“That was beautiful, baby.” A tear she could no longer contain escaped her eye. Roth swiped his thumb across her cheek, causing her skin to tingle.
“Don’t cry,” he said.
“Sorry. Beautiful things make me do that.”
“Huh. I’ve never seen you cry when you look in the mirror.” He kissed her again. “I’ll join you shortly. I love you.”
Tressa smoothed a hand along his cheek. “I know.”
“You just played me a love song.”
He smirked, then started away.
“And I love you, too,” she said.
“Forever.” He winked and continued toward the stage, accepting handshakes and compliments.
“Forever,” she mumbled to herself.
Tressa escaped to the bathroom to check her makeup. Not too bad, she thought, removing the tube of ruby-red lipstick from her clutch to freshen her lips. A toilet flushed behind her and she jerked. She’d assumed she was there alone. A young woman walked out. Gayle, if she remembered the woman’s name correctly. She’d been the hostess at the entrance when they’d arrived.
“Hey,” the woman said, pumping several squirts of soap into her palm.
“Hello. Gayle, right?”
The woman nodded. “Oh, my God, Roth’s performance was amazing. You must feel like a queen.”
Actually, she did feel quite regal. “He’s a talented musician. And yes, I do feel majestic.”
Gayle dried her hands. “Girl, if I had a man who serenaded me, I’d probably have twenty kids.”
They shared a laugh.
Tressa and Roth wouldn’t be making any babies tonight, but they would definitely be performing some baby-making actions.
“I know India hates the day she let that one slip away. Even if she was too dumb to recognize what she had, as she put it.”
The words snagged Tressa’s complete attention. India? Who in the hell was… “India?”
“India Breemer. She owns The Underground,” Gayle said as if Tressa should have known this. “I’m surprised the two of you haven’t met.”
Not as surprised as she was by these revelations.
Gayle shrugged. “Well, she has been traveling a bit lately.” She checked her watch. “Uh-oh. I better get back on the floor before India notices I’ve been gone more than five minutes.” Gayle laughed. “She may look all gentle in that green dress, but she’s a queen cobra in disguise.”
Tressa forced a bye as Gayle exited the room.
Green dress? A knot looped and tightened in her stomach. The woman who’d taken so much interest in them—him, she corrected—was Roth’s ex. Why hadn’t he mentioned any of this to her? Why hadn’t he told her he played at the exact same club owned by his ex? His ex. An ex who clearly still had a thing for him. He’d had plenty of opportunities, including on the drive here.
She shook her head, never recalling Roth ever uttering India’s name. Her first instinct was to stalk out of that bathroom, stroll right up to India, stick her hand out and introduce herself. “Hi, I’m Tressa Washington, Roth’s girlfriend.” Then stick her tongue out for good measure.
Tressa laughed at her own childishness. There was no need to go that route. Heck, after Roth’s performance, Tressa was sure everyone in attendance knew she and Roth were more than just friends. That put her a bit at ease.
Still, why hadn’t he told her? This kind of information should have come from him, especially when he was all about being completely honest. She scrutinized the red-and-black era-specific decor inside the posh room. This damn club. She shook her head. This damned club is a curse.
* * *
Roth stored his saxophone in the case, then snapped it shut. Now that his set was over, he could concentrate all of his focus and attention on his sexy muse. He stirred below the waist when he summoned an image of Tressa in that off-the-shoulder wine-colored dress. Yeah, he planned to drink her up tonight.
Judging by the expression on her face when he’d played for her, she’d loved every second of his attention. He loved seeing her smile, especially if he was the one putting the smile on her face.
“Now I guess I know why I never received the text containing directions to your cabin.”