Val studied me for a moment, and her nerves melted away. Giving her the chance to say no had apparently been what she needed to say yes. “It’s okay, Kyle, I don’t mind staying.”
She sounded much more confident, but I still asked, “You sure?”
“I’m sure,” she promised. A smile crept over her face, reaching all the way up into her eyes and she said, “I can’t let you go out there alone. Who knows what kinds of rumors you’d start. I’d probably wake up tomorrow and learn that I’d been hospitalized after going into severe shock when you kissed me backstage.”
Surprised, I burst into laughter. “That does sound like something you’d do,” I teased.
She laughed with me and we headed back to the main studio and our waiting fans. “It may have been four years, Kyle, but that doesn’t mean I don’t remember how you operate.”
I snatched her hand as she reached to open the door to the studio. I wasn’t ready to end this moment alone with her. “You don’t think I’ve learned a few things since then?”
She smirked and shook her head. “New tricks. Same dog.”
It was impossible not to take her words as a challenge. I pushed her back until she was pinned against the door and leaned in close enough that our breaths mingled. Her eyes snapped wide the same way they always had whenever I’d invaded her personal space, and I watched, satisfied, as she sucked in a lung full of air and held it.
“That mentality will be your downfall this time around, Val.” I leaned in, letting my lips linger at her jawline for a moment too long before bringing them to her ear. “Same old tricks,” I whispered. “New man.”
With that, I kissed her cheek and breezed past her into the studio, leaving her flustered and in need of another moment to collect herself all over again.
Author Kelly Oram
Kelly Oram wrote her first novel at age fifteen–a fan fiction about her favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which family and friends still tease her. She’s obsessed with reading, talks way too much, and loves to eat frosting by the spoonful. She lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and four children.
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