Isn't She Lovely Page 10

When did this whole scene start to feel so f**king trashy?

I foist the drunk girl onto one of my frat brothers and head out the back door. It’s not any cooler out here than it was in there, but other than a few couples making out, it’s relatively quiet.

I sit on a crumbling brick wall, wondering what the hell I’m still doing here. Normally my night would be just beginning, but now all I can think about is getting back to my air-conditioned apartment, where I don’t have to talk to anyone.

Then again, being alone means more time thinking, and I’m not sure I want to do that either.

I run a hand over the back of my neck, rolling my head on my shoulders, when I see her. She’s only a couple of feet away, but with the black shirt, pants, and boots, she blends into the night.

“Kendrick,” I say, tilting my head up toward the sky so I don’t stare at her boobs.

“Price,” she says in the same bored voice.

Neither of us says anything for several minutes, and it’s kind of nice to be around someone who doesn’t expect me to perform.

“For the record, I like this version best,” she says after several moments of silence.


Out of the corner of my eye, I see her lift a shoulder. “Your personas. There’s that nauseatingly charming one I met the first day. There’s the sulky one in the hallway just now. And then there’s this one. Quiet and a little sad. I like him best.”

I turn my head to stare at her. “You like me sad? You really are a ghoul.”

She looks totally unperturbed by this as she fiddles with one of her earrings. “Well, I don’t want you suicidal or anything. I just like that you’re not trying so hard.”

I don’t even know what the f**k she’s talking about. Trying so hard? Does she think I’m like a clown who picks and chooses his moods based on his environment?

Being charming is easy—nobody looks too hard at charming. Nobody expects you to be anything other than flirty and a little funny. Figures that this sour little critter would be repulsed by that.

“How’s your face?” I ask, changing the subject.


I narrow my eyes and study her. Her tone is flippant, and although she really does seem to be fine—there’s no red mark to signal an impending bruise—I get the feeling that she’d say she was fine even if she wasn’t. As though she doesn’t think anyone would care one way or the other.

“Sorry about … in there,” I say, breaking yet another awkward silence.

“You mean where you got all handsy?” she asks in that unperturbed voice of hers.

“I didn’t get handsy,” I snap. “I was just making sure I didn’t knock your teeth out.”

Stephanie gives me this big, shit-eating grin as though to say, See? All teeth accounted for, and I roll my eyes.

But I’m smiling a little bit all the same. She’s so damned different from anyone I’ve ever met before, and oddly, I find my mood improving.

“How’d you get dragged into this shit?” I say, gesturing toward the thumping house, where the back window reveals someone doing a keg stand.

“What, you mean you don’t think I belong?” she asks, her eyes wide in mock surprise.

I pat the wall next to me and give her an inviting smile. “Come closer. I can barely hear you.”

“Don’t start that BS again,” she says with a withering glance. “I meant it when I said I didn’t like the charming pretty-boy version.”

But she comes and sits by me anyway, and once again I feel that annoying hit of awareness.

I meet her eyes. “What if that’s who I am? The charming pretty-boy version, I mean?”

“Well, then God help your future Stepford wife, because you two will bore the crap out of each other long before your first anniversary. But it’s not my problem. It’s not like I’m auditioning for the role of BFF. Just keep your schmoozing to a minimum when we have to meet for the film project, and hopefully I won’t have to scare you away with my dead bird collection.”

We’re back to where we started now on that first day, exchanging clichéd insults, and I kind of like it. Not as much as I liked her pressed against me, but her company’s the most enjoyable I’ve had in weeks.

“You never answered how you ended up here,” I say, staring down at her pale profile.

She stares straight ahead, fiddling again with her earrings. “I’m tagging along with a friend. Jordan Crawford. She’s one of you people.”

“One of us?”

“You know. Pretty. Popular. Perfect.”

“You’re pretty,” I hear myself say.

She turns her head then, blue eyes so bored they could freeze my balls off. “What did I just say about the charming thing? Turn it off.”

“Why do you do that?” I ask, genuinely curious.

“What, you’re wondering why I don’t swoon?” she asks, lifting a leg to tuck a heel under her on the wall and turning to face me slightly. “You’re not my type.”

“Is it the lack of tattoos?” I deadpan. “Do you want me to show you my penis piercing?”

“It’s the lack of substance,” she snaps.

I recoil a little bit at the accusation. I don’t know why her opinion even matters. She’s a friendless outcast, and I could have this entire party eating out of my hand if I wanted. I don’t care what she thinks of me. Or at least I shouldn’t.

Prev Next
Romance | Vampires | Fantasy | Billionaire | Werewolves | Zombies