Janae hopped up. “I agree.” He signed the one she’d brought, and she stuck it back in her purse.
Karen whipped out the booklets for all six CDs. Janae rolled her eyes. Monte laughed as he signed each one.
“What? If I’m going to see the man, I might as well get them all signed,” Karen said with her hands planted on her hips.
“It’s okay. I don’t mind.” Monte handed them back.
“Don’t we get pictures, too?” Karen asked, holding up her phone.
Janae groaned inwardly.
“Most definitely. Donovan, would you please do the honors?”
“Sure.” Donovan took the phone. “Ms. Simms, would you like to give me your phone or camera?”
Janae handed her phone to him reluctantly.
“All right. I’ll take one of you both with Monte on each phone, then take an individual shot on your respective phones. Will that work?”
They nodded and went to stand next to Monte. Janae pasted a smile on her face, hoping it looked genuine. She was fine until it came time for her to take a picture with Monte alone, especially when he moved his body closer to her and tossed his own phone to Donovan.
“Ooh, this is going to be a good one, girl,” Karen cooed, snapping the picture on her phone.
Once they finished taking pictures, Monte and Donovan insisted on walking them to their car. Monte stood so close to her while walking, Janae could feel the heat emanating from his body. She quickened her strides. When they finally reached the car, she promptly got in, released a shaky breath, then gave a tiny wave as they backed out of the lot.
“All right, girl. You’ve got some ’splaining to do,” Karen said as she drove them to the hotel.
“What’re you talking about?”
“Please don’t insult my intelligence. I want to know what’s going on between you and Mr. Chocolate Fantasy. And don’t say it’s nothing. I saw the way he looked at you. Why do you think I tried to give you two a minute?”
“I don’t know, but whatever game he’s interested in playing, I’ll pass. Besides, I’ve sworn off men. He’s a millionaire music mogul and can have any woman he wants. What could he possibly see in a schoolteacher? I hope he doesn’t think I’m some little groupie he can have a weekend fling with and then go about his merry way.” Janae frowned. “And then you had to go and invite him to spend tomorrow with us.”
“Sorry, but I wasn’t passing up what might be my only chance to hang out with someone who’s famous. And why couldn’t he be attracted to a schoolteacher? Contrary to what you believe, I don’t think he sees you as a groupie. As a matter of fact, from everything I’ve read about him or seen, he doesn’t really do the whole groupie scene. He’s never been linked to any scandals, baby mama drama or anything. Besides, it’s time for you to come out of hiding. Not all men are jerks like Carter and Lawrence.”
“I know that,” she snapped.
“Good. Then give Monte a chance.” Karen shrugged. “If he acts like a jerk, we can toss him off the Golden Gate Bridge.”
“You’re a mess. What would I do without you?”
“Possibly miss your love connection.”
Janae grunted. “Whatever.”
* * *
As soon as the car pulled off, Donovan rounded on him. “Okay, Terrence, what the hell is going on with you? It’s a good thing no one asked to look in that bag. It would’ve been hard to explain why there was only one ticket.”
Although Donovan was one of the few people close enough to call him by his first name, he only did so when they were alone. Terrence “Monte” Campbell ran a hand over his close-cropped curly hair and blew out a harsh breath. “I wish I knew, Don.”
“If this is some booty call, you don’t need to spend the entire day with her.”
“It’s not like that, Donovan,” he said through clenched teeth. He pivoted on his heel and stalked off.
Donovan quickly caught up. “Look, I’m sorry. If you say it’s not like that, then I believe you. But you’ve never done anything like this before. What happened tonight?”
“I don’t know. When I touched her hand...it was weird...I felt...I don’t know...something.”
Donovan clapped him on the shoulder. “It’s called awareness, a connection, sexual chemistry or all of the above.”
“That’s the thing. It’s not sexual, not entirely.” For a man who made a living expressing himself through words, Terrence struggled to find them tonight.
“You don’t have to explain, Terrence. I know what you mean, and it’s about time.”