She is guarded.
She is inspirational.
She is worthy of more than an encore.
He is alluring.
He is confident.
He is more than she ever bargained for.
Her stubbornness battles against his persistence…
His optimism outshines her resistance…
And their song plays on.
Sage McCoy has always been the type of guy who goes after what he wants. For years, what he’s desired most is to see his band, Mountains & Men, become more than Saturday night entertainment at a local bar. He swears he’ll chase that dream until it comes true, or he’ll die trying. Now, he senses that he and his mates are on the precipice of something amazing, and he’s never wanted anything more.
Except, perhaps, Millicent Valentine—the woman he craves above all others.
Millicent Valentine believes in one absolute truth: Men always leave. Yet, despite her belief that Sage will eventually tire of her, she can’t help but indulge her desire for him. She makes up her mind that he can have her body, but he isn’t allowed her heart. Though, she never anticipated that the leading man of Mountains & Men would be so much more than the arrogant little shit she imagined him to be.
[Worthy of the Harmony is a continuation to Encore Worthy, so make sure you read that first! This is the second of four installments revolving around Sage and Millie. Intended for audiences 18+ years of age due to explicit language and sexual content.]
As the crowd goes wild, screaming for more, we’re acting like a bunch of fucked up clowns offstage. Derrick jumps up and down, as if he’ll explode unless he releases some of the adrenaline that courses through his veins. JJ is pacing back and forth, clapping his hands in excitement every time he gets a peek at the audience that can’t seem to get enough of us. Knox has Maddox in a headlock, the both of them laughing as they mess around, so hyped up they don’t know what to do with themselves.
Then there’s me, with the biggest fucking shit-eating grin on my face. I run my hand over my mouth in an attempt to wipe it away, knowing I need to find some semblance of cool before we go back out there to give them what they want. My lips refuse to cooperate. I laugh like a lunatic as I let the music of the crowd’s plea seep into my pores.
“Encore! Encore! Encore!”
This is, by far, the best fucking night of my life.
Luck of the draw has us closing out the show at The Moxi Theater, a packed concert hall in the next town over from home. Best damn lottery win I could ever imagine. A night on stage with a crowd like this is worth more than money can buy. There were some great bands here tonight, some of which could have filled the coveted closing act just fine, but the win was ours. Despite being down a bass player, we managed to play one hell of a show. Wren, our stand-in who is watching the rest of us flip out, did a damn fine job. Too bad we can’t convince him to join our ranks. We always sound great with him on stage with us.
Tonight, we owned that motherfucking stage.
“Time to give them what they want, eh, Dweeb?” calls out Derrick, clapping a hand against my back.
My stomach flips in excitement when we make eye contact. I’ve been hoping for this moment all night long. This crowd is the perfect audience to unleash our latest song. We’ve been working on it all week, but I swore that we wouldn’t play it unless it felt right. Now, our fans are begging for it and they don’t even know it.
“Let’s do this!” he says before he makes his way out on stage.
The patrons go wild when he sticks his tongue out at them, riling them up before he goes to sit on his throne behind his set. Knox lets go of his brother and then elbows me with a grin before the two of them make their way out as well. Wren follows closely behind and then it’s just JJ and me.
“Kill it, man,” he says, holding up a fist. I knock my knuckles against his with a nod and then he’s gone, too. I hang back and take a deep breath, willing myself to find the focus I need to deliver the best damn encore this crowd could ever hope for.
Derrick drops the beat before Maddox jumps in on his guitar. His brother, Knox, adds another layer of guitar before Wren joins in on the bass. When JJ rounds out the mix on the keys, I take one more deep breath and then make my grand entrance. The screams coming from the crowd battle against the music coming from the guys, and I’ve never felt more alive in my life.
This—this is living.
I head straight for the microphone, gripping it with both hands where it rests in the stand. “I’ve got to be honest with you. I was really hoping you’d want just one more song.” When the audience cheers at me in response, my grin is back. I fucking love this shit and I can’t even pretend that it doesn’t faze me. Moments like this are what dreams are made of, and I know that this is merely the beginning of Mountains & Men.
“We’ve got a new one for you tonight. Something special we’ve been working on,” I begin to say, my eyes drifting to the one spot they’ve been drawn to all night. I spot Millicent standing beside Violet and my heartbeat speeds up. I embrace the desperate desire that claws at my insides at the sight of her—another reaction to which I can’t feign indifference.
It’s been exactly three weeks since we’ve met. A part of me thinks what I’m about to do is crazy. I’m not that guy—I haven’t been for a long time—the sap dedicating songs to a woman. I can’t help it, though. She does something to me. Even in a crowd of hundreds of people, her beauty makes my heart race and my dick twitch, like she’s the only one in the room.
Fuck it, I think when her eyes lock with mine.
“There’s a girl out there who inspired me to write this. It’s called, Just Tonight. This one’s for you, doll face.”
One verse into the song, and I can tell it’s just as sick as I hoped it was. The crowd is dancing and the band is rockin’, and as the words pour out of me, I can’t help but smile when I think about that first night. That woman, with her long-ass legs, her sexy, swaying hips, her perfect tits, and that mouth—god, that smart-ass mouth.
I do my best to engage the crowd, throwing a couple winks and reaching out my hand to touch the outstretched fingers of the ladies closest to the stage. It’s fucking hot as hell under the spotlight, but I couldn’t care less. I’m exactly where I want to be, doing exactly what I want to be doing. When my eyes find Millie’s once more, a smirk tugs at my lips at the sight of her. She’s just standing—staring. I’m used to looking out there and seeing her dance. Doll face likes to move that smokin’ hot body of hers, but it’s obvious that I’ve surprised her.
This song is for her. It’s a reminder that just one night was never going to be enough for her and me, no matter how much she wanted to fight it. Right now, I sing for her. Tonight, she’s here for me. And the first chance I get, I’ll give her a hell of a lot more than a song.