Uh, huh. She’s not telling me everything. Pushing my empty bowl away from me, I fold my arms on top of the counter and contemplate her. “I won’t disturb your little something. I’ll lock myself away in my room for the entire night. I promise.”
“You can’t promise anything and you know it.”
She’s got me there. “Where’s Shep going tonight?”
“With you.” She does this weird little hand thing that’s a total gimme a break gesture. “Come on, Tristan. Help me out here.”
“Who’s coming to this party?”
She nods, then proceeds to rattle off a list of girls while ticking each one off with her fingers. I don’t recognize any of their names so I immediately tune out. I didn’t know Bitch Face Jade had that many friends. Go figure.
“Oh, and Alex. Kelli’s friend,” Jade tacks onto the end of her list, like no big thing.
But it’s a huge thing. I’d pushed her out of my thoughts on purpose. More for my own protection than hers because come on, I’m the most selfish monster on the planet. I got caught up in some weird, temporary obsession with Alexandria. Like to the point where she was consuming my thoughts and that’s just completely unlike me. So instead of pursuing her relentlessly like my inner instincts were screaming at me to do, I gave up.
As in, I haven’t been with a girl in what? Over a week? Two? I’ve lost fucking count.
And that’s unheard of.
I turn to see Shep walking into the kitchen, immediately going to Jade so he can give her a kiss. “Cute apron,” he tells her when their lips break apart.
Jesus. He would like it.
“Thanks.” She beams up at him.
“You should wear it and nothing else sometime.” He swats her ass, making her squeal.
I clear my throat because yeah, I don’t want to watch this nauseating spectacle go on any longer. “You two crazy kids,” I mutter.
Shep chuckles as he walks over to settle onto the stool next to mine. “Where we going tonight?”
“Do we have to leave?” I’m whining but I can’t help it.
“Listen bro, I’m with you. But Jade wants us gone. She’s afraid we’ll make the girls uncomfortable.”
“Wait, what? How the hell could we make them uncomfortable?”
“Because it’s a sex toy party. No men allowed.”
“Shepard Prescott you weren’t supposed to tell him that, remember? God, you can’t ever keep your mouth shut, can you?”
He grins at Jade who’s scowling at him in return. “Baby, you prefer it when my mouth is open.”
“Ugh, stop turning this into a sex thing.”
“It is a sex thing,” Shep argues.
I’m stuck on one thing in particular. “What do you mean, a sex toy party?” My mind is blown. Women do this sort of thing? Jeez, I remember Mom kicking us out of the house a few times because of various social gatherings with her friends over the years but I really hope to hell they weren’t about sex toys.
“It’s called a Desire Party,” Jade explains, sounding reluctant. Like we have a gun held to her head and we’re forcing her to spill the details. “They sell sex toys, lube, lingerie, the works.”
I’m gaping at her and Shep laughs. “You’re cool with her having this party?” I ask him incredulously.
“Dude, I’m going to benefit from her having this party, so why the hell not? The more she sells, the more credit she gets for free shit. It’s like a Tupperware party but X-rated.” He rubs his hands together. “I can’t wait. I’m looking forward to trying out the anal beads the most.”
“Shep, Jesus! Shut up!” Jade yells but then starts to laugh when Shep bends over and clutches his gut, overcome at his own ridiculous joke.
“Try them out on you or her?” I ask, not really wanting to know the answer.
“Don’t you dare answer him.” Jade grabs a knife out of the nearby block and brandishes it at Shep. “I’m serious.”
Thank God for Jade.
“No comment,” Shep says as he sits up fully, wearing a giant smile. I keep one wary eye on Jade as she slips the knife back into its slot in the wooden block. “See, we can’t stick around. We’ll just cause trouble and say inappropriate things.”
Yeah. I don’t think I want to see a bunch of chicks manhandling a monster-sized dildo as they pass it around. That sounds kind of…creepy. And uncomfortable for all of us.
I frown. Would Alex want to buy a monster-sized dildo? She hasn’t even seen the monster I have in my jeans but she’s felt it because I can’t control myself when I’m around her. And when she’s wrapped all around me, her lips fused with mine? Forget it.
“Fine. We’ll go out,” I finally say. I can’t be in the same house with Alexandria. I’ll do something stupid.
Like jump her.
Jade visibly sags with relief. “Thank you, Tristan.”
“Damn it, you weren’t supposed to cave so quick. Make her squirm a little bit more,” Shep chides.
“We’ll just come back early,” I tell him with a smile.
Jade scowls but Shep slaps me square on the back. “Sounds like a solid plan.”
Yeah. It does.
I’m drunk. And I never realized this before, but when I’m drunk, apparently I get loose-lipped. As in, I say things I probably shouldn’t.
“I like her,” I tell Shep as we’re heading back to our house. “I like her a fucking lot. And I don’t get why but damn it, the way she looks at me is like…fuck.”
Shep barely glances my way. He’s paying attention to the road, which is a good thing because the weather is shit. He had one beer at the beginning of the night and then kept the Cokes coming for the rest of the evening. He’s my sober driver. Because I’m drunk.
Drunk as hell.
“Who exactly are you talking about?” Shep asks as he taps the brakes and the car slows. The rain is just as bad as was predicted, heavy and relentless. I really wish I would’ve stayed home.
Though if I’d done that, I wouldn’t have gotten so drunk and I am feeling good right about now. So no regrets. Fuck that.
“Alexandria.” I bump the back of my head against the seat and close my eyes, but I’m still spinning. This is a bad sign. “Alexandria the terrible, no good, rotten girl who plays hard to get.”
“She’s a challenge yet you keep chasing after her? That’s unlike you,” Shep says.
“Don’t read anything into this. I know how you are.” Like a doddering old woman thanks to Jade, always trying to set up his friends with another friend or some other thing. I refuse to let him play matchmaker.
“I’m not reading into anything. You’re the one who’s spilling his guts,” Shep points out.
I clamp my lips closed. I should shut up. Whatever I’m telling Shep, Jade will hear too, and what if she eventually spills it to Alexandria? I don’t know if I want her to know this stuff.
“I’m assuming you told her about the bet that you lost,” Shep prods. “Considering you like her and all.”