Promise Me (Rivers Edge Book 3.5)(6)

By: Lacey Black

I slowly walk towards him, willing my legs to keep me upright and not fail me now. Suddenly, I’m questioning my choice in footwear. Please for the love of all things holy, don’t let me trip!

“Hi,” he finally says. Those deep timbers of his voice wash over me like a warm shower.

“Hi,” I reply because, frankly, it’s the only thing I can get out of my suddenly desert dry mouth, and even then it comes out like sandpaper. I’m like a freshman girl meeting the senior quarterback on the first day of high school. My knees are knocking so damn bad, I’m worried everyone around me will hear them. Please, knees, don’t fail me now.

“Jase,” he finally says as he extends his hand towards me. I take his large, warm hand within my own and feel the energy immediately. That warm contact is like a shot of tequila. I feel it burn my throat, warm my belly, and makes me tingle all the way down to my toes - including my dormant lady parts. They are definitely taking notice of the fine specimen of man candy standing in front of me holding my hand.

“Holly,” I finally reply, my tongue darting out to wet my instantly dry lips.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Holly,” he says without letting go of my hand, his eyes diverted to my lips.

“Can I take a quick picture for you, honey?” the young man whose job it was to snap the dozens and dozens of fan photos asks as he reaches his hand forward for my cell phone.

“Sure,” I reply, producing my phone from my back pocket.

I turn to face the guy and feel the strong arm of Jase Bentley reach around my shoulder, pulling me snuggly against his hard body. Cheese and rice, this man is firm in the best possible way and smells amazing. I have to restrain myself from leaning over just a little, inhaling his musky scent, and licking his neck. I uncontrollably shudder at the contact of his body firmly against mine - or from the images dancing through my warped, perverse mind. I wrap my arm securely around his waist and somehow manage to smile for the camera.

After the photo is taken, I feel his warm breath against the top of my head, warming my already flush face. Neither one of us have let go yet even though the photo was taken several seconds ago, so I slowly turn towards him, still securely in his deep embrace. He’s staring down at me, mouth slightly open as if wanting to say something but not quite sure what to say. His eyes dance with question and maybe - what? Desire? Well, that can’t be it. Could it?

“Excuse me, but could we take a quick picture of all of us together with the band?” Avery asks the bored guy who was taking pictures.

“Sure thing, honey,” he replies with an instant smile that borders on creepy.

Avery, Erin, and Josselyn all weave their way in between the band members. Jase never moves his arm from around my shoulder, nor do I move my arm from around his waist. It feels too good, too secure, too right. Down girl!

After the photo, the girls all engage in friendly conversation with the band since we were the last ones in line for the Meet and Greet. Jase turns his attention back to me. “So…” he starts.

“So…” I reply.

“What brings you here tonight?” he asks but then he seems to register the stupidity of his question. “Sorry. I guess that’s an obvious answer, huh?” he says with a hearty laugh. A beautiful laugh. It seems so real and genuine and lights up his entire face.

I smile at his ability to poke fun at himself. “My friend, Avery, over there - the blond - it’s her birthday tomorrow. Her husband got us tickets.”

“Yeah? Nice husband,” he responds with another award-winning smile.

“Actually, I think he got the tickets from your brother.”

Jase raises an eyebrow in question. “Which one?”

“Coy, maybe? He was in the same unit as Maddox and Jake, I guess, in the military,” I reply.

“Oh yeah. Coy called me a couple of weeks ago for four tickets. Are you married to one of them?” he asks as green, hopeful eyes staring back at me while he awaits my answer.

“Oh, no. Avery is married to Maddox and Jake is her brother. Jake is engaged to Erin, the redhead over there,” I say as I point to Erin. “And Josselyn is married to Avery’s youngest brother, Travis.”

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