The Obsession Page 79

“Yeah, I saw you put Marla on her knees the other night. She’d earned it.”

“Nobody’s seen her for a couple days,” Lelo said.

“Yeah, I just heard about that.” With a kind of practiced shrug, Ky swung his guitar case off his back. “Hooked up with somebody at the bar. Wouldn’t be the first time. You had a lost weekend with her back when, didn’t you, Lelo?”

“A half a weekend, in a weak moment.”

“We all have ’em. Got beer, Keaton?”

“Cooler, outside the bay.”

He gave Naomi a lazy smile. “Want one, Rocky?”

“No, thanks.”

“Water and soft stuff in there, too.”

“I’d take a water.”

She put her hands on her hips, looked around.

Yeah, she had ideas.

“I’m going to take some basics, just to warm everybody up, test the waters. You’re set up like you are onstage, so go ahead, play something.”

She pulled out her Nikon, changed the lens, checked her light meter as they got in position, decided what to play.

“Dave’s got his Aerosmith on, so let’s go there,” Xander suggested.

“Don’t look at me unless I tell you to,” Naomi ordered, and began to shoot.

Standard, she thought. Good, solid, but standard. She got some decent head shots, some wide angles, some where she let the motion blur.

When the last chord crashed down, she lowered the camera.

“Okay. Now, we’re not doing any of that. I need to see the wardrobe options. Lelo, I want to stick with what you’ve got on, but let’s see what else there is.”

Men, she thought as she pawed through the choices, should learn how to be more creative.

“I bet you’ve got more stuff in your trucks, your trunks.”

Lelo came up with an old, oversized army jacket. She tossed it at Dave. “You.”


“Trust me.” She pulled out a white T-shirt. “You’ve had this awhile, right?” she asked Xander.


“Okay then.” She took it over to a grease stain, dropped it, rubbed it in with her foot. “Better,” she decided when she picked it up. “Better yet, smear some motor oil on it.”

“You want me to smear oil on the shirt.”

“Yeah, like you got some on your hand, swiped your hand over the shirt.” She demonstrated. “Do that, put it on. Trilby, is that red T-shirt new?”

“Kind of.”

“Then I’m sorry, but I need to rip it.”


“Because you’re built, and I want to see some skin and muscle.”

Lelo let out a hoot.

“Across the pecs, okay? Xander, I need some chain—not too heavy.”

“Christ,” he muttered as he ruined a perfectly good T-shirt.

“Chains for me?” Ky grinned at her. “You want to chain me up, Legs?”

“That’s what women will wonder when they look at the picture.” She gave him a mirror of his cocky grin. “Stud.”

“What kind of picture is this?” Trilby asked, holding his red shirt.

“Hot, sexy, rock-and-roll. If you don’t like it, we can go with the basics I already shot, and more along those lines. But let’s try this. I want that compressor over here, and that grease-gun thing. I want some old tires piled up, right about there. You wouldn’t happen to have a broken windshield.”

Xander tugged the stained and dirty shirt over his head. “I replaced one last week, haven’t taken it to the junkyard yet.”

“Perfect. Bonus round. Haul it in here.”

“I don’t get this,” Dave muttered, and sniffed at the sleeve of the army jacket.

“I do.” Lelo rubbed Tag, grinned at her. “Open it up, guys. We’re the Wreckers, right? We’re a fucking garage band. We’re in a garage. Let’s use it.”

“Now you’re talking. I want some tools.” Lips curved, eyes focused, Naomi nodded. “Big, man-sized tools.”

Xander didn’t want to think about how long it would take to put everything back where it belonged. The bay turned into a jumble of car parts, tools, and musical instruments.

He thought he had fairly good vision, but it seemed too art house, over the top, and out of the box.

And he was sitting on a freaking air compressor, with his beloved Strat in one hand and a cordless drill in the other. Ky wore chains bandolerostyle, and Dave looked baffled in Lelo’s grandfather’s ancient army jacket. She’d had Trilby lay his keyboard against a stack of tires.

The only person, besides Naomi, who seemed to think it was a fine idea was Lelo, sitting cross-legged on the concrete floor, with his bass in his lap, a grease gun held like a rifle.

She had their own music banging out on playback, and the fancy camera on a tripod. She took some shots, shook her head.

No one spoke as she pulled a bandanna out of the pile of clothes she’d rejected, dipped it into the can of motor oil, then walked to Dave.

“Come on, really?”

“Sorry. You’re just too clean-cut.” She dabbed and smeared some oil on his cheek.

She stepped back, angled her head.

“Lelo, lose the shoes. Just toss them to the side—beside you, a little in front. I need a hubcap.”

“I got one in the bed of my truck.”

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