Dirty Pleasures (Page 7)

“Calm down, bro. I saw her carry a suitcase out last night.”

I don’t ask why he was watching Holly carry a suitcase out because it doesn’t matter. She’s never coming back to this place, and she’ll never see him again.

I call Cannon when I hit the curb. “She’s already gone. Find out where that tour stops next.”

“On it.”

“Now. While I’m on the goddamn phone.”

“Said I’m on it, Crey. Hold on, I got something. Looks like there’s a new stop on the tour.”

I climb into the Mercedes and haul ass back to the jet.

“You’ve got to be fucking kidding me,” I say to the security guard standing between me and the entrance to the backstage area of the Majestic Theatre in San Antonio.

“No one gets back here without a pass, and you ain’t got a pass.”

“My wife is back there.”

“Don’t fucking care, man. You ain’t got a pass. You call her and you get her to give you a pass, then you can go back there.”

Considering Holly still hasn’t answered a single one of my calls, I’m not about to admit that isn’t a possibility. I’ve spent all day in San Antonio trying to track her down, and my patience is shot. The theatre lights go dark.

“Show’s startin’, man. Get your seat before I have you escorted out.”

I open my mouth to argue, but a spotlight snaps on, illuminating the stage, and a very round man dressed in a radio station T-shirt strolls out with a microphone.

“Are ya’ll ready for this little lady?”

The crowd yells back, but apparently their response isn’t sufficient for his purpose.

“I said, are ya’ll ready for Holly Wix?”

The crowd roars, and I decide the security guy’s suggestion isn’t a bad one. I might as well find my seat, because it seems I’ve finally found my wife.

I had to buy a ticket from a scalper out front because the show was sold out. On the upside, my seat’s in the second row, so I’m not going to complain. Leaving the security guard behind, I slide down the row to my designated seat to find three screaming teenage girls on one side of me, and a middle-aged woman who is not at all excited on the other.

I ignore all of them as the announcer says, “Then give a warm San Antonio welcome to Ms. Holly Wix!”

The spotlight goes dark for a moment, and a drummer starts with a beat. One guitar joins in, and then a second, and the stage lights come up.

And there she is.

My fucking wife.

She’s wearing a tiny black leather skirt, over-the-knee silver leather boots with fringe, and a tight silver halter top. Her hair is bigger than I’ve ever seen it, and a ton of glittery makeup has her looking every inch the country starlet.

“Hey, San Antonio! Ya’ll are lookin’ gorgeous tonight.”

Her accent is thicker than I’ve ever heard it. It rarely slips out when she’s around me, and I wonder if she tries to hide it. I don’t like the idea of my wife hiding anything.

My thoughts are drowned out of my brain when the teenage girls next to me start screaming in the highest pitch humans can probably register. I catch phrases like, “Holly, we love you!” and “Holly, you’re so awesome!”

For a moment I wonder if Holly was like those girls in her younger years. Going to concerts and dreaming about standing on a stage like this, and playing for a crowd.

“Love you too, girls!” Holly calls out before launching into an upbeat song.

It’s one that even I recognize because it’s the music on a commercial that has been airing for months. Most of the crowd rise to their feet, many singing along with her.

I stay seated, soaking up the woman onstage in front of me.

I’ve heard her sing in the shower, and compared to this it was like listening to Beethoven plink out a masterpiece on a child’s toy piano—absolutely no comparison.

Holly’s incredibly fucking talented.

And she’s mine.

The crowd loves her—including the guy with the sign that says Marry Me, Holly.

She can’t fucking marry you, douchebag. She’s already married to me.

Right then, I realize I’m jealous. For the first time in my life, I’m fucking jealous. And it’s of a teenage boy holding a piece of hot pink fucking poster board.

I don’t get jealous. Ever. It’s an uncomfortable feeling, and I don’t like it.

Holly plays only five songs before thanking the crowd and waving as she leaves the stage.

I could have listened to her—watched her—all night. Her sweet twang sank its claws into me, and those sassy lyrics were made all that much sassier by her red lips and swinging hips.

I think I’ve just become a country music fan. Cannon will never let me hear the end of it.

As soon as the theatre lights come up between acts, I’m out of my seat and heading for the security guy. I’ve got my wallet out and two grand in my hand when I stop in front of him.

“Not again,” he mumbles. “Dude, step off.”

“You see that woman who was just onstage?”

He nods as if he’s bored with this conversation already.

“She’s my fucking wife.”

He looks down at my hand. I think he’s looking at the money, but his words prove me wrong.

“Where’s your ring then?”

I frown. I brought Holly’s ring to the hotel room on New Year’s Eve. I didn’t even consider getting one for myself, and Holly hasn’t mentioned it.

Right then I decide that I want Holly to want me to wear a ring. Why the hell hasn’t she brought it up before?