Hot and Bothered BUNDLE
***For readers 18 and up***
Just for the Record by Six Delos Reyes
Just for the record, the heat can get to even the most calculated of minds.
Let it be stated that Rhys loves Ryan forever and ever. But certain needs are not being met, leaving her frustrated and asking for too much than the conservative and almost-rock star, Ryan, is willing to give. Uncooperative (or cooperative, depending on your point of view) weather provides her an opportunity to ask not what she can do for her friends, but what a friend can do for her.
Isaiah likes to say that the best thing about Rhys is that he can stand in her breathing space and feel nothing. Something of a breather when dancing with Lia short circuits his entire operating system. But all his beliefs are challenged when Rhys chances upon him in a steamy practice room in the middle of a heat wave.
This time Isaiah didn’t bother hiding his smirk. Running a record with her in the music lab was innocent enough, but With You was hardly an innocent song. He was tempted to say something like ‘Just because you always know where Lia is, doesn’t mean I always know where Rhys is’ but he stowed that retort for a rainy day. “I thought you’re all gonna meet at the shop today.”
“We are. Just thought you know where she is now.”
“Maybe.” But before Juno could react even the slightest bit violently to that, Isaiah amended that last statement with “Maybe you should call her.”
“I already did. She said she’ll be at the shop.” Juno waved and turned back towards the music labs. “See you later,” he said, almost as an afterthought.
Isaiah waited until Juno was in and out of Julian’s studio, and down the stairs before returning inside the practice room. “You owe me,” he said, closing the door behind him. “So make yourself useful.”
Rhys rolled her eyes as she let Isaiah drag her into the middle of the room. It wasn’t like she had a choice now, and it wasn’t as if she had to be anywhere. “Nice hair,” she commented. “How many tries did you take to get that color?”
“Thanks. And this was an accident. Wasn’t supposed to turn out this way,” Isaiah answered, plugging his earphones into his ears again. He didn’t have an exact shade in mind so he randomly picked something that would stand out. In retrospect, maybe it wasn’t random at all.
“What? Took me eleven sessions to get mine right. This is unfair.”
“Life is unfair,” he said. “Now shut up and stand there.” Isaiah played the song and counted in his head.
Rhys tugged the left earbud from his ear and placed it in her own. A grin spread on her face as soon as she heard the familiar riff. “Is this for the big Saturday?” A pause. “Did you actually ask her? What did she say?”
“You’re supposed to be a wall or a pole. Neither of which talk.” He positioned her flush against him, mechanically moving her limbs around him like a mannequin. Rhys would have passed as one too, what with the way she stood still as he moved sensuously around her. But there was nothing sensual about the scenario at all.
She rolled her eyes. It was not the first time Isaiah utilized her as a dancing pole, though more often than not he simply referred to her as a wall. His movements, to another person’s eyes, would border on highly suggestive, but Rhys blamed Julian for the lyrics they tacked on to her music. “Yeah, let’s pretend that’s gonna happen.”
“Let’s just say there’s no sexy lady in next Saturday’s perf,” he answered tersely. He wrapped her arms around his neck and lifted her off her feet and moved her left to right.
Rhys caught her bottom lip in between her teeth before she said something stupid. Isaiah could be volatile when talking about Lia, and she nibbled thoughtfully as she composed a proper response. Meanwhile, Isaiah didn’t stop moving around her and working around the tangle of earphone wire between them, dancing to what she now assumed would have been the choreography to Sexy Lady— an unfortunate title from the studio boys— had Lia said yes. “I cannot believe you just referred to Lia as ‘Sexy Lady’.”
The smirk on his face, one that was half an amused smile, meant she said the right thing. Isaiah slid behind her, running his hands down her ribs and anchoring them on her waist. He dropped his head on her shoulder and closed his eyes. His hair was a shade lighter than hers, but their hair blended together in their reflection. Sweat from his forehead slid down her shoulder blade and his breathing was hot against her neck. Rhys wondered if they had ever been this close before with Isaiah bare-chested next to her. That last detail slipped her mind at first, but she couldn’t dismiss it now. Heat from his body magnified the already sweat-slicked warm spots on her back, and every time he breathed in she felt his hard chest touch her back.
“Wait,” she said, eyes blurring from the heat in the studio. “So, if she said no, then this isn’t really necessary. Or are you going to go find someone else?”
He twisted her around in his arms so they faced each other, knotting her inside the white wire. Her hands landed on his chest, fingertips grazing his skin. “I don’t think I can find someone this late so I redid most of it this morning just in case.”
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