Home > Fall (VIP #3)(14)

Fall (VIP #3)(14)
Author: Kristen Callihan

With a sigh, I throw myself onto the couch and scrub my hands over my face. “I have an STD.”

If a mouse farted right now, you’d be able to hear it.

“I’m sorry, what?” Rye says with a cough.

“You heard me.”

A throat clears.

Scottie’s accent gets crisper. “What STD do you have, John?”

He’s pulling out John. I’m in deep shit.

I flop back and meet his grim face. “Chlamydia.”

“Bloody hell.” He pinches the bridge of his nose and then pushes off from the couch to pace.

“Wow.” Rye rocks forward and clenches his hands. “Wow. That’s just … fuck.”

Whip gives me a sympathetic look. “Sorry, man.”

“Yeah.” I feel about the size of a bug.

“How in the bloody hell …” Scottie throws up a hand. “Don’t answer. I know how. Damn it, John, you know better.”

“Seriously,” Rye adds. “Safety first, man. Cover it before you smother it.”

Despite feeling like shit, I sit upright. “Hey, I suited up.”

“Then why—”

“Oral.” When Rye frowns, I give him a pitying look. “You suiting up then too? Using a dental dam? Otherwise, I’d be getting my shit checked out if I were you.”

Rye looks horrified. “You fucking serious, man?”

Scottie makes an annoyed noise. “That’s it, I’m enrolling all of you in Sex Ed.”

From his slouch in the chair, Whip grins wide. “Just give me the CliffsNotes.”

“You had those. They’ve clearly left you all woefully undereducated.”

Whip shakes his head and gives me a sympathetic look. “Tough break, J.”

“Yeah.”

“This is why I’m off casual sex,” he says darkly. “From now on, I’m waiting for a girlfriend or employing a professional.”

“You’re going to pay a hooker?” Rye asks, shocked. “Have we sunk so low, William?”

“A carefully vetted, highly trained professional,” Whip corrects, then shrugs. “She knows what she’s doing, and no one gets hurt or contracts a fucking STD.” I don’t miss the emphasis on that last bit.

“And if she talks,” Rye presses, “what then?”

Whip shakes his head. “The type of woman I’d hire would have as much at stake in keeping her client’s identity secret.”

“You seem to know a lot about this,” I point out, peering at my friend. “You wouldn’t happen to be using said service now, would you?”

“We’re talking about your sex life right now, Deep Throat, not mine.”

Whip easily evades the throw pillow I chuck at him, but not the can of Pringles I follow with. They make a satisfying ring when they connect with his head, and I laugh as he rubs his head and flips me off.

“Man,” Rye leans in, his gray eyes wide with concern, “does your dick hurt? Or is it your balls? I’ve always wondered what happens but was afraid to look it up. Google is not your friend in those cases.” He shudders.

“I said I got it from oral, didn’t I? It’s in my throat.”

“Your fucking throat?” Again with the expression of horror.

“You’d rather my dick was jacked?” I can’t help but laugh, even though it isn’t funny. Not to me, anyway.

“No. I just … God. I don’t think I’ll be able to go down on a chick for at least a week after this.”

Whip snorts. “A whole week? That’s like fasting for you.”

“Right?” He waggles his brows.

“You lot are giving me heartburn,” Scottie murmurs, then pauses and frowns. “How does this affect your vocals?” He holds up a hand when I cut him a glare. “I had to ask.”

My shoulders slump. “The infection didn’t get out of hand because we caught it early. I’ll tell you how I feel when I try to sing.”

Nodding, he pulls out his phone, his thumb tapping at the screen.

“What are you doing?” I ask with some trepidation.

“Calling Brenna.”

“What? No!” I leap up, ready to tackle him for that phone. “Don’t tell her. I’ll never hear the end of it.”

He lifts a brow. “You think you’d keep it from her? She’s head of PR and this is going to be a bloody public relations nightmare. Your partners have to be informed.”

I halt. “Fuck. I know, all right. I just … Fuck.”

Whips smiles. “Fucking is what got you into this, son.”

“William?” Scottie looks at him. “Shut it.”

“Yes, boss. Shutting it right now, boss. Completely shutting it.”

Scottie doesn’t bother to acknowledge him. “Have you an idea of who the lady in question might be?”

“Yeah.” My stomach clenches. “I think I know who. Thing is, we didn’t exactly exchange names.”

“You mean there’s only one candidate?” Rye asks, as though the possibility of not having gone down on countless women is unheard of. If he’d asked me a few years ago, I’d have agreed.

Truth is, I used to love getting a woman off that way. Maybe it was my proper British childhood, but the idea of getting my mouth between a woman’s thighs has always felt slightly illicit and completely addictive. To bring a woman to the point where she’s quivering, fucking teetering at the precipice and all it takes is the simple touch of my tongue to make her lose her mind is a serious high.

Then it became too easy, too commonplace. When sex is easy to come by, offered multiple times on a daily basis, the thrill turns to something more pedestrian. Now, sex is more about me getting off as efficiently as possible. And isn’t that a sad thought.

I rub my jaw, wanting to touch my aching throat but refusing to do it. “One candidate who might have given me the STD. We were on tour. You know how it is. Maybe … shit … ten or fifteen women around the same time.” Everything inside me clenches and twists. I might have passed this on. I had protected sex every time, but I hadn’t worn a condom when a chick went down on me.

I can feel Scottie at my side and the weight of his stare. It adds to the weight already on my shoulders, and I close my eyes. “I don’t even know their names, Scottie.”

He doesn’t say anything. I don’t want him to. There’s nothing to be said. At some point, you can’t outrun your mistakes.

Unexpectedly, his hand grips my shoulder and gives it a squeeze. “We’ll sort it out, mate.”

I nod but it’s perfunctory. “I should be the one to tell them.”

His grip goes hard. “Absolutely not.”

I glance his way and find him glaring. “It’s my mistake. I need to own it.”

Scottie’s nostrils flare in that bullish way of his. “And you will leave yourself wide open to those who will take advantage of this situation.”

“If I infected a woman, she deserves to be pissed.”

“Pissed, yes. Sue you or exploit the situation? No. You weren’t the only one making the decisions during sex.”

“When did you become so cynical?”

His smile is brief and humorless. “When you lot became famous.”

I snort and look away. He isn’t wrong. The shit we’ve seen over the years has affected all of us in different ways. Scottie has become more protective, whereas I have become more isolated. Sex was my last significant contact with people outside of the band.

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