Home > Once Upon a Sure Thing (Heartbreakers #2)(11)

Once Upon a Sure Thing (Heartbreakers #2)(11)
Author: Lauren Blakely

Ally: Duly noted. I’ll stay away from him.

Macy: Also, why are you bringing up couples who sang and then split? Are you and Miller a couple and you haven’t told me? Tell me, tell me, tell me.

Ally: We’re not a couple. And it’s totally fine if he doesn’t want to sing together. I auditioned, I put my best foot forward, and now I’m going to focus on the things I can control. Like weather and the national debt.

Macy: I’m sorry, honey. I know you wanted to pull this off. But, joking aside, when people go into business with their friends, it can blow up.

Ally: Maybe it was crazy to try to push our friendship into some other category.

Macy: I used to think that about Kirby.

Ally: I’m covering my ears when you talk about MY BROTHER who you fell for. Some friend. ☺

Macy: I couldn’t help falling for my bestie’s brother. He’s wonderful, and so are you. And Miller is just being cautious about the band thing. Don’t let it get you down.

Ally: I’m not even thinking about Miller’s band anymore. Not one bit. Not one stinking iota.

Chapter 10

Miller

Jackson is pacing the hall as I turn the corner past the receptionist’s desk.

I rake a hand through my hair, trying to figure out what the hell to do with the spectacular mess my plans have become. Jackson’s face is lit up though, and he points to his phone. “Miller, man, you need to see this.”

“I do?” I ask half-heartedly.

“I have this kick-ass editing software on my phone. I put a clip together in ten minutes.” He’s practically bouncing as he goes into the recording studio, looking back to make sure I’m following. I do and flop down in a wheeled chair between my brothers, rolling back into the wall with a thud.

Jackson brandishes his phone dramatically and hits play.

The first screen is a title card. Break it Down.

I arch a brow.

“Wait for it,” he assures me.

The screen reads, Go BTS for the making of a brand-new musical duo.

“BTS?”

“Behind the scenes,” he answers quickly. “I’ll spell it out next time. Keep watching.”

The next clip is a shot of Jackson strolling down the hall of the studio, talking to the camera, selfie-style.

“Ever wonder what goes into forming a band in the era of YouTube, Spotify, digital everything, and the new musical world order? I’m going to take you behind the scenes into the inner workings of . . .” He stops at the door of the studio, pauses, then stage-whispers, “Hashtag ZimmerHart.”

I raise my eyebrows. Is he joking? But then the camera zooms in on Ally and me, and my eyes are drawn to the screen. Damn, she is luscious as Honey.

Note to self: don’t think dirty thoughts about your best friend.

But hell, that body, that face, that wig. The way she looked. How she smelled.

I scoot back in the chair, like a slight change in position will shift matters away from my pants.

Enough, brain. Focus. Just fucking focus.

I wipe the filth from the gray matter and slap on blinders, zeroing in only on the tunes.

Except I didn’t realize we were that close when we sang.

Ally’s inches away from me, and the look on her face is seductive and sensual. Why the hell did I pick that tune to sing today? What was I thinking choosing a sexy song of desire?

I tug at my collar, my temperature ticking up a few degrees as I watch the small screen, wishing my brothers and Jackson were gone, wishing I was alone to enjoy this.

I mean, study this.

I want to study this video.

Understand it.

Because it’s like watching a foreign film without subtitles. I don’t know what’s going on, so I have to rely on the actions, and the actions make one thing clear—we’re setting the studio on fire. We’re giving off fumes of lust.

I blink, trying to make sense of what I’m seeing.

It must be the song. Must be that it’s a great sexy duet, and we were both getting into the meaning and the lyrics.

That’s the way it should be.

Jackson touches the screen with a satisfied flourish, an expectant look in his dark eyes. “What do you think? This might be a crazy idea, but as soon as you two started singing, I knew I was witnessing something I could use for my scholarship application.”

I crease my brow. “What? How?”

“My submission for the media scholarship.”

Awareness slams into me like a truck. He’s mentioned needing to submit a short documentary for the scholarship he’s applying for.

“This would be your submission? Hashtag ZimmerHart?”

“You don’t have to keep that name.”

“But it’s a fun one,” Miles jumps in. “Also, you’d be helping your little brother, and I don’t mean me, because I’m beyond help.”

I laugh at Miles’s goofball side. “True. You’re a lost cause,” I say, smacking his shoulder.

Jackson looks at me, all puppy dog eyes. “If you don’t want me to shoot it, that’s cool, but I stitched this together hoping it would convince you. I was looking at the requirements for the scholarship, and the main thing is to submit your own documentary. I thought this would be an awesome thing to show a behind-the-scenes look into how your duo comes together.”

Campbell meets my gaze, tilting his forehead toward Jackson. “That’s a smart idea for a scholarship app, Miller.”

I heave a sigh. “Let’s be honest here. What are the chances this is going to work out with Ally? I’m not close with anyone I’ve played with except you two dweebs, and you have to like me.”

Campbell crinkles his nose. “Wait. You think we like you?”

“Fuck off,” I say.

Miles raises his eyebrows. “Don’t swear in front of your little bro.”

Jackson rolls his eyes. “Guys.”

Miles taps his chest. “Hey, I meant me.”

Campbell rises from his chair and plants a hand on my shoulder. “It’s up to you, Miller. But I thought you were always the most optimistic. And now you’re worried it won’t work out if you sing with Ally when you haven’t even started? You and Ally are tight, and I can’t see anything splitting you up. Maybe do it temporarily?”

Miles snaps his fingers. “Try it for a month. Jam together, write some songs, make some videos. Do it DIY-style. Post them online. Let Jackson film it and see how it goes.” Miles claps his hands together like a coach. “And let’s get this dude the scholarship he deserves.”

The scales weigh heavily on one side. Jackson needs a scholarship. Ally needs a little extra money. I need . . . someone to sing with.

That someone isn’t going to be either of the guys I share blood with, so maybe they’re right. Maybe it needs to be Ally-turned-Honey.

Maybe a set time frame will keep this from exploding. As I noodle on the idea of a temporary arrangement, my heart rate slows to normal. Short-term is my middle name.

I mean, I’m excellent at striking temporary deals to sing with my best friend.

Miles smacks my knee. “Just talk to Ally. See if that would work for her.”

But the thing is, I don’t think I have to talk to Ally. She’s pretty much all in, and this is entirely up to me.

I just need to make sure I don’t fuck it up.

Taking a breath, I begin to formulate a plan.

Chapter 11

Ally

“The clock ticked ever closer to the day of reckoning, and she promised she’d be ready to reclaim her empire and to pounce on the enemy for daring to challenge her birthright.”

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