Blurred Lines Page 60

And that’s when it hits me. I need to go out. Need to get out of this weird funk.

I need to get fucking laid.

I haven’t touched a girl since that night in Cannon Beach with Parker—the one that I attached way too much importance to and got burned for it.

I swing my legs off the coffee table. “Yeah,” I tell John. “Let’s go out.”

An hour later, I’m right back in my element. And pardon the cliché, but picking up girls is kind of like riding a bike. It’s coming right back to me.

If I’m reading the vibes right—and I usually do—by the end of the night, I’ll have my pick of two cute blondes, a gorgeous Latina, or a pretty brunette who I pretty quickly rule out because she looks too much like Parker.

Parker, whom I haven’t spoken to since that night in the restaurant.

I’ve seen her once or twice. We were in the same line at Starbucks the other day, and I’m completely ashamed to admit that I pretended not to see her.

Except I’m not that ashamed, because I’m pretty sure she did the same thing.

“Yo! Olsen!” I turn around and my smile slips a little when I see who’s called my name.

“Hey! Lori!” It’s been about a week since I gently suggested that things weren’t working out, and although she took it like a champ, it’s never exactly fun being confronted with an ex, even though I don’t know that Lori and I were ever serious enough to warrant the ex label.

“What are you doing here?” she asks. Her voice is a shade too loud for the circumstances, which tells me she’s well on her way past tipsy. “Um—”

“Just kidding,” she says, before I can answer. “I know exactly what you’re doing here. Same thing as me!”

She does this goofy little thrusting thing with her hips, and I laugh, because she doesn’t at all seem pissed about the way we left things.

“Slim pickings tonight, at least on the guy front,” she says, glancing around before coming back to me. “At least until now.”

Her eyes lock on mine meaningfully, and only then do I realize that I was too quick to let my guard down, because the speculative look in her eyes makes it clear what she has in mind.

A one-night stand.

“Come on,” she says with a little tug on my arm. “I promise I’m not going to trap you into buying me dinner again. I just want some fun, you know? With someone as hot as I am.”

I look her over, and she’s right about one thing.

She’s definitely hot. Breasts are displayed to perfection in a tight blue shirt that ends just a couple inches short of her jeans’ waistband, displaying a smooth strip of flat stomach.

She’s gorgeous and fun, and all but guaranteeing a night of no-strings-attached sex, and…

I can’t.

I need to get laid, yes, but I need to do so in order to stop thinking about Parker, and doing it with Parker’s friend?

Not the right thing to do. For any of the parties involved, least of all Lori.

She sees the moment I’m going to reject her and gives an aw-shucks snap of her fingers. “Oh well. Worth a shot. Fear not, Olsen, I’ve got myself a brunet backup plan.”

“He’s a lucky guy,” I say, meaning it.

She winks and starts to walk away, before turning back and giving me a curious look. “Question.”

“Sure,” I say, taking a sip of my drink.

“When I asked you out, and you said yes…that was about Parker, huh? Somehow?”

I open my mouth, but no words come out.

“And when you broke up with me,” she said. “That was about Parker, too?”

Still no words.

Lori’s smile is slower, more confident. “And just now, when you turned down my offer of sex?”

I nod slowly, figuring I owe her the truth. Yep. That was about Parker, too.

“She’s my best friend,” I say, lest Lori get the wrong idea and think that by about Parker I mean I have some sort of romantic interest in her.

Because that’s not what this is about.

Sure, for a weird moment there in Cannon Beach, things had felt kind of…intense. But she’s still Parker.

Lori lets out a self-deprecating groan. “Oh my gawd, how could I have been so freaking blind!”

Then she seems to perk up, her light blue eyes pinning me. “Though,” she says, “not that I’m even close to being as blind as you.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” I ask.

But Lori’s already walking away from me and gives a little dismissive wave of her hand over her head as she sidles up to some beefy dude by the wall.

“Whatever,” I mutter.

I turn back to the bar, relieved to see that my original targets are still here. Just because I have no intention of taking Lori up on her offer doesn’t mean that I’d turn down an invitation from any of these lovely anonymous ladies.

Anonymous sex is exactly what I need right now.

In fact, it’s all I’ve ever wanted. And damn Parker for messing that up with all her Sex should be fun and You should be able to talk to the person after bullshit.

Sex was sex.

Talk was talk.

The two were kept completely separate, as Parker and I had just so disastrously demonstrated.

And as for feelings? That shit didn’t belong in there at all.

In the end I settle on the shorter of the two blondes, a friendly publicist who’d recently accepted a new job in Austin, and has made it abundantly clear that she’s looking for a last hurrah in Portland before relocating.

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