Addicted for Now / Page 33

Page 33


I let out a short laugh. “Now I just feel like an underachieving loser.”

“I tried,” he says with a casual smile.

Rose swims over to us and she elbows me in the ribs.

“Hello, Rose,” I say with a grimace.

She points to our lounge chairs where Lily lies.

“Do you see what she’s reading?” Rose asks me, not even slurring yet.

I frown and study Lily. Sure enough, in her hands is a Cosmo magazine. “Where did she get that?”

“Daisy probably bought it from the airport.”

“Is she not allowed to read trashy magazines?” Connor asks.

Rose tilts her head like he asked a stupid question. “Not ones that describe sexual positions and have romance stories in the back.”

I raise my eyes at him. “You’ve never read Cosmo before?”

“I never needed to know the top fifty ways to pleasure a man.”

I splash him, and he lets out a laugh, and I actually smile. I swim to the ledge, knowing full well that if I had whiskey today, nothing would have stopped me from uttering a biting response. And for once, I truly feel like I achieved something.

I hop out of the pool. Lily doesn’t even see me coming, too immersed in a dirty magazine.

{ 21 }

LILY CALLOWAY

5 Sex Toys Perfect for Traveling. My little bullet vibrator survived the bellhop-impersonator-thief since I stowed it in my purse, but there’s a slim chance I’ll be using it anytime this week.

Vibrating panties even made it on the list. I have those too (back home), but I never actually tried them out. I flip the page and land on the sex tips from guys. Some make me laugh, while others are actually helpful. I skim the list and smile at the advice from Brett, 24. “Wet your lips. Then tell me you can’t wait to taste me.” Thank you, Brett for making it seem like girls have to give bl*w j*bs to please a guy. Not true. In fact, if I didn’t like giving Lo head, I wouldn’t do it.

“Hey.”

I jump a little at the voice and press the magazine to my chest, flushing in a rosy shade. I relax when I see it’s Lo, dripping wet in his swimsuit. I try to focus on his face and not his body, but even the striking jaw and dark, wet hair looks extremely sexy right now.

I lick my bottom lip and say, “I can’t wait to taste you.”

He narrows his eyes, not amused, and grabs the magazine from me. My shoulders slacken as his eyes flit over the page. They roll dramatically when he reads Brett’s advice. Lo folds the magazine in his hand and sits down on the foot of the lounge chair. I realize I’m probably not going to be getting that Cosmo back.

“It’s not porn,” I defend immediately.

“You still shouldn’t read it. You’re trying to go a day without thinking about sex, and flipping through a magazine that highlights the ten best ways to go down on someone is not going to help.”

I just nod, and then my eyes drift to Ryke who walks back towards our area with an aluminum foil wrapped taco. He licks his fingers, so I assume he already ate one on the way here. Melissa says something, and she leaves his side, heading back to the hotel room. It’s strange that she would ditch him when she’s made it clear that he’s the only reason she’s withstanding the rest of us.

My gaze drifts to the bright pink mankini that leaves nothing to the imagination. He fills it out too well. One wrong move and everything may just pop out. “That kind of backfired, didn’t it?” I say to Lo with a smile.

Lo places a hand on my bare calf, which sends tingles down my spine. Even the simplest touch right now, I covet. “How was I supposed to know he was so comfortable in a banana hammock?” Lo says loud enough for Ryke to hear when he approaches. “We’ve only been brothers for four months.”

“We’ve been brothers for twenty-one years,” Ryke refutes. He sits on the pool ledge beside our chair, sticking his feet into the water. “You only knew about me four months ago.”

“And that’s supposed to make me like you more?”

Ryke flashes a dry smile and nods to the magazine in Lo’s hand. “Beach reading?”

Lo tosses the magazine on the wet cement beside Ryke. “Here, maybe you can learn how to go down on Melissa. She seems incredibly displeased by you.”

“I can lick her just fine. That’s not why she’s mad.”

I tear my eyes off the hand that Lo keeps planted on my ankle. I would like, dearly, for his fingers to run up to my thigh. Especially after all this sex talk. “Why is she upset?”

“Same reason you are.”

“She’s a sex addict too?” I say brightly. I’m not the only one out there. Wow, that feels good.

“No, she’s just a normal horny girl.”

Oh, damn. My shoulders droop.

Lo starts rubbing my calf. That feels even better. I sink against the back of the chair, relaxing. Lo scrolls through his cell phone for a moment, and I watch as Ryke motions to Daisy in the pool without calling her name.

She swims over to his spot by the pool wall, and since he sits out of the water, he towers above her and hunches slightly to look down at Daisy. He holds the taco out to her.

She sets her empty cup beside the sopping magazine. “I thought you said I could only have a taco if I went with you.”

“I’m making an exception.”

Her eyes flicker between the taco and Ryke, and I don’t like where this is headed. It reminds me of the time where he tempted her with a piece of chocolate cake. She ate it, but only after a string of inappropriate events. Lo didn’t see that. And he’s too focused on his phone to look up and watch Daisy and Ryke.

But maybe…maybe it’s all in my head. I mean, my thoughts circumnavigate to sex all the time. Maybe these past three months without Lo, their time together has been innocent and not as bad as I believed. And I do want Daisy to eat that taco.

“What will you do for me if I eat that?” Daisy asks, a scheming smile lifting her lips.

“We’re bargaining now?”

She swims a little closer to him, her shoulders the same height as his knees. “It’s only fair. You want me to do something. So I think I should get something in return.”

“You get the nutrients of this f**king taco,” he tells her. “That’s a win-win.”

She tries hard not to smile and just shakes her head. Oh, she’s learned how to play his games since the last time. I should break this up, I think. But I’m hypnotized by their easy banter.

“What do you want?” he asks.

I nudge Lo with my foot. He needs to see this! They’re about to strike some deal that is not going to be pretty. I try to find Rose and Connor too, but they’ve drifted over to the pool-side bar.

Lo reluctantly tears away from his phone and follows my gaze, watching my sister and his brother.

And then Daisy’s sly smile falters. “I don’t know what I want,” she realizes.

“Well that’s a problem.”

Lo gives me a stare like that’s what you’re freaking out over? Really? It’s all in my head, isn’t it?

“And I don’t have time for you to figure it out,” Ryke tells her. “The taco will be cold by then.” He peels the aluminum foil back and holds out the end to her. “Come on, just one bite.” His tone isn’t kind or soft. It’s rough and forceful, something that Daisy is not used to, I think. Her curiosity twinkles in her eyes.

Daisy stares at Ryke for a long moment. “Why do you want me to eat this so badly?”

“Because your body needs something more than f**king rum, ice and piña colada mix.”

“My agency would disagree.”

“Your agency f**king sucks,” he says.

“You would try to make every model eat cake, wouldn’t you?”

He doesn’t deny it.

She smiles. “You know they’d just throw up afterwards.”

“You better not—”

“I’m not bulimic,” she says. “I’m not even anorexic. I just know what I should and should not eat. And trust me, when I’m not counting down the days to a photo shoot, I’ll pig out. But I have a runway in three weeks. Everyone will be pinching my fat, and you won’t be there to see their disappointed, disgruntled looks. I will.”

“I think,” Ryke says slowly, trying to process the words, “you need to realize that this taco isn’t going to add an inch on your waistline. If you have as great willpower as you say, then eating this won’t cause you to binge tomorrow.”

I kind of want to clap. He actually makes complete sense, and Daisy contemplates his whole statement with high regard. And then she nods in acceptance.

“Okay,” she says. “But just one bite.”

“Unless you love it.”

“Like I said—”

“You like many things, that doesn’t mean you should eat them,” he finishes. “I heard you.”

“You listen,” she says mockingly. “What kind of guy are you?”

“The rare kind.”

My shoulders tense. Are they flirting? Does Lo see this? He is watching, but I can’t read his expression at all. His muscles, however, pull tight.

“Okay,” Daisy says, eyeing the taco. “I’ll eat it.”

“Stop talking about it and do it,” he says.

She sets a hand on his leg and the other on his wrist as he holds out the taco. She leans forward to take a bite, and I swear, her eyes connect with his the entire time. There’s something incredibly dirty about this—I see it, does anyone else?

Lo says nothing.

When she takes a bite, her eyes flutter closed and she lets out an audible moan. “Oh my God,” she mumbles, chewing.

Ryke wears a satisfied grin, like he won the best prize, seeing her happy (or making an orgasmic noise, I have no idea). Sauce leaks onto her chin, but her head is tilted back, too absorbed in food bliss to notice. He uses his thumb to wipe the sauce right below her lip.

“Good, right?”

She swallows. “The best.”

Okay, maybe I’m the only one processing the event in a phallic way. Ryke and Daisy act completely innocent about the entire ordeal. Maybe they don’t even realize how sexual it all was. (At least it wasn’t a hot dog.)

“Here.” He holds out the rest of the taco.

Surprisingly, Daisy accepts the food, taking the foil from his hands. “Thanks,” she says in genuine appreciation. And then she swims off towards Connor and Rose.

Lo opens his mouth, and I wonder if he’s about to chastise Ryke. But how can he when Daisy ate something healthy for once? That has to be a win, right? Before Lo says a thing, Melissa returns and we all go quiet. Well, technically Lo and I were already quiet, but the air stretches in an uncomfortable way.

Melissa sits beside Ryke on the cement, and she leans a shoulder into him. He wraps his arm around her.

“The maids are done with our room,” she tells him, practically batting her eyelashes.

That’s where she went—to check on the status of our room? If I’m not allowed to have sex there, then why can she? I look to Lo for answers, but his gaze has permanently fixed on Ryke.


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