Reckless In Love
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The next text he sent was to Ashley.
Can we talk now? I’ll be on the bus in five minutes.
He stared at his phone, waiting for her response. But there was none. He knew he shouldn’t have let the damned circus take over. The label had already gotten enough from him today.
And now he needed to find her right away. Needed to explain what had just happened. But most of all, he needed to talk with her about what they were doing. About where their attraction and friendship were taking them.
He’d never wanted anyone as badly as he wanted her—never liked anyone as much either—but having a fling while on tour with her still didn’t feel right. Not just because of her father. Of course, he wanted to respect his former professor’s wishes. But if there was one thing that Drew had learned from his mother, it was that the most important thing was to follow his own heart, no matter the sacrifice, regardless of how difficult.
And Drew’s heart had been leading him toward Ashley since the moment he’d met her.
Ashley deserved more than a fling while they were on the road. They both did. Drew was ready to take the next step, not just into bed with each other, but toward having a real relationship. She’d be his girlfriend, he’d be her boyfriend, and the whole world would know they were together.
But would she want that, too? Or had she meant what she’d said to him out on the beach in Los Angeles? “No one needs to know. Just you and me here on the tour bus having a good time for as long as we’re both enjoying ourselves.”
If he’d seen the woman coming toward him, he might have been able to sidestep her lunge into his arms. But he’d taken one look at Ashley in that pretty pink dress and had been stunned stupid. Her dress wasn’t anywhere near as revealing as the ones the models were wearing, but to Drew it was the sexiest damn thing he’d ever seen. The kind of dress that made a guy wonder about the secrets she had hidden beneath.
Secrets he’d only just begun to learn that afternoon.
Secrets he was dying to uncover completely tonight.
A night that he had been ready to begin hours ago, rather than being here at another party in what felt like a long string of them over the past few years. It was a stereotype that he’d played into for way too long.
He liked hanging out with his family, his friends, his crew. But he didn’t need the big flashy parties. Didn’t need to see his face and name plastered on walls as some sort of stroke to his ego. It was yet another thing that Ashley had helped him see.
Only, had he realized it too late?
James appeared at Drew’s side and looked down at the girl, who was now holding her head and moaning. “Too much to drink?”
“At the very least,” he told his bodyguard. “Can you take care of getting her some help? I’ve got to find Ashley. I’m afraid she has the wrong idea about what just happened here.”
“Go find your girl, Drew. I’ll make sure this one gets the help she needs to make it home in one piece.”
Your girl. He was glad James realized just what Ashley meant to him, even without anything being spelled out publicly.
Drew headed through the crowd toward the exit. He kept his gaze on the door, but people from his label attached themselves to him anyway, all of them wanting a piece of him for something. To take pictures with more people at the party. To sign a hundred more photos for them to send out. To do “just a couple more quick interviews.”
A hundred—maybe even a thousand times—before tonight, Drew had given his label whatever they wanted. But he’d finally found something—someone—more important than his music and career. And if he didn’t get his act together fast, he was going to lose her.
Now, as the group tried to follow him out, he channeled his father—one of the most easygoing guys in the world, someone everyone liked. “Great party, guys. Great shoot today, too.” He made himself smile as genuinely as possible, even though he had a bad feeling that the clock on fixing everything he kept screwing up with Ashley was running out. “Let’s reconnect on those extra interviews tomorrow before I leave town. Thanks again.”
Before they could try to convince him to stay, he made a fast beeline for the front desk. Ashley still hadn’t responded to his text, so he asked the hotel employee, “Did you see a woman in a pink dress leave?”
The woman gaped at him for a few moments before finally saying, “You’re Drew Morrison.”
Drew went out of his way not to be rude to his fans. He got what it was like to meet someone whose songs you listened to on the radio. Every time he met one of his music idols, he had to fight through the same kind of speechlessness. But tonight he didn’t have time to waste.
“I really need to find her. Her name is Ashley.”
Finally, the woman snapped back to his question. “Does she have wavy, light brown hair? Really pretty, but not in a flashy kind of way?”
“That’s her.” Although as far as Drew was concerned, pretty didn’t even begin to describe Ashley’s beauty.
“I was just talking with her. She asked if I could rent her a room.”
Drew bit back a curse. He’d tried to get the model off him at the party, but she’d been so drunk that if he hadn’t put his arms around her when she’d tried to kiss him, she would have fallen. Clearly, Ashley had misinterpreted what had happened. And for good reason—it had looked like he’d been kissing someone else. That would have been bad enough after the past week they’d spent together on the road, but after what had happened between them this afternoon? Kissing someone else would make him the biggest douche bag in the world.