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Between Despair and Ecstasy

Two Hearts One Love

eXtasy Books

Heat Rating: STEAMY
Word Count: 65,262
Available Formats
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Mobi
ePub

Concerned for his fiancée’s safety, rock star Darien Scott races to Bangkok to protect Erika Bailey, only to discover his brother is missing. Fearing the worst, he contacts his nemesis, Gan, and makes a repulsive deal that will free his brother and protect Erika’s club, The Pink Flamingo. Or so he thinks. When a python and Gan are involved, things go sour, and Darien sinks into a deep depression.

Erika is disheartened by the betrayal of her parents. Her father's destruction of her club and the humiliation of her mother’s drunken behavior have her feeling down, but those are the least of her worries. She has a wedding to plan, but won’t. Having been betrayed too often, she’s scared to trust Darien.

How can Erika prove to herself and Darien that she loves and trusts him? Simple. All she has to do is jump out of a plane.

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Excerpt

Sweat streamed off Darien’s brow. Some dripped into his eyes. It stung. His heart throbbed against his ribs. Fire inched down his throat. Every muscle in his body ached. His head pounded from the pandemonium. The explosions. The screams. The pain threatening to split his skull. Dropping his head back, he closed his eyes. His chest heaved as he gulped air. He needed a moment. Get some strength back.

The screams grew louder.

Damn.

He inhaled and released a long breath.

They wanted him. He had to continue. To perform. Like a trained monkey. Do people even do that anymore? Train monkeys? He peeled his eyes open. The glare of the overhead lights blazed down at him. He lifted his head. The screams grew louder.

“Oh. So, you want more?”

But what if I don’t have any more? What if I just can’t continue? Twelve weeks. Four shows a week. I’m beat.

The roar from eighty thousand Parisians was tumultuous. Fans yelled at the top of their lungs. They pounded their feet on the floor, raising their hands in the air, clapping. Glow sticks, cell phones, and lighters swayed like flowers in a breeze.

He grinned. Eighty thousand Parisians and one fiancée. He glanced to his left. Seated on the top stage step was Erika. She’d arrived just minutes before the show started. Just enough time for a passionate—but quick—hello kiss. He needed more. He needed her, and he knew it. She smiled at him. He loved that smile. He could stare at it all day. The way her soft lips curved up, a hint of sassiness in her expression.

Just finish the show. Grab Erika and run. Dodge the fans. Just get out of here.

He looked out over the crowd. “But what if I’m too tired to continue?”

“No,” the crowd wailed.

He grinned. “Well, maybe I could go on if you told me you loved me.”

The cacophony of sounds was deafening. “Je t’aime. Love you.”

He lifted his hands. “Do you love me?”

“Oui. Yes.”

He ripped his black t-shirt over his head and threw it into the fans. “Do. You. Love. Me?” He yelled out as he glanced at Erika.

She jumped up and down, screaming with the crowd.

“I can’t hear you.”

The building shook with the fans’ frenzy.

“Five. Six. Five. Six. Seven. Eight.”

Fireworks exploded. Lasers shot around the stadium. Cass, the drummer, crashed the symbols as Darien spun, posed, then inhaled a deep breath and opened his mouth to sing.

Darien hopped off the stage into the circle of security guards. One handed him a t-shirt and a bottle of water. Darien pulled the shirt on, then cracked the water open and guzzled it as he followed his security. The ice-cold water eased the burn in his throat. He didn’t look back for Erika. He knew she wasn’t there. Lindon, his manager, alerted him in his earpiece that Erika had been escorted out of the building and was safely waiting on the tour bus.

The broad shoulders of the guards jostled against him as they worked their way through the back hallways of the stadium to the bus. Stepping out into the September evening air, Darien shivered. His sweat-covered skin contracted against coolness. He rarely showered at the venue. Too many chances for a fan to bust in. A photo of a naked him and an underage fan would not be a good thing.

He preferred to bolt out of the venue, shower at the hotel, then head to the party. But not tonight. Erika waited on the bus, and he had the next few nights off. Life was about to get great.

“Darien Scott,” a shrill voice screamed.

He glanced in between two of the guards. A group of fans stood outside the backstage door, cell phones ready to capture the moment. “Hold it, guys.” He stepped between the men and headed toward the girls. Several shrieked while hugging the person closest to them. One, slightly older, stood off to the side. Her black hair hung down her back. Her heels were high and her blouse rather revealing. He chuckled.

Normally, she’d be his first target. Tonight was different. And he was amazed to discover he loved different.

“Hey, girls. Selfie time?”

He stood next to each and grinned as they snapped numerous photos. He signed their cell phones, their tops, their arms, whatever they stuck out in front of him. High Heels—as he’d dubbed her—didn’t move. Just inhaled and released deep breaths, which made her ample bosom swell and lower.

She stepped closer, pulled her blouse open, revealing more cleavage and a white lace bra. “Sign ‘ere.”

The other girls held their cameras ready.

Grinning, he scrawled his name across the heaving mounds offered to him.

“Gotta go.” He tilted his head toward the bus.

She pulled her bra up, exposing her breasts, then cupped her hands underneath. “See anything you want?”

He nodded. “Yeah, I do.” Then he pointed to the tour bus. “And she’s sitting in there, waiting for me. I haven’t seen her in a while. Time for us to get reacquainted.” He waggled his eyebrows and hurried onto the bus.

“Dude.” Lizard, the heavily tattooed lead guitar player, laughed. “You shoulda seen the look of pure venom she gave you.”

Darien collapsed on a seat next to Erika. The tour bus shuddered as it pulled away.

“Holy…does that happen all the time?” Erika pointed out the window at the girls in the distance. “I mean…she offered you her boobs. Like right in your face.”

He snorted. “That. That was nothing. That was tame.”

“Hell yes.” Cass laughed. “Remember—”

“Brazil,” Cass and the bass player, Jax, said in unison.

“Brazil?” Erika shifted in her seat to face Darien.