Tyler could tell when a man was attractive, and no one -- hetero- or homosexual -- could deny that Johnnie Heaven, lead singer of Heaven Sent, was just plain gorgeous. He stood perhaps an inch or two taller than Tyler's five feet eleven inches, but his presence made him seem ten feet tall. He shoved his sunglasses up on top of his head to hold back loose hair that was at least six different shades of brown, ranging from nearly gold to just this side of chocolate. It fell in sleek waves past his shoulders and broad chest, reaching almost to his waist. His face was a study in perfection, strong and masculine, but with a beauty bordering on feminine, even with the scattering of brown stubble on his smoothly curved jaw. Almost black brows crowded in a low sweep over sleepy, hypnotic green eyes. His long neck molded smoothly into sleek, muscled shoulders that filled out a black Ramones t-shirt very nicely. Worn, low-slung jeans hugged lean hips and long legs that seemed to go on for miles before reaching the steel-toed boots planted on the floor.
Tyler's mouth watered. Shocked, he wrote off the reaction as normal in the presence of a superstar known for his looks and charm.
The vision formed a practiced smile and extended his hand. Beautiful emerald eyes caught and held Tyler's gaze. The voice of an angel -- or a seductive devil -- spoke to him, the smooth, richly decadent voice that had sold millions of records. “Johnnie Heaven.”
Tyler smiled, taking the hand without looking. He couldn't break free of the man's amazing eyes! “I know who you are, sir.”
Strong, callused fingers closed over Tyler's. Tyler tried not to jump at the electric feel of that warm, dry grasp. “And you are …?”
“Oh! Sorry. Tyler Purcell. I'm the manager of Weiss Strande Hotel.”
“Nice to meet you.”
Tyler glanced down at their hands and watched long fingers slowly release him. Looking up, he was momentarily lost again in seductive green eyes. Eyes that looked somehow … hungry?
No, that wasn't right. The man just oozed sensuality naturally. Yeah, that's it. Hoping he wasn't flushed, Tyler turned to see the rest of the band emerge from the other cars. Brent Rose, lead guitarist, stood as tall as Johnnie Heaven, but he was leaner, to the point of being called skinny. A riot of shining black curls framed his long, smiling face, just caressing the carved slant of his jaw. His black eyes shone as he laughed with Darien Hughes, the drummer. Shorter than his fellow band members at five foot six, Darien had straight, dark gold hair that drifted to sloped, muscled shoulders. His honest brown eyes crinkled at the edges as he laughed. Approaching from the final car was Lucas Sloane, the bass player. He lit a cigarette as he sauntered toward them, then tucked elegant hands into the front pockets of his jeans. He was built much like Johnnie, with sleekly muscular, feline grace and a head of sumptuous auburn curls that fell to mid-back. His sable eyes were hooded, which always made him look like he had something darkly mysterious on his mind.
Tyler stood through the introductions, trying not to act like the fan that he was. He was older than any member of the band by a few years, but at the moment he felt like an excited teen who was playacting at being an adult.
“Gentlemen, the Weiss welcomes and thanks you,” he said, releasing Luc's hand. “Please, allow me to show you to your rooms.”
He rode up in the elevator with the band and Ms. Hobbes, leaving Vincent to manage the bodyguards and the luggage. On the way up, he explained that only select keycards would allow the elevator to go to the twentieth floor, helping to ensure the band's privacy.
“Just how old are you, Tyler?” Johnnie suddenly asked.
Tyler blinked, caught at a space in his practiced speech. He turned to see emerald eyes focused on him.
“Johnnie!” Gretchen gasped.
Tyler chuckled, hoping it didn't come off as nervous. “That's okay. I'm twenty-eight, Mr. Heaven. Why?”
Johnnie grinned. “It's not often we meet a manager of a hotel this size who's so young. It's nice to see.”
Tyler laughed. “I've lived at the Weiss almost my whole life. My family owns it. So I pretty much grew up learning the job.”
“That explains it,” said Luc, his voice a low purr. His dark eyes fixed on Tyler's, and Tyler felt his heart skip a beat. “You sound like you've said that a million times.”
Tyler blushed. He had fallen back on his habitual speech, but mainly because his brain wasn't working all that well.
“What a cool thing!” Darien piped in, nearly bouncing on the balls of his feet. “You live in the hotel? That must be awesome.”
Tyler swallowed over the lump in his throat and nodded. Had Luc's low rumble done that to him? Why? He nearly breathed a sigh of relief when the elevator doors opened.
Tyler again fell back on his practiced speech. “There are six suites on this floor.” They stepped onto the vaguely oriental gray-and-black design of the carpet. “If these rooms aren't suitable, other arrangements can be made, of course.” He led them to each of their doors, handing them keycards, explaining the amenities, laughing at their quips and accepting praise for the state of the rooms. Best not to think of why he left Johnnie Heaven for last. It wasn't a conscious gesture on his part to be alone for a brief moment with the man he admired. It wasn't! But after he showed Ms. Hobbes her room, he walked alone with Johnnie the final few yards to his room. He was proud that his hand didn't shake as he slid in the keycard. “This is your room, Mr. Heaven.”
Johnnie plucked the keycard from his hands, but didn't step through the open door. “Please call me Johnnie. The ?mister' makes me feel old.”
Tyler chuckled, hoping that he didn't sound like a giggling fan. “It's a gesture of respect, sir.”
Johnnie grinned at him. “Yeah, I know. But you're only two years older than I am.” He winked. “C'mon, give it a shot.”
“See? That wasn't so hard. And drop the ?sir' while you're at it.”
Johnnie walked into the room, and Tyler stood in the doorway, unable to take his eyes off the man's predatory grace. How did he manage to make that lazy slouch look so sexy? He reminded Tyler of a tawny cougar exploring new territory. He even sniffed his surroundings, first the complimentary chocolate, then the fresh-cut flowers on the desk.
Sexy?! Oh, God!
The vision turned and caught him looking.
Tyler coughed into his fist, averting his gaze. “Is there anything else I can get for you?”
Johnnie stood there, his hand still holding open the dark gold drapes that filtered the afternoon sunlight. “Just one thing.” He flicked a glance at the television cabinet. “You got PlayStation 2?”
“PlayStation 2. Y'know, game console?”
“Oh, I know what it is. No, the room doesn't have one. But I could get one, if you like.”
The grin that spread over Johnnie's generous lips was one worn by many a gamer. An addict who needed his fix. “Yeah. Get one, and get Final Fantasy 10.”
Tyler had to grin. “You play?” Johnnie Heaven played his favorite game?!
Tyler jumped, not having realized Gretchen Hobbes was at his elbow. She leaned in the doorway, smiling fondly at Johnnie. “Can't you curb your addiction for a few days?”
“What the hell for? It's been a whole four days already. I'll forget everything!”
“Is he begging for a PlayStation 2 already?”
Tyler jumped again, turning and backing two steps into the room at the sound of Luc Sloane's low voice just behind him. The tall bass player took the spot Tyler had vacated beside Gretchen, hooking his fingers on the doorjamb above his head. The loose sleeves of his green t-shirt fell back, showing off the sleek muscles of his arms.
“Of course he is,” Gretchen teased, her voice providing distraction enough for Tyler to turn away from the sight of Luc's shirt stretching over his chest.
“Oh, fuck you both,” Johnnie groused, leaving the window to cross to the couch that bisected the room. It faced the television, dividing the entertainment portion of the room from the desk area by the window. “I just started a new scenario, and it took me forever to do it. I'm not
waiting until the end of the tour to get back to it.”
Tyler couldn't help it. He had to know. “Which one?”
Johnnie knelt on the couch, facing them across the back. The grin on his face took ten years off his age, making him look like a bouncy teen. “You play?”
“What scenario you on?”
“Oh, God,” Gretchen groaned, thumping her head lightly against the door. “Not another gamer.”
“Ignore her, Tyler,” Johnnie said. “What scenario?”
“I just got past Mushroom Rock.”
“Just a few days ago, actually.”
“Excellent! Then bring the PlayStation 2 and come play with me!”
Tyler's heart skipped a beat. Come play with me
. Play video games with Johnnie Heaven? Only in his dreams! “Oh, no, I couldn't …”
“I've got to work.”
“All night? C'mon, I'm a big boy. I can stay up late. You don't work all night, do you?”
“Uh, no, but …” Tyler glanced at Gretchen and Luc, who only regarded him with amusement. “Well, all right.” He turned back to Johnnie to see him leaning over the back of the couch, dangerously close to toppling over. “I don't get off duty until seven, though.”
“That's fine.” A slight frown. “But send the box up first.”
“Will do.” He turned to Gretchen. “Should I get one for everyone?”
She laughed, waving the notion away with one ringed hand. “Oh, no. Johnnie's the only gamer. The rest should be fine on their own.”
Luc nodded in confirmation, a lock of auburn hair falling forward to caress the smooth curve of his jaw, not far from the corner of his smiling, full-lipped mouth. Tyler tore his gaze from it with difficulty. Wasn't it against some law of nature for such beautiful people to be in the same vicinity as each other? Just being near Johnnie and Luc had his heart galloping.
He had to get out of there.