God, Jillian would smack the shit out of me right now. After she smacked the shit out of Misty and Sunny.
I almost trip on my own feet when I see Misty sitting on our blanket next to Josh, smiling up at him adoringly, her hand planted on his shoulder. Her raven hair is pulled over one shoulder, exposing her other naked shoulder and showcasing her cleavage.
She’s thin, with big gray eyes and plump lips.
And her hands are on the man I’m currently sleeping with. The woman has balls of steel.
I’m going to rip her hair out by the roots.
I force my feet to move, propelling me forward as I glance at Josh for the first time. He has a small smile on his lips, but it’s forced. His eyes are combing the crowd, and when he finds me, his smile widens and he immediately stands, ignoring whatever it was that Misty was saying.
She glares at me, but I ignore her and focus on the magnificent man striding toward me.
“There you are.” He takes my hand in his and pulls it up to his lips.
“There was a line,” I mutter, and offer him a small smile. He narrows his eyes at me, sensing the change in my attitude, I’m sure.
I’ve been stupid to just jump into whatever this man is offering without being cautious.
“As I was saying,” Misty begins. “My parents own a house . . .” Her voice fades as Josh drapes an arm over my shoulders and turns us to look over at her. She’s standing next to the blanket now, twisting her fingers at her stomach.
“Hey, Misty, let’s go get our spot back for the next movie,” Lauren calls from a few feet away and gives me a sympathetic smile as if to say, Sorry.
“I’ll call you, Josh.” Misty smiles sweetly and joins her friends.
“What’s wrong?” Josh asks me when she’s gone. “What happened?”
I just relived my junior year, that’s what. “Nothing. I think I’m ready to go now if you don’t mind.”
“I’ll take you wherever you want to go. What I mind is whatever has upset you.”
Before he can stop me, I begin gathering the blanket and the picnic basket. He takes the basket from me and I immediately walk toward the truck.
I’m embarrassed. That’s what it is. I’m just so damn embarrassed.
He’s silent as he stows the blanket and basket in the backseat and helps me into the truck, turns the ignition, and pulls away from the park.
“Where would you like to go?”
I really want to go home.
But that’s not an option.
“Your place is fine.”
His eyes narrow on my face, watching me. “Talk to me.”
I swallow and look out the passenger window and ignore the expletives he mutters under his breath. The lights from the city dwindle as we head out of town toward the ranch, and with each passing mile I get more and more angry.
I’m pissed at those bitchy, stuck-up women. They need to grow the fuck up already. And I’m pissed at myself for letting those toxic women get into my head.
“Are you fucking me because you feel sorry for me?” I blurt out, and immediately wish I could grab the words out of the air between us and stuff them in my pockets.
Josh’s head whips around, his eyes wide in shock and anger. He clenches his mouth shut, tightens his grip on the steering wheel, and ignores the question altogether.
“Well?” I demand as he angrily flips on the blinker to turn down his driveway.
“Shut up, Carolina.”
“What did you say?”
“You heard me.”
“No, I must be mistaken, because if you just told me to shut up, I’m going to kick your ass.”
He pulls in front of his house, kills the engine, and turns in his seat to glare at me. “Why in the name of all that’s holy would you ask me that?”
“Just answer the question.”
“Cara, I’m going to warn you right now, I’m fucking pissed that you would even think for a second that I would fuck you, as you put it, because I feel sorry for you. Why is that thought even in your head?”
God, I’m stupid. I sigh and rub my forehead with my fingertips.
“Is this about Misty?” he asks, and my head whips back up to glare at him. “Shit.”
“What’s going on with you and Misty?” I ask, despising the accusatory tone in my voice.
“Nothing’s gone on with her for over a year.”
“You slept with her?” I ask incredulously.
“No, I dated her exactly twice, and then I found out what kind of person she is and stopped seeing her.” He shakes his head and brushes a finger down my cheek, but I flinch away from him. “What did she say to you?”
“She didn’t say anything to me.”
“Carolina,” he growls in warning.
“I overheard them,” I whisper, and look out the window, loathing the tears I feel trying to form at the corners of my eyes.
He doesn’t say anything, he just waits, and I love him and hate him for understanding.
“Misty clearly has a thing for you.” I clear my throat as though it’s not a big deal. “She made it clear that a fat, ugly chick like me is no threat when it comes to a ten like you. You clearly just feel sorry for me and are trying to save me.”
“And you fucking believe that bullshit?”
“No, I don’t believe her!”
“Then why are we fighting about this?”
“I don’t necessarily believe Misty’s bullshit, but a tiny part of me can’t help but wonder why you’re attracted to me.” The last few words are whispered shamefully.
Josh stomps angrily out of the truck, slams the door shut, and moves in angry strides around the vehicle, yanks my door open, and, before I can do anything, pulls me easily over his shoulder, lifting me from my seat.
“I’ve heard enough.” He slaps my ass—hard—and carries me into the house, slamming the door behind us with his foot.
“I warned you.” He sets me on the kitchen island, slams his palms on the granite on either side of my hips, and pushes his face into mine. “I warned you the first day you were here that I’d spank your ass if you called yourself fat. It pisses me off.”
“So I’m gathering,” I whisper.
“Misty and her friends are bitches and most likely have been since the day they were born. I don’t give a fuck what they think about you or me or you and me together.” I hesitantly touch my fingertips to his cheeks and pull them down his face. “The only two people in this room are you and me, Carolina, and we’re the only ones who matter.”