If I Can't Have You - Page 21

Whit grabs my shoulder and starts shaking me. My head bobbles back and forth and I swear I can hear my brain rattling in my skull. Plus the shaking makes my head throb harder. “You really are clueless, aren’t you my friend?”

“It just doesn’t seem right?” Elliot and Drake are beautiful, bronzed God’s of perfection. So how could two specimens of perfection want someone as imperfect as me? I’m not used to being noticed by guys so Whit’s comment about Elliot liking me as well is hard to process.

“Face it, babe, high school is over. In this world you’re not the geek in chess club. You’re a stone cold fox.”

Her comment makes me laugh. Maybe that’s what other people think, but in my eyes I will always be the invisible, chess-club geek.


After some heavy persuading and a twenty dollar bribe Whit gets me to come out of the house and go down to the beach. On the way we pass a group of guys and several of them shout at me.

“Nice ass!”

“Can we hire you again?”

“Shake it for me, baby!”

I hang my head low in humiliation and keep my eyes on the sand. When will this get old? I wish I could rewind time and have a do-over.

We get farther away from the group and I can still hear them laughing.

“Ignore them,” Whit mutters.

That’s easy for her to say. She’s not the one who dropped trou in front of everyone and gave the customers what they paid for.

“Well, well,” someone says.

Whit comes to a halt abruptly. I’m not paying attention to where I’m going and smack into her back. Her head whips around. “Watch where you’re going, Robs.”

“Sorry.” I lift my head and Elliot comes into view looking like a bronzed God. Shirtless. Toned abs. Perfect hair. Gleaming white-toothed grin.

“If it isn’t the life of the party.”

I’ve had enough. My table dancing moment was the only moment like that I’ve ever had in my life. “Would you give me a freakin break?” I snap.

Elliot raises his hands. “Easy. I was just joking.”

I scowl. “Well, don’t.” It’s bad enough that I’m dancing on a table on YouTube in my underwear for the whole world to see. I don’t need to be reminded of it for the rest of my life.

“Don’t mind her,” Whit interjects. “She’s still hung over and suffering from the aftermath of her first and only striptease.”

Only is right. I will never ever do that ever again. Did I say never ever? Because I don’t think I can say those two words enough. Never ever. Never ever. Never ever. Give me a library and books over beer and frat parties from now on. Maybe I should move into a convent. You never see nuns go wild.

Elliot and Whit chat for a minute and my eyes break away from them and observe the beach, searching for Drake. Then I decide I don’t want to see him and lower my head again. I replay the horrifying video in my mind. Maybe he didn’t see it because I can’t remember seeing him in the crowd of onlookers. I remember seeing Elliot, but I didn’t see Drake.

“There’s a bonfire on the beach tomorrow night,” Elliot says. “You guys should come.”

“I’m swearing off parties for the rest of my life,” I groan.

Elliot winks at me. “Come on. It will be fun. And I promise I’ll keep an eye on you. I won’t let you get out of control.”

“How noble of you.”

“We’d love to come!” Whit pipes up and I scowl at her for speaking up for me.

Elliot turns to leave and locks eyes with me. “I hope to see you guys there.” He walks away, but not before tossing me a flirtatious grin over his shoulder. He can flirt with me all he wants, but that’s not going to change the fact that my heart belongs to someone else.

And conveniently, it happens to be his brother.

Tags: Lauren Hammond Romance
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