Home > Once Upon a Sure Thing (Heartbreakers #2)(9)

Once Upon a Sure Thing (Heartbreakers #2)(9)
Author: Lauren Blakely

Miles and I leave the studio suite and head down the hall.

“You enjoying the break, or are you itching to get back on the road?” I ask him.

“Actually,” he says, taking his time answering, “not as much as I thought.”

I jerk my gaze toward him. “Touring was always your favorite part of this whole thing.”

“It was, and I made it work for a long time, but Ben is starting school soon.”

I nod, understanding completely. Miles has hired babysitters and nannies galore for Ben, so his son could be with him on the job in the early years. “You can always tour in summers though.”

“That’s the plan. Pretty sure I’ll go crazy if I don’t tour.”

“I know the going-crazy feeling well, Dodgeball,” I say as I turn into the snack room and grab a couple bottles from the fridge.

“You do know that I have a nickname and you don’t, and that’s because you’re the middle child, and therefore totally unloved.”

“I do suffer without love and a nickname,” I say wryly as we make our way back to the booth.

I toss a bottle of cold water to Campbell, and he catches it easily then tips his chin toward the glass. “She’s in there.”

A laser beam of excitement zips through me. “She just arrived?”

“I was a big boy and let her in by myself. She’s waiting for you.”

I peer through the glass, but she’s looking away. Bright blonde hair hits her jaw, showing off the sexy curve of her neck.

Don’t think of her neck as sexy, you jackass.

Her neck is functional. It holds up her head.

I uncap the water, take a deep swig, and head into the recording studio.

The second I step inside, I’m walloped by music. There isn’t even a moment to extend a hand and say hello. Campbell has already started playing the music track to Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now.”

He doesn’t usually start it that quickly, so I snap my gaze in his direction, but his head’s down. In a split second, Honey launches into the duet, the sweet and sexy notes filling my head like decadent perfume.

I regard her in profile, trying to figure out this blonde in painted-on jeans and boots. She swivels around, and I blink.

The world slows.

My brain blurs.

One of these things is not like the other.

Because there’s no way Honey is my best friend.

There’s no way that’s Ally holding the mic and singing in a tone I’ve never heard come from her pipes before.

There’s no way her blue eyes are lined that deliciously dark, no way her hair is that sexpot style, no way her lips are so pouty.

My puzzlement shifts from curiosity to intrigue. I’ve never seen this side of Ally, and I gawk like I’m watching a giraffe dance the rumba at the zoo. She slides into the next verse, lighting me up with her voice.

Her eyes linger on me, roaming over my face. I mouth, You? Even though she’s here, I still need the confirmation. I still want the confirmation.

She nods, smiling playfully as she sings.

I’ve been tricked. I’ve been treated. I’ve been fooled. And I love it.

She sings like a sinner. She sings like an angel. She sounds like whiskey and sugar. I’ve only ever known her for her church-bell voice, but now she’s a glorious mix of dirty and sweet, and I never knew she had it in her.

But I can’t marinate in this change-up. It’s showtime for me.

Grabbing the mic, I dive into my first line as I gaze into those blue eyes of my friend. Only I have to think of her as Honey, so I sing to the new woman about how I can’t do without her, how I need her now.

Something is in the air between us when we sing, something charged. Something that hasn’t been there before. Stage chemistry.

I move closer as if I’m drawn by the pull of gravity that I have no control over. We lock eyes and everyone else fades away. I’m still in shock that I’m loving singing a song with my best friend.

That’s what terrifies me. Especially since we sound good together, and we move well together.

Maybe we even look good together, as we belt out this hot-as-fuck duet, and for the first time we’re not butchering a holiday tune or destroying “Total Eclipse of the Heart” at karaoke. As she moves closer to me, we sing the final chorus like it’s going out of style, and when the music softens, I can’t resist. I finger a strand of her blonde wig, the coconut scent from her lotion floating into my nose.

Reluctantly, I let the hair fall.

Clapping rings loud in my ears.

Jackson, Miles, and Campbell give a standing O. Jackson holds up his phone, pointing to it, letting me know he caught it on video.

“Chemistry,” the guys all shout, practically in unison.

But I’m not supposed to have chemistry with my best friend.

That’s the problem.

“What the hell just happened here?” I whisper to Ally, befuddled.

Her mouth opens, and her eyes go wide, and she blurts out, “I have an appointment. I need to go.”

She takes off, leaving in her wake a trail of chemistry and coconut and confusion.

Chapter 8

Miller

“Don’t just stand here!” Miles gestures wildly to the door. “Go after her.”

But my feet stay planted as my brain tries to process the new side of Ally. “But she said she had an appointment.”

Campbell guffaws. “She’s your best friend, and she just took off like her ass was on fire. Follow her.”

Jackson gestures to the door too. “Listen to your elder and listen to the younger people who know best. Go!”

I’m not even sure what to say, or if Ally’s upset, but I do what they tell me, bolting from the studio, scanning the hall for the woman in the blonde wig. Or maybe I should be looking for Ally’s brunette hair with that bright purple streak. Maybe she’s yanked off the wig, tossed it in the trash can, darted down an alley, and started climbing up the walls, parkour-style. Or maybe I’ve seen too many movies.

Either way, I rush to the lobby of Platinum Sky and ask the receptionist where Ally went. The kind lady with huge glasses and a happy-to-help grin points to the elevator. “She went thataway.”

And now we’re both living in a comic book panel.

I step into the elevator, stab the G button, and will the lift to move faster. Maybe Ally thinks I’m upset with her?

When I reach the ground floor, I blast by security and out to the street to find Ally standing against the building in the brisk December air, bent at the waist, breathing heavily.

Concern threads through me. I reach for her elbow, and she flinches when I touch her. “Are you okay?”

She waves her hand in front of her, still hunched over. “Needed to get some air.” Her voice comes out soft and a little squeaky.

“Are you sure?”

She nods then lifts her face, the blue eyes I know so well peeking out at me from underneath her vampy wig like Charlize Theron in Atomic Blonde. “Are you mad at me?” she asks in that sweet soprano.

I laugh and shake my head. “No. Why the hell would I be mad at you?”

Her eyes are nervous. “I was worried you’d think I tricked you.”

I rub my hand on her back, and she straightens. “Even if you had sent in an audition tape in full costume with a prosthetic nose and colored contacts and who knows what else, I wouldn’t be mad. In fact, I’d probably think that was awesome. What you did was totally ballsy.”

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