Just One Song
Author:Stacey Lynn

chapter Seventeen





“You HUSTLED us!?” Chase’s shouts rival some of the tantrums Andrew threw when he was a toddler. Chase and Jake showed up earlier in the night to spend the weekend for the awards show.

Mia and I had – as usual – let the guys win the first game of pool we challenged Chase and Jake to by saying losers would make breakfast. Instantly Chase and Jake got a hungry look on their faces assuming it’d be an easy win. They spent the entire first game cockily planning out the next morning’s menu. It grew larger and larger with every shot they made. But then we came back and won the next game. After I made two balls in on the break in the second game, Mia ran the rest of the table on her turn.

The girl is amazing at pool. Chase declares it complete luck, while Zack watches off to the side, laughing the entire time. I love that he kept our secret.

On the third game, I play it more slowly, not rushing through the table even though I have to miss a few shots on purpose. Mia is out for blood and keeps getting frustrated with me for not completely embarrassing the guys when I can, but I can’t help it. They stand there with shocked looks on their faces every time we make a shot.

“Sorry man,” Zack walks over and pats Chase on the back once he finishes his tantrum. “I probably should have warned you, huh?”

Chase’s mouth drops even further. “You knew they could play like professionals?”

Zack smiles. “Yeah, Nic kicked my ass twice when we were in Chicago.”

“And you still haven’t paid up.”

“Not cool man.” Chase shakes his head and walks to the bar for a drink as we laugh at Mia planning her breakfast.

Zack comes up and puts his arms around me pulling me in to a tight embrace. “Watching you beat them, was an even bigger turn-on than it was when you just beat me.”

Before I can respond, he picks me up and throws me over his shoulder causing me to scream. “Zack! Put me down!” I hit him playfully on his lower back but he doesn’t budge.

“No way. I’m hungry. Let’s go.”

“There’s food in the kitchen.”

“That’s not what I’m hungry for.” He sounds hungry. I brush my hair out of my face at the same time Mia spits her drink across the room. I scowl at her when she starts laughing at Zack carrying me cave-man style out of the room.

“Mia! Save me!” I cry.

“Have fun, you two.” Her words drip in a saccharinely sweet voice as she wiggles her fingers good-bye.

“See you tomorrow!” Zack huffs out as he walks me out the door.

He lowers me slowly once we’re in the hallway, but he doesn’t set me down. Instead of dropping me to my feet, I wrap my legs around his waist and let him carry me the rest of the way.

“I’m hungry, too,” I whisper, my voice filled with lust.

Zack finally sets me down when he reaches his bed. He lowers me down, protecting his full weight from crushing me.

“My god, you’re beautiful, Nicole.” His mouth falls forcefully onto mine. My entire body instantly fills with heat and passion for him. I open my mouth immediately in response as we caress each other’s bodies with our hands. I let out a low moan of pleasure when he tugs on my bottom lip with his teeth and moves his hands towards my breasts, fondling them through my shirt.

“This has to go,” he huffs out, not separating his mouth from mine. We’re undressed and back on the bed before I can blink. He rolls me over on top of him as his hands continue to worship my body. Slowly and gently he massages my breasts, my nipples hardening at his touch.

He pulls his head up and gently sucks on one while massaging the other. I arch my back into him and throw my head back with another deep moan.

“Zack.” It’s the only word I can say. His hands turn me inside out and I want him like I have never wanted anyone before. I lower my body, crushing my mouth into his and slowly begin circling my hips, feeling his desire for me harden beneath me.

“I want you,” I whisper.

He flips me over on to my back again.

“Patience.” He barks out hoarsely while moving his mouth from mine, and begins to kiss every inch of my body. My entire body comes alive as his mouth and tongue explore every inch of me. He continues lower until he reaches my inner thighs, gently spreading my legs further apart.

He looks at me seductively.

And then his eyes darken before he lowers his mouth and begins licking and caressing me. I almost fly over the edge immediately as his tongue begins to work with the perfect amount of pressure and teasing. But I use everything I have in me to calm myself down just enough in order to experience this fully.

“I love you, Nicole,” he whispers into me causing a rush of heat to flow from my body. Slowly releasing his tongue, I feel him enter me with one finger and then two. He works passionately and quickly, knowing exactly how to turn me on bringing me closer and closer to ecstasy.

“Oh Zack…” I moan while my hands reach to grab the sheets in full pleasure. He brings his mouth back to mine and forcefully kisses away my moans while his fingers continue to pleasure me. With the heat from his mouth on me, I lose it completely. I close my eyes, and arch my back writhing in full ecstasy as I release myself into him. Slowly, he moves away from me, staring right into my eyes.

“That was incredible,” I gasp in between breaths.

“You haven’t seen anything yet,” he moans and begins kissing me again. I can feel my taste on his mouth and surprisingly, it turns me on again. “I want to make love to you and touch you like you’ve never been touched. Every inch of your body was made to be worshipped by me.”

I can only moan in response. But as he enters me, fully, I arch into him again and moan with pleasure. His hips begin working against me fiercely as the fire in my belly is rekindled. We are glistening with sweat when we climax together.

He pulls me to him and rolls us onto our sides so we’re facing each other. I slowly push his hair back from his face, bringing my hand down his jaw and resting at his chin.

“I love you Zack. I had no idea I could ever feel so alive again until I met you.”

He leans forward and kisses my forehead softly. “I’ll love you forever, Nicole.”

***

“You look absolutely stunning.”

“I can’t even begin to describe how nervous I am Mia.” I squeeze her hand nervously when she takes a break from curling my hair. .

Every make-up and hair product, hair and jewelry accessory, and hair appliance known to man are sprawled out all over Zack’s bathroom counter. Mia looks beautiful, as usual, wearing a sleeveless emerald color gown that fits every curve on her body perfectly, and leaves a small train flowing behind her on the floor. She left her long blond hair flowing straight down her back and the contrast between her hair and the deep green color is magnificent. The dress she chose for me is almost as beautiful. The sapphire color match my dark blue eyes and is a similar style as Mia’s except mine is strapless with no train. I’m not willing to take the risk of tripping and landing flat on my face in front of dozens of live television cameras, but Mia can carry it off with the grace of a gazelle.

“Has Zack told you what will happen once we arrived?”

“Yeah, he told me all about the red carpet and how his agent, Aaron Felt, and P.R. Rep will be in the limo with us. Zack will get out of the limo first and the rest of us will follow. We’ll walk the red carpet while he does a few interviews and meets fans and what not.”

“Are you okay with this?” Her words are muffled since she’s chewing on a couple of bobby pins while she fixes the last few curls in my hair.

“I’m trying to be. I’m more scared I’m going to get caught on camera looking like I’m about ready to throw up or something else equally stupid. OUCH!”

“Well, stop fidgeting and I’ll stop stabbing you with the pins. And don’t worry, everything is going to be completely fine. The rest of us will be in the limo just behind you and I’ll catch up as soon as we can.” She sticks the final pin in my hair and turns me around to face the mirror. “And there – you’re done.” My hair falls loose curls down just past my shoulders, but the front and sides had been pulled up into an amazingly beautiful up-do.

“All right,” she says. “Let’s get downstairs – I’m sure Zack is anxious to see you.”

I take a deep breath and follow her out the door. By the time I hit the bottom of the stairs, Mia is already covered in Chase’s arms.

He’s looking down at her, speaking softly in her ear and looking completely enamored with her. It almost makes me laugh, this enormous, rough looking man looking so tenderly at someone. It’s sweet too. I have a feeling things are becoming more serious than either of them have let on.

I drift my eyes away from the two of them and see Garrett with Chloe. Off to the side, Sammy and Jake are sipping on a glass of champagne. Zack said that when he went to cancel with Sammy, Jake mentioned not having a date, so she’s his pseudo-date of the night.

I thought it was cute and sweet of Jake to take her. But my eyes only rest on the couples for a fraction of a second before I feel Zack’s eyes on me.

“Wow.” He takes a few steps toward me with his arms outstretched. I close the space and hold his hands, allowing him to gaze all over me. His eyes drift down my dress to the floor and back up again until they met my eyes. “You look – just – wow. Beautiful, Nic.”

I return the smile. It’s not what he says to me that suddenly has me feeling warm all over, but how he says them. He conveys every emotion he has for me with the look of pure admiration and love in his eyes; his voice thickened with desire. I check him out the same way he did to me, moving my eyes ever so slowly down the length of his body. A blush heats my cheeks as I take him in and when I speak, I know I’m breathless with lust for him.

“You clean up rather nice yourself. I don’t think I’ve seen you not wearing jeans and ball cap.”

He pulls me closer and kisses me and I immediately forget what I was just thinking. “Are you nervous?”

I nod slightly. “I’ll be okay, I promise. But yeah, slightly terrified.”

“I can’t wait for everyone to see the woman I love.”

I can only stare at him. I’m excited and nervous at the same time. I can’t wait to see an awards show like this, live. I also just want it to end as soon as possible because I know as soon as cameras start flashing, I’m going to be a complete ball of nerves.

I turn and hug Chloe, happy to finally see her again and introduce her to Mia.

Zack claps his hands together loudly. “All right. Let’s go everyone, the limos are outside waiting.” He places his hand on my lower back and ushers me out to the waiting limousines

The twenty minute car ride seems to take forever. Aaron and Tina, who were waiting for us in the car, are both very pleasant. Tina is dressed in a black suit and has an earpiece. She gives a matching one to Zack to wear so she can direct him where to go, and which TV reporters to meet with, while we walk along the carpet. She’s cordial, but all business.

I’m not as nervous about the media since this is a huge event. I’m still hoping I can fly by unnoticed, although even in my head the thought sounds doubtful; not when I’m going to be on Zack’s arm.

Zack keeps one hand on my knee, trying to calm me with just his presence. He looks confident. I know from watching him perform on stage that he was made to be a star. He always carries himself with an air of confidence and self-assuredness that I can only dream of having. And with him, it doesn’t come across as arrogant. It simply fits him. He doesn’t look nervous at all.

“Just another day at the office for you, huh?” I wink and nudge him slightly with my shoulder. He turns to me with a look of pure love. It melts my heart instantly.

“Something like that.”

“Are you nervous at all for tonight?” I ask.

Zack shrugs his shoulders. “Not really. I don’t mind presenting, and I’m sure I won’t win the awards, so I get to just sit back and enjoy the ride tonight.” I love his modesty. He is the best out there, everyone loves him, and he isn’t being self-deprecating when he doesn’t think he’d win, he just honestly believes the other musicians are better. It’s cute and endearing.

“You’ll win.” I promise. “Did you at least prepare a speech just in case?”

“How do you know I’ll win?”

“Because you’re the best.” I kiss him quickly.

I feel the car slow to a stop and when I look out Zack’s window, I see a thousand flashing lights. The lights are blinding and the noise of the crowd is deafening even from inside the car. It sounds as if a firework show’s finale is being launched at street level right outside our car, and I gulp with fear, imagining how loud it’s going to be once the door opens.

Zack sees my body tense up and nuzzles his nose with my ear while whispering to me. “Don’t worry about a thing. I’ve got you.”

Before I can reply, security opens our door and Zack steps outside. Once exited, he leans back in and offers me his hand. I widen my eyes instantly and look at Tina, then back to him. I suddenly don’t want to get out. I feel the color drain my face as my heart starts beating so quickly I think it might explode. I’m not sure I can do this.

Screw my own fear of the media; the scene I see outside would terrify me even on a good day.

He leans in, just a little bit and smiles reassuringly. I put my hand in his, letting him pull me out of the car.