Reckless In Love
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So far on this tour, she’d done plenty of things outside her comfort zone...especially this afternoon on the bus. But where that had been more enjoyable than anything she’d ever imagined, maybe coming to this party had been a mistake. Then again, if she wanted to work in the music business, wouldn’t she have to get used to participating in events like this?
She groaned out loud at the way both sides of her brain were at war. Stay. Go. Stay. Go.
The crowd parted suddenly, and she looked right into Drew’s eyes. Even though he was on the other side of the ballroom, she swore she could see heat in his expression. The same heat that had been there when he’d seen her wearing this dress for the first time, and then again on the bus this afternoon when he’d walked in on her touching herself.
She smiled at him, suddenly feeling incredibly happy that she’d stayed. Especially when he held out a hand and she knew it was for her.
All these beautiful women in the room and she was the one he wanted. It felt like a fairy tale. Like a dream come true. Even though she’d spent more of her life with her nose in a book or with a calculator in her hand than dreaming about Prince Charming, Ashley suddenly understood all those fairy tales her mother had liked to read to her when she was a little girl. Because when a man looked at you the way Drew was looking at—
Ashley stopped short as a positively stunning woman took Drew’s hand, lifted it, and twirled around beneath it as if they’d choreographed the movement. And then, the next thing she knew, the woman was in Drew’s arms, and he was holding her tightly against him.
Feeling as though she were standing in the middle of the train tracks able to hear the conductor’s whistle, but not able to get her feet to move, she watched as the woman lifted her lips to Drew’s for a kiss. Just then, someone moved in front of Ashley, but she’d already seen enough. And when she got another clear look at Drew a moment later, he was still holding on to the gorgeous stranger, even more tightly now, his lips close to the woman’s ear as if he were whispering sweet nothings to her.
The music kept playing, people kept talking and laughing around her, but all Ashley could hear was the blood rushing in her ears.
Oh God, I am such an idiot!
She should have known better than to get all dressed up tonight. She must look like she was trying too hard. All her life, she’d done just the opposite—she hadn’t tried at all. But after this morning and afternoon on the bus, she’d started to feel more sure about taking another risk like the one she’d taken on the beach in Los Angeles.
She’d assumed that when he said he wanted to talk with her tonight, he’d meant he wanted them to talk about taking things even further. But she must have been wrong, must have misunderstood...all because she wanted the fairy tale to come true so badly.
Ashley gulped air into lungs that felt like they were burning as she hightailed it through the hotel and back out to the bus, even though she knew it wasn’t any sanctuary at all, because she was sharing it with Drew. She’d just have to pretend to be asleep when he got back.
But then it hit her—what if he came in with one of the models? Or more than one of the models?
Wait. No. She couldn’t go back to the bus tonight. Not if there was even a hint of a chance that he was going to board it with someone else. She’d been saving for graduate school and had been really careful with her money so far on this trip, but it didn’t matter how much a night in this fancy hotel cost.
“I need a room,” she told the woman behind the reception desk. “Just for tonight.”
The woman behind the counter shook her head. “I’m sorry, but we’re fully booked.”
“Can you recommend another hotel nearby?”
“All the other hotels I usually recommend are booked, as well. This tends to happen whenever a really big musician comes to town.” The woman’s eyes drifted to the newspaper on the counter, which had a picture of Drew on the front page. “Are you here for Drew Morrison’s show tomorrow night?”
Knowing how the woman would react if she found out Ashley was on tour with Drew, she simply said, “I just really need a place to stay tonight. Are there any other options? Maybe a B&B or—”
She stopped when the woman gasped. “Those models were with him earlier. I think he must be about to come this way.”
Ashley shoved away from the front desk so fast she nearly fell. She needed to get on the bus, grab her things, and then figure out where to go from there. Anything but trying to fake it with Drew and the models.
So much for the big night she’d been expecting. Looked like she was going to keep being the good girl her father expected her to be...and that everything made perfect sense after all.
Because the rock star wasn’t going to end up with the normal girl.
Drew hadn’t wanted to tighten his grip around the stranger’s waist, especially after she’d pressed her mouth to his in a sloppy approximation of a kiss he really didn’t want. But she’d been so drunk it had been nearly impossible to keep her upright.
“Let’s get you somewhere you can sit down.”
“Don’t wanna sit down.” Her words slurred together. “Wanna be with you.”