Blurred Lines Page 69

She leans against me, her finger tracing the shape of my mouth as though memorizing it. “Tell me now.”

I bend my knees a little so we’re eye level. “I love you, Parker Blanton. I’ve loved you for the longest time.”

Her answering smile is my everything.

“I love you, too, Ben Olsen.”

“New house rule,” I say. “You have to say it every day.”

“I make the house rules,” she says, tapping a finger to my mouth. “And I decree that you have to say it every day.”

I wrap my arms around her, lifting her off the floor. “Does this mean I get to see you naked again?”

She laughs, and I love the sound of it. “Depends. Are your sheets clean?”

I sling her over my shoulder, ass in the air, and move toward the stairs. She slaps at my back with her palm. “That wasn’t an answer.”

I grin as I take her up the stairs.

My sheets totally aren’t that clean.

Turns out, she doesn’t care.




“Ooh, I know!” I say, pointing excitedly at the karaoke book. “We could do this Disney song.”

Ben gives me a disgusted look. “We could. I could also hang myself with the cord of this microphone—”

“Well, you pick a song then,” I say impatiently.

“Would you chill out?” he says, flipping through the ten trillion pages of the song list. “We have, like, four people in front of us.”

“Not if we cut.”

“That only works if it’s you and Lori trying to cut in front of a group of horny dudes. And seeing as Lori has her tongue down Drake’s throat, I don’t think she’s going to be singing anytime soon.”

“God, I can’t believe she’s getting married on Saturday,” I say as I look over to where my friend is making out with her soon-to-be husband.

Yep, that’s right. Lori is marrying a guy she’s known for less than a year.

I’m a bridesmaid, along with her sister, and…wait for it…Eryn.

The girl is still a total weirdo, but one of my favorite people ever now that I’ve trained her not to say everything that’s on her mind.

“How about this one?” Ben asks, nudging me.

I glance down. “Um, no. Also, to save us time in the future, every time you want to do a duet version of ‘Baby Got Back,’ it’s always no. It was no back when we were just friends, it was no when we were friends with benefits, and it’s no now that we’re…”

I break off and he raises his eyebrows. “Now that we’re what? Lovers?”

I wrinkle my nose. “I was going to say boyfriend/girlfriend, but that seems woefully inadequate, huh?”

He tugs me toward him, wrapping his arms around me, and I give a happy sigh because every day I think I can’t love him any more, and every day I wake up loving him so much it takes my breath away.

“How about we’re best friends…in love,” he says.

I kiss him happily. “That’s cheesy.”

“Does it ever bother you?” he asks thoughtfully. “That we spent all those years preaching to the world about how wrong they were about guys and girls not being able to be just friends, only to find out that we were the blind ones?”

“Does it bother you?” I ask.

His lips nuzzle my neck, completely oblivious to the fact that we’re in a crowded karaoke bar. “Not a bit. Never been so happy to be wrong.”

Our kiss gets a little more passionate than either of us plans on, and a couple behind us clears their throats loudly.

“We’d like to see the book when you’re done,” the guy says in a pointed voice.

Ben shoves the book at him without ever breaking contact with my lips.

When we finally break apart to breathe, my eyes scan the room as we continue to wait our turn for the stage.

I spot my parents, who are not only turning a blind eye to the fact that Lori and her boyfriend are making out right in front of them but also seem to be doing a little snuggling of their own.

“I can’t wait until my mom gets up here,” I say.

“Yeah? I don’t think I’ve ever heard her sing. She as good as you?”

“No, she’s terrible. Totally tone deaf. But it’s on her bucket list, so…”

Ben’s hand rests against my back, softly, comfortingly, and I let the gentle touch soak up some of my sadness. My mom made it past the six-month mark, so that’s positive. But she’s still sick. Really sick. The cancer’s still eating at her.

But we’re exploring other treatments. More aggressive ones. She’ll get better. I know she will.

“I can’t believe I let you talk me into coming out on a school night,” Ben says around a yawn.

“Oh, womp womp, Grandpa.”

And then I give him another kiss on the cheek, just because I’m proud of him. Ben got accepted to several business schools in Seattle and Portland.

He settled on here. Right where he belongs.

“Hey, go with those girls,” I whisper. “See if they’ll let us go first.”

“On it.”

He heads off, and then is back by my side in a record two minutes. “Done. We’re up.”

“Nicely done!” I say, impressed. “I didn’t even see any of them give me the stink eye when you pointed at me.”

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