“Hey, can I open your curtain?” Zain asks before he snickers. “That sounds dirty every time I say it.”
Rolling my puffy eyes, I slide it open.
“And I bet you say it often for that reason.”
“You already know me so well.” He creases his forehead. “You’ve been crying.”
Turning his head, Zain looks toward the back lounge.”
“It was him, wasn’t it?”
“Zain, it’s fine. I pushed him too far.”
“How? By being your sweet self? I’m gonna set him straight.”
I grab his arm. “No, please don’t. I can’t take another fight on this bus.”
“Then you’re in for a rude awakening, Grapefruit, because we have a lot of them on the road. Scoot over. Since you won’t let me kick some ass, I’m coming in.”
“Inside my bunk?”
“Yep.” Before I can protest, he climbs up, so I scoot closer to the wall and lie on my side to make room. He rests on his side and props himself up by his elbow. “I told you not to let him hurt you. Take my advice, and don’t speak to him unless it’s about the interview.”
“I can’t do that.”
Scrunching his forehead again, he pushes stray hairs off my face that have fallen from my updo.
“You want to do a reading with him, don’t you? You’re hoping that Nathan will come through and heal all of Tripp’s wounds.”
“Would that be such a terrible thing?”
“Not if he’d believe you, but Troy isn’t capable of trusting anyone.”
“You’re pretty insightful for a twenty-four-year-old male.”
“Who knew there was more to me than dick and dollars?”
I giggle. “There’s that cute smile,” he adds. “Uh, now that you’re happy again, I want to try something.” Zain twists his body until he’s on his back. He pulls me against him and lightly pushes my head onto his chest.
“What are you doing?”
“Showing you how we could sleep like this at night.”
“Um, no. This would not be comfortable for hours.”
“But you’re my lucky sleep charm.”
“I think having me in the row next to you will suffice.”
“What if it doesn’t?”
“How about we cross that bridge when we get to it?”
He huffs out a breath. “Fine. I’ll try to sleep alone.”
“What do you usually do at night?”
“I watch TV or play video games in the lounge. Sometimes, I practice my guitar or shoot the shit with Harry while he drives.”
“When do you sleep?”
“I only doze off for brief periods of time.”
“Yeah, but after a while, I’m sure you crash and sleep for days.”
“Nope. I take drugs to help me nap while we’re on our way to venues. Then, I take some to jack me up before gigs. I usually party afterward and stay up all night doing the stuff I said earlier. Day after day, the cycle repeats. If I’m lucky, I usually get three to four intermittent hours of sleep a day. That changed last night, though.”
“Maybe you slept because we talked about the accident.”
“No, it’s you. You’re calming.” He strokes my hair.
“No one can know about that night,” I say. “If the public found out exactly who Dexter adopted, it would be a media nightmare.”
“I know. Dad told me years ago it was never to be shared.”
“Tripp thinks my life has always been easy and that I’m entitled.”
“First, Troy Townsend is a douchebag, and second, he only believes that because you’re Dexter Kingsley’s daughter.”
I squeeze between the wall and Zain to lie on my side again. I want to see his face.
“You and your bandmates need to work through your differences.”
“I agree, but I don’t know how to make that happen. Faith and Aiden couldn’t care less if I’m around, and the issues between them don’t help any. Then there’s Tripp, who doesn’t like anyone.”
“I’m going to fix it.”
“Nooo, you’re going to enjoy the tour and help me sleep. Oh, and you’ll get the dirt on us so you can write a kickass article for your dad’s magazine.”
“Oh, really?” I smile.
“Do you have any attractive male friends?”
“No one good enough for you. Come to the green room after the show tonight. You can at least get to know some of the crew while I’m greeting fans.”
“That sounds fun.”
“It will be. Just stick with me. I attract fun.”
“That I believe. Thanks, Zain, for being nice to me.”
“No thanks needed. I like having someone around who actually gives a shit about whether I’m here or not.”
“I do, but at the moment, you’re crowding me in this bunk.”
“All right. I’ll give you some space since you’ll be up close and personal with me tonight.” Winking, he climbs down.
I stretch out and close my eyes, hoping I can take a nap. It’s not going to happen, though. Like Zain, I don’t know how I’ll ever sleep on this bus.