Blurred Lines Page 11

“Aw, Parks. I’ve known you for six years. I love your lame.”

I hand her the glass, noting the way her eyes light up at the sight of the contents.

“Champagne?” she asks.

“Cheap prosecco. I had to make do with the corner store since it was close.”

“Worried I’d slit my wrists if you left me any longer?” she calls after me as I go to the kitchen to get myself a beer.

“More like worried you’d be singing Celine Dion while eating mayo out of the jar.”

“The night is young!” she calls back.

I smile, because she’s sounding more like her usual self, and as I pop the top off my beer, I pull out my phone and send a quick text message to Andie, the girl I’d hooked up with last weekend. I’d been hoping for a repeat, but…

Hey babe, can’t make it out tonight. Next weekend?

I start to put the phone back in my pocket when it buzzes. Andie is a fast texter.

Did u just blow me off?

I wince at the slightly proprietary tone of the text, but I still respond. My roommate needs me.

Sure. I bet. I’ve seen your “roommate.”

“Whatever,” I mutter. I shove the phone into the back pocket of my jeans even as it buzzes again. Andie just showed her hand, and it was a bad one. I don’t care how gorgeous a girl is, there’s one thing she can’t be:


I wouldn’t say I’m the type of guy prone to pet peeves, but I’ve developed a definite annoyance for people’s dull-witted assumption that just because Parker and I get along, enjoy each other’s company, and are compatible housemates means we’re supposed to be fuck buddies on the side.

Everyone acts like we’re giving the middle finger to nature or something. So, in turn, I give the middle finger to anyone who implies we’re anything other than what we are:

Friends who happen to have different chromosomes.

Get over it, world.

Also, note to self, remind Parker that you do too know something of biology.

I’m about to rejoin Parker on the couch, wondering if she’ll be able to hold it together long enough to tell me what exactly went down with Lance, when there’s a knock at the door.

It’s John Harris, one of my good buddies. “ ’Sup,” he says, letting himself in like he has a million times. “Wanted to see if you want to grab a beer at O’Perry’s before the party.”

John skids to a halt when he sees the red-nosed Parker on the couch, holding her enormous glass of bubbly between her two hands.

“Sweetheart,” he says to her. “Who do I need to beat up?”

Parker and John have always gotten along, and she smiles, even though it looks a little forced. “I find I’m unexpectedly single,” she says.

“That fuckwit.” He opens his arms. “Hug?”

She hesitates for just the briefest of seconds, and, instinctively knowing she wants space, I thwop John on the shoulder. “Dude. Don’t be that guy.”

“What? I said hug, not cop a feel,” he says as he drops his arms. “So I take it no party tonight, huh? You girls gonna stay in, eat ice cream, and bash men?”

“Popcorn, actually,” I say, pointing to the table where I’d placed the microwave popcorn I’d picked up along with Parker’s wine.

John lifts his eyebrows. “Two boxes? Aren’t there three bags per box? Are you starting your own movie theater?”

“We always burn at least one bag. Our microwave is older than God.”

“We should give the burnt popcorn to God!” Parker bursts out, before busting up laughing.

John looks at me out of the corner of his eye, and I mime a quick back and forth drinking motion. Parker’s oversized pour of prosecco is nearly empty already. Seems we’re headed toward a drown-your-sorrows kind of evening.

“I’ll leave you to it, then,” he says, heading back toward the front door. “If she passes out early and you want to come out, text me?”


I nod goodbye to John before detouring to the fridge for the prosecco bottle. Might as well leave it on the coffee table for easy access. At this rate, she won’t even register when it starts to get warm.

I plop on the couch next to her, top off her glass with a smaller pour this time, and pull her legs over mine.

“Talk or mute?” I ask.

It’s a game we play whenever the other person has something on their mind. You can either spill your guts, which is the talk option. Or keep it to yourself, mute, no judgment made, no offense taken.

“Talk,” she says surprising me. Then again, alcohol always brings out chatty Parker.

“He dumped me,” she says bluntly.

I already knew this, but I rub my palm over her shin. “He’s an idiot.”

“Yeah.” Her head flops against the couch cushion. “But so am I. I feel stupid for being blindsided, though. All the signs were there.”

This surprises me a little. I thought she’d been perfectly happy. Hell, I thought she thought she was going to marry the guy. She’d always seemed so…content.

“Well.” She takes a big swallow of wine before swinging her legs so her feet are on the floor before pouring a little more prosecco. She takes another big gulp. “We hadn’t had sex in this long,” she says, turning unsteadily toward me, hands held wide apart, index fingers extended. She nearly takes out my eye.

I gently catch her hand before she can blind me. “Oh, yeah?” I ask casually as I debate whether I can make a successful grab of her wineglass.

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