“Stop,” Eli says as he walks up to the table. “I don’t need to know what any man does to you with his tongue.”
“Why are you here?” Van demands. “It’s girls’ night out. Only girls.”
“Ah, shake it off, Vanny,” Gabby says, prompting us all to drink. “Declan’s right behind him.”
“Hi, Eli,” Cindy says from next to me. She’s been very quiet all evening, listening, laughing, and now that Eli’s here, she’s chatty?
I look between her and Eli, and frown.
“Have you fucked her?” I ask, probably way too loudly, but once I’m this drunk, I can’t stop the words.
Cindy blinks rapidly, but Eli doesn’t react at all. No frown. No denial.
“Did you just say fuck?” Savannah asks in surprise.
“Yeah. I know, it’s new. Eli’s been teaching me.”
“He’s teaching you to say fuck?” Lila asks. “That’s cool. Way to go, Eli.”
He’s watching me with hot eyes, but he’s not giving anything away. He won’t answer me.
Which, of course, means yes.
I turn my blurry gaze back to young, perky, skinny, perfect-skinned Cindy. “Was loving him like red?” I ask, and we all drink.
“It was fire-engine red,” she confirms, and I kind of want to smack the hell out of her.
“Uh,” Lila says, but Declan interrupts.
“Why are you all using Taylor Swift lyrics?”
“New drinking game,” I say. “If we use the lyrics in conversation, we drink.”
“We’ve been using a lot of them,” Gabby says sloppily. “It’s fun.”
“Do you guys want a drink?” I ask them and signal for the waitress. “You should play.”
“No, we’re your drivers,” Eli says. His jaw ticks, just a bit, and I think maybe he’s mad at me, but I don’t care.
I didn’t fuck Cindy.
“No drinks for them,” Van says to the waitress. “But another round for us.”
“So, does that mean you’re not ready to go home?” Declan asks with a laugh.
“Are you guys going all the way back to the inn tonight?” I ask Van and Gabby.
“No, we’re staying at Mama’s. She’s at the inn with Sam and the guests.”
“Eli, will you please give me a ride home?” Cindy asks, and bats her eyes at the man who’s been spending every night in my bed, but before I can curl my hand into a claw and tear her fake-eyelashed eyes out, Declan speaks up.
“I get that honor, cher.”
Eli is watching me.
Eli is watching me.
I grin and stand, make sure I’m steady on my feet, and say, “Excuse me.”
“Where are you going?” Eli asks.
“Over there. Alone.”
I nod decisively, walk to the bar, and get there just in time. My feet are slow. I’m glad I didn’t wear heels.
“Hi there,” the tall man next to me says. He’s hot. Both of him.
“Having a good time?” he asks.
“Yes.” I blink, and then exclaim, “I know you!”
“Yes! You were on the plane with Lila yesterday. Asher?”
“That’s right.” He shakes my hand and grins. “Is Lila with you this evening?”
“Yep. She’s my BFF. We drink together. One time, in college, we made out, but it was no biggie.”
“Okay,” he laughs.
“You didn’t ask her for her number,” I accuse him, and poke my finger in his chest. He looks down at it.
“You just assaulted an officer.”
“I did?” Oh, crap.
“Yes. I might have to arrest you.”
“Would you like me to arrest you with handcuffs?”
“Hell to the yes!”
“Kate?” Eli’s voice is cold and hard, and I’m sure he looks all scary and stuff.
“I’m talking to the hot Asher,” I inform him. “I assaulted him, and he’s a cop, and he’s going to put me in handcuffs.”
“No, I don’t believe he will.”
Asher laughs. “There’s nothing going on here, man.”
“Come see Lila!” I take his hand and lead him past Eli, who I glare at, because…Cindy, and am surprised to find that Gabby, Van, Charly, and slutty Cindy are all gone. “Where did everyone go?”
“Declan took them home,” Lila says, and then her eyes go wide when she sees Asher. “Hi.”
“We meet again,” Asher says with a smile. He’s super handsome, with dark hair and blue eyes and a great smile that’s just a little crooked. Total hottie. I give her a thumbs up behind his back and sit down.
Eli joins me, lays his arm across the back of my chair and leans in to say in my ear, “We will talk later.”
“About you fucking that young harlot?”
His eyes narrow. Yep, totally pissed.
“Among other things.”
“Whatever,” I say, and wave him off as if it doesn’t matter. “You’re not mine, Eli. Fuck whomever you please. There, there’s a girl giving you the googly eyes right over there.”
“Enough.” His voice is cold and firm, and now he is glaring at me. I turn away and smile when I see that Asher and Lila have their heads together, chatting.
“So, I’m Kate,” I say and hold my hand out to Asher, who shakes it with a smile. “But, I’m not telling you my last name, in case you really do want to arrest me.”
“Her name is Mary Katherine O’Shaughnessy,” Lila says. “Do you want her social security number?”
“How do you know my social security number?”
“I’m your person. If something happens to you, I have to know all your shit. Just like you know mine.”
“Oh, right. She’s my person,” I inform Eli, before I remember that I’m mad at him.
Even though being mad at him is stupid.
“Kate tells me that you and she had a thing going in college,” Asher says with a wink to me.
“We totally did,” Lila agrees. “You know how crazy college kids are.”
“The threesome only happened one time,” I add, and the look passes between Lila and me. You know, the one that BFF’s understand that says, play along.