Chapter 3 - Of us
The thought of murder had never really crossed my mind before, but with Jameson Cole's lips pressed firmly against mine, I'd begun to consider it.
What was he thinkin?
Was he even thinkin at all?
Of course not.
The roar of the crowd was so loud I could already feel the headache setting in behind my eyes and at the base of my head. I felt Jameson's fingers as they dug into the exact spot that the ache was most intense and I allowed myself to relax for just a second before coming to my senses.
Still aware of all the eyes on us, I gently pushed at his chest and he slowly pulled away but still held my head close to his. His eyes were so freakin dark they were almost scary then he did that stupid crooked smile of his that all these girls practically dropped their panties on the spot for.
I turned toward the crowd with a smile on my face like a robot and waved as Jameson tucked me under his arm.
"Thank y'all! We couldn't wait another second to share the news."
He crooned and like always, they went nuts over it.
Jameson could recite an encyclopedia and everyone would probably still kiss his butt the whole time.
He thanked them again as we walked off the stage and I tried to squirm out of his grip but he was annoyingly strong.
"I've gotta go to the restroom."
I said through clenched teeth.
"I'll go with you."
I said as I pushed his hand away from mine, officially grossed out.
"I'll wait for you outside the door, I wasn't gonna go inside."
I let him walk me out and to the bathroom just outside of his dressing room.
We made it just in time for me to push the door open and fall to my knees near the toilet. I emptied the contents of my stomach and prayed it made my head feel lighter.
"You okay, darlin?"
He tapped his knuckles on the bathroom door and I groaned.
That term of fake endearment was bound to make me puke again.
I didn't bother answering him and he being the most impatient person on earth took that as his cue to push through the door.
"Dang, was kissin me bad enough to make you puke?"
I responded without even thinking. Kissing him wasn't the reason I was kneeling over the toilet but I wasn't going to miss the opportunity to let him think it was.
"You're a bad liar."
He said as he kneeled beside me. He held all of my hair back just in time for me to lower my head again. I wasn't sure how long we kneeled on the bathroom floor together but it was enough time to thoroughly embarrass me.
I leaned back on my heels and flushed the toilet while Jameson stood up and grabbed a towel before turning the sink on.
"You don't have to do that."
I told him as he squeezed the water from the towel.
He didn't say a word, he simply turned toward me, lifted my hair off of my neck, and placed the cool rag against my skin.
I closed my eyes and sighed.
Instantly. I instantly felt better.
"And I'll feel even better once I brush my teeth."
He laughed. It was deep but not nearly as loud as I thought it might sound in the small bathroom. I breathed another sigh of relief.
"You know there's going to be about fifty reporters outside waiting, right?"
Boy, did I.
"Can we sneak out?"
"Should we? I mean I have no idea how to do this. That was probably obvious when I bombarded you onstage."
He said as he shoved his hands in his pockets. For the first time ever, he looked nervous. And I liked it.
"I was hoping to talk you out of it. This is a terrible idea. I mean me and you? No way."
I shook my head, it sounded like an even worse plan when I spoke the words as opposed to only thinking them.
"Right, a terrible idea."
He cleared his throat and pushed off of the wall, headed toward the door.
"There's an exit through the back, you should be able to get out that way without an audience. I'll deal with the mob on this end."
He smiled and nodded his head politely as he held the door open for me.
I took the towel off of the back of my neck and sat it on the counter before walking toward the door.
I said as I passed him and he smiled again.
I got halfway down the hall before my thoughts started nagging me.
Why did I care if I had hurt his feelings? I didn't even know the man personally and what I did know about him I didn't exactly like. But the thought of hurting him made me feel all wrong inside. I stopped, turned around, and headed back in the direction that I'd come.
I looked in Jameson's dressing room, then the bathroom and when I didn't find him I headed down the other end of the hall. He was just turning the corner with his publicist so I ran to catch up with them.
"There they are!"
Someone shouted from the end of the hall at the same time I slid my hand into Jameson's. He looked at me, then at our intertwined hands before looking at me again.
His publicists thanked God under his breath, Jameson smiled, and I accepted my fate.
He had already been more kind than I was willing to give him credit for. Or at least kind enough for me not to murder him for kissing me that way. And if I was being completely honest, putting on a show was what I'd always excelled at so why stop now?
The closer we got to the end of the hall, the more clear the questions became.
"When's the wedding?"
"Della, what do your parents think about having Jameson as their future son-in-law?"
"Alright guys, give them some space."
One of Jameson's bodyguards slid in front of us, blocking out the next question but I swear it was about babies.
We managed to somehow exit the building without saying so much as a word to the reporters. Jameson held onto my hand tightly as he tugged me behind him, his body was turned so that I was barely visible and it was nice to sort of hide behind him. To be hidden from a world that I oftentimes considered leaving altogether.
We made it to the sidewalk where my driver had pulled up right behind Jameson's. Maybe it was because I had been programmed to think too much about what the people watching me would think, or maybe it was because in my mind I'd already fully committed to this sham of a relationship but for whatever reason, I held onto his hand tighter and walked in the direction of his car.
If we left in separate cars it would raise a thousand questions and I didn't need that.
Jameson looked down at me and raised his eyebrow.
"What are you doin?"
He asked as I lead us to his car.
What was I doin? Hell, I barely knew myself.
"Well, I guess I'm sellin it."
I shrugged giving him a hint of a smile and he gave me his crooked grin in return.
I looked at him a little too long and his smile grew.
"Don't push your luck, cowboy."
I rolled my eyes and he opened up the back door, helping me inside.
He nodded as he slid in beside me. He shut the door and the world was quiet again. I leaned my head back onto the headrest and sighed.
My day had started off so innocently boring and now it was ending with me being engaged to a freakin walking panty dropper.
A walking panty-dropper who willingly held my hair back as I puked, but still.
I looked over at him and he was grinning at his phone screen.
"Already checking your DMs?"
He looked over at me and shook his head.
"Actually I'm texting my mama. She might kill me if she reads about her only son being engaged before I have the chance to tell her."
That was possibly the last thing I expected.
"Yep. I'd call her but I don't wanna wake her up. I'll do that tomorrow."
He said as he set his phone down on the middle console between us.
So, his first thought was to tell his mama. I found that way too interesting and it should've been my first clue.
Whatever I thought I knew about Jameson wasn't right and he was more than willing to prove me wrong.