True to her word, Piper maintained the speed limit for the next twenty miles, and Trevor was glad it was summertime, meaning they had more daylight to work with. Nothing worse than having to fix an engine on the side of the road in the dark. To his relief the large Blush’s sign, with its signature heart logo, finally loomed ahead and Piper’s turn signal flashed to take the exit.
As they pulled around back to the auto shop, Trevor leaned out his window. “I’ll let you get your car turned in, but I’m gonna go ahead and park my truck and head inside the main store. I was planning on eating some dinner in the café. You’re welcome to join me if you want.”
“Yeah, sure!” she hollered back with a smile over the rumble of the diesel engine. “I’m starved!”
Trevor smiled, then gave her a small salute as he pulled away. His smile remained as he parked and walked into the larger building. High-tailing it to the restroom, he freshened up a bit, wanting to ensure he didn’t look a mess. He didn’t necessarily expect her to take him up on the offer, and now his heart was racing. Just take it easy. With looks like that, she’s probably got a boyfriend. He didn’t want to order anything without her, so decided to hang out near the entrance, his nerves still getting the best of him.
The sun was beginning to set when he saw her enter the double glass doors—she was like an angel on fire. The orange and yellow glow of the sun on the horizon outside cast a complimentary glow on her dark red spiked locks, curled upward like short, fiery bursts from the sun itself. She had a guitar case strapped across her back and a small duffel bag in one hand. With her black tank top, tight jeans, and boots she screamed sexy badass. Yet, when she spotted him near the sunglasses display, her sudden smile was soft and gentle, wrapping his heart in warmth. He was in love—head over heels. He had to know if she was available, and if not, if he could talk her into leaving whoever claimed her now.
“Hey.” Piper spoke first. “I guess they won’t be able to fix my car till morning, but the guy seemed to think it should be an easy fix and thought it should be done before noon tomorrow. I really appreciate you tagging along behind me to ensure I got here okay.”
Damn, I’d follow you anywhere, so long as I could watch your sexy ass. He couldn’t help his wandering thoughts as he followed just barely behind her, heading towards Café Blush at the back of the building. Instead, he gave a polite reply and changed the subject. “So, you play the guitar?” He motioned to the obvious instrument she pulled over her head and set against the wall as they chose a table out of the way.
“Yeah, I was the guitarist and a backup singer for a country group till recently.”
Wondering how she managed to get even sexier by the minute, Trevor slid a menu her way. “Oh, wow! That’s cool. Anybody I’d know?”
She laughed, the first full laugh he’d heard from her yet, and it was just as magical as he imagined it’d be. She had a slight rasp to her voice anyways, which he was sure made her a magnificent singer, but her laugh was warm, capturing the lower tones almost musically.
“I doubt it. We were barely surviving playing at little bars and clubs. Our lead singer and bass guitarist got into a fight and couldn’t patch things up, so we all split. We were The Miscreants. Heard of us?”
Trevor shook his head. “No, I don’t think so.”
She laughed again. “Don’t feel bad, no one else has either. We were destined to break up sooner or later.” Then changing the subject, she got up from the table. “Hey, I’m gonna go wash up real quick, if the waitress comes by before I get back, can you order me the cheddar cheeseburger with onion rings and a chocolate milkshake? I haven’t had a real meal in a few days and I’m dying for some real meat for a change. Chips and snacks just don’t pull it off.”
With a chuckle, he nodded. “Sure thing.”
“And this is my treat,” she called over her shoulder with a smile as she disappeared around the corner.
Sure that she was simply talking of food, he couldn’t help the twitch he felt in his jeans at the connotation her words brought to mind. The thought of satiating a different type of hunger for her, warmed him from head to toe. And it would definitely be his treat. He blew out a long breath as his thoughts were interrupted by the waitress who of course waited for Piper to leave before heading over.
Upon Piper’s return, the conversation continued smoothly as she asked about Trevor’s trucking job. He described the long days and amount of time away from home, confessing how much he loved the road.
Once their food arrived, Piper took up the conversation. “It sounds a lot like being in a band. We were always on the road, and to be honest, I love it, too. The only downside is that it can take a toll on relationships.”
Now was his opportunity to find out her status, so Trevor volunteered his own first. “Yeah, you’re right. My ex-wife couldn’t take it anymore. We divorced a couple years ago.”
“Oh, that’s too bad,” Piper replied genuinely, yet a gleam of hope rose in her expression. Then, she laughed lightly. “On the opposite spectrum, I was engaged to one of the guys in the band. He was the drummer. Being on the road and with each other twenty-four-seven was a bit much, and we broke up before the band did. He ended up leaving the band and we got a new guy last year. A part of me wonders if that ultimately led to the tension that grew between Ricky and Darnell. I feel kinda bad about it all, but like I said, I don’t think we were gonna make it big anyways.”
Trevor took a sip of his drink, watching her play with an onion ring. He took the leap. “So, I guess you’re unattached then?”
She eyed him with a different air, then quirked her lips up. “Yeah, very unattached. You?”
Her hopeful look reappeared and he was pleased to be able to reply in kind. “Super unattached.”
They both laughed, and while he looked down into his cup, he felt her eyes on him. Pulled between his fear of the reality of being with a woman for the first time since his wife and his torrid desire to make her scream his name out in passion as he filled her, he swallowed heavily before changing the subject altogether. There was no rush, he determined.
“Earlier you said you were headed to Jackson, Mississippi. That’s where I live—when I’m not on the road that is. You got family there or something?”
She took a long pull on her milkshake, then wiped her mouth with a napkin. “Actually, I’m going to a little town just north of there called Hampersville to meet up with another group I’m hoping to join up with. They’re looking for a new lead singer and guitarist and liked some of my stuff on YouTube. We’re gonna see if it works out and go from there, I guess. They do more Rock ‘n’ Roll than Country, which is good since that’s more the direction I wanna go anyways.”
“Yeah, I know Hampersville. That’s great. You’ll have to let me know where you’re gonna play, so I can come see your show.”
“I’d like that.” Her warm, honest smile told him that she meant it.
Their food had been eaten and plates collected long before their conversation wound down, and Piper finally looked at her watch. “Goodness, it’s later than I thought. Were you planning on hitting the road again? If so, I’ve probably kept you too long. I apologize.”
“No, I’m actually already booked at the hotel next door. I was planning to stop here for the night anyway.”
“Oh, great!” Her excitement showed and Trevor’s temperature rose as he wrestled with his emotions about that. “Um, I guess I better see if there’s a room available, too, since I’m not going anywhere till tomorrow anyways.”
The waitress finally brought their check and Piper reached out to grab it.
“Nope, I’ve got it.” Trevor laughed as he snatched up the slip of paper. “Or, I should say Uncle Sam has it. I told you, I’m not paying for this trip out of pocket, and I skipped lunch earlier. So, this meal is well within the limits of my daily per diem. Besides, you still have to pay for car repairs.”
She gave him a chagrined smirk. “Fine. But at least let me replace your jug of coolant. I have to get a couple of things from the store anyways.”
Trevor shook his head in mirth, “Fine. I have to go get my overnight bag out of the truck. You go ahead and I’ll meet you out front and we can walk across the way to the hotel.”
As he left her for his truck, he knew without a shadow of doubt that he wanted to take Piper to bed. Wanted to know what her lips tasted like, what her body felt like wrapped around him, and how she would sound as he sunk deep into her. Stopping by the restroom on the way, he used a few quarters to buy a packet of condoms. A part of him doubted they’d end up in the same room tonight, but the smidge of him that dared hope didn’t want to be unprepared.
Coming round the corner with his bag, he spotted Piper waiting for him at the entrance, her guitar secured to her back again and her duffel in hand. “Ready?” he called and she smiled up at him.
“They were out of coolant, but I can pay you back with some cash.”
“Please, keep your money. It’s no big deal.” Trevor was adamant, and Piper laughed again, thanking him once more as they headed for the Williamston Inn and Suites just across the parking lot.
Somehow missing the most direct sidewalk bridging the lots, the pair decided to jump the short shrubbery instead. Trevor went first, then turned, holding out his hand to help Piper, weighed down with her guitar and bag. “Come on.”
He saw her wet her lips in the light from the streetlamp before grasping his hand tightly. The tingle that surged through his body at the contact of her skin was unexpected and electrifying, forcing him to work to concentrate on the present. She easily leapt over the bushes, landing directly in front of him, both of their breathing coming in more shallow than it should be for the exertion they’d just used. Their eyes met and the world seemed to stand still as their fingers maintained a strong hold of the other’s.
“Piper,” Trevor whispered, his heart racing and blood pulsing loudly in his ears. “I don’t normally do this. But—”
She studied him as he paused.
“But I, uh, would you want—,” he struggled, overwhelmed with desire and inhibition at the same time.
“Yes, Trevor,” she whispered back, though he wasn’t sure if she was asking or confirming.
He tried again, “Do you want to—”
“Yes, I do, Trevor. I want to spend the night with you,” she interrupted, not allowing him to flounder any longer.
Before he could answer, she closed the small gap between them, their lips coming together with a fiery passion unlike anything Trevor had ever experienced. In turn, he grasped her arms, pulling her in tighter, deepening the kiss he was so happy she’d initiated.