“Okay,” I purr against his throat, and then my hand is in his again and a hundred bodies are blurring by us. We break through a steel exit door into the frigid night air, and then we’re across the parking lot and Shawn is practically carrying me onto the bus.
I don’t make it easy for him to get me up the stairs to the first level. As soon as the door is closed behind us, I’m in his arms and his lips are mine. I’m insatiable, but so is he. I don’t try to make it nice for him, he doesn’t try to make it nice for me, and I’m so fucking hot for him I feel like I’ll explode if he doesn’t tear this dress off me soon. “What are you waiting for?”
The backs of my legs collide with the edge of one of the long leather benches on the lower level, and when Shawn lays me down on top of it, I bunch my fist in his shirt and pull him down with me. He settles between my legs and I arch up to meet him, loving the way he groans and pushes back against me, the way he grips my hip so desperately that it’s sure to leave marks for days. He rocks against me as he controls the kiss, making me light-headed as he claims every last centimeter of my lips. I turn my head to the side and pant for fresh air, and when he drops his hungry mouth to the curve of my neck, my eyes roll back behind closed eyelids.
I feel like I’m not even inside my body anymore. I feel like I could pass out. I feel . . . fuck . . . I’m going to throw up.
All of the free drinks I had at the bar hit my stomach at once, threatening to come back up before I even have a chance to get out from under Shawn. I frantically push at him until he gives me enough space to roll out from underneath him, and I shake my head when he asks me what’s wrong. When I slap a hand over my mouth, realization dawns on his face.
“That way,” he says, pointing toward what I’m praying is the bathroom. I turn on my heel and race my way there, nearly tripping over the lip between rooms before yanking open the bathroom door. I drop to my knees in front of the toilet and grip its edges to keep from falling face-first into the bowl. The entire room spins as I puke my freaking guts out. My hair gets pulled away from my face and a rough hand rubs my back. Shawn’s voice attempts to comfort me, but it doesn’t stop the tears from springing to my eyes as I heave over the toilet.
I’m puking in front of Shawn. After almost puking in his mouth. Nothing could make this night any worse.
No, that’s wrong—the only thing that could make it any worse is me fucking crying.
I lock down my emotions and finish throwing up all of my cocktails, resting my forearm on the seat of the toilet and dropping my forehead to my elbow—because I’m too wasted to stand, I’m too stubborn to lie down, and I’m too embarrassed to let Shawn hold me.
“Can you stand up?”
I try to say “no” but end up puking some more instead. My head is spinning faster and faster with every second that passes, and eventually I start dry-heaving into a toilet bowl that won’t stay still. My arms are noodles, tossing me from side to side while my entire stomach climbs its way into my throat.
“I’m going to carry you upstairs, okay?”
Someone who sounds kind of like me mumbles something unintelligible back. Then there’s Shawn’s scent against my cheek and his voice in my ear. I become vaguely aware that I’m floating. And then, it’s just dark.
In the morning, I can’t remember how I got into my bunk, and Shawn isn’t around for me to ask, not that I would if I could. I’m tucked under sheets that smell like him, wishing I was dead. Drinking too much is one thing. Drinking too much, throwing myself at Shawn, mauling him on the bus, and then puking my guts out in front of him?
I close my eyes and pretend it was all a bad dream, but the black hole that’s blossomed in my head screams otherwise. It sucks painfully at my brain, my eyeballs, my eardrums—like it needs to devour the entire contents of my skull before it can escape and suck the rest of the world into its hole as well.
My feet are heavy as I throw them over the edge of the bunk and plant them on the icy floor. I stare down at my star-print socks, imagining Shawn carrying me up here, taking my boots off, tucking me in . . . and shaking his head at what a complete mess I was—the so-called rock star who thought she could hang with rock stars.
I rub a hand over my face and fit my feet into my boots one at a time. Then I attempt to finger-comb my hair, give up, and swipe my fingers under my eyes instead to clean up my mascara. Each step down the stairs to the lower level of the bus feels like an ice pick to my frontal lobe, and I’m praying there’s some coffee I can make in the kitchenette—because if not, I’m going to lie on the floor and just die.
The smell of dark-roasted beans hits me as soon as I step off the last stair, but my brain is too hungover to process what that means. I follow the smell like a worn-down bloodhound, dragging my sorry ass toward it until I emerge in the kitchen and meet forest green eyes.
Because, apparently, humiliating myself last night wasn’t enough. Now I need to rise from the dead with my brain throbbing out of my ears, my hair looking like something straight out of a B-rated horror film, and my wrinkled dress still ten sizes too small.
“How are you feeling?” Shawn asks, like it’s not written all over my face. I plop down in a chair at the corner table and immediately curse myself for it when lightning bolts shoot into the backs of my eyes. I hiss a curse word and bury my face in the darkness of my elbow.
I have two options. I can be an adult, apologize for going all alien-sucker on his face, promise it won’t happen again. Or . . .