Isn't She Lovely Page 21

I kick him in the shin, and he grins.

“Seriously, find someone else,” I say again, not wanting him to smile at me. Not wanting to smile back.

His grin fades slowly, and he puts his elbows on his knees and rubs his hands through his hair. “I’m going to sound like the biggest prick for saying this, but I don’t know any other girls who won’t get the wrong idea.”

I give him a sympathetic look. “It must be hard. A city with a population over eight million, and not a single female who won’t swoon over you?”

“Sure, there’s one,” he says with a shrug. “You.”

I’m not entirely sure that’s true about me not swooning. Especially when he touches me. But he’s got a point. He’s not my type. And I’m not his. Still …

“What about someone not interested in any men?”

He rolls his shoulders. “A lesbian would work. But I don’t know any. And if I’m going to do this, I need someone I know, at least a little.”

“And you think I’m your best bet? You barely know me.”

He doesn’t say anything, and I press on. “Come on, you can’t tell me that you don’t have buckets of rich, brainy female friends.”

“Sure, but the ones I’m closest to are friends with my ex. The others …”

“Would be too eager to take on the role for real?” I fill in.

He gives a guilty smile.

Gross. There really are girls ready to crawl all over him.

“Why not just tell your parents that you and the fake girlfriend broke up?” I ask. He sighs. “Because then they’d be back on their Olivia-Ethan reunion kick. Plus there’s all this family obligation crap coming up, and Olivia will be there …”


“And you’re not over her.”

He winces, and I know I’ve broken some sort of guy rule by even going there, but for God’s sake, it’s written all over his face.

“You’re so pathetic,” I whisper, not even bothering to hide my smile.

The corner of his mouth lifts. “Shut up, Kendrick.”

“I can already tell you’ll write super-sweet cards on romantic holidays.”

“So you’ll do it?”

“Hell, no,” I say. “First of all, nobody would believe I’m your girlfriend.”

“Why not?”

I gesture down at my combat boots, baggy sweats, and skull tank top before putting a hand behind my ear to highlight my multiple piercings.

His smile grows wider, and he gets a calculating look in his eye. “Has the film student not seen any of her precious Pygmalion-themed movies?”

“I have …,” I say warily.

He leans a little closer. “Then you’ll know that one of the hallmarks of such a story is the creation of the new woman. Whether it be from stone to flesh, or Cockney flower girl to lady, or angry goth to debutante …”

I feel a little flash of panic as I begin to understand. “You want to turn me into a socialite?”

He gives me a once-over, his eyes lingering on the important parts, and the temperature spikes about six hundred degrees. “It’s doable.”

Our eyes lock, and for a second I’m wondering if he means it’s doable or I’m doable. His eyes darken, and I suspect he’s at least considering the latter. I really wish I’d thrown a hoodie on over the shirt I’m wearing.

He reaches for his beer, and my eyes ogle his damn arm again. His arm. Suddenly a hoodie’s not going to be good enough. I need a freaking parka.

“Nobody will believe we’re interested in each other,” I say, pouring derision into my voice and hoping he’ll read it correctly as back off.

He doesn’t.

“Kendrick, that’s the easy part.”

“Really?” I say drawling.

“Sure. Watch.”

Before I can register that he’s moved, his hand is around my neck, his fingers playing with the hair that’s escaped my messy ponytail.

“Price, don’t you dare—”

His mouth is on mine in a heartbeat.

My hands immediately go to his chest to push him away—I mean, really—but then his lips move, firm and insistent against mine, and I hesitate.

Which is a big mistake.

He takes advantage of my stillness, and the other hand moves to my cheek so he’s cupping my face. And hell, even a bitter, man-hating rebel can be a sucker for a guy who understands the sexiness in a head-holding kiss.

Before I realize what I’m doing, I let my head tilt just slightly, and my fingers curl into the fabric of his shirt. Ethan takes it as the invitation it is, his lips parting mine as his tongue slips inside my mouth to deepen the kiss.

Eager for more, I kiss him back, and this time our tongues touch and linger. I feel his fingers tighten at the back of my head, pulling me closer. The kiss is long, hot, and hard, and even though I’m pretty sure it shouldn’t be happening, I can’t make myself pull away from him.

All thoughts of our school project and my shitty life fade away. There’s only Ethan. Firm hands, warm mouth …

And a really, really loud squeal.

We break apart at the dying-banshee noise coming from the bedroom as Leah and David apparently culminate this evening’s naked activities.

“Is it always like that?” Ethan asks, staring in horror toward the bedroom door.

“They’re usually worse,” I say, trying to keep my voice as nonchalant as his. He sits back in his chair, looking completely unfazed by the kiss, and I feel, well … fazed.

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