“As long as you know she’s taken now, I got no problems admitting that my girl is hella hot. As for crushing on her? God, years. Since before the assault. Since she started at the café and I didn’t know anything about her. I watched her fade into her relationship with that piece of shit, and then she got up the courage to leave, and I thought, hey, now’s the time! And then he nearly killed her, and she needed the space to rebuild her life.” He shrugged.
“You weren’t ready for her last year. Or the year before that either.” Adrian sipped his juice. “You are now, and so is she. I’m glad to see it.”
Cope shrugged. “Just promise me we won’t have to bang a drum or anything if we talk about our feelings.”
Adrian rolled his eyes, shooting him the middle finger.
“Just making sure. Anyway, it’s probably true about me not being ready before. Neither of us would have been. It seems like this is a huge transition in her life, and I hate to think I’m a rebound. But I have to believe what I feel when I’m with her. I believe our connection is real.”
“Don’t blow it.”
“Trying not to. What about you then? You’re the last single guy in the group now. You interested in forever and that stuff or still happy with lots of starlets in your bed?” Cope laughed for a second. “Okay put that way, how can you not be happy with starlets in your bed? What I mean is, are you looking for a relationship or happy playing the field?”
“God, listen to us talking about our feelings and shit. If I found the right woman, yeah, I’d like a relationship. But it’s hard, being on the road. Trust is always an issue. Then again, I’m not on the road like we were at the start. Karen the baker is a nice woman. I like her. But I don’t think she’s the one. And I begin to wonder if it’s worth the effort unless I feel that connection. Hell, I’m not sure I’d know that connection if it hit me in the face. There’s so much to dig through sometimes.”
“How do you know they’re with you for you instead of for the fame and money?”
“Fucking Andrew Copeland and his ability to ask questions most people just never say out loud.” Adrian groaned. “I don’t. Which is why I don’t have a hot redhead in my bed like you do.”
“Isn’t whatserface? The one from that doctor show, a ginger like my girl?”
“Sophia Green? Yeah, she was a redhead. And she was amusing for a while. But she liked the cameras a lot. I don’t. I don’t want to have my personal life being discussed ad nauseam on the Internet. I want to eat dinner without fifteen dudes with cameras just three feet away. I f**king hate being in L.A.”
“You do have a lot more freedom up here than you’d have in L.A. The bodyguard is working out then?”
Cope’s company had hooked Adrian up with a low-key bodyguard for when he was in Los Angeles and on tour. It was a stupid pain in his ass, but given what happened to Erin and Adele, it was necessary, and Adrian had appreciated it. “He’s good, thanks.”
“Nice. We’ll be sure to get him to cover the tour then. I can work some of the dates, just FYI. We did an analysis of each venue so the security plan was specific to each event as well as an overall plan. Just let me know what you think after you read it. If you have any questions, I can walk you through it now, or you can call me and I can go over it later. It’s up to you.”
“Jeremy will call in a few hours and tell me what to think.” Adrian shrugged with a grin. “Hey, don’t give me that look. I have plenty of details to worry about and obsess over. Jeremy’s my manager; he can handle this sort of thing so I don’t have to. If I do have questions, I’ll give you a call.” Adrian paused. “Listen, next Friday night. You and Ella come out. Brody and Elise have the night free, and we’re doing a Godfather One and Two screening. Takeout too. Of course, if Erin goes into labor, we’ll all be at the hospital.”
“Sounds good. I’ll let Ella know.”
“Hell yeah. I hope she wears a turtleneck.” He waggled his brows, and Cope shot him the evil eye.
“I’ll see what she’s up to and hopefully make it.”
“Cool. You two have a good time this weekend.”
They walked out together after he showed Cope the new editing bay they’d just completed.
“I’ll see you soon. I’ll have my cell with me if you read over that stuff and you want to talk about it.”
Cope backed out and was gone, leaving Adrian standing outside, looking over the front garden. Peaceful. Even in the middle of the city it was peaceful here. Aside from the occasional fan who camped at the gates at the bottom of the drive, he lived a normal life in the city. No paparazzi to speak of, people left him alone in the grocery store and he was near all his favorite people.
He was unsettled. Erin was part of it. He wasn’t used to seeing her need to rest so much. Her blood pressure had been slightly elevated, so she’d been taking it easy, and thank heavens she’d been cleared to go back to work here and there. She’d been going stir-crazy and Adrian knew how much she worried and felt the need to simply go about her life with some level of normalcy.
Maybe it was the changes in their circle with Ella and Cope coming together the way they had. It wasn’t that he’d ever really crushed on Ella; not like Cope had. But he supposed he’d finally hit the age where he realized he wanted someone to come home to. A hand to hold on a morning walk. Someone to pick up the phone and sound thrilled when they heard his voice.