Read An Excerpt

ROCK HARD
by Olivia Cunning

Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance, Erotic Romance

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Sed took a long draw from his beer and gazed down at the picture in the palm of his hand. Jessica had given it to him a couple of years ago. He remembered that smile. Doubted she’d ever share it with him again. She hated his guts. So why was he sitting in the dark, staring at her picture, and drinking by himself again? Tradition, he supposed.

He set her picture beside his beer can and opened the journal he used to write songs. He couldn’t concentrate well enough to write actual lyrics, but words kept popping into his head. He pictured them, but mostly he felt them. He scrawled words on separate lines with blank spaces between so he could add phrases later.

Eyes of jade. A heart betrayed.

Anguish. Languish.

Pain. Insane.

Heart of stone. Alone.

Alone.

He took a ragged breath.

Alone.

The song would come later. He didn’t want to forget the feelings, though. He closed the journal, stuck it back in its hiding place under the bench seat cushion and picked up Jessica’s picture, fingering its worn edges.

The bedroom door at the back of the tour bus opened, and then the bathroom door slid shut. Sed tossed the picture on the table and took another sip of his beer. A few minutes later, a gentle hand touched his shoulder.

“Are you out here by yourself again?” Myrna asked.

Sed glanced up at her. “I couldn’t sleep.”

“Can I sit?”

When he shrugged, she slid into the bench across the table from him.

“I’m sorry I didn’t take better care of Brian last night,” he said.

“He told me what happened and I don’t blame you. He’s the idiot who got involved.” Myrna picked up Jessica’s picture and examined it. “She’s stunning, Sed. Is this Jessica?”

She glanced up at him and he nodded.

“How are you doing?” she asked.

She handed the picture to him and he slid it into his pocket with the crummy engagement ring Jessica had flung at him one devastating afternoon two years before.

“Me?” He shrugged. “By the time I got out there, everyone was fleeing the scene. I didn’t even get to throw a punch. I just grabbed Trey off the sidewalk, stuffed him in the car with Brian and we took off.”

“I meant how are you doing after seeing Jessica?”

His heart stuttered every time her name was mentioned. This time was no exception. He shrugged. “It’s no big deal. She still hates me. I still hate her.”

Myrna ducked her head, but not before he saw her knowing grin. “I see. So you aren’t going to go back to see her?”

“Why would I?”

Myrna shrugged. “Because you’re a glutton for punishment. And… you still love her.”

“No, I—”

“Has she always been an exotic dancer?”

“What?”

“Well, I assumed since you went ballistic when you saw her stripping—”

“I didn’t go ballistic. I lost my cool.” He pinched his thumb and forefinger together. “A little.”

“Uh huh. But you reacted. So was it because you didn’t expect to see her, or because you didn’t expect to see her dancing nude for strangers?”

Sed chuckled. Dr. Myrna Evans, human sexuality professor, always tried to get in everyone’s psychology. “That’s the last place on Earth I’d ever expect to see Jessica. She’s the independent feminist type. The way you are, I guess you’d say. So yeah, I was stunned. That’s why I pulled her off the stage. Not because I actually cared that she was shaking her tits at dozens of sleazy jackasses.”

His beer can crinkled in his fist.

“There’s nothing wrong with having these feelings, Sed.”

“You sound like a shrink.”

She cringed. “I thought it might help to talk about it.”

“No, it doesn’t help. I was finally over her and then… this.”

“You’re over her?” She laughed at him. “I don’t think so Sed. Who do you think you’re talking to here?”