“Do we know each other, sweetheart?” I asked, my brows furrowed in concentration, trying to decipher if I had met her before.
Had I fucked and ducked on this beauty? Cause I’d kick my own ass for that brand of stupidity. That was one face a man could never forget.
Her cheeks bloomed the softest shade of pink then for some unexplained reason. “No, but I know of you.”
“How so?” The soft scent of vanilla hit my nostrils then, and they flared. I inhaled deep and took her into my lungs, holding her essence there. Sweet. Delicious. Pulse throbbing.
“It’s my job to know everything about Deep.”
“Are you with the press?” Because she sure as all fuck didn’t look like a music exec. Maybe she works here as a secretary? It’d sure make the late-night sessions interesting while we recorded our first album.
I’d all but demand they add her into the contract. That she’d work when we were scheduled in.
The high of being discovered was new. The ink hadn’t dried on the dotted line yet, and barely anyone outside of Los Angeles knew our name. But I’d make her my first groupie, invite her to travel with us while I sampled every inch of her soft flesh.
The boys wouldn’t mind. They’d just be pissed I got to her first. That this beauty was mine…
Mine? The fuck. I didn’t do possessive. Or relationships.
They’d never work in this career.
Not when you travel and live out of a suitcase most of the year. Not when every night pussy is served on a silver platter and in variation. It wouldn’t be fair to put someone through that.
I’d never cheat on a woman. But I wasn’t ready to settle down with one flavor for the rest of my life either.
“…I’m fine, Tex. Just waiting on a friend to come back.” She tossed her hair back and away from her face. “He asked me to wait here for him.”
Him? Who the fuck was him?
The next thing I recognized was the sting of my fingernails embedding themselves into the palm of my hand. How labored my breathing was. How irate I suddenly felt.
What the fuck?
“You okay there, stud?” Ashley looked up at me from beneath her long lashes. Coy. And yet, her blue eyes sparkled with mirth.
As if she was privy to something I wasn’t.
For some reason, that move felt as though the tables had been flipped on their proverbial tops.
“Fine,” I answered through gritted teeth. Conversation with this doll had me feeling off. As if I’d been on a rollercoaster.
“Doesn’t seem that way from over here.” She smirked, just a small little upturn to the corner of her upper lip. “You look lost. Confused as to how I know so much about the band’s bassist. The womanizer from Houston, Texas.”
“Care to share with the class, Ashley? And by the way, I’m from Brenham, sweetheart, a city near Houston.” Taking the remaining steps between us, I paused just in front of her. Tipped her chin up with the pad of my index finger. Didn’t miss the eruption of goosebumps that arose at my touch.
“Strike two, sir,” she whispered, her sweet breath fanning across my lips. Jesus, I could faintly taste her in the air.
“What was number one?” My hand came up of it’s own volition and cupped her cheek, thumb caressing the soft skin. “Answer me.”
Ashley swallowed hard. “Scaring me.”
“You’d never have to fear me.”
“Bullshit.” Moving closer, she pulled my face close to hers and kissed my chin. A harsh, uncontrollable shiver rocked my body. Jesus.
How could a touch so innocent feel sublime?
“Tell me…” I had to stop and clear my throat while my other hand clutched her hip. Held her against me. I didn’t give a solid fuck if it was too forward on my part. Let her feel me. “Who are you here with?”
“You know him well.” Small fingers reached up, and she ran them through my shoulder-length hair. Tugged on the strands, eliciting a low groan from me.
“Give me his name.” Bending my head, I kissed her forehead. “Who am I stealing you away from?”
“Hands off my best friend, Miller.” Motherfucking son of a bitch. It had to be some kind of joke.
I felt as if I’d been doused with a bucket of cold water. Of all the people. Of all the warnings he’d tossed at us all week long before his best girl was to arrive, and I hadn’t put it together.
“You’re with this asshole?”
“Not like that.”
“Back off,” they spoke in unison. Chester was overprotective of her, and I understood. He was as much a dick as I was and didn’t want her hurt.
“Understood.” Didn’t address either of whom the answer was meant for. For now, I’d behave. Wouldn’t make a move on this stunning creature.
For now, I’d let it all go and focus: on our music, career, and enjoying this new path we were set on.
For now being the operative words.
I’d let my interest go until the time was right.
Until they both trusted me. Until we were both ready for more.
And that time would come.
The good Lord above wouldn’t place this decadent morsel of sugar before me if she wasn’t meant to