Friday, February 8, 2013


Random fact: Kai is based on someone I know who actually has Wes and Abel's job for a living. Yup, in real life, my Kai inspiration surfs. I know his manager much better than I know him, but he's adorable and sweet and kind of a hot head.

Anyway, more Kai and Wes bromantic action. This takes place At Velvet in Orlando. If you're not past Chapter 17 in its entirety, it's not a good idea to read.

It's a spoiler.

Turn back now.


When the song transitioned to another, Layla, the black-haired girl in front of Kai, flung her hair back over her shoulders and stopped dancing. She was beautiful. And she had been using his body as a pole earlier. Every few seconds during the song, she would grip his waist and wind her hips down to the ground, and roll her body back up and against him. He’d had a hard-on for, like, ten minutes straight.

His life wasn’t horrible.

The club manager had thrown in two free bottles of some top shelf vodka after Kai had taken some promo pictures for the club’s website. And girls were just begging to come into the VIP section with him and Abel and join the shenanigans already going on in there. Abel was drunk and giving sloppy lap dances to anyone who wanted one. There was literally a line of women outside the velvet ropes, trying to get their attention. So much hair flipping, and winking, and eager smiles. So as much as the night had sucked earlier with the protest and his shitty performance, his life wasn’t horrible.

“This was so cool! Thank you for letting me come up here. I’ve never met anyone famous. An hour ago, I was just excited about going to your Dallas show.” Layla threw her arms around his neck, and her hair brushed his face. Kai held her against him. She was sweaty, but she still smelled really nice. She felt really good too. He liked the idea of her on top of him later. Her pelvis brushed across the front of his jeans, sliding over his erection, and he heard her giggle before they pulled apart.

“What’s your last name? I’ll have my tour manager put your name on the backstage pass list,” Kai said, whipping out his phone.

Layla’s brown eyes flashed. “Oh my God, really?! Jessup. And can you add my two friends? Emily Parker and Ana Jameson? Thank you so much. You seriously made my night.”

Kai nodded and smiled as he finished typing. “Definitely. When you get to the show, just go to Will Call. Three passes under your name.” Suddenly, Kai, anxious and impulsive, drew his eyes toward Dylan on the dance floor. She and Wes were still dancing and laughing barely fifty feet away from him. The nightclub strobe lights kept catching them, and he was mesmerized by the way it lit her up. She looked amazing.

“Can I get a picture with you?” Layla asked, and her voice pulled him back to looking at her. She was gesturing with her iPhone.

“Yup.” Kai’s eyes widened at the last minute when she grabbed his butt as she hit the flash.

“Thank you,” she said, offering her hand. It was peculiar that a girl who had no qualms about groping him was suddenly interested in being so courteous. “Nice meeting you.”

“Uh, you, too.” He smiled casually and shook her hand. Her other one was suddenly in his back pocket. She slid something in it before moving closer to him. Leaving his pocket, she grabbed the back of his neck and pulled his head forward so that her lips grazed his ear.

“Embassy Suites on Orange. Room 1825. Whatever happens tonight is just for tonight.” This was proposition number four. Or maybe five. Out of all of them, Layla had the highest chance. They had chatted earlier and she seemed like a great girl. She probably looked amazing naked. The temptation to go with her and forget the last few days for a few hours was a powerful draw. And who had troubles when they were coming?

“How about we talk about that in Dallas?” he said as a suave offer with a half-smile. That was a tip he had picked up from Nina. In his line of work, you never rejected a fan out right, especially if you were a single celeb; you just had to plant the seed of vague possibility. They would always just assume the rest.

Layla smiled and twirled her hair around her finger. “Dallas then. Well, I’m gonna go try to find my friends. Keep the keycard.”

“Thanks.” He blew out a breath as he watched her toned legs sashay past the velvet ropes and back to the main dance floor. Those could’ve been wrapped around his waist.

Damn. Any other night.

And maybe in an alternate universe where Dylan Carroll didn’t exist. And where she wasn’t having a great time with his best friend. Dylan was supposed to not matter anymore. She had betrayed him, and now, she was supposed to be just another member of his entourage for the rest of the tour.

His anger flared as he watched her laugh at something Wes said. Why was he making her laugh? What kind of friend did that? “I’m gonna kill him,” Kai muttered under the music as he watched them, standing at the railing. Within a few seconds, he managed to lock eyes with Wes, dousing him with the full weight of his jealousy and strong lack of appreciation for his actions, and he saw his best friend freeze in place. Dylan, however, glanced at him but seemed unmoved; she was still trying to get Wes to dance with her. But Wes had gotten his message.

Kai wanted to take a drink so badly, but he knew his drinking had been getting to Dylan lately. And that bothered him, both because she was upset and that he cared. He had been making her feel like shit for days because he was hurting. He had told her things even some of his best friends didn’t know, like how Lake Lure, where his mom was from, scared him. He had never told anyone that before, and confiding in her had brought some peace. He had even considered telling her his bigger secret about his mom, and what he had done to seal her fate to an early death. He hadn’t forgiven himself for that and never would’ve recovered if he had told Dylan and they had ended up where they were currently.

But if she was so awful, why couldn’t he stop giving a shit? Why did those moments where they talked matter so much still? Why couldn’t he just do the things that would’ve made it easier to forget her? Kai got a tiny moment of triumph as he watched Wes leave Dylan and walk into their VIP section.

“Are you done eye-bludgeoning me?” Wes asked.

“Are you done trying to be the hero?” Kai countered.

“You have to know I have your interest in mind.”

He did, deep down somewhere, but jealousy didn’t allow for immediate clarity at all. “Look, I’m sorry about earlier. I didn’t mean the whole ‘fuck you’ thing.” Kai shook his head. “I just…I miss her. And it’s making me crazy. She’s right there and I miss her. It like…it’s like she’s so under my skin now and in my blood and just everywhere.”

“I feel an epic Kai White crybaby ballad coming on…” Wes swayed his head and snapped his fingers to some imaginary tune.

“I don’t know what to do.” Wes always made fun of him when he was this candid, but he was the only person that really understood when he was feeling like this. Wes had been there once. As much as he had buried that part of his life, he knew it the most.

“I know. This is Hopeless Kai. He’s a lot like Broody Kai…but without any of the dignity.”

Kai laughed for a second, not disagreeing. “Is she still mad at me?” He frowned, feeling anxious.

“Whoa. Cut this shit out, White. Your girlfriend used up all my Dr. Phil points tonight. I want to drink and talk to women. Sleep with one hopefully. The end.”

“You’re right,” Kai breathed out. “I don’t want to drag you into this.” He flicked his eyes to the dance floor and felt a twinge of sadness in his chest as he watched her standing there alone. The sight of her knocked the wind out of him. She wouldn’t come to VIP while he was there, and she didn’t know anyone else in the club, so she would probably be stuck out there by herself. What kind of person would exile someone he cared about? He released three heavy breaths in a row.

“Oh my God. Stop sighing,” Wes said with a growl before smacking him on the back. “Now, you’re giving me The Sads. Fine, she’s mad because she knows you’re mad at her, but she cares. Stop drinking; she’s worrying. And just hear her out when she comes to talk to you. Because she’s in love with you, too, dude.”

“She told you that when you took her to your room or when you were rubbing yourself all over her butt?”

“I was cockblocking! Would you rather me rubbing on Dylan—”

Kai shoved him. “I just apologized to you, Wesley. And now I’m about to say something I’m going to have to apologize again for later.”

“…Or some random dude…like now?”

Kai whipped his head back to the dance floor. Well, that was quick. And who the fuck was that guy? Dylan’s gaze lifted suddenly and met his. She smiled, probably out of spite. With her eyes pinned to him, she lifted her arms to the neck of the guy behind her and used it for leverage as she pressed and rolled her hips against him. The move would have been a huge turn-on—instead of only being kind of one—if not for the guy’s presence. But any fascination with how sexy it was passed because Kai thought his insides would burst out. Jealousy and irritation made his skin feel tight. He needed air or alcohol or to scream. The guy, in contrast, was beaming. Kai noticed the tiniest of contractions at the corners of Dylan’s mouth; she was relishing the moment. He dropped his gaze to where the guy’s hands were on her hips. Move too far in any direction and I will knock your head off you neck, dude. I dare you, Kai silently warning him.

“Damn. I gotta give the girl props. She’s way better at this than you are,” Wes said, unable to not laugh at him.

“What are my chances of getting arrested tonight, you think?”

“Yes,” Wes said.

Almost unwilling to tear his eyes away from Dylan, he tilted his head just slightly so that he could see Wes in the periphery. “Umm…”

“Your chances are ‘yes,’ Kai, if you keep standing here, and that means I’ll get arrested because I’ll have to help you beat up whatever dude she’s dancing with, as your friend. Go meet someone who isn’t Dylan Carroll. It won’t make you feel better, but I don’t want to go to jail. This is really about me.” Wes led him away from the railing and toward a group of girls congregated around the table with the alcohol. It was time for Operation Out of Sight, Out of Mind. Even though he knew he was about to fail at it miserably.

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