It Must Be Your Love The Sullivans Online - Bella Andre

Chapter One

The music was still ringing in his ears as Ford Vincent headed through the winding halls at the back of the stadium he’d just played in Tempe, Arizona. Nearly seventy-five thousand people had been in the audience tonight and he’d given everything he had to them. And now, like every night on the road, dozens of women were waiting for him just outside the back door yelling, “I love you, Ford!” and “I’ll do anything to be with you tonight!”

Despite his security staff doing their best to keep things from getting out of control, at least five women pressed up against any part of his body they could reach as soon as he stepped out of the building. It would be easiest to keep his head down and push through the crowd, but disrespecting his fans had never sat well with Ford. Even if they often went over the line of his personal space.

This was what he’d always wanted, he reminded himself as he started signing autographs. For people to love him. For people to appreciate him. And he’d succeeded beyond his wildest dreams.

So then why did it all feel so hollow?

Ford was nearly through the crowd when a fresh wave of women saw him from around the corner of the parking lot. He signaled to his security staff to clear the way for him and at long last got onto his bus.

Natasha Lawrence was sitting in the dining booth with her computer open. Looking up, she said, “Pretty rowdy bunch out there tonight, aren’t they? Go take your shower and then I’ve got a couple of things I’d like to show you.”

She was one of the most respected documentary filmmakers in the business, and after the past couple of months working with her, Ford not only appreciated her skill and talent, but also her utter faithfulness to her husband and family. After what he’d seen and experienced during more than a decade of touring, he’d come to believe that kind of devotion was very, very rare. The only man he’d ever seen her light up for was her husband. After years as a sex symbol, he relished being around a woman who wasn’t even the slightest bit inclined to whip off her bra and throw it at him.

A minute later, he let out a breath of relief as he stood under the hot spray. His post-show shower was his only real must-have when he came off stage. Other rockers needed women, drugs, booze, and their entourage. He could have any one of these women tonight with nothing more than a snap of his fingers in her direction. But the morning-after aches and pains, fogged-up mind, and ass-kissing “friends” had stopped being any fun long before he hit thirty. Not to mention that waking up next to a stranger got old really quick.

Especially when he always, inevitably, compared those women to the only one he’d ever truly enjoyed waking up with...

He rinsed the shampoo and soap from his hair and body, then let the warm water run over him for a few more seconds before turning off the shower. After shaking the water out of his hair, he opened the door and reached for a towel hanging from a metal rack in the small tiled space. After quickly drying off, he yanked on a pair of jeans and a T-shirt.

“We got some great film tonight,” Natasha told him as he slid into the booth and she clicked Play on one of the windows on her computer screen. “Really colorful crowd, and,” she added with a grin, “the music didn’t suck, either.”

“Arizona is always good,” he agreed.

But despite the enthusiasm of the crowd and his great band backing him up, Ford knew it hadn’t been his best show. Where the magic used to be there all the time just by stepping onto a stage, now he had to work harder and harder every night to light off those sparks. Some nights, like tonight, he left the stage feeling like he hadn’t quite earned the encores.

Natasha slid a couple bottles of water over to him just as the bus started moving, and he downed one in a long swig to replace the sweat he’d lost tearing across the stage with his guitar and microphone during the three-hour show. She would be filming his next stadium show in Albuquerque, New Mexico the following night, and given that it usually took Ford a couple of hours to come down from a performance, it made