Emily was picking out carrots in the produce section of the supermarket when she heard the squeal.
Inwardly, she rolled her eyes. When they were still riding the high of their first number one hit, the fame had been pretty good. People would buy them drinks, invite them to exclusive parties, interview them on talk shows.
At first, it wasn’t so bad.
People stared at her when she went to the DMV. People stared at her when she went to the gym. People stared at her when she was out jogging. She was fairly sure she was getting RSI from all the damn autographs.
She knew for a fact that the rest of the band didn’t have it nearly as bad. As the lead singer, she was essentially the front of the band, never mind the fact that everyone else did a hell of a lot more work than she did. The just had to play up the freaking sex appeal.
Giving a forced smile, she signed the obligatory autograph, before getting the hell out of there.
‘I quit,’ she announced upon entering the condo she shared with Derek Morgan.
‘What?’ he called back. From the sound of his voice, he was in the hot tub. Emily set what groceries she had managed to buy on the expansive kitchen counter, before stripping off her clothes. The hot tub was on the balcony, but thanks to the angle, none of their neighbours could see in.
‘I said, I quit.’ Completely nude, she slide into the hot tub. ‘I hate the attention.’
‘What is it this time?’ he asked, apparently amused by her frustration.
‘Teenage girl ambushed me at the supermarket.’
‘You know, we could get our groceries delivered. You don’t even have to be snobbishly rich.’
‘I don’t want to be a hermit,’ Emily said, resolute in her stubbornness. She was well aware that she was being something of a pain in the ass about things, but for once, she wanted to go out without having to care about whether or not people saw her.
‘Your mind is probably exaggerating things,’ he said, in what was probably supposed to be a reassuring voice.
‘I know,’ she admitted. ‘It’s just...I hate having so much god damn attention on me. You know Spence and Aaron are the same way. If you think it’s bad now, just wait until we start touring.’
‘You mean the thought of ridiculous amounts of sex in expensive hotel rooms isn’t alluring enough for you?’
Emily edged her way over to him, hands going straight for his manhood. Derek always went commando in the hot tub. ‘I think we can have ridiculous amounts of sex in an expensive hot tub instead.’
‘I would be an idiot to argue that point,’ he said, grinning as his guitar-callused fingers started rubbing at her clit.
The sex was fast, and hot, and did absolutely nothing to alleviate her concerns.
It wasn’t that she hated it.
She loved the singing. She loved the music. She loved it when they were playing small venues, launching independent EPs. She didn’t mind the parties, because there were always enough other celebrities out there to spread the attention a bit.
‘We need to take a holiday,’ she announced. ‘Somewhere where music is banned.’
‘You don’t think that’s a little excessive?’
‘Fine,’ she conceded. ‘Somewhere where Basal Ganglia hasn’t been released. I hear Chernobyl’s great this time of year.’
‘Mmmm,’ he said. ‘How about Costa Rica? We can have two weeks of ridiculous beach sex to get all the tension out of you before we have to go on tour.’
That did sound good.
‘Drinks with umbrellas in them. Naked guitar playing in the moonlight...That definitely sounds like fun.’ She pressed a kiss against his lips.
‘You know, it’ll die down eventually,’ he added, almost apropos of nothing.
‘I know,’ Emily smiled, kissing him again. ‘But if I keep getting ridiculous sex out of it, then I don’t think I’ll mind so much.’
‘Me either,’ he grinned.