Joel burst out laughing. “Code, is that really the best line you’ve got?”
“Didn’t think she was the type of girl I’d need to drop lines on,” Cody said, still giving me a shit-eating smile that I itched to slap off his face.
Joel tugged me onto his lap to get me away from Cody, but I was full-on seething. I was contemplating planting my stiletto heel between Cody’s legs when Joel buried his face in my hair and slid his rough fingertips up my bare thigh. “Ignore him. I don’t plan on sharing you.”
I finally stopped glaring at Cody long enough to gaze at Joel, and he gave me a warm smile that defused me.
“I’m ready to give you that tour now,” he continued, and then he kissed me and Cody disappeared.
Now, Joel is the one I want to disappear, and I need Cody to help make that happen. Every night since demanding his turn, he’s taken every available opportunity to let me know he still wants it. Winks behind Joel’s back. Comments whispered in my ear when Joel isn’t around. Tonight, when he spots me at the bar and rakes his greedy eyes over me inch by deliberate inch, I don’t scowl or flash him my middle finger. I let him take his fill, and when his eyes finally meet mine, his lips curl with satisfaction and I push away from the bar. He walks toward me, I walk toward him, and when we meet at the edge of the dance floor, I take his hand and pull him deep into the crowd. We’re in the middle of a clash of dancing bodies when I spin around and drape my arms around his neck, pushing up close to him and getting pulled even closer when he tightens his hold around my waist.
“Finally done with Joel?” he asks, smirking at me. With my heels, we’re eye level, a comfort I don’t have when I’m staring doe-eyed up at Joel. Maybe short guys aren’t so bad after all.
I place my finger over his lips. “Stop talking.”
Cody removes my finger, his smile gone. He opens his mouth to say something, but I really, really don’t want to talk.
So I kiss him.
I let the floor-vibrating music swallow me whole, and Cody and I make out and grind against each other until I’m pretty sure my brain is starving for oxygen. But even then, I refuse to let it have any. I dance until my muscles burn, and then I push past the fire until they go completely numb. I close my eyes and pretend that Cody’s hands are just hands. Just me dancing with a thousand hands all over me under flashing blue lights in a sea of warm bodies.
His hands are on my stomach, my legs, my ass, my breasts. I let them touch and squeeze and keep me in a serotonin-induced fog. He catches all the right curves, lavishes all my best features—because he appreciates me in a way that Joel never will. Because he’s never had a girl like me, and Joel has had me way too much.
When he pulls away and says he has to take a piss, I nearly beg him to keep touching me. Instead, I tell him to bring me a drink.
I’m dancing alone, eyes closed and hands raised toward the ceiling, when someone presses up behind me and a strong arm wraps around my middle. Not caring who it is, I wrap my arms around the back of his neck and continue dancing.
“Using Cody isn’t going to make me jealous,” Joel’s low voice warns in my ear. One of his hands is pressed firmly over my sequined stomach and the other is sliding up the burning hot underside of my raised arm. He takes my hand and spins me around.
Face-to-face with him, I stop dancing and glare. “Not everything is about you, Joel.”
He tugs me flush against him and glowers down at me. “You shouldn’t let him touch you like that.”
“Why not?” I argue, bracing my hands on his hard biceps.
“Because he’s not me.”
“Thank God for that,” I snap. I push at him, but since Joel is immovable, I end up stumbling back a step.
He snaps right back at me. “You don’t even like him.”
I laugh in his face, and he stiffens. “Sorry to break it to you, sweetie,” I cup his cheek in my palm, giving him my sweetest smile, “but I never actually care about any of the guys who touch me.” His eyes harden, and I’m not sure if they’re burning with jealousy or if it’s just plain anger, but either way, I’m feeling reckless and plan to throw fuel on the fire.
Joel walks away from me just before Cody returns with drinks in his hands, oblivious to what just happened. I take mine and gulp it down. Then I toss the plastic cup to the floor and spin around, pressing my ass against Cody’s groin and grinding my way down his body to the beat of the music. Now that I know Joel is watching, I plan to give him a show.
By the time the lights cut and Cody has to head backstage, I’m pretty sure I could audition at any strip club in town and instantly be hired as their star attraction. I don’t even need to buy stripper clothes, because I already have a whole closet full of them at home.
I’m slowly making my way back to the bar when Leti materializes at my side and falls in step with my boots. “What the hell was that about?”
I chuckle and give him a big smile, hooking my arm in his. His skin is as hot as mine, so I’m guessing we’ve been sharing the dance floor. “Just having some fun.”
“You don’t even like Cody.”
“But he likes me,” I reason. “And besides, Joel was watching.”
Leti frowns. “I hope you know what you’re doing . . .”
Really, I have no fucking clue, but I smile like I do and Leti drops the lecture. When we get to the bar, he has a hot guy waiting for him, so I release his arm and slide onto a stool next to Rowan.