“Are you the finalists?” a deep voice asked from somewhere behind her. Its low tone seemed to caress Reagan’s back. A shiver of delight streaked up her spine.

Reagan turned to identify the speaker and almost fell on the floor. Trey Mills, the rhythm guitarist of Sinners, stood just beside the studio door. He checked her out a little and then a little more. Just enough to make her want him to inspect her closely. And naked.

Black-haired, green-eyed, and exuding sexual energy, the man was gorgeous onstage, but up close his sensual charm overwhelmed her. What was he doing here? Not that she wanted him to leave or anything. More than anything she wanted to challenge him to one of Sinners’ dueling guitar solos. The ones he and Sinclair performed onstage together. She always wondered if she could outplay Trey. At every Sinners’ concert she’d attended (eleven and counting), she’d wanted to charge up on stage and challenge both of Sinners’ guitarists to a little competition. Somehow, she’d managed to keep herself in the mosh pit instead of storming the stage.

“Fuck. If Mills is in this contest, we’re all screwed,” Hair complained. “Nepotism much?”

Trey grinned and Reagan’s heart dropped into her combat boots. “Nope, I’m not in this. I’m helping with the judging. Good luck.” He opened the door and disappeared into the studio.

Reagan sighed in feminine bliss. Freakin’ gorgeous man. And then his words sunk in. Trey Mills was going to be listening to her play?

She grabbed Pyre by the front of his ripped-up, electric blue T-shirt and gave him a panicked shake. “Hey, do you have any more of that Dramamine on you?”


The four members of Exodus End sat in the small recording booth facing a large window that overlooked Dare’s music studio. Trey took a seat next to his brother in front of the soundboard and immediately had a set of headphones thrust in his direction. Trey held one earphone up to his ear.

“Listen to this guy,” Dare said and played a demo for Trey.

Trey’s heart skipped a beat. Six-stringed perfection filtered into his delighted ear. “Is this a joke?” Trey asked.

“A joke?” Dare asked. One dark eyebrow lifted over a piercing green eye.

“This is Brian,” Trey said. “I’d know his playing anywhere.”

“It’s not Brian. Some guy named Elliot.” Dare tapped on the empty CD case. It had a plain white insert with the name Elliot scrawled across it in black marker.

“El-li-ot,” Logan, Exodus End’s golden-haired bassist, said in a perfect impression of E.T.

“Phone hooooome,” their drummer, Steve, added.

“Are you guys f**kin’ bored or what?” Max, their lead singer, asked. “You need to take this shit seriously.” He had a brace on his left wrist and a scowl on his devilishly handsome face. Not that Trey noticed. He wasn’t interested in men anymore. Not even ones who looked as good in a black tank top as Maximilian Richardson did. Besides, Max was straight. Trey didn’t bother with straight guys. What was the point?

“Frieeend,” Logan said to Max and pointed at him with one finger. Trey could almost picture it glowing at the tip.

Steve snorted with laughter.

Max just rolled his eyes. “I think you need another beer, Lo.”

“I need some pu**y,” Steve said.

“You always need pu**y.”

“This is Brian,” Trey insisted and no one would convince him otherwise. The longer he listened to the guitarist’s demo, the more certain he became. And the more angry. “Someone must have pirated some of his material. Fuckin’ rip-off artists piss me off.”

Max said, “I guess we’ll find out when they audition. Can’t fake that kind of talent.”

“So what do they look like? A bunch of douche bags?” Dare asked.

“You haven’t seen them?” Trey asked and set the headphones down. Not because he didn’t love to hear Brian play, but because the longer he listened, the more ticked off he became that someone would use his friend’s material that way.

“No, we’re going into this blind. Our manager’s brilliant idea to make a contest out of this has turned into a major pain in the ass. We don’t care what the winner looks like. We just want the right sound. Chances are we know some of them and Sam didn’t want us to be swayed by that either. Is Sam even here today? Fuck no. He’s in New York with some all-girl goth band he’s trying to sign. So now this stupid contest he came up with is all on us.”

Trey’s gaze shifted from one gorgeous man to the next. Did they really expect him to believe that they didn’t care what the newest member of their band looked like? They all worked out and had excellent physiques. Tribal tattoos accentuated the cut of their hard-muscled bodies. Their long, well-kept hair made the girls go wild and they wore just the right amount of leather. Maybe they didn’t want the newbie competing for their women and secretly hoped he was a toad. Or maybe they were so pissed at their manager they really wanted this unorthodox way of picking a new band member to backfire. Trey doubted that. He knew how serious this band was about its career. They wouldn’t have gotten this far if they lacked sense. Too bad their manager didn’t share it. He was all about promotion.

“Well?” Logan prompted. “What do they look like?”

“I didn’t notice,” Trey said. “One of the guys brought his girlfriend along with him. That I noticed.” Well, he had also noticed the weird-looking guy who’d been hanging on her, but mostly because he couldn’t figure out what she saw in him. Must be the guitar thing. Some girls had a thing for musicians no matter how fugly they were. Still, something about that woman had been unquestionably raw and sexy. Too bad she was taken. Trey didn’t chase after women who were taken. There were enough single ladies out there to meet his every need. Why f**k up some other guy’s miserable relationship?

Max sighed loudly. “Might as well get this over with. If they all suck, we get to go home, right?” He flipped a switch and spoke into a mic that fed into the sound booth. “Send in victim number one.”

There was a heavy window shade pulled down to block those auditioning from view. Victim number one was a phenomenal instrumentalist. As was number two. Max scribbled notes on a pad of paper while the rest of them just listened. Were all vocalists anal? Sinners’ lead singer, Sed, would have probably done the same thing. When guitarist number three began to play, Trey jumped to his feet, knocking his stool over backward. He leaned forward and squinted at the glass in front of him as if it would give him X-ray vision and he could see through the shade blocking his view.

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