Addicted for Now / Page 34

Page 34

“I already talked to you about it,” Ryke says evenly.

“Yeah, but the public bathrooms are so gross.” She looks up at Lo and me. “You guys don’t care if we fool around for a couple minutes back in the room, right? We’ll stick to the cot.”

“Daisy is sleeping on the cot tonight,” I remind her. Daisy offered to sleep on the floor, not wanting to ruin our arrangements with her impromptu arrival, but Ryke refused to let her crash on the ground. He was nice enough to take the worst spot.

“Then we’ll use the couch,” she says with a shrug. “You two are free to go back and have fun whenever. Really, it doesn’t bother me.” Hope surges through me. This is my opportunity to have sex later this week. Just when I’m about to tell her to frolic right on over to the room, Ryke has to speak.

“It bothers Rose and Connor.”

Her face falls. “Oh.”

An awkward silence soaks the air, and Daisy swims over to cut it right up. “Rose and Connor are fighting,” she exclaims. She lifts her body out of the pool and sits on the chair next to me. “It’s kind of scary. I don’t understand half the words coming out of their mouths.” Her hair looks almost brown now that it’s wet. She wrings it out in her hands.

I glance at the pool-side bar. Sure enough, Rose and Connor square off, their mouths moving in such rapid succession that they look as if they’re on a debate team. People surrounding them watch in amusement and even awe.

“Anyone want a refill?” Melissa asks. She stands and waves her empty cup.

“I could take a daiquiri,” Daisy says.

“Virgin, right?”

Daisy doesn’t even blink. “No, I’m drinking rum.”

“I don’t really condone underage drinking. You’re what, seventeen?”

“Sixteen,” she says, still unaffected by Melissa’s edgy words. “In some countries, I’m old enough to be married and sold into prostitution, so hey, I think a couple of drinks won’t necessarily kill me.”

“Well life is different here. We’re in America.”

“We’re in Mexico, actually.”

Melissa’s throat bobs, but she tries to brush off her snafu with a shrug. “Yeah, whatever.”

Ryke hardly suppresses his grin, and when he meets Daisy’s gaze, she gives him a look like you’re going to get in trouble.

Ryke does not care what anyone thinks of him, even his somewhat-girlfriend.

Melissa sets a hand on her hip. “Want anything, babe?” she asks Ryke with a little force.

He doesn’t drink. We all know that, and so her power move is completely obvious.

“No, I’m good,” he says. When she struts off in her black bikini, Daisy tilts her head, watching Melissa’s butt bounce all the way to the tiki hut. “She does have a nice ass.”

“Yeah?” Ryke says casually, eyeing Daisy as she observes Melissa.

“Oh yeah,” Daisy says. “But I’d put my ass in contention too.” I think she’s testing Ryke.

Lo stiffens beside me, and he waits to see how his brother is going to respond. Shut it down, Ryke—I can hear Lo recite in his head. Or I’d like to think I can hear him. I still haven’t developed that superpower yet.

“Her ass is better. Sorry,” he says, but he never looks back at Melissa. Daisy has stolen his attention.

She shrugs. “You’re probably right, but if I had to rank asses, Rose’s would be number one. She has the best hair too.”

“Your hair is pretty,” Lo tells her.

“Don’t,” Ryke warns him with the shake of his head. If Daisy is insecure about anything it’s the hair she cannot cut or dye, per her agency’s rules.

Lo’s face sharpens, resentful that Ryke knows more than him. Being out of the loop for three months has been a disadvantage. Ryke saw exactly what went on when Lo was in rehab. Lo did not.

I scoot to the foot of the lounge chair and rest my head on the crook of his shoulder. He draws me into his arms. But my presence isn’t enough. I can’t give him back all those days he missed.

“My hair is fine,” Daisy says. But she braids it subconsciously. Then she rises and sets her toes on the pool edge. She splashes into the water, and surprisingly, Ryke joins her, dropping in. He breaks the surface and runs a hand through his wet hair. Both of them cling to the wall, facing us.

“Is she good in bed?” Daisy asks him.

My eyes widen to saucers.

“Why, you want to f**k her?” he asks.

“Sure why not,” Daisy says. I can barely tell she’s sarcastic, and Lo grinds his teeth a little. Ryke, however, finds it way too amusing.

“Then have at her, Daisy. She’s all yours.”

“You would just ditch your girlfriend like that,” Daisy says with the cluck of her tongue.

“She’s not my girlfriend. I’m just passing through.”

“Wow,” Daisy says flatly. “I hope for her sake she knows that.”

“She does, but I may have promised her a week of mind-blowing sex in exchange for ditching her volleyball team.” No wonder she’s so grabby.

“You better find a way to make good on your end of the deal,” Daisy says, her gaze past our chairs. I turn my head and spot Melissa coming over with two drinks.

“Why is that?” Ryke asks.

“If that’s how pissed off she looks now, imagine what she’ll look like on the seventh day of abstinence.” For some reason, I only see my distressed, manic face staring back at me. “I’m glad I’m not you,” Daisy tells him with a laugh.

He gives her a bitter smile and then puts a hand on her head, submerging her underneath the water. She splashes underneath, trying to surface.

Lo shakes his head at him.

“What?” he says.

“You’re walking a thin f**king line.”

“I always am, little brother.” And then he releases Daisy so she can come up for air. When her head breaches the surface, she spits a mouthful of water right at Ryke’s face.

He splashes her back, and underneath the water, Daisy must hook her ankle to his because he almost slips backward. Instead, he grabs ahold of her so he stays above the water.

“Hey,” Melissa says. Little umbrellas are plucked into both of the piña coladas. She scrutinizes Ryke and Daisy, the way Ryke is basically hugging her in the water, but it’s really accidental. Or so I keep telling myself. It makes me feel better about the situation.

Ryke drifts from Daisy, and she swims to the ledge where we sit. They both look completely innocent again, as though no flirting just occurred. Maybe it didn’t. Maybe I’m just the pervert, thinking with my downstairs far too much.

Yeah, that has to be it.

Daisy holds out her hand for the drink.

“It’s a virgin daiquiri,” Melissa says, passing her the white slushy-like mixture.

“Oh.” Daisy holds the clear plastic cup. “Why is that?”

“They didn’t understand me when I told them my order. We’re in a foreign country.” I can’t tell if this is a ploy to keep Daisy sober, but I don’t see what she would have to gain from that.

Daisy hikes her body out of the water and stands from the ledge, sopping wet. She’s dripping water onto the foot of my lounge chair, and she glances at Ryke. “How do you say in Spanish, no virgin drinks?”

Melissa frowns. “How would he know?”

“He’s fluent,” Daisy says. She discovered that during her sweet sixteen in Acapulco. Ryke has a proficiency in Spanish due to his prep school upbringing.

He climbs out of the pool and grabs the cup from her. “I’ll order you a f**king drink. Wait here.” He leaves, and whatever Melissa was expecting to happen, this was not it. She pout-glares, which is a scary combination.

While I love that I’m not the only one who’s going to be sexually frustrated this week, Melissa is like a storm waiting to break. And with Lo being surrounded by never-ending drinks and the threat of the blackmailer still lingering, this trip teeters on the brink of chaos.

My only hope is that Rose and Connor, the two level-headed people of our group, can keep us afloat. My gaze hits the pool again. They’re still bickering.

God, help us.

{ 22 }


Sleep hates addicts. At least that’s my theory on the matter. While everyone else is well rested and off to explore Mexico, Lo and I have to drag ourselves out of bed.

My frozen muscles barely even stir when a burst of water douses me in the lukewarm shower. I raise my half-asleep arms to scrub the shampoo in my hair, and I find myself leaning a hip against the coldness of the tiled wall for extra support.

Being late sleepers means having the room all to ourselves. We haven’t had sex (and aren’t planning to) but the privacy is nice for a little while.

As I rinse the shampoo, the bathroom door creaks open. Even though I know Lo is the only one still at the hotel, I cling to the tiled wall, wondering if the fog will magically hide my nak*d body.

I spot Lo through the shower glass door, not enough mist to conceal me. And if I can see him, surely he can see me. I even catch a glimpse of his sharp cheekbones and devilish smile, his eyes flitting up to mine for a brief moment. Then he turns to the sink.

My mind switches into imagination mode. Thinking about all the ways he can do me.

“Morning, love,” he says, watching me through the mirror. He combs two hands through his disheveled brown hair.

That’s so not helping.

“You could have knocked,” I tell him as he pulls off his T-shirt. His muscles ripple down his chest, and he even has those defined ridges that lead towards his cock. “Or, you know, announced your entrance like they do on Downton Abbey.”

He steps out of his drawstring pants, now completely nak*d. He walks towards the glass shower door and stops. And then he knocks on it.

I have petrified by the tiled wall.

“It’s Loren Hale,” he says, a smile spreading across his lips. “May I come in?”

“We can’t…” I hesitate. No. I do not want to finish that sentence.

“We can’t shower together?” he says in disbelief. “Says who?” No one. Definitely not me.

“You may enter, but I have to warn you the water is being stubborn. There are moments where it’d rather be cold despite my demands.”

He opens the glass door. Don’t look, Lily. My eyes plummet against command, and once I’m staring, I can’t stop. Sensitive-filled places pulse as I imagine him inside of me. His fingers press against my chin, lifting my gaze.

“If I have to, I’ll take a shower with my bathing suit on,” he tells me.

I shake my head fiercely. “It’s okay. I won’t look.” But even as I say the words, I impulsively glance down. Shit. The magnetic force pulls and my eyes betray me for a split second. I look back up, and I throw my hands in the air. “That’s the last time! I swear!”

His lips rise in amusement before he sidesteps to grab the washcloth and soap off the ledge. I now have a perfect view of his butt.

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