“Jack?” I gasped. “Rackham?”
He smirked at me. “In the flesh.”
I pulled in my breath. Here he was. THE Jack Rackham, standing in my dressing room as if we had been besties since middle school. My heart pounded as my knees shook. I didn’t know what to say.
Gazing down at me, he added, “Just thought I’d stop by and congratulate you. Hell, I didn’t know what a huge star you were until I saw your billboard on Starlight Blvd. So I had to come and see for myself. Great concert by the way.”
My mind whirled around. I knew I should have been flattered he decided to even speak to me but it was all so strange. He popped out like a creepy puppet in a horror movie. “Wh-who…I mean…how did you get in?”
“Oh…your PA let me in. Nice girl. You should give her a raise.” He lifted his eyebrow as if I was supposed to do as he said.
When I didn’t speak back, he lurched his head. “What? An old friend stops by to see you and you don’t even give him a hug?”
Wrapping my arms around him, he smelled like an expensive bottle of cologne and something else I couldn’t put my finger on. Whatever it was, just having him near me was like a dream come true. At least for the little girl inside me. It was all so surreal. I thought he hated me. Or didn’t care. I was just some silly kid who had a crush on a super star. It seemed the way he treated me back then that he looked down on me but…maybe I misjudged him?
He whispered in my ear sending shivers through me, “I can hear your heart beating, Red. Wanna get out of here? The Starlight Hotel has a private bar at the penthouse level where no paparazzi would bother us. We should catch up.”
Pulling back, I smiled, twisting a lock of hair behind my ear. “I’d love to but my flight leaves soon. I’m going back to the valley.”
“Cancel it, Red. I mean…you could always fly back on my jet. I’ve got plenty of room.”
Mateo’s face shot into my mind. Sure, we weren’t exclusively dating but…I was still attached and even having a drink with Jack would feel like cheating to me. “I…can’t, Jack. I have…a…another commitment. I can’t get out of it.”
His face grew cold. “I used my private jet and flew here just to see you. Certainly you can rearrange your schedule. Use your star power. Remember. You’re the one who pays everyone’s bills around here. Do what you want.”
I still couldn’t get over the fact that he was even standing here. And to top it off…asking me…out? Every part of me screamed to go with him, but Mateo was waiting and…I just couldn’t do that to him. “It’s not that, Jack, but…um…I have…a boyfriend and he’s waiting for me, so…”
His eyes looked down. “Oh, I see. Damn. Should have seen that one coming. Of course you have a boyfriend. Who is he?”
“Mateo Martinez.” I was shocked he had to ask. We’d only been plastered on every magazine about our break up.
He nodded then shrugged. “Tough break for me then. He’s a lucky guy.”
I didn’t know what was happening to me but I was drawn to Jack like he was a flame and I needed his warmth. There were so many questions swirling in my mind. How was he doing? What projects was he working on? How was his mother? I’d always kept up with him in social media but you couldn’t count on the magazines to tell the truth. Why couldn’t we have met up earlier in my life? It was like we weren’t meant to be together. And maybe that was okay. At least I knew he actually cared about me and thought of me as an old friend. That, at least, made me feel good inside.
I stepped closer to him. “Thanks for visiting me, Jack. I…really appreciate it. Maybe we could catch up some other time?”
His eyes locked onto mine, making me blush. “Of course.”
He took out a photo of himself and scribbled something down then pressed it into my hand.
“I’ll be awaiting your call. See you later, Red.”
When he left, I looked at his picture and what he’d written.
For you only
and then he’d written his number.
But I knew I would never call him.
It seemed like I’d been waiting for Cheyenne for years. And when she finally walked through the door to her entertainment room, I couldn’t keep my hands off her.
She stared at me and said, “You cut your hair.”
But I didn’t want to talk. I’d missed her so much, it crushed me. Grabbing her, I felt the emotions well inside me. She couldn’t see me mist up so I buried my head in her shoulder, smelling her sweet soft scent.
“I missed you, baby,” I whispered.
Pulling back, she gave me a light kiss. “Me, too,” she said.
But I’d been waiting to kiss her for six long months. A little kiss wouldn’t do for me.
And after we’d had sex, I cradled her, so happy she was in my arms again.
Being with her again gave me hope. Maybe we could make this work. Somehow. She was my best friend. We fit together perfectly. Why couldn’t she be mine forever? I’d decided that night I’d propose soon. We could work our schedules out so we could be together on our off months.
As she snuggled into my arm, I even thought I could quit my band. Maybe be her manager. It would work.
It had to or I’d go crazy without her.