Falling Down(10)

By: Anne Mercier

Cage smiles. "I heard you both. I'm going to talk you out of that shitty acting and modeling and into music if it's the last thing I do."

"We were just goofing around. It's been forever since we've done any serious playing," Sera tells him handing me a bottle of water.

"Thanks." My throat's tender. It's been too long since I'd used my voice regularly.

"It didn't sound like it. It sounded like you've been doing this forever," Xander says.

Jesse hands me a peppermint Life Saver.

"Helps," he says motioning to my throat.

I nod. "Thanks."

"Cage, dude, Jesse's met these hotties before," Xander says with a grin.

"Is that right?"

I nod. "A lifetime ago."

Jesse frowns. "It hasn't been that long."

"It has. I was untainted by the wicked ways of Hollywood."

"Not true, Luce. You'd acted before," Sera interrupts.

"Those were shit parts and that doesn't count."

"It all counts in Hollywood, darling," Ben says.

"So you're all tainted now, huh?" Jesse asks with another lift of his brow.

I shrug as Spenser comes flitting up. "Damn you Luciana Antonia Russo."

"Oh, now you've done it. He three-named you." This comes from Ethan, the bassist.

I send him a scared look and he chuckles.

"It's not that bad, Spense."

"Woman, you don't have a mirror and I have my eyes right on you. You've chewed off your Stalker Red lipstick."

Jesse laughs and I gape. "Is it seriously called Stalker Red?"

Spenser rolls his eyes. "No, but that would have fit with her girlie crush on you, right?"

I gasp.

Spenser waves his hand. "It's really called Make Out Red."

I just blink as Jesse opens his mouth. I point. "Not a word."

He laughs as does the rest of the band.

"I'm not sure which is worse."

"Stalker, definitely stalker," Spenser says with a shudder. "Yours isn't so bad. Sera's is called Smitten Lovey Dovey."

I smirk and Sera rolls her eyes.

"I don't care what it's called, let's just fix it so we can get started," Cage says with a laugh.

"Spense, I love you."

I was going to hug him but he pushes his index finger into the middle of my forehead. "No."

"I just wanted to hug you."

"No. You'll mess up what we," he says pointing to him and the girls, "just fixed after you and Serafina Rosalie Manzini decided to play rockstar."

"Hey," I say with a huff. "We could be for real if we wanted."

"Not if your mother has anything to say about it," he retorts as he clips closed his makeup case and sashays away.

I turn back to the band with a bland look. They are all smirking so I narrow my eyes. They just smirk even more. Ugh, rockstars.

"Don't render me speechless by staring at me with all your rockstar hotness."

"It'll happen," Sera says with a shrug. "Jesse's here."

I nod and they all grin and look at Jesse who's smiling. "It's a curse."

He frowns. "Hey!"

I laugh. Goodness, the butterflies have set up a pretty wicked cadence in my stomach. Jesse fucking Kingston. Are you kidding me! Holy shit! My crush, the rocker I lust after, and the one man who can, indeed, render me speechless. Keep it cool, Luce. You got this.

"Let me introduce you to everyone though likely you know who we all are, if I remember correctly."

Sera whispers, "Stalker fangirl."

I elbow her side and blush.

"My brother, Ben Kingston on lead guitar, Ethan Ashcroft on bass, Kennedy Caldwell on rhythm guitar and boards, and Xander Mackenzie on drums. Guys this is Lucy Russo and Sera Manzini. We met a few years back in the Chicago airport of all places."

"That we did," Sera says with a grin. "I still have a magnificent picture of your ass on my cell."

Jesse throws back his head and laughed. "That doesn't surprise me. Not at all."

Sera shrugs. "Since Lucy was a bit wrapped up," she gives us a pointed look, "someone had to take the pictures. Memories and all that."

"Uh-huh," Ben says with a grin. "Sounds like spank bank pics to me."

"God," Sera says with a laugh. "Women don't have 'spank banks'."

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