They're friends online - but can they be more in real life?
Writer Tara McFadden has been friends with artist and drummer Hector Fernandez for years, long before his band became famous on reality TV – yet they’ve never met in person. They finally have a chance to connect offline when they’re both sent to Comic-Con to promote the graphic novel they collaborated on.
Hector's secretly been in love with Tara for as long as he can remember, and once they meet, she sees him in a new light. All the years of longing lead to an incredible night of passion after one of his concerts, but neither is sure if their online relationship can translate into a real life romance – or if this will ruin their friendship forever. Over four crazy days at Comic-Con, Hector and Tara must decide if they want a future together. But when their story seems to be over, it’s up to Hector’s entire band to make sure he and Tara get their happy ending.
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“I’ve heard so much about your sisters. I’d love to meet them sometime.”
Hector’s shoulders relaxed and he returned the squeeze. “They wanted to come to Comic-Con so bad. Especially Yasmine. She’s obsessed with that Arrow show and told me to get the guy’s autograph.”
“That guy is pretty hot. He’s always running around half-naked on the show, like they have some shirtless quota to fill every episode. Not that I’m complaining. I mean, those abs, my god.”
“You trying to make me jealous? Maybe I should take my shirt off so you won’t think about that other guy.”
I laughed, relieved he was joking around again. “I wouldn’t complain if you did. You have incredible abs, too.”
“Oh yeah?” He quickly tugged his black shirt over his head. “Done.”
He shouldn't be allowed to remove his shirt like that without some kind of warning first. I shoved him lightly in the side, mainly so I could touch him. “Show off.”
He grinned and flexed his arms in an exaggerated way, and it was hard not to stare at his rippling muscles. “Sorry, should I put my shirt back on?”
“No, definitely not. In fact, you should never wear a shirt again. You’d be doing the world a favor.”
He let out a deep, hearty laugh that rumbled down my spine, and it made my day knowing I’d caused it. I made a resolution to try to make him laugh more often.
Ahead of us, a girl yelled, “Oh my god!” She dragged her friend down the sidewalk, and they were both dressed in identical Slave Leia costumes from Return Of The Jedi. “You’re Hector, from Villain Complex!”
Hector didn’t move to put his shirt back on, but he shifted on his feet, like he wanted to bolt. “Hey…”
“Your band is so freaking hot,” Slave Leia No. 2 said, leaning forward and drawing attention to her barely there gold top and impressive cleavage. “I watched every episode of The Sound.”
“Me, too,” the first one said. She played with her long braid, her eyes glued to Hector’s naked chest. “I love you guys.”
“Um, thanks,” he said.
“Aren’t you two cold in those costumes?” I asked, eyeing their exposed legs. I wasn’t wearing much more than them, but I wanted to make it clear that I was with Hector.
They cast me a confused glance, like they wondered what I was doing there. The first Slave Leia took a step closer to Hector, invading his personal space. “Hey, you want to come party with us?”
The second girl moved in too, licking her lips. “It’ll be fun, we promise.”
I didn’t have a violent bone in my body, yet I had the sudden, primal urge to growl and shove them back, to make sure they knew he was mine. My god, what had gotten into me?
“Sorry, I’m busy tonight.” Hector placed a hand on the small of my back, an intimate gesture not lost on them…or on me.
“She can come along, if you want,” Slave Leia No. 2 said, with another brief glance my way.
I laughed. “Yeah, that’s going to happen, oh…how about never.”
Hector tried to suppress a grin. “Thanks for the offer, but we’re good.”
We walked away, his hand a steady, almost possessive presence on my lower back. I leaned against his side and the heat rising off his skin enveloped me.
Sorry ladies, Hector was all mine. At least for the next few days.
I nudged him with my hip. “You better put your shirt back on. I don’t want any other girls getting ideas.”
“That was unusual. They always go for Jared, or sometimes Kyle. Never me.” He removed his Villain Complex hat and shoved it into his jeans, shaking his hair out. “Not sure I like the attention.”
“No? I thought every guy dreamed of scantily clad women inviting him for a threesome.”
He pinned me with his smoldering dark eyes. “Not this guy.”
The intensity of his gaze took my breath away. The chemistry between us was thick, the desire so strong I could practically smell it in the air. He was still shirtless, a large, handsome, solid mountain of a man.
A mountain I wanted to climb and conquer.
About the author:
Elizabeth Briggs is a full-time geek who writes books for teens and adults. She plays the guitar, mentors at-risk teens, and volunteers with a dog rescue group. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and a pack of small, fluffy dogs.