"I could," she said. "It might be safer than being in here - how do I know you're not really a serial killer or something?"
"You don't," I said. "Keep telling me about the Kardashians, though, and you might find out."
"No trunk filled with duct tape and rope and tarp?" she asked.
"Sounds like a lot of kinky fun," I said. "But sadly, no. Sorry to disappoint. I'm not looking to chop you up into pieces. Of course, if I were, I probably wouldn't tell you."
"Well." She paused for a long moment, giving me the once over. "So you really don't know who I am, then?"
“Nope.” She seemed surprised by the fact that I wasn’t that curious, but I guess I didn’t give a shit if she was somebody famous. All right, I was kind of curious. I mean, how often in my life had I been kissed by a movie star?
The answer would be zero.
I just wasn't going to let on to her that I was curious. She didn't need to know that. I mean, hell, for all she knew I could be getting kissed by actresses all the time.
“Okay,” she said. “What’s your name, then?”
“Elias Saint.” I paused for a beat. "Just so you know, paparazzi follow me all the time too."
"Oh yeah?" she asked, her tone laced with sarcasm. "You must be totally famous."
I angled my head down, looked at her over the edge of my sunglasses. "Well, I didn't want to say anything, since you were being all braggy and shit, but I am kind of important."
"Oh, well, obviously," she said. "I can tell."
I slid my glasses back up my nose. "It's the devastating good looks, right?"
"Dead giveaway." She grinned.
"Chicks dig me," I said, shrugging. "What can I say?"
"I don't doubt it," she said. The way she said it, I couldn't tell if it she was being serious or still joking. The intensity in her gaze made me think of that kiss. Hell. That kiss. I turned away, looked straight ahead, afraid she'd be able to read the desire for her that had to be etched on my face right now.
“Elias,” she said.
“Your name. I like it. It’s kind of old school. Biblical."
"All right, River with nowhere to go," I said, abruptly changing the subject. The last thing I wanted to do right now was tell a movie star about the convoluted origins of my name. "Where do you want me to take you?"
"Anywhere you like." I turned to look at her when she said it, her voice husky. Is she hitting on me? Her cheeks reddened, and I realized she was embarrassed.
I couldn’t help feeling like pushing that button more now that I knew what embarrassed her.
"I'll save that for later," I said. "Unless you want me to take you right here, right now." I watched as the red flush grew deeper, and she shifted uncomfortably in her seat. I hid a smile, watching her squirm. She didn’t say anything, and I cleared my throat. "I'm heading home."
When she answered, her voice was hoarse, and the flush was still evident on her face. "Where's home?"
"West Bend, Colorado," I told her. The last place on earth some actress would be interested in going. The fact that she was still sitting in my car made no f**king sense.
"Okay," she said.
"Okay, I'll go with you." She said it matter-of-fact.
"To my f**king house?" I asked.
"Did I ask you to come home with me?" I said. Was this girl crazy? Bringing someone like her back to West Bend? Bringing her back to my house? There was no way short of hell freezing that I was letting her within a hundred yards of my family.
"Oh," she said. She sounded disappointed, and I found myself caring.
"No, I mean, I just assumed you were offering me a ride or something."
Yeah, I thought. Or something, definitely.
My c**k was doing all the thinking for me. When I spoke, the words sounded foreign to my ears. “You want to come with me to West Bend?” I asked.
“Sure,” she said, grinning wickedly. “I mean, since you’re asking and everything.”
Shit. My c**k was definitely doing the thinking here.
My head was back on the head rest, my eyes closed, and I listened to the hum of the car as we drove along the highway. I was in that space between asleep and awake, trying to ignore the thoughts swirling in my head.
Four hours ago, this seemed like a perfectly reasonable idea, driving off with some guy I just met, the same guy who had stuck his tongue down my throat in a hotel hallway.
I could still taste him on my lips. He tasted like whiskey and sex.
What the hell was I thinking, jumping in some guy’s car and going with him to his hometown? I only just learned his name. I knew nothing about him. We had nothing in common- I was sure of that. Two different worlds and all.
This is the dumbest idea ever, River.
And I had done some stupid shit, that was for damn sure.
Viper ran around on me, but it’s not like I’d always been an angel. I went to rehab once, after a bad spell of partying before I was even eighteen. I’d lucked out with a manager who was good with that kind of shit, hired one of those fixers who can manage anything. The fixer got me out of that jam. She was probably busy spinning this one already. I wondered what she was coming up with. Running away in the middle of a movie shoot? Hitching a ride to Colorado with some guy I'd just met?