I kept my expression unreadable as I stared at my reflection.
“You can't avoid it forever,” I muttered to myself before glancing at my mobile. My time was out, I needed to get to the studio and face the others. I pulled on my coat and locked the apartment with deliberate slowness. I couldn't help but laugh at myself, remembering how flustered I'd been when I had arrived late that first day. Now here I was going out of my way to be just that.
“Need a lift?” I turned to see Ben. We always seem to end up leaving at the same time.
“I'd rather put off going there,” I replied and Ben laughed, his grey eyes twinkling enough to tell me he remembered last night as clearly as me. I tried not to let my cheeks burn at the memory, when his lips suddenly claimed mine in the lift. At the time I'd been too embarrassed by the possibility of someone walking in. But once he'd opened the door to his place the embarrassment had left.
“Jaimie Evans, a force to be reckoned with. Don't let him destroy you like he has others,” Ben said with a sad smile. I knew there was something there, though the contents of the history were a mystery to me.
“I don't plan on it,” I replied, then I grabbed his hand and pulled him down the corridor.
“So, you were offering a lift?” I asked. Ben smiled but pulled out his car keys in advance. The drive was quiet, but not uncomfortably so. Was this a normal relationship? No manipulation, no being used? I could get pretty content with it. Not that we had ever discussed being established, just shared a night together. Ben stopped a few doors down and I sent him a raised eyebrow glance. He gave a nervous laugh and shifted uncomfortably.
“It'd be best if Rody and his people didn't see us together. Or many others, really...” Ben trailed off and I felt my chest tighten a little. So it had just been a one night stand after everything?
“Wait, don't misunderstand, I like you!” the ferocity surprised me as he reached forward to touch my shoulder. His fingers moved upwards, trailing my cheek then my lips. I knew my breathing had definitely grown unsteady as his eyes looked into mine.
“Just...the company my dad owns? Well, it's kind of...the main rival of Rody's,” Ben gave a small laugh that sounded more like a bark.
“So...by keeping this private, less bother for both of us from our respective teams?” I asked with a relieved laugh.
“Yeah, my dad would have a fit if he knew I was with the bassist of Rody's new, successful band,” Ben said and I shrugged.
“We're not doing that well,” I said. We'd had two singles selling quickly and the album release had done well. But we wouldn't really know how good we were till the tour started. Ben snorted.
“You're doing well enough to give my dad an aneurysm, I wouldn't be surprised if he times his tour dates around yours,” Ben said.
“Don't suppose you'd be on these tours too?” I asked and saw the spark of understanding in his eyes.
“Well, not many decent sound technicians nowadays. So, sure I could get on them,” he replied with a knowing grin.
“Look forward to seeing you from time to time then,” I said. I quickly leaned forward to rest my lips on his. I resisted the urge to make that kiss so much deeper and left the car. Who would've thought secrecy was an aphrodisiac?