By: Megan Hart

"Smooth move, Ex-Lax." Kira smirked. She hadn't even noticed it was the man from earlier that day. "Nice to see you can hold your tequila."

I shrugged off the sting in my shoulder and didn't reply. His sleeve had brushed my bare arm as he passed, and the hairs on it all the way up to the back of my neck had stood at that brief, simple touch. A slow, tumbling roll of sensation centered in my belly.

He lived in my building.

Chapter 03

I shouldn't have been so surprised. I saw a lot of Riverview Manor tenants at Miriam's shop, and in the Morningstar Mocha, the coffee shop at the end of our block. I ran into them in the post office and parking garage and at the grocery store, too. Harrisburg's a small city.

Even so, I couldn't shake the memory of those dark eyes, that thick, dark hair. The brush of a shirtsleeve on my bare skin. Fuck. I was horny, no two ways around it, and no wonder. It had been ages since I'd had sex with anyone but myself.

We had our choice of places downtown, but I wanted to go to the Pharmacy. We took a cab since I wouldn't drive after drinking, and the walk that was fine on a Sunday afternoon in sweatpants would be too long to make at night in heels…and shit-hammered.

The bar was packed, even for a Friday night. We pushed through the crowd toward the bar, Kira leading. She stopped abruptly and I ran into her. Someone ran into me. Someone also grabbed my ass, but when I turned to see who it was and possibly haul off and smack the shit out of them, all I could see was an ocean of possible culprits.

"Hey, Jack," Kira said, and I turned.

Shit. Jack had been the love of Kira's life our senior year, when he transferred in from another school. She'd plotted and schemed for months to get him to ask her to the prom, determined to get in his pants. It hadn't worked, so far as I knew. I only knew that once Kira had keyed one of his girlfriends' cars.

Kira didn't know Jack and I had fucked each other senseless for about two months straight a few years ago. I doubt either of us even cared anymore. But Kira would have, so I tried to pull her away before things could get ugly.

Besides, he wasn't alone. The woman with him had a beer and she tipped it to her mouth, eyeing us with a smile. I yanked Kira's elbow to pull her away.

"Ow," she said when the crowd closed behind us, cutting off the view of him. "What did you do that for?"

"Don't cause trouble," I told her. "C'mon. Drinks."

"I wasn't going to cause trouble." She frowned and tossed her hair, not caring she'd whacked some dude across the face with it. He looked pissed. Not the way I wanted to start the night.

"There will be other guys here," I told her.

Kira just sniffed and crossed her arms over her chest. "Oh, I know that."

The Pharmacy was almost always a total sausage party—three guys for every girl, easy, and all of them horny and looking to hook up. Chivalry had nothing to do with them pulling out their wallets and plying us with booze. It was all about getting laid.

"Oh, look," Kira said from beside me. "Talk about trouble."

She was right. Trouble with a capital T. I stood taller in my sexy shoes and lifted my chin, straightened my shoulders. "Hello, Austin."

Once upon a time, Austin and I had fucked like tigers. I was willing to bet he still had the scars. I did.

"Paige." His hair was longer, but he had the same grin, the one that parted thighs like the Red Sea. He didn't look surprised to see me.

Austin wore a blue-striped shirt and faded jeans that hugged his ass just right and hung down, ragged, at the hems. Jeans like that should be outlawed on men like Austin. His buddy, some guy I didn't know, wore an almost identical shirt, but with brown stripes. He didn't look half as good.

Behind me, Kira dug her fingernails into the skin of my elbow. It stung, and I shook her off. "How are you?"

"Good. I'm good." His eyes shifted to Kira and back to me. "Haven't seen you in a while."

"Haven't been home," I said, though home to me now was an apartment on Front Street, not a trailer or a rented house in Lebanon.

"Yeah. I know. Hey, Kira. I made it."

My insides froze. I glared at her, but Kira gave me her best dumb look. "What?"

She'd told him we'd be here. I knew it. I could see it on both their faces, their conspiracy, and I wondered how he'd convinced her to tell him. I thought about walking out, and the only reason I didn't was because he was looking at me. Not her.

Kira saw it, too, and she gave me a narrow-eyed glare. I wouldn't have put it past her to have set this up purely to see the throw down between me and Austin, but I wasn't going to do it. I was past those days. She rallied when Austin's friend gave her a grin. It helped that he was cute. Not as cute as Austin, but then really, who was? Who had ever been?

"What're you drinking?" Austin was already pulling out his wallet to pay.

I wasn't going to turn down a free drink, not even from him. "Margarita."

"I'll take a Slow, Comfortable Screw." Kira made sure to lean in close so he could hear her. Her lips brushed his ear.

Austin leaned away a little, not enough that Kira would notice. But I did. He introduced us both to his friend, Ethan, who managed to tear his gaze away from Kira's tits long enough to nod toward me without a trace of recognition. Well, what had I expected him to do? Say, "Oh, so this is Paige?"