Natalie Scott’s life is simple with no strings attached. As a band photographer, she’s made metal music her life, and life on tour means no relationships.
At least not ones that last and that’s the way she likes it.
She only has one rule.
Don’t date or otherwise screw around with the client.
But she never said anything about love.
Brent Andrews knows Natalie’s rules.
And he’s about to make sure he’s an exception to them.
All of them.
Even ones she didn’t know she had.
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I scrunch my nose up as I look at the door hanging open for us. “It’s going to be a love fest in there, isn’t it?”
Brent scratches his chin. “Honestly, every time the girls have shown up, I’ve had a girlfriend–so I’ve never really paid much attention.”
I swallow, looking down at my shoes before looking over at him. “Was it a love fest for you?”
He blinks at me a few times, his lips in a stern line. “We don’t just start fucking all over the bus.”
I throw my hands up. “Hey, I know how it is. You haven’t gotten laid in a few months and you get to see your significant other–”
“Is that all you think we think about?” he asks, a slight smirk on his face. “Or is that all you think about?”
My face burns red, and I shake my head. “No–not at all.”
“Brent?” a woman’s voice calls at our backs.
“Tay!” Brent replies as he turns, pulling her into a hug. “It’s good to see you!”
Tay smiles as she pulls away from him. “I forgot how lovely you guys smell right after you get off stage.”
I watch as Brent’s face turns red, and he puts his hands in his pockets as he rocks on his heels. “Sorry, I haven’t gotten a chance to shower.”
She punches him in the shoulder. “Seriously, Brent? Believe me, Kie smells no better than you do. Speaking of which, where is he?”
Brent glances at me and then to the woman. She has long blonde hair curled into waves with ice blue eyes that are anything but cold. She smiles as she looks over at me, holding out her hand. “I’m sorry, this was rude of me–you must be Natalie, the photographer? I’m Taylor, Kie’s girlfriend. Everyone calls me Tay.”
I shake her hand. “You’re the first one to actually introduce yourself to me. The other girls didn’t even notice me at all.”
She laughs, running a hand through her hair. “I’m sure if I saw Kie, I would’ve ignored you too!”
I nod over my shoulder. “Brent, go take a shower. I’ll help Tay find wherever Kie ran off to.”
Brent narrows his eyes at me, and I smile up at him. “You do smell.”
He blinks at me. “And you smell any better?”
My eyes widen and he puts his hands up before backing slowly onto the tour bus.
“I’m sorry if I smell,” I say as I look down at my damp tank top.
Taylor laughs. “You definitely don’t smell like any of them do.”
“Thanks,” I reply. I nod towards the building. “I think he went somewhere inside the venue.”
We fall into step with one another and she looks over at me with a slow smile. “So you…and Brent?”
My face burns and I feel a cold sweat building on my spine. I tell myself it’s just the difference in temperature between the air-conditioned backstage and the heat of Arizona outside.
“No, not at all,” I reply, and my voice cracks.
Because I’m thirsty. Who wouldn’t be after the workout that is doing show photography?
She bites her lip. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to assume–”
I put a hand up, laughing a bit too high pitched. “Believe me, I’ve gotten used to people assuming that.”
“So do you?” she asks, biting her lip as she looks at me.
“Like him?” I finish her sentence.
She closes her eyes as we walk further into the venue and shakes her head. “You don’t have to tell me. We don’t know each other…It just seemed like you do.”
An awkward silence falls over us, and I clear my throat. “Uh, I think I saw Kie go this way. All these places are so different — crazy mazes.”
I hear a muffled noise that sounds like Kie and head towards the door I think it’s coming from. I open the door to peek my head in and blink as I stare at Kie with a half naked girl wrapped around him and his pants at his ankles. His eyes meet mine, going wide before I slam the door shut.
Taylor stands back behind me, and she swallows, staring at the closed door. “Anything?”
My hands go into fists as I try to control my facial expression. “Place has rats apparently.”
Her eyes drop to the floor, and she nods. “Sometimes they do.”
“Maybe he made it onto the bus by now?” I say, linking my arm in hers. Guilt washes over me as I try to act like I saw nothing.
Her body is stiff, and I can tell by the blank look in her eyes that she knows the way Kie is. “Sure, if not, I’m sure he’ll make his way there eventually.”
Silence falls over us as we make our way towards the bus. My chest tightens as I glance over at her, and I bite my lip before asking, “So it’s that obvious?”
Taylor shakes her head, looking over at me and her friendly eyes have a dark hint to them as does her tone when she replies, “What?”
I feel the need to distract her from whatever is going on in her head.
“That I might be…” I suck my lips into my mouth before admitting, “A tiny bit attracted to Brent?”
Taylor bursts out laughing. “A tiny bit? And who says it’s only obvious one way?”
Book one in this series Out of Beat is available now! You can buy a copy on Amazon
About the Author:
Cassandra doesn’t remember a time when she wasn’t writing. In fact, the first time she was published was when she was seven years old and won a contest to be published in an American Girl Doll novel. Since then Cassandra has written more novels than she can count and put just as many in the circular bin. Her personal goal with her writing is to show the reader the character’s stories through their dialogue and actions instead of just telling the reader what is happening. Besides being a writer, Cassandra is a professional photographer known for her automotive, nature and architectural shots. She is happily married to the man of her dreams and they live in the rolling hills of New England their dogs, Bubski and Kanga.
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