“Okay.” I smile brightly. So brightly, my cheeks hurt from the strain. “Let’s do this.”

“Yay!” they both yell, Emily almost dropping the mirror, making Emma yell at her not to waste a fucking drop—and I quote.

“Just press your finger here.” Emma demonstrates by touching the left side of her nose. “And inhale like so.” She gives a short sniff with her right nostril.

Taking a deep breath, I tell myself I’ll be okay. It’s just a little coke. Emily lifts the mirror higher, so it’s practically in my face, and I tuck my hair behind my ear, lean over the offered mirror with my finger pressed against my nose and…

Yeah. You know what happens next.

“Come on, dude.” I slap Stan’s massive back as I lead him out of the house. I’m irritable. Frustrated. But trying to put on a good game face—something I’m most excellent at doing. We went round and round, playing hand after hand, me trying to give away the game yet he still managed to somehow fuck it up. Over an hour later and he finally got his forty bucks back.

Gabe left when he realized I had everything under control, the asshole. I’ve ditched Jade all this time and I’m sure she hates me but what the hell could I do? I sent her a quick apologetic text but she never replied. I sent another text asking her to come inside but she didn’t reply to that one either. Didn’t make an appearance so I figure she’s long gone. I fucking blew it with Jade.

Business comes first though. It couldn’t be helped.

Imagine my surprise when Stan and I step out onto the porch and I see Jade sitting on the couch with two girls, Jade holding a mirror covered with a white line of power up to her face, the other two watching her raptly as she presses her finger to her nose, about ready to…what? Snort a line of fucking cocaine?

I don’t think so.

“What the hell are you doing?” I yell, causing all three of the girls to jump. The mirror goes flying, landing face down on the porch and one of the girls leaps to her feet, her ponytail swishing indignantly.

“Fuck! You made her drop it!”

The dark haired one jumps to her feet as well. “Such a waste of good coke!”

The both of them fall to their knees and pick up the now shattered mirror, their fingers scurrying all over the ground as they try and salvage the powder.

“Jesus,” I mutter, running my hand through my hair in frustration. My gaze snags on Jade’s. “Are you all right?”

She studies me for a long, quiet moment, as if she’s not sure whether she’s all right or not, her teeth sinking into her lower lip, her expression pure sex kitten.

Huh. Jade has never given me the sex kitten vibe.

“Em! What the actual fuck?” Stan bellows, garnering the attention of the other girls. One of them beams as she hops to her feet, rushing toward Stan. He gathers her into his arms and swings her around, her feet nearly nailing me in the gut as she goes flailing.

I take a step backward to get out of their way and look at Jade again, who just stepped closer to me. Like real close. Everything within me tightens when I hear her whisper close to my ear.

“I guess I’m all right. I thought you might’ve forgot about me.” Jade’s staring at me. More like she’s staring at my mouth. She’s smiling. She looks…happy to see me.

Okay. Something’s not right.

Like I could forget her. And the way she’s watching me, like she wants to eat me up with that sexy mouth of hers? Fuck, that is so right I can barely pull my gaze away from her. “Yeah, uh sorry about that,” I say as I turn around and reach out to pat her shoulder awkwardly like a complete idiot.

She swallows visibly, her gaze still locked on my mouth and, holy shit, what is she doing? What are we doing? She’s not protesting but come on. This is Jade. The girl who so sweetly introduced herself to me as Bitch Face. Who accused me of being her stalker. This is the girl that slapped my hand away when I snuck it up her skirt. And no girl ever does that.

“Are you really okay?” I ask. “I didn’t mean to keep you waiting.”

“It’s okay.” She sounds like she means it. “I made new friends. Em and Em.” I turn to look at the girls who tried to give her cocaine for God’s sake and she’s suddenly there, pressed up behind me, nuzzling her face against my back. “You smell fucking amazing,” she breathes.

The gust of her warm breath on my skin makes everything within me tighten. Yeah, something is definitely not right. I can appreciate her new attitude but it’s so completely opposite of her usual mood, I’m on guard. Grabbing her hands, I remove them from where they’re resting on my hips and turn in the circle of her arms, not quite ready to end the physical contact just yet. “Were you really going to snort that line?”

She smiles and tosses her head a little, all that glorious red hair falling down her back. The black cardigan has disappeared, thank God, and I let my gaze drop to her equally glorious cleavage on display with that tight white shirt she’s wearing. I’m tired, pissed that I had to deal with Stan the freak for so long but all that’s forgotten in the midst of Jade. “Probably not. I’ve never done coke in my life. So don’t worry, you’re not getting involved with a drug fiend or anything like that.” Her smile fades and her cheeks color the faintest pink. “Not that we’re getting involved or you know, dating. Since you don’t do involvement. Or date. You don’t even allow girls to ride in your precious car.”

What the fuck is she talking about? I let go of her hands and they immediately find themselves on my chest. I could get used to touchy feely Jade real quick. Rambling Jade is another story. “Okay. So what else have you been up to with your new friends?”

“She found her wings, Shepard Prescott!” the girl still crouched on the ground yells.

Jade giggles and steps closer to me, her hands moving up and down my chest slowly. Extra slow. And she’s watching her hands move too, like she’s fascinated with the idea that she’s actually touching me. I know I am. “I might be a little drunk,” she admits.

“Ah.” That makes sense. And unfortunately for me, I refuse to take advantage of a drunk Jade. I do have some standards. “A little? Or a lot?”

She giggles again and this time, plasters her body against mine so I can feel just about every inch of her pressed into every inch of me. “A lot. Vodka and Red Bull is dangerous. I’m feeling…loose.”

“Loose,” I repeat, taking a deep breath when her hands continue to roam up, curling over my shoulders, sliding around my neck and up into my hair. My lids waver because Christ, her touch feels good but I need to stop this. I’ve fucked plenty of drunk girls before in my life. I’ve been plenty drunk myself while fucking too.

But I want Jade to remember this. Remember us. A quick drunk lay is not on my agenda tonight.

“Oh, yeah. Real loosey goosey.” She’s whispering, her fingers tighten in my hair and she tries to tug my head down to hers but I resist. Barely. “I’m feeling horny, too.”

Get the fuck out.

Did she really just say that?

“Jade.” My voice comes out gruff because holy fuck if I’m not feeling horny too. I try to get out of her grip but she’s surprisingly strong. The little growl of frustration she gives is sexy as hell and when she stands on tiptoe, her mouth pressed against my neck, I swear to God I’m this close to losing it. Forget my good intentions and just give her everything I’ve got. “I don’t think you know what you’re saying,” I mutter.

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