Dirty Together (Page 5)
Is that girl ever going to be enough for Creighton?
“Stop it,” I scold my reflection. “Just stop.”
“Hurry up, Holly!” Logan yells up the stairs, interrupting me.
“Hold your horses, you breaking-and-entering fool,” I yell back.
I grab my makeup bag and use the concealer to cover the circles under my eyes, and then add a swipe of bronzer over my cheeks and another coat of mascara and lip gloss. That’ll have to be good enough.
Logan’s idea of reintroducing me to my roots starts with food at Mr. Burger, the only fast-food joint in town since McDonald’s won’t bother setting up a franchise here. It’s surprisingly quiet for a Saturday night, but that suits me just fine.
We order and slip into a back booth to wait for the server to bring out our food. The joke around town is that Mr. Burger’s is so slow because they have to go kill the cow first.
It’s twenty minutes before two loaded cheeseburgers, seasoned fries, and chocolate milkshakes are sitting in front of us. I haven’t consumed this many calories in one sitting . . . probably since the last time I ate here. This meal is miles away from the decadent steak that Creighton ordered in our hotel room.
The food is amazing. The company isn’t half bad either.
I don’t have much to say, but Logan fills the silence, even though I get the feeling he’s not normally this chatty of a guy. He tells me about coming back to town after leaving the Marines. He won’t say exactly what it is he did in the Marines, so I suspect it was something interesting.
He came back to town just days after I left for Nashville, and knew he couldn’t be idle, so he applied for a job at the garage he worked at all through high school. Apparently he spent a lot of his down time in the service restoring classic cars, so Chuck, the prior owner, hired him back on the spot.
“When Chuck told me he planned to retire about three months later, I knew that I couldn’t let him sell it to someone else. Coming back to that damn garage was the best homecoming I had. He wasn’t surprised at all that I didn’t want him to sell it to anyone else, and was cool enough to help me buy it from him. I’ve almost got him paid off, so the bank loan for the renovations was a leap of faith. It’s turning out just fine, though.”
I’m amazed that in six months he’s managed to buy the place, renovate the whole thing, and turn Chuck’s old garage into a sought-after place for classic car restoration and repairs. To say I’m impressed would be an understatement. It appears that I’m not the only one who’s capable of going after a dream.
I’m also slightly stunned that we get out of Mr. Burger without being bothered. I guess I’m not such a big deal, even in my own town. Apparently only Miranda Lambert is famous in a small town.
Act II of Operation Reintroduce-Holly-to-Her-Roots takes us right back to the place it all started—Brews and Balls. I should have figured, since it’s really the only place for people to go for entertainment in Gold Haven.
The reception I get there is much different than at Mr. Burger. You’d think I’m the returning hero who has been away for years and years, which clearly, I’m not.
“Hot damn, look what the cat dragged in,” Benny yells over the percussion of balls hitting the lane and striking pins. He shuffles over as fast as his cane can hold him, and yanks me into a hug.
“Hey, Ben. How ya been?” It’s the same way my gran greeted him for years, and it rubbed off on me long ago.
He pulls back, lowers the old wooden cane back to the floor to steady himself, and tilts his head to one side. “I think I’m more interested in how you’ve been, Mrs. Billionaire Country Star.”
Heat burns in my cheeks. I don’t want to talk about the me that exists outside this town. That’s not why I’m here.
“I’m fine. Just taking some time off.”
He opens his mouth to ask something else, but shuts it just as quick. I glance sideways at Logan, and he’s giving Benny a hard look. Shielding me from questions?
“How about some shoes and a lane, Ben?” Logan asks.
The older man nods enthusiastically. “Of course. Anything for my girl here. Except, there’s a catch.”
“Ben—” Logan starts, but I interrupt. I know exactly what Benny’s going to throw out as the catch.
“I’ll sing one song. But not one of mine.”
“Done. Go bowl a few games, and I’ll meet you in the bar later.”
We bowl two games, and the easy camaraderie I feel with Logan surprises me. It’s not the heightened anticipation I seem to have every moment I spend around Creighton, but it’s also a lot less stressful.
It’s just . . . easy.
It’s also impossible not to compare the men, one rough around the edges and the other smooth and cultured. Both dangerous in their own way.
I know how to behave around a guy like Logan, and not just because I’ve spent a lot of time with Boone on tour. Logan’s upbringing wasn’t all that different from mine. I can throw sass at him and give as good as I get, all without feeling awkward or trashy.
I give as good as I get with Creighton too, but when I’m in his world, I lack confidence because I’m totally out of my element. On tour, things were better, but that was him playing in my world. Wasn’t there some old saying about a bird and a fish falling in love? Are we just too different?
My thoughts are distracting enough to make me throw a gutter ball. Damn. There goes my three-hundred game, which I’m perfectly capable of bowling, thank you very much. And that’s just another skill a billionaire’s wife probably shouldn’t have on her résumé.