Slow Play (The Rules 3) - Page 2

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His head tilts down and he actually reaches up to push his sunglasses down the bridge of his nose so he can…what? Get a better look at me? He’s got a lot of nerve. “Nice cleavage, angel.”

I don’t have what constitutes as much cleavage yet somehow, he makes me feel dirty for wearing a costume with a low neckline. Must be his tone of voice. Or more likely the lecherous way he’s checking me out. Do girls really find his behavior attractive? Granted, he’s good looking from what I can tell but his attitude is shit.

“Do you come by the sleazy comments naturally? Or are you powered by the costume?” I bat my eyelashes like I’m as innocent as my halo implies I am.

He pushes his sunglasses back up, covering suddenly thunderous blue eyes. He’d seemed infinitely amused with himself, with the situation only a moment ago and I’m surprised at the sudden shift. “My flirting skills are in the toilet with this costume tonight, I swear to fucking God,” he mutters.

His blunt honesty makes me laugh and he smiles slowly in return. “Newsflash. Girls don’t find pimps that attractive. We’re taught from a young age to run in the opposite direction when we spot one.”

“I’ve discovered that.” He rubs his chin, cupping it with his thumb and index finger and I watch those fingers move in barely contained fascination. He has nice hands. Wide palms, long fingers…

“You run into many pimps?”

His deep voice breaks through my thoughts and I give a slight shake of my head. “You’re my first.”

The faintly leering grin is back, just like that. Inside I grow cold. He’s too cocky for me. Too sure of himself. I’ve dealt with enough of these types to last me a lifetime. “Well, let me introduce myself—”

“Tristan! Keep away from her.” Jade miraculously materializes by my side. I didn’t even hear her enter the kitchen. “Seriously, she’s a nice girl. I refuse to let you mess around with one of my friends.”

I barely know Jade and I’m relieved that she’d rush to my defense so quickly. I almost want to hug her but I keep myself in check.

Tristan—the name doesn’t fit but I think the pimp costume is blocking me mentally—takes a step back, holding his hands up in front of him as if he were defending himself. “No harm, no foul, Jade. Seriously.” He flees the kitchen before we can say anything else.

“Well. That was interesting,” I say after I take another long drink from my water bottle.

Jade sets the empty plate on the counter and turns to look at me. “You don’t want to with that guy.”

I raise a brow. “Want to what?”

“Anything,” she stresses, shaking her head. “He’s the player to end all players. He’s only become worse since Gabe started dating Lucy. It’s like he’s trying to make up for Gabe and Shep being off the market by banging every chick he meets.” She sighs. “He’s Shep’s cousin and an okay guy for the most part but when it comes to women? Forget it. I wouldn’t wish him on my worst enemy.”

I wince. “I wasn’t about to let him bang me. Did you see his costume?”

Jade bursts out laughing. “I knew we’d get along fine. But definitely avoid him. He’s fun to flirt with, but that’s about it.”

“I’ll remember that,” I murmur as I watch her buzz around the kitchen. I’m totally hiding out. I used to live for parties, but not anymore. I only agreed because Kelli really wanted me to go and I don’t even know where she’s at.

Considering I’d like to leave before this party gets too out of hand, I need to find her.

Soon.

“Who’s the angel?” I ask, yelling in Shep’s ear.

We’re standing on the edge of the makeshift dance floor, the music so loud I can barely hear myself think. Not that I’m thinking much, since my brain is numb from too much alcohol consumption.

Shep frowns at me. “Which one are you talking about? There are at least five angels in this room alone.”

I glance around, surprised to see he’s right. Funny, how I only noticed one. The tall, thin girl with small tits and shiny blonde hair. Jade’s friend.

A shudder runs through me at the reminder. Jade and I, we either get along or we don’t. And most of the time, we don’t. Oh, we’re polite to each other. Sometimes we laugh and have a good time. Other times, she’s shooting me dirty looks and steering Shep away from me. She thinks I’m a bad influence.

She would be correct.

“That one.” I point when I spot her exiting the kitchen. She has the face of a model—or let’s be more apt, an angel. All elegant cheekbones and pouty pink lips, perfectly shaped nose and icy blue eyes, she’s beautiful. I normally like them bubbly and cute, a girl who thinks my jokes are funny while hanging onto every word I say. While talking to this particular girl though, I got the distinct feeling she thought I was the joke. My costume didn’t help but still.

Needless to say, she intrigues me.

“Ah,” Shep nods, “I met her earlier. Seems nice. She’s a friend of Kelli’s.”

Ugh. Kelli. I may have made out with her once by accident a few months ago. We were both drunk and she also may have shoved me off of her after about five minutes of awkward, sloppy drunken kissing. Not one of my finer moments. “What’s her name?”

I’m still pointing at her and she spots me, her eyes meeting mine. I’d ditched the sunglasses the moment I left the kitchen and I wish I had them back on. So I can hide from her probing look. Feels like the chick can see deep down inside me or something and it’s making me uncomfortable.

From the sneer forming on her perfect lips, I’m thinking she doesn’t like what she sees.

“I don’t know. Allison? Alexis?” He snaps his fingers. “Alexandria.”

“Which is it?” I don’t look away from her. It’s like I can’t. Ah, shit, she’s headed right for me. I stand up straighter, feeling the alcohol course through my veins and my head spins a little. I’m drunk. She’s still walking toward us, gliding across the room really, her feathered angel wings bobbing with her every step.

I’m starting to sweat and it’s not just because it’s fucking hot in here.

“Alexandria,” Shep greets her like she’s an old, dear friend. Weird. I’ve never seen this chick before in my life. And I’d definitely remember her. “Have you met my cousin?”

“Hi, Shep.” She smiles at him, the sight of it dazzling. Her smile fades the moment her gaze lands on me. “I just met Tristan in the kitchen with Jade.”

“Awesome. Jade is Tristan’s number one fan.” Shep claps me on the back, sending me stumbling forward. I nearly collide with Alexandria and she takes a sideways step, dodging out of my way. For one brief, tantalizing moment, I was close enough to smell her.

And holy hell, she smells fucking amazing.

“I’ve heard,” she says dryly. “So you’re cousins?”

A girl wearing a naughty cop costume comes up to us—I don’t remember her name—bearing gifts. A red cup clutched in each hand, she offers one to me and one for Shep. “You two look thirsty,” she says with the slightest lisp.


Tags: Monica Murphy The Rules Romance
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