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Designs on the DJ Episode 3

Jameson﹒

After the bash ended, I packed my equipment for shipping. Too wired to go to sleep, I grabbed a glass and the bottle of Belvedere I generously tipped the bartender to leave and wandered to the outdoor pool area.

The plane from London landed in Jacksonville with only enough time to clear customs and get my rig set up at the hotel. No time to marvel at the ocean scenery or the American soil I finally stood on. But I’d savor it now, along with my drink, while the strumming in my muscles faded.

Stretching on the lounger, I unbuttoned my vest, the ocean air cooling the sweaty patches of my shirt from the three-hour gig. I closed my eyes and let my keenest sense relish the sea rushing onto the shore. I’d loved music since I was fourteen years old, but I craved silence, too.

Tonight—correction, this morning—Sydney intruded on it. I mentally caressed her name a few times, enjoying how the old English name befitted someone so decidedly not English. 

Her bloke was no lapdog either with his smart hair and crisp suit. The complete opposite to my pasty English skin, tatted arms, and multiple piercings. Of course, no way someone with her brains and beauty would be with a dumb, ugly git. 

The party overflowed with gorgeous faces and bodies. Perhaps had I not run into Sydney almost upon arrival, I would’ve enjoyed the mindless sex with the willing fan who’d left a key card wrapped in a cocktail napkin on top of my gear. Not tonight. I tossed the key card in the rubbish and came out here to let the thralling couple take up palatial real estate in my mind.

In my profession, I garnered a fair amount of attention. Then again, I could have a face like a troll and the women would still flock to my gigs. As an in-demand club DJ, I had no shortage of hook-ups. However, with Sydney, we’d been in sync and trading flirty banter. A far cry from the women I typically encountered

American, beautiful, and smart. 

Must remember unavailable as well.

Best to chalk it up to a chance meeting, two ships, and all that blather. Or better yet, let her serve as a sharp reminder of why I came to America in the first place

Weekend deejaying and long-term relationships didn’t mesh. My close-knit Protestant family didn’t help matters. My two younger sisters had been married for years and had two kids apiece. Whenever I visited home, mum rubbed the gold cross around her neck and prayed for her only son to settle down.

Whether prayers or hard knocks, at thirty-one, I’d had enough of the late nights and endless party weekends. If I wanted something different—something real—I’d have to make significant changes. 

Over the last three years, I’d learned everything I could about radio presenting from courses at uni and online. I cut back on club events and travel so I could volunteer at community stations while sending demo tapes around the country and abroad.

My dream offer for a prime-time DJ slot at a major radio station finally materialized. The only caveat: move to America. 

No problem. Sign me up. 

As my mum feverishly massaged her crucifix, I’d shipped a few boxes of belongings and my equipment to the States, then sublet my flat. I considered it serendipitous The Ainsbury offered double my usual booking fee to do their grand opening party.

My eyes popped open at the sounds of a scrape and creak next to me. As if I’d conjured a rabbit out of a top hat, Sydney’s bloke dropped onto the chaise next to me; his lovely lady nowhere in sight. Was he here to beat the shite out of me for staring at her the entire night?

“Couldn’t sleep,” he said, bracing his elbows on his knees. “Takes me a while to unwind from these things.” 

I nodded but didn’t add anything. The unwanted similarity tightened my chest and I poured more vodka into my glass.

He thrust his hand toward me. “I didn’t get a chance to introduce myself. I’m Drew Gallo.”

Good manners dictated I return the gesture, but I braced for a display of rough possessiveness. Instead, his strong grip tripped a second wave of awareness. 

The brief meeting with Sydney had caused my internal soundboard to warble. She was exactly the type of person I longed to fall in love with, and my insides gnashed with envy as he strolled from the ballroom with her tucked to his side. The way they’d danced left little doubt about their intended activities.

Now beside me, with his tousled hair and wrinkled button-down shirt untucked, my mind filled with visions of their limbs tangled, fingertips scoring over each other’s skin, and Sydney grasping his arse as his muscles flexed driving into her. I never before contemplated voyeurism, but the idea of them shagging while I observed intrigued me.

“You’re a talented DJ,” he said, releasing our hands.

I shook my head to clear it. “I push some buttons and turn a few dials.”

“It’s a bit more than that.”

After more than a decade of experience, I could cue tracks and align beats in my sleep. Acknowledging the compliment, I picked up my drink. “Thank you. I’d offer you a glass but the bartender only left one.” 

He waved his hand dismissively. “Had enough for tonight anyway.”

If I sipped my drink and stayed quiet, the chap would leave and I could return to brooding. “Where’s your date?” I blurted. 

“Unlike me, these events drain her. She was asleep before I could slip out of her…”

Another fantasy tumbled into my head. After watching them shag, I’d direct how the lovers pleased each other. Sydney on top, her wavy hair spilling down her back. Drew, gripping her hips as she ground into his strokes.

My cocked swelled, an inconvenient reminder I wasn’t alone with my wandering thoughts. I bent my leg and propped my glass on my knee.

“Sorry,” he said, rubbing his neck. “I’m an open book, but she’s a private person.”

They didn’t deserve my inappropriateness either. I willed my body to behave. And quickly. Because at the right angle, the man I’d pictured having sex with his girlfriend would notice my bulge and misunderstand the reason behind it. Or maybe fully understand. And both could earn me a bloody nose.

I flinched when he stood, certain I’d been caught but he stared out toward the crashing waves before shoving his hands into his trouser pockets.

“I’ll leave you to it. Saw you over here and wanted to say hello.”

He was leaving and I bit back the urge to ask him to stay. “No biggie, mate,” I said, swallowing hard past the tightness in my throat. 

With a parting nod, he left. Debating the merits and still unable to resist, I twisted on the pool chair as he departed the pool area for the beach. No strutting. No gloating. A contented man. After satisfying my infatuation, I poured another drink. Tomorrow I’d be on a flight to Dallas, and the couple would return to wherever they called home. 

My future lay in my new roots. With patience, I landed my dream job. With a little more, I’d find my dream girl, too.

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I write contemporary romance and romantic suspense why-choose stories.

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