“Well, then, let’s get all our gossiping in now while I have your undivided attention.” She clears her throat and begins telling us stories of the band and their sexcapades and which celebrity fell backstage at the Grammys.
I settle back in the cushions and listen, laughing, and counting the hours until I can go home to Mark.
“Hey,” I whisper as I borough down into the covers and cup the phone to my ear.
“Hi, sweetheart. Why are you whispering?”
“Because it’s late and I’m tired and it seems appropriate.”
“How was your day?” His voice sounds tired. I wish he was here, cuddled up next to me where I could smell him and feel him.
“Well,” I begin and turn onto my back so I can stare at the ceiling. “We checked into the hotel, which you know because I texted you. After Jax showered and we both changed, we went directly to the studio and worked with Starla and Brian until about six this evening.”
“Who’s Brian?” he asks and then I hear him chewing something crunchy.
“The male dancer. What are you eating?”
“I worked through dinner.”
I can’t help but be sad at the thought of Mark working alone in his big house all evening, skipping dinner and eating only popcorn.
“Do all women have the undeniable urge to take care of their men?” I ask aloud and bite the inside of my cheek.
“What are you talking about?”
“I suddenly wish I was there to make sure you didn’t forget to eat dinner.”
“I wish you were here for far more interesting things than dinner,” he says with a dry voice, making me giggle. “What else happened today?”
“Starla invited Jax and I back to her place for dinner with her and Rick, her fiancé.”
“Was that fun?” More chewing, and now I’m suddenly craving popcorn.
“Yes. They’re both really cool people, and she filled us in on all of the gossip we’ve been missing out on. She wants us to come to the wedding in Paris this fall.”
“That’ll be fun for you guys.”
I frown and look at the phone and then press it back to my ear.
“It’ll be fun for all of us. She invited all four of us, silly.”
“Wow. Okay. I’m glad you’re having a good time.”
“It’s fun, but I’m ready to come home.”
“So, what are you wearing?”
“You always ask me that,” I reply. “What are you wearing?”
“Well, I took my shirt off a while ago because I was getting too warm, so no shirt and jeans.”
“Can you see the elastic of your underwear over the top of your jeans?”
“A little bit, yeah.”
“Holy fuck,” I whisper. “That’s so fucking hot.”
“Seriously?” He laughs and crunches on more popcorn. “Why do women find that hot?”
“Don’t misunderstand. It’s not hot on everyone. But it’s hot on guys like you, who have that sexy V in their hips and defined abs.”
“It sounds like you’ve done a lot of research on this.”
“Oh yeah, I’m an expert,” I reply and wish again that he were with me so I could drag my fingertip down that sexy V.
“Okay, now you tell me what you’re wearing.”
“I’ve gotten used to sleeping naked.”
“Tell me you and Jax are not sharing a room.”
“Send me some dirty pictures.”
“Hell no.” I giggle uncontrollably, loving the playful side of Mark.
“Just send me your boobs. You don’t have to include your face.”
“Not on your life!”
“Okay, I’ll take a pussy shot.”
“You are so dirty.” I try to make my voice sound stern, but fail miserably.
“Only when it comes to you, baby.”
“I should hope so.” I sigh and feel my eyelids grow heavy. “I miss you already.”
“I missed you before you boarded that fucking plane.”
I grin. “Sweet talker.”
“Get some sleep, baby. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”
“We should wrap up by about five, so I’ll call you no later than five-thirty.”
“Okay. Goodnight, M.”
He ends the call and I switch my phone to camera mode, flip on the flash and take a selfie then text it to him. The sheet is tucked under my underarms and my hair is fanned out around me on the pillow. I don’t have any makeup on and I look exhausted.
Several seconds later, he responds with a photo of himself, smiling softly at me through the lens. He’s written one line: Love you, beautiful.
“I was surprised to hear from you today,” I say and take a bite of my cheeseburger.
“I escaped the lab. I left Colin to fend for himself,” Lena replies and winks at me. “We haven’t seen you in a while.”
I shrug and pop a greasy fry in my mouth. “I’ve been busy.”
“Who is she?” She smiles knowingly and takes a bite of her grilled chicken sandwich. “Why did I get this? I should have got a burger.”
My phone beeps with an incoming text on the table next to me.
“Sorry, I have to check this.”
This is Jax. I borrowed Mer’s phone. Here’s a photo of her working.
The photo is stunning. Mer is standing behind Starla and both are looking in the mirror before them. Mer is talking and pointing to Starla’s stomach, clearly coaching the celebrity.
God, I fucking miss her like crazy.
I quickly type out a thank you and set my phone aside.
“Meredith,” I finally answer Lena and smile widely.
“The Meredith who broke your heart after high school?” she asks in surprise. “The one that broke your heart so badly that you wouldn’t give me the time of day?”
I chuckle and shake my head at the beautiful brunette. Lena is curvy, with long dark hair and big blue eyes, and a killer rack.
Not that I’d ever tell her that. Or her husband.
“You only had eyes for Colin,” I remind her. “Maybe it was you who broke my heart.”
“Whatever.” She sips her diet soda and glares at me. “Tell me everything.”