Page 8 of Burned (Ignite #1)

“So, what brings you ladies to this fancy establishment tonight?” D.J. asks them with a laugh.

Finnley turns away from me and I move in next to her at the high top table, resting my elbows on top of it and watching her sip her beer out of the corner of my eye. When she licks her lips after she pulls the bottle away, I have to shift my legs to keep my hard-on under wraps.

“Oh, nothing much. Just needed to get out of the house and do some celebrating,” Phina replies, sharing a pointed look with Finnley.

Some type of weird, silent, chick communication thing goes on between them and, if I weren’t staring so intently at Finnley’s profile, I would have missed the almost imperceptible shake of her head. Before I can contemplate what that could possibly mean, D.J. takes Phina’s explanation as an invitation to celebrate with them.

“Well, shit! I think that calls for some shots. Who wants tequila?!”

Phina cheers and Finnley and I both share a groan. She looks at me and we both laugh.

“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” she asks with a tilt of her head.

I’m pretty sure she’s not thinking about how great it would feel to have her body pressed up against mine again, so I move my train of thought away from that dangerous territory and think back to the party D.J. threw the summer before senior year.

“If you’re thinking about the time we polished off a bottle of tequila two days before school started and we were still puking during first period Spanish, then yes,” I tell her with a grin.

I watch as she grimaces and shakes her head to try and clear the memory from her mind. “Tequila es no bueno.”

We reminisce about the party and the food poisoning story the four of us told the nurse to explain why we were all sick as dogs on the first day of school. A few minutes later, shots are placed in front of us along with a plate of sugarcoated lemons.

Our small group each takes a shot glass and a lemon, raising them up in the air.

“I’m probably going to regret everything about this night, aren’t I?” Finnley asks Phina with a laugh.

Forgetting about dick bag husbands who may or may not kick my ass, I slide close enough to Finnley that our arms are touching, leaning down until my lips brush her ear to whisper, “Hopefully you won’t regret everything about tonight.”

Chapter 5—Let the Flames Begin

I’M DRUNK.

I lost count how many shots of tequila I tossed back after number three. As the night wore on, the four of us continued to reminisce about high school and Collin and I moved closer and closer to one another until we were pressed together from shoulder to wrist. After who knows what number shot, my head fell to the side until it was resting on his shoulder. He never acknowledged that it happened or moved away, so at least I didn’t have to be mortified about moving into sloppy drunk girl territory and making him regret coming over here.

I lift my head off of his shoulder when I realize the conversation has gone silent because Phina and D.J. are making out across the table from us.

“I need to go to the bathroom,” I blurt, suddenly feeling very uncomfortable with the scene unfolding in front of me. Since all I’ve been able to think about after Collin walked over here is kissing him, I’m feeling a little jealous of my best friend and I don’t like it at all.

“I’ll go with you,” Collin quickly states, wrapping his arm around my waist and pulling me away from the table.

He’s obviously not too keen on watching our friends stick their tongues down each other’s throats, either. As we make our way through the throngs of people on the patio, Collin keeps his arm wrapped firmly around my waist, only releasing me once we’ve reached the end of the hallway where the bathrooms are.

Locking myself in the bathroom, I lean against the door and calm my racing heart.

What the hell is wrong with me?

Pushing away from the door, I step up to the sink and rest my hands on the countertop, staring at myself in the mirror. Under normal circumstances, I would blame my flushed cheeks and bright eyes on the tequila. It’s definitely the cause for the slight spinning of the room and my unsteady feet, but the pink on my cheeks and the sparkle in my eyes is all Collin. Every time he touched me tonight I got goose bumps, and just thinking about going back out there and standing next to him makes the hair on my arms stand up. I can’t get over how good he looks, how great he smells and how he still has this kind of affect on me after all this time. Shouldn’t I be holding a grudge that he broke my heart? I don’t care how long ago it was, I let him stick his hand down my pants and he thanked me with a note that said ‘it’s just not working out between us.’

I want to blame my overactive libido on the fact that it’s been months since I had sex and years since I had good sex. It’s hard to get in the mood when you’re constantly angry with your husband. One week without turned into two, two turned into five and soon we were only having sex because I felt guilty for not having sex with the man I was married to. I can’t even remember the last time I had an orgasm that wasn’t assisted by my own fingers or the arsenal of vibrators we bought to spice things up.

Jordan is the one and only man I’ve ever had sex with, but that doesn’t mean I’ve never thought about what it would have been like with someone else—namely, Collin. He’s the only other person I had any kind of sexual experiences with. I really don’t know why I always turned him down, other than the fact that I just didn’t feel ready until I met Jordan. Seeing him tonight has brought all of those thoughts to the surface. I wonder if he kisses the same and if he’d fumble around in my underwear not really knowing what he was doing. I wonder if my brain would be able to shut off long enough to even let him try something or if thoughts of Jordan would interfere, reminding me that, even though our marriage is over, he’s still the only man I’ve ever been with. Sex was always something special and sacred between us. No one ever really believed it when we told them, but I was his first and only, as well, and that was one of the things we were the most proud of. Would I even know what the hell to do with another man if given the chance? And why am I standing here in the bathroom contemplating this right now? I ran into an old high school boyfriend. Just because he’s hot and he seems to be doing everything he can to get close to me tonight doesn’t mean he really wants anything to do with me. He’s probably just waiting for me to throw up on him like I did the last time we drank tequila together.

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