He chuckles and says, “So are you going to answer me or not?”
“What’d you do after you abandoned me in groupie hell last night?”
I lift an eyebrow when he acts like he didn’t enjoy himself. “You mean before or after you slept with the glitter-chick?”
“I told you I didn’t sleep—”
“Fucked her, I mean.”
After I correct myself a little too loudly, I glance at the baby mama, who should definitely be offended on behalf of her small children, but she’s too busy ogling Shawn to give a damn about what I just said. I’m thankful when she ushers her little monsters toward the door. She casts Shawn one last sultry look before she goes, but his gaze is locked on me and nothing else.
“I didn’t sleep with her or fuck her,” he says when my eyes reconnect with his.
I narrow my gaze on him. “You didn’t?”
He shakes his head. “I told her I did so she wouldn’t be pissed when I practically threw her off the bus this morning, but no, I didn’t.”
“I don’t fuck everything that walks, Kit.”
Of all the lines that could make a girl feel special, I wouldn’t have expected that to be one of them. But my heart flutters anyway. “She was pretty,” I protest, for God only knows what reason.
“So.” I struggle to find some way, any way, to claw my way out of this hole of a conversation I’ve dug myself into. “I hung out with Mike at the front of the bus,” I say, finally answering his question about where I went after I fled from the kitchen.
“Was Adam the one making all that noise on the roof of the bus?”
I chuckle at the memory. “Yeah, I think Joel joined him up there.”
Shawn’s grin puts the world’s smallest, most adorable dimple in his cheek. “I would’ve guessed you’d be up there too.”
“I was too tired to be scaling buses.”
“Just wait until we’re a few weeks in. You won’t even be able to tell the difference between dreaming and being awake.”
I rest the back of my head against the top of my plastic chair, tired just thinking about it. “Sorry about stealing your earplugs.”
Shawn slouches low in his seat to stay level with me, turning his head with that heart-melting smile still on his face. “They were yours anyway.”
“What are you talking about?”
“I’m used to Joel’s snoring. I brought them because I figured you might need them.”
I shrink to two inches tall, my voice teeny-tiny when I say, “And then I stole them . . . ” When he chuckles softly, I close my eyes and curse. “Shit.”
With my eyes still closed, I can’t help laughing. “I’m also sorry for dumping your body wash down the drain and replacing it with mine.” I peek an eye open, and he lifts an eyebrow.
“But you didn’t . . . ” Realization dawns on his face, and his eyes go flat. “You did.”
Because you smell too fucking good. Because I can smell you from here. Because it makes me want to crawl on your lap and see if you taste as good as I bet you do. I shrug. “The good news is you’ll smell like vanilla and jasmine.”
“Every guy’s dream.”
“See?” I say with a big smile. I sit up straight and crisscross my legs on the chair before spinning to face him. “I’m being a great friend already.”
Shawn grabs the bottoms of my calves and flips them up until I’m tumbling backward and squealing while trying to catch myself. When I finally regain my balance and sit back up to whack him in the arm, all he does is grin. I cross my arms over my chest and sit back in my chair with my boots firmly on the floor, trying not to smile.
I missed this. Just hanging out with him. Talking to him because it’s the easiest thing in the world to do, despite the way my heart races and the way my cheeks flush. I missed his laugh and his smile and his eyes.
I missed him.
“I missed this,” Shawn says, and that hidden smile finally breaks free across my face.
We talk, we joke, we toss the sheets into the dryer and watch the baby mama come and go again. We’re sitting on a bench at a sub shop across the street, trying Philly’s famed Philly cheesesteaks, when Shawn asks me what Mike and I talked about while we were alone at the front of the bus.
There’s no way I’m telling him we talked about him, so I sidestep, sidestep, sidestep. And as soon as I get the chance, I change the subject by asking Shawn something I’ve been wondering about since last night. “Has Mike ever hooked up with a groupie?”
Shawn shakes his head as he chews. How he makes even chewing look cute, I have no idea, but he’s so adorable with his clean bites and good manners, I want to eat him up, even though it would probably make me sick. “He’s hooked up with a fan or two, but never a groupie. Not girls like we had on the bus last night.”
He takes another bite as he thinks about it. “Do you remember the girlfriend he had in high school?”
“Wasn’t her name Danica or something?” I ask. I remember her having flawless honey-brown hair, and bright white teeth inside an expensive designer smile. She was on the cheerleading squad, and knowing Mike like I know him now, I have no idea what he ever saw in her.