And I’m glad. More than glad.
I’m happy. Happier than I can ever remember being.
But one thing I do know is, when this thing with Vaughn does come to an end—because all good things end—it’s going to hurt like a bitch.
Because I like him. A lot.
We’re at my hotel tonight. Vaughn is working on his laptop, and I’m watching Romeo + Juliet, the Leonardo DiCaprio version, while working on that wedding dress I’ve been designing for a while now. The skirt has been evading me, but I think I finally have it. I’m going for a pleated chiffon skirt. Simple but elegant.
“I like it,” Vaughn says from over my shoulder.
I cover my drawing with my hand. I didn’t realize he was watching. This is the first time I’ve drawn in front of him.
“Don’t hide it.” He comes to sit beside me, pulling my hand from it. “It’s really good.”
“Thanks,” I say.
“I didn’t know you designed. Why didn’t you tell me?”
I shrug. “It’s not important. It’s just something I like to do.”
“May I?” He gestures to my sketchpad.
I tentatively hand it over to him. He starts looking through my designs.
“These are amazing, Pins. Why don’t you do it professionally?”
“I tried. After I graduated from college. But it’s not an easy industry to get into. So, I took a job temping with an agency, and the first job I got offered was in wardrobe. I’m good with clothes, and I was always a good seamstress—”
“Except for when you’re stabbing innocent guys in the balls.”
I stick my tongue out at him. “Are you ever going to let that go?”
“Probably not.” He chuckles, continuing to look through my designs. “Well, I think you should try again. I’m no fashion expert—”
“No kidding.” I laugh.
He pretends to ignore me and seamlessly carries on, “But I think you should try again. You’ve got real talent. It’d be a tragedy to let it go to waste. I know some people I can put you in touch with.”
“I don’t need any favors.” I sound touchy. I don’t know why.
“Friends help each other.” He frowns.
I want to ask if that is what we are—friends. Is that all we are? Friends who fuck and fall asleep in each other’s arms?
But, of course, I don’t.
“I know. I’m just used to doing things on my own. I want my success to be on my own merit.”
“And it will. But it doesn’t hurt to have someone put you in touch with the people who can help you get there.”
I stare at his face, his expression so earnest, and something inside me ruptures. I feel like I’m bleeding out. I can feel my face heating up.
I swallow, take my sketchpad from him, and close it up. “Sure, that’d be good. Thanks.”
I put my pad down and rest back, watching the TV.
I can feel Vaughn’s eyes on me, but I don’t say anything.
It’s at the part when Romeo and Juliet are getting married, and that cute kid starts to sing “When Doves Cry.”
“I love this song,” I murmur.
“The Prince version or this one?”
I turn my face to him. “I like this one, but nothing beats Prince’s version. I can’t believe he’s gone.”
“I know.” Vaughn sighs. “I was lucky enough to meet him once.”
“Really?” I turn my body to his. “What was he like?”
“Cool. Awesome as fuck. Everything you’d expect him to be. I was at this party of some big music producer, and Prince was there. He and a few other musicians started doing an impromptu jamming session. I got to see him sing live. It was amazing.”
“I can only imagine.”
“It’s one perk of my lifestyle.” He doesn’t sound happy when he says that.
“I’m sure there’s more than one.”
He glances at me, and his eyes stay on mine. “There are a few things. Meeting you was, of course, one.”
“Of course.” I grin.
He picks up his phone and starts playing with it. A few seconds later, Prince’s “When Doves Cry” starts to play.
He mutes the TV and stands up on the bed, holding out a hand to me. “Dance with me?”
“Dance with you?” I stare up at him.
“Yeah. I know how much you love a good twerk.”
“This isn’t really twerking music, West.” I smile.
“Well, maybe I just want to dance with you, so I can use it as an excuse to grope your ass.”
I laugh. “Like you need an excuse.”
“Come on, dance with me, Pins.” He moves his open hand closer to me.
So, I slip mine in and let him pull me to my feet. He brings me close to him and starts to move us on the bed.
I link my arms around his neck. His hands go to my back and then slide lower where he squeezes my ass, grinning at me.
I laugh, shaking my head. “I don’t think you know how to be serious.”
“Hey, I can be serious when I want to be.”
“Like when I’m licking your pussy and making you come. I’m seriously concentrating then.”
“Okay, I’ll give you that.”
“And when I’m fucking you. I’m serious then.”
“Any examples that don’t involve sex?”