Isn't She Lovely Page 19

I jerk back at the unexpected touch. “What are you doing?” What game are you playing? “Continuing the charade from the other day,” he whispers. His fingers move down to my collarbone, and I get goose bumps. I shoot him a murderous look, but he’s glancing at David, and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the two of them are having a male staring contest like a couple of simpleminded bucks.

“What charade?” I ask stupidly, my brain struggling to process anything as the pad of his finger finds the sensitive skin along my neck.

“The one where I pretend to be your sexy stallion of a boyfriend to protect you from creeps,” he says out of the corner of his mouth.

“I don’t need protecting from David. Five minutes ago he was playing with Leah’s basketball boobs,” I whisper, grateful that Leah plays her movies obnoxiously loud.

“Well, he doesn’t like having me here.”

“Neither do I,” I hiss. But I sneak a look over my shoulder all the same. Sure enough, David has lost all interest in the movie and in Leah and is watching us like a jealous boyfriend.

“Don’t piss him off.” I turn back to Ethan. “The last thing I need is him kicking me out because he thinks I have a new boyfriend.”

But Ethan doesn’t respond. Instead he’s staring at me with this lovey-dovey expression that I know is all for David’s sake but which kind of makes me feel fluttery anyway, and I finally bat his hand away from where it’s playing with the tips of my hair.

“You have two minutes to explain your new screenplay idea to me, then I’ll take two minutes to tell you why it sucks. Which means you should be back on your way to Park Avenue within five minutes.”

“I don’t live on Park.”




Ethan remains silent, and I give a smug smile. I did my online research. The Price family is old money. Really old money. There’s only a handful of streets that they’re likely to live on.

“I don’t live with my parents anymore,” he says, out of nowhere.

I reach for my water bottle. “Do they live on Park?”

His eyes fall on the table. “Yeah.”

This time I don’t feel quite as smug, even though I’m so right it kills me. Because instead of looking smug or gloating about his family’s ridiculously rich zip code, he looks … embarrassed.

“So the screenplay?” I prod.

We’re both ignoring David now, although I can tell by the crescendo of music in the background that the movie is gearing up for its angsty finale. Leah is starting to sniffle, and I know she’s finally figuring out what I’ve known since the opening credits: that this movie isn’t going to have a happy ending. That’s the thing about indie romantic “comedies”: the only one laughing at the end of the movie is the screenwriter.

Ethan’s hand goes back to my hair and he tugs slightly to get my attention. “Okay,” he says. “So I went through the list of Pygmalion-themed movies you gave me and watched them all—”

“You did?” I interrupt. I expected him to go searching on the Internet for the CliffsNotes version.


“How many did you stay awake through?”

He runs his tongue over his front teeth, considering. “Some of them were pretty bad.”

I don’t deny it. Some of them are pretty bad.

“And that one with the singing? God help me—”

I raise a finger in objection. “Do not touch My Fair Lady.”

“Okay, well anyway … the movies have been set in all sorts of genres and age groups, but so far there’s nothing set on a college campus.”

I shrug. “So? There actually aren’t many movies set on college campuses. Not all moviegoers go to college, so it’s not entirely relatable.”

“Neither is shit set in space, but the nerds are still getting their sci-fi fixes.”

I rub my temples. The guy is choosing now to take up an interest in cinema?

The apartment goes suddenly silent, and I realize that the movie is over. David and Leah peel themselves off the couch—my bed, yay—and turn to stare at us curiously.

“Night, Steph,” Leah says with her usual vapid smile.

“Night,” I mutter. Even though I’m totally over David, it sort of chafes that I’m expected to be civil to the woman who’s sleeping with him, especially since I didn’t even have sex with him (though I was moving in that direction, truly).

Guess he wasn’t able to wait.

“You going to bed soon, Steph?” David asks.

“Yup, just need to give my ‘bed’ time to lose the scent of your ass,” I say sweetly.

But David’s not listening to me and is back to giving Ethan man-glares.

“Hey, Dave, let me ask you something,” Ethan says, draping his hand on the back of my chair as he rocks his own chair back on two legs. “Before you hooked up with the ginger, did Stephanie ever make this weird bobcat noise when you guys, were, you know …”

“Ethan,” I warn.

He ignores me. “She swears she doesn’t realize she’s doing it, but it’s kind of hot and distracting at the same time. I never know if she’s in heat or—”

I kick at the legs of his chair, hoping to send him sprawling on his ass, but he sees me move and clamps a hand on my knee before I can make contact.

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