Isn't She Lovely Page 37

“Says we’re too comfortable around each other and also too on edge.”

“What does that mean?” she asks.

I shrug, although I kind of know exactly what Andrea means, and I suspect Stephanie does too. Being roommates has taught us how to be relaxed with each other. But then there’s something else simmering there. Something that is absolutely not relaxed. And it’s been growing.

“She says it’s clear we haven’t consummated.”

She jolts a little, pushing herself up on her elbows. “Consummated?”

“Well, I don’t think she necessarily means … you know,” I say, making a juvenile rutting gesture with the index finger of one hand and the O formed by my thumb and index finger on the other hand.

She bats my hands away. “Did you tell her we’d only been together a month? I mean, is it weird if that hasn’t happened by now?”

I tilt my head a little, thrown off by the genuine curiosity in her voice.

“I was hoping you could tell me,” I say. “I’ve only had one serious relationship in my life, so not a lot to go on.” Not exactly the manliest of confessions, but there it is.

She looks away. “Did you wait longer than a month? With Olivia?”

“Well, I was fifteen when we started dating. If it was up to me, I don’t know that I could have waited a week. But she was kind of a good girl. So yeah, we waited longer than a month.”

Stephanie turns to look at me, clearly expecting me to elaborate on the details.

“No way,” I say, shaking my head. “Males are born with a protective instinct to never tell current mates about past mates.”

“You learn that from Animal Planet?”

“Reality TV,” I reply.

She lies back down, and I stretch out beside her. We’re silent for a few minutes.

“So what do we do?” she asks. “About Andrea, I mean.”

I roll to my side, putting my weight on one elbow and resting my head on my hand as I look down at her. “Well, one thing’s for sure. We’re going to have to get familiar with each other’s touch.”

“Define familiar.”

“You’re jumpy whenever I touch you.” To prove my point, I reach out an index finger and trace it from her wrist to her elbow.

She hisses as her arm jerks in response.

“See?” I ask softly. “We may not be expected to have sealed the deal in a month, but we sure as hell have to have touched.”

This time I place my entire palm on her arm, sliding up until I’m cupping her bicep. As far as touches go, it shouldn’t be personal. We’re not dealing with any sexy parts here. But it feels f**king sexy, especially since it puts the backs of my fingers just inches away from the side of her breast.

I take a deep breath. Don’t get lost in the game, Price.

“Well, this is nice,” she says sarcastically. “I’m sure your being comfortable with the flab on my upper arm will convince everyone that we’re practically consummating.”

I laugh despite the fact that I seem to have a raging boner from her arm “flab.”

“You’re a smart-ass,” I say.

She grins up at me, and the gesture is too easy, too sassy. And suddenly I know exactly what Andrea means.

Stephanie Kendrick doesn’t see me as a guy.

She just sees me as her film partner. Hell, she probably sees me as her landlord.

That won’t work.

I roll toward her, plucking the sunglasses off her face so I can see her eyes. She lets out an irritated huff and pulls my glasses off as well, tossing them aside so that we’re staring into each other’s eyes.

“You’re right,” I say huskily. “Me cupping your bicep won’t convince anyone. But I know what will.”

Her blue eyes turn dark, and I hope it’s with arousal because being this close to her almost naked body is killing me.

“If I know Andrea, she’s watching us right now,” I say gently, moving my hand slowly until I’m brushing a piece of hair off her forehead. “Think we can convince her that we’re at least close to consummating?”


My hand moves to her mouth, and I let the pad of my thumb catch on her bottom lip as those blue eyes go completely smoky.

“It’ll be just like we practiced that night at David’s place,” I say before lowering my mouth to hers.

Except, damn it, it’s nothing like that first kiss in her ex-boyfriend’s apartment. That had been an experiment. A test to see if two complete opposites could stomach a harmless little kiss. This time we know each other, and it’s not harmless.

And even though it’s still an experiment, still part of the game, it’s better somehow. And it was pretty damn great before.

Stephanie lets out a breathy little sigh before her little tongue comes out to lick my bottom lip, and suddenly it’s impossible to remember that this isn’t real or that Andrea is watching.

I part her lips with my own, my free hand cupping around the back of her neck and holding her head still while I explore her lips, her teeth, her tongue.

She opens her mouth wide, and I take what she offers, tilting my head and deepening the kiss until we’re breathing in the same air. Breathing in each other.

She starts to roll toward me at the same time I lean toward her, and now I’m covering her, feeling her hard ni**les against my bare chest through the thin fabric of her bikini top. Her skin’s so warm, and I don’t know if it’s from the sun or because of me, and I hope to God it’s the latter, because I don’t give a shit who’s watching—I’m dying for this girl.

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