Blurred Lines Page 13

She moves toward me. “I like sex, Ben. I miss it.”

Oh dear God, please don’t talk to me about sex after I just saw your tits.

“But you’re so right,” she continues. “I don’t have to wait for stupid Lance to come to his senses, or do the whole wretched-relationship thing again. I can do sex like you do sex. Whenever with whomever.”

“Okay, now hold on, Parks—”

She wags a finger in my face. “Be very careful what you say here, Ben Olsen. You wouldn’t be tempted to walk into a double standard, now, would you? You know, take the stance that a guy who sleeps around is just a boys-will-be-boys player while the female equivalent is a slut.”

“No!” I’m annoyed by the accusation, but that doesn’t mean I like what Parker is suggesting with this wherever-whoever thing. I mean casual sex, fine. But going out of her way to seek it just doesn’t seem like her.

“I was just going to say that I think you should sleep on it,” I say. “You’ve been single all of two hours, and you chugged a bottle of wine in about a quarter of that time.”

I’m expecting her to rail at me for being a lecturing, sanctimonious ass, but to my surprise, she drops the scolding diva finger and purses her lips. “You’re right. I’ll wait until tomorrow to think things through.”

Thank God.

I feel a little tickle near my hairline and lift a hand to my temple where I feel moisture. Fuck me. Am I sweating?

“Popcorn, wine, and a movie?” she asks, then totters out to the coffee table and picks up a box of popcorn, bringing it back into the kitchen and holding it out at me with a friendly smile.

“Absolutely,” I say, grasping at the popcorn like it’s a lifeline. I’m beyond grateful that I don’t have to follow around a drunken Parker from bar to bar when she’s hell-bent on getting laid by some horny jackass who won’t call her tomorrow.

“Hey, Ben,” she says, turning back in the kitchen doorway.

I put the flat popcorn bag in the microwave and hit the POPCORN button. “What’s up?”

“Thank you. You’re my best friend. You know that, right?” She gives me a tentative smile.

Drunk Parker is cute. I smile. “Damn straight. And you’re my best friend, too, Parks.”

Just as long as you keep your shirt on.

Chapter 5


I spent all of yesterday hung over. It was a blessing, almost. I was so preoccupied with my headache and the queasiness that I didn’t have much room to think about the whole being-dumped thing.

But today is Monday.

As if Mondays don’t suck hard enough, I woke up feeling like garbage. Not because of the hangover; that was long gone, thanks to yesterday’s diet of saltines and Gatorade.

Today’s pain isn’t physical. It’s my emotions that are queasy.

I’m so out of it that I even let Ben drive us to work.

Usually I insist we take my car, because his is a big gas-guzzling monstrosity. (I suspect this is because Ben is from the Midwest and likely grew up learning about cattle and cow pies, while I was learning about kale and compost.)

But today I’m low on mental togetherness, and I need to save what few brain cells I do have for the weekly marketing meeting. The junior team takes turns presenting to senior leadership, and since there are eight of us who are low on the totem pole, I have to present only every two months or so.

Of course today would be my day. Just my luck.

“You’re going to rock it,” Ben says, weaving out of our lane and then back into it so fast I nearly get whiplash.

I spare him the tiniest of glares. He always says things like this with utter confidence, but what my best friend doesn’t realize is that not everybody is as effortless in front of people as he is.

Despite the fact that I was the better student and the more dedicated job seeker coming out of college, Ben had gotten twice the number of job offers as me.

Not because his grades were stellar, not because he had any sort of specialized skill set, but because the guy can talk.

To anyone, about anything.

I’m pretty sure he could convince a baby it didn’t need milk and a dog it didn’t like meat if he cared to.

But me? An effortless presentation took effort. I could fake it just fine when I practiced and when I was on my A game.

Today, I am not on my A game.

He glances over at me when I don’t respond. “You okay?”

His voice is casual, but his eyes are concerned. Probably because I cried all over his shoulder on Saturday, got wasted, then spent all of yesterday locked in my room, opening it only to accept the crackers he brought me.

It’s not exactly my typical Parker’s so together routine.

But Ben knows me. And he knows that if he’s too nice, I’ll start to cry again.

“I’m good,” I say, turning my head to face the window.

He nods. “So you won’t have a breakdown when I tell you you have white stuff all over your shirt?”

I glance down and swear as I see the rather elaborate pattern of deodorant smeared all over my black top.

“Invisible solid my ass,” I mutter, as I futilely wipe at it with my hand.

He nods his head toward the backseat. “There’s a towel in my gym bag.”

I give him a suspicious look.

“Clean,” he clarifies.

“Probably thanks to me and my laundry addiction,” I mutter, shifting around and unbuckling my seat belt so that I can reach into the back and dig through his bag.

Prev Next
Romance | Vampires | Fantasy | Billionaire | Werewolves | Zombies