Crushed Page 60

I groan. Fucking great. It’s like the worst kind of déjà vu from the day that I first met Chloe.

Only there’s no Chloe today, and it’s almost like I feel her absence.

I start to head in the opposite direction of the former couple so I don’t have to deal with their drama, when Devon’s voice stops me. “Hey, St. Claire. Hold up a sec.”

I turn to see him moving toward me. I lift an eyebrow when Kristin reaches out a hand to touch his arm, and he brushes her off.

Her laugh is too high. “Dev, come on. You can’t just ignore me.”

“I didn’t,” he says, turning to give her a disinterested look. “I said hello. I asked how you were.”

She spreads her hands to the side. “And … that’s it? You came all the way down to the courts to tell me hello?”

“No,” Devon says, with admirable patience. “I came all the way down to the courts to talk to St. Claire.”

Her gaze flicks between the two of us before comprehension dawns. Or, at least, what she thinks is comprehension. Her face goes all soft and sweet. “Dev, I don’t know what you saw, but St. Claire and I are just friends, and you and I aren’t—”

Devon grins and holds up a hand. “Save it. I don’t care. I didn’t even know you were down here.”

Her jaw drops. “But then what—”

Devon’s already turned away, moving in my direction. “See you around, Kristin.”

With a huff, she turns on her heel, her tennis skirt twirling behind her before she marches in the opposite direction.

He gives me a sheepish smile. “Is it bad that I enjoyed that?”

I don’t smile back. Last time I saw this guy he socked me in the jaw, and now he wants to talk about girls?

“What are you doing here?” I ask, using my racket to pull a ball against my shoe and hopping it into my hand. I move toward another ball in the corner, all but ignoring him.

“The bruise is fading nicely,” he says.

I continue to ignore him as I pick up another ball. I toss this one to him, to keep a hand free to retrieve the last one.

He catches it neatly with one hand and calls after me. “I came to ask you to dinner. Thursday night.”

I pick up the last ball, shoving it into my pocket before turning to face him. He moves closer so we don’t have to shout.

“Go to dinner where?” I ask.

“My house. My parents’ house,” he corrects.


I move toward the bench. He follows. “I leave soon for Boston. It has to be this week.”

“What has to be this week?” I ask. “Round two of you punching my face?”

“Yeah, I’m sorry about that. I mean, I’m not, because it was a shit thing to say, about me and the Bellamy girls.”

“It was true.”

He lets out a long breath. “Kristin’s my ex, and Chloe’s my friend. That’s it.”

I unscrew the cap from my water bottle. “K.”

He shakes his head and then turns the tables. “Why do you care so much, anyway?”

I take a gulp of water. It’s a good question.

One that I don’t have the answer to.

We both remain silent, locked in a staring contest. And it occurs to me that we’re more alike than I first realized.

Quietly stubborn.

“Look,” he says, finally, glancing down at his navy boat shoes. “I didn’t … I didn’t handle things well the other night.”


“Don’t be a dick,” he snaps. “You could have done things differently, too. What kind of moron springs that on a random Friday night at a bar?”

I take another drink of water.

“Anyway,” he mutters. “I’ve been thinking … if I were in your shoes … I’d want to see it through. I’d need to.”

“You think I should tell Tim,” I say.

He takes a deep breath and looks me in the eye. “Yeah. And my mom, too.”



I tense at the sound of his saying my name. I’ve only ever been St. Claire before.

“Please come to dinner,” he says. “Dad deserves to know. And although I’m not even sure I like you, you deserve closure. Whatever that may look like.”

I take a deep breath and look away, hating that I feel this vulnerable, but having to ask anyway. “How do you think he’ll respond?”

Devon opens his mouth and then shuts it. “Honestly? I don’t know. But I know that he’s a good guy.”

“Won’t it ruin your perfect little family?” I ask with a sneer.

“My parents are good together. Your existence has nothing to do with their relationship.”

“What about their relationship with you?”

“You mean am I afraid of them deciding they love my big, dark, grouchy brother more than their golden baby? Not a chance.”

I grin, in spite of myself. “You’re an ass.”

He gives me a half smile back. “Must run in my father’s side of the family. So you’ll come?”

“Yeah,” I say, my voice a little gruff. “I guess.”

“Cool. Seven good?” He pulls out his phone. “What’s your number? I’ll text you my address.”

I give him my number, which he inputs into his phone with a nod before sliding the phone back into his pocket.

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