Crushed Page 4

As I go to grab a bottle of water, my eyes inadvertently fall on mouthy, messy Chloe Bellamy.

I pause.

Gone is the snarky, don’t give a shit Chloe who’d been hollering smart-ass remarks just a couple minutes before.

Her eyes are locked on her sister’s boyfriend, and the look on her face is painfully familiar.

I know that look.

I know that look better than I’ll ever admit to anyone.

Chloe Bellamy is in love with her sister’s boyfriend. I’ve got a pretty damn good idea how shittily that’s going to work out for her.

Chloe rips her eyes away and stares unseeingly down at her book. Her eyes squeeze shut.

I shift my gaze back to the couple, who are now kissing in earnest, and the anger starts creeping in, mingling with the jealousy and causing a hot stab of resentment to lodge in my chest.

Objectively, I know that I’m watching Kristin and Devon, not Ethan and Olivia.

But it’s the same, isn’t it?

The perfect fucking couple, completely blind to the people around them.

Only this time, it’s not the guy who’s like my brother who has the girl.

It is my brother.

My eyes flick back to Chloe.

Maybe Kristin’s not the only path to Devon after all.

Chapter 2


I’ve been in love with Devon Patterson since I was eight.

And I know what you’re thinking …

That I didn’t have hormones when I was eight, so it wasn’t real love, or even real attraction.

You’re wrong.

I love him.

And I know he could love me back, if only he’d look at me.

But ya know? I can’t even blame Devon for not seeing me.

It’s probably hard for him to be aware of his surroundings when my Disney Princess sister has her tongue in his mouth.

I mean, why would you want the funny sidekick when you can have the heroine?

And that’s the type of person Kristin is. Or at least thinks she is. She’s the heroine in every story.

Even other people’s.

As if he reads my mind, Devon slowly pulls back from his reunion kiss to join the land of the living where the actual people do not have eyelashes the size of small bats and a waist the size of a toddler’s.

But, actually, it’s not fair to pick only on Kristin for her blinding good looks.

Of the four of us here on this godforsaken tennis court, I’m the only one that’s not outright beautiful.

Take Devon, for example. Blond. Blue-eyed. Chiseled jaw. Tall, but not too tall, muscular but not bulging. Yummy.

As for the new tennis instructor … I don’t even know what to make of him.

My first thought? Beefcake. It’s obvious why he was hired, and it’s not because he can make contact with a tennis ball ten times out of ten.

Nope, it’s definitely the way his biceps strain the requisite Cambridge Country Club polo, and the way his tanned skin contrasts perfectly with the crisp white fabric.

That and the sulky bad-boy gaze that I’m pretty sure he’s aware of. Maybe even practiced.

New guy is definitely gorgeous. And Kristin’s definitely noticed.

I shift my gaze to where Devon is tucking a lock of Kristin’s ever-silky hair behind her ear. We both have curly hair, but Kristin’s is the kind that can be blown out into all kinds of satiny shine. Unlike my corkscrews, where each curl is like its own rebellious teenager.

It’s clear which version Devon prefers.

And Beefcake, too, given the way he was practically undressing Kristin with his eyes when he thought she wasn’t looking.

I liked that about him. The way he didn’t let her know he was looking. He was playing games, but by his own rules.

But, anyway, who cares about tennis boy.

Tall, dark, and brooding isn’t my type.

I like them blond, smiley, and kind.

I like them like Devon Patterson.

Did I mention I love him?

Devon’s torn himself away from Kristin’s pink lip-glossed mouth long enough to shake hands with Michael. Any other dude would be sizing up the competition—I mean, not three minutes ago, Kristin was totally giving the tennis instructor all kinds of come-hither. But Devon has a friendly smile for the guy who was staring at his girlfriend’s ass.

I wonder if it even occurs to Devon that his girlfriend isn’t immune to Michael St. Claire’s dark, I pop cherries for a living kind of appeal.

Nah. Devon knows how perfect he is. He’s not going to be worried about some bad-boy tennis pro with too-big biceps.

I pretend to read my book while Devon informs Michael that despite Kristin’s modesty she actually plays tennis for her college team, and Kristin blushes prettily and pretends that it’s no big deal, like she hadn’t already told Michael about her illustrious tennis skills in excruciating detail.

Kristin likes to pretend that her tennis “career” is the reason she didn’t graduate in four years, and the good ol’ parents never seem to wonder if it has something to do with the fact that she changed her major seven—yes, seven—times before settling on French.

The only French Kristin is good at is kissing, but she’s so freaking pretty that nobody seems to notice. Or care.

Meanwhile, I’m on schedule to graduate early with a double major in biology and econ. Not an obvious combo, but, hey … a girl’s got to have options, especially when an MRS degree isn’t exactly right around the corner.

My dad is proud of me.

My mom … well, she’s proud, too. I think she just wishes I were a skinny double major.

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