Blurred Lines Page 15

“Maybe you just forgot to put deodorant on that day,” she said.

I point at her. “See? That’s what I mean. My deodorant is either on my shirt, not working, or, apparently, not even applied at all. Armpit problems.”

Lori watches me, taking a sip of her own coffee, which she’s drinking from the provided paper cup because she’s not a weirdo about having it in her own mug like me.

“Help me out here, Parks, because it’s Monday morning, and I had a Sunday Fun-Day yesterday with too many mimosas, and I’m having a hard time following…. When you say armpit problems, are you really talking about armpits? Or is it a code word for something else?”

Just like that, I deflate. “Lance and I broke up.”

Her eyes bug out. “No. You guys were like…or you used to be like…no.”


“Sweetie.” She makes a pained sound and reaches out to stroke my head like I’m a dog, but it’s actually kind of nice. No wonder dogs like it.

“What happened?” she asks.

I swallow and look down at my coffee. You know how it’s really easy not to cry right up until the second you’re expected to talk about it? Yeah, that.

Lori understands immediately. “Don’t say another word. Not until after the meeting. You’re looking fabulous, and red eyes and streaked makeup will ruin that.”

I nod.

“We’ll talk about something else,” she muses. “How about this…the guy I went out with on Friday?”

I jump at the change of topic. “The one who made reservations at El Gaucho?”

Lori and I had been marveling at the fact that her blind date was taking her to one of the most expensive steakhouses in the city—perhaps the most expensive. She’d been looking forward to it for days, and we’d spent a ridiculous amount of time planning her outfit.

“Yup,” she says, sitting on my desk. “That’s the one. Get this. He ‘forgot’ his wallet.”

My jaw drops. “No way.”

“Yep. Doesn’t ‘realize’ until the end of the meal after he’d ordered a freaking porterhouse with a lobster tail side.”

My hand covers my mouth and a laugh bubbles up. “What did you do?”

She sighs dramatically. “What could I do? I paid. I think my credit card was actually sweating.”

“You think he did it on purpose?”

She shrugs. “I’m not sure. He seemed super apologetic, and told me, like, a million times he’d pay me back ‘next time,’ but even if there is a next time, I don’t know that I’d jump at the chance to go out with him. Nice enough guy, minus the wallet forgetfulness, but I didn’t really feel anything.”

I groan. “You’re not giving me much hope for the dating scene.”

“I’m not going to lie to you, Blanton. It’s a rough world out there. I hate being that girl that wants a boyfriend, but I haven’t been in a serious relationship in over a year, and I miss it, you know?”

I look away, and she slaps her forehead. “Sorry. Sorry. I’m such a bitch. Okay, no more talk about guys. Let’s go get the conference room set up and talk about how many passive-aggressive comments Eryn will make during the presentation, ’kay?”

An hour and a half later, the presentation is done, two more mugs of coffee have been consumed, and despite the fact that both Lori and another friend (who I’d texted about the breakup during yesterday’s wallowing hangover) have been texting me nonstop, trying to distract me with non-guy-related topics, I can’t stop my brain from going there.

But, oddly, not in an I miss Lance so much kind of way.

Perhaps that will come later. And not in the hurt-pride kind of way of the weekend, either.

I find myself thinking about sex.

I’d been mostly kidding in my interrogation of Ben about gym hookups, because I don’t care how turned on I am by some six-packed hottie, I’m just not the type of girl to do it in the gym shower or wherever else Ben and his gym rats go at it.

But I hadn’t been kidding about my foray into playing the field. I mean, I don’t need to sleep with the whole town or anything, but I’m in my twenties. My libido is plenty healthy.

I should be getting some.

I want some.

I save the spreadsheet I’ve been staring at blindly for the past fifteen minutes and make my way over toward Lori’s cube on the far side of the office.


My footsteps slow slightly, and I silently scold myself as I realize my mistake in not walking the other way to Lori’s cube.

I fix a smile on my face and pause outside my coworker’s cube. “What’s up?”

I’m sure Eryn Grading is a nice person.

She just hardly ever shows it. At least at work. Oh, sure, she can be sugary sweet when she wants to be, usually when our boss is around. But sometimes she says these things, and all you can do is stare at her and silently wonder if that’s really what she wanted to say.

Eryn is sitting at her desk, so I’m towering over her, but then I tower over her even when she’s standing. Not because I’m particularly tall at five foot six, but because she’s barely five foot.

“Hey there, how’s it going?” she asks.

“Fine!” I chirp, patiently waiting for the real reason she stopped me.

“Good job on your presentation today,” she says, twirling a strand of her super-long hair around her finger.

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