Dirty Pleasures (Page 4)

“You need to replace this piece of shit, girl. And why the hell didn’t you answer your phone?”

I frown at Chance. “What are you talking about? I answered your texts.”

He pulls me out of my car by the hand. “Well, you didn’t answer when I called you five times to ask you to pick me up some Johnny Walker on the way. The bus is out, and Boone wants some for the road.”

“Crap. I must’ve had my radio on too loud. It’s on vibrate.” I reach back into my car to grab my purse and start rooting through it to find my phone.

“Your suitcase in the trunk?” Chance asks.

I nod, not looking up from my task, and he reaches around me to pop the trunk. By the time he has my suitcase in hand, I’m starting to panic.

“Where the hell is my phone?” I mumble. “I had it.”

“Come on, girl. Let’s move it. We won’t get to San Antonio with you standing here digging through your purse.”

I jerk my head up and stare at him. “San Antonio? I thought Dallas was next.”

Chance shakes his head. “Nope. That’s why we’re leaving early. Boone signed up to do a last-minute charity gig, and you’re along for the ride. Dallas is after that, so it’s not that far off.”

Dropping my purse on the ground, I bend over and look between the seats and the console to see if my phone slid down. Chance, clearly impatient with me, calls it. I wait, but there’s no telltale buzz or vibration.

“Shit. I must’ve left it in my apartment.”

“No time to go back for it, so you’ll have to have someone get it for you and overnight it to you. I’ll get the hotel address.”

I huff out a long sigh. Shit. I don’t even know if I have Tana’s number to ask her to go back to my place and grab it . . . but then again, I bet Chance or Boone does. Between the two of them, they seem to have everyone’s number in this town.

“You ready to rehearse?”

“What?” I ask, my mind still on how to retrieve my phone.

“The duet. ‘That Girl.’ Boone wants to play some acoustic stuff on the bus, so you’re riding with him. I made sure you’ve got a guitar on there already. Now come on, let’s go.”

Chance leads me by the arm up to the house to say hi to the guys before we all climb up the stairs. All my worries slip away once I let myself fall into the easy bullshitting and name-calling with the guys. And once I’m on the bus with Boone, I let myself go in the music.

It’s a couple of hours and who knows how much whiskey later when we stop so the guys can grab a smoke. I stumble onto my own bus—one that I’ll be sharing with my band and maybe the other opening act, if they don’t have their own bus. No one has seen fit to share that detail with me yet. But because it’s out of my control, I don’t waste any more time thinking about it.

Some drunk hope makes me think that maybe I missed my phone in my search of the purse, so I dump the entire contents out on the kitchenette table.

A handful of tampons. A dozen or so lip glosses and lipsticks. A lighter—not sure where that came from, since I don’t smoke. My wallet. My car keys. My songwriting notebook. My smaller backup songwriting notebook. Six pens, in all different colors. Two pencils. Gum. Gum wrappers. Loose change. Lint.

Still no phone.

Before I left Boone’s bus, I asked Chance for Tana’s number, just in case. He wrote it on my palm in Sharpie with big block letters saying Call Me above it.

I make my way up to the bus driver’s seat.

“Hey, Chaz?”


“Told you to call me Holly a dozen times, Chaz.” Maybe more than a dozen, if I’m being honest.

“Yes, Ms. Holly.”

“Can I borrow your phone?”

“Sure thing.” He grabs it from the pocket in the side of his seat and hands it over, all without ever taking his eyes off the road.


I stumble back to the couch and position my thumb over the number pad. I glance down at my palm, and I know the person I should be calling instead of Tana is Creighton.

But you didn’t merit a phone call from him, the hurt inside me protests. It’s true, but still.

I drop my head to the back of the couch when it hits me that even if I wanted to call Creighton, I don’t know any of his numbers by heart, and it’s not like I can just call Information or something. I could google Karas International, but what is the likelihood they’ll ever put me through to his personal line? Even when I had that number, his secretary didn’t believe that I was me at first.

My best bet is getting my phone back.

I punch in Tana’s number, and she answers after I call her three times in a row.

“Hello?” Her voice is suspicious as shit, and I realize she doesn’t recognize the number. Plus it’s almost midnight.

“It’s me. Holly. Sorry for calling so late.”

“Oh, hey, hon. No worries. You know I’m up at all hours anyway. What’s up? The man come track you down already?”

I squeeze my eyes shut. Hell, even if Creighton wanted to track me down right now, I think even he’d be SOL. I’m on a bus on a highway headed for a tour stop not on my tour list.

But then again, I guess I don’t know what kind of resources he has at his disposal, or if he’d use them to come after me. The hope rising in my chest, the hope that started blossoming that night we ate Sixteen Candles style on the dining room table, wants desperately for him to come chasing after me with an apology.