By: Deborah Bladon
I lace my fingers through the hair on the back of his head and pull back sharply since he completely ignored the first time I touched him. It's not surprising. He's floating in a world of gloat right now. He won their disgusting bet for getting between my legs first. I briefly imagine pushing on his head and slamming his face into the wooden table. I'm stronger than I look. I know I could break his nose.
"What the hell?" He tries to swat my hand from his hair just as his eyes lock on my face. "Jessica. Shit, no."
"Shit, yes." I release his hair after giving it a firm tug. "I'm not too late for the celebration, am I?"
He moves to push himself from his chair. "I barely know this guy." He nods towards Drew who is taking a leisurely sip of his beer. "I came here to meet an old friend."
"You seriously think I'm an idiot, don’t you?" I lower myself into a chair next to Drew. "You are both so f*cked up."
"I can explain." His hand darts out to reach for mine. I pull back as if I'm about to be bitten by a poisonous snake. I am. I was. That's exactly what Nathan Moore is. He's a revolting, narcissistic, piece of shit snake.
I turn my entire body so I'm facing Drew directly. Right now, in this exact moment in time, he's the lesser of the two f*cked up evils. This one hasn't put his dick in me so maybe something, anything that comes out of his mouth will be less of a lie than what Nathan spits in my direction.
"What was the prize?" I nod towards the glass in his hand. "Beer?"
Drew's eyes float past me and I can only assume they're glued to Nathan.
"Drew. A*shole, look over here." I wave my hand past his face. "What did he win for f*cking me first?" I don't know why it matters, but it does. I want to know what they think I'm worth, even though right now I feel worthless.
He pulls his gaze back to me and his eyes are cold and hard. "Ask him."
I feel Nathan's hand on my back now. "Don't touch me," I snap as I twist around in my seat to glare at him. "Keep your filthy, disgusting hands off of me."
"This isn't how it looks." The words sound so simple coming from his lips. This isn't how it looks? It looks like the two of them made a bet on my body weeks ago at the club and Nathan won because he convinced me to go up to that hotel suite and jump into his bed. That's how it looks because that's what happened. There's no disguising the truth. No smoke or mirrors required.
"Shut the f*ck up." I pull each word slowly across my lips as I stare straight into his eyes. "Shut your lying mouth."
"The line at the bar was ridiculous." A male voice drifts from across the table as a glass of beer is pushed in front of Nathan. "Who is this lovely thing?"
"Who are you?" I throw the question right back at him as I pull my gaze to his face.
His green eyes take in my chest before they settle on my eyes. "I'm Garrett."
"Were you in on their bet?" I circle my finger carelessly in the air above the table.
"Stop it," Nathan spits out in haste. "Don't, Jessica."
"Don't?" I throw the word back at him while my eyes are still locked on the handsome stranger's face. "Were you in on their bet?" I repeat. " If you were I definitely would have f*cked you first." It's meant to hurt Nathan. I'm flailing but I'm not about to show it.
He cocks a brow and licks his bottom lip. "The night is still young. I'm in."
"What did you get?" I turn towards Nathan again. "What did you get for f*cking me before he did?" I nod in Drew's direction.
"Cash." Drew's hand waves in front of my face as he points in Nathan's direction. "I paid him weeks ago. I just have one question, Jess."
I close my eyes to try and absorb the fact that they bet money on who would get me in bed first.
"Leave her the hell alone." Nathan slams his fist against the table. "Get lost."
"Jess." I feel Drew pull on my elbow. "The night we made the bet, you remember it, right? That first night you were at the club."
I nod slowly as I jerk my arm away. How could I forget? I remember every single detail of that night. I remember the way Nathan stared at me across the club. I remember the way it felt to kiss him, and I remember exactly the way it felt to come when he touched me.
"He already knew your name when we were dancing." His breath courses hot over my neck and I pull back. I can't have any part of him touching me. I can't.
"When you and I were dancing? That night?" I stare at my hands. That wasn't the first night. He's wrong. Nathan and I had been in the hotel room so many times by then.
"F*ck off, Drew." Nathan bolts to his feet. "Leave it alone."
"If you would have seen me first that night, I would have won, right?" The question is so ripe with arrogance.
"You made a bet with him that night?" I turn to look at Drew. This doesn't make any sense.
"Would you have left with me if you saw me before he talked to you that night?" He ignores my question and pushes. His bruised ego wants to be reassured that he's more appealing than Nathan.
"Wait." I push myself up and turn to face Drew directly. I sense Nathan rising next to me. "You made a bet with him the night when you asked for my number?"
"It's true what they say about blondes." The smirk on his face is pulling every ounce of anger I possess to the surface. "Try and follow the conversation. Before you came in the club that night we bet on who would ride you first. "
"You made the bet that night?" I need him to clarify that.
"No wonder they only let you peel carrots at the restaurant. You're too stupid to do anything else." He pivots on his heel and turns to the side. "I'm going back to my table." He motions towards a group of three men staring at us.
"Drew." I tap him on his back. "Hey, Drew."
He turns sharply. "What now, Jess?"
"This." I swing my right hand back, pull it into a tight fist, take a heavy breath and almost fall forward as I punch him square in the jaw.