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Because of Low (Chapter Fifteen)

Marcus

Watching Low step out of the bathroom dressed in a red sundress that stopped right above her knee with a pair of cowboy boots on caused me to momentarily forget to breathe. The image of her in my lap, her eyes glazed over with pleasure as she cried out my name was going to make it so hard to move slow. I deserved some sort of award. I could've so easily made love to her. She'd have let me.

Wait. Did I just say "love"… when had I ever thought of it as making love? It was sex. It'd always been sex. Sometimes really good sex. But just sex. My eyes traveled up to her face. Her hair was parted down the middle and clasped in two low pig tails and draped over each shoulder. Who the hell knew pig tails could be so sexy? Finding her eyes watching me warily I smiled. She was mine.

"Is this okay?"

I swallowed the lump in my throat. Ah hell when did I go and fall in love with her.

"Yeah, you look amazing."

She beamed at me and I walked over to her and took her hand in mine.

"Where are we going exactly?"

I wanted to surprise her but looking down at her I fought the urge to take her back to my bedroom and lock her in there with me. I'd be able to keep her forever that way.

"You don't by chance have a thing for rock stars do you?" She frowned and shook her head slowly.

"No, why?"

I felt a little better but the need to keep her safely tucked away still tugged at me.

"Okay, good. No reason. Come on let's go do this."

"Okay, good. No reason. Come on let's go do this." She laughed and followed me.

The place was packed. Not exactly surprising. I pulled up to the security gate. A guard stepped out of his station and approached my truck. I rolled down my window and waited.

"Can I help you?" he asked frowning down at me.

"Marcus Hardy and guest. My name's on the list." The guard nodded and spoke into his headset, "Got a Marcus Hardy and guest."

"Let me see some ID," the guard said somewhat more friendly. I pulled my wall et out of my back pocket and handed it to him. He checked it out and handed it back.

"Alright Mr. Hardy when the gate opens take the road around to the right. Park over in the small parking lot. Then the second entrance door will have another guard. He'll need to see ID again before he lets you inside."

"Got it, thanks."

He nodded and stepped back as the gate opened. I started to pull through and glanced over at Will ow. She was taking everything in. Her eyes met mine and she grinned.

"We're about to go back stage for the Jax Stone concert aren't we?"

I laughed. I guess that was an easy one to guess after all that security stuff in order to enter a private entrance to a civic center crawling with people.

"Lucky guess," I replied.

She clapped her hands together once and squealed.

"Oh wow! I've never been to a concert before and my first one I get to go back stage."

I pulled into an empty parking spot and turned off the truck before looking at her.

"You have all kinds of vintage rock concert t-shirts," I pointed out.

She shrugged, "I like them. I figured I'd never actually go to a real concert so I buy them whenever I find one at a thrift store."

Interesting. I filed that piece of information away for later.

"So your excitement is because it's a rock concert not because you're about to meet Jax Stone?" I needed to clarify this for my own peace of mind.

She giggled then raised her eyebrows teasingly, "Wel-ll-ll-ll-ll that is kind of cool. I've never met anyone famous before." Why was I jealous? This was stupid. Jax loved Sadie. He wasn't going to swoop down and take Low from me. I nodded.

"Okay, fair enough."

I went around and got Will ow out of the truck then we headed for the door. The security guy checked us both out this time. He actually checked Will ow out a little too much for my taste. I should have made her change. That get up she had on was damn distracting.

As soon as the door opened Sadie greeted us.

"You made it," she beamed at me then Will ow.

"Yep," I replied smiling at the excitement in Will ow's eyes as she took in everything around her.

"I'm so glad. follow me, I want Jax to meet Will ow before he goes out. He's had a little girl and her mother in there the past thirty minutes. It's a long story but we met her at Sea Breeze Foods this summer and she recognized him even though he was incognito. He gave her his personal card and a promise to get her backstage passes for his concert here. Then he ended up canceling that concert due to some things with me and my family. Anyway, this is his makeup concert and he wanted to make it extra special for her since she has had to wait so long."

"How sweet," Low said a little too dreamily for my taste.

Shut up Sadie.

Tightening my grip on her hand Will ow glanced up at me and her excited expression squelched my moment of jealousy.

"Here we are," Sadie said and patted the bodyguard moving out of our way on the arm.

"Thanks Ryan," she said and the angry giant actually grinned a little then went back to scowling.

"I'm back and I have company," Sadie said walking into the massive room that reminded me of a hotel suite. Jax stood up from the large black leather chair he'd been lounging in and flashed his rockstar smile at Will ow and I hated him all over again. Why the hell had I brought her here?

"Marcus," he nodded in greeting.

"Jax," I replied trying real hard not to sound annoyed.

"And you must be Will ow. I've heard quite a bit about you the past twenty four hours."

Sadie had been talking to Jax about Will ow. Things started to fall together as to why we were here. And I liked what I was beginning to understand.

"Oh, wow. Um," Will ow stammered. Jax made her nervous and suddenly I was annoyed again.

"He has that effect on people," Sadie joked and walked over toward him. He wrapped his arm around her pulling her against him and kissed the top of her head. That made me feel better.

"I can imagine," Will ow replied tightening her grip on my hand. She was nervous. I wanted to fix it but I wasn't sure how to help her relax.

"So Will ow, do you like my music or did you come because Marcus made you," Jax asked a teasing tone to his voice.

"Oh, I like it. I actually didn't know where we were going. He was vague," she glanced up at me smiling, "But I figured it out when we came through security."

Jax found that amusing.

"Well, that's a relief. Sadie hated my music when I met her.

I'm a little gun shy with southern girls now."

"Jax Stone your ego is just fine," Sadie chided and walked over to the bar.

"Come have a seat Will ow. I'll fix us something to drink.

Why don't you show Marcus around backstage Jax." Jax raised his eyebrows at me. He knew as well as I did that this was Sadie's way of mending fences between Jax and me. Turning my attention to Will ow whose death grip on my hand had eased up, "You okay with that? I'll stay with you if you want," I whispered in her ear in case she wanted me to stay.

She nodded and kissed my cheek, "I'm fine. Sadie doesn't make me nervous."

Figures. Stupid rock god.

I squeezed her hand and laid a kiss on her mouth before looking back up at a very pleased Jax.

"You ready," he asked.

I nodded and followed him out the door.

The moment we walked out the door another body guard appeared and walked behind us. I was used to this. I'd worked for the guy long enough.

"This is where we shake hands and call a truce I believe," Jax said opening a door and leading me into a large room where band members were all lounging around with drinks laughing and talking to girls draped all over them.

"I guess so."

A girl walked up to us with two bottled waters on a tray. Jax took both of them handing one to me.

"I'll get you something stronger if you want. I just don't drink before a concert or much at all. Sadie isn't crazy about it."

"Naw, this is good."

"You don't even notice Sadie anymore. I like that." I chuckled. I imagine he does. "I bet." Jax grinned and took a long swig of water. "You in love yet?"

I thought about his question and this morning. "Yeah I think I might be. Kind of happened fast. But she's hard to resist."

"Been there man and I can honestly tell you that I completely understand."

I guess he could. Weird. He wasn't all that bad.

"Sadie's really happy for you. She's talked nonstop about Will ow since she met her. I know all about how sweet you are with her and how you look at her like no one else is in the room. All kinds of sappy crap."

That made me laugh. "I can't imagine it bothered you too much. If I'm all sappy with another girl then your girl is safe." Jax smirked, "I'm the one she loves. I wasn't worried." He was right. Besides I didn't care. Not anymore.

Willow

My ears were ringing when we left the concert. But it didn't diminish my excitement. I had my first concert t-shirt that I'd actually earned, clutched tightly in my hand as Marcus sat me up in the truck. I watched him as he made his way around the front of the truck to get inside.

around the front of the truck to get inside.

"Well, what did ya think?"

"I loved it! Thank you for bringing me." He leaned over and kissed me hungrily, which I hadn't been expecting. When he finished he nipped at my bottom lip then released me. I was a little breathless.

"I've been wanting to do that for the past two hours," he explained with a sexy grin before cranking up the truck.

Wow. Today couldn't get any better.

I lay my head back and rested my eyes.

"Wake up sleeping beauty, we're home," Marcus whispered in my ear jolting me awake.

I'd slept the whole way back. Dangit. I'd wanted to spend time talking to Marcus. We'd been unable to do much talking today.

"I'm sorry I feel asleep."

"Don't be. I got to watch you sleep for over an hour. I liked it."

He always made me feel so special.

"Okay, but that sounds boring."

He gently bit my earlobe then whispered, "Trust me it wasn't"

I shivered and his breath hitched.

"Let's go on inside," his voice sounded tense.

I quickly scrambled out of the truck. If we were going to continue this inside I was more than willing.

Marcus walked around and grabbed my hand pulling me up beside him as we made our way up to the apartment.

Once inside I headed over to the fridge to get a Jarrito. I was thirsty. Opening the bottom drawer I realized there weren't anymore. Only beer. Cage never ran out of my drinks. But they were gone. He was letting me go. A small bubble of fear welled up inside me. I closed the fridge and stared blankly at the stainless steel in front of me. What if he moved on and left me? What would happen when Marcus left me? I'd be alone. Cage was my safe haven. My heart started racing and I looked toward his bedroom door panicked. Where was he? He hadn't texted me all day to tell me what he was doing or to check on me.

"Low, you okay?" Marcus asked. I wanted to nod my head but I couldn't. The panic in my chest was starting to take over. It had been a long time since I'd had an anxiety attack but I was about to have a full blown one right here and there wasn't a thing I could do to stop it. Cage hadn't remembered my Jarritos. He was letting me go. I'd asked him to and he was doing it. Marcus wouldn't be around forever.

"Low, look at me," Marcus turned me around to face him but I couldn't meet his eyes. I'd lose it. Deep breaths. I had to focus on taking deep breaths.

"Low look at me please baby, look at me," he pleaded and I wanted to ease his concern but I couldn't. Right now I had to breathe. In and out, in and out, in and out.

"What the hell, Low," Cage's voice. "Move," he barked and I wanted to stop him but he was leaving me. "Low snap out of it. Come on. Snap out of it for me. Focus on me Low and tell me what happened." Cage's voice was stern. He'd been with me through these before. He'd stop it. I turned my eyes up at him

"Jarritos," I choked out and tears stung my eyes. Gasping for air, I focused on my breathing again.

"Ah, shit Low. I got some more. See there right here in this bag."

I saw the familiar bottles through the plastic bag. He bought some. He wasn't leaving. I was safe. I wasn't alone.

Nodding I took a deep breath.

"Kay," I replied in a whisper. The tightness in my chest eased some but I could feel the threat of an attack still there. Waiting on me.

"Come here," Cage pulled me against him and the familiar smell calmed me.

"I noticed they were gone this morning. I'm not leaving you.

Do you hear me. I. am. not. leaving. you." Nodding against his chest I heard a door close. Marcus. Oh God. He'd seen me lose it. Now I was all wrapped up in Cage's arms. Not good. Pulling back I looked over Cage's shoulder and Marcus was gone.

"He left," I whispered lifting my eyes up to meet Cage's.

"You probably scared the shit out of him. It isn't easy to see you do that."

I nodded.

"It was because I didn't have your drinks?" I teared up again and shrugged. "Sorta. The idea you were letting me go and I'd be alone."

He shook his head, "Never gonna happen. If the damn mexican drinks run out and I'm a little slow getting some more it doesn't mean I'm letting you go. You'll never be alone Low. I swear to you. You hear me."

"Yeah"

He glanced back over his shoulder.

"He didn't leave the apartment. He went to his bedroom."

"Thanks," I reached up and hugged him. Dreading the idea of facing Marcus.

"I love you Low," he whispered.

"I love you too," I replied and stepped back. I had to go deal with Marcus witnessing my craziness. Cage couldn't do that for me. It was all me.

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