Tempt Me Like This
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One after the other, they handed her their phones, and by the time they were done, Max had come out of the bus with a stack of T-shirts and other concert swag for them all.
“Ready to hit the road to Las Vegas, boss?” Max asked when the three of them were alone again.
Drew looked at his new bus-mate for confirmation. “Ashley?”
“I’m ready to go. I’ve actually never been there before.”
“You’re going to love it, Miss Ashley,” Max told her. “More bright lights than you’ve ever seen in one place. It will make your head spin.”
She looked a little uncertain about whether she’d actually like it. “Okay, I’ll try to prepare myself for all the lights and head-spinning.”
“Have a good night, you two,” Max said with a wink that couldn’t have made his hopes for the two of them more clear before he headed out their door and around to the separate driver’s area of the bus. “See you bright and early at five a.m. for our first radio spot.”
“You have the nicest staff,” she said to Drew after Max had closed the door behind him.
“He likes you, too, Ashley.”
Drew took her hand before she could move away, that shock of electricity between them even more intense the second time. They both looked down at their joined hands, then back into each other’s eyes.
Damn it, if he was trying to keep his distance, he was doing one hell of a bad job. But he simply couldn’t keep from touching her again.
“I’m sorry about what just happened. Actually, about everything you’ve dealt with tonight, starting with the women backstage.”
“It’s not your fault you’re famous and people love you.” Her cheeks flushed at the word love—or maybe it was his hand over hers that had her flushing so beautifully. But at least she didn’t step away or pull her hand from his. “It must be scary for you when that happens.”
No one apart from his family and security staff had ever really understood just how strange it was to be the center of a big group’s attention—or adoration. He loved his fans, of course, but he didn’t love it when the press of people and voices and requests affected anyone else. He’d been worried about Ashley freaking out, but it turned out she’d only been thinking about how he must be feeling.
“I’m sorry if it was scary for you.”
“They didn’t want anything to do with me, didn’t even notice I was there. I was fine. But they were all over you.”
He shrugged. “It comes with the territory.”
She frowned, and just as she’d leaned over the table earlier that evening to make her point, she moved in closer now to say, “Just because it comes with the territory, doesn’t mean it isn’t frightening to have everyone want a piece of you.”
Did she realize she was close enough for him to kiss her? Or just how badly he was dying to taste her skin? Her eyes were the most extraordinary color, amber with flecks of green and blue, and he couldn’t stop staring into them, mesmerized.
“Music is amazing, isn’t it?” Her voice had lowered nearly to a whisper now. “The way it reaches down into you and makes you feel so much? Makes us feel like we know the singer, even when we don’t.”
He’d already felt an intense attraction between them. He liked her, too, of course. But now there was even more connecting them—a strong and immediate bond over the incredible power of music.
Already, Drew was less than a heartbeat from breaking his vow not to kiss her, and swore he could already feel the heat of her lips against his, when the bus suddenly jolted into motion.
Ashley was thrown into his arms, where he caught her and held her tightly, working to memorize every curve, her scent, the silky softness of her hair where it brushed against his chin.
Too soon, she was stumbling back, her eyes wide, her breath coming fast.
“It’s late.” She was looking everywhere but at him. “Really late. I should get to bed now. And I’m sure you must be exhausted, since you were the one doing all the work tonight on stage.”
Her words came out in a breathless rush, tumbling over one another as she moved to put as much space between them as she possibly could on the narrow bus. So even though it was the very last thing in the world he wanted to do, and hating that he was clearly making her feel uncomfortable, Drew made himself nod and say, “If you need anything tonight—”
“I’ll be fine!”