Home > Dirty (Dive Bar #1)(11)

Dirty (Dive Bar #1)(11)
Kylie Scott

“You sure about that?”

I looked to heaven. No help was forthcoming. “It’s kind of you to think that.”

He laughed, gaze sliding down to my breasts for a millisecond. “No. Just being reasonable.”

“Some people believe in celibacy before marriage.”

“You don’t.”

He had a point. No way was I acknowledging it, however.

“Do you?” he persisted.

“I believed in him.” My pride was a sad small thing. I could feel it sinking slowly to the floor to play dead. “You know, I thought talking about this would help, but it’s not. Can we stop now?”

“No. I want to understand this.”

“God, get in line.” This time, it was a definite moan of despair. Pitiful. “I’m not even sure I can explain it anymore. And you don’t want to understand it, you want to mock it.”

“That’s not true. C’mon, I’m trying here.”

Brows high, I gave him a look most dubious.

“I am. But you had to suspect.”

“Or maybe he was a damn good actor and I was one of those sad lonely women who get taken in.” The ugly truth. My stomach twisted and turned, making me want to heave.

“But—”

“Stop. Please.” God help me, I could take no more. I softly banged my forehead against the tabletop and stayed there, facedown. “Can I convince you to press charges? I think maybe I should go to jail after all. A nice, quiet jail cell might be just the thing.”

“You’re not going to fucking jail.”

It’d been worth a try.

“Hey, I’m sorry you got screwed over, but shit will sort itself out.”

The weight atop my head shifted and then my towel turban disappeared. Straggly damp blond strands feel around my face. I sat up, pushing back the whole mess.

“Sorry,” he said, throwing the towel in the general direction of the kitchen counter. “I was trying to give you a comforting pat on the head.”

“Thanks.”

A pause.

“No straight guy could stay away from that rack,” he said quietly. “Just saying.”

“Not everyone’s a tit man.”

“Well, they should be,” he scoffed. “Breast is best.”

I snorted, laughing a little despite myself.

The room quieted again, both of us lost in our own thoughts for a moment.

“I’m on your side, Lydia.”

“Thank you,” I said. “And I know what sex is, Vaughan. Okay? There were hands, but neither of us came. Things got interrupted. He interrupted them, there was an important business call or something. Therefore, ‘sort of’ on the sex.”

Dead silence from the other side of the table.

“What?”

He held up a finger. “I’m still not mocking you.”

“Okay.”

“But anyone who’d stop feeling up or finger banging a woman in favor of taking a fucking phone call is an inconsiderate asshole you shouldn’t be opening your legs for.”

“I’m seeing that now.”

“I’m serious, Lydia.”

I studied the tabletop, needing a moment to pull myself together. “How long have we known each other? What, half an hour, an hour?”

“Ah.” Turning in his seat, he checked out an old wooden clock on the kitchen wall. “Yeah. About that.”

“Are you aware that most people wait a little longer before discussing the rules of etiquette in regards to finger banging? Who they should and shouldn’t open their legs for? Things like that.”

“That so?”

“It is.”

“Well, fuck.” He sat back, outright grinning at me, and it was stunning. Ridiculously so. The wide pull of his lips over white teeth, the amusement lighting his eyes. His thumb beat against the tabletop, moving the tendons in his arm, shifting all of the complex ink work on his skin.

Couldn’t help but wonder what his own drama was over.

“Most people don’t turn up in my tub in a wedding dress. But tell me, babe, how’s that worked out for you? Following all of the rules, being polite and toeing the line? Doing what most people do?”

“My name’s not babe.”

His shine dulled down to a patient smile. “How’s it worked out for you, Lydia?”

“Isn’t that obvious?”

“Why did you have no one to run to today? Why’s no one got your back?”

“A last-minute emergency came up with my parents’ business. They were really apologetic, but … sometimes things happen, right? It’s nothing personal, they’re just the kind of people that live to work. That’s their life. I can pretty much count on one hand the number of birthdays, Thanksgivings, and Christmases we celebrated on the actual day.” I got busy finger combing my hair as best I could. It kept the fidgets from taking over. “Just as well they didn’t come to the wedding.”

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