“It’s not actually ours,” he says, “but we have a friend that lets us use it.”
“Why didn’t you take the bus this time?”
He turns his head to smirk at me. “Because my French tutor had classes that didn’t finish until two o’clock.”
“Oh.” God, now I’m blushing all over, and I’m not sure if it’s because I’m happy he waited for me or if it’s because I feel bad he waited for me. “Sorry . . .”
“What are you apologizing for?” He looks at me like one of us is seriously confused. “You covered for me when Pullman was about to kick my ass to the curb, and now you’re taking a three-day road trip with me across two states to help me get caught up.”
Okay, he makes a good point. “Well, in that case, you’re welcome.” He flashes a smile at me, and I joke, “I expect a backstage pass to all your shows.”
“Whatever you want”—he stares over at me again—“just ask.”
Okay, is he flirting with me? I might be imagining things, but the way he said that and the way he’s looking at me . . . it makes a shiver dance through me from head to toe.
I swallow and concentrate on the telephone poles marking distance to my right. “Well, do you want to get started on French now?” Anything to get my mind off those lips and how soft they’d felt against the skin of my neck. I glance at my backpack in the backseat.
“Honestly? I think I’d rather crash this car.”
I laugh even though I know I probably shouldn’t—from what I know about Adam, I don’t doubt he’s serious. “Alright. When then?”
“Like, this-car-ride later?” I prop my elbow on the door and make waves in the wind with my hand. We’re leaving the outskirts of the city now; I watch it get smaller behind us in the side-view mirror.
“So, when we get to the venue?”
“More like . . . later-later-later.” I laugh, and he grins at me.
“Tonight?” I pull my hand back in the car and rub the chill away.
After pulling a cigarette from its pack, Adam tucks it between his lips and pushes his car lighter into the dash. “Maybe?” He presses the lighter against the cigarette and puffs until the end burns hot. “I’m not really big on plans.” He replaces the lighter, takes a long drag of the cigarette, and then holds it between two fingers with the hand he’s using to steer. With his other elbow propped on the car door, he’s hard not to ogle. Even when I turn my head away, I can’t stop picturing him sitting inches away in his navy blue T-shirt and faded jeans. Maybe it’s his black nails or his layered bracelets, his longish hair or the cigarette he keeps lifting to his lead-singer lips, but God, he’s such a typical bad boy. He’s the kind of boy girls love because there’s no way they can ever bring him home to their parents.
After we’re silent for a while, Adam plugs his phone into the sound system and hands it to me so I can pick some music. He has so much of it, it’s ridiculous. There are tons of bands I’ve never heard of, so I take a chance and set it to a random shuffle. I’m glad when the first few songs are ones I’ve actually heard before. The music drowns out all the apprehension I’d been feeling about this trip, and I tilt my seat farther back, closing my eyes and letting the sun warm my barely tanned skin.
“So are you a fan?” Adam asks.
I’m guessing he’s talking about his own band, not the one playing through the speakers. Without opening my eyes or turning my head, I say, “I haven’t heard much of your stuff. But I liked what I did hear.” I turn my face toward him and smile, using my hand to shield my eyes from the sun. “You’re very talented.”
He gives me a warm smile and then asks if I’m looking forward to the show tonight.
Actually, I feel super-nervous about not having Dee there. I’ve never gone to a concert or club without her, and flying solo would be intimidating even without adding Adam Everest to the mix. “It’ll be kind of weird being there by myself.”
Adam scoffs. “You’re not going to be there by yourself. I’ll be there. And I’ll introduce you to all the guys. Don’t worry. It’ll be great.”
I don’t know what it is about him, but he’s always so sure about everything he says that it makes me feel sure about it too. A warm sense of calm washes over me and I close my eyes again, turning my cheeks back toward the sun. “Okay.”
We’ve been riding for almost half an hour when some terribly bad country song starts playing. “Oh my God,” I say, my eyes popping open. “I can’t believe you listen to country music!” I can’t help laughing, but it only makes Adam smile. He shoots me a devilish grin and then starts singing along. Loudly. I laugh hysterically as he imitates the high-pitched country twang, singing about pick-up trucks, daisy dukes, and football games. “Make it stop!” I joke, slapping my hands over my ears. But Adam just laughs and turns the music way up, singing even louder. At the top of his lungs, he exaggerates the yodel-pitch and Southern drawl. Still laughing my ass off, I snatch his phone from a cup holder to change the song, but as I’m looking for something better, a text message comes through from some girl named Jaylin.
Hope u have a fun wknd, but by the looks of that nerdy tutor girl, I can tell u won’t! Call me when u want the fantasy. ;)