I know exactly what he means. “Their first album was amazing.”
“And Van knows it.” His fingers continue navigating every slit and fray in my jeans—every single one, like he needs to touch every inch of my exposed skin, even though I doubt he realizes that’s what he’s doing. “He loves the life, but he hates what he has to do to have it. Vicki’s dad has him under his thumb. That would kill it for me and Adam, and I know Mike and Joel wouldn’t like it either.” His fingers glide into a slit behind my calf, and I pretend not to notice, not to love the way he’s touching me as much as I do. “What about you?”
“I like things the way they are.”
His smile warms the chill of the wind on my cheeks. “They’re going to change, either way. It’ll just be slower this way.”
“I like slow.”
“I’m starting to like slow too.” His eyes drift to my lips, and the breeze itself seems to still. “Like now . . . I really want to kiss you.”
“Why don’t you?” My voice is shallow, hollowed by breath he steals.
“Because I like this.” His fingers crawl back up my legs until they’re twining into the ragged threads stretched over my knee again. “Tell me something else.”
“Where do you see yourself in five years?”
My attention lifts from his fingers to his eyes. “Jeez, you couldn’t have gone with something easy?” He grins, and the adorable line that sets in his cheek makes me want to answer anything he asks. “I don’t know, hopefully still playing music.”
“That’s the only thing I can say for sure.”
There are things I know I want—like Shawn, every single bit of him—but I don’t know where we’ll be tomorrow, much less five years from now. And when I try to guess, it just hurts. Because five years is almost six years, and six years is such a long time.
He nods with understanding, and I ask, “What about you?”
“Definitely still playing music. Hopefully with you.” He smirks, and I smile. “By then, maybe we’ll be on a label.”
“I thought you didn’t want to be on a label?”
“Not right now,” he explains. “I want to be big enough that when we draft the papers, they have to kiss our asses instead of the other way around.” I chuckle and shift closer to him, listening as he continues. “And I don’t know. Adam and Peach will probably be married or something by then, so I’ll probably be homeless.”
I laugh and joke, “I’d let you live with me.”
“So there then,” he says with one of his unguarded, bright smiles. “We have a plan.”
I look away, at a piece of gravel next to my boot, and I can feel my own smile dimming as I pinch it between my fingers. “Part of me never wants this tour to end.”
I lift my gaze back to his, my eyes making a confession even as my mouth asks the question my heart has been too afraid to. “What happens when we get home? To you and me?”
Do we pretend the kisses we shared over coffee on the tour bus never happened? Do we keep fooling around in secret? What happens when he meets someone better than me, prettier than me?
“What do you want to happen?” he asks.
“Don’t do that,” I plead.
“Make me embarrass myself.”
He studies me for a long moment, and then he says, “I told you I wanted you. You think that wasn’t embarrassing?”
“What does that even mean?”
“What do you mean, ‘what does that even mean?’ It means I want to be with you.” A subtle blush creeps onto his cheeks, but I still can’t believe Shawn is saying what I think he is.
“Be with me how?”
He laughs and shakes his head. “Christ, Kit, do you not see how into you I am? I’m saying I don’t want us seeing other people, okay? I want you for myself. I want to see where we might be five years from now.”
The smile that consumes my face turns night to day, pushes the dark into tomorrow. “Ask me.”
“Ask you what?”
“Ask me,” I press again, and he chuckles as he picks apart a thread in my jeans.
“You’re the worst, you know that?” When I just keep smiling at him, he can’t help smiling back. “I swear, if you say no—”
He takes his time, inhales a deep breath . . . and then, he asks me. “Will you go out with me?”
“Can you be more specific?”
When he starts to argue, I laugh and kiss him, silencing him with my answer. I kiss him until his arms are circling around my waist, until I’m his and we both know it. “Okay,” I say when I part my lips from his. “But if I’m yours, you’re mine.”
My thumb traces the curve of his jaw, memorizing the brush of his stubble, the way his eyes look in this moment, the way his voice sounds when he says, “I’ve been yours for a while.”
When I kiss him again, it’s the seal to a promise. It’s telling him that I want this. That I want him.
It’s telling him where I want to be in five years. In six.
I WAKE UP with an ache in my back, the sun in my eyes, and I smile. I turn my face into Shawn’s hard chest, breathing into his fabric-softened T-shirt and loving the way his arms tighten around me like he’s never going to let me go.