Behind the Lens by Cassandra Giovanni
(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Series: The Boys of Fallout #2
on March 14th 2017
Natalie Scott's life is simple with no strings attached. As a band photographer, she's made metal music her life, and life on tour means no relationships.
At least not ones that last and that's the way she likes it.
She only has one rule.
Don't date or otherwise screw around with the client.
But she never said anything about love.
Brent Andrews knows Natalie's rules.
And he's about to make sure he's an exception to them.
All of them.
Even ones she didn't know she had.
I’m so excited to share this excerpt of Behind the Lens by Cassandra Giovanni with y’all! If you haven’t heard of her books, you should check them out. Cassie is also an absolute sweetheart and loves talking all things books!
You can see the tour schedule here.
“So, enlighten me, how did you draw the short straw and have to pick me up?” I ask as we cross the road.
Brent waves at the car stopped for us before tucking his hands back in his pockets. “I wouldn’t call it drawing the short straw.”
“How long were you waiting in the airport?” I ask, glancing over at him.
I catch his eyes drifting over me, and he looks straight ahead as he coughs. “Umm…it wasn’t so bad. It’s early enough–the traffic might be a bitch getting out of here, though. It was either me, James or Aiden seeing the rest of the band isn’t always that well behaved. James is running last minute errands, and Aiden refused to drive when he has no clue where he’s going. Plus, I’m actually one of the only ones old enough to rent a car without the ridiculous surcharge, and it’s got a GPS, so I said screw it, I’ll go.”
“That’s right, you guys are from Texas, right?” I ask as he presses the elevator button.
He turns, leaning back against the wall, and I resist the urge to snap a shot of him. It’s one of the things about being a photographer; I have to resist the temptation to take pictures during normal conversations when I’m not on the clock. I stretch my hand as it tingles to pick up the lens.
“We sure are. A small town right outside of Dallas. Obviously, we range in age–none of us went to high school together–just kind of met out of coincidence,” Brent says as we get into the elevator.
I bite my lip as I stand next to him, counting each inhale as I watch the numbers go up. I’m not a fan of elevators. When it stops I exhale, stepping out into the fresh air. Brent’s eyebrows rise above the frame of his sunglasses as he looks down at me.
I smile at him, but don’t explain my unease. “So…whose sister were you dating?”
He cocks his head, his tongue running over his teeth. “Thanks.”
I put my hands up. “Seems like the way you’d meet each other.”
“Well,” he says, popping the trunk of a VW Jetta. “Just so you know;” he picks up my luggage, and I can tell he expects it to be heavier by the way he lifts it. “It was my sister James was dating.”
“Ah, okay. How did that end? You guys are still in a band together so either they got married, or she dumped his ass.”
Brent chuckles as he settles into the driver’s seat. “The latter.”
“And how did you meet the rest of the guys?”
“I met Aiden at our previous job at a construction company. James knew Brad and Kie from the scene. It just happened they left their bands as we were forming ours,” he replies, pulling his iPhone out of his pocket and handing it to me. “Pick something to listen to?”
I look down at his iPhone expecting a picture of him and his girlfriend but find it’s just the band symbol.
“Password is 82945,” he says, and I enter the numbers, waiting for a picture of them as the background. Instead, it’s black. My face warms, but I ignore the feeling. He’s cute, but I shouldn’t be looking for pictures or caring about his girlfriend.
“Anything you want to listen to?” I ask as I open up the music folder.
Brent looks at me from the corner of his eyes, his lips curling slightly. He shakes his head. “No, you pick.”
I lean back in the seat, settling in for whatever length the ride might be and begin scrolling through his playlist. “I get the feeling this is some kind of test.”
“Not at all,” Brent replies, his tone of voice playful.
I roll my eyes before picking an album and setting the phone in the center between us.
Brent shakes his head. “Deftones – White Pony…interesting.”
“Did I pass?” I ask as I cross my arms and stare at him expectantly.
“Definitely. I was afraid you were going to pick something like Undertow,” he replies, laughing through his nose.
I look out the window, covering my mouth with my hand as I suck in a breath.
“They do have one song I like, though–at least the lyrics,” he continues, and I close my eyes as my heart hammers its way up my throat.
“Which one is that?” I manage to croak.
My fingers grip the edge of the seat as my vision blurs. I pull my hands into my lap and concentrate on them as the contents of my stomach threaten to come up.
“You know it?” he asks.
I give a stiff nod. “Who doesn’t?”
“Yeah, it’s pretty popular,” he replies with a shrug.
“So who’s your favorite band?” I ask, watching as Brent changes lanes. Despite the fact he’s using a GPS, he seems comfortable driving in the five lane highway.
“You picked them. You?”
The thought of Jace disappears. “Same.”
“No shit,” he replies, smiling over at me.
I blink before looking ahead.
Luke. Luke. Luke.
Except the name doesn’t really do anything for me. It never really did. I can’t remember the last time a name did something for me– aside from Jace. Now his name creates butterflies for the exact opposite reason. Love turned into hate.
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