I Want You to Want Me

By: Erika Kelly

She’s with the band . . .

Tension filled the room. Emmie looked uncomfortable, like she needed to do something. But there was nothing she—or anyone—could do. It took time. Violet wasn’t worried. She watched as the guys tore open the pizza boxes, twisted the caps off the beers, and dug into their dinner.

“Are you as cool inside as you look on the outside?” Derek reached for a slice of pizza. “Because nothing seems to faze you. Not even Pete’s stanky dreads.”

Emmie nearly snorted lemonade out her nose. Everyone laughed.

Violet noticed the look of affection in Pete’s gaze as he regarded Emmie. A pang of envy struck her—these guys were so tight. No matter their troubles, they really liked each other. They were better than a family because they’d chosen each other.

She looked at Derek, who was laughing. That night in the bowling alley? She’d wanted so badly to let him in. Feel the stroke of his tongue in her mouth. Have him pour that energy, that passion into her. She wanted to know what it would feel like to have his possessive hands all over her body.




ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


All my love goes to you, Superman, for your boundless love, support, and dedication.

There’s no denying it. I wouldn’t be published without you, Sharon. Yes, for your insightful critiques, but also for keeping me sane.

My angel, Olivia, my most ardent supporter, thank you for being with me every step of the way.

Joshua, your support and music industry expertise have been invaluable to me. You, sir, are awesome.

I am wildly grateful to my publishing team. Thank you Leis Pedersen, Courtney Wilhelm, Bethany Blair, Courtney Landi, and Rita Frangie and the art department (I love my gorgeous covers!).

Kevan Lyon, you’re the best agent. Thank you for all you do for me.

The romance community is filled with the most generous people I’ve ever known. My writer friends in CTRWA, WRW, CoLoNY, and COFW have lit the path for me, and I can’t thank you all enough for your help.

Thank you to the wonderfully supportive bloggers who shared my first book with their readers. You all made my debut a joy.






ONE


“You’re gonna give a girl a complex.”

Derek Valencia looked up from his phone to take in the woman coming out of his hotel bathroom. Licking her glossy lips, she cupped her big tits and leaned forward, giving him a view of lush cleavage. His pulse quickened, and he got hard.

He probably shouldn’t be fucking the woman who did publicity for the band, but it was rare to find a woman like her. One who genuinely wanted exactly what he did—the occasional night of hot, freaky sex, no strings attached. And when it ended, they’d both move on, neither letting it affect their business relationship. Careers came first.

And whichever role she played, Genevieve Babineaux played it balls-to-the-wall, whether she was in business, social, or sex kitten mode. He just happened to be the lucky bastard currently starring in her sex life.

Unfortunately, though, sex would have to wait. “You look gorgeous, sweetheart. But you gotta get dressed. Ray Montalbano’s on his way up.”

“Ray?” The seductiveness dropped right out of her tone, and her arms fell to her sides.

“Yep.”

“How’d that happen?” She didn’t look happy, but then she hadn’t been the one to set up the interview.

“Ran into him in the green room tonight. Said if I had a few minutes, he’d like to ask a few questions.”

Music blasted through the walls of the adjoining suite, and he checked the time on his laptop. He hated to shut the party down so early, but with the most revered music critic in the country on his way up to the room, he couldn’t risk any problems.

Especially after the gig they’d just played. Only ten days into their tour to promote their first album, and they were killing it. He had no doubt they’d go gold by the end of summer.

They had to go gold. Not only would it be a reward for all the hard work they’d put in the last several years, but it’d ensure the tour would continue beyond the summer.

And, of course, it would shut his dad up. Irrefutable proof his son had talent.

“I love it.” Another thing he liked about her. No issues, no tantrums. Just business. She turned back into the bathroom, flipped the light on. “I’ll get dressed.”

Just as he got up to talk to the guys, he heard the knock at the door. That was fast.

No time to shut down the party, he pulled out his phone, and shot Ben and Cooper a text. Didn’t bother including Pete. He’d be too wasted to check his phone.

Shut it down. Ray Montalbano’s in my room right now.

A while back, when the partying had started getting out of control, the band had signed a contract with each other. Sure, they wanted the rock star lifestyle, but they wanted longevity in the business even more. So they’d made a line they wouldn’t cross—no drugs, no trashing hotel rooms . . . basically, nothing destructive.

The guys got it. He could trust them. Besides, Ray had said he’d only be there a few minutes. It couldn’t get too out of control.

On his way to the door, he leaned into the bathroom. “He’s here. You good?”

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