Tempt Me Like This
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And definitely didn’t want to hear the knock on the door that came just then. The knock that meant her way-too-brief idyll with Drew was over because he had a job to do. A job that meant everything to him. A job that made such a huge difference to all of his fans’ lives.
“They must be waiting for you in the meet-and-greet rooms.”
He didn’t move for a few moments, just kept holding her. Finally, he pulled back and said, “You’ll come with me?”
She nodded, but waited until they’d both put their clothes to rights and he was just about to open the door before saying, “I know we talked about keeping things private yesterday. We’re still on the same page with that, right?”
God, she hated needing to confirm this right after they’d been so intimate—but the only time she could think straight was when he wasn’t touching her, wasn’t kissing her. She’d just been so caught up in him that she’d almost made love without protection. Just as she should have been more careful with her body, now she needed to make sure she was being vigilant with her heart.
He didn’t answer right away, simply looked at her with an expression she couldn’t quite read. Well, that wasn’t exactly true. She knew he wasn’t happy that she wanted to keep their relationship a secret from everyone. Yesterday he’d told her he’d do it if that’s what she wanted. Had he changed his mind?
“I don’t like it,” he said with a frown, “but I’m trying to respect your wishes, Ash. Although, when my family comes out to meet me in New Orleans tomorrow for my birthday—”
“We can’t tell them.” The words flew from her mouth before she could pull them back.
His frown deepened. “Because it will get back to your father?”
“Partly. But also because they love you and they’ll think I’m just some scheming groupie who planned this whole research project to get into your pants.”
His frown fell away as he laughed. “There’s no way they would think that.”
“Even if they wouldn’t...”
She suddenly felt like she couldn’t breathe right. When she was in the moment with Drew, when she was in his arms, when she was listening to him play his music, everything was so exciting, so exhilarating. But then, whenever she tried to come back down to earth, she couldn’t stop the spinning, and it felt like everything was spiraling out of control.
Not just because her physical need for him was so overpowering, but because her emotional need for him was becoming just as strong, if not stronger. Even after he’d just made love to her, she wanted to be with him just to see him smile, just to hear him laugh, just to see him look at her again as though she was the most important person in the world to him.
“Ash.” She felt his hands on her cheeks as he cupped her jaw, and she focused her panicked gaze on him. “I didn’t mean to push you too fast. It’s just that I already know what I want—you—and I’m not used to waiting. But I’ll wait. As long as it takes, okay?”
Even though his words were meant to soothe, she could still hear the impatience behind them. Impatience for her to own up to being with him, not only in dark rooms in a concert hall or a tour bus, but with their families...and millions of strangers. All of whom would surely wonder the same things: Why her? And how long can it possibly last?
The knocking came again, louder this time, along with James’s voice. “We really need to get to the meet and greet, Drew.”
She made herself smile at him. “I can’t wait to meet your family tomorrow, and to celebrate your birthday with you.” He’d given her the best week of her life. No matter what, she would make sure that he had the best birthday ever. Which meant freaking out like this was not an option. She pressed her lips to his, then said, “Go make your fans’ dreams come true. I’ll be just a step behind you, okay?”
She opened the door before he could answer and gave James her biggest smile. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to steal Drew away from his fans. If they’re mad, it’s my fault, not his.”
“No one’s mad,” James said.
But she didn’t chance a look at Drew’s face, in case it turned out that he was indeed mad at her for not happily claiming the place he wanted her take at his side—as his girlfriend.
New Orleans, Louisiana
The next morning, Ashley tried to slide carefully from beneath Drew’s arm without waking him, but she’d barely moved when his arm tightened around her.