Good Girl Page 15

The good news is that I haven’t thought about Yvonne once. Not that I needed confirmation that ending our engagement was the right thing for both of us, but the fact that I don’t miss her makes me feel as relieved as it does guilty.

The bad news is that while Yvonne’s barely crossed my mind, a certain blond country singer won’t leave my mind.

That fucking kiss was a mistake.

I’m still trying to wrap my head around it. One second I was in complete control, doing the girl a favor and saving her from some glory-seeking bitch out for her one moment of fame at someone else’s expense, and the next I’m losing my mind over the taste of her mouth, the soft give of her hips, the way she kissed me back a little bit shy and a whole lot desperate.

For a girl who has a reputation for getting plenty of horizontal action, she tasted a hell of a lot like innocence. And sweetness.

And want.


No matter how much I pretend it didn’t happen, no matter how hard I try to avoid her, it’s there.

The taste of her lips, the sound of those frantic little breaths…

I wipe sweat from my forehead. Summer hasn’t even really kicked off yet, but it’s hotter than usual for June.

And Jenny Dawson only makes it a hell of a lot hotter.

I’m working outside today, and as I survey the rotten wood that is the back porch, I wonder if I should rip up the whole thing or just replace the rotten boards before someone breaks their neck.

I hear Ranger’s frantic happy bark through an upstairs open window followed by the cotton ball’s pissy one, then Jenny’s indulgent, “Ranger, honey, we talked about this. No hump!”

I smile a little. Good luck with that, honey.

Ranger sleeps with me in the cottage, but the second I let him out in the morning, he shoots off to see Jenny and Dolly. I know, because I’ve started to use his horny barks as my gauge for when it’s time for my second cup of coffee.

I keep waiting for Jenny to lose her diva mind, but other than the time she came to tell me that Ranger’d deposited a dead duck in the kitchen and could I please remove it, she’s been pretty cool.

I guess.

I turn my attention back to the work at hand, deciding that if I’m going to fix the porch, I might as well do it all the way.

The supplies I’d gotten at Home Depot weren’t nearly enough to make a dent in this old place, so I’d had a shit-ton of wood and other renovation materials delivered courtesy of “Mr. Walcott.”

If you’re wondering if I’m feeling bad about that little lie…

Not really.

It’s freeing to be just a regular guy.

I hadn’t realized how much I’ve missed people not kissing my ass, and Jenny Dawson certainly isn’t kissing my ass.

The other day she called me “boy” when asking me to fix the freezer’s icemaker.

It’s also occurred to me, though, that this idiotic “information diet” of hers is working in my favor. A thorough Google search on her part and my charade would be over in a second, but her avoiding gossip about herself means she also avoids gossip about me.

My lie is safe. For now.

I’ve gathered everything I need to get started on the porch, and I’ve just started to tear up the first board when I hear the door above me open.

The back of the house has an old antebellum-style balcony, and the soft hum of female singing tells me Jenny’s about to make use of it.

I step off the porch, walking backward. Looking up, I can see her, and I’m ready to suggest that she go somewhere else for the day because my venture is going to be a noisy one.

The words never make it out.

Jenny Dawson is wearing a bikini.

She’s still humming as she drags some ugly-looking chaise thing onto the balcony before fluttering a fluffy white towel onto it and sliding sunglasses onto her face. She’s planning to sunbathe. No way in hell am I going to get any work done.

“The balcony might not be stable, you know,” I call, loud enough for her to hear.

Her head whips around, and she smiles when she sees me. She walks to the railing and leans over it, giving me a full view of her body.


Fuck me.

She’s perfect. She’s got the perfect lean curves of a twenty-two-year-old who takes care of herself. I’m sweating bullets now, and not from the heat.

Correction—not from the heat of the sun.

“Hey, can I ask you something?” she says, ignoring my warning about the balcony.

Last time she asked me that, she asked if she was a good kisser. I lied.

“Which do you like better?” she asks, even though I don’t respond.

Then she opens her mouth and sings, “I like sweet like candy, hot like whisky, but all I crave now is the flavor of revenge.”

Her voice is amazing.

I know this from the radio, as well as from the fact that her voice sometimes fills the whole house while I’m working.

But seeing her sing is something else entirely. I get now why she hasn’t gotten bored with just her and her music. She is her music.

She repeats the same line again, then looks at me expectantly. “Well?”

“Well what?”

I’m pretty sure she rolls her eyes behind the sunglasses. “The second time I went up on the last note. More upbeat, less scary. But I think I want the song to be scary, you know?”

She chews on the end of a pencil, jotting something in a notebook she seems to carry with her everywhere.

“Whatever,” I mutter.

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