Crushed Page 59

She’s not Olivia 2.0. She’s not even half the girl Olivia is.

And she’s not even a quarter of the girl her sister is.

“Oops!” Kristin calls as she takes a ridiculous excuse for a swing and sends the ball sinking weakly into the net.

“You’re out of practice,” I call back from the other side of the court, glancing at my watch as I pull another ball out of my pocket. Thirty more minutes of this hell.

“My swing feels off,” she says, putting a hand over her eyes to shade herself from the sun and cocking a hip. “Any theories?”

“None beyond you being a manipulative bitch,” I mutter under my breath.

“What?” she calls.

I stifle a sigh, heading over to her side of the net, not really caring if she notices my lack of enthusiasm.

My summer gig of country club boy toy has worn my patience completely thin.

Of course, the fact that I haven’t gotten laid since before the Fourth of July isn’t helping my mood, either.

“Finally,” Kristin says, smiling up at me. Her legs are even tanner than they were at the beginning of the summer, long and lean and toned. Her hair’s in the high ponytail she always wears when she plays, and her tennis whites show off her neat curves to perfection.

This girl has it going on, and she knows it.

I can’t remember ever feeling so bored.

“Your timing’s off,” I say curtly, bouncing a ball in her direction.

A tiny line appears between her brows before she snatches the ball. “Hey, I’ve been gone for, like, three weeks, and you’ve barely said hello.”

“What do you want to talk about, Kristin?”

She moves toward me. “Oh, I don’t know. How about the fact that I’m single now?”

I think her smile is meant to be shy, maybe even nervous, but it rings false. Like she’s scripted this entire encounter in her head.

“Yeah, I heard that.”

Her smile falters at my tone. “Chloe told you?”


“So are you two still, like, besties?” She bounces the ball and catches it again as she watches my face.

“You live with her. Do you see me coming over to gossip and braid her hair?”

“I’ve barely even seen Chloe,” she snaps back. “For all I know she could be hanging out with you every night.”

“What do you mean you’ve barely seen her?” I ask before I can help myself.

She checks out her manicure. She couldn’t look more disinterested about her sister if she tried. Hell, maybe she is trying. “She joined this gym in Dallas and goes, like, every freaking day. I don’t know why. The gym here is just fine. Did you fire her as a client or something?”

“Other way around.”

She looks up. “You guys fought?”

“Why all this talk about Chloe?” I ask irritably.

“You’re right, it’s boring,” she says with a smile.

I nod, but my mind is still trying to work out the fact that Chloe would rather drive thirty minutes into Dallas for a gym instead of seeing me. I’d know that she never made good on her threat to transfer her personal training sessions to Carly, but I assumed that she’d gone back to her sedentary ways.

Or was busy hanging out with Devon.

I spin my racket in annoyance before nodding down at the ball in Kristin’s hand. “Hit it. Nice and easy, keep your wrists from going all floppy.”

She underhands the ball back to me. “Nah. I’m bored of tennis.”

“Great. We can wrap up early. I’ll see you next week.”

I head toward the bench and she trots to catch me, linking an arm in mine. “Want to grab a drink somewhere? I looked at your schedule. I’m your last lesson of the day.”

I turn my head to look at her, and her face is right there. Pretty, smiling, and welcoming.

She rises on her toes to bring our faces closer, and I lean back. “Why are you doing this?”

She lands back on her heels. “Doing what?”

“Going after me?”

Her cheeks turn pink. “Don’t make it sound like I’m the pursuer here. You’ve been wanting this all summer.”

I shrug. “At the beginning of the summer, maybe. But back then you were look don’t touch. Why the change?”

Her laugh is a little ragged. “Isn’t it obvious? I dumped Devon.”

I nod, looking her over. “Yeah, I don’t think that’s it.”

Her jaw drops.

“I mean yes, you’re single now. But you could have any guy. Why me?”

She licks her lips. “I don’t understand.”

“You do. You want me because you think Chloe wants me.”

She does this weird double-blink thing that makes her look guilty as hell, and I hold her stare.

“Look,” she says, glancing at the ground. “It’s not my fault Chloe’s got a bad habit of out-of-her-league crushes.”

Anger has me tightening my grip on my racket, and I run a tongue along my front teeth to stop myself from calling her out for being a conniving bitch.

“You should go,” I say, taking a step back. “I’ll see you next week.”

I doubt she’ll show up next week, given the rejection, and I couldn’t care less. I dig a towel out of my bag when I realize she hasn’t moved. I follow her gaze to see none other than Devon Patterson making his way toward us.

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