Blurred Lines Page 54

I watch as Ben scoops up an armful of shoes and dumps them unceremoniously into a box.

“I see that’s not going to be a problem with you,” I say dryly.

He grins, then repeats the motion. “How many shoes do you have, woman?”

“The fact that you added woman to the end of that sentence tells you all you need to know. A lot.”

“I hope Lance is prepared to clear out eighty percent of his closet,” Ben says, holding up a pink wedge and looking at it skeptically before throwing—yes, throwing—it into the box as well.

It’s the first time since I told him that I was moving in with Lance that Ben’s even mentioned my boyfriend’s name.

And yes, Lance is my boyfriend again. Not that we’ve, um, consummated that status, but I’m moving in with the guy. Of course he’s my boyfriend.

Still, I’d avoided having Lance come by the house as much as possible. The thought of seeing him and Ben in the same room is just too much.

“So, how happy are you to have a bathroom all to yourself?” I ask, my voice determinedly chipper. “All that hot water. Oh, and you’ll have complete control of the remote. And your beer won’t have to share the fridge with my champagne. And there won’t be any long dark hair clogging the shower drain, and—”

To my utter horror, my voice breaks then, and I realize that I can’t even see the necklaces I’ve been trying to untangle for the past two minutes because my eyes are so filled with tears.

“Hey, now,” Ben says, his voice panicked as he scoots my way and sinks to the floor next to me, popping a bunch of Bubble Wrap in the process. “What’s this?”

His finger catches a tear, and that makes me cry all the harder.

“I don’t know,” I say, my voice all hiccupy. “I just…I think…I don’t…”

He gently presses the backs of his fingers against my cheek. “I’ll miss you too, Parks.”

I look at him through my blurry vision. “I bought you some new bath towels. Lots of them. And I washed them all and put them under the sink in the bathroom so you’ll have a long supply of fresh ones. And I’ll call you every day to remind you not to—”

He puts a hand over my mouth. “Parker. Get it together, babe. You’re moving about five minutes away. It’s not like we’re never going to see each other again.”

“I know.” I wipe my runny nose with the back of my hand. “But it’ll be different. Won’t it?”

Ben has his knees pulled to his chest, his arms looped around his legs, and he looks down at his hands. “Yeah. It’ll be different.”

It’s not what I want him to say, and I cry harder before launching myself at him awkwardly, my arms wrapped tightly around his neck.

He tenses for a second, but then one arm goes around my back, the other into my hair. “You and your crying.”

“I know,” I whisper against his neck. “I’m a wreck.”

Being held by him feels right, and for the millionth time since I agreed to move in with Lance, I wonder if I’m doing the right thing.

I pull back so I can look into his eyes, and our faces are just inches apart. It’s weird to think that just a couple weeks ago, that would have put us in kissing position—a position we both would have taken advantage of.

It’s even weirder that I still want to.

Oh God. I absolutely, positively cannot still want Ben.

For starters. Lance.


Okay, I can’t think of another reason.

“Lori’s going to ask you out,” I blurt, desperate for something to derail the scary direction of my thoughts.

His eyebrows lift, although I don’t know if it’s from the sudden change of topic or the news itself. “Yeah?”

I nod. “I tried to warn her, but…she’s determined.”

His brow wrinkles. “What do you mean, warn her?”

“Prepare her,” I amend. “For when you say no.”

Ben is studying me, his face unreadable. “What makes you think I’d say no?”

“Well, I mean…she’s not asking you for a hookup,” I say, forcing a smile and batting his knee. “I’ve been telling you all along that Lori’s looking for a relationship. A real one.”

“Okay…” His tone indicates that he still doesn’t get it.

“She wants a boyfriend,” I say slowly, spelling it out for him.

I wait for it all to click into place so that he can assure me that no, he has absolutely zero intention of saying yes to Lori or any girl.

That he’ll continue to be his charming, one-night-stand-ish self.

Because while I don’t exactly relish the thought of him going back to sleeping with his bimbos, it’s a hell of a lot easier to picture that than him caring about someone else….

But Ben says none of those things. Instead he shrugs. “I like Lori.”

My mouth drops open. “You’re not actually thinking of saying yes.”

His laugh is short and a little harsh. “Well, I mean, it’s not like she’s proposing. So, yeah, if she asked me out, I’d say yes.”


“I don’t want to be single forever, Parker.”

His voice is a little sharp, and mine is just as edgy when I snap back.

“Since when?”

I see his jaw clench in irritation, but I press on. “I mean, when have you ever given any indication that you wanted a girlfriend?”

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