If I Can't Have You - Page 17

“No thanks,” she politely refuses. “I’m taking one for the team tonight.”

Elliot laughs, a deep, throaty husky laugh that rings out through the humid summer air like Carolers strolling down the sidewalk, belting out holiday hymns during Christmas. And I love the way his laugh sounds. “All right.” He glances between us. “You ladies wanna come with?”

I take a hesitant step forward then step back. “Whit, why don’t you go with him?” I tell her. “I’ll wait for you guys here.”

Whit raises an eyebrow. “You sure?”

I smile. “Positive.” Then I watch on as Whit disappears with Elliot into the crowd, but not before Elliot gives me a tortured, longing glance over his shoulder. Then I think that maybe I should have gone with them. Nah.

There are two major reasons why I stayed behind; one I don’t want to push and shove my way through all the people and two because I might miss an opportunity to see and talk to Drake without Whit or Elliot being around. When it comes to the guy you’re crushing on, three is a crowd, but four is a sold out concert. There’s no intimacy when you’ve got to share a conversation four ways.

A flash of gold glimmers in my peripheral vision and I see Drake as he shoves his way through the crowd. He’s headed straight for me and instead of being bold, I do the exact opposite, I clam up. I can’t understand why I’m so nervous now. I mean, we’re not in a remote setting or anything. We’re swimming in a sea of people. What do I say? What do I do? How do I act? And how did I manage to play it so cool when I was on the beach with him earlier today? Maybe I was at ease because Elliot was there too.


He’s only inches away from me now and suddenly I feel like I have TMJ and some surgeon has just laced wire through my gums to correct it.

“So you made it,” he says softly as he plants his feet across from me.

I nod. He smells like the ocean mixed with his own personal brand of cologne. He’s wearing a white cotton button up shirt with the first couple buttons undone and a sheer foray of perspiration glistens on his bronzed skin. I stare at the opening. I want to run my fingers along the wetness. I want to slip and slide against his essence.

The fact that I can’t speak makes this encounter awkward. I need a drink. Yeah, that’s it. Once I have a drink or two I’ll loosen up. I think.

Drake smiles at me and inside I’m a smoothie, a bunch of fruit and ice thrown into a blender, spinning. I’m being crushed together to make a delicious concoction, a delicious concoction that Drake will want to devour in one gulp.

Drake moves closer and my spine stiffens. I don?

?t know what to do. He rests his warm hands on my shoulder blades and his touch sets me on fire. And I’m so pissed at myself for blowing this moment.

For the last three years this is all I’ve thought about. For the last three years this is all I’ve wanted. All I’ve wanted is for Drake to notice me and feel for me the way I’ve felt for him. I finally have my chance and I’m letting my nerves get the best of me. Inside I’m screaming; you moron! Stop standing here like a twit and say something! Do something! But it doesn’t matter if I tell myself to do it. It doesn’t matter how many times I scream at myself to make a move. I know I won’t.

Drake’s lips are against my ear. His warm breath caresses my earlobe and I sigh completely consumed by my desire for him. “You look really pretty,” he whispers.

The word ‘thank you’ is lodged in my throat being kept down by my nerves and a wad of saliva as thick as honey. I want so much more from this moment. I need so much more from this moment. Inside I’m begging for his kiss. I crave it. I’m a Drake kiss-a-holic. Just send me to rehab already.


He’s lips are so close to mine I can almost feel the warmth from them. I can almost feel the moisture from them as they flutter gently over-top of mine. I feel like a heroin addict, on my knees in front of a drug lord, begging for one more jab from a needle.

“We’re back,” Whit sings behind me and as Drake moves away from me, I scowl as she twirls a red cup around in her hand.

I walk over to her and snatch the cup from her hand while Elliot and Drake stare at us. “Why did you do that?” I snap and chug down the contents in my cup.

“First of all,” Whit retorts. “There is no need for the attitude. Second, take it easy on the liquid refreshments, babe. I don’t think you’ll want to add a severe hangover to your vacation itinerary.”

I snatch the second cup out of her hand and chug it too. “Sorry,” I apologize. “I’m just really parched.” Whit eyes me oddly and I know she can tell I’m lying. She also gives me a look that tells me she doesn’t want to be cleaning up puddles of my vomit later.

“So, kid,” Drake interrupts. “Are you going to introduce me to your friend?”

My lips tingle and a drizzle of beer runs down my chin. I wipe my mouth with my arm. I catch a glimpse of Whit out of the corner of my eye and she looks annoyed that I haven’t introduced her yet. “This is my best friend Whitney.”

Drake smiles and extends his hand. “Nice to meet you.”

“So you’re the famous Drake?” she asks with a sultry undertone as she shakes his hand.

A crazed look crosses over my face and I give Whit the ‘death stare.’

Drake’s lips form a straight line and he lets out a controlled laugh. “Excuse me?”

Tags: Lauren Hammond Romance
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