Home > A Place Without You(3)

A Place Without You(3)
Author: Jewel E. Ann

I frown, as my song hits the halfway point and all I can do is hear it, but I came here to see it too. Dodging and bobbing, right and left, up and down, like a hyper dog, I crane my neck for a glimpse that eludes me with every attempt. Just as I decide to use my All-Access Pass to get a better view, something stops me.

“Ahh!” I nearly fall on my ass a split second before strong shoulders hoist me toward the sky. Warm hands steady my legs. I grab a fistful of blond surfer hair to regain my balance as a clear view of the stage comes into focus because my guy is taller than the guy holding the girl up in front of us.

Lucky me.

When I look down, ketchup guy tips his head back to give me that hybrid grin. We don’t say anything. Instead, I hold up my arms and sway to the song along with the tall cowboy beneath me.

My head spins and I love every minute.

The high.

The energy.

The lights.

The music.

The large hands gripping my bare legs.

Bodhi holds me for the next two songs as well. When the band takes their final bow, he lowers me to the ground. I turn toward him, stumbling a bit from the bodies bumping us as the crowd filters out. My hands make claim to his arms as his fingers slide into the belt loops of my denim shorts.

“My favorite fry guy.” I smile, but it fades into a contemplative frown as I inspect his shirt. “Where’s your stain?”

Releasing just one of my hips, he twists his torso, showing me the stain on his back.

“Genius.” I giggle. “Now it looks like someone else’s fault, not yours,” I yell over the hum of the crowd and the buzz in my own head. I should have only had half a gummy an hour earlier.


“This is the best night ever. The best weather. The best crowd. The best bands … It’s all just …”

“The best?” He laughs.

I nod on a slow sigh. “You’re the best for loaning me your shoulders.”

“You’re welcome.” It thrills me that his fingers are still hooked in my belt loops. I have no solid opinion on love at first sight, but this definitely feels like sparks flying, chemistry, something magnetic that makes my heart do funny acrobats.

“I’m starving. I haven’t had anything to eat today except a few french fries from this dude I met earlier.” A very sexy dude with a killer smile and mischievous look in his eyes that makes me think he has less than appropriate thoughts going through his mind.

Good call on the condoms, Juni.

He leans down. I suck in a breath. An inch over my lips, he hovers before relinquishing the full killer smile. After I surrender my own grin, he lowers his mouth to my ear—such a tease—sending crazy shivers along my skin.

“I have to help tear down.” He smells good. No one smells good after a day at Coachella, but kudos to Bodhi … he’s still irresistible.

“I’ll wait for you.”

He stands tall again. “It could be another hour or two.”

I’m willing to eat all ten of my fingernails and even gnaw on my own fist if that’s what it takes to pacify my stomach long enough to share my next meal with him. “I don’t mind.”

His eyes narrow for a brief second. “How old are you, Henna?”

“Old enough to know never to eat ketchup while wearing white.”

Coughing a hearty laugh, he nods. “Fair enough.” His lips twist as his gaze ping-pongs from the empty stage to me. “Wait for me?”

Taking a step back, I shove my fingers into the back pockets of my shorts. “Take your time. I’ll be here.”

An hour and twenty minutes later, two sexy denim clad legs walk past me. “I’m still starving.”

He turns. A flash of relief ghosts over his face. I hold out my hand from my spot on the ground next to the front of the stage. Pulling me up, he stares at me for a few seconds. He smells like lemon again. It’s officially become my favorite fruit of all time.

“You waited.”

Brushing off my backside, I chuckle. “Yes. Why? Do you get stood up a lot?”

“Not exactly.” He rubs his lips together. “Let’s go.”

I take his proffered hand, and I’m not sure who initiates it, but we slide our fingers to interlace them as if we’ve done it a million times before. Everything about this night feels natural. At this exact moment, I’m so damn happy I could scream like a little girl on Christmas.

He leads us to the exit.

“Shuttle?” I ask.

“Yes, my van is at the hotel.”

I laugh. “A van, huh? As in a minivan? Do you have a wife and two kids?”

On an easy chuckle, he shakes his head as we step onto the shuttle bus. The throng of people sandwich us together as we hold onto the rails.

I look up and smile at him.

He smiles back.

We do this every minute or two all the way back to the hotel. We’ve mastered flirting like we were born to flirt with each other. Keeping ahold of my hand, he helps me off the bus and guides me to the far end of the parking lot.

“Oh my god …” I whisper.

“Before you judge me—”

“Shh!” I release his hand. “Don’t say anything. You’ll ruin this for me.” Walking slowly around the fine vehicular specimen, my heart nearly explodes from my chest.

She’s stunning.

A classic.


The perfect shade of cornflower blue like my mom says about my eyes.

Not a single dent.

Even in the dim light of night, the chrome shines.

“Okay.” I stand a foot from the front of her. “Now I’m judging you. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you have anything but impeccable taste. Even when you’re wearing your shirt backward … just show them a picture of this beauty, and any person in their right mind will know you’re a god of good taste.”

A Volkswagen van—vintage and total perfection.

“1972. I’m glad you approve. You’re in the minority.” He opens the passenger door.

I ease into the seat. It’s immaculately kept as well. “Bodhi?”

“Yeah?” He pauses before closing my door, and a shy smile instantly steals his lips.


Fate is killing it today.

“I have a dozen condoms stashed in my purse and backpack, but it’s too late. I think I’m already pregnant. Nothing could feel as good as sitting in this beautiful van.”

A tiny blush crawls up Bodhi’s face. “Lucky van.”



I hurt someone that I love, and now I’m paying the price. This is it. Once a year I get to escape and pretend for a few days that my life didn’t change forever because I did something so astronomically stupid.

“Tacos are life.” Henna moans, chewing her huge bite of taco as we sit at a picnic table next to a food truck that’s getting ready to close up for the night—or early morning. She’s a stunning glimpse of the life I could have had before I fucked it up. God … I don’t want to blink.

“They are to die for.” I wipe my mouth, grinning at her from behind my napkin. “So why are you at Coachella by yourself?” But really I wonder why were people taking her picture and why did one of the most well-known tour managers in the music industry acknowledge her earlier today?

Henna holds up her finger, rattling the slew of bracelets on her wrist, while she finishes chewing her food and taking a swig of water. She’s a reincarnated goddess from the seventies. “My dad was supposed to meet me here. He was a drummer…” she smirks “…in a band that played here at the very first Coachella.”

“Ah, that’s why you have a thing for drummers.”

“No.” She shakes her head. “That’s just why I was meeting my dad here. We love music. I have a thing for drummers for other reasons.”

I grin, feeling just as high as she probably was this morning. Can I just stop time and stare at this girl? Count the freckles along the bridge of her nose, imagine what her long auburn hair might feel like with my fingers in it? Decipher the meaning behind her henna tattoos? “So where’s your dad?”

She finishes her last bite of taco and takes down the rest of her water. “He ate sushi. I highly recommend you never eat sushi. I’m just not sure it’s a good idea to eat a gutted fish before cooking it. Ya know?”

On a soft chuckle that feels so fucking incredible, I nod. “California veggie rolls are the closest I get to sushi.”

“Oh my god! I love California veggie rolls. We should go find some.” Of course she would say this. I’m not sure what Henna’s world is really like, but she doesn’t seem to have any boundaries, and at this very moment, I want to live in that world with her.

“It’s after two in the morning.” I glance at my watch, making a weak attempt to be responsible. “I feel like I should get you back to your hotel.”

“Dude, how old are you? It’s Coachella. We can sleep Monday.” She stands and piles her trash onto mine. “Tonight … or this morning, we get California veggie rolls.”

Yeah, she’s a torturous glimpse at a life I would have loved to live.

“Where are we going to get them at this time?” I toss our trash into the garbage can.

Hot Series
» Unfinished Hero series
» Colorado Mountain series
» Chaos series
» The Young Elites series
» Billionaires and Bridesmaids series
» Just One Day series
» Sinners on Tour series
» Manwhore series
» This Man series
» One Night series
Most Popular
» A Place Without You
» Pricked
» Soul in Darkness
» The Light We Lost
» More Than Words
» Scarlet Angel (Mindf*ck #3)
» Sidetracked (Mindf*ck #2)
» The Risk (Mindf*ck #1)