she was as young as that name implied. Young, beautiful, and giving him that look that told him she was beyond willing to give him more than just water.
“That was an awesome show, Brent. You did great,” she gushed, her bubble gum pink lip gloss drawing his eye despite himself.
He nodded and walked past before his body forgot what his mind kept reminding him—that he was a married man.
“The crowd is screaming for you. You need to get back out there,” his manager, Sally said from behind a clipboard and headset.
“Yeah,” he said. “I’ll be right back. I just need a moment.” He found his dressing room and closed the door on the noise. The dropping of the sound level soothed the thudding in his head. He finished his water, and then braced himself on the table, staring in the mirror.
What the hell was wrong with him? He loved performing. It was what he was born to do. And other women…that’s never been a problem for him. Sure, he wasn’t above looking, but DJ was the only one for him.
And yet…even their relationship had been a cause of stress lately.
Not that he would ever cheat on DJ. He wouldn’t, but it didn’t mean he was above getting a bit testy. The month-long sentence of abstinence was starting to wear on him. Brent was never one for all work and no play. Before he was married the women came to him as easily as the songs abandoned him. Now, the songs were there, but so was the crawling-the-walls feeling. Especially when he had willing women at every turn letting him know they were up for, well anything.
Usually it wasn’t a problem. DJ and he had a commitment to their relationship, and they’d decided that she’d meet him on tour at least once a week, every two at the most. But between his schedule and one crisis after another at the ranch, they hadn’t been able to make the time.
If that was all he could deal. He was a grown man, for Christ sake. But he sensed there was something more going on. Even though they face-timed every day, the distance between them kept growing and he had no idea how to stop it.
He’d known going in that DJ wasn’t the most open person in the world, but with him she’d been different. She’d let her vulnerable side show. She told him her fears, her dreams. But lately she seemed nervous, closed off, and no matter how many times he asked what was wrong she gave him the same answer—I’m fine.
Three more venues. Three more shows and then I’m home.
Those were the exact words he used when talked to DJ last night. “No need to make the trip, honey. It’s a long flight, and I’ll be home before you know it.”
She’d agreed, a bit too quickly, and he couldn’t stop the sinking pit in his stomach when he heard the relief in her voice.
In all fairness, she’d looked as tired as he felt. Her eyes seemed lost inside the dark circles. Her face held a paleness he didn’t usually see beneath her normal tan coco skin.
“Are you drinking too much coffee in the afternoon? Is that’s what has been keeping you up at night?” he’d asked. He couldn’t count how many times he’d got on her about her caffeine addiction. That much coffee couldn’t be good for anyone.
She shook her head and smiled. “Not enough, apparently. I fell asleep in the truck waiting for them to load up the hay in the back. Some pimply-faced teenager had to knock on my window and ask me to leave because I was holding up the line.”
She’d laughed. Brent hadn’t.
He hadn’t liked the sound of that, but the reality was he was here and she was there—over five hundred miles away. It’s not like he could tell her to take it easy, slow down, maybe wait for him to come home so he could help her out. DJ’s ranch meant as much to her as his music did to him. He could never ask her to do something he wasn’t willing to do himself.
Still, three more venues meant at least another week or two before he could get home, and it was getting hard for him to remember that he didn’t live that rock star lifestyle any more.
There was a knock on the door. “Mr. Kane, you need to come out. The crowd is calling for you.”
He downed the last of his water and opened the door. “Coming.”
Three more venues. Three more shows, and I can head home.
Brent stepped on to his tour bus. Usually he stayed in a hotel the night after a show, but they had a tight schedule and he’d rather keep pushing through. The band and crew liked to blow off a little steam and party after a job well done. Brent never had a problem mixing business with pleasure, and he sure didn’t hold it against his crew if they wanted to go a little crazy after a show. Most times he joined them. Not tonight. Tonight, he was exhausted. His throat burned and he felt the headache of dehydration coming on. What he needed was to down water, not shots, and a good night sleep. Not to mention some alone time.
It hadn’t helped that he’d called DJ at their usual time and she hadn’t answered. He couldn’t remember the last time she’d missed a call from him. He felt a pissy mood coming on and was gracious enough not to want to take it out on anyone else. Not his crew’s fault that his marriage seemed to be circling the alimony drain.
His band shared the tour bus with him, but he’d claimed the back bedroom. He needed a place where he could be without people. The bus was oddly quiet. No one else was on it. Usually the party started here first. They must’ve all gathered on one of the other buses instead.
Fine by him.
He started to pull his shirt up over his head as he pushed past the hanging curtain that separated his space from the others.
“Looking good, cowboy.”
He stilled at the same time his heart took flight. The smile on his face as he threw the shirt to one side couldn’t have been bigger.
There on his bed was his wife. Dark brunette hair down past her shoulders, smoky eyes giving him that look, and those sexy lips in a that smile—and his favorite part—naked.
He barely paused long enough to get undressed before he was on top of her skin on skin, flesh on flesh, and her arms welcoming him home. His mouth was already on her neck. “I want to know how you got here. When you got here, and how long you’re staying. I want to know all of those things, but right now I just want you.”
“Glad we’re singing the same song, Rock Star,” she said wrapping her legs around his hips.
He should take his time, move slow, drag this out a bit, but he’d been too long without her. He used the knowledge of his wife’s body to make sure she wanted him just as much.
He guided himself to her entrance, and she arched her back inviting him in a way that spoke louder than any words.
It didn’t take long. Soon she was calling his name, and he was gripping her backside like it was the only thing keeping him grounded to the earth.
Afterwards, they lay there, legs entwined and heartbeats synced. “You know that was just the opening act. We’ve got way more to catch up on,” Brent said, taking his finger and pulling a dark strand of hair off of DJ’s lips.
DJ’s eyes sparkled. “I’d be disappointed if there wasn’t at least one encore, Rock Star.”
He couldn’t help himself, he leaned down for another kiss. “I can’t believe you’re here.”
She smiled. “Me either. You’re a hard man to keep up with Mr. Kane.”
He traced the shell of her ear. Touched the nape of her neck. With her next to him all the stress and exhaustion of the tour seemed to melt away. He couldn’t believe only an hour in her arms and he felt like a new man.
Brent might feel like a new man, but just yesterday he’d been concerned about his wife. He pushed up on his elbow so he could really study her. “You look tired. You’ve been working too hard?”
“I’m fine Brett. It’s not that I’m working too hard. In fact, I need to—”
“Wait,” he said, holding up his hand. “I have something for you. I saw it at a hotel gift shop and knew I had to get it for you.”
“You thought of me?”
He reached down between the bed and the wall and pulled out a white plastic bag. “All the time. You have no idea.”
She sat up letting the sheet fall to her lap, and he enjoyed the view. “What is it?”
There was a ruffle of paper as she unwrapped the gift. She took the travel mug out and then read the caption and broke out into a laugh. “You saw this and thought of me? You’ve got to be kidding. You’re the one with over a dozen backstage crew members, band members, and four tour buses driving you all over the country. I think this fits you more than it does me.”
He threw the mug aside and straddled her. He pinned her wrists above her head and planted a kiss on her nose even as she laughed underneath him. “Well, you’ve always been the Boss of me,” he said, and then kissed her again.
The kiss was deep and slow as he took his time getting reacquainted with the women he’d loved since he was a kid. There’d be quite a few more “encores” before they parted again. Brent closed his eyes as he listened to the sound of his wife’s breathing next to him. He thought she was asleep when he heard her turn toward him.
“Hmmm,” he murmured. Now that his body was satisfied, he couldn’t seem to keep his eyes open. He wanted nothing more than to go to sleep and wake up next to his wife in the morning.
“You know the mug…and when you said that I was the boss of you?”
He murmured another sound he hoped would get his point across that time for conversation was over.
“Well…um… what do you think of me being the boss of three?”
What was she saying? He could barely focus. Something about there being three. Three what? Then his brain finally fired, and he shot straight up. “What? What did you say?”
The bus was dark, but there was still enough light to see the nervous bite of her lower lip as she slowly bobbed her head confirming his suspicion.
He got to his knees and made his way toward her belly. He placed his hand on her stomach, and then looked at her, his heart in his throat. “You sure? You really sure?”
Her eyes glistened as she nodded again. “I..I went to the doctor yesterday, and…and he confirmed it.” She placed her hand on top of his. “We’re pregnant. Are you happy?”
He couldn’t breathe, much less answer.
DJ pushed herself to sitting and pulled her knees into her chest, reminding him of the little girl he once knew. “I know this wasn’t something we planned. I know the timing is waaaaay off, and we still have to figure out everything with the ranch and your touring and—”
He laid back down and gathered her in his arms, cutting her off. “Happy? Baby, I’m beyond happy. I’m…un-done.”
She snuggled in close, and let out a loud sigh. “I’m so glad. I was so nervous. I know how much your music means to you, and I don’t want to do anything to jeopardize that.”
“Baby, you mean more to me than any music career. You, and…” He moved his hand to her belly. “And whoever this is. Never doubt that.”
She took a shuddered sigh and placed her hand over his. “Good because I’m going to need you more than ever.”
“I’m there for you, Boss.”
“I love you.”
“I love you too. Or should I say…two.”
I hoped you enjoyed this little peek inside DJ and Brent’s life. Below is the travel mug that inspired this scene. It was fun to think of what type of coffee mug DJ would get and even more fun to see how Brent would give it to her.
Tell me what you thought and if you have any other story ideas, swag ideas, or requests for more extra scenes from any other characters you might be missing.
With all my love,