Vivi rubs her hands on her thighs. She’s nervous and has been ever since I stood over the table. She seems to have more confidence in herself now than she had when I knew her but that doesn’t account for her skittishness. Back at Crestview, she had been overweight—I knew that—only I didn’t know, or maybe I didn’t pay attention, to the other girls giving her a hard time. And why should I have? I had so much going on in my head I could barely keep my own shit together.
“So?” I prod. “Homework binder?”
“You did a pretty good job with me. I only figured you put the other girls in the same boat. You know, with the homework stuff and all.”
“I had you wrapped around my homework binder at Crestview. That’s your metaphor for finger.”
It’s not a question. I’m baffled because I had no idea. Yeah, I was a flirt, but I flirted with everyone to get what was necessary. It was the only way I knew how to accomplish my goals. She needed the money and always acted like she had no interest in me whatsoever.
“Of course. You had everyone wrapped around your finger. Well, maybe more of them were wrapped around your, um.” She points in the direction of my dick.
Sexy little Vivi can’t say dick out loud. Isn’t that the cutest thing in the world?
“Say it, Vivi.”
“You know what.” I lean into her and get close to her lips. “Say it.”
Her chest puffs out as she says, “Dick.” Her lovely neck flushes pink and two bright spots of fuchsia dot her cheeks. This is sweet innocence at its utmost.
“Excellent. Now say cock.” I put a great deal of emphasis on the “c” and “k” at the end of the word. Silver gray irises turn stormy and deep creases form on her forehead.
“Why would you want me to say that word?”
“Because it makes you uncomfortable as hell and I’m an asshole. I like to see you squirm, Vivi.”
“I won’t say that. It has nothing to do with truth or dare. And besides, it’s my turn.”
I take a couple of good slugs of my drink, sit back, and cross my arms. “Do your worst.”
She puts an elbow on the table and rests her cheek on her hand. “Truth or dare?”
“Dare.” It’s impossible not to laugh at her comical expression. I curtailed her plans.
“You can’t do that!”
“I most certainly can.”
Her head tilts back, and I can only imagine what she’s thinking. A chuckle escapes.
“You’re a jerk,” she says.
“So I’ve been told.”
“Okay, then. I dare you to tell me why you loathe the man you’ve become.” She gloats at the clever way she’s twisted the game. And stupid me should’ve figured out she’d come up with something like this. Vivi was always brilliant.
“Loathe is extreme. Let’s say I’m not particularly fond of who I am right now.”
“Fine. Go on.”
Now I’m the one who’s squirming. Where do I even begin? Vivi is almost a stranger to me. There’s no way I can bare my pathetic soul to her.
“I have daddy issues.”
“Really?” Her question is one of disbelief and she appears to be holding back a laugh.
“Hard to believe, isn’t it?”
“Um, yeah. Prescott Beckham, the guy with the world at his fingertips, has daddy issues? I think not. I Googled you after I ran into you that day. From all accounts I read there were no daddy issues to be found. Nada. Try again.”
“I have a team that keeps my secrets out of the media. You wouldn’t find anything on me. But it’s true. I grew up without a mom and my father was not much of one. So, there you have it.” I give her one of my best smirks. It usually does the trick on most women.
She leans back and tucks her chin closer to her body. “That’s it? And I’m supposed to buy that?”
“That’s all I have for sale, Little Wolf. Sorry.”
“You’re not a very fair player.”
“Nope. I’m done.” She drinks another swig of her beer.
“No, you aren’t. I’m picking for you. Truth. How many men have you fucked, Vivi? And what exactly have they done to you?”
She shoves her arms into her coat and pushes at me to get out of the booth. But I have zero intentions of going anywhere. “Let me out, Prescott.”
“Not until you answer me.”
“That’s none of your business. How many women have you been with?”
“Too many to count.”
Her jaw flops open and I close her mouth with a finger under her chin.
“You asked, Little Wolf.”
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-Meet A.M. Hargrove-
One day on her way home from work as a sales manager, USA Today bestselling author, A. M. Hargrove, realized her life was on fast-forward. If she didn’t do something soon, it would be too late to write that novel she had dreamt of her whole life. She slammed on the brakes, made a crazy decision, and quit her job. Then she reinvented herself as a Naughty and Nice Romance Author.
She fancies herself all of the following: Reader, Writer, Dark Chocolate Lover, Ice Cream Worshipper, Coffee Drinker, Grey Goose Aficionado, and #WalterThePuppy Lover. If you’re around her for more than five minutes, you’ll soon notice she has a tendency to talk you ear off.
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