Tempt Me Like This
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“Honestly,” she finally continued, “even just us is complicated, since you’re a superstar and I’m just me.”
“Just you?” Frustration bubbled up inside him again. “Why can’t you see how amazing you are?”
“I know I’m good at numbers. And research. And being a good girl.” She made a face. “But I don’t know how to do the kinds of things normal, sexier girls do. My mother tried to teach me about clothes and makeup and boys, but I never felt like I measured up, so it was safer not to try to compete.”
“I could tell you a million times over how special you are and how sexy,” he said in a gentle voice, “but maybe that’s where I’m getting it all wrong. Maybe I need to show you, instead. Can I show you, Ash? Can I love you the way you should be loved?”
At the word love her eyes widened and her gaze locked on his. “What about the promise you made to my father?”
“I put you on my bus to make sure that you left the tour the same way you came. But it’s too late for that already, isn’t it? Both of us have changed. From that very first conversation, nothing has been the same, has it?”
“No,” she agreed, “it hasn’t.”
“I respect your father a great deal. And I’m a man who believes in keeping my promises. But this isn’t about your father. You’re right that you’re not a little girl anymore. You’re a woman who can make her own decisions about what she wants. You’re a woman I’ve fallen head over heels for. You’re a woman I can’t stop thinking about. You’re a woman I want to be with more than I’ve ever wanted to be with anyone in my life. More than I thought it was possible to want.” He brought her hand to his chest and held it over his heart. “But you already know that, don’t you? Deep in your heart, you can feel that mine is beating only for you, can’t you?”
She didn’t say anything for a few long moments. Long enough that renewed panic began to sprint up his spine. Ashley had made him happier in the past week than he’d been in a very long time.
Losing her right after he’d finally found her would be unbearable.
Finally, she nodded. “I can feel it, Drew. Everything. I feel everything.”
Relief washed over him with such swift strength that he nearly had her mouth crushed beneath his before he realized she still hadn’t given him the all-clear. And he’d never forgive himself if he took something from her that she wasn’t ready to give, no matter how much pleasure he knew he could give her.
He could feel the unsteady beat of her heart crashing against his as he brushed the hair back from her forehead, looked into her eyes, and said again, “All I want is to love you. But what matters more than anything is what you want, Ash.”
Thank God she wasn’t shaking anymore as she met his gaze and whispered, “I want to love you, too.”
Ashley’s heart had been pounding so hard when Drew burst onto the bus that she’d barely been able to hear him say her name through the rush of blood in her ears. And then when he’d tried to get her to stop ripping off the dress, it had only pounded harder. Louder. So hard and loud that she’d felt as though her head were going to explode.
He’d kissed her before that could happen, before she could get any more wound up, before her insides could twist into any more knots. And though her heartbeat was still racing, it wasn’t because she was upset. It wasn’t because she was nervous either.
Amazingly, now that she’d made the decision to be with Drew, nearly all of her fears about her first time disappeared.
The two kisses they’d shared had been full of so many sexy promises that she couldn’t wait one more second to be with him. Because if someone from his crew or the label knocked on their door tonight needing Drew, as had happened so many times before, her head really would explode. The past week had been nothing but one tempting moment after another.
“Give me your phone,” he said.
She pulled her phone out of her bag, and he put it next to his on the kitchen counter. “I don’t want any interruptions either,” she said with a smile she couldn’t contain. As he reached for her hand, she asked, “Does James know where you are?”