Tempt Me Like This
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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.
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.”
“Is your work going well?”
“I hope so. I’ve just been working to get my thoughts down and also trying to make sense of them.”
He wanted to ask her if she could do the same for him, to try to make sense of the mess his mind had become. But since nearly all of his thoughts were about her, he couldn’t. “Can we talk for a few minutes, Ash?”
“Sure.” She didn’t sound sure, though, as he slid into the booth across from her. His cell phone buzzed in his pocket, but he ignored it, focused only on Ashley now.
He hated not talking to her. Hated trying to corral his feelings. No matter what else happened between them, he needed her to know one important thing. “I miss you.”
Her breath hitched, and she bit down on her lip as she stared across the table at him. Her hazel eyes were so clear and beautiful that he swore he could see all the way down to her very soul as she admitted, “I miss you, too.”
Relief washed over him in a huge wave. “I know things got weird after LA, but I don’t want to lose your friendship.”
“I don’t want that either. It’s just...”
“Before we kissed, remember I told you that whatever you need to say to me, I don’t want you to be scared of saying it?” When she nodded, he reached for her hand. He simply couldn’t stop himself from touching her. “Tell me what’s going on. Tell me what you’re feeling.”
Her cheeks were already flushing. “I don’t know how to be friends with you without wanting to be more, too. I thought maybe if I kept my distance, it would make the wanting go away.”
“But it hasn’t.” It wasn’t a question. It was a statement. Because he felt exactly the same way.
“If anything, I only want you—”
“More,” he finished for her.
They stared at each other, his hand still over hers, until, slowly, she turned her hand so that her palm faced his.
It was an electric moment. Just holding hands like this should have been innocent, but amazingly, just the slide of her palm over his felt as powerful as their kiss had been on the beach.
“I was so happy to hear that you were in the recording studio last night. How did it go?”