Reckless In Love
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Finally, he told the DJ, “This tour has been crazy busy. There’s no way I could go on a date with anyone right now.”
That, at least, was true. This tour was the most jam-packed he’d ever done—and he and Ash weren’t actually dating. One day really soon, however, he wanted to be able to take her out to dinner or a movie like a normal couple.
But he was trying to see things from her point of view. She likely wasn’t only worried about what her father would think, but also about the inevitable complications that came with dating a guy like him. Like the fact that her picture would be everywhere and people would want to know more about her...and then whatever they could find out would likely end up on the Internet, too.
The thing was, he’d met enough people like Smith Sullivan and his fiancée, Valentina Landon, and like Nicola Sullivan and her husband, Marcus, to see that relationships in the spotlight of fame weren’t impossible as long as your partner was strong.
Drew had seen Ashley’s strength from that very first night they’d met. She clearly hadn’t felt like she fit in, but she hadn’t let that stop her. Being scared was perfectly normal. But transcending those fears was extraordinary.
Just as extraordinary as the way she made him feel.
Because after all these months of wondering just what the hell he was doing, Ashley had helped him understand again why he wrote and played music. In the wake of his mother’s death, he’d been making the mistake of using his music to shove his feelings, his emotions, down. Only, instead of working, it had made him feel more blocked by the day.
Finally, he understood that when he faced the pain and the fear—and when he allowed the joy to flow back in every second he was with Ashley—that was when the music started playing in his head. Playing so fast and clear that even now he was trying to memorize the melodies and lyrics rushing through him.
“In that case, Drew,” the DJ said, “tell us what kind of girl you’re looking for. What qualities will the perfect girl need to steal your heart?”
Again, Drew couldn’t stop his gaze from moving to where Ashley was sitting behind the glass wall. He was pretty sure she was blushing, even though she’d lowered her head to look at the tablet on her lap. James was sitting next to her grinning like a fool. He and Drew hadn’t talked about Ashley—even if his bodyguard had asked, he’d never kiss and tell—but his friend had clearly figured out that everything had worked out all right last night after Drew had left the party to look for her.
“My perfect woman is smart. Fun. Caring. Insightful. And so beautiful that every time I look at her I’m stunned by her all over again.”
“Wow.” The DJ fanned herself. “Do you think you’ll ever be able to find a woman like that?”
He grinned and finally told the truth to the whole damned world the way he’d wanted to all along. “Yes. The answer is definitely yes.”
* * *
At nine that evening, Ashley’s phone buzzed. Just seeing Drew’s name on her screen was enough to make her heart race, even before she read the message.
Can you come by my dressing room before the show starts?
James was standing beside her in the wings backstage. The opener had come off ten minutes ago, and the crowd was getting antsy waiting for Drew to appear. She was antsy, too, mostly because she hadn’t seen him since earlier that day when he’d been doing the radio interviews downtown. He’d been deep in writing and recording mode the rest of the day, and she’d been just as busy working on her own brainstorming about the indie label. That is, when she wasn’t daydreaming and getting all hot and bothered about the incredible things they had done together in, and out, of his bed.
She hadn’t thought of herself as a creative person before, but ever since they’d made love, the world looked entirely different. Brighter. Exploding with color—and endless possibility.
Before joining Drew’s tour, she’d been desperately worried about what would happen if she applied to Stanford Business School again and didn’t get in. But now?
She smiled, thinking about all she’d accomplished today. Not just putting together a business plan for starting a record label. But a record label that was artist owned and operated. One that changed all the rules the music business had ever played by. Ashley couldn’t wait to show her fleshed-out plans to Drew. She already knew his feedback would be hugely helpful and important in working out the kinks.
But as she went to say a quick hello to Drew in his dressing room before he went on stage, the way her body was heating up more and more with every step had nothing whatsoever to do with the business plans on her computer.
And everything to do with needing to kiss him again more than she needed to take her next breath.
The security guard stationed outside Drew’s dressing room knew her on sight and smiled. “Go on in. He’s expecting you.”
This world of backstage bodyguards that had once seemed so foreign to her was now practically normal. When she’d joined Drew’s tour, she’d had no idea just how far and wide her education would go—on all fronts, both business and personal.
She’d barely opened the dressing room door when she was yanked inside. Her breath went as Drew simultaneously pulled her into his arms and locked the door behind her. His mouth crashed into hers a beat later, his kiss ravenous. Desperate.