Home > Just What I Needed(2)

Just What I Needed(2)
Author: Kylie Scott

Now that I’m partially awake, I can see small signs of cohabitation. Like the acoustic guitar sitting on the sofa. There’s something romantic and soulful about a man who is a musician. Not even spending time around Stage Dive’s manic drummer, Malcolm Ericson, has cured me entirely of those teenage dreams.

Dean is still sitting at the table with a faint smile on his face watching me when I turn around and start working on breakfast. Sheesh. This level of scrutiny when I’m still waking up is intense.

“You’re a morning person, aren’t you?” I ask, waiting for the toaster to pop.

He lifts one brazenly bare shoulder in a half shrug. The temerity of the man. “Probably more of a night person. It comes with the work. Musicians don’t usually tend to be early risers. But since all of the Stage Dive guys have families to get back to…”

I put the Pop-Tarts on two plates and take them over to the table. “Breakfast is served.”

“Thank you.” He has a disarmingly cute smile. “I appreciate that.”

And I say nothing. No way is he hot and nice. Those two qualities never exist in the same person. Impossible.

This is the problem with not having a social or sexual life. You lose your touch. Those muscles wither and die from disuse. You forget how to do it–how to talk to people. Most of my discussions with nine-month-old Jamesy involve making airplane or farm animal noises while coaxing him to eat his vegetables. Which leaves me standing there hesitating with a Pop-Tart in one hand and a coffee in the other and no social skills at all. Not a single clue what to say to start a normal adult conversation. I am hopelessly screwed when it comes to dealing with someone like him. Every time I look at him, my brain turns into a consistency similar to the baby’s food. Just mush. A normal person would take the opportunity to get to know this alarmingly attractive guy who I will be cohabitating with for the foreseeable future. But I can’t bring myself to do it. Shit.

“Um,” I say like a genius. “Have a nice day.”

 

* * * *

 

There are definite perks to my job. I often get to travel and stay in nice hotels. And there’s usually time for me to do a little sightseeing. I worked for a couple of different families down in L.A. before returning to the Pacific Northwest. I was with a famous acting duo and their children for several years. And before that a diva with a toddler. Now that household was wild. It was hard to judge who was more emotionally mature somedays. But once you’re ducking objects thrown by both the adult and the child, it’s time to get out. The Ferris family and their friends have been kind to me. It makes for a great low-stress situation. Usually.

“I declare this recording studio open for business,” says Evelyn Ferris, holding a bottle of champagne aloft as she presents the new building to all of us standing around outside. “I’m not really supposed to break this, am I? Isn’t that just for ships?”

Lena Ferris lines up another shot with her high-tech camera. “I say we drink it instead.”

“That’s a much better idea.” Ev lowers the bottle.

Jimmy and Ben are already busy inside the new studio (which no doubt cost a small fortune to build) located to one side of the property. But Mal and David are present and clapping politely. Okay. So Mal is actually twirling a drumstick while making loud hooting noises. But honestly, for him, that’s pretty normal behavior and to be expected. From what I’ve seen, he’s a little like a toddler. It’s when they go quiet that you should be ready for chaos.

The band’s producer and my new housemate, Dean Jennings, is also present. This is evident in the way every fine hair on my body is standing at attention. He’s fully dressed this time, but it doesn’t matter. You would think hiding all of the tanned skin and muscles would diminish the overall effect of the man. My knees, however, are as weak as can be. I have observed over time that the usual musician’s attire is jeans, sneakers or boots, and a worn tee advertising some band you’ve probably never heard of. Given the time of year, there’s now often also a hoodie included. And he wears it damn well.

I need to know if this man has any negatives. Because from outward appearances, he’s too good to be true. I bet he leaves dirty clothes on the floor and wet towels on the bed and hogs the covers on a cold winter’s night. He probably has all of those annoying habits and more. Thereby making him more fallible. Meaning I will definitely be less likely to get all up in my feelings each time I see him. Because this level of awkward and lusting isn’t sustainable. Not for me. And you just know the prime feeling I am presently experiencing is coming from the pants region. If someone could invent a switch to specifically to turn off your libido, I sure would appreciate it.

Please and thank you.

“We meet again,” he says with a smile that seems a touch more than just friendly.

“Yeah.” Just like the last time, I’m at a loss for words around him.

His eyes are this beautiful dreamy pale green color. I don’t think I noticed them earlier. But I have never seen anything like them. They’re so pretty. His lashes are long and dark, and there are faint sunlines radiating from the corners like he spends a lot of time outside or something. I would guess he’s in his early thirties. A little older than my twenty-five, which is not necessarily a problem. Though there’s every chance he’s going to think me gauche and girlish with the way I’m acting.

Ugh. No. Enough of the internal negative talk.

What is an issue, however, is the way I have still only managed to say one damn word to the man.

“Hey, Dean.”

He still doesn’t say anything else. He just smiles his smile. It’s definitely a different one than the polite, professional smile he gave the others. At least, I think it is. It seems to suggest he finds me of interest for some reason. Or at a minimum, that I amuse him.

This would be so much easier if I could just read his mind and find out if he’s interested. And you can bet that the sight of this particular smile makes my stomach swoop and my blood run hot. I have got it bad for this boy.

Here, once again, is where a normal person would take the opportunity to do something. To flirt or express an interest in the man or just plain strike up a conversation…I don’t know. But no, I stand there in silence like an idiot with the baby monitor clutched in my hands in case my charge wakes early from his afternoon nap. I used to have confidence. No idea where I left it. I hope he doesn’t notice the spot of pumpkin smeared on my blue jeans. Dean. Not Jamesy. The baby is, after all, the one who put it there.

“I better get back to it,” he says finally, giving me a chin tip. “See you later, Jude.”

“Bye.” Another whole word. I am a legend.

He heads back into the recording studio as I stand there and watch him go. Like a loser. Which is when I realize that I am also being watched. Mal is still busy twirling his drumsticks. But the rest of the group are giving me distinctly curious glances. Like I have all of their attention.

“Is everything okay?” I ask.

“Sure,” says David. “Right, baby?”

Ev’s smile seems off somehow. “Absolutely.”

David then gives me a broad smile and two thumbs up. Which is weird. He has always been professional and friendly. But this is…I don’t actually know what this is, to be honest.

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