Dirty Pleasures (Page 19)

His smirk turns into a megawatt grin when he notices Holly.

“Hey, sugar. You ready to kick some ass tonight? Glad to see you didn’t pull a John Denver on your way here, because I know you fucking flew.” He steps toward her and pulls her into a hug.

Even knowing he’s in a relationship with his own country starlet, I’m hard-pressed not to break his goddamn arms. I wasn’t fucking around when I said I’d like to take her away and keep her to myself.

His security team eyes me and the pass hanging around my neck carefully when I make a move toward her. Holly retreats from Thrasher’s hold and tucks a long lock of hair behind her ear.

Thrasher finally notices me and smirks. My expression must be a fuck of a lot more dangerously possessive than I realized, because he says, “Didn’t mean to steal your new bride, man. Thanks for not punching me in the throat; I need my vocal cords for my set.”

He offers his hand and I shake it, careful not to crush it in my grip. He probably needs those fingers to play a fucking banjo.


“Karas. You taking good care of this girl here?”

Holly interjects. “Did you see my new bus? I think it might be nicer than yours.”

Thrasher’s head bobs a few times. “Yeah. Fucking puts us all to shame. But no matter. I like seeing you spend money on this girl. She deserves it. Good woman.” His expression sharpens. “Just be sure you’re clear on the fact that she ain’t the kind of girl you can buy.”

Holly lays a hand on my arm, eyelashes batting in my direction, and her drawl sounds thicker than ever. “Creighton would never think I’m the kind of girl he can buy. He values his equipment too much to risk it.” She tilts her head, her expression turning mischievous. “Although he probably has it insured. The man is proud of what he’s packing below the belt.”

Thrasher’s security detail guffaws, and I swear Thrasher glances down at my dick. I just shake my head at Holly’s sassiness once again making an appearance. Being teased isn’t something I’m used to, but with her, I don’t mind it.

Thrasher gives me a chin jerk. “That ain’t a half-bad idea. My dick is worth its weight in gold, no doubt. A whole hell of a lot of gold.”

And now I know the hick has a big dick.

The woman from Holly’s dressing room earlier interrupts. “Excuse me, Boone, but we need to get Holly to the meet and greet. Her fans are waiting.”

“Can’t keep your fans waiting. Go get ’em, girl. I’ll see you onstage for ‘That Girl’ later.”

“You sure will.”

Thrasher’s off through the hallways, his security detail leading the way and following closely behind.

“Where’s your security?” I ask Holly as we follow the woman.

“I don’t really have dedicated people. One of Boone’s guys will usually show up in the meet-and-greet room and keep tabs just in case the venue security doesn’t show. If I have to walk through a crowd, one of his guys will cover me, or venue security will help there too if Boone’s people can’t be spared.”

My teeth grind together. “That’s changing tomorrow. You’ll have someone following you everywhere at a venue, and in public, if I’m not with you.”

“That’s not really necessary.”

We pause outside what I presume is the meet-and-greet room, and I tilt her face up to mine. “It’s absolutely necessary. And not just because of your career, but because of me. You could be a target, and I’m not going to let anything happen to you.” I’m not entirely certain, but I think it’s shock I see flash across her face.

“Holly. Let’s go,” the woman calls from inside the room. She’s really starting to piss me off.

“We’ll talk about it after the show,” is Holly’s only response before she ducks inside the door.

I follow her inside and prepare to spend the next hour holding up a corner while almost a hundred fans wait their turn to meet Holly and get a quick picture and autograph. I’m surprised by who I see in line. It’s not just the bouncing—and some crying—teenage girls and the soccer moms. It’s also young guys looking to press up against her, and older men who hug her too tightly. I want to feed the women some Xanax and rip the hands and dicks off the men.

After about fifteen minutes, a guy wearing black skinny jeans that show way too much of his package, black cowboy boots, and a black pearl-snap shirt embroidered with white horses, stops directly in front of me and holds out a bottle of Budweiser.

“You look like you could use a beer.”

When I accept the bottle with thanks and shake his outstretched hand, he says, “I’m Chance, Holly’s manager.”

“Creighton Karas.”

“I know,” he says, his accent thick and clearly of the good-ole-boy variety. “You’re Holly’s new husband. For a minute, anyway.”

My eyes narrow on his smug hazel ones. “Is that your guess, or is that the word on the street?”

He tips his own beer back, and I’m mildly surprised to see he’s drinking while he’s on the job. I guess the music industry is a little different from corporate America.

“Both,” he replies. “I was glad to see the back of JC. He wasn’t doing nothing for her, and she was just getting dragged into his drama further and further.”

I sense the direction this conversation is taking, and I’m not sure I want to go there, but what the hell. I tip back my beer and take a swig.