Chapter One

The throb of the Marshall stacks made her blood run hot and dampened her panties. Music had always turned her on far more than men. Only after the music stopped did she seek male companionship. Someone with whom she could work off the excess adrenaline. The first night of a tour meant an extra shot or two of nerves laced with a double dose of excitement fueled her performance high. No drug offered the powerful addiction of her job. She freely admitted to being an adrenaline-junkie attention-whore. That, coupled with a voice that soared like an angel’s—or so the critics said—had made her famous.

Standing in the wings, soaking up the roar of the crowd and letting the thrum of the guitars and bass drum vibrate through her body until she quivered like a tuning fork, Gia opened herself to the love of her life…performing. Opening night always found her thus, watching the opening act and absorbing the super-charged atmosphere. But this night happened to be just a little different than every other opening night in her twelve-year career. Tonight, half the reason for her wet panties stood on the stage in jeans that molded muscular thighs while lean hips thrust against the body of a Fender Stratocaster.

In all her years in the business, Gia Santora had never been physically attracted to another musician. Until now. For the first time in her life, a guitar god held sway over her senses. She’d seen and heard his name over the past year, but hadn’t given him any more attention than she would any other up-and-coming rocker. When he had been put forth as the opening act for her tour, she’d agreed because not only was he a great musician, he was the current hot new thing in the rock world and she would have been an idiot not to cash in on that.

The drums thundered and the floor beneath Gia’s boots rumbled. She stared at Sinclair Carstens, his gorgeous body bowed backward as his fingers flew over the frets. Lust rose to an unbearable ache within her as his set came to a cacophonous end. Sin took the spotlight and bowed, waving to the crowd as he yelled his good night and spun toward the wings.

Gia’s gaze tracked his movements. Handing off his guitar. Grabbing a towel from his roadie. High-fiving with his band as a grin lit his face with triumph. Her stomach rolled. What had promised to be a highly successful tour suddenly felt like a months-long prison sentence. The only man she wanted this tour was eight years younger than her and in a relationship with a supermodel.

Sin walked toward her, towel slung around his neck, blue eyes blazing with energy. He led from his hips in a fluid cock-first walk that made Gia’s heart thunder as hard as the drums. Pausing beside her, he flashed a delighted grin.

“They are on fire out there. You’re gonna slay ’em,” he said in a voice that slid over her skittish nerves like warm honey. Sexy yet soothing.

Tilting her head to look up at him, she could feel the heat radiating off his body and smell clean sweat mingled with the fresh fragrance of his soap. His scent had haunted her dreams for weeks as they’d prepared for the tour. No man had ever engaged her senses as this one did. Her pussy creamed and she swallowed hard, trying to push away her intense attraction to him. He was taken and she needed to remember that.

“I hope so. That’s the point to all this, isn’t it?” she replied, hoping her voice didn’t sound as shaky as she thought it did.

Sin cupped a hand over her bare shoulder. His smile became warmer, more intimate as he leaned toward her. “You’ll be great. You always are,” he said softly.

He brushed his lips to her temple, ruffling her curls, and then he was gone. Gia stood there blindly staring at the roadies as they prepared for her band’s set. Her skin tingled where Sin’s mouth had touched it. He affected her on every physical level imaginable. The visual, the aural, the olfactory, and the tactile. Actually, if she thought about it, and she didn’t really want to, she’d just admit that no one had ever stirred her as Sin did.

A heavy hand on her shoulder pulled her toward a big, muscular body encased in leather. Long arms pulled her into a hard hug that lifted her off her feet.

“Stop lusting after the kid,” her guitarist and best friend James Fox whispered in her ear.

Gia glared up him. “I’m not.”

Fox grinned at her, his expression teasing. “You are. Even Derek knows it.”

A snort escaped Gia as James set her down. “Derek doesn’t know shit. He’s all wrapped up in his new boyfriend.” She rolled her eyes as she pictured her big drummer with his tattoos and shaved head kissing his nerdy accountant boyfriend. “What does he see in that guy anyway?”

Laughter danced in James’ green eyes. “Little man has a big dick I hear.”

Gia made a face. “Please, Fox. TMI. I don’t wanna hear about all the sex you guys are having this tour.”

One blond brow winged up. “Why not? It’s not like you don’t usually have plenty to contribute at storytelling time.”

“Not this year,” she grumbled, involuntarily looking over her shoulder in the direction Sin had gone. “I’m too old to fuck around.”

“Old?” Astonishment rippled over James’ face. “Since when did you start thinking about your age?”

Hunching her shoulders defensively, Gia turned away from her oldest friend. “I don’t know. I just know I don’t wanna do the whole fucking-a-thousand-faceless-men thing anymore.” She looked down at her booted feet and tried to find the words to explain how empty her life was. “You’re married now. Derek has a steady boyfriend. Ray-Ray’s living with his girlfriend and Joey’s engaged. You’re all getting some on a regular basis. I’m the only one still living this stupid rock ‘n’ roll life of one-night stands.”

James crossed his arms over his chest and leaned back against a concrete pillar. “So don’t, Gianna.”

His expression and tone had a seriousness Gia rarely heard from him. His green gaze held hers and all his teasing and laughter had disappeared.

“You want that guy…Sin. Go after him, Gia. You’re a strong woman. Take what you want. Make it happen.”

The intensity of James’ voice held Gia enthralled. Could she do it? Did she have the balls to hit on a guy younger than her? Reality smacked her before she could go any further down the road of a possible relationship with Sinclair Carstens. He had a steady girlfriend.

She shook her head at James, noticing the rest of their band headed toward them. “He’s not single. I don’t poach, Fox. You know that.”

Before James could answer, their stage manager bustled up, followed by a stream of roadies. Earpieces were checked. Straps slid on. Drumsticks twirled. The lights went down and Gia headed to her mark as the band slipped into position. Like the well-oiled machine they were, they opened their set with a loud roar of guitars, drums and Gia’s own whiskey-soaked screams.

She opened her arms wide to embrace her audience, her fans. They loved her, even if no one else did. Even if she had no one to go home to, she always had her fans. Drawing deeply on her lust-ridden thoughts of Sinclair Carstens, she focused on delivering the most soul-shaking performance of her career. She might not be able to have Sin, but she could certainly sing for him.

* * * * *

Fresh from the shower, Sin threaded his way through the groupies that always seemed to fill the backstage area. He slipped away from everyone and headed for the spot he’d found Gia standing in earlier. From that vantage point, he could watch her on stage. He’d somehow sensed her standing there during his set and it had fueled his performance. He played for her, sang for her…rubbed his aching cock against the body of his Strat for her.

The damp strands of his expensively cut hair fell into place automatically as Sin ruffled them with one hand and watched Gia. Dressed in a black leather bustier and matching skintight pants, she had the rock-star look down cold. Her black hair cascaded down her back in loose waves and ringlets like the mane of a show horse. She swiveled her hips and his heart thudded against his rib cage. Sweat trickled down her breastbone and he ached to lick it from her skin. She beckoned to the crowd with long slender fingers tipped with black-lacquered nails and all he could think of was how those fingers would feel wrapped around his cock. The cock that currently strained against the placket of his worn jeans.

From the moment his manager had told him Firewire wanted him to open for them, he’d dreamed of fucking Gia. Of course, he’d dreamed of fucking Gia since he was seventeen years old. Firewire had just burst onto the music scene fronted by the twenty-five-year-old bombshell and his adolescent hormones had done nothing but constantly wonder what she looked like naked. Twelve years later, his thoughts hadn’t changed much but his opportunities had.

Sin watched her undulate in the spotlight, her red lips pursed as if she were about to suck on the microphone attached to her headset. God, how he wanted those lips sucking on his cock. The past few weeks had been torture. He’d seen her in passing numerous times but hadn’t yet had a chance to speak to her alone.

Usually flanked by James Fox and Derek Vanguard in public, Gia otherwise kept to herself. He’d discovered she had no boyfriend, husband or significant other of any kind. Her bandmates–all big men with as much muscle as the group’s bodyguards–closed ranks and protected her from the advances of strangers pretty much 24/7. He understood why. A stalker who’d held her at knifepoint three years ago had taken her straight out of the dating limelight. Her personal life had gone one-hundred-percent underground at that point. If he hadn’t been part of the tour, he wouldn’t have found out she was unattached.

He watched Firewire’s entire set, his gaze glued to Gia’s writhing body. At thirty-seven, she looked spectacular. Maybe not quite as hot as she’d been a dozen years ago, but she’d aged well. Her hips might be rounder, her body not as angular, and crow’s feet and laugh lines adorned her face now, but Sin didn’t care. She sent his temperature soaring.

The lights came down at the end of the last song, but within five seconds, a backlight came on, outlining Derek Vanguard’s drum set. A roadie poured water over him as he drank from another water bottle. A low, driving backbeat from his bass drum rumbled through the auditorium. The lights began to pulse with the beat.

Sin blinked in surprise as Gia suddenly appeared in front of him, sweaty, breathless and wide-eyed. Her roadie unzipped the leather bustier and stripped it from her, swiftly pulling a white tank top over her head. For the space of a few heartbeats, Sin saw her naked breasts, the stiff pink nipples thrusting toward him. The roadie stepped behind Gia to pull her hair into a ponytail. Gia drank down a bottle of water, her gaze locked with his.

Fire licked at his groin as he stared at her. He didn’t notice the black smears of her eyeliner or the way she couldn’t seem to catch her breath. He did notice that her eyes watched him with undisguised lust. Sin took a step closer. Anticipation rushed over him. He grasped her chin and slanted his mouth over hers, smearing her lipstick. She tasted like cherries and he twined his tongue with hers, pressing his throbbing cock to her belly. She rubbed her tongue against his, her eyes wide open, watching him cautiously.

Hands pushed him and he stepped back, breaking the kiss. Gia’s roadie hissed angrily at him but he ignored her, keeping his eyes on the woman whose taste still lingered on his mouth.

“Break a leg, baby,” he said, touching her bare shoulders in a swift caress.

For an instant they just stared at each other, then the roadie hissed again and Gia took a step backward. As she spun toward the stage she glanced back at him, one eyelid dropping in a wink. Sin’s heart stumbled, then began to beat faster. Fuckin’ A. He’d kissed Gianna Santora. And she’d winked at him. He felt seventeen again.

Sin took a few steps forward, watching intently as Gia began to sing the band’s signature song, a ballad that had every cigarette lighter in the arena lit like ten thousand candles in the night.

Lay with me

Close to my heart

Breathe my air

Let my love start

To heal your wounds

Our love unfurled

You hold me tight

And just rock my world

He held his breath, noting that at least twice she glanced toward him and both times her voice soared, the smoky, sexy tones washing over him, making him ache. He watched and listened as she segued from the ballad into their final encore of the night, a rousing, foot-stomping, fist-raising anthem of pure rock.

By the time she flung her arms around her bandmates and took a bow, the sweat-soaked white tank top had become transparent, outlining her round breasts with their tight nipples. She jogged off-stage, her face incandescent with performance high. She headed straight for him, slamming her whole body into him, crushing her breasts against his chest. Wrapping her arms around his neck, she ground her pussy against his thigh and moaned.

Electrified by her touch, Sin kissed her hard. Just as he thrust his tongue into her mouth she pulled back, her violet eyes wide, her gaze intense.

“I’m not a cheater and I don’t share,” she growled, her voice raspy from sixty minutes of singing and screaming.

Heart hammering, Sin thrust his hands into her damp hair, dislodging the ponytail holder. “Me either. I broke up with Shanna two months ago. She couldn’t handle me yelling your name every time I came,” he admitted.

His palms absorbed the shock that rippled through her. She grasped his hand.

“Let’s get out of here.”

The next few minutes passed in a haze of lust and anticipation. Gia pulled him through the throngs of people toward an exit. Vaguely he realized she’d muttered something to her roadie and to Fox as they passed. Derek smacked him on the ass and Ray-Ray hooted. Next thing Sin knew, they were sprawled in a limo, lips locked and bodies rubbing urgently together as the car sped toward their hotel. He palmed her breasts through the damp tank top.

“Oh God, I’ve dreamed of this since I was seventeen years old,” he mumbled against her mouth.

Gia froze, her lithe body pinning him to the leather seat. She stared at him with emotion-dark eyes for several seconds. Then, with a visible swallow, she thrust herself away from him, sitting up.

Sin levered himself upright, his stomach lurching. Damn his stupid mouth. He wasn’t a kid anymore but excitement at being with her made him feel and react like one. It had been years since he’d been so gauche with a woman. He looked into her stony face and his stomach fell. Shit. It would take some fancy footwork to get back to the point where they were sucking face and humping on the limo seat again. Sin figured he’d better start dancing.