Stars Awry Ch. 04
Their Southwark apartment smelled of roses. Isabel watched Brandon clean up the table after dinner, before carrying the near-empty bottle of Zinfandel to the bathroom. She followed him to find several scented candles surrounding the hot tub, the light bouncing off the walls and creating a golden halo. In the quietness, she could hear her own breathing and the soft gurgle of the steaming water.
She failed to recall when they had last been in that bath together or when candles had been last lit in the house. The past few months that Brandon had been busy, she had kept herself occupied with work, either mixing tracks for the band or training the children for the concert. It was hard to find the time anymore for a leisurely bath or the energy to light candles.
“Candlelight, a glass of wine
A dinner made for two…
All the noise of the city
I drown it out for you…”
She shivered at the feel of the words sung against her ear while strong hands massaged the stiff muscles of her shoulders. A sigh left her lips as she closed her eyes.
“Then we kiss as we dance…
I hope this feeling lasts forever…
Life is fast, raise a glass, we’re still together…”
There was something about his voice that always took her breath away, whether he was singing live on stage or providing vocals to recorded music at the studio. Despite all the challenges their relationship faced, she had only grown to be more in love with him every day of her life. Even when she did not have his undivided attention, she had his loyalty. Good-looking, gifted singer, excellent showman⎼ he was the object of attraction all over the world. But he’d been hers from the very beginning, even when she had tried to change his mind and push him away. And heaven knew the thought that they would not last had crossed her mind time and time again– when he and Nathan were blowing money on Ferraris, when he and Kyle were drinking themselves into oblivion for fifty nights in a row on their first world tour, and when wealth and success turned their attitude so arrogant that Louis threatened to quit managing them.
She had joined the bandwagon almost at the time as Ginny, but Nathan’s wife had always been more comfortable with a popstar’s lifestyle than Isabel had ever been in her own skin. When the Dublin girl was basking in the riches and the attention that her man’s career earned them, Isabel was praying for a normal life that did not leave her struggling to breathe.
“And you’re still so beautiful…
If I lost you then
I’d lose it all…”
He turned her around, her heart skipping a beat when she found him naked. With eyes locked on hers, he started to undo her robe, and she flushed to think there was nothing underneath.
“‘Cause this world would be
Empty without you
Scares me that this life would mean
Nothing without you…”
“Brandy…” she sighed, awkwardly shifting on her feet as he pushed the robe off her shoulders to reveal her bare body.
“Will you let me make it up to you tonight?” he purred, admiring the warm glow of the candlelight on her face. “Are you willing to forget all the troubles just this once and let me make you mine again?”
Isabel held his gaze. Since the beginning, they had been a model couple for the world– attractive, compatible, inseparable, madly in love. She had lost count of the times she heard people say, ‘I want what they have’. They were unabashedly open with their affections in public, Brandon still ogled her like she was a juicy steak, and insiders knew they were incapable of keeping their hands off each other.
All that had changed recently. It could be his crazy schedule or her thinning patience, but the only things they had shared lately were heated arguments or cold silence. Emily was right. Perhaps the band was indeed taking its toll on their marriage.
And the heartbreaking truth was that she did not know what to do.
Holding his hand, she quietly led him to the tub. He supported her as she gently eased herself into the bath, sighing when the warmth engulfed her body. Brandon followed, and certain parts of his anatomy twitched when he pulled her close against himself.
“Did you really enjoy watching me sing at Bohemia?” he asked, lying back in the tub with his gorgeous wife sprawled across his body. “I was nineteen and dorky.”
“And the best singer Sligo ever produced,” she murmured, reaching for the glass of wine. “Don’t let the lads hear that, though.”
“I enjoyed having you in the audience,” he smiled, parting her hair to stroke her scalp. “But I could never convince you to come up and sing with me.”
“The whole coffee shop would sing with you.” She giggled around the glass. “It seemed like the whole town turned up to hear you sing. Particularly the girls.”
“Come on,” he took a swig of wine. “I was in love with you.”
“And you would kiss me and give me suggestive looks in front of my brother.” Holding up the glass in front of her face, she stared at the swell of the wine. “Getting him to play the drums would always be your idea.”
“Sligo didn’t have a better drummer or percussionist than him.” He lifted the glass to his lips. “Still doesn’t.”
“Yes, but…” Filling her mouth with wine, she shook her head. “It was embarrassing. He probably used to think we were…”
“Shagging?” Brandon provided the words, before laughing. “He was not wrong. Best friend and sister. Cringey.”
“The reason why he never shared a room with you.” She could not help the involuntarily flush of colour that tinged her face. “He didn’t want to be an audience to your phone calls with me.”
“Oh, yeah. They did get explicit sometimes.”
Isabel gently shoved an elbow into his ribs, smiling when he roared with laughter. “I miss those days,” he sighed. “As mad as they were, it was still a great feeling. New and excited and ready to explore.”
“And now you’re celebrating ten years,” she said.
“We are doing something different for the Croke Park show.” He looked at her face. “Any guess?”
“Well… there are backing singers and helicopters and fireworks and a laser show…”
“And thank-you speeches.”
“What’s different about that?”
“They will be long and elaborate and acknowledge our families, spouses and everyone else we never got to thank.”
Isabel sat up, surprise sliding on to her face. “Really?” An amused smile broke out on her lips. “So over 83,000 people will get to see you cry?”
Brandon raised an eyebrow. “How much have you had to drink, Iz?” he said, taking the glass from her hand. “No more.”
“You wanted us to get drunk,” she protested.
“I wanted us to relax,” he amended. “Lay against me. I love the feel of your naked body against mine.”
“Me too.” The giggle rising up her throat was quickly lost when his hands dipped under the water and cupped her breasts, squeezing the soft flesh. She instinctively pushed into his touch, her stomach tightening when she felt him harden against her back.
Dropping her head against his shoulder, she sought his lips and he obliged by drawing her into a heated kiss. Tongues came out to play, slowly sliding and dancing in and out of their warm, familiar mouths. Isabel seemed to melt, a dull ache starting in her body.
“It’s been a while,” she whispered against his mouth. “I’ve missed you.”
“I’ve missed you too.” He kissed her neck, grinding against her back. “We’ll never be apart for this long again. Promise.”
“We’ll find the time.” He ran his hands over her taut stomach and down to her womanhood, swallowing her moan by deepening the kiss. She spread her legs, giving him better access to her moist opening.
“Brandy…” The sigh was music to his ears. He flicked the swollen knot of nerves with his thumb while slipping a finger inside her. She whimpered, her body tense.
“Relax…” He placed tiny kisses along her neck, down to her collarbone, nibbling and sucking at the delicate skin before soothing it with his tongue. “Let your muscles loosen up.”
Brandon lazily thrust his finger in and out of her, the feel of the warm water lapping at her core and his arousal digging into her back heightening her senses.
“Want you.” The throaty murmur against her shoulder was hard to resist. When he slipped a second finger inside her, the stretching of her walls was delightfully torturous.
“Want you too,” she croaked, pushing herself onto his fingers, the friction between their bodies hardening his erection. When she lifted up and slowly turned to face him, his weeping manhood sprung free between them, the sight making her groan. Straddling him, she plundered his mouth as her hands trailed down his hairy chest. He gasped against her lips when slender fingers wrapped around the raging evidence of his arousal.
“Izzi…” He warned when she grabbed his shoulders and pushed herself up in preparation. With one hand, she held him in place, the pressure too much to bear anymore.
“I just had my period,” she said, rocking herself over the tip of the crown. “I’m not fertile right now.”
Brandon could not form words anymore. His skin was burning hot, his breaths quick and his heart threatening to beat out of his chest. He could barely think when she shifted her hips, and there he was, his broad head covered in her feminine cream. She sank onto him, and the ease with which he slid inside was glorious. His fingers dug into her firm buttocks, body quivering with ragged breaths.
“You’re so…” he gasped, quickly losing his senses. “Oh, god… I’ve needed you…”
She lifted until he was barely within her and then lowered again, encasing him in her moist heat, her urgent whimpers of need fuelling his ardour. Everything inside him was busting loose. He wanted to have her underneath him, plunging into her until his maddening hunger was thoroughly sated. But he could only hold on to her as she rode him, knowing he was not too far from the shattering extremity of his desire delivered by the woman he loved.
“You’re so deep in me…” she slurred, her head dropping back. Moving wet hair from her face, he cupped her jaw, deepening their contact with an open-mouthed kiss. “It won’t take long.”
“I know… Oh…” Words failed him against the punishing rhythm that she set, sinking her beautiful body onto his erection as best as her position would allow. She did not care that her knees were starting to hurt or that the water was turning cold. All she knew was that she needed him as badly as she needed air to breathe.
“I can feel it…” He spoke over the roar of blood in his ears, every muscle taut from the drugging ecstasy. With everything he had, he pushed back into her, making sure she felt him right into her heart. “Please…”
Isabel wrapped her arms around him, hiding her face in his shoulder as she continued to ride him, his hands on her hips helping keep her balance. The heat spread across her body, the tension reaching its peak. She moved faster, desperate for release.
“That’s it,” he urged, thrusting up into her. “Almost there… Just…”
“Let it go,” she breathed. “Pour your love into me.”
His cry of release came at the same time as her muscles clamped on him. He groaned and cursed, his body helplessly jerking to every wrenching spurt into her womb. She continued to move, milking every drop, crying through her own release as the tension snapped. They held each other for purchase, shuddering and panting together, her muscles twitching around him.
“I love you, Izzi.” His hoarse whisper echoed in the quiet bathroom, hitting her in the middle of her chest. “You’ve never let me give in, no matter what. You’ve always taken care of me, been there for me, packing a slap every time I did something wrong.”
His fingers crept into her hair, their breaths mingling. “I don’t know what I would do without you. If you don’t believe in me anymore—”
“I never said that.” Pecking his lips, she gently raised herself to let him slip out of her and a stream of semen trickled into the water. “Will Ben really be fit before the Croke Park show?”
“I hope so.” He kissed her again. “I know the excitement of the tenth anniversary will urge him to get better faster. It’s quite a motivation.”
Climbing out of the bath, she hastened to reach for her robe when the cool air touched her wet skin. Brandon watched her with an imperceptible smile on his chiselled lips, dark brown hair sticking to his damp forehead. He pushed it back and climbed out of the bath.
“It isn’t an illusion,” she said when he came up to her. Her eyes gingerly met his. “What we have… it’s real.”
Brandon wrapped a towel around himself and drew her against his chest. His heart soared when she relaxed in his arms, yawning contentedly.
“I love you, Brandy,” she said, her slumberous gaze smiling up at his face. He parted for a minute to blow out the candles and pull the plug to drain the water. Then he was scooping her in his arms and carrying her to their bed.
“Thank god,” he smiled, relieved and happy as his lips brushed her cheek. “Because I love you too.”