Tempt Me Like This
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“Maybe,” she said slowly, “maybe we shouldn’t stop.” It was so hard to get the words out that she couldn’t quite bring herself to look at his face. “When you were kissing me, I finally felt beautiful. And passionate.” Really passionate, as though she’d never be able to get enough of him.
“If I kiss you again,” he said in a low voice that caressed her skin just as wonderfully as his mouth had, “I won’t be able to stop.”
She’d never been so scared—or had such clarity—as when she finally looked him in the eye and said, “Don’t stop, Drew. I want this. I want you.” She put her hands flat on his broad chest, where his heart was beating hard and fast. As hard and fast as hers. “What if you and I did get together while I’m here on tour with you? I mean, we’re clearly doing a terrible job of pushing away our attraction to each other. No one needs to know. Just you and me there on the tour bus, having a good time for as long as we’re both enjoying ourselves.”
He was so close that she could feel the warmth of his breath on her lips, and she was trembling from wanting him so badly. This was it. She and Drew weren’t just going to kiss tonight. They were going to make love. It wouldn’t matter that it was her first time. She knew he would make it perfect. Because he thought she was beautiful and brainy. Passionate and exciting.
“Ashley—” His breath was coming fast, his chest rising and falling beneath her palms. “I can’t.”
What had he just said?
And what was he doing, moving away from her instead of closer? Why was he pacing on the sand and cursing instead of taking off her clothes and kissing every inch of her skin the way he’d just said he wanted to?
She got to her feet, too, her face so hot and tightly drawn that it was as though she’d been slapped instead of told, I can’t. She’d never been so embarrassed. And had never felt so rejected.
She could feel tears start to come, knew they’d be falling soon, and she didn’t want him to see that. Couldn’t let him see that. But even though she all but ran down the beach, Drew was fast. Faster than she was. And when she didn’t stop after he called her name, he passed her and made her stop with his own body.
“Ash, don’t run. Please don’t run from me.”
She kept her head down, but she knew what was coming. That he’d put his hand beneath her chin and make her look into his eyes. And when he did, the raw desire she still saw on his face shook her. And confused her like nothing else ever had.
“Do you actually think I don’t want you? Can’t you see that I haven’t been able to think about anything but you since you came into my life?” His words stunned her just as much as the look in his eyes did. “Damn it, I want you so badly I can’t see straight. Hell, I can barely remember the words to my songs when I’m on stage and I see you dancing, because just watching you move to the music gets me so turned on.”
“Then why?” The pain of his rejection made her question fierce. “Is it because I’m not like the other girls? The ones who whip off their shirts so that you can sign their big breasts?”
“I would never want you to be like them. Never.” He was just as fierce as she. “It’s your father. You know that I promised him I wouldn’t touch you.”
She felt her eyes go big. “I know you said you would make sure nothing bad happened to me. But you actually promised him that you wouldn’t touch me?”
“He said he trusted me. He said that’s why I’m the only musician he would have let you tour with.”
Drew had already made it clear that her safety on his tour was his top priority and that he’d promised her father he’d take care of her. But she hadn’t known that taking care of her extended to who she kissed. Her body was her own, damn it. And just because she hadn’t yet exercised much of her sensuality didn’t mean anyone else got a say as to when she finally did.
Her body. Her decision. Funny, it had never seemed so clear before. Then again, she’d never wanted anyone the way she wanted Drew. Had never even come close to making love with anyone else.
“He’s not my keeper. He’s my father, and I love him, but I’m not a little girl.”
“I know you’re not, Ash.” Drew’s eyes were hot, so hot she could feel the heat all along her skin. “Trust me...I know.” He closed his eyes as if to try to get a grip. “But that doesn’t mean he wants you to be hurt. Or taken advantage of.”