Good Girl Page 12

“Do you think it would look better if I added highlights?” Jenny muses. “And I feel like the lipstick is clashing. Is the lipstick clashing? Noah? Are you listening? Do you think coral would be better? Or is that too much warm tones going on?”

I look from her to the dog, who I belatedly realize is now wearing a pink bow.

No. Just hell no.

What have I gotten myself into?

More important, how do I get myself out?

Ranger is looking through the back window and barks, although I don’t know if it’s out of jealousy or adoration of the other dog.

I pick up the ball of fluff and deposit it on the seat beside me. Dolly is undeterred, crawling back onto my thigh.

As Jenny fusses with the ugly wig, the dog and I repeat the process twice before I give up. “Could you please hold on to your dog?”

She glances over. “Oh, Dolly. I thought you were a better judge of character.” Jenny sighs and leans over, picking up her dog, fingers brushing my thigh as she does so. She doesn’t seem to notice the contact, but I definitely do, my cock hardening slightly beneath my jeans.

I turn the key, feeling an odd sense of guilt. True, I’m no longer engaged, but up until a week ago, I was.

Shouldn’t there be some sort of mourning period before my dick is itching to get inside another girl? And make no mistake, I definitely would not mind seeing what sort of panties Jenny Dawson is wearing under that little skirt. Or maybe she’s not wearing any. Maybe if I slid my palm along her thigh…



I put the truck in reverse.

“What’s with the incognito routine?” I ask, desperate for her to say something annoying to kill my raging boner.

“Well, this may come as a surprise,” she says, running her fingertips over the bangs of the wig, “but I don’t exactly love people spitting on me in public and whispering ‘Jezebel’ under their breath when I walk by.”

I feel another flash of guilt, this time over my humming “Homewrecker” purposely loud enough for her to hear earlier.

The girl may have made some mistakes, but they’re not for me or anyone else to judge. Affairs happen. Married men step out.

I should know. I’m the by-product of one such liaison.

I don’t really know how to respond to that, so I change the subject once again. “We should be within cell range in a few minutes,” I say gruffly. “In case you want to make a call.”

“I didn’t bring my cell,” she says, looking out the window as she pets her little dog. “I’m on an information diet.”

An information diet? “What the fuck is that?”

“You swear a lot,” she says in response.

I shrug.

“The swearing is nicer, though, with the accent,” she muses. “When people in California swear, it’s just swearing. But when you do it, it’s almost…pretty.”

Pretty. Christ.

“You’ve got a bit of a drawl yourself,” I say, not really sure why I’m making conversation.

“A bit,” she says. “Although Nashville’s accent is different than here.”

A Tennessee girl, then. Perhaps that explains her comfort with trucks. Somehow I can’t see her picking that up in L.A.

“How’d you end up in California?” I ask.

She sighs and rubs Dolly’s head. “Great question. I got a little…creatively blocked. My team suggested that a change of scenery might be good. I don’t think they were wrong, but it was the wrong scenery.”

“And Louisiana’s the right one?” I ask skeptically.

“Guess we’ll find out.”

“We won’t be doing anything.”

She rolls her eyes. “Calm down—it was a figure of speech. Believe it or not, I’ve got absolutely zero interest in seducing you out of your whole rugged-bachelor routine.”

“Why, only interested in the married guys?”

Ah, fuck. I didn’t mean to say it, but…there it is. Out there.

She says nothing, although she’s stopped petting her dog. Her hand curls into a fist near her hip as she stares straight ahead.

I clear my throat. “Hey—”

Jenny shakes her head. “Let’s not talk, ‘kay?”

She leans forward and punches on the radio. It’s tuned to country, this being Finn’s truck, and she turns it up loud enough to be almost uncomfortable. But it’s more comfortable than silence, and it’s definitely more comfortable than me having to apologize, so I let it be.

We go the whole miserable drive to Baton Rouge with the radio blaring, not a word exchanged between us.

Only when we make our first stop at Best Buy to pick up my TV do I hazard a quick glance at her, wondering if she’s plotting my slow, painful death.

But it’s not anger she wipes away with a quick swipe of her hand, it’s tears.

And even though I’ve known this girl for all of three hours, none of them pleasant, my mother would have killed me for making a woman cry and then not apologizing for it.

I open my mouth to do exactly that, but she surprises me by stopping me with a cutting glare. “Save it.”

“Look, princess, I—”

She’s already reaching for the door handle. She slides out of the cab, taking her dog with her, and slams the door before I can issue the apology.

I watch as she strides toward the front door without a backward glance, ugly orange wig swishing slightly across her back as she drops her dog into her purse like it’s some sort of accessory.

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