Isn't She Lovely Page 22

“So, um, what was that?” I ask, gesturing between the two of us.

He gives a sleepy smile. “Proof that chemistry can be faked. A few repeats of that when there’s an audience, and nobody will doubt we’re together.”

I feel a sting of disappointment. Faked. That’s all it was to him—an experiment. Not that I want it to be more, but the guy could at least be out of breath or something.

He’s watching me carefully. “So, you in?”

I grab his beer and take a long swig. “What’s in it for me?”

“How about a gold mine of inspiration for our screenplay? A script based on real life? I’d think you’d be all over that shit.”

Except not all of it would be based on real life. To make this screenplay interesting, these two characters would have to fall for each other. For real.

That bit’s not going to be based on fact.

“This may come as a surprise to you, but there are few things I’d enjoy less than dressing up as your pastel Barbie doll for who knows how long.”

“Just until the end of the class.”

My eyes bug out. “That’s over a month from now.”

His fingers fiddle with the spiral of my notebook. “Right. So just long enough for us to get some good material.”

I narrow my eyes and his guilty expression. “And?”

He smiles sheepishly. “And long enough to get me through a family dinner, my cousin’s wedding, and the annual Hamptons house party my parents throw every year. With you. As my girlfriend.”

“Oh, is that all?” I ask sarcastically.

There’s no way. I don’t care how well he can kiss—there’s nothing on earth that could make me endure the cardigan-wearing set for that long. If I wanted to wear diamonds and heels and play tennis, I would have gone “home” to North Carolina and made nice with my stepmother.

“Come on, you’d be doing me a solid,” Ethan says, giving me a smile that probably has had many a panty dropping over the years. I stay strong.

“I’d rather be dead.”

He gives an exasperated sigh. “I figured you’d say that.”

“Uh-huh.” So what was with the kiss?

“Yup,” he says, shifting slightly to pull something out of his back pocket.

I raise my eyebrows in disinterest at the object. “A fancy-looking key fob? What am I supposed to do with that? It’s plastic and electronic—it wouldn’t even be a makeshift self-defense weapon.”

He glances down at the small gray key in his hand. “Seriously? You see a key and your first thought is self-defense? What kind of f**ked-up world do you live in?”

I glare at him. “You try having boobs while walking around alone in New York. Then we’ll talk.”

“Right,” he says, gaze dropping to the anatomy in question. It should bother me that he’s so obvious about being a boob man, but after that kiss I find I’m wanting him to do more than just look at them.

Shit. The realization that I’m this close to lusting after a guy who couldn’t be more wrong for me has me bolting to my feet. He catches the beer before it can topple over, and stands slowly to tower over me.

“You never asked what the key is for,” he says quietly.

“Okay, fine. What’s the stupid key for?”

“My place.”

My stomach feels like it drops a good six inches. “Wait, you want me to pose as your live-in girlfriend? What is this, a Pygmalion version of school-project partners with benefits?”

“Don’t be so dramatic. Although it did work for what’s-his-name in Pretty Woman.”

I glower. “Too bad I’m not a prostitute, then.”

Ethan shrugs. “Offer still stands.”

I close my eyes and shake my head slightly. “I’m not even sure I know what the offer is.”

He takes a half step closer to me. “One month. You lose the earrings, the boots, and the attitude, and do your best to convince my parents that we’re crazy in love or something.”


He puts a finger over my lips and our eyes lock. “And in return, you can spend the rest of the summer staying in my second bedroom.”

I try to calm my racing brain. An entire month of not sleeping on the couch? Of not impatiently waiting for David and Leah to finish having shower sex so I can go pee?

“Free rent?” I hear myself ask.

Oh my God, I’m not seriously considering this.

Am I?

He gives a little smile and removes his finger. “Let’s just say you can pay me with your charming manners as you woo my parents into getting off my back.”

I dig my front teeth into my bottom lip to keep myself from accepting. Completely changing myself for a guy, even temporarily, just to avoid sleeping on a couch? I’m not that desperate.

No sooner has that thought crossed my mind than the unmistakable sound of rocking furniture comes from the bedroom, followed by a guttural cry that sounds a lot like “Yes! Ride that big, bad donkey dick!”

Donkey dick? Is this seriously happening to me?

Ethan’s eyes are on the ceiling, and he’s trying not to laugh.

“Take me to pound town, baby!” This from the bedroom.

Ethan grins down at me. “Did he ever take you to pound town?”

“Shut it,” I snap, now fully gnawing on my lip. “Would I get my own bathroom?”

“Yup. Even has a separate shower and tub.”

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