Reckless In Love
Page 40

 Bella Andre

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But she wasn’t a little girl anymore. And she needed to figure things out for herself this time...even if some of the things she couldn’t help but want to experience with Drew would surely upset her father a great deal.
And even if she knew better than to think Drew could ever be the one for her.
“I’ve got to go now, but I love you, Dad.”
Ashley hung up with so many different emotions and desires and questions careening through her. She had always believed she was the straight and narrow, the clear-cut, just like her father. But Drew had insisted that she was more—that she was as exciting and creative as her mother as well. And when she looked at her reflection in the window across from where she was standing, she suddenly saw a likeness to her mom that she’d never noticed before. That she supposed she’d never wanted to notice before.
But then she noticed something that took her even more by surprise: She wasn’t just made up of parts of her parents, put together like pieces of a puzzle. Take her eyes, for instance—they were neither brown like her mother’s, nor blue like her father’s. Instead, they were uniquely hazel. And her hair wasn’t a mass of wild curls like her mother’s, or pin straight like her father’s. Instead, soft waves curled over her shoulders.
And most important, she was starting to see that what she wanted was neither the pure academia that her father loved, nor the total freedom that her mother craved. Because if Ashley had learned anything from being on tour with Drew, it was that carving one’s own unique path was the most important thing of all.
Carving a unique path. The spark that had gone out on the beach in Los Angeles suddenly lit up inside of her. She grabbed her computer and tablet and notebook, and before she knew it, the ideas started flowing so fast that she could barely keep up with them. Ideas that were a full one-eighty from what she’d thought she had come to learn from Drew’s tour. Because instead of going deeper into the standard major-label music system, every new idea she came up with was centered around a completely independent framework.
One where the musician ran the show, rather than the label.
A part of her was scared that so many things in her life had taken a complete turnabout from the moment she’d set foot on Drew’s bus, but the other part of her was so excited and intrigued that she refused to let that fear stop her from fleshing out the new ideas in as much detail as she could. At least where work was concerned, she could make sense of things if she just worked at them hard enough.
Where Drew was concerned, on the other hand?
Well, between saying he couldn’t be with her, but then telling her he dreamed of being with her, and a million other conflicting signs...she honestly didn’t know what to think, or how to feel. Ashley shook her head and refocused on her computer screen, diving back into the work that felt a million times safer than her emotions.
When her stomach started grumbling, she suddenly realized just how late it was. Late enough that she’d not only missed Drew’s show, but he should also be done with the meet and greet.
Where was he?
And what was going to happen when he came back to the bus tonight? Because, honestly, the tension between them—both sexual and emotional—had been ramping up more and more, to the point where she’d actually felt as though she might combust soon.
Just then, her phone buzzed with a text from Drew.
Got a chance to drop into a local recording studio for a few hours tonight.
Sleep well, Ash.
She was thrilled by the news that Drew was obviously feeling inspired enough to head into a recording studio. But at the same time, she already knew she wouldn’t get much sleep at all.
Not when everything between them was still as uncertain as ever.
Chapter Sixteen
Dallas, Texas
The following morning, Drew watched Ashley as she worked on her laptop in the eating nook on the bus, her brow furrowed in deep concentration. Since she didn’t seem to realize he was standing there, he just let himself drink in her beauty for a few seconds.
He’d gone into a local recording studio for a few hours the previous night, hoping that being in what used to be his favorite place in the world would help him to push past his stupid songwriting block. But all he’d wanted the entire time was to be back on the bus with Ashley.
Smith and Valentina had been great—a million times more understanding than he deserved. Not only had they given him two more weeks to see what he could come up with, but they’d also told him to write whatever the hell he wanted.
And still, the songs wouldn’t come.
Drew didn’t know what he was going to do about his music, but he did know one thing for sure: He and Ashley couldn’t go on like this. At least, he couldn’t. They needed to sit down, clear the air, figure out how they could at least be friends again in the wake of their no-touching-each-other rule. Because their connection was too strong just to let it burn out like this.
And if he only kept wanting her more by the second, rather than less?
Well, he was just going to have to work like hell to figure out how to deal with it without losing her as a friend.
Since he didn’t want her to look up and see him staring at her like some stalker-perv, he knocked on the door that led from his room at the back of the bus into the common area. “Can I come in?”
She slammed the screen shut on her computer, as if he’d caught her doing something she shouldn’t. “Of course you can. It’s your bus. You don’t have to ask for permission to go where you want.”