Blurred Lines Page 48

“Yes, we can,” I say stubbornly.

His smile is a little sad. “Can we? What happens when you meet someone? I mean not just a good-looking guy in a bar, but like…someone. Or when I do? What about when one of us gets married?”

If I thought that my brain shied away from the memory of Lance dumping me, it’s nothing compared to the way my brain refuses to comprehend the thought of Ben getting married.

“Have you met someone?” I force myself to ask. “I mean someone…special?”

“No. Not even close. It’s just…it’s going to happen someday, you know? For both of us.”

It’s a weird role reversal for us. Him being all reasonable and forward thinking, and me being stubborn and in-the-moment.

“Yeah, but maybe it doesn’t make sense to be thinking about that now,” I say slowly. “It may be our future, but it’s not our present, you know?”

He turns and looks out at the water before looking back at me. “You’re right. Sorry. Man, your mom’s a pro about getting inside someone’s head, huh?”

“Apparently at getting inside your head,” I tease.

We begin walking, and the tension seems to fade, and I think we’re back to normal. Back to where we should be.

But then…

Ben slowly reaches out a hand toward me, and I’m confused right up until the moment his fingers brush mine.

The gesture is tentative. Sweet. And maybe just a little bit desperate for something that neither of us want to name.

Ben—my best friend in the whole world—is holding my hand.

And despite the fact that my brain is completely freaked out, my fingers seem to know what to do as they intertwine with his, and we walk hand in hand on a quiet beach, each of us lost in thought.

But for the life of me, I can’t muster the courage to ask him if his thoughts are as dangerous as my own.

Chapter 22


I can’t sleep.

The beach house the Blantons always rent has four bedrooms, and Parker and I are in separate ones, obviously, since her parents don’t know that we’ve been sharing a bed in recent weeks.

But it’s been over an hour since Parker and I got back from our walk on the beach, and I’ve been staring at the ceiling for a good forty-five minutes.

Finally I have to admit the real reason I can’t sleep:

Because Parker’s not beside me.

Somehow in the past few weeks, I’ve gotten used to her warm softness curled against me.

Gotten used to the smell of her shampoo and the sound of her breathing.

It’s just sex, I tell myself.

Other than the few days Parker was all Crazy-Town thanks to PMS, we’ve had sex every damn day. So the fact that we haven’t today? That’s what’s throwing me off. That’s all. Just the lack of sex.

I’m pretty sure.

I hesitate for about thirty more seconds before throwing off the blankets and quietly moving toward the door of my bedroom and opening it. It squeaks. Damn it.

Then I let out a silent little laugh, realizing that I’m acting like a teenager trying to sneak into a girl’s room to cop a feel while her parents sleep down the hall.

And that’s exactly what’s about to happen.

Parker’s door is unlocked, and she must be awake, too, because she sits up in bed the second that I open her door.

I shut it behind me, but then, oddly, I lose my nerve, and don’t move.

But she does.

She doesn’t say a word, just scoots from the middle of the bed to the right side. Making room for me.

I grin as I hurry to the warmth of her bed. To the warmth of her.

We lie down at the same time, heads on our respective pillows as we face each other.

“Hi,” she says.


And just like that, I’m back to feeling hesitant. Shy, almost.

What the fuck is wrong with me? With us?

I’d come in here with every intention of hot, raunchy sex, made even hotter by the fact that we’d have to stay completely silent.

But now that I’m here, just barely able to make out her familiar features in the darkness, I find that I want something different. Something I don’t even have a name for.

My hand slides across my pillow, then hers, until my palm rests on her cheek. My thumb rubs across her soft skin, and I think I hear her sigh. I wish there was a little more light so that I could see her, but I make do with touch as my fingers explore her cheek, her closed eyes. Her lips.

She kisses my fingertips then, just barely, and my chest squeezes.

I move slowly closer until we’re chest to chest and I can feel her breath against my lips.

I kiss her.

Slowly, softly. It’s a different kiss. Dangerous in its intimacy, but neither of us seems eager to hurry it along to our usual frantic pace. My tongue dips into her mouth again and again, loving the way her fingers pull restlessly at my T-shirt.

My mouth moves down to her neck, her hands roaming through my hair as I linger there endlessly before moving down her body, kissing her breasts, her stomach.

I stop at her waist, pushing her tank top up slightly so my mouth can rest on the bare skin just below her belly button, and it’s there that I pause, realizing that what makes sex with her on some whole other level from sex with other women is not her amazing body, not the way her frantic fingers contradict her soft sighs.

It’s that she’s Parker. And sex with someone who I care about is…different.


My hands slide all the way under the shirt, and I move back up her body, pulling the shirt with me as I go. She lifts her arms above her head so I can remove it all the way. My own shirt follows, as do her panties and my sweatpants and boxers, although not before I pull a condom out of the pocket, because…Boy Scout.

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