Falling Into Love with You (The Hate-Love Duet #2) - Lauren Rowe
As Savage leaves Reed’s guest house after our stilted, awkward conversation about “Hate Sex High,” I shove my earbuds back in, press play on the song, close my eyes, and listen carefully. A moment later, the makeup artist taps my arm, letting me know she’s returned from outside, so I nod to her and close my eyes again, finding it hard to give my attention, even fleetingly, to anything but Savage’s voice in my ears.
Presently, Savage’s sexy voice is singing, “You’re falling in hate with me/I’m feeling something I don’t want to feel . . .” And I can’t help wondering . . . what is the something Savage was feeling when he wrote this song—the something he didn’t want to feel? A few minutes ago, Savage swore, up and down, that the entire song was “pure fiction.” But then, he immediately backtracked and said the chorus was a “popcorn lie” he’d spun from various “kernels of truth” in the verses. The thing is, though, I hadn’t even mentioned the chorus when Savage felt the need to vehemently deny its truth. So now, I can’t help thinking the dude doth protest too much.
The song continues to the second half of the chorus, the part where Savage sings a string of “la la’s.” And, once again, I hear my name at the ends of those lines. Repeatedly. Yep, that’s definitely my name! Granted, Savage’s voice is buried in the mix, artfully interwoven with his bandmates’ voices singing “la la.” Most likely to preserve deniability for Savage. But, nonetheless, anyone with the ability to hear would be able to discern my name at the end of those la la’s.
A flash of energy courses through my veins. Does Savage singing my name in the song enthrall or anger me? I can’t decide. All I know for certain is that hearing Savage belting out my name, for the entire world to hear—knowing he’s explicitly identifying me as the muse for this raunchy song—is making my blood simmer and every hair on my body stand at full attention.
The song continues, with Savage making a big thing about his muse coming three times. “Girl, you came three times,” he sings, twice, before speaking the line in a smug, matter-of-fact tone. Finally, Savage concludes in the bridge, “You’re chasing . . . a . . . hate sex high”—and as Savage sings the titular lyrics of the song, a shiver skates across my skin. As freaked out as I am in this moment, I can’t help reliving the night of the hot tub as I listen. The night I did, in fact, chase a hate sex high with Savage, all the way to three glorious orgasms that felt far more intense and electrifying than anything I’d experienced before.
I feel a tap on my shoulder and open my eyes to find the makeup artist smiling at me. She holds up a makeup brush as if to say “all done!” So, I stop the song, which is currently barreling into its final chorus, and check myself out in the mirror.
“Looks great,” I say. “Thank you.”
“Who’s sitting in your chair next?” I ask, hoping she’ll say Aloha, and when she does, I tap out a text to my darling friend, asking her to please get her ass down to Reed’s guest house as soon as possible—earlier than scheduled—because I need to talk to her about something urgent.
Three minutes later, Aloha appears, her famous emerald-green eyes practically glowing. After greeting the makeup artist, Aloha asks me, “Is everything okay?”
I jut my chin toward the makeup artist, who’s presently preparing her station, to let Aloha know the urgent thing I need to talk to her about is confidential, and Aloha instantly gets the message.
“Hey, Susanna,” Aloha says. “Would you mind taking a quick break before we get started? I came early to chat with Laila.”
“Of course,” the makeup artist replies. “How’s fifteen minutes?”
Aloha looks at me, her eyebrows raised. And when she sees the expression of pure panic on my face, she says, “Let’s make it twenty.”
The door closes behind the makeup artist, and before I’ve said a word, Aloha lurches at me and yells, “What did Savage do to you last night, you little freak? My room was across the hallway from Savage’s and I heard every scream and moan!” She takes the chair next to mine, smiling wickedly. “And don’t tell me all those noises were you barfing, and not the sounds of pure ecstasy. I know barfing when I