Home > Say You're Mine (The Gallaghers Series)(4)

Say You're Mine (The Gallaghers Series)(4)
Author: Layla Hagen

They looked at my ID and checked a list before they let me in. Sasha told me the location would only allow in people on the guest list. After researching more of the band’s background, I realized they were extremely popular in the US and abroad, which explained all the security.

Inside was a long hallway with silver-framed mirrors every few feet. There was a hostess too, in front of a small room to the side where patrons could leave jackets, but since it was warm outside, I hadn’t brought one. At the end of the corridor was a bar, along with a dozen or so bowling alleys. The room was very dark, with lights projecting on each alley. I liked the vibe they created. An eclectic mix of photos was hanging on the walls.

The interior of the bar seemed completely empty at first glance, but then I spotted Sasha with a large group of people at the far end. I couldn’t believe they rented out the whole space for just the band and a few guests, but it made sense or else they’d get ambushed by fans.

I wondered if being in the band was a lonely existence. They seemed a bit cut off from the world. I loved being out and about, traipsing around the city at a whim. I couldn’t imagine what it would feel like not being able to do so. I also noticed a few bodyguards, one of whom I recognized from this morning.

“Isabelle, you made it,” Sasha exclaimed upon seeing me. “Let me introduce you to everyone. This is the team working behind the scenes for the band.”

She went on to rattle off everyone’s name. I shook their hands politely, all the while feeling watched. After the last introduction, I looked over my shoulder and there he was, perched on a barstool, eyes trained on me. My whole body felt ablaze under Brayden’s gaze. How could he do that to me? No one had stirred my hormones like him.

In the meeting room, he’d seemed intense and domineering, but here against the dark backdrop, that intensity was magnified. Something in his pose and jade eyes made me think he had a wild streak and was barely keeping it under wraps.

The other guys were perched on the chairs next to him. Rolling my shoulders, I headed their way. If they didn’t warm up to me by the end of the evening, I would turn down the assignment and move on to something else. It would be hard to pass up this much cash, but I couldn’t work under conditions that were less than conducive.

Brayden stood up, flashing me a devastating smile as he met me halfway to the bar. Everything about him was delicious. Even though I tried so hard to resist the urge to check him out when we met this morning, I did notice he was wearing the same shirt as earlier.

But I wasn’t that strong now, and my eyes wandered.

The dim lights worked in my favor. No one could possibly tell where exactly I was looking. Did I mention the man was simply delicious? He had an athletic body, with muscled arms and broad, strong shoulders. The T-shirt fit him perfectly, tight enough to highlight that he obviously put equal effort in his abs training. I couldn’t check out his butt, but I was sure the opportunity would arise later tonight.

“Isabelle,” he said simply, leaning in to kiss my cheek, surprising the heck out of me. I sucked in a breath, overwhelmed by his sheer presence and his lips on my skin. He moved his mouth closer to my ear, whispering, “The boys promised to play nice. Don’t push their buttons... too much.”

He pulled back, winking at me.

“How about yours?” I teased. “May I push yours?”

The corners of his mouth twitched. “You’re welcome to try. My reaction might... surprise you.”

Holy shit, he even sounded sexy and dangerous! Of course it was why his voice was famous, since he had that raspy, rugged tone, but these words—this delicious warning—were just for me.

He led me to the guys, who all stood up, shaking my hand. I took that as a good sign.

“Well, let’s get the game started,” Lars said in a raised voice, clapping his hands.

“What do you want to drink?” Brayden asked me while Lars gathered the troops. “They make excellent cocktails.”

“Want to get me drunk this early in the evening?”

“From a cocktail?”

“I’m a lightweight.”

“Good to know.” There he went with the dangerously sexy voice again, as if he somehow planned to use that information against me.

“I’ll have a beer. That way I can keep my head in the game.”

I smiled and turned to face the bar, ordering a Budweiser.

“So how did you get the boys to promise they’d behave?” I asked while the bartender poured me a draft.

“I have my ways. I can be very persuasive.”

I had no doubt about that.

“We all want what’s best for the band,” he added. “We just don’t always agree on what exactly is best.”

“What do you think that is?”

“I think it’s important to keep our fans happy. We owe that to them. But I also want to stay true to ourselves. We don’t change our music according to the whims of fans. I also don’t want us to pose as something we’re not.”

“That’s very good to hear.” I appreciated that more than he knew. I didn’t like people who pretended to be something they weren’t just for appearances.

“At first we interpreted what Sasha said as having to fake a certain type of image. But what she meant was simply showing the public more of us.”

“Yes, exactly!”

“But we’re not comfortable with sharing personal information.”

“We’ll find the sweet spot. Something you don’t mind sharing that would make fans feel more connected to you. The question is what to show?” I narrowed my eyes, tilting my head playfully as I grabbed the glass of beer. “What secrets are you hiding, Brayden?”

A smile played on his full lips. He leaned in a bit.

“I’ll let you discover them. Much more fun, don’t you think? And worth your while.”

“Hmm, true...” I was being coy and flirty, and I had no idea how to stop. It was impossible to think clearly with him so close.

“By the end of the evening, I want you to tell me what you think.”

“Demanding much?” I scoffed.

“Very much.” His smile widened as he pulled back.

Wow. I held his gaze even though this tension between us was growing thicker by the second. Could he feel it, or was I the only one? His bossy and flirty demeanor was incredibly attractive. I’d never met anyone so aware of his own sex appeal.

I was sure part of it was the job and maybe it was now ingrained in his behavior, in the band’s image, but some of that had to be natural. He was magnetic, and he was drawing me in. I needed to be careful.

“Brayden, Isabelle, come on. We’re starting,” Sasha called from the alleys.

I twirled on the spot, heading in her direction, feeling him walk right behind me. We stopped in front of Sasha, and I let them know there was no way I was bowling—I was very bad at it. “I’m not playing, just observing.”

“Band, behave,” he said in a tone that brooked no argument. Then he put an arm around my shoulders, his fingers brushing my bare shoulder blade. My skin lit up where he touched me, and that heat coiled slowly throughout my body. My nipples tightened and my throat dried up. I wanted this man.

No, no. Down, girl.

My body couldn’t react to him like this. It wasn’t possible.

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