Insider, p.21

Insider, page 21

 part  #1 of  Exodus End Series

 




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  “I’ve got something in my pants I want to show Reagan,” a different male fan yelled and grabbed at his crotch.

  “Not interested, honey,” Reagan said.

  That didn’t deter the guy. “I’d like to put it in your—”

  “Hey!” Dare yelled down at the dude. He shifted Reagan’s body behind his back and pointed an angry finger at the fan. “That’s no way to talk to a lady.”

  Max sagely segued into the next song before things got really out of hand. Normally Logan would have joined in on the confrontation and tried to escalate it all in good fun, but he was worried about Toni. He hoped she wasn’t too upset over being humiliated. How could anyone mistake her for a geek? Was it her glasses? He didn’t get it. She was perfect. And if he hadn’t had a concert to perform, he would have gone after her and told her exactly that.

  May 3

  Dear Journal,

  I don’t fit in here. Not that I expected to. But I honestly didn’t realize how different—how weird—I really am. And I don’t mean just different from the band. I’m not even slightly normal. A stranger called me a geek in front of more than ten thousand people and instead of standing up for myself, I ran back to the bus to write about it in my journal. Who does that?

  Why is it so easy for me to write down how I feel but so hard for me to say it?

  I should have stayed. I was right there in the middle of it all, getting great footage for the book, and I panicked.

  I’m not sure I’m doing a good job. I could use a little feedback. I really need to call Susan and talk to her about my progress and see if she has suggestions—Mom is going to be so mad at me for not checking in with my editor today—but the woman makes me nervous. She’s so loud. And those text messages she keeps sending aren’t putting my fears at ease. Six of them today. All asking if she should come take my place or if I was on my way home. I know she wanted to do this project and she’s made it perfectly clear that she thinks the only reason I was allowed to do such an important job is because my mom owns the company. But I’m qualified for this job. I have all the education and skills to pull it off. I know that, even if no one else does.

  So why do I feel like I’m doomed to fail? Maybe because I’ve been having so much fun that it doesn’t feel like work. Or maybe it’s because I feel so alienated. No one is making me feel that way—I’m doing it to myself. I realize that. But knowing I’m my own worst enemy doesn’t make me feel any better.

  Enough about my stupid insecurity.

  I’d rather talk about more interesting people.

  I’m really confused about Reagan. She was flirting with and kissing on Trey Mills—he saw her in her underwear—so it seemed like she was in a relationship with him. But she also keeps flirting with and touching this other guy—some really dark and gorgeous security guard (I need to find out what his name is)—and I thought it was harmless, but I heard him in the dressing room with her and I think they were having sex. So is she cheating on Trey or is she cheating on the security guard or is it possible to have more than one lover at a time? I don’t know how anyone could keep up with more than one man. I’m having a hard enough time keeping up with Logan. He mentioned today that he’s had sex with more than one person at a time, so I guess it happens. I just don’t think I’d be able to do something like that.

  Oh Logan. He’s so . . . alive. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who approaches life the way he does. Balls out and full throttle. Haha! He does some crazy stuff, like bungee jumping and freestyle motocross and who knows what else. I’d never be able to do any of that stuff. But it’s pretty impressive that he does. I wish I was as brave as he is.

  I’m learning so much from him about sex. And he’s really nice to me and patient and doesn’t make fun of me when I don’t know what I’m doing, but I don’t think he has the same feelings for me that I have for him. His actions confuse me. He’s very possessive—he even punched Dare Mills because I hugged him. And he said he liked me, but he also said that he couldn’t be trusted to be monogamous.

  Maybe asking him to teach me how to be a good lover was a mistake. I’m obviously not good at keeping emotions out of a sexual relationship. I know when we have to part ways at the end of this job that never seeing him again is going to be unbearably painful, but that doesn’t stop me from going back for more.

  I still haven’t gotten to talk much to Steve and Max. I did talk to Dare for a while this evening, but mostly because he was trying to get back at Logan for punching him. Dare seems like a really nice guy, but I don’t think I’d want to get on his bad side. I wonder if Dare knows that Reagan is cheating on his brother. Would he tell Trey if he knew? I don’t want to cause problems, so I don’t think I should ask him, but I do think I would want to know if Logan was sleeping with other women. There’s definitely plenty of opportunity for him to do so.

  It would be nice if I had someone to talk to about all this. I’m so mixed up right now. Do I even have a right to demand he has sex with no one but me? If he did stray, I’d want to know because I think fidelity is important.

  And then I guess we’d have to part ways. Would I be able to give him up?

  Why do I always get so hung up on could-happens and planning my reactions to potential occurrences? I wish I could be more like Logan and not worry about such things. I guess he has more to teach me than just sex.

  The rest of the day was busy and tonight I need to go through my notes and footage so I can get organized and figure out what other clips I need to gather at the next show.

  Tomorrow is a travel day and I start the one-on-one interviews with the band members. I hope they trust me enough to give me some good insight into their lives.

  I’m intensely curious about the woman in Dare’s past who took her own life and was apparently pregnant with Max’s child. Her name was Vic. I don’t think it’s proper to ask about her. It’s too personal to put in the book anyway.

  But I can’t help but be curious.

  It’s suddenly quiet in the arena. I think the concert is over. I better pull myself together before I have to face the band again.

  Good night, Journal.

  Hopelessly confused about Logan’s feelings,

  Toni

  Sixteen

  Toni started when the sliding door banged open. She shoved her small pink journal into her messenger bag and looked up, surprised to see a winded, sweaty, red-faced Logan staring at her with wide eyes.

  “Are you okay?” he asked, breathless.

  She wrinkled her brow and glanced sideways. “Uh, yeah,” she said. “Why wouldn’t I be?”

  “You ran off early in the show and never returned. I thought . . .” He wiped a hand over his face. “I’m not sure what I thought. I’m not used to worrying about other people, but apparently I begin to think they died or something.”

  “In a gutter?”

  “Obviously in a gutter. Where else would you die?”

  She chuckled, flattered that he’d been worried about her. “Nope, I’m not dead. In a gutter or otherwise. I just needed to be alone for a while.”

  “Why?”

  “I take it you don’t hang around with many introverts.”

  “You mean like Dare?”

  Toni shrugged. She guessed that Dare was the most introverted of the band, but if he was considered introverted, then she was mega-advanced introverted. “I guess. I just get overwhelmed when I’m around too many people.”

  “So I should leave you alone?”

  “No,” she said and shook her head. “It’s only long interactions with crowds that bother me. I enjoy intimate gatherings.”

  He grinned suggestively and wiggled her eyebrows at her. “I enjoy intimate gatherings as well.”

  He closed the door behind him and crossed the room. He took the bag from her lap and set it on the shiny round white coffee table before the deep blue sectional. She crinkled her nose at him when her senses were bombarded by the musky, strangely erotic scent of his body. Why was the
flesh between her legs suddenly throbbing? Could the scent of his sweat really turn her on?

  “You’re all sweaty,” she protested when he pulled her to her feet and grabbed her ass to press her up against him—belly to belly.

  “And you’re about to get that way.”

  He kissed her neck, and an excited breath escaped her. Obviously encouraged by her response, he moved his mouth to her throat to suckle there, his tongue swirling in chaotic patterns against her tender flesh. Good God! Why did that feel so good? Logan’s mouth was on her neck, not at her breast, not between her thighs, and yet Toni was paralyzed by pleasure.

  “Mmm,” Logan murmured against her throat. “I think I’ve discovered a new erogenous zone.”

  He nipped her skin, and her entire body jerked. “Oh!” she gasped.

  “Got yourself a vampire fetish?” he asked with a chuckle.

  “What?” she managed to say. “No, of course not. Vampires aren’t real.”

  “But I’m all about bringing your fantasies to life, babe. If you want to be banged by a sparkling dick, I’ll go get the glitter.”

  She shook her head slightly, confused. She had no idea what he was referring to. “Wait. What? Why would your dick sparkle if you’re a vampire?”

  “I’m a modern-day vampire. The kind that sparkles in the sun instead of bursting into flames.”

  She laughed. “You’ve seen Twilight?”

  He arched a brow at her. “Do I look like the kind of guy who would watch that girly shit?”

  She bit her lip, not sure if she’d insulted him.

  “Yeah, I’ve seen it,” he said. “Twice.”

  “Twice?” She didn’t know why the admission surprised her so much.

  “I watch all kinds of movies. The bus gets pretty boring, you know. But don’t tell the guys what I’m watching on my phone. They think I’m looking at porn.”

  She laughed and hugged him. “You’re full of surprises.”

  “Do you like surprises?”

  “I like your surprises,” she gushed. “I love everything about you.”

  His teasing smile faded, and his blue-eyed gaze locked on hers.

  Crap! What was she saying? She was sure to push him away if he had any idea how much she already liked him. “I mean, I like everything about you as a friend,” she said.

  He blinked, and his gaze shifted to her forehead. “Yeah,” he said flatly. “Friend.”

  Did he not even want her in that capacity?

  He took a deep breath, and his hands tightened on her ass. “So do you want the sparkle treatment or just plain dick?”

  She laughed, glad the moment of tension between them had faded. She really needed to watch what came gushing out of her mouth. “Plain dick is fine.”

  “Good, because I think we’re out of glitter and I need to be inside you right now.”

  Toni flushed with pleasure. She’d never felt truly wanted before. People in her life needed her regularly—her sister, her mother, and she supposed even her editor, though there would be no admittance of that by Susan—but no one except Logan had ever made her feel the heady rush of being wanted. Or of wanting. She was certain his wants were purely sexual, but she wanted more than his body. She wanted his heart. The realization terrified her because she knew it would never belong to her in the capacity she desired and she was only setting herself up for heartache.

  “Take your clothes off,” he said.

  “Aren’t the others—”

  “Toni.”

  The mere utterance of her name in that tone made her throb with want. Maybe even need.

  “Yes?” She looked up at him, and he removed her glasses, tossing them on the sofa.

  “Take your clothes off.”

  Her fingers trembled as she lifted them to unfasten the topmost button of her blouse. She stared at his slightly blurry shoulder, unable to meet his eyes, though she wasn’t sure why she was so embarrassed after all the intimate moments they’d shared over the past day.

  “Look at me,” he demanded.

  Her fingers went still on her buttons, and she forced her gaze to his. Her heart fluttered at the smoldering intensity in his pale blue eyes.

  “Take your clothes off,” he repeated again.

  She lowered her gaze and unfastened another button.

  “Can’t you look at me and take your clothes off at the same time?”

  She shook her head. “I can’t do anything but stare when I look at you,” she admitted, her blush spreading down her throat. “My fingers won’t work.”

  “Try. I want you to see how much you turn me on.”

  She so admired him for knowing what he wanted and being able to ask for it. Would she ever be that bold? Or would she always be the one being told how to act and respond? Not that she minded. It was strangely exciting to be told to undress.

  She forced her gaze upward to meet his and somehow found a steady enough hand to unfasten the button between her breasts. Logan’s gaze darted down to her cleavage, now on display, and he licked the corner of his mouth before gnawing on his lips as if placating them from the feast he denied them.

  A bit more confident in her actions—seeing that he was affected by her body, even if he seemed to be calling all the shots—she released the next button and the next. When she ran out of buttons on her blouse, she unfastened the one at the waist of her long skirt and then slowly unzipped the suddenly constrictive garment. The skirt slid from her hips to land in a heap at her feet. Logan was still staring at her cleavage. She was used to people staring at her boobs. They were enormous by any standards, but she wasn’t used to liking the attention they garnered for her. She typically tried to hide them, though even the loosest sweaters became form-fitting on her and all her button-down shirts had to be tailored so they didn’t gap between her boobs while simultaneously billowing like a circus tent around the waist.

  “Do you like them?” she asked, glancing down at the swell of her breasts above the cups of her not-so-sexy bra. She’d usually went for comfort and durability in the undergarment department, but she was suddenly longing for something skimpy, lacy, and red to show off what Logan obviously considered her best feature. So strange that she wanted to fuel his desire when she’d spent her life trying to understate her natural assets.

  “What?” he said, his eyes flicking up to meet hers briefly before focusing on her breasts again.

  “My boobs. Do you like them?”

  He shook his head slowly, never taking his eyes off her cleavage. “Like is not a strong enough word.”

  She grinned and reached behind her back to unfasten her bra. Logan groaned when she slipped the straps from her shoulders and tossed the garment onto the back of the sofa. Her nipples were already stiff from the excitement his riveted stare offered her. Their sudden exposure to the chill in the room hardened them to uncomfortable points.

  “Touch them,” Logan whispered. All the command had gone out of his tone. His words were more a plea than a request.

  “You touch them.”

  And he did. His hands cupped her heavy breasts, lifting them, massaging them, allowing them to drop, pressing them together. He couldn’t take his eyes off them. She felt a strange rush of empowerment.

  “Take your clothes off,” she demanded. Her confident tone didn’t give away the twinges of nerves in her belly. She wasn’t sure what she would do if he refused. Should she play hard to get to gain his cooperation? She would definitely be playing. But she didn’t need to worry. He released her breasts long enough to hastily shed his clothes and then filled his palms with them once more, his thumbs and forefingers pinching at her nipples. Her body jerked as pleasure radiated through her breasts and down her belly. She gasped in surprise when her pussy throbbed with anticipation.

  Logan prodded her in the hip with his stiff cock. “Touch it.”

  She almost told him to touch it himself, but somehow the thought of watching him rubbing the length of his cock with the same hands he had on her breasts wa
s far naughtier than touching it herself.

  “You’re blushing,” he said, and she lifted her head to find him grinning at her. “What are you thinking? Dirty thoughts?”

  “I can’t say,” she said, her heart suddenly thudding.

  “You can tell me anything.”

  She wet her lips and stared at his shoulder as she said, “I was

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