Mick moved around the room, making sure that everyone had drinks, while his ears picked up stray comments. Across the room Lissa sipped champagne, her cheeks rosy. She glowed when their eyes met. Once he caught a strange expression on her face while she watched her older sister, Maria, the one he only just met. He knew Lissa and Maria didn’t get on, but Lissa never revealed why.
As he approached Maria, the slender woman smiled and snared his sleeve with her long blood red nails. She held out her glass for more wine and smiled at him. Her eyes suggested more. He knew the type. When his band used to be on the road, he’d seen groupies like her and avoided them.
“Thank you, dear Mick. Why don’t you stay and talk awhile? We should catch up.”
“I think there needs to be an ‘up’ to catch up to,” he said, leaving her frowning.
He went to the kitchen to grab another bottle of wine. Lissa’s Aunts were there.
“Did you see Maria? It was just a matter of time. Poor Lissa.”
The Aunts looked at him abashed. “What’s wrong with Lissa?” he asked.
Aunt Hattie frowned. “Be careful of Maria.”
The Aunts said nothing more, just sipped their “tonics,” which, as he discovered by mischance, was Southern Comfort.
“Maria tried to put the moves on Mick. Did you see?” he heard someone say as he moved between groups.
His eyes sought Lissa’s. The glow had disappeared.
“What’s going on?” he asked.
She smiled. “Nothing.”
“Lissa, it’s obviously something. Something to do with Maria?”
Lissa bit her lip in that way that made him want to bite her lip too. “She tends to steal my boyfriends. My being jilted was because she ran off with my fiancé.”
Mick grinned. “Is that it?”
Lissa frowned. “Isn’t it enough? What she wants, she takes.”
He slid his arm around her waist and kissed her temple. “You forget one thing.”
“I’d have to want her.”
He pulled her close and kissed her. “You’re my muse. You’re the only one I will want or be in love with. Ever.”