Lexi glanced around the terminal at the unsuspecting travelers whose privacy she was about to breach. With the app open, she lifted the phone toward the lobby. Several people sitting nearby appeared on the screen. Within half a second, phone numbers popped into view above their heads like thought bubbles.
“This is kinda creepy,” Lexi said.
“This is our national security at work.”
“That makes it even creepier. I like your other apps better. The ones that do frivolous everyday tasks or create games to reach a goal or—”
Biker Boy strolled around the corner, an open magazine in one hand, a large coffee cup from one of the restaurants nearby in the other. He had his duffle slung over one wide shoulder.
Lexi’s breath caught.
“Look at it this way, Lex,” Rubi said. “If NSA buys this, you will have aided our national security. If they don’t, we’ll do something frivolous and fun with it. Deal?”
When Lexi looked down at her screen, Biker Boy appeared in the viewfinder. And, pop, pop, so did two little white bubbles above his head, both with local phone numbers.
Lexi laughed, the sound rolling out of her so unexpectedly she covered her mouth. “Sure,” she said. “Sounds good. Hey, Rubi? If I get two phone numbers for one person, does that mean they’re carrying two phones?”
“Yes. Any last questions? I’ve got a very hot boy waiting for me.”
So do I. He just doesn’t know it yet.
“You’re absolutely sure none of these people can get my phone number or my name or any other information about me, right? ’Cause that could be incredibly…awkward, not to mention difficult to explain.”
Lexi disconnected, watching Biker Boy from the corner of her eye. She kept her head down and maintained rapt interest in her phone. He glanced around the lobby, and she could swear his gaze paused on her, but surely he couldn’t recognize her from the car. Not with her hair up, the hat hiding her face.
When his gaze drifted past her, Lexi let out a breath—of both relief and disappointment.
Damn those reporters. If they weren’t here, she might just be desperate enough to do something impulsive—like be the one to initiate a conversation.
But not with Justin James from the Independent sitting a couple of rows away. The reporter had been at Lexi’s studio just two weeks before for a joint interview with Lexi and her client Bailey Simmons, daughter of Hollywood director Charles Simmons. James had been fascinated with Bailey’s thirty-thousand-dollar haute couture gown, which included one-of-a-kind fabric from France, pearls, and Swarovski crystals sewn over the entire bodice, and a thirty-foot train with embroidered cutouts.
Those were the kind of clients who ran background checks on Lexi before they dropped big money on a dress for one day in their life—or their daughter’s life. The kind of clients who brought bodyguards to their fittings. The kind of clients who made Lexi sign confidentiality agreements.
And those clients made up the bulk of Lexi’s income. Over the last two years, she’d become the most expensive, most in-demand couture wedding dress designer in Southern California. Any significant smear on her image or reputation would cost her big business—the kind of business that paid her rent and put food in her mouth.
The rich and famous in LA were well connected and knew all the other rich and famous in LA. That was how her client list had grown so quickly. And it was also how her client list could tank just as fast.
Biker Boy chose a seat on the opposite side of the waiting area, where he leaned forward, forearms on thighs, gaze on his open magazine. His duffle and coffee sat on the floor at his feet.
Just seeing him, that thick, dark hair, the wide shoulders stretching that hot leather jacket, the biker boots, rekindled the yearning he’d created with that one long look into her eyes earlier.
This was the kind of man she craved—a rough-around-the-edges, blue-collar, hard-loving man. A few tattoos, a dark background, confidence in the bedroom…or the bed of a truck…or on the back of a motorcycle…
The very kind of man she’d spent too much time with in her youth. A place she would absolutely not revisit. And she’d learned far too well a few years ago just how quickly the wrong man could trash all her decades of achievement.
But that had been a relationship, wide-open and public, which had been a huge element in his leverage against her. Lexi hadn’t made that mistake since. Couldn’t imagine ever making it again. Besides, she didn’t have the room or the desire for that level of commitment to a man in her life.
What she could easily imagine right now was Biker Boy pulling her up against his hard body, tasting her with his hot mouth, dragging off her clothes, pushing deep inside her…