Of course my dad, who I haven’t seen since he kicked me out, makes a surprise visit the day before we leave. Spoiler alert: It doesn’t go well. I have to quit the band and go to college or he’s cutting me out of his life for good.
This tour is the best opportunity we may ever have – and it’s already a disaster. We’re broke. We can’t stop fighting. And being in such close quarters to Sean isn’t exactly helping me get over him. Even though we’re just friends now, every time our fingers brush or our eyes catch, my heart betrays me. He’s the kind of distraction I can’t afford to have right now…no matter how much I wish things were different.
This is one road trip that will be hard to forget…
He looked at me with those bright green eyes, the kind you swore were fake, and smiled. “You finally done in there?”
I rested my palm against the doorframe, playing cool. Telling my eyes not to wander to the taut muscles in his stomach or the tattoo of quarter notes and barbed wire on his left arm. The one I’d traced with my finger a couple times, wondering why he’d picked it. He never did tell me.
Sean was the guy I wanted. The guy I almost had. The guy I couldn’t have. In short? Sean Ramirez drove me fucking crazy.
I smirked. “Actually, I think I need a few more minutes.”
“Okay.” He brushed past me, hanging his towel on the rack. “Just keep the door shut.”
“Oh, please. You would not.”
“Try me,” he whispered.
Heat inched up my neck, into my face. I’d never seen Sean completely naked, but there was one night when most of our clothes came off and things went beyond just making out. Not sex. For better or for worse, I was still a virgin. But some days I questioned why. What exactly was I waiting for?
“Whatever.” I rolled my eyes, pretending my heart wasn’t pounding out of my chest. “Leaving now.” He hadn’t flirted with me like this since we were hooking up. Did it mean anything? With Sean, I never knew—“guarded” didn’t even begin to describe him.
He touched my arm. “Hey, wait.” His fingers lingered on my skin for a couple seconds before he dropped his hand. “I heard about your dad showing up yesterday. How’d it go?”
“Bryn didn’t tell you?”
He kept his eyes on mine, no hint of an answer in his expression. “I meant between you and him. Did it go okay?”
I shook my head. “I need to put it out of my mind. At least for now.”
Concern flickered across his forehead. “I get it. But if you decide you want to talk…”
“I know. I will. Promise.” I gave him my best reassuring mile and backed out of the bathroom. Away from him. The need to feel his arms around me. Rest my head against his chest. Close my eyes. Breathe.
“See you downstairs,” he said, shutting the door.
We hadn’t hugged since we’d decided to take the benefits out of our friendship. The very short-lived benefits—a week and a half, to be exact. It felt like so much longer at the time.
Tara Kelly adores variety in her life. In addition to being an author, she’s a one-girl-band, graphic designer, videographer, photographer, and avocado addict. You can usually find her hiking in The Rockies or chasing thunderstorms. She lives in Colorado with her sound design master husband and two gigantic, fluffy cats.