Home > One More Promise (Band on the Run #2)(9)

One More Promise (Band on the Run #2)(9)
Author: Samantha Chase

   “I know you are, but I also know if I didn’t say anything, you’d probably pass on taking the time to talk with Dylan. I’m being helpful.”

   “You’re being rude,” Paige murmured and then offered Dylan a tight smile. “Anyway, um…I am heading out for the day, but I can spare a few minutes for coffee if that works for you.”

   “And cake pops?” he teased and almost sagged with relief when she smiled. And damn, did she have a great smile.

   “And cake pops,” she said as she ducked her head and blushed again. Turning to Daisy, she said, “Go and man the phones and I’ll see you Monday. If anyone comes looking for me—”

   “I’ll take care of it,” Daisy replied, clearly suppressing a grin. “Have a great weekend.” Then she looked at Dylan and giggled. “It was nice to meet you!” Then she spun and practically skipped away.

   Beside him, Paige shook her head.

   “Is she your assistant?”

   She nodded and then reached around him to hit the button for the elevator. A few minutes ago, she couldn’t take her eyes off him, and now she would barely look at him. They waited in silence, and once the elevator arrived, he motioned for her to precede him into it and then stepped in behind her.

   “If you’d rather not get coffee, you know, I’m sure I can schedule a time to meet with you here next week,” Paige said as soon as the doors closed.

   Wait, was she trying to get rid of him?

   While looking straight ahead at the doors, she went on. “I’m sure you’re a very busy man and I don’t know if you can have coffee without people swarming you or something, and to be honest, if we’re going to talk about the campaign—and your possible involvement in it—I prefer to do so without fans hovering for pictures.”

   Her voice was almost void of emotion, and Dylan realized Paige clearly wasn’t a fan of his.

   “I don’t normally get bothered,” he supplied. “I mean occasionally a fan or two, like your assistant, will come over to say hello, but it’s not like my presence in a Starbucks is going to incite a riot or anything.”

   “Still… I think it would be better if maybe we scheduled something for…”

   Dylan stepped in front of her—directly in her line of vision so she couldn’t ignore him. “How about a compromise?”

   She looked at him quizzically but silently. Great. He hadn’t thought about where he was going with this. All he knew was that he didn’t want to wait until next week to talk to her. True, he hadn’t known that until this minute, but there was something about her that…intrigued him. And more than anything, he wanted to know if she had an aversion to working with him because of his history or because of something else.

   Maybe he was paranoid, but he was getting a strong vibe that Paige was trying to get rid of him.

   “A compromise?”

   Think fast! “Um…yeah. A compromise.” Brilliant. Keep repeating the same words. That oughta make her want to work on a literacy campaign with you. Moron.

   The elevator came to a stop on the first floor, and when the doors opened, Dylan again motioned for her to go first as he frantically tried to think of a reasonable compromise.

   “Like what?” she asked as she came to a stop in the middle of the massive lobby. There were a few people walking around, but no one was paying any attention to them. Maybe that would work in his favor, if she noticed he wasn’t one of those mob-inducing celebrities.

   “Well, you seemed like you were on your way out to…someplace. Maybe I can tag along and we can talk. Like in the car. We’ll grab our coffees—if you want one—and drive for a bit. No one’s going to chase after the car or anything,” he said with a small laugh and instantly stopped when he saw she wasn’t laughing.

   Or smiling.

   “I’m going to the grocery store,” she stated. “And then home. I don’t think that’s going to work. We can do this next week. I’ll have Daisy call you. I think we have your number on file so—”

   “No!” he quickly interrupted. Okay, this time he was definitely being paranoid, but he knew if he didn’t talk to her today, didn’t convince her to let him in on this project, that he wasn’t going to get another chance.

   “Excuse me?”

   He sighed and figured he had nothing left to lose. “Look, I get it. You know who I am and I can tell you’ve got no real interest in working with me. Actually, I don’t get it. If you feel like this, why reach out to me at all?”

   “Actually…I didn’t,” she said hesitantly and then instantly looked down at the ground.

   “I don’t understand.”

   Now it was her turn to sigh, but then she looked up at him. “I had… And then my sister…” She stopped and sighed again. “Maybe we should go get that coffee.”

   Two minutes ago, Dylan would have considered that a victory, but now he had a feeling she was using it as a way to let him down easily. “Yeah. Okay. Sure.” She gave him a brief nod and then led the way out of the building. He got in step beside her, and neither spoke as they walked along the sidewalk to the corner coffee shop.

   Once inside, they still didn’t speak except to give their orders. He breathed a sigh of relief that no one seemed to recognize him, and when Paige offered to get a table, he agreed to wait for their drinks. Dylan motioned to the barista and asked for a couple of cake pops to be added to their bill. He noticed Paige hadn’t ordered any, but at this point, he wasn’t above using whatever he could to get on her good side.

   As he waited, his mind raced. Why was this so important? When Mick had first mentioned this project to him, it wasn’t something he’d wanted to do. Then he’d made his peace with it, but it wasn’t as if it were mandatory that he do this project in particular to meet his community service commitment. There were plenty to choose from. Maybe it was ridiculous for him to be getting in a snit over it and trying to win over a chick who didn’t seem like she wanted to be won.

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