Now, I’m finally done for the day and so ready for my bed that it isn’t funny.
Things have been on the up with Carrick and me since China and Bahrain.
We tiptoed around one another while we were in Bahrain. Then, when we saw each other in Korea for that leg of the tour, after having a few days apart, we just fell back into our old ways. But even for the time we’ve spent together, we haven’t spent any time alone. We’ve always been with the guys and Petra.
Whether that’s a conscious move on his part or subconscious on mine, I’m not sure. I’m just glad that we’re friends still.
But the image of him with that woman in China is still seared into my mind. I wish there were some way to expunge it from my brain.
“I need a favor.”
My head whips up at the sound of Carrick’s voice.
It’s weird to be thinking of someone and have that person just appear like that.
“A favor?” I raise a brow at him, watching him walk toward me, as I wipe my grimy hands on my overalls. “And what are you still doing here?”
“Meeting with Dad and Pierce.”
“Oh. So, this favor?”
“Hmm.” He’s looking at me with a sexy smile growing on his face.
“Well, what is it?” I’m suspicious because Carrick’s favors usually involve me doing something that potentially puts my job at risk.
Stopping in front of me, he lifts his hand, and he sweeps his thumb over my cheek.
I part my lips on a breath as my skin ignites on a blaze of flames.
“Oil.” He shows me his thumb.
“Oh.” I rub my arm against my face. “So, this favor?” I step back, away from him and over to the workbench.
“I need a date. More specifically, I need you to be my date. I have to go to this sponsorship event tomorrow night. It’s our biggest sponsor, so it’s kind of a big deal.”
“And you want me to go with you?”
“Because I don’t want to go alone. And because you’re awesome.”
Laughing, I shake my head. “I meant, why me?”
“Because you’ll make what is guaranteed to be a boring-as-fuck night a million times better.”
His compliment flushes through me, all the way down to my toes.
“And I want to spend some time with you. Just me and you. As friends…” he adds at my expression. “I miss hanging out, just us.”
I miss hanging out, just us, too.
“Okay.” I smile.
His face lights up, and I like the way it makes me feel. I like making him happy.
“What time does it start?” I’m thinking of the practice sessions tomorrow—if I’ll be able to slip away for an hour to get an outfit and have time to get ready after.
“It starts at seven thirty. And don’t worry. I’ll speak with John, let him know you’re coming with me and get him to let you off early.”
Yeah, I’m sure that’ll go down well. “Let me talk to him.”
I give him a look. “I’m sure.” I walk over to the basin to wash my hands. “So, what should I wear?”
“It’s black tie, so a dress.”
“Dress. Got it.”
Shit. I have nothing to wear and no clue what to buy. I’m a jeans-and-T-shirt kind of girl. I’ll have to ask Petra. I’m sure she’ll come shopping with me. She loves shopping.
Carrick reaches into his back pocket and pulls out a credit card. “Take this.”
Reaching for a paper towel, I dry my hands. “What is it?”
“What does it look like? It’s a credit card, you dope.” He chuckles.
“Your credit card?”
“And why are you giving it to me?”
“So you can buy a dress.” He shoves it into my hand.
“Erm, nope. No way am I taking your money.”
I push the card back at him, but he holds his hands up, refusing to take it.
“Take it. You’re doing me a favor by coming with me. You shouldn’t have to drop a shitload of money on a dress that you’re only buying to help me out.”
“How do you know I don’t own a dress already?”
He folds his arms. “Do you?”
I fold my arms, mirroring him. “No, but that’s beside the point.”
“It’s the only point, so take the fucking card and buy a dress.” He walks away before I can get another chance to give it back to him. “See you tomorrow.” He throws a wink back at me.
The minute he’s gone, panic mode sets in. How in the hell am I going to buy a dress and make myself look pretty by tomorrow night?
I’ve reached high-level dread, wondering why the hell I agreed to go to this event with Carrick by the time I get back to my room, and I’m surprised to find Petra here.
“I thought you were going out?”
“Changed my mind. Thought I’d have a night off and hang out here with you.”
I drop down on my bed and turn onto my side, facing Petra. “I need some help.”
“Okay.” She takes her eyes from the TV to look at me. “Is this about Carrick?”
My head jerks back. “What do you mean?”
“Come on. I know there’s been some weird tension thing going on between the two of you. You left China all weird, and you’ve been the same since.”