Reckless In Love
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Oh God. He was beautiful. So beautiful that it almost hurt to look at him.
The record label didn’t need to put makeup on him to make him better-looking in pictures. They didn’t need to put him in special clothes or cut his hair a certain way to make him attractive to the masses. All they needed was for him to smile...and the person he was smiling at felt as though she was the center of his entire world. Like he would live and die only for her.
A woman’s super-sultry voice saying, “Drew, can you do a really special signature for me?” broke Ashley out of her frozen stance by the door.
Drew held Ashley’s gaze for another moment before turning to the woman. “Sure,” he said, his smile easy now, rather than intense. “Where do you want it?”
Before Ashley knew it, the woman had pulled her tank top up—and off! All the way off, so that she was standing completely topless in the middle of a room full of strangers...and the rock god she was obviously hoping to entice with her bold move.
To Drew’s credit, he didn’t so much as blink. Not even when the woman moved way too close to him and said, “You can write your name anywhere you want on my body. Absolutely anywhere.”
Ashley was still busy trying to pick her jaw up off the floor when Drew quickly scrawled his name with a black Sharpie on the side of the woman’s ribs, about as far from her breasts as he could get while still writing on her skin the way she clearly wanted him to. And when he picked up the woman’s shirt from the floor and handed it to her, saying, “Thanks for coming to my show tonight,” Ashley could see that the last thing he wanted was to make the woman feel bad that he was rejecting her advance. Even though he clearly was.
She had never seen someone take off a shirt so fast...or put it back on so slowly. She could only imagine the way she’d be fumbling with the fabric if she tried to pull off a move like that. Not that she ever would, of course. Besides, her father would kill her if he found out she’d ever done anything like that.
Charlie Emmit had told her he wanted to come to the show tonight to say hello to Drew. But Ashley had known the real reason her father had wanted to come—to go over a huge list of all the potential dangers he wanted Drew to protect his daughter from.
Ashley and her father were usually of like mind, but this time she’d put her foot down. She wasn’t going to allow him to drop her off on tour as though she were a little girl heading to her first day of kindergarten. Instead, she’d promised him that she was going to be smart and safe, just the way she’d always been.
They were two peas in a pod, both of them rational and practical. So unlike her mother, Camila Emmit, who hated lists and rules. Her mother loved music and poetry, but numbers made her go cross-eyed. For the fifteen years she’d been married to Ashley’s dad, her mother had been a blur of colorful flowing skirts, laughter in the house when she was happy, yelling reverberating off the walls when she wasn’t, and a smell that Ashley realized as a teenager was pot.
But backstage at Drew’s show wasn’t the place for memories of her mother. And, clearly, given the way the other women in the room were also now flirting with Drew, this wasn’t the place to be thinking of her professor father either.
Thank God she’d been able to convince him not to come. He’d freak if he saw all the skin and blatant sexuality of the women who were coming on to Drew with everything they had.
Fortunately, Ashley wasn’t attracted to the rock star she’d be touring with for the next few weeks.
More specifically, she only had a teeny, tiny little crush on Drew Morrison. But who wouldn’t when he was this gorgeous and talented? Okay, so she might have followed his music since he’d put on the Internet a couple of demos he’d recorded at home when he was sixteen. And, sure, she’d watched dozens of streaming clips of his shows—but those viewings were purely in the name of research and in preparation for going on tour with him.
Wild, sexy rockers could never be her type. Her father and mother’s terrible marriage was the perfect example of how steady, straight-edged people could never be a good fit for artistic, free-spirited people. Ashley didn’t need to do any further research to know that the highest probability of relationship success had her partnering with a business-minded, practical man.
Which meant she needed to shove her secret crush on Drew Morrison as far down as it could go. Nothing could be more mortifying than for Drew to think she was just another groupie who wanted him to write his name on her breasts.
“Ashley.” He was giving her that naturally super-sexy smile of his, and her foolish heart automatically kicked up in reaction. “It’s good to see you again.”
“It’s good to see you, too.” Oh God, why does my voice sound like that? A mix of husky and nervous all at the same time that she’d never heard come from her lips before. She cleared her throat. “I really appreciate you letting me join your tour.”
“She’s going on tour with you?” The woman who had put her boobs on display for everyone looked at Ashley as though she wanted to skin her alive. “Whatever she’s doing for you, Drew, I can do it a thousand times better.”
Drew put his hand on Ashley’s lower back and gently pushed her in the direction of the door, where, like magic, James appeared as though he could sense danger. Quickly, James was inside the room and they were out of it, heading down a long, dark hall.