Jackson Paige was, in fact, Jax Pain, the drummer of Manix Curse.
That thing in Jami’s chest tightened, making it hard to breathe.
Jackson Paige, aka Jax Pain, has worked hard to put that unfor-frickin-gettable fling behind him and the nasty secret that made him leave her. Truth is, life as the playboy drummer of Portland’s hottest metal band hasn’t helped him to forget the fiery, sexy woman who stole his heart. Lucky for him, Jami was just hired as his band’s new attorney. But when he sees the look on her face when she realizes who her new client is, Jax wonders if maybe being this close to her again isn’t such a great idea. The explosive chemistry is there, but so are the dark secrets…
Award-winning debut author KASEY LANE writes sexy romances featuring music, hot guys with ink, kick ass women, and always a happily ever after. A California transplant, she lives with her high school crush turned husband, two smart, but devilish kids, two Papillions, three cats, and several chickens in the lush Oregon forest.
“You know what I’d really love right now?” Jax, with his head in her lap, stared up at the ceiling as she dragged her fingers through his hair over and over. His bones were gelatinous goo, melted from rigorous sex, and his mind was finally quiet. The constant restlessness that dogged him was gone.
She looked down at him, her eyes wide and her smile wider. He loved how the corners of her full mouth titled up, giving her a sweet smile even when she tried to look like a bossy lawyer.
After the gymnastics they’d just done, he couldn’t possibly want more already. “You can’t be serio—”
His stomach chose that moment to share its opinion. She threw her hand over her mouth, smothering a giggle.
“Holy smokes, you must be starving,” she said, realizing they’d never eaten. She scrambled from the bed, pulling on a long T-shirt with “Portland Community Women’s Resource Center” printed across the front and tugging on some boy shorts that didn’t quite cover her butt.
“I was.” He smacked her ass. “Now I’m just hungry.”
She pulled open the door, and a huge blur ran into the room and launched itself toward him on the bed. He barely had time to protect himself from the monstrosity by pulling a pillow in front of his body before the world’s biggest cat—was that even a cat?—pummeled his knee with what looked like its head.
“What the fuck is this thing, Jami?” he yelled as the animal continued to aggressively request petting by slamming its enormous head into his knee.
Jami wrapped her arms around her middle and laughed so hard tears—actual fucking tears—streamed down her face. She collected herself enough to walk back over to the bed and pick up the giant furball, holding it like a baby. Obviously she wasn’t worried that the thing, which was more like a dangerous cougar than cat, would maim her.
“This is Mr. Aubrey Beardsley. He’s a rescue, so I’m not sure what breed he is, but I think he’s part Maine Coon and maybe part Ragamuffin.”
“Beardsley after the art nouveau artist?” he asked, venturing to pet the killer cat purring louder than Conner’s Harley. “You’re a fan of art nouveau?” He glanced around her room, noticing the décor for the first time. A pale lavender bedspread with embroidered flowers was piled on the floor along with some pretty pillows. The wall sconces in the room were obviously art deco, as well as the inlaid wooden vanity. Jami’s room was striking and soft, just like the woman.
“Sort of. I’m a fan of art deco…didn’t you see my living room?” She blushed when he raised a brow. “No, I guess not. Anyway, I love deco, and his cute little beard seemed to fit, and Beardsley was sort of the catalyst for the art deco movement, so there it is. Are you a fan?”
“Art, yeah. Mountain lions masquerading as cats, not so much.” He was an artist, after all. Maybe she thought it was just about tattoo art. Other than that last conversation they’d had, he’d never told her just how much he loved traditional art. He’d wanted to, but never got the chance.
He shoved the old memories—old mistakes—back down. They had no place in her bedroom that night. Soon enough she’d want to talk about it. He hoped. But just not now. Eventually, he’d have to tell her everything.
She smiled—sweet like honey and warm like tea—and looked down at Aubrey. “I remember, you know.” She looked up slowly and met his gaze. “I remember that day.”
He did, too. Like it was fucking yesterday. Her lounging on the floor, supported by a myriad of colorful thrift-store pillows, covered in his art from head to toe. Her gorgeous body marked, highlighted by his designs. What fun they’d had turning her into his own vibrant creation. Then he’d sketched her and made love to her on those funky pillows. Maybe that was when he’d fallen in love with her. But before either of them could stop the momentum of that love or whatever it was, the train had derailed completely.
Thanks to him.
“I remember it, too.” Unfortunately, he hadn’t kept the picture he’d drawn of her. He’d left it at her apartment. She’d probably destroyed it the minute she realized he’d dropped out of school and her life.
Speaking of trains, Aubrey began to purr loudly.
He dipped his chin toward the cat. “Where’d you get him? Shelter?”
She nodded, grabbing a pair of thick black-rimmed glasses from the side table. Those fucking glasses threw gasoline on the smoldering coals still burning in his gut and basically lit his dick on fire. Zero to eighty in two seconds. Every single hot-secretary fantasy he never knew he had came to life in living color right at that moment.
“What? Oh heck, is there something on my face?” she asked, swiping at her nose.
“Um, no.” He reached under her shirt and palmed one warm breast in his hand, wrapping his other hand around her neck and pulling her close. Her hooded eyes blinked. Once. Twice. And then closed as he caressed her mouth with his, tongues slowly dancing to their own song as she hummed that little sex sound she made whenever their lips met. That little sound went straight to his already straight-up-hard-as-fucking-steel cock, making it spasm.
A low growling noise that seemed to go on forever echoed in the room. They jumped apart, then fell into laughter when they both realized it was his stomach again.