“No.” My voice cracks. “Mending a broken heart.”
Relationships are like glass. Sometimes it's better to leave them broken than try to hurt yourself putting it back together. ~Author Unknown~
For some reason that I can’t explain, I tell Whit I’ll be able to handle it if we go to one more store. But I don’t know if that’s true. It seems like every time I say that I’ll be able to handle whatever the day throws at me, my day automatically takes a turn for the worst.
I guess that’s ironic because as soon as we walk into the CD shop my day does get worse. Much, much worse.
Elliot spots us as soon as we walk into the shop. He’s in the back of the store and he raises his eyes from a CD in his hand. He and I exchange a glance then he smirks and bites his bottom lip. A quirk that totally reminds me of Drake and I have to look away. I close my eyes and see Drake’s face. I see his lips. He’s whispering words. He bites his lip and my breath hitches just thinking about it.
I feel Whit’s eyes on me, but I don’t meet her gaze. I know the look she’s wearing and it will be too painful for me to stare at her when she’s wearing the “I’m worried about you, Robs,” look. Instead I mumble, “I’ll be in the front of the store.” Then I distance myself from her. I don’t wait to see if she’s following.
I pick through a bin of CD’s finding nothing that appeals to me and move on to the next one. After picking through that bin, I still can’t find anything and now I’m not only tortured and in pain, but I’m frustrated too.
“Nothing good, huh?”
Elliot’s voice startles me and my head snaps up. “What?” The sound of his voice stabs my ears and I dig into the bin in front of me, shuffling through piles of CD’s to do everything I can to avoid looking at him.
“Are you avoiding me?”
Elliot catches on fast. I want to tell him, yes I’m avoiding you. You remind me too much of that douche-lord sibling of yours, but instead I keep my eyes on the bin of CD’s, praying that Whit will come over and insert one of her famous, one-liners. I wait a minute and Whit doesn’t show. God never answers my prayers when I want him to. “No.”
Elliot leans closer to me and I can feel his warm breath in my hair before its wafts down my neck, bringing on a trail of goose bumps. “I think you are.”
I face him, but keep my eyes low. I can’t look at his face. Well, I can, but I don’t want to. Instead, I stare at his abs that are hidden beneath a thin, white cotton shirt. I find myself wondering how it will feel to run my fingers over them then I push that thought to the side, finally meeting his gaze. There’s warmth in his blue eyes, warmth that I’ve noticed residing in Drake’s eyes a few times too.
For a moment, neither one of us says anything. We’re standing in the middle of the CD shop, gazes locked; only focused on each other. The cash register dings and shuffling footsteps echo in the background, but I tune them out. And even though Elliot is staring directly into my eyes, I can feel his watery orbs everywhere. They are touching my shoulder, caressing my thigh, and squeezing on my heart. “No I’m not.”
Finally breaking away from Elliot’s magnetic gaze, I scan the store for Whit. She’s in the back, thumbing through a row of Cd’s. She lifts her head, locks eyes with me and I give her a look of desperation, a look that says; “save me.” A few seconds later she abandons her search and starts toward me and Elliot.
“I think you’re lying,” Elliot tells me.
So what if I’m lying. I scan Elliot’s face and narrow my eyes. He reminds me too much of his brother with his trusting grin and perfect proportional features and top of that, Drake has broken my heart and my trust. I was blinded by a beautiful face, stellar smile, and washboard abs. I was taken advantage of by a man who led me to believe I meant more to him that just some summer fling and I’ll be damned if I let that happen to me twice. “I’m not lying. Why would I be avoiding you?”
A coy smile creeps across his face and he shrugs. “I don’t know. I guess I thought maybe you’d want to avoid me because of what happened with my brother.”
I don’t want to have this conversation. The last thing I want to do is talk about what happened with his brother, especially when it still feels so…so… so fresh. “Well, you guessed wrong.”
Whit steps up next to me and laces her arm through mine. “You ready to go.”
“Yes.” The word couldn’t leave my lips fast enough.
I take a step forward, pulling Whit with me when Elliot stops us. He touches my arm and a smoldering fire crackles on my bare skin. His fingertips burn and suddenly he catches himself touching me and yanks his hand away. “Sorry,” he says and shoves his hands into his pockets. “I just wanted to invite you guys out on my boat day after tomorrow. Either one of you ever been sailing?”
“No,” I say. “I think I’ll pass.” I can’t help but think that Drake might be on this little trip and I don’t want to take any chances.
I look at Whit waiting for her to mirror my reply, but she purses her lips. “Once.” Then she shifts in her stance. “It might be fun.”
Elliot flashes a dazzling grin. “So is that a yes?”
I narrow my eyes at Whit and she shrugs. “No,” I say, lowering my voice. “It’s a we’ll think about it. Check back in two days.”
Elliot nods and he seems to be satisfied with my answer. “Will do, ladies. Will do.” He flashes us another million-dollar grin and strolls of the CD shop whistling.
After we walk back to the car, I slam the driver’s side door as Whit hops into the passenger seat. “I can’t believe you just did that,” I huff and fasten my seatbelt. “I do not want to go sailing with him, Whitney!”
She closes the door and pulls her seatbelt over her shoulder. “So don’t go. Look, Robs, I don’t know how many times we have to go over this. You need to stop being a baby. You didn’t love Drake. Yes you may have deep feelings for him, but, I know it wasn’t love. It was some kind of weird infatuation and you’ve got to get over it. And if that means hanging out with his equally hot brother. Then so be it.”