“Fuck this. She’s not worth it,” John says. He swipes his beer off the counter and stumbles to the other side of the bar to a group of guys standing around a pool table.
When John’s gone, my Greek god turns to me. “You okay?”
I really like him. I wish I’d let him buy me a drink and not John. Then again, John wanted to buy me a drink, and this guy seems more irritated at having to help than interested in making small talk with a random drunk girl. “I’m fine.” I’m not fine. I’m so far from fine that I don’t even know what fine looks like anymore.
“John doesn’t take a hint very well.”
“I’ve gotten more foreplay from my gynecologist.”
He chokes on his beer. “Is that so?”
“I suppose this is my fault. I smiled at him and let him buy me a drink.”
“John or your gynecologist?”
I shake my head. “John. My OBGYN doesn’t drink, and anyway, she’s not my type.”
The guy bites his lip, and I think there might be a smile trapped under those perfect white teeth. “I’m still not convinced it’s your fault. Anything else you did to give John the wrong idea?”
“Asked him questions.”
He folds his arms. “What kind of questions?”
“I asked his name. Is that, like, a mating ritual here? What’s your name? means we’ll be screwing like bunnies in fifteen minutes?”
He chuckles then shakes his head. “Are you just drunk, or are you always this adorable?”
I frown. Did he just flirt with me? I’m pretty sure he doesn’t even like me, so why would he flirt? “Can’t it be both?”
He turns his head and cuts his gaze to John before bringing it back to me. His eyes scan my face as if he’s still trying to determine if I’m okay. “Listen, I’ve got a meeting.”
“Isn’t it Saturday night?” I tap my phone to wake it, and the screen reads 11:05. If I were still in Jeffe—if Veronica weren’t pregnant, if Marcus hadn’t betrayed me—I’d be in the bridal suite at the Plaza right now. Instead, I took my sister’s plane ticket to Grand Rapids. While I was on the plane, I used her phone to open her email account, where I found a reservation for a rental car and a night in a hotel in a town called Jackson Harbor. Fast forward a few hours, a few shots of tequila, and a whole lot of trying not to think, and here I am.
And somehow, my story is still more believable than this man having a business meeting at eleven o’clock on a Saturday night.
“You don’t have to make up some meeting just because you don’t want to talk to me,” I say.
He holds my gaze for a long beat, and I feel something. It’s not that desperate need to forget Marcus that I felt when John offered to buy me a drink. It’s something else—a long, slow tug that’s unraveling the knots in my belly and turning them into something better.
When he breaks the connection and drops his gaze to my glass of water, the feeling disappears, as if it was never there to begin with. “If he bugs you again, don’t hesitate to come over, okay?”
Don’t go. “Okay.” I extend a hand. “Nic. My name’s Nic. What’s yours?”
He shakes his head. “Sorry. I’ve got plans in fifteen minutes.”
I frown as he walks away. Just when I might have felt foolish, he looks at me over his shoulder and winks, and I get it. The mating ritual. “You’re funny!” I call after him.
“And you’re drunk.” He grins, and holy hell, the Greek god with the sad eyes and the broad shoulders has a dimple. I’m such a sucker for a dimple.
My smile falls away. Marcus has a dimple too. I thought I’d see that dimple tonight. I imagined stripping out of my wedding gown and watching him smile in appreciation of my body. I’ve been dieting and exercising for months so I could look my best on our special night. All the while, he was fucking my sister.
I’m gonna need more tequila.
I cannot take my eyes off the woman at the bar.
She’s not my type—more cuteness than sex appeal with that pert nose and innocent brown eyes. She has an air of innocence. Sweetness. Even her name is cute. Nic. Not Nicole or Nicki-with-an-i. Nic.
She’s probably the kind of woman who’s had the same boyfriend since she was sixteen and has already named her future children. Girls like that should be handled with care. Wooed, sweet-talked, seduced.
Definitely not my fucking type.
But there’s something off about her. She’s dressed casually enough in a jean skirt and a flannel, but her light brown hair is stiff with hairspray and pinned to the back of her head in one of those ’dos girls get for proms or weddings. At the beginning of the night, her pink lips puckered into a pout and there was misery in her eyes, but her sadness fell away more and more with every drink.