Break It Up

Break It Up by E.M. Tippetts

Book: Break It Up by E.M. Tippetts Read Free Book Online
Authors: E.M. Tippetts
was a show of strength, and I was used to being pursued. My last boyfriend worked so hard on keeping me in his life that he was essentially a stalker, always on my Facebook page and texting me on the phone. I thought it was so romantic at the time.
    I’m pretty sure if I tried that, Zach would freak.
    It feels like an eternity later that we’re all climbing into cars to go back to the hotel. I fall asleep with my cheek pressed against the window glass. Thank goodness for dark tinting. I’m sure that would’ve looked weird to anyone on the outside.
    I wake with a start when the other doors open with metallic pops. I sit up and wipe the drool off my chin. Gross. At least I wasn’t in Zach’s car.
    The night air is warm and still humid in the few steps I take through it, and then I’m striding across the threshold into the hotel lobby, which seems far too bright. My whole body aches with exhaustion, and I look neither right nor left as I stumble on over to the elevators and nearly fall asleep again as I wait for one to arrive.
    I can hear Zach’s voice behind me in the lobby, and I turn to find him talking to Aidan. He sees my look, finishes his conversation, and then heads in my direction.
    Wake up , Kyra, I think. Time with him is definitely more important than sleep.
    He comes to stand near me and says, “So, not a complete disaster, that set, huh?”
    “Not even,” I say.
    The elevator arrives then and I step inside, Zach right on my heels.

I’m not sure what floor to hit, but I decide it’d be presumptuous to hit twelve. I push my own floor and leave it at that. Zach folds his arms, leans against the wall of the elevator, and smiles at me. From the light in his eyes, I know he’s plotting something, and when we reach my floor, he’s the first to step off. That’s when it hits me that he never pushed the button for his floor.
    He raises an eyebrow suggestively as I step off of the elevator. “May I walk you to your room? Or do you still not trust me enough?”
    My cheeks flush warm. “It isn’t a trust issue.” I step off the elevator and the doors slide shut behind me.
    “No?”
    “I take this job seriously. I want to look professional. I don’t want to look like some groupie who weaseled her way in—”
    “A groupie, huh?” He laughs.
    Which makes my cheeks burn more. He thinks that the image of me acting like a groupie is so absurd, so it’s clear he doesn’t know me at all. And again, I don’t know how to set him straight. “Hey, I would have totally slept with all three of you a year ago,” comes to mind, but I can’t make myself say it.
    At least I don’t nod in agreement, which he takes with good humor as he plucks my shirt hem. “Loosen up, Armijo. I promise not to compromise your situation with your boss. No one will think I got you this job, though you know, I have some pull in entertainment circles. If you ever wanted a job in—”
    “No. I’d never—”
    He cracks up. “Always honorable. All right. All right.”
    Wow. His wrong idea about me is pretty entrenched. The lies keep piling up, but I’m too tired to sort them out. Given his demeanor, we’ll probably just sit and talk some more, though I suppose I could set him straight if I tried to take his clothes off with my teeth. That thought makes me smile and shake my head. This whole situation is hopeless. I keep my eyes averted from him. It isn’t as if I don’t know his fully-clothed body by heart.
    We reach my door and I slide the keycard in with a click. He steps in to open my door for me, though. Once I’m in, he says, “May I?” and steps in after me, switching the light on with one hand and with the other shutting the door behind us.
    “Sorry this isn’t as nice as your room.”
    “This is the kind of room I’m used to. Let me know if this all starts to overwhelm you. You know, with the glamor of it all.” He looks me over as if he expects me to do something.
    Should I have laughed?
    We’re both standing

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