Between love and fire ba.., p.1

Between Love & Fire (Backstage #1), page 1

 

Between Love & Fire (Backstage #1)
 


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Between Love & Fire (Backstage #1)


  Copyright © 2016 Dani René

  Published by Dani René

  eBook ISBN 978-0-620-68505-4

  All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book

  or portions thereof in any form whatsoever.

  The following story contains mature themes, strong language,

  and sexual situations. It is intended for adult readers.

  No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your enjoyment only, then please purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

  This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

  The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products artists, and songs referenced in the work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owner.

  Copyright

  Dedication

  Prologue

  Chapter One

  Chapter Two

  Chapter Three

  Chapter Four

  Chapter Five

  Chapter Six

  Chapter Seven

  Chapter Eight

  Chapter Nine

  Chapter Ten

  Chapter Eleven

  Chapter Twelve

  Chapter Thirteen

  Chapter Fourteen

  Chapter Fifteen

  Chapter Sixteen

  Chapter Seventeen

  Chapter Eighteen

  Chapter Nineteen

  Chapter Twenty

  Epilogue

  Sneak Peek

  The Music

  Acknowledgements

  About Dani

  Other Books

  Stalk Links

  This book is for the dreamers.

  You know who you are.

  Those of you who want to do something

  awesome with your life. Who don’t give up.

  Who fight for what you believe in.

  We’re all strong enough to do it.

  The road may be long, filled with speed bumps,

  but you always get to your destination.

  Never give up. Work hard. Kick Ass.

  And NEVER let anyone tell you you’re not good enough!

  Because you fucking are!!

  (Yeah I cursed, get over it!)

  You were no more damaged than you think you are,

  In my eyes, that’s where you were perfect.

  Not for your outer appearance,

  But for the beauty in your soul.

  For the love in your heart.

  And the light in your smile.

  And I promise to spend my life showing you.

  To my Rock Star

  Love Always xo

  Callum

  When you’re the man every woman wants, the one that they would drop their panties for in a heartbeat. No questions asked. What do you do? I do what every other red blooded man does. I take advantage. But what happens when you find one woman that changes the way you feel about yourself. Your life. And your heart.

  Do you recognize the moment your life changes? When you find clarity. When the constant confusion you have becomes an untangled ball of string. The notes that are caught in your head for days on end, suddenly play in an exquisitely constructed symphony.

  That’s what happened the day I laid eyes on her. When she slammed into me, spilling her milky cappuccino over my favorite white T-shirt. When chestnut eyes, and sleek ice-blond hair invaded my senses. Her sweet vanilla perfume engulfed my veins and all I could see was the delicate angel.

  My name is Callum Hayes. I am a rock star, a rock god. The tabloids call me a bad boy. They write the articles I want them to write. The image I portray is one of sex and rock-and-roll. Isn’t that what rock stars are meant to do?

  I am sitting in my music room. The only place I can be myself. The real me that nobody else sees. Images that rush through my mind of what I crave to do to that gorgeous woman distract me from what I am supposed to do. Write.

  The want I feel for her is primal. I ache to bend her over this fucking piano, pull her tight little panties down her toned legs and sink myself so deep inside that sexy little body, ruining her for any other man. I need her sweet cunt to mold to only my cock. To make her yearn and ache for my mouth on her, my fingers inside her and my cock claiming her.

  Today was Tayla's second official day with us. She’s got an ear for music and sound. So setting up drums and tuning the guitars is the task I set her today. Her role is to help out the sound engineers on tour, and I can’t wait to get her backstage.

  My mind has been filled with dirty images since her interview. I turn my attention to the notebook. The words are jumbled, like the muddle in my mind. She will be the death of me. If I can’t have her, I don’t know what I will do. Liam is right. I put myself in situations like this, but this feels different. The way her cheeky mouth challenges me, makes me wish to see how much I can challenge her.

  There is one thing he is mistaken about though, that Tayla Quinn will be mine. Beneath me. Writhing. Moaning. Whimpering. Begging. When I take her and make her scream my name, she’ll ache only for me. Callum fucking Hayes.

  Los Angeles, the city of angels, is my home. I grew up here. The smog, the traffic, and the passionate, crazy people. It’s the only place that held a part of me. And the hottest rock band in the world. That would be a dream come true.

  I finished my sound engineering degree at UCLA, now I am ready to gain the experience needed to build my career. The thrill of getting my first gig is exciting.

  When my parents migrated to London, I remained behind to complete my studies. My sister ventured off with them. She’s studying fashion design at Cambridge. We only have a three-year age difference, which makes it easier being best friends.

  We get along better than most siblings I spent time with. Yes, there have been arguments, but on the whole, we love each other.

  I grab the newspaper and a Coke, striding up to the cashier, placing my items on the the counter. I watch her punch in the prices on the ancient register.

  As I hand over the money, I offer her a smile. With my drink and paper in hand, I make my way out the store and down the street. I need to check the airline prices since my folks have been pestering me about visiting. I traveled through Scotland and London over the past four years since they moved. To make friends out there was easy. I think it was the American accent. Everybody thought I was different, they asked questions about where I was from. They were always intrigued by the stories I could tell them.

  Outside my apartment, I find my keys in my purse and unlock the door that leads into a narrow entrance foyer. A quick look in my mailbox, offers nothing but random flyers. My plan for the afternoon is to spend time online searching for a job. Anything would do at this point. Something that's not an option is waitressing. I am clumsy and would end up tripping with several plates in my hands.

  My tiny apartment is pleasant and warm. I had left the windows open this morning, and the sunrays shone through onto my second-hand sofa. One of those comfy ones, you know, that you can flop into. Since I am not big into furniture, the apartment isn
t cluttered. Besides the oak coffee table that my parents bought, I have little else.

  The bedroom is my sanctuary. It’s the king-size futon bed that keeps me sated. Especially on Summer mornings when the sun floods through the window. It shines onto the bed, making it near impossible to get up. There's a boxed window seat, which allows me to relax.

  Where I can write and compose songs. I am not an artist, by any means, but I love playing my guitar. Or learning to. My most prized possession.

  My laptop in hand, I power it on and get comfortable on the sofa. With my Coke on the table, I check out the newspaper first. There aren’t normally many jobs in here, but I buy it anyway. It’s a local paper, so at least there should be something close to home. Scanning the pages, I pull out my phone. An advert for an intern catches my attention-sound engineer, newly graduated-I fit the prerequisites. There's no mention of who the band is, but this could be the opportunity I've been waiting for. As quickly as my screen is unlocked, I dial the number in the advert.

  It rings twice and I am about to hang up when someone answers. “You’ve reached Kierra Thorne. How may I help you?” Kierra? Why does that name sound so familiar?

  “Yes, hello, uhm. My name is Tayla Quinn. I am calling about the internship you have advertised in the daily paper.” My mind is whirling and my hands are trembling. It’s only a phone call and I am nervous. I can’t imagine sitting in an interview.

  “Yes, Tayla. The offer is an internship with the band. If you’re free tomorrow, we can meet for coffee. If I am happy with you, I will bring you to meet the guys. This will be a brief run through. There is a lot of information, so if we offer you the position, you will be required to dive in at the deep end.”

  “I am free tomorrow.” My voice is high pitched and the excitement in my tone is unmistakable. “What time? I have most of the day open.” She’s silent for a moment, and I hear rustling.

  “Tomorrow, 10 am. Meet me at The Java Bean. Give me a shout when you arrive and I will find you.”

  “Perfect. Thank you, Kierra.” As soon as I hang up, I drop my phone on the sofa and jump around. Up and down in my living room. What am I going to wear? Shit! I need to call Emma. She’ll know what to do.

  With my laptop open, I log into my Skype account and message my sister. When she logs in she will get my message. I hope to God it’s before tonight. As I lean backward, my eyes close. I recognize the name, Kierra. Oh God! I realize where I have heard it before, she’s assistant to Callum Hayes. Holy shit. This is huge. I could very well be an intern for Hunters in Oblivion.

  It's 9:45 as I walk down the road, my heart was racing and my palms were sweaty.

  I had pulled my long blonde hair into a ponytail. Emma suggested I wear my black skinny jeans and a pastel blue chiffon top. The sheer material was light and the deeper blue tank top below covered what needed to be covered.

  When I arrive at the small coffee shop, I take a deep breath and open the door. Pulling out my phone, I walk inside and hit dial on the number I have now saved in my contacts.

  “Hello.”

  “Kierra, hi, it’s Tay. I arrived.”

  “Great, I am behind you.” Her giggle has me turning around to face the woman I recognize as the other half of Callum Hayes. She’s been his assistant for roughly ten years and seeing her in real life is unusual. I lived in Los Angeles all my life, but never seen them out and about.

  “It’s so great to meet you.” We shake hands as we step into the queue.

  “I am so glad you called. I have testosterone overload in the goddamn house and hopefully I can persuade them to employ another woman.” She gives me a pleasant, sincere smile and my heart flutters at the prospect of being in the same room as either Hayes brother.

  Once we’ve ordered our coffees, we find a small table in the rear of the shop. “So tell me about you Tayla, I need to understand the individual wanting the internship. Callum, I presume you know who he is?” I nod. “Well, he wants me to choose and later he will do the final interviews.”

  “Okay, well I graduated, top of my class. I wanted to be in the entertainment industry since I can remember, but I prefer not to be in the spotlight. I like being in the background. Backstage.” She nods.

  “I understand. I hate it too, but with my position, I can’t stop it happening.” Thoughts drift back to the night I would rather forget. The night my life changed forever. Being in the spotlight will make it easier for him to find me if he ever tried. That can't happen. “And how do you feel about traveling? This job will include you working on tour with us.”

  “I love traveling. My parents live in London. I fly out to see them regularly. I have been fortunate to travel to other countries. Jetting off for a tour sounds perfect.”

  “It is. In some ways. In others, it’s challenging. Remember, this work can be strenuous. No vacation. And Callum, he can be a pain in the ass. Don’t tell him I said that.” She snickers. Her long mousy hair is loose and wavy. Her big blue eyes seem to peer right through you and her petite frame makes her look fragile.

  “I understand. Hard work, and long nights are something I am used to and I’m not scared of putting in one hundred percent.” With a firm nod, she smiles, gets up and glances around.

  “Well, let’s go.”

  “Now?”

  “No time like the present doll.” With a wink, she turns and heads for the counter. Ordering another eight coffees, she grabs one Styrofoam tray and hands me the other. We head out onto the sidewalk when a black SUV pulls up, and a driver gets out and opens the door for us.

  The interior is black leather, the windows are darkened and we sit quietly as the car makes its way to the beautiful home in the Hollywood Hills that I recognize as home to the Hayes brothers. When we pull into the driveway, the nerves that were dormant for the trip immediately awaken. I’m unsure that I can do this. I mean, this is massive.

  Kierra rounded the car, and we made our way inside. The chatter in the house was electric. There were people milling around, some on calls, others at makeshift desks. Being in the same vicinity as the crew had my head spinning. The surrounding air swirled with creativity. “Come on, he’s presumably in the music room.” We wade through the crowd, Kierra handing out the coffees as we go. She offered me one and kept one for herself.

  We wandered up the stairs and into a room the same size as my apartment. It housed a piano, two guitars, three chairs, and a whiteboard up on the wall. I noticed two remarkable sculptures in the corner of the room. One formed with wire, but I couldn’t tell what it was. The other a clay bust.

  “He’s somewhere. Stay here, let me try to find him.” With that, I was alone. Sipping my coffee, I took in my surroundings. The atmosphere in the room was surreal. Filled with promise, creativity, and something I can't quite put my finger on.

  A sound behind me startled me and I whirled around, bumping into something solid. Coffee spilled over the wall I crashed into. The floor now had a large cup of coffee splashed on it, and the solid body, wearing a tight white T-shirt I bumped into was now stained brown.

  “Shit! I am so sorry!” I peered up through my eyelashes and came face to face with his sky-blue eyes. Dumbstruck for a second. Completely mesmerized. Of all the people in the universe I could spill coffee on, it’s HIM.

  Heat flushed my cheeks and my pulse rioted. I couldn’t believe I was standing just inches from him. The recognition was immediate. Short brown hair, those undeniably beautiful cerulean eyes and a grin that can have any girl dropping her panties in seconds. The way his eyes crinkled at the edges sent a jolt of electricity over my skin, and anxiety churned deep in stomach. He had the sexiest nose that crinkled when he smiled. I couldn’t help but be star-struck. This was THE Callum fucking Hayes.

  “Don’t worry about it, babe.” His voice was raspy, and I realized he was still recovering from the flu. An amused expression crossed his handsome features. As he stared at me, I had the distinct feeling he wanted to say more. Kierra walked in at that moment.
>
  “Cal, I was looking for you. This is Tayla.”

  “Ki, two coffees for myself and Tayla, who seems to have had trouble keeping the coffee in her cup.” Embarrassment coursed through me and I wished the ground would swallow me up. My face was crimson from the encounter. I glanced up at him and struggled to appease my skittering pulse. Offering a small smile, I shook my head.

  “You really don’t have to. Let me clean this.” I pointed to the floor. He reached out and touched my hand casually. My skin tingled at the contact. His touch was delicate, yet commanding.

  “It’s on me. Literally.” A cheeky wink had the butterflies in my stomach waking up and fluttering around. This is ridiculous. I want to work for him and I can’t even think straight when he’s in front of me. “Thank you Ki, I will take it from here.” She gives me a slight grin and mouths ‘good luck’.

  “I will bring the coffees up shortly.” With that that the door clicked shut, and we were alone. It’s only an interview. Just breathe. He grabbed a chair and gestured for me to follow him.

  “Sit.” I did. He slides into the chair opposite me. “Tayla. Nice to meet you, I am Callum Hayes. I am confident you know that.” I nod. Words failed me. I was embarrassing myself and I didn’t know how to stop.

  The door opened and Kierra stood in the doorway with two cups of coffee. He rose and strolled toward her. I caught sight of his tight jeans hugging muscular thighs. His ass was tight and sexy. God this man was unbelievable.

  I could understand why girls were constantly grabbing him. With his impeccable physique, there was no question about how attractive he was. I glanced at myself and quickly felt inadequate to be in his company. I saw the girls he dated, they were supermodels, and I was far from one of those. Merely 5’4” myself and a size ten, my long blonde hair fell mid-way down my back and I had a soft innocent face with dark brown eyes. Nothing remarkable here.

  The click of the door drew me from my wayward thoughts. He wouldn’t be interested in me anyhow. I was here to work. Hopefully. When we were alone again, he joined me and passed me a mug with the band logo wrapped around the side. “Do you have any qualifications or experience?”

 
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