Crushed Page 33

Devon’s eyes narrow slightly. “Chloe told you.”

I lift a shoulder. “She mentioned it.”

He shifts again, his attention returning to Chloe. I, too, seek her out, checking in on her progress with Scott, and she seems to have relaxed into her femme fatale role a little bit, because her smile’s easier, her gestures more natural.

Scott’s eating it up, exactly as planned.

Devon makes a low grunting noise, and I realize that part is going according to plan as well.

I decide to push him just a bit further. For Chloe’s sake.

“Kristin know how you’ve been looking at her sister?”

His head whips around. “I thought we made that clear. Chloe’s a friend. Period.”

“Same here,” I say easily. I pause. Then, “Sure is easy to talk to, though. Fun to be with, you know?”

Devon doesn’t respond.

“Curves in all the right places, too.”

His jaw tightens.

And then …

God bless Chloe, it’s like she’s secretly reading my mind, because I couldn’t have timed it better if I had a bug in her ear. Scott stands, extending a hand down to her, which she grabs, looking up at him with one of those wide, genuine smiles.

And then, before I’m quite prepared for it, she reaches down for the hem of that bulky white cover-up and tugs upward, pulling it up and over her head until she’s standing there in that damn red, white, and blue bikini.

For just a second, my vision goes blurry and my mouth goes dry. Chloe is … luscious. There’s no other word for the way her full breasts strain the blue-and-white-starred top, or the way her waist nips in, or the full curve of hips.

Then she takes Scott’s hand and lets him lead her down toward the dock, and Devon and I get an eyeful of a red-and-white-striped bikini bottom that doesn’t quite cover the white globes of her rather amazing ass.

“Jesus,” Devon says. He sounds stunned.

I feel a little surge of pride at a job well done, both in my time pushing Chloe at the gym, and for shoving her out of her comfort zone.

But around that sense of triumph is a little stab of something else.

Something that feels alarmingly close to possessiveness.

Chapter 14


I could seriously kill Beefcake for talking me into this.

I might as well be naked.

Even worse than that, I don’t want to be naked around Scott.

I mean, the sweet kid is trying really hard to be a gentleman, and I give him credit for that. Sure, his eyes went a little big when I pulled off the safety of my cover-up.

And, yeah, I’d caught his eyes wandering a little when he thought I was distracted. But mostly he treats me the same when I’m mostly naked as when I’m fully clothed.

Scott Henwick is a nice guy, but he doesn’t exactly get my lady parts revved.

Now, the hypocrisy of this isn’t lost on me. Here I am bemoaning the fact that society requires you to be tiny with shiny smooth hair and perfect teeth in order to get noticed, while at the same time, my eyes keep skipping over the nice, plain guy to, well …


And Devon.

But mostly it seems to be Michael St. Claire that I keep seeking out in the crowd.

Damn that kiss.

“Want me to grab you something to drink?” Scott asks, handing me a beach towel. Two of my cousins stare at me aghast as I pull my plump, dripping body up the ladder onto the dock. Apparently the unspoken rule with wearing this damn tiny bikini is that it’s not supposed to get wet.

Well, fuck that.

It’s like ninety-something degrees.

And I like swimming. Granted, I usually do it while wearing one of those slimming, all-black, cover-up-as-much-as-possible suits, and then only when I think most everyone else is distracted by the margarita bar that my parents bring out in the late afternoon.

So although I’m tempted to grasp at the towel Scott holds out and wrap it around me as quickly as possible, I force myself to accept it casually, as though it doesn’t make a difference to me whether I have a towel to cover up my butt or not.

“Sure, drink sounds great,” I say with a smile at Scott.

He smiles back, and my gut clenches a little, and, abruptly, I realize that I can’t do this.

I can’t use someone else to get what I want. Scott’s a decent guy. He deserves a decent girl. One who doesn’t lust after her personal trainer while longing for her sister’s boyfriend.

Yikes. When did I become such a hussy?

I’m using the towel to wring out my hair, careful not to rub it since that makes it fuzzy, as I contemplate how to back out of this thing I’ve started with Scott.

Then he comes at me. Beefcake.

Michael has yet to take off that tight T-shirt, and I’m glad. I don’t think I can handle seeing his abs just now.

Unlike polite Scott, Michael makes no secret of the fact that he’s checking me out as he moves toward me. I narrow my eyes at him, and he grins.

“I see you held up your end of the bargain,” he says, coming to a stop in front of me, oblivious to the fact that my cousins and their ditzy friends are so checking him out from their perch on nearby chaise longues, clearly trying to figure out why he’s talking to me.

“Yeah, well, you haven’t held up yours,” I snap, feeling irritable.

“How do you know?”

I glance around while holding out my hands. “Do you see Devon anywhere around?”

His expression is unreadable. “I’m working on it.”

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