Changing Beats (Book 1)

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Chapter Eleven

Cortney

To my dismay, Jason was a total gentleman and, after a few very steamy kisses, a fantastic dinner and some cocktails, he drove me home.

Maybe he realized that I wasn’t his type after all and was just being nice. In that case, it meant ice cream binging for the next week. I totally liked this guy. He was caring, kind, a good cook and extremely sexy.

“I was supposed to have dinner with your parents next Thursday,” his face warped as he paused leaning on the wall next to the door to my apartment.

“Oh?” I asked, “Why?”

“I honestly have no idea,” he shrugged. “They sent me a fancy invite and everything. They’ve been sending them for a couple years now and I actually accepted the last one.”

“Why would you do that?” I gaped at him.

He shrugged again, “I figured that you normally do your family dinner on Thursdays, so you’d be busy and I’d be bored.”

Oh-my-god! Something my mother had said last month came into mind...

“The guy at the top of the hill.” I hissed. Why hadn’t I thought of that?! I had been there all evening! “It’s their big monthly dinner party.”

“Oh fuck!” I groaned against my door, contemplating my next step, “Crap!”

“You swore again,” he chuckled, “I’m wearing off on you.”

“They know you’re single,” I hissed, pointing a finger at him.

“What? How?” he asked with a chuckle, “Wait! Why does that matter?”

I stepped into my apartment and pulled him in behind me, closing the door, so none of my nosy neighbors overheard us.

I instantly began to pace my small two-bedroom apartment. When I turned to face him, he had a huge grin on his face. He was having fun with this.

“Oh stop it!” I instinctively smacked his chest and his smile grew like the Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland. “You said that the only people that really go up to your house are the guys from the band and your mother. You’ve lived there how long?”

“A little over five years,” he shrugged, “But I travel a lot.”

“She’s stalking you!” I hissed, poking at his chest.

He laughed at me, shoving his hands in his pockets.

“You’re cute when you’re paranoid.” He still had that ridiculously cute smile, plastered on his face. “Why would your mother be stalking me?”

“Because, in her twisted, warped, infinitesimal brain she thinks I need to marry a millionaire!” I went to my cupboard and pulled out the expensive Sherry I had, for occasions just like this.

“You use big words when you’re mad.” He was still smiling, but his eyes went wide as I opened the bottle and took a swig.

“Stop smiling!” I scolded him, pointing the neck of the bottle at him angrily. “This is not funny! My mother is attempting to fix us up here, Jason!”

He chuckled, pulling the bottle out of my hand and taking a swing.

“But we’re already dating.” He pointed between the two of us.

“I know,” I hissed taking the bottle back with another chug, “But her trying to fix me up with you, is her way of trying to control me. I can’t stand it when she does this!”

He brought his hand to his chin in thought, a slow smile crossing his features again. “Actually, think about the possibilities here.”

Tell me he wasn’t about to rationalize with my mother!

As he took the bottle back from me, I stomped over to the couch and plopped on my ass. Once seated I slipped my heels off.

“Your mother wants to see you with a guy who’s got money,” he sat next to me, handing me the bottle back, “I have the money that she wants the guy to have... But, I’m guessing that she wants you with some clean-cut businessman. Do I look like the clean-cut, pristine guy she wants you with?” He looked down at his tattoos, “You could piss her off, just by being with the guy she wants to hook you up with.”

“No... You definitely don’t fit what she has in mind.” I gaped at him, a slow smile etching my features as well, “And I suppose that she hasn’t gotten a good look at you, since she doesn’t leave the damn veranda.”

“From where my house is located, she’d have to be scoping with binoculars.” He chuckled, taking another swig from the bottle.

“You laugh, but she probably has a pair.” I scoffed, handing him the bottle back.

He examined it for a moment, then faced me questioningly.

“So, you have all this money,” He gaped around my pristine apartment, “but you live here?”

“This is a good neighborhood.” I huffed a laugh, “I paid a pretty penny for this condo.”

“You have bars on the windows.” He thumbed the window behind us.

“We are closer to a seedy area, yes, but this is a nice complex.” I laughed at his expression. It was a cross between teasing and being serious.

“You live on the third floor.” He flung a hand at the door with huffy smile, “With bars on the Windows.”

“Okay, I get it, it doesn’t look the best.” I laughed, “But I bought it with MY money.”

“And the four-hundred-dollar bottle of Sherry?” He cocked a brow at me.

“This was a Christmas gift from my dad.” I smiled at the bottle, “One major thing he and my grandfather taught me was that earning things yourself makes it so much enjoyable than having it given to you. Everything here, I’ve earned myself.”

“Really?” His eyes went wide.

“Yes.” I gave an embarrassed nod, “I’ve had the big fancy cars and the ball gowns, dresses and personal wardrobe specialists, and I still have the multi-million dollar bank accounts, but it never felt right.”

“And that’s why you don’t want to do what your mom wants?”

“It’s not that.” I shook my head, “I mean, yeah. It didn’t feel right, but it never had. I always felt like an outsider.”

I placed the bottle down on my coffee table with a sigh. I didn’t know why I was I telling Jason all of this. It could have been the Sherry, but it was feeling more real between us now.

“My grandfather was considered eccentric, because he would have a business meeting while fishing in the pond behind the house.” I giggled at the memory.

“Really?” He asked. Seemingly engaged in our conversation, he smiled and leisurely leaned back on the sofa, putting his arm on the back of it.

“Yes,” I continued to giggle, “My father and I were right there with him. We were fishing, waders on and everything. They had the board members there and they were conducting business usual, but he was comparing things to catching carp.”

I nuzzled into the crook off his arm as we laughed and was pleased when he put his arm around me.

Things with Jason were natural and just felt right.

“I’m not surprised that you like to fish, but I think the multi-million dollar bank account throws me for a loop.” He sighed.

“Accounts... As in multiple...” I bit my lip and turned my head to look up at him as smiled down at me.

“You just don’t seem like the stuck-up snob, that envisioned those people being like.” He shrugged, leaning in closer to me.

“That’s because I take after my father and grandfather.” I explained, “They kept me grounded... Or, as the socialites say, in the clouds.”

“Well, I like you just as you are. With or without the money.” His lips were meets inches from mine.

“Well, I liked you when I thought you were a struggling artist.” I looked at his lips and it all the incentive he needed to move in.

Almost in the next instant, I was straddling him on the couch as his hands cupped and kneaded my ass.

When his mouth moved to my neck he paused, pulling back.

“Sorry... I-uh... Need to confess something...” He whispered into my neck.

I paused with a moan, “You have a girlfriend, don’t you?”

“Not at all.” He chuckled against my throat, tightening his hands on my hips as I tried to move away.

“A kid out there somewhere?” I sat straight up, putting distance between the two of us, “A baby’s momma?”

“No!” His eyes went wide with shock as he chuckled.

“Then what?” I snapped, crossing my arms.

“The dinner I made you tonight?” His face flushed and he looked away, almost ashamed, “I told my mom about how I wanted to impress you and she helped me... And by help, I mean she prepped it. All I did was put it in the oven.”

A roar of chortling laughter escaped me.

“Well, it isn’t that funny!” He gaped at me.

“No,” my laughter slowed and I stood, pulling him after me, “It’s sweet. Not what I would expect from a guy in a band.”

“Oooh, bedroom time?” I could hear the smile in his voice

I turned back to smile at him, biting my lower lip, “Absolutely.”

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