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Driven (Page 65)

When I look back at his face, Colton glances over at me and his eyes holds my gaze before flicking back to the road. A shy smile forms on his lips, his only acknowledgement of my quiet observation of him. The car revs, gunning forward on the freeway, and I laugh freely at him.

“What?” he feigns innocently, squeezing my knee.

“You like to go fast don’t you, Ace?” I realize the innuendo behind my words the minute I say them.

He looks over at me, a wicked grin on his lips, annunciating every word of his answer. “You have no idea, Rylee.”

“Actually, I think I do,” I reply wryly. Colton throws his head back in a full-bodied laugh and shakes his head at me. “No, seriously. What is it about speed that’s so attractive to you?”

He mulls it over momentarily before answer. “Trying to tame …” he stops to reconsider his answer, “No, rather trying to control the uncontrollable, I guess.”

I snort in jest. “That’s a fitting metaphor if I’ve ever heard one.” And I can’t help but wonder if he’s referring to something deeper than the tongue-in-cheek response.

“Whatever do you mean?” he plays along innocently.

“Someone once told me that I should research my dates,” I look over at him, his eyebrows rising at my comment. “Quite the wild child, aren’t we?”

Colton gives me his brighter than the sun mega-watt smile. “No one can ever claim that I’m boring or predictable,” he muses, looking over his shoulder to change lanes. “Besides, outrunning your demons has a way of doing that to you.” Before I can even process the words, Colton skillfully changes the subject, “Food or fun first?”

I want to ask questions, figure out what he means by his comment, but I bite my tongue and answer. “Fun. Definitely fun!”

“Good choice,” he responds, before muttering a curse when his cell phone rings on the car speaker. “Sorry,” he apologizes before tapping a button on the steering wheel.

The screen on the dash says the name Tawny, and I immediately bristle at the sight. Researching my date certainly gave me more information than just his run-ins with trouble. I now know what Tawny looks like, that she’s been his date to numerous functions over the years, and this is the second out of the last three times I’ve been with Colton that she’s called him. My sudden pang of jealousy surprises me, but it only gets stronger when I hear Colton’s familiarity talking to her.

“Hey, Tawn. You’re on speaker,” he warns.

“Oh!” I can’t help but find a tiny bit of joy when I hear the surprise in her voice. “I thought that you’d called it off with Raq—”

“I have,” he responds in a clipped tone. “What do you need, Tawny?” Irritation is prevalent in his tone.

What a bitchy comment from her. What if I had been Raquel in the car with him? I sense her making a claim on her territory, Colton.

Silence fills the line. “Oh. Um. I was just calling to tell you that the formal letters went out today for the sponsorship.” When he doesn’t say a word in response, she continues, “That’s it.”

What? She works for him? With him? On a daily basis? That’s just what I need filling my head as jealousy rears it’s bitchy head. The blonde glamazon sees him on a daily basis and then gets to go out with him occasionally to events. Fucking lovely.

“Great. Thanks for letting me know.” And with that he pushes a button and the line disconnects abruptly. Colton sighs out loud and a part of me is happy at his impatience toward Tawny.

“Sorry,” he says again, and I’m sure he’s referencing Tawny’s mention of Raquel. So they were an item. She just wasn’t some chick he found at the club. The catty side of me at least revels in the fact it was me he left with that night. The compassionate side of me winces for I know that Colton isn’t someone who would be easy to get over.

“No biggie,” I shrug as I take notice of our location. We’re heading out of the city, the opposite direction from where I would expect to be going.

We ride in a comfortable silence for a couple of minutes then Colton turns a corner and the bright lights of a Ferris wheel light up the sky. I glance over at him, and my heart tumbles slowly upon seeing the boyish grin on his face. Colton drives between the flagged gates and pulls the car slowly down the bumpy, dirt road.

My eyes widen at the massive scene before me. The entire dirt field is crammed with every typical carnival ride one can imagine, complete with a flashing sign denoting a Midway section with games impossible to win, and signs advertising horribly fattening food. I’m so excited. So thrilled that Colton opted to have fun outdoors with me in an arena that’ll allow me to see more of the real him, rather than the cultured persona he’d have to be in one of the upscale, paparazzi-watched restaurants that he’s known to frequent.

He parks the car and turns to me, “Is this okay?” he asks, and I swear I can hear nerves tinge his voice, but I know that’s not possible. Not from the ultra-confident, always-sure-of-himself Colton Donavan. Or is it?

I nod my head at him, bottom lip between my teeth as he exits the car and comes around my side to open my door. “I’m excited,” I tell him as he takes my hand and helps me out. He shuts the door and turns to me, my back against the car. His eyes blaze with desire as he stares at me, brings his hands up to the side of my neck, and brushes his thumbs over my cheeks.

I can see the muscles in his jaw clenching as he shakes his head softly, silently responding to some internal conflict that causes a ghost of a smile to play on his lips. “Sweetheart, I’ve wanted to do this since I left your house this morning.” He leans in, eyes still connected with mine, “… since I got your text.” He raises his eyebrows. “You intoxicate me, Rylee.” His words surge into my soul as he closes the distance between us. His mouth captures mine in a dizzying kiss, tempting me with his addictive taste so that I’m left fighting to regain my equilibrium. His mouth possesses mine with a quiet demand, yet the kiss is so full of tenderness, so packed with unnamed emotions that I don’t want it to end.

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