Just One Song
Author:Stacey Lynn

chapter Twenty-One





Mia has stayed in Minnesota for who knows how long for me.

She is now moving to New York.

Zack wants me to record on his next album.

Zack wants me to move in with him in Los Angeles while recording his album.

I want to record the album.

I want to move in with Zack.

I want to record the album, move to Los Angeles, leave Minnesota, and move in with Zack. While recording the album. Holy Shit, I actually want this.

I can’t help myself. My silent happy dance takes over without a rational thought in my mind. I throw my hands in the air, my head back, and dance around his kitchen.

“That’s some dance.” Crap. Busted. I freeze but don’t turn around to face the familiar deep voice behind me.

“You shouldn’t sneak up on people like that Chase. It’s not polite.”

He no longer tries to hold in his laughter. “You shouldn’t be dancing like a chicken in a kitchen.” I compose myself and pour my cup of coffee.

“I don’t dance like a chicken. I have mad skills.”

“On the keys, maybe.” While I usually enjoy our friendly morning banter, I have stuff with a certain sexy rock-god to handle. I glance over Chase’s shoulder and see Zack still sitting frozen in the spot I had left him.

On my way out the door, I turn back to Chase. “Did you know Mia is taking a new job?”

His raised eyebrows tells me has no idea.

“She’s moving to New York, in January.” I watch a quick range of emotions flash through his face. Shock, disbelief, uncertainty, lust, joy. So I continue. “So, yeah, that means when you’re not out here recording, you’ll be living pretty close to her, right?”

I hadn’t thought about it when we were on the phone, but Chase has a place on the upper east side of New York that he stays at whenever he’s not on tour or recording. I silently wonder if Mia knows this, but I’m guessing she does.

He nods slowly, still processing what I’m saying. It seems to be a morning for processing heavy information.

Still I continue, knowing I’m risking, sounding way too girly. “She’s crazy about you, you know. I’ve never seen her so fascinated by someone. She’s always put her career first, but maybe, if you guys are closer….” I leave my own thought to drift off, knowing what he’s thinking based on the fact that he’s still filtering the same range of emotions repeatedly across his face. I want to tell him to stop thinking and just pick one. “But if you screw it up and hurt her, I’ll kill you.”

I turn on my heels and head back to Zack leaving Chase still searching for the right emotion. There is one more person who is going to be doing some processing of heavy information. Except this time, I know exactly what his response will be.

Zack hears me as soon as I step out onto the patio. He watches me like a hawk all the way back to my seat. I sit down and take a sip of my coffee before focusing on him. His eyes don’t leave mine the entire time.

“So I have a question for you.” I set my coffee down and give him my most serious look.

“Hmmm?”

“What happens after the album?”

It apparently is also the morning for wide ranges of emotions to flitter across male faces. Zack’s show hope, confusion, disbelief, shock, excitement, and way too many more in the few seconds until it settles on one that appears to be cautiously optimistic. “What do you mean after the album?”

I shrug my shoulders. “Where do we live after the album? Your place or mine?”

Ahhh….shock and awe and hope are back on his face. I wish it would be lust and desire, but I’m sure those will come later. Sooner rather than later if I have my say.

“Are you saying what I think you’re saying, Nic? Because it’s early, and I’m trying to figure out why you’re not freaking about Mia apparently moving, and now you’re talking about where we’re going to live...”

I sit back and enjoy his first-time emotional freak out way too much. I just smile at him, while he continues processing. “You’re going to have to spell it out for me, maybe, love, just a bit more slowly. What exactly are you asking?”

“I’m saying that after I move here, to L.A. and record my first music album with you. What happens after? What are we going to do then?”

He crouches down on his knees in front of me, hands resting on my thighs, just like yesterday in the studio when he proclaimed his love for me and asked me to move in with him. I very much like seeing him on his knees in front of me.

I nod and watch his smile grow, finally, processing all this information. That I said I will do the album and move in with him in L.A.. I just gave him everything he wants and I revel in watching him click the pieces together. And I know when he finally gets it - when it finally clicks - because I see that look of lust and desire spread across his face as it does. His breathing increases, his mouth falls just slightly open like it does when we pull apart from a passionate kiss, and his pupils dilate to where his irises almost completely disappear. It’s intense watching his emotions flick across his face and I know my own breathing has increased right along with his.

“Whatever the hell we want.” He growls and then pounces like a tiger attacking his prey. He pushes me back into the lounge chair, and shifts his full weight on top of me attacking my mouth like he’s been starved for years.

My hands grab the back of his hair and pull him closer to me, arching into his body he has flattened on top of mine. His mouth moves against mine as a man possessed, powerfully throwing his tongue into mine. I fight him back with everything I have as a moan escapes my lips.

A loud coughing followed by an “Ahem,” breaks us apart and prevents me from losing myself completely in the moment.

Zack growls as he slowly pulls back from me. His breathing is ragged but doesn’t remove his eyes from mine. “Chase. This is a really bad fucking time, man.”

Chase clears his throat. “Yeah, but….Nic….were you serious?”

I slowly peel my eyes away from Zack’s and smile at Chase. “As a heart attack, Chase.” His cheeks blush a faint pink. Who would have thought massively sized rock star drummers could actually blush?

“Sorry for interrupting,” he mutters more to himself than us and walks back inside.

“Where were we?” I ask, looking back to Zack, his face still inches from mine.

“What was that about?” He slowly leans back from me and pulls me up to sit straddled in front of him on the chair. My body aches from the loss of his on mine.

“Mia’s moving.” I wipe a hand across my forehead. Something I only do when I am stressed or worried, which Zack undoubtedly knows given how well he can read me.

“I gathered that from earlier. How are you doing with that?” I love the concerned look on his face. It’s totally unnecessary this time.

“I’m okay, I think.” I take a minute to gather my thoughts.

“I called her this morning to talk about recording and moving here, and she dropped the bomb saying she’s been up for a promotion. It’s for their International Buying department, and she’s passed up on it before, and I know the only reason she did that is because she was scared of leaving me. She has to move to New York, right after Christmas.”

Zack studies me for a minute. Probably still wondering why I’m not freaking out. Slowly, he drops his head and rubs the back of his neck and takes a deep breath. I know that look.

“Is that why …”

I squeeze his knee and cut him off because apparently, I do have some mind reading abilities of my own.

“Shut up.” His head snaps to mine and I stare at him firmly and confidently. “No. That is not why I agreed to move here. It is not why I agreed to do the album. She only told me that after we talked about everything else. These two are not related and don’t you think for one second that the only reason I’m willing to move here, to be with you, is because I’m afraid of living there, alone.”

“Are you sure?” I hate seeing uncertainty and doubt on him. Hate it.

“Yes. I’m absolutely sure. I love you, Zack. And I’m terrified of doing the album, but I figure in a few weeks you’ll all realize how much I really do suck and you’ll find a new keyboarder, anyway. But if that doesn’t happen, I’ll do it because I love playing. Always have, and it may just end up being really fun. I’m moving here because I love you and I want to be with you for as long as I can have you.”

“Forever.” He growls as his mouth meets mine again. He pulls back quickly, leaving me wanting more. At my questioning glare, he pulls me to my feet.

“Where are we going?” my voice breathless.

“To celebrate.” He winks and pulls me towards the house and back to his room, our room, where we do just that.

***

Zack



“Hey, wake up,” I say and wrap my arms around Nicole’s waist. She feels fantastic and fits perfectly next to me. She’s been zoning out ever since we celebrated the fact she agreed to move in with me. I’m the luckiest man alive and I don’t care if it makes me sound like a girl. I love her.

I watch her eyes change from that dazed look she gets when she’s remembering Mark and darken to lust. I lift one side of my lips into a grin because I know she’s getting turned on all over again. It’s awesome.

“What?” she asks me with a dream like haze in her voice. It’s soft and smooth and I want to wrap my hand into her long brown hair and take her all over again, but first I want to know what she’s thinking.

“Where were you? You looked like you were on another planet.”

“Just daydreaming, I guess.” She rolls into my arms and I pull her to me tightly. She can feel how aroused I am again and I chuckle softly when she blushes a little bit.

“About?”

“You. How much I love you.”

“Sounds like a good dream,” I whisper softly and shift so I’m hovering over her, just inches from her lips. I press my hips into her just once and smile when her eyes roll back into her head and a little moan escapes her lips. I lean in and kiss her softly because I can’t resist them.

“Hmm…the best,” she murmurs against me.

“Tell me more.” I really want to know what has her smiling and looking so flushed.

My body shivers as she rubs her hands up and down my back. I never knew a woman’s soft hands could make me feel so good until Nicole put hers all over me for the first time. I dip my tongue into her greedy mouth and taste her. She tastes like coffee and sex and it takes all of my self-control to stop from sliding right into her again.

I groan when she whispers, “I don’t feel like talking.”

I don’t either, if I’m being honest. But I see her blush again and I have to know. I’m used to seeing her zone out when she remembers Mark and Andrew. She gets this faraway look in her eyes and sometimes sadness covers them. But sometimes she seems content, and that’s all I want for her. Today though, there is something different in the look and I know she’s hesitant to tell me. I pull back at her and grin.

“Must have been some daydream if you’re blushing just thinking about it.”

She rolls her eyes and laughs. “Not in the way you’re thinking. I was just thinking that six months ago, my life was completely empty. I had no one but Mia, and even then the thought of actually trying to live again was overwhelming. And then you barged into my life and my condo…if I remember correctly stalker.” I laugh. She’s right, I was a total stalker, even though I would never admit it. I wanted her from the night I met her, even if I didn’t understand why at the time.

“I never would have pictured my life could be like this again, or how so quickly it would just seem so perfect. I guess I was thinking of the past…” She looks up at me slowly, “and the future.”

The future? It’s the first time she’s brought it up. I want forever with this woman, and even though she’s always agreed and I know she wants it too, this is the first time she’s spoken the words first. My chest swells in victory. “And what do you see in this future?”

“You.”

“And?” I ask and kiss her cheeks because that’s the best freaking thing I’ve heard in years and anything else she says it’s icing on the cake as far as I’m concerned.

She sighs, hesitant to share. “Summers at the lake, winters in Santa Monica....” she raises an eyebrow proceeding cautiously. “A wedding?”

“A wedding?” Hell yes, I want a wedding with her! It’s the first time it’s been brought up by either of us, mostly because I haven’t wanted to scare her too much. I didn’t know if she’d be ready but the mere mention of the word has me wanting to rush to the courthouse and get a license. I’ll marry this girl right this damn minute if she wants. I chuckle at the thought and I watch as her hesitancy is replaced with some confidence. And then I see it – that damn sparkle in her eyes – hell yes, I want this woman. I love it when her eyes light up like the bright blue sky, and I know all the guys in the band would give me shit for even thinking like this, but they don’t get it. Except for maybe Garrett who still stares at Chloe like a little puppy dog whenever she walks into a room.

“You said you wanted forever, it just made me think.” Her voice trails off again but I don’t want her to stop now. I want to give her everything she fucking wants.

“What does it look like?” She smiles broadly and rests her forehead against my chest with a small sigh. My groin twitches and I adjust her against my body so she has time to finish this.

“Small. I’ve already done the big church wedding. Probably just our parents, your sister, the band and Mia.”

Best idea I’ve ever heard. I can picture her on the beach outside my house right now with everyone. I must be turning into the biggest pussy in the world. I look down at her intently and roll back on top of her. I need her. But I know she’s not done either.

“What else do you dream about?”

“Nothing,” she chokes out and her neck turns purple. She’s the worst liar in the world and I love it.

“You’re a terrible liar. Tell me more,” I say playfully and lean down and bite her neck. She wiggles and I know it tickles, but she spreads her legs a little bit and I sink down in between then. It’s my favorite place in the entire world.

“A boy.” It’s barely a whisper. Had I been any further away, I probably wouldn’t have heard her, but she continues and I feel like my head is going to explode. “With your blond hair and green eyes.”

I exhale a deep breath and roll onto my back. She’s serious about this and the thought of her even wanting to have another kid isn’t something I thought she’d be up for. I know how much it hurts her to think of Andrew, and all the things he’ll never get to do. But this? Holy hell, it’s better than I could have ever imagined with her.

“A boy,” I whisper, “you see us married? And with a kid?” I ask just because I need to make sure I heard her right. But damn it if it’s not the best thing I’ve ever heard. I’m ready to get started making that baby right now. Or practicing.

“I didn’t mean to freak you out. You asked what I was thinking about….” her voice trails off unsure of how to proceed and I know she thinks I’m scared. She couldn’t be more wrong.

“Wow…I just never thought.” She shifts nervously next to me, and I want to make sure she knows I’m not scared about this. I roll onto my side and cup her cheek with one hand. I rub her soft skin softly and play with her hair. She’s so damn smooth and soft like silk. She’s perfect. “That’s even better than what I dream about.”

She sighs in relief and then smiles when she asks, “And what’s that?”

“Vacations on tropical islands so I can see you in nothing except teeny tiny bikinis. You in my bed on the tour bus. Waking up every morning with you next to me…”

“So – sex. That’s what you dream about.”

I can’t help the smile that flashes across my face.

“I’m a guy,” I say teasingly and then sound more serious. “Is that what you really want?”

“I don’t know…maybe someday?” It comes out as a question, but I can tell from the sparkle in her eye that she really means it. She saw the little boy and I want to give that to her so she can be happy every day for the rest of her life.

“Someday,” I promise her and I look at her seriously so she knows I’m not joking. I want nothing more than to make love to her right now until she’s screaming my name.

I smile at her devilishly so she knows what I’m thinking and by the way her eyes glaze over in lust, she totally gets it. “Let’s go shower…..I want to take you out for dinner later.”

Much later. This shower is going to take a while.