Summoning every ounce of willpower I had, I pulled away, breaking the kiss.
"What are you doing?" he asked, his voice dripping with frustration and desire.
"What does it look like?" I took a step back and smiled at him. "I’m giving you blue balls. Now we’re even."
With that, I stepped toward the door and left the rock god alone with his boner.
BZZ! BZZ! BZZ!
An incessant beeping woke me up the next morning. I kept my eyes closed, trying to silence the noise through mind power alone.
It didn’t take me long to realize that I didn’t have superpowers. I pulled the pillow tighter against my head, but since I was completely hungover, concentrating only made the pounding in my skull worse. The annoying ring tone meant one thing and one thing only: a message from work.
Argh, it’s probably Palmer finally giving me the details of my assignment.
After giving the rocker blue balls in his green room, I’d filled in Jen on both my encounter with Stud and this mystery work assignment. Apparently, Hans-Peterson needed me to travel for an urgent, last-minute assignment but they couldn’t give me any details by the time I left the office on Friday.
So now I get to spend my Sunday morning dealing with work. Fantastic.
Groaning, I rolled over and grabbed my phone off my nightstand. The email was clearly from Palmer because the subject line was written in all caps. I opened it and quickly skimmed it.
When I finished, my heart was beating fast.
This wasn’t just any assignment. I wasn’t going on special assignment to Chicago or Seattle. I was going on the road as a tour accountant . . . with a band.
Memories from the night before came flooding back, in brief, bright flashes. My thoughts immediately jumped to the taut muscles of the sultry rock god. Jesus Christ, Riley, get ahold of yourself. Hans-Peterson only worked with high-profile clients that could afford our rates, not small-time bands that played in hole-in-the-wall bars on a Saturday night. Besides, the email referred to the band as "HC" and Stud’s band was called "The Cocks." All the wishful thinking in the world wasn’t going to make that bolt of lightning strike twice.
I went back to reviewing Palmer’s memo. It looked like one of my biggest tasks was going to be managing and curbing expenses. Checking out the dozens of attachments, I saw that each one was a zipped file full of numbers, spreadsheets, contracts, and tax forms.
Even though I’d been inundated with information, I couldn’t find anything that explained what the hell HC actually stood for. I did a quick Google search, but the only results that came up were those for hemorrhoid creams. Whatever, I’ll find out tomorrow.
As I scrolled through one of the spreadsheets, a call came in. I smiled when I saw the name: Kristen, my ex-roommate, was just about the only person I could tolerate when my head was spinning.
"H-Hello?" I answered, trying my best to sound normal—which was tough, considering my mouth was as dry as a cotton ball. I took a big gulp of water from the glass I’d left out the night before and it was like finding an oasis in the desert.
"Hello, yourself, sleepyhead," Kristen said, sunny as ever and sounding like she’d been up for a few hours already. "Do you want to call me back when you’re a little less of a zombie?"
I cleared my throat. "No, no, it’s fine. I’m good." We’d both been busy the past few weeks, so in spite of my throbbing headache, I was eager to catch up with her. "What’s up? How’s Vincent?"
"Pretty busy as usual, but he’s starting to slow down, delegate more responsibilities to his VPs. He’s really trying hard to make things work for us, and I’m really grateful for that."
Her hubby was a busy man. It had actually been a sticking point earlier in their relationship. "And how’s the baby?"
"It’s getting pretty real, Rye," she said. "I can already feel her kicking . . . which is actually why I was calling. I wanted to go over some ideas I had about the baby shower."
It was still over a month away and she had a professional planner taking care of all the details, but as one of her best friends, I had a major role as a sounding board.
She went through a laundry list of minutiae that required my personal opinion. Even with my hangover, I did my best to offer up what few ideas I could muster. I was so happy for her and Vincent; I just knew they were going to be amazing parents.
After settling on some choices, she asked, "So what else is new with you? Wait, do you have a guy there?" Her voice crackled with curiosity. "I’ll let you go if you do. Tell me first, though, just say yes or no."
"Nope, no guy. Just me and the pillows." I yawned, throwing off the covers and looking at the other side of the bed, which was empty except for a small, pink cylindrical object.
Just me and the pillows and . . . my vibrator!
I faintly remembered leaving the bar with Jen and then coming home and being so ridiculously turned on after my encounter with Stud that I couldn’t fall asleep. I shook my head, disappointed in myself—I must’ve eventually dozed off, drunk on alcohol and high on battery-operated orgasms. My plan to give him blue balls had ended up being a double-edged sword, but I was still the victor. After all, he knew nothing about what I’d done between the sheets.
"Oh? No crazy night then?" Kristen asked, sounding slightly disappointed. "Don’t tell me you’re starting to settle for quiet nights in."
Pulling myself out of bed and rubbing my temples, I dragged my feet toward the kitchen. I intended to make my patented hangover cure: broccoli, oatmeal, orange juice, a banana, and yogurt—all thrown together in a blender.
"I can have quiet nights in when I’m dead." As I made it to the kitchen and started preparing my smoothie, I began telling her about my outing with Jen last night, making sure to highlight the show and how I dealt with the crazed fans. The more I told her about the night, the more my excitement grew. "Kris, I’m telling you, it was bananas! Some girl came right there on stage, just from this guy’s singing."
She laughed. "Sure. Did he also get someone pregnant through eye contact? Maybe you?"
I scoffed. "No, that’s just silly." I patted my belly to check anyway. He did send a fair number of dark flutters through my stomach last night . . .
I swallowed a large gulp of my smoothie and filled her in on the rest of the details—from the moment he first locked eyes on me until to the look on his face as I left him empty-handed.