Backstage Dirty (The Savage Light Rockers #1)

Evernight Publishing

www.evernightpublishing.com

Copyright© 2014
Jenika Snow

ISBN:
978-1-771300-889-2

Cover Artist: Sour Cherry Designs

Editor: Karyn White

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

WARNING: The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. No part of this book may be used or reproduced electronically or in print without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in reviews.

This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, and places are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

DEDICATION

To not letting anything hold you back.

BACKSTAGE DIRTY

The Savage Light Rockers, 1

Jenika Snow

Copyright © 2014

Chapter One

[Sweat. Booze. Arousal.

Those three things saturated the air until suffocation was inevitable. But no one cared. They were high on the sensations, the lights, and
of the atmosphere of seeing one of the greatest musical groups of this generation perform—Savage Light.

Tanner Mason looked to her left, saw the thick throng of bodies practically pulsating, trying to get impossibly closer
, and inhaled deeply. This wasn’t her first concert, but it was probably one of the most electrifying. She looked to her right, saw the same thing, and had to force herself to just breathe. The show was sold out, and although it was a small venue compared to what this band normally played anymore, claustrophobia still slammed into her like another entity.

"Isn't this great?"
Zoe, her best friend since the fourth grade, nearly screamed beside her, but she kept her gaze trained forward. In just minutes the band would step on that stage, one that was made up of four guys Tanner had grown up around, but hadn't seen in the last five years. It had only taken that small window of time for Savage Light to jump to stardom, to become one of the biggest bands in the world, and she had watched it all play out on the television and by reading it in the papers.

"It's wild." Tanner looked at
Zoe. The excitement on her friend’s face was tangible and surrounded them in their own little bubble of joy.

"
You haven't seen anything yet." Zoe clasped her hands together in front of her mouth, and Tanner swore she saw her body shake from excitement.

“How many times have you seen them?” She knew
Zoe had probably told her at one time.


Just a few times honestly.” Zoe lifted one shoulder in a shrug and turned just her head to look at Tanner. “I can only make it to the ones in Colorado, and when they come here it is usually in the bigger cities.” Zoe looked forward again. “But this little concert isn’t even half the excitement that you would feel if you went to one at those big arenas.”

Tanner
had seen Zoe like this before, many times in fact, and it always was because of Luke "Beats" Davidson, the drummer for Savage Light. But she supposed having friends that were also guys, and spending nearly every day hanging out with them, and listening to them practice in their parents’ basement, would have eventually had one of them falling hard for a rocker. But Zoe wasn’t the only one that had fallen hard for a bad boy, and although Tanner had done a good job of keeping her emotions buried all this time, it was hard to now seeing as she was so close to the band. No, she wouldn’t allow herself to think about the past, because that was where those memories should stay … right?

The lights started to dim
, and the crowd went wild. Tanner was pushed forward, but surged backward just as quickly as the people in front of her retaliated. No way were they giving up their spot to see this limited engagement performance that had brought the band to their hometown. She had only been back in Brookstone for a week, but that hadn't been nearly enough time for her to settle in. Finding a job after graduation, especially one as a graphic designer, wasn't as easy as she had originally envisioned. Now she was back home living with her parents, and hoping that she wouldn't be another twenty-three-year-old with a college degree bagging groceries at the corner Shop & Save.

Zoe
wound her arm through hers and leaned into her so she could speak right in her ear. "I am so happy you got that stick out of your ass and decided to come with me." There was a teasing note in Zoe’s voice, and she nudged her with her shoulder.

Tanner scowled, but it was all for fun. She couldn't deny she had been a grump when she first returned home, but there was a part of her that felt like a failure. If she couldn't find work
in her dream profession in the big city where she had lived for the last five years, no way in hell could she find a job in this rinky-dink town.

"
I got a couple of backstage passes in the mail, and nearly freaked.” Zoe looked at her and grinned. “I haven’t actually talked to the guys in like … forever. They have been so busy since hitting it big.” Zoe shrugged, and although there was that euphoria still in her friend’s voice, there was also a longing that Tanner had heard many times over.

Tanner didn't know what was sad
der, watching her friend pine after a guy that had never seen her as anything more than another one of the guys, or watching the heartbreak that covered Zoe's face all the times she had seen Beats with another girl. To those four rockers she and Zoe were just another one of the buddies that hung out and drank beer behind their parents’ backs as they played music. But she supposed that happened when people grew up with each other. Hell, Tanner had watched all four of the members on TV and in the paper with their arms around scantily clad women, looking drunk, and ready to do a bunch of nasty shit. Those women were beautiful and famous, with bodies that were thin and perfectly calculated to drive a man insane with lust. Of course the nasty images that filled her head were ones Tanner had conjured up and not actually been witness to. But why else would the guys hang around women that wore barely there clothing and let their big fake tits hang out, if not to screw them? She had heard and seen enough in the tabloids about rock stars and their weakness for drugs, alcohol, and sex, that there was a part of her that worried she didn’t know the guys who had once been her best friends. But Tanner still hoped that wasn’t the case with Savage Light, because even though all these years had passed she didn’t want to see them corrupted. They were stars, and with that lifestyle came a lot of changes. Temptation was an evil, arousing force that sucked a lot of people down.

What
Zoe didn't know was that it wasn't just time that had separated Tanner from this town and the band about to take the stage. One drunken night had sealed her fate when she had given her virginity to Savage Light’s lead singer and now international bad boy, Jackson "Jacks" Lorde. Tanner had tried hard to bury that memory deep inside of her, but it never really stayed hidden. No amount of alcohol or passing time could have numbed that experience. So after it was all said and done, she had run from her feelings for Jacks, and from what could have been something more. Regret was a strong force, but fear was stronger. She had been afraid, scared of ruining what they had shared, and at eighteen she hadn’t know how to deal with it. Now it seemed so frivolous how she had reacted, but she couldn’t change the past.

The lights went off completely for a solid second, but the freaking out that happened all around her wasn't from panic, but from excitement.
God, they must have crammed as many bodies inside of Rosco’s as they legally could. It felt like there wasn’t any room to breathe, let alone move.

The longer the lights stayed off, the wilder the crowd
became. And then, right there in the center of the stage shone a single spotlight. The fact the band was performing at Rosco's, the largest, yet still small by average standards, bar in Brookstone, was a bit surprising. This "limited engagement" was only for the residents of the band’s hometown. Tanner supposed it was a nice tribute to where the guys had once called home.

Sweat trickled down the space between her breasts, and she
exhaled slowly. And then there they were, four bodies taking the stage like they owned it, and Tanner supposed they did, in every way possible. The crowd should have gotten even rowdier, but instead the room grew eerily quiet as the guys took their places. Tanner couldn’t see their faces with the shadows all around them, but she knew each and every Savage Light member as well as she knew herself—or at least she had.

Beats took up residence behind the drum set on the back of the stage.
Marcus “Five” Rafter slipped the strap of his bass over his head and stood on the left hand side of the stage. Matthew “Matty” Boston had his rhythm guitar in hand, and then her heart stopped when she saw the lead singer of Savage Light take center stage. Once Jacks was in place, right behind that microphone with his head lowered and his guitar draped across his chest, Tanner swore the air chilled in the room. For a solid minute none of the band members moved, and the spotlight had dimmed enough that it only gave a light glow in front of Jacks’s feet. He lifted his hand, and that was when the crowd went wild. Absolutely-fucking-wild at this small gesture. The lights came on full blast then, and the band started playing their newest number one hit, “A Red Winter”.

Zoe
was singing to the song right beside her, and nearly everyone in the bar had their hands up in the air. Of course Tanner had heard this song, as she had every single one of their numbers. The lyrics were twisted, beautiful, yet also frightening.

She looks upon the stars, her heart resting in her hand.

The whiteness of her blood, seeping to the land.

She is no longer there, just a soul, an empty shell.

A life now void as she rests with the devil in hell.

A Princess of the darkness, a Queen of the dead.

A whore for the devil, as she lies beside him in bed.

It was almost depressing in the way Jacks belted out the lyrics
, but so damn enthralling at the same time. It was like he was staring right at
her
, singing just for
her
. She supposed everyone in this room probably felt the way she did, and that was why these concerts were so intoxicating. It was like her own private show, like she was standing in the center of a deserted room, staring at Jacks as he lifted his hand, reached out for her, and stared right into her eyes. She was drowning in the sensation moving through her. Jacks had this deep, soulful voice, one that was almost tangible as it reached out to all of the audience. Jacks closed his eyes and grabbed the microphone. His dark hair was on the longer side, swooping along his forehead, but keeping his eyes still visible to the public. Tanner could remember his eyes, ones that were soulful, expressive, and had looked right into her own while he took her virginity and her heart. Even though she was more toward the back of the bar and his eyes were closed, Tanner knew that the color was so blue, and as clear as the Caribbean. With his black hair and light eyes the combination was a striking contrast. That was the first thing that she had noticed on him when they had met in elementary school: the dark and the light, the mysterious and the clear. He looked bigger all these years later, like maybe he had been working out. With his plain white t-shirt formed to his chest, outlining his muscles, and showing off the full sleeved tattoos that covered both of his arms, she could feel the remembrance of his touch along her body. He hadn’t had any ink when she had left right after high school, and although she had known he had gotten all of that done in that last five years, seeing him the same yet so changed was a shock in itself.

Beats was already sweating
as he pounded on the drums in this steady, yet consistent stream of motion. Marcus had his head low, and his light brown hair was longer as well and hanging over his forehead. Matty looked like the only “clean shaven” one, but even though his blond hair was cut short and a stylish disheveled mess around his head she knew he could be just as wild and reckless as the rest of the guys.

As they finished that song and went right into another one the room started to get warmer, and perspiration lined not only the area between her breasts but along her spine as well.
The guys’ shirts were becoming plastered to their chests, and their mannerisms became fierce and strong the deeper they went into the songs. People were singing along, their hands thrown high in the air, and a few women even screamed when Jacks would hit an especially soulful note.

God
.
His voice, it still did something to her. Even now, all these years later, she could hear him singing in the basement of his parents’ place. Although most of the time there were the other guys and Zoe around, there were a few times when it was just them. She would just sit in the corner, her knees curled under her as she listened to Jacks do an acoustic version of a song he had just written, or even to a cover from one of her favorite bands. He had this way about him that could draw everyone toward him. He was mesmerizing in every way possible, but to her it was like a drug she was addicted to.
He
was like that drug she needed desperately, and staying away had only hidden her feelings. The longer she stared at him, let his words and the melody of the song filled her, she felt her entire body light up. Her heart pounded hard, and adrenaline flooded her body.

One week back and she was already falling
hard into the past, one that was five years gone by, and one that concerned a group of guys that probably no longer even thought about the friendship they had all once shared. Hell, she doubted Jacks even remembered the night they had shared, or the way she had run like a scared rabbit from the one person that had meant the world to her. He probably had gorged himself on countless women, ones that were far more beautiful, and a hell of a lot thinner than she was.

As th
ey moved from one song to the next, Jacks started playing his guitar as well as singing. Most of the band could play multiple instruments, and seeing Jacks on that stage, clearly wrapped up in the music and his fans, made this something totally different from what she had experienced all those years ago. If she felt this intoxicated from just watching them, she couldn’t even imagine how drugging it was for
them
on that stage.

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