Isn't She Lovely Page 14

“Well, she’s kind of got a housing crisis of her own, and I said she could crash here. But don’t worry, she’ll be sleeping with me, so the living room’s all yours.”

Oh. Hell. No.

I twirl my finger in the air, gesturing at our awkward little powwow. “You want to live together? All three of us?”

David shrugs a little, and I try to remember that I was the one who begged him to let me stay here, but what I really want to do is punch Leah in the ovaries.

“It’ll be fun! Modern roommates.”

Yeah. Fun. Like Pap smear fun. Like paper cut fun. Like PMS fun. Like …

I can’t believe the thought is actually crossing my mind, but suddenly hanging out with Ethan Price all summer isn’t sounding so bad in comparison with watching David paw at his new toy.

Then I remember that, gorgeous or not, Ethan Price is the type of guy who probably waxes his chest and irons his Gucci underwear.

I think I’m better off with my ex.

Chapter Six


“Ethan, are you even listening?”

I pretend to jolt awake from a deep sleep as I look up at my pissy-looking film partner. “Hell, no,” I say, rubbing a hand over my eyes. “You’ve been babbling about old movies for the better part of an hour. Honestly, I don’t think a vegetable would still be listening.”

Stephanie gives me one of those long drawn-out breaths that only girls know how to do and slowly puts the cap back on her dry-erase marker before putting her fist on her hip like an irritated teacher.

Although I can’t really remember any teachers who wore tank tops the way she does.

“What the hell have you been doing if not listening?” she asks.

I shrug. “Counting your earrings. It looks like you have eight in your right ear, but I feel like that can’t be right because your ears are creepily small.”

She stares at me. “You think I have small ears.”

I give her a sympathetic smile. “You do. But on the plus side, those babies,” I say, gesturing at her boobs in as non-pervy a way as possible, “are blue-ribbon worthy.”

“Wait.” She holds up a hand. “I’m trying to give you a crash course in cinematic history, and you’re checking out my ears and my tits?”

“Mostly just the ears,” I lie.

I’m fully prepared for her to lose her shit at this point. It’s the third day in a row we’ve reserved one of the private study rooms in the library, and most of the time has been spent with her listing movie after director after screenplay while pointing at some scribbles on a whiteboard. My interest level was maxed out five minutes into the first day.

To be fair, it isn’t just because Stephanie is a horrible lecturer, although she’s pretty bad. Mostly it’s because, despite making every effort to spend the summer away from my parents and my normal social life, I’m finding that my mind doesn’t seem to want to cooperate. Instead of concentrating on Stephanie’s movies, I’ve been focusing on my own private movie.

Even leaving Olivia out of it, learning of my mother’s affair was enough to turn this summer completely to shit.

My pulse gives an angry jump at the memory. It’s bad enough that I’ve seen my own mother in a situation in which a mother should never be seen by a son. Ever. So much worse is the fact that I saw her with a man not my father. (Not that her with my father would have been any better—both images require industrial-strength brain bleach.) Throw in a couple of flashes of my dad’s ignorant and happy face, and you have your basic horror film, playing over and over in my mind. Stephanie’s lectures are simply not cutting it as a distraction.

Desperate for something—anything—to get my mind off home, I opt to turn my attention toward someone else’s troubles.

“So, how’s living with the ex?” I ask.

“Oh, you know,” she says slowly, lowering herself into the chair across from me. “It’s actually been awesome.”

“Really?” I ask, a little thrown off balance.

“Totally. The only trouble is, I can’t decide what the best part about the whole situation is. Is it sleeping on a couch that smells like pot and beer while I listen to his new girlfriend scream that she’s going to ride her private hipster cowboy? Or is it having said girlfriend ask if I have any ‘spare birth control pills’ she can borrow?”

“Sounds dreamy,” I say, oddly charmed by her thick sarcasm.

“Well, if you wanna change places, just let me know.”

“And let you borrow my silver spoon? I think not.”

Our eyes lock, and she tilts her head a little and looks at me. For a second it’s as though she gets me. Like she knows I’m full of shit and my life is one big mess beneath all the luxury brands and trust funds.

Neither one of us has mentioned that weird night at the party. It’s like it never took place, which is ridiculous, because nothing happened. But I’d be lying if I said I don’t think too often about what she felt like against me. About the way she looked at me and saw me.

Jesus, Ethan, I think, rubbing a hand over my neck. You’re a uterus away from turning into a complete chick.

I break eye contact first, before I do something stupid. Like spill my guts to a complete stranger.

Instead I jerk my chin toward her notebook. “So all that movie stuff you’ve been rambling about. You’ve got it all written down there, right? The whiteboard presentation is just an ego boost?”

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