In the Dark (The Rules 2) - Page 21

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I know for a fact I’d so break that rule.

“I didn’t mean to…blurt it out like that. I surprised you, but you surprised me too.” When I snort she sends me a look. “It’s true, whether you believe me or not. I swear ever since I’ve come here everything’s been so weird. My entire life has turned upside down in a matter of weeks and I can’t seem to get it back on track.”

“Doesn’t help that your dad isn’t here, I bet.” She sends me a weird look but I press on. “I assume you two are close? You’re a total daddy’s girl?”


“And not having him here is extra hard since you’d love some advice,” I continue. I’m totally speculating, something I’m rather good at.

“We’re not that close,” she says, surprising me. “I don’t see him that often. He lives here, I live with my mom, and though we’re not too far apart when it comes to miles, he never seems to make time to see me. He’s usually too busy uh, working and stuff. Going on vacations with his new flavor of the month.”

“Ah.” I nod. I know plenty of dads like that. I sometimes wonder if my dad wishes he were like that. “That sucks.”

“It’s no biggie.” She waves a hand, dismissing any mention of her father with a flick of her fingers.

Wish I could dismiss my family as easy as that.

Taking a deep breath, I decide to go for it. “Listen, Luce. I need to apologize for how I reacted that night. I shouldn’t have walked out on you. It was wrong and I’m sorry.”

She seems startled by my apology. “It’s okay. Really.”

“It wasn’t okay, but I hope you can forgive me.”

“You’re forgiven.” She waves that hand again, that same dismissing gesture obliterating my mistakes. “Let’s move on.”

“You sure?”

She flashes me a sly smile. “Don’t doubt my acceptance, Walker. You could find yourself back on my shit list in about three seconds.”

“I’ll keep my mouth shut.” I throw my hands up in front of me, thankful for her playful mood. I need this. I’m tired of tiptoeing around her, afraid I’ll say or do the wrong thing. Or worse, when I get so caught up in staring at her, lusting after her, that I’ll forget myself and try and kiss her or something. When she definitely doesn’t want to be kissed.

Bad enough that I still want her despite everything I’ve said. If she catches me panting after her like a lost puppy dog, I’ll feel like an idiot. I’m not used to denying myself anything.

Especially a girl.

I kept my hands to myself for a week. A solid seven days, which is probably some sort of record for me. I was feeling proud earlier tonight. Telling myself I was over this, over her, and I didn’t need her. I even went out to a bar. Met a group of people all around my age on the beach earlier this afternoon and hung out with them for a while. Played volleyball, drank beer, got sunburned and flirted heavily with a girl.

Never thought of Lucy once.

They invited me to meet them at a local bar and so I did. Had a great time too. We ordered a bunch of appetizers and drank enough pitchers of beer that I was feeling sudsy. As in, I’d soaked my brain in booze. The cute girl was still flirting with me and I flirted back though I wasn’t feeling it as much. Why I don’t know. She was a little too loud. Yet another blonde and I think I’m over blondes. Then some other asshole stepped in and stole her right from me and I didn’t even protest. Didn’t even go after her.

Which showed that I really wasn’t interested after all.

My pride evaporating by the minute, I left the bar without telling anyone. Like they’d miss me. Like they’d care. I only just met all of them and they were a group of friends from a college down south who came to party for the weekend. Some of the girls were interested in me because I was fresh meat but that didn’t last long. They moved on to someone else.

And I can’t seem to move on to anyone else.

Now I’m back at the house and it’s not even eleven o’clock. The parental units went to a party their friends were having and they warned both Sydney and I that they had no clue when they’d come back home.

Meaning they wanted us on our best behavior and not try and pull something while they were gone. Dad even said, “No funny business,” before he left the house.

That cracked us up.

I park my car and enter the house through the front door, stopping short when I see Sydney passed out asleep on the giant sectional in the living room, a throw blanket covering her curled up form. All the lights are off but the TV was still on, though the volume was turned down low.

Sitting on the opposite end of the couch, her legs stretched out in front of her and her phone clutched in her hands, is Lucy.

Fuck. The very last girl I want to see.


Right. The only girl I want to see. I can’t get this girl out of my head, no matter how hard I try.

She glances up, the glow of her phone’s screen illuminating her face and my mouth goes dry. She looks damn pretty no matter what she’s doing, where she is. Her hair is pulled up into a high ponytail and she’s wearing a white tank top that shows off her tanned skin, with denim shorts that reveal a lot of leg. Simple outfit, I bet she doesn’t have a lick of makeup on and just like that, I’m hard. As in, I want her.


Seven days. That’s all it takes for me to give in to my weakness. Because the only weakness I seem to have is Lucy.

You haven’t given in yet, asshole. Stay strong!

I tear my gaze away from her legs to find her watching me with a slightly mortified expression on her face. Like she didn’t mean to get caught hanging out here. “Hey,” she whispers.

“Hi.” I lean against the wall, not sure what to say next. Just like that my buzz is gone and I’m stone cold sober.

“I thought you were going out tonight.” She makes a face, like she doesn’t like thinking of me out with someone else. I wonder if she even realizes she just did that.

“I did go out. Now I’m back.” I flick my chin at her. “What are you doing here?”

“Sydney invited me. Said your parents went to a party so I came over and we ate pizza. Watched movies.” Her phone screen shuts off and only the faint blue flickering light from the TV screen allows me to see her.

“She passed out?” I push away from the wall and enter the living room, noticing the way Lucy springs to her feet, smoothing her hand over her hair with one hand as she shoves her cell phone into the back pocket of her denim cutoffs with the other.

“Yeah. I should go. I, um, probably overstayed my welcome.” She tucks a loose strand of hair behind her ear and makes to dodge past me but I step directly in front of her, going on pure instinct.

And maybe fueled a little by liquid courage.

“What’s the rush?” I let my gaze rove over her face, taking in every pretty feature, liking how nervous she appears. Does that mean she still feels it? Feels whatever we have brewing between us?

“Aren’t your parents coming home soon?”

“Nah.” I shake my head. “They’ll be out for a while longer, knowing them. They like to party.” I reach out and touch her arm, trail my fingers along baby soft skin. “Want me to walk you back to your place?”

Tags: Monica Murphy The Rules Romance