There is something just so undeniably sexy about drummers.

Maybe it’s their powerful forearms or the way they could beat out a rhythm with just two thin wooden sticks that would whip a crowd into a frenzy or set a girl’s heart to racing.

Or maybe it was the boys who chose to master this instrument. Boys who knew what kind of control it took to keep a steady rhythm, lead a band, make this instrument produce more than just a cacophony of noise. Boys who knew exactly how to let loose their power without losing control. Boys like Xander.

It was the battle of the bands week at school and Xander spent all his free time practicing. And Hayley liked to watch. Watch as the rhythmic pounding got stronger. As the pace quickened. As the feeling intensified.

She could feel the vibrations through the floor underneath her seat. She could feel the current of energy in the air she breathed. It was alive. It made her feel alive.

She could feel the passion in the beat he laid out. She could see the muscles in his forearms straining as he alternately gripped the sticks tightly and then loosely. Creating patterns of sound. Strong. Then soft. Then strong again. Building. Increasing in intensity. Quickening. Like the beat of her heart. Like the shallow breaths she now took.

As he tapped out the rhythms in each bar of the music, moving at a breakneck pace, she could only gaze at him in awe. His forearms, his drum sticks were just a blur. There was incredible power behind each movement. It was intense. He was intense.

His dedication to and focus on the piece he was playing was utterly captivating. One slip in his concentration would spell disaster. One twitch of his muscles would turn this frenetic, frenzied, rhythmic, beautiful music into an earsplitting nightmare of sound.

But she knew that would never happen. Xander would never lose focus. His concentration was sure, his forearms were strong, his grip was oh so tight.

She felt a blush rise to her cheeks as she realized how intense her stare was. But she couldn’t look away from him. She tried. Oh how she tried. But she just couldn’t break the hold he had over her as he pounded those drums. He was in control. Total control. Of the drums. Of the music. Of her.

As the song reached its crescendo, she could see the sweat beading on his forehead and glistening along his forearms. Captivated as she was by the delectable sight before her, her mouth felt suddenly dry. She licked her lips. She could see the muscles in his biceps straining against his shirt, the sleeves of which were rolled up to the elbow allowing her eyes total access to his forearms.

She let her eyes feast on the beauty of his body while she let the music carry her away. He was the snake charmer and she was most definitely the snake.

As he furiously beat on the drums arranged before him, swiveling in his seat to capture each one of them, master them, beat them into submission, she couldn’t help but wish she were one of the sticks caught in his tight grip. Wish it was she that he was using to create those rhythms. She wanted to be used by him. Played by him in the same way he played those drums.

And what she wanted more than anything else was to get up and move closer to him. But she was trapped. Held captive in her seat. Unable to approach. Each beat against the drum skin another link in the chain that kept her bound to where she sat.

She could tell the song was nearly done, the beats getting softer, less forceful and she felt herself relax. The tension slowly beginning to leave her body.

She could sense his gaze land on her. She didn’t even need to raise her eyes to know this. No longer lost in the music, he could now focus on the world around him and he chose to train his midnight blue eyes on her.

She looked up slowly. Tearing her eyes away from his forearms was a near impossibility. But she wanted to meet his eyes with her own. He stared at her from beneath the dark, damp bangs that now hung in front of his eyes. His lips slightly parted, his chest rising and falling in rhythm with the slowing pace of the drumbeats.

She could see the sharpness of his gaze. The challenge it held. Daring her to look away. Daring her to deny just how affected she was by the music. By his forearms. And while deep inside she was afraid. Embarrassed by just how strong her attraction was to him. She couldn’t help but rise to the challenge. To stare back unashamedly.

She wanted unobstructed access to his eyes, though. She wanted to close the distance between them so that she could brush aside his bangs, make their connection even stronger. She wanted their gaze to deepen. She wanted to be able to shut out the entire world and create one of their own. Just her and Xander.

But he wasn’t hers to touch. And this wasn’t the time or place to do any of that. He was still winding down the piece he was performing. He still had a number of pieces left to master. If he wanted to win the drum solo competition, he couldn’t afford to be distracted. And she would never want to be the cause of his downfall.

She sighed. And was the first to break the stare. When she quickly glanced back, she saw him smirk as he twirled the drumstick in his left hand before bringing it crashing down for the final note.

She wanted to applaud. She wanted to leap from her seat. To cheer. She wanted to release what was left of the tension in her body with a shout. But instead she just sighed again. And smiled.

Drummers.

Some girls were into guitarists, with their calloused fingertips and the sexy stance they had while strumming out a melody or picking out the bass, dreaming they were the pick trapped between the guitarists adept fingers, held softly between the guitarists lips. Not her.

Hayley was a drummer girl through and through. Looking up at Xander as he mopped the sweat from his brow, she sighed once more. Everything about him exuded sex. From his broad shoulders, to his lean, muscled biceps, to his muscular forearms, to his tapered waist. He was arrogant. He was confident. He was cocky. He was beautiful.

She couldn’t help but watch as he clenched and released his fists after setting the sticks down and stretched his arms above his head, releasing the tension in his shoulders, relaxing his taut muscles. And taut they were. As tight as one of his drums.

It was only for a moment, a quick peek, but she could not help but stare, transfixed, at his abs as his shirt rode up during his stretch. It was just a sliver, but the view was even more delectable than she could ever have imagined. The years of drumming kept not only his arms and thighs in shape, but his abs, too. She may not have seen the entire pack, but it was unquestionably a six-pack.

She averted her gaze when he turned around to face his audience once again. Being caught up in the music was one thing. Ogling his body when he wasn’t performing was an entirely different thing altogether.

She cast furtive glances around the room at the rest of the boys and girls there to watch this rockstar of a drummer perform. There was a mix of awe and envy on each of the boys faces as they gazed at him. Even a few with longing in their eyes. For what exactly, she didn’t know. But if she looked in a mirror she was sure that the image staring at her would reflect back exactly the same expression.

And the girls. They were enrapt. Spellbound. Intoxicated. If she hadn’t known already, the dropped jaws, the glazed eyes, the moist, bitten lips let her know that he had an effect on each and every one in his captive audience. That she was not alone in meeting his eyes with her lust-filled gaze.

But she knew that. He was a drummer. And even when he was not performing, when the drum sticks weren’t gripped in his hands, but tucked into his back pocket, or resting on the drums as they were now, he was marked. He was revered. He was the center of this small universe that was McKinley High School.

As he readied himself for the next solo he looked out at all his adoring fans and smiled. A wide open smile that nearly split his face. An infectious grin that immediately broke through the tension, animosity and lust that filled the air.

“Are you ready for more?” he asked quietly.

Oh yes. Yes she was. She would always be ready for more of what he had to give.

The room around him erupted. Everyone cheered wildly, whistled, stomped their feet in answer. Of course the answer would be a resounding yes. Of course they wanted more.

And with one more heart-stopping smile, and a quick glance around the room only briefly pausing on her, he turned his gaze inward. He shifted his body on the stool. He placed his foot on the drum pedal, he picked up his sticks, adjusted them in his grip, he lifted his arms.

And as drum sticks met skin yet again, he showed them just how much more he could give them. And they showed him just how ready they were.