“And we all know Todd is a shitty lay with a tiny dick,” I murmur, and scowl. I hate that man with every fiber of my being. Jill’s ex-husband is a first-class asshole.
“Yeah.” Jill sighs and lifts her head, staring at me with those sad blue eyes.
“What’s wrong, Jilly?” I whisper, but she just shakes her head and lays her cheek on her pillow just as my phone rings in my pocket.
Josh’s name and photo are on the display.
“Hey,” I greet him softly.
“Hey. Jill get here okay?”
“Yeah, we’re at the hotel. She’s staying at the lodge.” I glance over at the clock and frown. “Wow, it’s after midnight. What are you still doing awake?”
“Waiting to hear from you.”
“I’m a grown-up, you know.” I grin at his chuckle in my ear. “You don’t have to wait up for me.”
“It’s late, and I need to make sure you’re okay.”
God, I love the sound of his voice. “I’m fine. I’ll probably just crash here, since it’s so late.”
“That’s a good idea, although this bed is too big and too cold without you.”
Movement on the bed next to mine catches my attention, and Jill is using her hands, making obscene gestures.
I giggle again and slap my hand over my mouth.
“What’s so funny?” Josh asks.
“Jill is being stupid.” I glare at the laughing Jillian.
“Hi, Josh!” she calls.
“Tell her hi,” he says with a smile in his voice.
“He says stop being disgusting.”
“That’s not what he said.” She shakes her head and laughs.
“I’ll see you in the morning,” I murmur.
“Okay. You’re at the lodge?”
“Okay, sweetheart, have fun with Jill. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
He hangs up and I sigh as I set my phone aside and curl up around my pillow.
“You love him,” Jill whispers. My head snaps toward her. She’s lying flat on her back, diagonally across her bed, her hands on her belly, and she’s staring at the ceiling.
I watch her for a long minute, then I sigh.
“Yeah,” I whisper.
“Have you told him?”
“Why not?” She turns her head and looks me in the eye, watching me.
“It’s really soon.”
“So?” She shrugs and continues to watch me.
“What if he doesn’t say it back?” I whisper, and feel tears fill my eyes. “What if he doesn’t feel the same?”
“Why wouldn’t he feel the same?” Jill turns onto her side, tucks her arm under her head, and continues to watch me.
“I don’t know.” I turn on my back now and stare at the ceiling.
“Why wouldn’t he feel the same, Cara?”
“Because I don’t understand why he’s interested in me in the first place.” There. I said it out loud.
“God, you’re dumb.” Her voice is hard and almost angry.
I whip my head back toward her in surprise. “What?”
“You’re an idiot if you don’t understand why he’s interested in you, Cara. I love you, but you have got to get over your insecurities. The frumpy, frizzy-haired, chubby girl from high school is long gone. Have you seen you lately?”
I frown at her and process what she just said. “But I am still that girl.”
“No, you’re not.” She sighs and rubs her hands over her face. “You’re beautiful, and Josh sees it. He sees you. Men who just want to fuck you don’t call to check on you late at night just because they’re worried about you.”
You’re more than just a fuck buddy.
“Okay, fine, I’m fabulous.” I look back up to the ceiling and feel myself smile. “And my boyfriend is fucking hot.”
“Yeah, he is,” she agrees with a sigh.
“He’s fucking awesome in bed.”
“God, I hate you.”
* * *
Knock, knock, knock.
A light tapping on the hotel door wakes me from a light sleep. I glance over at Jill, who is knocked out, still lying on top of the covers. Moving quickly and as quietly as possible, I peek through the peephole before opening the door wide.
“What are you doing here?” I whisper at Josh as he moves into the room and scoops me up into his arms.
“Couldn’t sleep without you,” he whispers into my ear. He bends to pull the blankets back on the bed and lays me down onto the sheets before disappearing into the darkness again. He reappears moments later with a spare blanket from a small closet and spreads it over Jillian before joining me in the bed, both of us fully clothed.
“How did you know what room we’re in?”
“I asked, baby,” he replies dryly.
“You have to work in just a couple of hours,” I remind him softly, both of us on our sides looking at each other in the darkness.
“Louie and the guys can handle it. Plus”—he leans in and kisses my cheek—“Zack’s back. He’ll pick up my slack today.”
“You didn’t have to come here.”
“Yeah,” he sighs, and pulls me to him, resting my cheek against his chest, and kisses my head. “I did, baby.”
“If you two have sex with me lying three feet away from you, I will cut you both in your sleep.”
Josh laughs hard and loud and hugs me close.
“She’s really violent,” I inform him with a giggle.
“I mean it.” Her voice is stern, but I can hear the smile on her face.
“Can I talk you into a threesome?” Josh asks over his shoulder, earning a punch in the arm from me and a pillow in the head from Jill. “Can’t blame a guy for asking.”
“Perv,” I mutter with a laugh.
“I’m just kidding,” he calls over his shoulder at Jill, who just waves him off and turns on her other side. “You’re the only one I want,” he whispers in my ear for only me to hear. I burrow down deeper against his chest, wrap my arms around his waist, and fall asleep to the sound of his heartbeat.
* * *
“Holy shit, your house is a mess.” Jill wrinkles her nose and holds her hand up to her brow, shielding her eyes from the sunshine as she gazes at my little white house, covered in plastic and lumber. We’re walking through town, on our way to Ty’s house to surprise him and to check on the progress of my own place.