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Authors: S.C. Stephens

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Effortless

BOOK: Effortless
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Effortless
S.C. Stephens
Published:
2011
Tag(s):
"adult content" Romance Drama angst

Effortless

 

Text copyright © 2011 by S.C.
Stephens

 

 

All Rights Reserved. This book may
not be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or
electronic form without permission from the author. Please do not
participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in
violation of the author’s rights. All characters and storylines are
the property of the author and your support and respect is
appreciated.

 

The characters and events portrayed
in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living
or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.

 

 

Summary: A lot can happen in a year. You grow, you change,
you learn from your mistakes. And Kiera had made a lot of mistakes
to learn from. But she had learned, and she was determined to never
cause a man pain again, especially the amazing man who currently
held her heart. But life offers new challenges for every
relationship, and when Kiera’s love is put to the ultimate test,
will it come out the other side unscathed? Love is easy…trust is
hard.

 

 

***

Many thanks to all of you who have
supported my writing and asked for copies. Thank you so much for
your encouragement, as it means the world to me. I hope you get as
much from reading this as I did from writing it.

***

 

 

The following story contains mature
themes, strong language, and sexual situations. It is intended for
adult readers.

Chapter
1
My
Boyfriend, the Rock Star

According to the channel four weatherman, it was the hottest
summer on record in Seattle. Since I’d only been here a little over
a year, I took the kind man’s word for it. As I was smashed into
and bumped up against, I felt that heat in the skin of every person
that touched me. It was a little revolting to have strange people
rubbing up against my body. It was even more revolting when some of
those strangers decided that being crammed together in a group like
we were, gave them the freedom to invade my personal space. I’d
smacked more hands off of my butt in this one afternoon than in the
entire time I’d been at Pete’s bar.

 

Sweat poured down the back of my t-shirt and I momentarily
cursed my fashion choice. As I glanced up at the cloudless, azure
sky, the midday sun hit me square in the eye, blinding me. I rolled
up the short sleeves of my black-as-night shirt, then went to work
tying a knot above my bellybutton, just like MaryAnn from
Gilligan’s island.

 

But then I smiled, remembering why I was wearing it and what I
was doing in this crowd of sweaty bodies. As I stared past the few
rows of glistening people in front of me to an empty stage, a
nervous energy flooded into me. Not for me. No, for my boyfriend.
Today was his big day. Today was his band’s big day and I bounced a
little on my feet as I waited for him to bound up onto that stage.
I knew that at any moment he was going to rush to that microphone
and the awaiting crowd was going to scream ear-splittingly
loud.

 

I couldn’t wait.

 

Hands next to me grabbed my bare arms. “Can you believe it,
Kiera? Our boys are playing Bumbershoot!”

 

I looked over at my best friend, my coworker and my
confidante—Jenny. Her face didn’t have sweat pouring down it like
mine and she only looked gloriously dewy, but the sparkle lighting
up her eyes was exactly like mine. Her boyfriend was playing the
Seattle Music Festival for the first time too.

 

Squealing a little in my growing eagerness, I clutched her arms
back. “I know! I can’t believe Matt actually got them booked here.”
I shook my head, impressed that my boyfriend was playing in the
same venue that Bob Dylan was playing on later tonight. Hole and
Mary J. Blige were playing in the next couple of days.

 

Jenny looked over when some stranger ran into her; he seemed
completely stoned. Glancing back at me, her blonde ponytail lightly
flicking my face, she shrugged. “Evan says he worked really hard to
get them this spot. And it’s prime! Saturday afternoon on a perfect
summer day, smashed right in-between two great acts. It doesn’t get
any better than that.”

 

 She tilted her head up to the sky, the rays of the sun
glinting off the white lettering on her matching black t-shirt, a
t-shirt glorifying the full name of our favorite
band—D
ouchebags
—although, they shortened it to D-Bags, for
marketing purposes.

 

I nodded when her face returned to mine. “Oh, I know, Kellan
said he—”

 

A sudden eruption of sound disrupted my conversation and my eyes
automatically darted to the stage. Smiling broadly, I watched what
had the getting-raucous crowd’s complete attention. Our D-Bags had
finally decided to grace the crowd with their presence.

 

The assemblage before the outdoor stage started jumping and
hollering as Matt and Griffin hopped on stage first. Matt was his
normal, contained self, acknowledging the fan fest with a small
smile and a slight wave. He quietly walked to his microphone and
strapped on his guitar. I hollered for him, but it was a mess of
noise and people around me and the guitarist didn’t hear my voice.
His light blue eyes scanned the crowd nervously as he adjusted the
strap on his shoulder.

 

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Griffin, his
attention-seeking, horn dog of a cousin, ran up and down the front
of the stage, smacking people’s hands and pumping his fist in the
air. His pale eyes scanned the crowd, and even though I wasn’t
yelling for him, he actually did hear me. Spotting Jenny and I back
a ways from the front, he pointed at us. Then he lifted his fingers
up to his mouth in a V position and did suggestive things with his
tongue that made my cheeks flame hotter than the steamy sunshine I
was standing in. I immediately looked away.

 

Several people around Jenny and I laughed and looked at us. My
embarrassment tripled. Jenny beside me saucily exclaimed, “Ewww,
Griffin!” then started laughing with the crowd. I shook my head,
wishing my sister, Anna, hadn’t been at her photo shoot for the
Hooters calendar today, so she could, maybe, attempt to keep her
pseudo-boyfriend in line.

 

Evan had come up during the middle of that display, and seeing
Griffin sexually harass us, he looked over our way. He smiled and
waved, blowing a kiss to Jenny. She snatched it in the air and blew
him one back. His warmhearted smile got even bigger, but once he’d
acknowledged us, he twisted to take in where he was, and his dark
eyes seemed awed. I laughed at the look, happy that the
good-spirited man was taking a second to enjoy his success.

 

Then the scream got so loud my ears started ringing. I actually
half-closed my eyes it was so painful. The girls right next to me,
looking all of fourteen, started clutching each other and chanting,
“Oh my God, there he is. Oh my God, he’s so hot. Oh my God, oh my
God, oh my God!”

 

I grinned and shook my head, amazed and amused at how my rocker
boyfriend could affect people. Of course, I completely understood.
Lord knows he had completely affected me in the beginning. Still
did, honestly. Even just watching him confidently strut onto the
stage, the stage he owned with every fiber of his being, my body
tingled for him.

 

Kellan walked up to his microphone slowly. Or maybe it was a
regular pace and my mind was just on the slow-motion button.
Whatever the reason, it seemed to take him forever to get to where
he was headed. He had one hand up, waving to the mass of people
clamoring for him and he ran the other back through his thick,
bed-head hair. The heat and sweat made the sandy-brown mess stick
out even more crazily and he looked just completely edible.

 

I bit my lip as he finished his saunter to his mic stand. He
scanned the crowd as he adjusted the height on it. I knew from
experience just what the front row was feeling as those
midnight-blue bedroom eyes washed over them. He had a way of
looking at you that made you feel like no one else existed in the
world, even if a crowd was around you. Add that to the sexy
half-smile on his face, and you got a man who could ignite you with
just a glance. He was igniting me now, and he hadn’t even spotted
me yet.

 

As his face turned away, hopefully looking for me out in these
masses, I studied his jaw line—strong, masculine, so freakin’ sexy
it hurt. The girls behind me seemed to think so, too. From amongst
the screaming, I clearly heard, “
That
is going home with
me tonight,” and, “God, that man is completely fuckable.” I
resisted the urge to turn and tell them that he was taken, keeping
my gaze focused on him instead. I shouldn’t be jealous or irritated
by fans, but their comments were a little less cute than the
fourteen-year-old’s.

 

As Kellan’s eyes finished with one half of the crowd, they swung
over my way. Like magic, he spotted Jenny and me instantly. She
waved then whistled with her fingers in her mouth. I flushed and
smiled as those amazingly intense eyes locked onto mine. He nodded
at me and mouthed, “I love you.”

 

The stupid girls behind me started moaning that he’d said it to
them. I again ignored the desire to acknowledge that I knew him and
to tell them that he was mine. It wouldn’t change their feelings
towards him one tiny little bit and I’d only end up opening myself
to endless questions about our personal life. Questions I did not
want to talk about with complete and total strangers. I’d gotten
enough of that at school before Kellan and I had even gotten
together.

 

Instead, I discreetly mouthed that I love him too and gave him a
couple of thumbs up. He laughed at my move and shook his head,
clearly confident that he’d completely kick ass on stage. And he
would. If anything, Kellan had been preparing himself for a moment
like this for years now, playing small bars and clubs down in L.A.
and then up here, after his parents had died. He’d sort of been
preparing for this his whole life.

 

Slinging a guitar over his shoulder, he wrapped his hand around
the microphone. The screams intensified again when it became
obvious that he was going to speak. Over the sound system, I heard
his warm laugh, then, “Hello, Seattle!” The girls around me jumped
and screamed his name. I laughed and tried to move away from some
of the more revved up girls, although, with nowhere to go, I only
ended up bumping into a couple of guys in front of me.

 

Muttering apologies when they glared back at me, Kellan’s voice
hit me again. “We’re the D-Bags…in case you didn’t know…” another
long screaming session, “…and we’ve got something for you…if you
want it.”

 

He raised an eyebrow after he said that, eyeing some of the
women up front a little too suggestively for my taste. But, I knew
it was an act. While his face clearly said,
screw me
later,
that wasn’t what was in his heart. I was in his heart.
Heck, I was tattooed over his heart. I smiled, knowing that not one
single woman here was aware of that fact. Well, besides Jenny,
anyway.

 

He held up a finger to quiet the crowd. They surprisingly did
back off, a little bit. “Do you want it?” he asked suggestively.
The crowd loudly indicated that they did. Jenny was hollering her
answer through her hands, so I joined in.

 

I noticed Matt shaking his head, smiling as he flexed his hand.
Evan was now sitting in front of his drums, moving his body to an
unheard beat and spinning a stick in his hands. As Kellan eyed the
crowd, I watched Griffin try to get a couple of girls to lift their
shirts. I didn’t keep looking to see if they did.

 

Kellan brought his hand up to his ear. “Well, if you want it,
I’m gonna have to hear you ask for it.” There was hooting and
hollering and more obscene suggestions tossed out from behind me,
but I didn’t care. I no longer cared about any of them, because
Kellan brought his eyes back to mine and the pure joy I saw on his
face was enough to make all of the forward women, all of the grabby
men, and all of the sweaty strangers, completely worth it.

 

It was like watching his soul come alive as he smiled down at
me. He loved this. Aside from me, it was the one thing that Kellan
really lived for. True, he tried to act like it didn’t matter, like
he just did it because it was something to do at night, but over
time I’d come to see that that was just his way of coping. I think
a part of Kellan was afraid that this would get snatched away from
him. He hadn’t grown up under the best of circumstances. Quite the
opposite. He’d had the horror story childhood that would have had
most people running straight for booze and drugs. But Kellan had
found music, and music, along with a seriously healthy sexual
appetite, had saved him from a life of mind-numbing addictions.

 

Kellan flicked his wrist behind him, and Evan, waiting for his
cue, immediately began to play.

 

The song was fast, catchy, and even though I’d heard it a
bazillion times, I started jumping up and down with the excitement
of it. There was just something about the crushing, noisy bodies
rubbing against me, the deafening vibrations of the severely
amped-up music, and the hot sun beating away on all of us, that
sent electricity through the crowd. It gave
me
a rush. I
could only imagine what Kellan was feeling.

 

His voice cut through the music, perfectly on time. No matter
what he was feeling off the stage, in this, Kellan was a
professional. The countless practices and small shows around the
area had paid off well; his voice was spectacular. A high-pitched,
feminine squeal surged throughout the crowd as his microphone
drifted the words over the open area. He was singing an older song,
a D-Bag classic, and several people around me were singing along.
Since I’d watched Kellan write songs before, it was a little
awe-inspiring to witness his lyrics be repeated back to him,
especially in a crowd this size.

 

He beamed as he strummed and sang. A distractingly sexy
half-smile was on his lips. It never failed to amaze me that he
could play his guitar and sing at the same time. Me? I could barely
do just one of those things. Jenny waved her hands in the air and
hooted and hollered for her man and I did the same, happy that I
could come out and support him today, support them all today. Well,
maybe not Griffin.

 

The song ended with a thunderous reaction from the crowd, even
the guys directly in front of me. I was ecstatic for Kellan and the
boys. They deserved the success. Kellan put his guitar away for the
next song, popping the microphone off its stand. The stage here was
wider than Pete’s and with more room to walk around, Kellan also
had more room to flirt. Moving into the next song, his eyes slipped
over the crowd in ways that I was only used to them slipping over
me.

 

It bothered me a little, but I let it go. He was just excited to
be here, excited to play. He’d slipped back into the aggressively
sexy guy that I’d first seen on stage. The sexed-up behavior had
seemed over-the-top to me on that very first glance that I’d had of
him, but the audience here was eating it up. Hands were stretching
out to him from everywhere, even from rows behind me. I wasn’t
quite sure what those women expected him to do. Stage dive? I
furrowed my brow, hoping he didn’t do that. He could get hurt…or
fondled to death.

BOOK: Effortless
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