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Authors: Mina Carter

Rockstar (9 page)

BOOK: Rockstar
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But what about after that? He'd seen them parting after a year and going their separate ways. Probably before that if he was honest. Whilst he had a better track record than Logan, his affairs rarely lasted a year. He lost interest, moved on. If they got clingy, he just stayed out of the country. As an avoidance tactic, it worked wonders. If he needed to, he could always head overseas for the latter part of the year to get out of the way.

But, and here was the rub, did he want to? There was just something about Zette that had him fascinated and, if she was in love with him ... He squashed the guilt that had been plaguing him most of the evening again. She'd left him, all 79

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those years ago. He'd thought he'd loved her, he'd worried about her, and she'd left him. She deserved everything she got.

He finished his drink and shook his head. "No, keep them.

I'll need them," he said firmly.

Logan just shrugged, "Pity, she's a pretty little thing. I might have a go when you're done."

JJ didn't move. Couldn't move for the rage that surged through him. Hot and immediate it set his heart pounding, galvanizing his whole body. The thought of someone else touching her, even a man he considered as close as a brother, made his blood boil. She was
his
, no one else's.

"Try it and you're a dead man," he promised on a low growl, his teeth gritted to restrain the urge to swing at his friend.

Logan chuckled, "Green-eyed monster raising its ugly head there? You might want to think on those papers again my friend. I'm off to circulate, that cute blonde's been giving me the eye all evening. Going to see if I can't get a little action of my own tonight. Later."

* * * *

"Thank you, I'm sure we'll be very happy together. If you'll excuse me, I need to catch someone before they leave..."

Diplomatically, Zette extracted herself from the group of guests who had somehow managed to corner her between two tables, cooing over how nice the ceremony was. Before long the subject had turned to how long she and JJ had 80

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known each other and how short notice the wedding was.

Which then lead to meaningful glances at her stomach.

At that point Zette had decided to make a swift exit, smiling graciously and making a vague comment about them deciding not to wait anymore. She didn't want to let the cat out of the bag before she had a chance to tell JJ.

Telling a man you were carrying his baby, well that moment should be special. A private moment between lovers.

Just for the two of them as they celebrated the wonderful news. It wasn't something she wanted to share.

She beat a hasty retreat across the room, skirting the dance floor as she headed for the door to the ladies. It was hot in the main hall with so many people packed in and in her dress, which had seemed so light early in the day was now starting to feel a little heavy and cumbersome.

She sighed as she reached the sanctuary of the ladies

'powder room.' Like most establishments as big and luxurious as this, it was less a room and more a whole suite of them.

The toilets were tucked away out of sight at the back of a large sitting room, as though their presence wasn't the primary reason for the room in the first place. Large couches were scattered around the room, as well as chairs next to the vanity counters so the guests wouldn't have to, horror of horrors, actually stand to sort out their makeup.

Zette shook her head. When she'd started off in the music game, she'd often had to change in the cramped confines of a toilet cubicle, very often the men's, performing contortions to hold the door shut as she struggled into costume.

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These cubicles though, she was pleased to note, were a sight larger than those years ago. Which was a good thing as she wasn't sure she'd fit in anything that small, not with this skirt on. As it was, she had to sweep it all to one side and hold it in place as she shut the door. Throwing the latch, she put the lid on the toilet down, sinking to sit for a moment, fanning herself with her hand. It was just so hot, possibly something to do with her pregnancy. She'd never been this sensitive to the heat before.

"Of course, I only give it a year..."

The door into the powder room opened. There was a brief explosion of sound from the reception before it closed and a voice, obviously mid-conversation, layered over it.

"Lisa!! You can't say that! That's awful, and at their wedding too!"

Out of sight in the cubicle next door, Zette could practically hear the speaker shrug as she closed the door, sliding the bolt home. "Why not? It's true. I saw the file in Logan Fyre's office. They've already drawn up the divorce papers."

Zette went cold, barely hearing the other woman's gasp.

"You're kidding! That's awful! Oh my God, does she know?"

There was a harsh laugh, the reply scathing. "I would think so, this is probably all an elaborate publicity stunt. They'll sell the story to a magazine for millions, proclaim themselves madly in love and in six months or so they'll have an equally messy divorce. Celebs like her do it all the time."

Zette didn't hear the rest of the conversation, sat numbly in the locked cubicle. Ice formed in her chest, spreading out through her limbs and making movement impossible. Even if 82

Rockstar

by Mina Carter

someone had yelled 'fire' at this point she'd have just sat there staring at the door in front of her.

Her eyes followed the grain of the wood absently, noticed the slight splodge of paint where it had run when it was being painted. Her eyes followed it; a tiny imperfection in the otherwise perfect paint job which suddenly seemed more important to study than anything else in the world.

JJ was divorcing her. Not even married a day and he'd already planned to divorce her. She drew a shuddering breath, feeling the hot prickle of tears at the back of her eyes.

Ruthlessly, she squashed them. She would not break down, not yet and not here.

She knew better than to play the denial game. It had been too good to be true, everything had told her that but, like an idiot, she'd wanted to believe it. She'd wanted to believe she could have her Prince Charming. Her voice was bitter as she muttered, "Happy ever afters are for fairy tales, always have been, always will be."

[Back to Table of Contents]

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by Mina Carter

Chapter 6

The blonde had abandoned him after one dance, returning to the side of a boyfriend Logan hadn't seen before. Not that a boyfriend bothered him overly much, especially not this one. Small and skinny he had the 'office geek' look about him. If he'd wanted to, Logan could easily have taken the blonde off him. She'd been giving him the eye all evening, covert little glances of interest. Obviously casting about for something better than she had.

He wasn't vain about his appearance but he knew he looked good. Knew he was attractive to the female sex and even some men. He suppressed a shudder. That was all fine and dandy if you were that way inclined but not for him thanks. He liked women,
really
liked women, in all their infinite sizes and shapes.

Although he could, he couldn't be bothered to winkle the blonde from her boyfriend. What would it get him other than another night's meaningless sex? Perhaps great sex but still.

He was fed up with one night stands and ... well, it
just
being sex. It was most guys' dream but Logan was getting tired of it, finding he needed something more. Something more fulfilling.

He took another deep swallow from the heavy whiskey tumbler, leaning against the wall. He'd come out to the front of the hotel for some peace and quiet and to think on the slippery slope JJ was on.

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"Fucking idiot," he murmured into the still air, leaning his head back against the rough stone as he thought. The plan was doomed to failure of course. Zette would find out, women always did in the end, and then JJ would be up shit creek not only without a paddle but without a damn boat either. Even if JJ didn't realise it, Logan recognised the signs of a man in love. He was still in denial but he had it bad. And he was heading into trouble with this plan.

Logan sighed, and studied the stars. It was a clear summer night, so they were out in force. Actually he'd not been joking when he'd said he'd have a crack at Zette if and when JJ was done with her. She was gorgeous and, from what he'd already seen of her, she had a wonderful personality. He chuckled to himself. Who was he kidding? The one woman he found interesting only had eyes for his best mate. Bastard.

He watched idly as a taxi pulled up to the front of the hotel, one of a steady stream of vehicles that had been coming and going since he'd been standing outside. The day guests were long gone now but the evening guests were still arriving, even though the reception was in full swing inside.

The main door opened, a brief splash of sound from inside intruding on the solitude of the night until it swung shut.

Logan lifted his head as a feminine step crunched over the gravel toward the waiting taxi. He was a student of human nature, a 'people watcher' so to speak. There was a lot a person's body language could tell you and he believed in using any weapon he could get his hands on. Even the sound of a person walking could tell you a lot about them. Currently 85

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by Mina Carter

this set of footsteps was telling him the owner was fairly small, female and pissed off. His eyes widened a little in surprise as they settled on the owner of the footsteps.

Zette.

Worse, it was a Zette devoid of the wedding dress and other bridal accessories and getting into a taxi, looking very much like she was leaving her own wedding reception. Minus the groom. He watched silently as she got into the taxi, her pale face half covered by her hair as the door closed and the vehicle moved away into the darkness.

But the glimpse he got of her expression, the tortured look in her eyes, rocked him. She really loved that insensitive bastard, it was written all over her face. He watched as the tail lights of the taxi disappeared off down the half mile drive and sighed. He pushed off the wall. It was time to go and break the news.

* * * *

JJ had already noticed Zette's absence by the time Logan appeared at his side, trying to spot her through the crowds in the hall.

"Oh hey man. Have you seen my wife anywhere?" he asked, feeling an absurd swell of pride as he said that. Zette, his wife.

"Strange as it might seem when she's wearing a dress that size but I seem to have lost her. No doubt she's been cornered by a couple of these piranhas someplace and needs rescuing," he joked, indicating a couple of the 'showbiz'

guests they'd been forced to add to the guest list.

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The wedding planner had warned them it was that or risk having them try and sneak in anyway. So they'd been invited and frisked for both recording devices and cameras, including camera phones, before they'd been allowed past the door. So far they were pretty much behaving themselves, although a few of the agents were eyeing both JJ and Logan with a speculative eye as they stood together. JJ gave them a hard stare, one that plainly said 'don't even think about it'.

When Logan didn't reply he turned, a frown forming between his brows. One look at the serious expression on the lawyer's face brought him up sharply, a cold knot forming in the middle of his broad chest. Deep down, in that forgotten place where his heart was.

"What's happened?"

"You might want to take this somewhere else," Logan warned in a low voice, nodding toward the door beside the bar. Beyond it was the corridor that led to the hotel accommodation.

JJ didn't reply, just headed that way, his determined stride and expression making the guests part in front of him. In his mind he ran over all the deals they had in the works at the moment, wondering which one of them had gone belly up this time. Christ, if it was the Sharm el-Sheikh deal then he'd need to leave tonight to try and rescue it. And Zette wasn't going to like that, not at all. He ran his hand through his hair as they stepped into the corridor, Logan closing the door behind him carefully and shutting out the noise.

"It's the Sharm deal isn't it? What's that pillock Reynolds gone and done now?" he demanded. "I
knew
we should have 87

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sent someone else! He just doesn't have the balls for this type of work. How soon do we leave?"

"It's not the Sharm deal," Logan's voice was low, his eyes unreadable.

"Then what is it?" JJ's voice echoed with confusion. What else could be so important that Logan would drag him out of his own wedding reception?

"It's Zette. She's gone."

"Gone? What do you mean gone?"

"Gone as in done a bunk, done a moonlight flit, buggared off ...
Left
. I just saw her getting in a taxi and, believe me, she didn't look like she was nipping out for more wine." Logan said, his voice colder than JJ had ever heard it.

He focused on the other man, his heart lurching in his chest. A leap of panic from an organ he thought long dead as fevered chills ran over his skin.

"Left?" he croaked, as though he couldn't comprehend the word itself. But he could, only too clearly. The reason he couldn't spot Zette in the hall became clear.
She hadn't been
there
.

"No, no. You're wrong. She wouldn't have left..." He trailed off, already turning. He shouldered the door to the stairs open, not wanting to waste time waiting for the lift, and thundered the couple of flights up the stairs heading for the bridal suite. His heart pounded as he all but sprinted along the corridor, the keycard only just in the door before he crashed through it.

Her wedding dress was in a heap on the floor.

88

Rockstar

by Mina Carter

BOOK: Rockstar
10.29Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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