Dirty Together (Page 4)

I told myself I wasn’t going to . . . until Logan Brantley was standing in the doorway of my old bedroom.

Stunned, I shot up in bed. “What the hell? How’d you get in here?”

“Told you I was coming at eight. Figured you wouldn’t be ready, so I came early. Now get your ass out of bed. We got places to go tonight.”

“What part of me ignoring you for the last fifteen minutes hasn’t clued you in to the fact that I’m not going?”

He strolls into my room as if he’s right at home and leans against the lilac-printed wallpaper. “You came here for a reason. I recognize someone looking to hide away and lick her wounds, but that don’t help much. Trust me. I know.”

I push the covers down, thankful I opted to sleep in my sweatshirt and some leggings. “You’re really going to drag me out of here?”

“Kicking and screaming, if I have to. Given that any picture of you is going to end up online somewhere, you might want to fix your makeup.”

My jaw drops, and I blink at his blatant honesty. “Jesus, it’d be a wonder if you had a girlfriend. You’ve got zero tact.”

His lips quirk into a lopsided smile. “Maybe I’ve got more than one. Tact isn’t exactly what the ladies are looking for these days, Wix.”

“Whatever. Get out of my room.” I jerk my head toward the door, in case he isn’t getting the message loud and clear.

Logan laughs, and I can’t help but appreciate that the man grew up real nice. He changed out of his shop clothes into worn jeans and a clean thermal Henley, this time in a deep forest green. From the way it stretches across his chest, I can tell the man is built.

I might be a married woman, but I’d be doing the sisterhood a disservice if I didn’t take a minute to appreciate the fine specimen in front of me from an academic standpoint. I make a shooing gesture with my hands, and he finally turns and walks out . . . and I’m obligated to appreciate the back view as well.

Shaking my head, I swing my legs over the edge of the bed and reach into my bag. I pull out a pair of jeans and a longish black sweater. I search until it becomes clear that I didn’t pack any socks. At least I remembered to bring underwear. That reminds me of being backstage with Creighton and him freaking out when he thought I didn’t have any, and that I’d have to do my show in a dress without panties.

Why is it we seemed to find our rhythm in the midst of the craziness that’s touring, but as soon as we step foot back in his world, I nearly have a nervous breakdown? What does that say for our future?

I push away the insistent question. I’ve got time to figure this out. I just need to get right with myself before I can start trying to figure out the rest. So instead, I head for the bedroom bureau and score some socks alongside the other odds and ends I left and never came back for.

I’ve been meaning to come back and clean the house out and sell it, but something always stops me—and not just the general lack of time in my schedule. When I wrote a check for the property taxes a couple of months ago, I told myself it was time.

But I haven’t been able to pull the trigger. Even now, I’m not quite ready to let go. Which is ironic because in so many ways, I couldn’t wait to shake the dust from this town off my boots. And once Gran was gone . . . coming back was too overwhelming. And yet, like I said to Logan, it was the only place I thought to run. Life is funny that way.

I, being the Kentucky girl that I am, recall a line from the movie Days of Thunder. Tom Cruise’s nemesis, Rowdy Burns—the guy who becomes his friend after they smash their rental cars all up on the way to dinner—says something about how as a kid he farmed so he could race, but later he was just racing so he could get back and live on the farm. At least I think it went something like that.

It may not be some classy, iconic movie quote, but it always stuck with me. Just one more way of saying the grass is always greener on the other side. I’m not in the same position as Rowdy Burns, because I don’t have some burning desire to come back to Gold Haven permanently, but I can’t help but wonder if, someday in the future, I’ll be singing and touring my ass off to save enough to quit.

It’s unfathomable.

I freeze in the act of pulling a sock on. Did I just imagine my future without Creighton in it? Because if Creighton is part of my future, money surely isn’t an object, right?

And then comes the bigger questions: if Creighton is part of my future, will I still be touring and singing ten years from now? Even if this does work between us, at what point is he going to think the country music gig—while cute—is getting old?

Stop borrowing trouble, Holly. I make a conscious decision to bury the questions again for tonight. I’m not ready to answer them yet. Maybe having Logan show up at my doorstep was some kind of serendipity in the form of a welcome distraction.

Stripping out of my leggings, I pull on the jeans and trade the sweatshirt for the sweater, and look at my reflection in a mirror that saw me through the awkwardness of my teen years. It’s easy to catalog all the ways I look different now.

My hair is longer and shinier—courtesy of using the products my stylist recommended and not Suave. My entire body is slimmer—thanks to the restrictive diet and calorie counting. But would you believe that my boobs are perkier? No, I didn’t sell my soul to the devil; I discovered the miracle of push-up bras and was actually fitted for one in my size. My face, to go along with my slimmer body, is narrower, my cheekbones sharper, and my eyebrows have been professionally shaped. But beyond that, I’m still the exact same girl I was when I left.