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Nashville Heat by Bethany Michaels
When I first met Dex Wilder, I was wearing a bed sheet and body glitter and serving hors d’oeuvres to a who’s-who of Nashville music royalty. I certainly didn’t realize that my sexy country music bad boy would become such a delicious distraction, the one man who could bring out the passion in me on stage or off. All my life I’d only hungered after one thing.Then Dex sauntered into my life with his scuffed boots, warm chocolate voice and touch that set those cold dark places deep inside of me on fire.
I knew there was only one way to have it all, and I was going to do whatever it took to get it.
Meet the Author
The first time I saw Dex Wilder, I was wearing a bed sheet and body glitter and serving hors d’oeuvres on the lawn in front of the world’s only full-scale replica of the Parthenon.
The party was hosted by one of Nashville’s numerous record labels. I, along with the rest of wait staff, was supposed to resemble a Greek goddess, serving record company executives, music publishers, promoters, country music radio station VIPs, retail music buyers, established artists with the label, selected newcomers and assorted hangers-on. Mostly bimbos with fake boobs and short skirts.
What I actually looked like was a toga-party call girl. My honey-blond hair had been coaxed into cascading ringlets. My skin, mostly bare above the top of the toga that showed more cleavage than I was comfortable with, was spattered in gold glitter. My make-up had been applied with a heavy hand by my new roommate. Dark eyeliner ringed my light blue eyes and thick mascara caked my already black lashes. I’d drawn the line at the lipstick Becca had tried to slather over my lips, though. I hated the stuff and had gone with cherry Chapstick instead.
I found it hard to believe Greeks ever looked like I did, oozing cheap sex and hairspray, given the fact they used public baths and propane curling irons hadn’t been invented yet, but whatever. It was a paying job and since I’d been in Nashville only a couple of weeks, I needed the cash. Badly.
Being a new arrival to Nashville, I was on the lookout for some of the country music stars I’d idolized all through my teen years, stars who had inspired me to leave my small Indiana hometown and venture south in the first place. Everywhere Iwent, from seedy bars where I’d played one gig so far with a couple of so-so guitar players, to the Wal-Mart on the south side, I kept my eyes open.
The catering gig was no star-making venture, but it afforded me the chance to rub elbows with Nashville’s music community, even if I was mostly cleaning up half-eaten food and tepid glasses of champagne. As menial as it seemed, it was still Nashville. And that was good enough for me.
The Parthenon soiree had netted a few notable sightings, and I had fantasies of a chance meeting leading to a record deal and instant stardom. That was the way it happened in all the E! True Hollywood Stories. So I was serving my crab cakes and indulging in a little fan-girl surveillance on that warm summer night when a man I didn’t recognize touched my arm.
It was just one word, but in his fluid tenor and down home sexy Southern drawl, that was all it took.
I turned and looked up at him.
I’m tall, about five feet, ten inches, and this guy was a good five inches taller. He had deep blue eyes that were very slightly crinkled at the corners, straight white teeth and a pair of soft-looking lips that were formed into a slightly crooked smile. With the black cowboy hat and hint of black beard stubble, he was every cowboy fantasy I’d ever entertained come to life. Only hotter.
“Ma’am?” he said again, still grinning at me.
The silver tray I was balancing on one hand tilted to the side, and I caught it just before half-eaten hors d’oeuvres, dirty cocktail napkins and a jumble of glassware crashed to the ground at the pointed tips of his shiny black boots.
“Yes?” I finally managed.
“Do you think I could get a beer?” He held up his flute of Korbel. “I can’t stand this sweet stuff.”
He was still smiling.
I was still staring.
“Um, I can check with Ricky. He’s the owner. I’ll, um, check.”
“Thank you, ma’am,” he said. His straight white teeth gleamed in the soft light cast by the strings of white lights crisscrossing the outdoor shindig. He set his untouched glass of champagne on my tray. “I’ll wait right here.”
Sometimes you meet someone for the first time and the attraction is so swift and undeniable that it takes your breath away. There’s a sort of immediate awareness, an invisible but unequivocal pull, and your whole world shifts slightly on its axis. Your heart beats a desperate staccato and the blood rushes fiercely through your veins. You can’t speak. You can’t think. You can’t breathe.
That’s the way it was when I met Dex.
I don’t know if love at first sight exists, but lust at first sight, instant infatuation, sure as hell does.
I smiled up at him, or tried to, and made my way through the crowd to the building’s north side, where my boss had set up his command post. Turning to look over my shoulder before I disappeared around the corner of the building, I found the cowboy still staring after me with that crooked grin on his face. I could feel his gaze almost like a caress and my body temperature went up a few degrees.
“Oh my God,” my new roommate, Becca, gushed as soon as I set my tray down on the folding table at command central. “Did you see that guy?”
I didn’t have to ask which guy. There was only one, now.
I managed a quick nod. “He wants a beer.”
I tightened my toga, which had begun to wilt in the humid June air, and wiped a bead of sweat from between my braless breasts. The breeze felt good. It was a warm night but I wasn’t all that sure my burning skin had anything to do with ambient temperature.
“Goddamn rednecks,” grumbled my boss, Ricky Moon. “Always with the beer.” He pulled out a metal washtub of ice filled with longnecks. “It took some doin’ to get my hands on enough Korbel for these assholes and now all they want is goddamn Bud Light.”
Ricky had been a struggling musician back in the day and had found catering a way to supplement his meager music income. Now he did it full time, his dreams of music stardom replaced with dreams of a successful business and a steady living. Despite his balding pate, the belly that had seen just a few too many beers, and despite his complaints and a constant stream of profanity that would do any sailor proud, Ricky was a good guy with a soft spot for young struggling musical types. He let people off without too much complaint if a sudden opportunity to gig at a local club presented itself and always had a gruff but encouraging word for all of us.
I plucked two beers out of the ice and put them on my tray with a couple of clean pilsner glasses. Ricky handed me a fancy silver bottle opener with another comment under his breath about those “goddamn rednecks” while Becca reloaded her platter with Greek-themed hors d’oeuvres from warming trays and we headed back out to the party.
Becca was dark, with beautiful shiny hair the color of dark chocolate, luminous dark brown eyes that tilted up just slightly at the corners and a full mouth always tinted with her favorite fire-engine red lipstick. She was calm, confident, and exuded sensuality with every gesture.
“Hey, there’s your cowboy,” she whispered when we rounded the side of the building. “I heard he just signed with Red Wolf Records. He’s their new golden boy.” Becca tugged the neck of her toga lower to show even more of her plump breasts and cleavage.
“If they put his picture on the cover of his album, it’ll go platinum inside of a week.” I tucked a loose curl behind my ear and made my carefully down the steep Parthenon steps in my rented goddess gold sandals. “What’s his name?”
Becca smiled. “Dex Wilder.”
“Yeah. Yummy, huh?” We parted ways at the bottom of the steps. “See if you can get his phone number. We can share.” Becca winked and headed towards a group of suits seated at a small round table in the conspicuous center of the gathering.
I took a deep breath, straightened my shoulders and headed towards where I’d left the hot cowboy. Dex.
The alcohol was flowing and the crowd was enjoying the party. People were up and about, mingling, schmoozing and kissing ass whenever possible. It was crowded and I was jostled a bit, but I knew where I’d left Dex and headed that direction.
All of a sudden, the proverbial crowd parted and there he was. He should have had a spotlight on him and some soaring instrumental theme playing in the background; he was that good looking. I stumbled slightly but made my way to him, drawn like a magnet to a big hunk of metal. A really big hunk.
He was holding a plate of hors d’oeuvres in one hand. “You found one,” he said, taking one of the longnecks from my tray. He popped the cap with his thumb and took a long draw from the bottle, ignoring the glasses I’d also brought. I watched his throat move as he swallowed and wondered what he would do if I went up on my tiptoes and pressed a kiss or two right on that Adam’s apple.
His eyes never left mine as he drank and when he lowered the bottle, he ran the back of his hand over his lips and grinned down at me.
“You’re welcome.” I started to move on through the crowd, hoping my feet would obey my will, when he put his hand on my arm again.
“I was hoping maybe you could tell me what these are.” He held up his plate. “I don’t know my way around all this frou-frou stuff. Like this. Looks like toast to me.”
He flashed that sexy grin and my knees went weak. “I knew you were the woman for the job. How about this lettuce thing?”
“That’s dolma. Rice, lamb and onion with olive oil and lemon, wrapped in a grape leaf. And the green balls are feta cheese truffles coated in parsley.”
“And I’m guessing these ain’t onion rings?”
I shook my head. “Fried calamari.”
“Ugh. No thanks. What ever happened to buffalo wings and crab cakes?”
“It’s really good, actually. Tastes like chicken. Try it.”
“No way. I don’t eat anything with tentacles.”
He narrowed his eyes on me, but was still smiling. “You first.”
“Can’t. I’m on duty.”
“I won’t tell anybody. Here.” Dex plucked a golden ring from his plate and held it to my lips.
It was a dare, and looking into his deep blue eyes and teasing grin, I couldn’t resist. I stuck my tongue through the hole and pulled the fried ring into my mouth. The calamari wasn’t as hot as it could be, but it wasn’t bad for catering.
“See? Delicious.” I grabbed a napkin from my tray and patted my mouth. “As long as you don’t get a head.”
Dex eyed the platter suspiciously. “I don’t think so.”
“Come on. You promised.” I chose a smaller ring and held it to his lips as he had done to me.
Leaning in, Dex held my gaze and sucked the whole ring and the tips of my fingers into his warm, wet mouth.
I shivered, despite the heat.
Dex pulled back slowly, chewing the fish.
“Not bad,” he said. “Kind of spongy.” He took a swig of beer. “But I’m still partial to a good batch of burn-your-tongue-off buffalo wings.”
“Don’t let my boss hear you say that. He’ll pop something.”
“It’ll be our secret, then.” He traded his empty bottle for the full one on my tray. “So. Do you come here often?”
I laughed at that. “Don’t you have any better lines than that?” As if he would need them.
He took another pull on the bottle. “No, ma’am. I don’t.”
“Well, I’m am expert,” I said. “How about ‘I lost my phone number. Can I have yours?'”
He nodded. “Not half bad. Think that will work?”
“Maybe. It’s all in the delivery.”
“Hey, I remember one that worked in college: ‘Hi. I’m Mr. Right. I hear you’ve been looking for me.'”
I groaned. “No.”
“Hmm. Didn’t like that one, huh?” He drained his beer and put the bottle on my tray.
I shook my head. “You need to work on that.”
“So what are you doing later?”
“Ugh, that’s the worst,” I said, laughing now.
He didn’t return my laugh. Instead he stepped closer. “No, I mean, what are you doing later? After the party.” He looked down into my eyes and the heat that had sparked between us ignited into a full-blown blaze.
His chest brushed my breasts and I could feel the heat of him, the scent of his subtle aftershave, and warmth instantly began to pool in my belly. I could so imagine bringing this cowboy home.
It was tempting, but…
“I’m going home,” I said. “Alone.” I smiled. “Sorry.”
He looked a little disappointed. I imagined he didn’t get turned down very much. “Can I get your number, at least?”
“Sure.” I smiled and turned over a cocktail napkin to write on. “Give me your pen.”
“I didn’t bring one.”
“You were never a Boy Scout, were you?” I teased.
“Well, I wasn’t expecting to meet a goddess tonight.” He grinned and stroked my bare arm. “How about I hunt down something to write with and find you later?”
“Okay,” I said, biting my lip. He was hot and just the thought of his calling me, hearing that voice saying naughty things to me in the sexy Southern drawl had me squeezing my thighs together and hoping he didn’t notice the way my nipples had hardened beneath the thin cotton of the toga.
Despite my body’s reaction to Dex, I knew he was a distraction I couldn’t afford. I had moved to Nashville against my family’s wishes and their assurance that I’d be back when the money ran out. I was determined to prove them wrong. I needed to focus on my career, not a boyfriend. I was nuts to take this, whatever it was, anywhere beyond flirtation. But damn, he was persuasive, especially when he looked down at me like he wanted to eat me up. Okay, so I was weak. At least where Dex Wilder was concerned.
“Later, then,” I said.
Someone called his name, and a man in an expensive suit threw a semi-drunk arm around his shoulders, or tried to. The man was good foot shorter than Dex.
“Later.” Dex winked at me and let the man lead him through the crowd.
I spent the next three hours serving champagne and hors d’oeuvres, fending off the occasional ass-squeeze and pick-up line with a smile and a clever line, and before I knew it, the crowd had thinned and it was time to start packing up.
I looked around but didn’t see Dex. I was sure he’d already left, probably with one of the record execs and their entourage of bimbos in one of the white stretch limos parked along the lighted drive.
Oh, well. It was better this way. Flirting with Dex had been fun and I was sure it was his smile, his eyes, his scent that would be fueling quality time with my favorite vibrator later. But that was as far as it would go.
The tips had been good, the company relatively tame. No fist fights or food poisoning. It was a good night in the catering business and I was ready to head home.
I helped Ricky and the others stack the dirty dishes in tubs and load them into the white catering van emblazoned with Blue Moon Catering.
“So did you get his number?” Becca asked, handing Ricky the final load of dirty glasses.
“Bummer. He’s a hottie. Maybe he’ll be at the Frist party next week, though.”
“I pay you to serve the drinks, not pick up the guests,” Ricky grumbled, wiping his hands on a dish towel.
“Sure, Ricky,” Becca said, a perfectly innocent look painted across her face. “That would be against the rules.”
Ricky grunted and closed the doors to the van.
“Be at the museum at seven o’ clock sharp. And don’t forget to return those,” he said gesturing at the togas. “It’s that place down on Church Street. Don’t forget the deposit.”
“Will do, boss,” Becca said giving him a mock salute.
Ricky rolled his eyes. “You girls need a ride or anything?”
No matter how tough he acted, Ricky still watched out for us in true Southern gentleman style.
“No, thanks,” I said. “I have my car.”
“Okay. See you Tuesday, then.” Ricky climbed in the van and pulled away.
“I’m beat. Let’s get going,” I said to Becca.
“Thanks, but I’ve got a ride.” Becca glanced at a good-looking blond cowboy who had appeared around the side of the building as soon as Ricky left. He wore the look of a guy about to get lucky. “Don’t wait up.”
She patted her hair and walked with an exaggerated sway in her hips over to the guy. He put his arm around her and they went off together into the shadows.
I rolled my eyes and started towards my car.
Becca. She was great roommate so far in that she’d paid the first month’s rent and didn’t drink all my Diet Coke. And she was out more nights than not, so I basically had our tiny two-bedroom apartment overlooking Broadway all to myself.
She had a great voice and could play any tune on the piano by ear, but I worried that her pursuits of the carnal variety might start to affect her career goals.
I sat down on the stairs of the Parthenon and slipped off the cheap, ill-fitting sandals. My feet were sore and it felt good to stretch my toes. I didn’t make a habit of hanging out in the park at night, but it was a nice night, now that the sweltering heat and humidity of the summer day had faded with the sunset. Spotlights on all sides of the Parthenon lit up the building like it was midday and the Park Police were wandering around somewhere, so I figured I was safe enough for a few minutes.
The concrete of the steps still held the warmth of the day and for a moment, I just sat there, enjoying the night. Birds chirped out their goodnights to one another from the trees, and the gurgle of the fountain in the center of the small lake soothed my nerves. A light breeze cooled my skin and brought the rich scent of lush green vegetation to my nostrils. But still, I couldn’t help thinking about a certain cowboy.
That’s when I heard his voice.
“I bet you thought I forgot about you, huh?”
He stepped out of the shadows, his thumbs tucked in the front pockets of his tight jeans and looked at me from under the brim of his black cowboy hat, pulled low.
I wanted to say something witty. Something sexy. Something to make such a gorgeous, charismatic guy remember me forever. I swallowed.
He climbed the steep steps and sat down beside me. “Waiting on a ride?”
There was a scant inch between his body and mine and heat radiated from him like I was sitting next to an inferno.
“No, just relaxing a minute before I head home.”
“Mind if I sit with you?”
“No. Not at all.”
Silent tension built between us like the charge in the air just before a lightning strike. It was his scent, his body heat, the night, his closeness. It was the anticipation. The danger. The pure animal attraction that hummed between us.
“So what do you do when you’re not being a goddess?” He turned towards me.
“I’m a singer.” I smiled. “Like of half of Nashville.”
“Have I seen you anywhere?”
“Not unless you hang out at Willie’s Wagon Wheel.”
He laughed again. “It’s been a while, but I’ve tossed down a few over there. I played there a few times, too. Watch out for Willie, though.”
“Yeah. Thanks for the warning.” I’d slapped Willie’s roaming hands more than once while the band and I were setting up and tearing down the previous night.
Dex laughed. “He has a thing for blondes. Can’t say that I blame him.” He leaned closer and, still smiling, tucked a loose corkscrew of hair behind my ear.
That simple touch, barely a whisper of skin on skin, seemed to ignite something in both of us. The thing that had been between us all night, barely under control. Carnal awareness had burgeoned from that first “Ma’am” but when his finger brushed my cheekbone and then the shell of my ear, well, it simply exploded.
I tilted my head back and swayed towards him at the same time he reached to cup my face in his hands. Our lips met in a sizzle of heat and need that took my breath away.
His lips were warm and probably would have been soft if he hadn’t kissed me so hard and with so much built-up tension. His tongue did funny, fantastic things to my mouth and he nibbled and kissed and caressed my mouth so thoroughly that I instantly knew what sex with him would be like: hot, hard, and devastating.
The leash on my control had snapped, too. I slid my hands in his hair, knocking his hat to the cement, and pressed against every inch of him I could reach. He tasted a little of beer and something sweet. The slight scruff on his cheeks and chin tickled my mouth and face and I grew even hotter imagining that whisker burn all over my body.
He broke the kiss and with a wild look in his eyes, he pulled me to standing and walked us backwards until the warm, smooth stone of the building was at my back. With the spotlights shining on us, I could see the way his eyes darkened with need, the set of his jaw, the pulse point in his neck and the way his breath came swift and strong from between his white teeth.
Dex slid his arms around my waist and lower until he could squeeze my backside, pulling me against his body. I could feel the unmistakable bulk of his hard-on and fire shot straight to my center.
He kissed a trail down the side of my neck and throat and I looked skyward to give him better access. One of his thighs slipped between mine to provide the intimate pressure I needed. I bit my lip, loving the hot, sweet need that coursed through my veins.
Dex moved lower and pressed hot, hungry kisses along the neckline of my toga. He tugged the loose top lower and explored the exposed flesh with tongue and lips until I groaned his name.
I felt him smile and he broke off long enough to look at me, his lips wet, his eyes large and dark with desire. “Say my name.”
“Dex,” I whispered again. “Dex.”
He groaned and slipped the fabric of my toga down my arm. The sensation of warm night air on one bare breast followed by the sweep of his tongue and rough pull of his lips on my nipple brought a renewed chorus of his name from my lips.
I let my hands roam over his broad shoulders, down the snug fit of his shirt. I pushed it up a little so I could feel him, flesh to flesh. His skin was hot and smooth and I wanted to feel that hard body against mine. I wanted to feel him over me and inside me and hear his deep voice tell me exactly what he was going to do to me all night long.
Desire blazed through me fast and strong. Tension wound tight in my belly and moisture gathered between my thighs. I gritted my teeth. I wanted him fast and hard and right now.
I tugged at his large belt buckle until it came loose, then fumbled with the button on his Levi’s. His cock was too hard and too big to do much with the zipper, so he pushed my hands aside and eased it carefully down himself.
When he was free, I grasped his burning flesh and, licking my lips, stroked him from root to tip. His hips jerked against mine and he tugged the skirt of my toga up with shaking hands until the night air kissed my bare legs and thighs.
We were going to do it. Right here, right now. Neither of us had enough patience to go back to my apartment or his, or even make it to my car. The forbidden fantasy of sex in a public place amped up my already fierce libido to a point of near pain. But I knew we were on display under the spotlights that lit up the building. And the Park Police were out there somewhere.
“The light,” I managed to get out, almost too lost to care. “We should probably go–“
He broke away from me and before I knew what he had in mind, he kicked out the spotlight. A shower of glass and sparks exploded from the box and then we were alone in darkness.
He strode back to me and buried his hands in my hair. Dex pressed against me so I could feel every hard plane of his body. “Better?” he asked and even though it was now dark, I could feel my favorite bad-boy grin stretch across his lips.
“Perfect,” I sad just before his mouth cam down over mine again.
Dex wasted no time. He shoved the toga up to my waist and stroked my wet sex though the silk of my red thong. I would have been a puddle at his feet if he hadn’t been pressing me into the wall, holding me upright.
I ran my hands under his shirt, over his chest, teasing his flat nipples until they were as peaked as mine. Then I let my hands wander down, down, down to his hips and pulled him even harder against me. I wanted him, needed to feel him.
His fingers traced the line of my panties before delving inside. He stroked my swollen clit gently, but with just enough pressure to make me cry out. Tension built low in my belly and the blood rushed though my veins. I arched against him.
“Dex.” It was a cry, a plea and he understood implicitly what I needed.
One long finger slid deep inside me and my legs buckled. He grasped me around the waist and moves his mouth to my ear. “You’re so sexy, so wet for me, aren’t you, honey? You’re making me crazy.”
When he added a second finger and began to move slowly in and out, I couldn’t speak, could barely breathe. The pressure, the long stretch felt so good. It had been a long time since I’d had sex with anything that didn’t require batteries, and Dex Wilder was definitely better than anything you could order from a catalog.
Just when I was ready to start begging, his hand left my wetness. He tugged my panties off and he hitched my leg up over his hip.
I heard the jingle of his belt buckle and felt him slip his jeans down a little, while he fumbled in his wallet for a condom.
It was crazy. Pure crazy, I thought from somewhere within the sensual spell Dex had cast over me. I didn’t do things like this. I never hooked up with random guys, never brought guys home whom I hadn’t dated for at least a month, and I never went to bed with a guy on the first date.
But all those little rules of conduct had nothing to do with what was between Dex and me right at that moment. It was beyond reason, beyond rules. It was a purely carnal, spontaneous thing. Which is what made it so perfect.
When Dex got the condom on, he wasted no more time.
“Hold on to me, baby.” He grasped my backside in his large hands and, hooking my other leg over his hip, slid inside me in one long, smooth stroke.
If his fingers drove me to the edge of insanity, his cock pushed me right over the edge. He rotated his hips and did sort of a slow swivel-thrust thing that had me panting and gritting my teeth, wanting more.
But he kept his slow, teasing rhythm, sliding almost all the way out before thrusting inside once more in a long, slow glide. He put his mouth on my neck. He kissed me, nipped lightly, then traced the nibble with his tongue.
I grasped his shoulders, nails digging in. His big hands cradled my backside, squeezing and stroking and bringing me up to meet each of his deliberate thrusts.
The tension coiling within me was unbearable. I was hot and wet everywhere, it seemed, and every nerve was on edge. Waiting, wanting. He brought me closer and closer to the edge with his maddening slowness. But I wanted him wild. I wanted him to slam into me harder and harder until I exploded.
I pitched forward and threw my arms around his neck, taking control of the kiss. I bit at his neck and pressed hot, hard kisses there. I nipped at his ear, tugged at his hair. Finally I pushed him beyond his control.
He thrust forward hard and slammed me against the wall. His rhythm increased as he pounded unto me harder, driving deeper. He grunted with the effort, low in his throat.
“Yes,” I breathed, my eyes closed. “Yes. Harder.”
He complied and drove into me mercilessly. The stone scraped at my flesh but the slight burning sensation only added to the frenzy and before long, the tension had gathered into one big knot. My breath hitched and then everything burst in waves of pleasure so hard and strong that I forgot to breathe.
I felt him stiffen then groan long and low as he came, too. His breath was ragged in my ear and I gripped his damp hair as the last quivers of pleasure racked my body.
When the shudders subsided, he pulled his head back, and even though it was dark, I could hear the smile in his passion-husky voice.
“You’re the hottest thing I’ve ever seen.”
I grinned. “So are you.”
He pulled out of me, taking all the delicious fullness with him and released my legs.
My toga fell back into place, covering my wet sex, and I tugged my top back into place. I didn’t know where my panties were.
Dex took care of the condom and tugged his jeans back up just before a beam of light illuminated us.
“Evenin’, folks.” The officer squatted in front of the light Dex had kicked out. He plucked a piece of glass out of the lawn and held it up I front of the flashlight’s piercing beam.
“You know what happened here?”
“Kids,” I said quickly. “I saw some kids up here a while ago. I shot Dex a look. I could tell he was uncomfortable with the fib, but he didn’t argue.
The guard grunted and got to his feet. “Kids,” he said. “Get a look at any of them?”
I shook my head. “Not really. I think one of them was wearing a Vandy hat, though.” Vanderbilt University was just on the other side of West End Avenue and I was sure, at one time or another, some student had gotten drunk and kicked out the floodlights. Maybe for the same reason Dex had.
“The park closes in a few minutes, folks. You’ll have to get going.”
I nodded. “Of course. Thanks, officer. Um, good luck finding those hooligans.”
Dex walked me back to my car, holding my hand and carrying my bag. Somehow, that innocent touch was more intimate than sex and it made me uncomfortable. Now that the rush of gotta-have-it now lust has passed, it was a little awkward. I couldn’t help but wonder what he must think of me. Did he think I did this everyday? That I was a slut? And more disturbingly, why did I care what he thought?
I unlocked my beat-up Toyota and he leaned against me, pressing me into the cold metal for a long, deep, slow kiss. The urgency was gone, but desire still simmered just below the surface. I knew that if I let it go on, he’d be suggesting we to go to his place or mine. This was uncomfortable enough. I couldn’t imagine what a morning after would be like. Mortifying.
I pulled back and pressed both hands to his chest, trying to give myself a little distance. He leaned back.
“I have to go,” I said, not quite meeting his eye. “I … have an early appointment.” The only appointment I had was with a huge cup of coffee and the morning paper, but what was one more fib?
“Oh. Okay.” He seemed surprised but recovered quickly.
I opened the door to the car, and threw my bag inside before sliding into the driver’s seat.
He leaned down, resting his arm on the open door and gave me another hot kiss.
“Can I call you?” he asked with the smile that was sure to break hearts. And sell albums.
I started the car. “This has been great, Dex. Really great. But let’s just let it go at that, okay?”
I tugged the door and he stepped back.
I couldn’t look him in the eye. He seemed so disappointed. But I was sure with his upcoming album release and all the groupies it would bring, he’d forget about me in no time. I could get back to concentrating on building a career and he could concentrate on–whatever he wanted.
“I really have to go.” I smiled brightly. “Take care. Good luck with the album.”
I pulled away before he could say anything else, but I couldn’t help but look in the rearview. He was standing where I’d left him, staring after me.
That was almost two years ago. Before he was on the cover of every country music magazine in existence. Before the certified double-platinum debut album. Before the Playboy interview, the Rolling Stone cover, the CMA awards and the title of Sexiest Man Alive.