Home > Simply Complicated(4)

Simply Complicated(4)
Author: S. Nelson

“I’m back here now. I was transferred to the Vegas team several weeks ago.”

“Are you happy about the change?” she asked, standing beside him with her arm slung over his shoulder.

Granted, they’d been friends as well before he up and left, so the familiarity she projected toward him wasn’t unusual. But her being so close to him, all chummy and borderline giddy, bothered me.

“I am. One of my buddies got transferred with me, so that’s good. And I’m getting more money. No complaints there, either.”

“Good thing, because I read that you’re broke,” she teased, because one thing Luke wasn’t was broke.

I only knew because of my father, who’d followed Luke’s entire career, and loved to share information about the guy. He mentioned years ago how he signed a five-year contract for thirty million. And if Luke said he was now making more, I couldn’t even imagine what they were paying him. He was one of the best players in the sport, so I was sure he was worth it, but among a hundred other things, I’d never tell him that either.

When Brooke finally returned to her seat, she repeated her original question, the one that made me cringe initially because it meant one of us was going to answer. And if he did, there was no telling how he’d spin it.

“What were you telling him no for when I came back?”

She inched forward so she could see both of us, her attention bouncing from him to me and back again while she waited for one of us to respond.

I decided on: “I don’t remember.”

Unfortunately, as I suspected, Luke had a different rebuttal.

“I offered to help Ollie here with her issue.”

“Ollie.” Brooke laughed. “You hated when he called you that.”

“I remember.” I moved toward her because he was closer to me now than he was a second ago.

“Wait. Go back. You offered to help her with what issue?” The inflection in Brooke’s voice told me she knew exactly what issue he referred to.

I’d been taking a sip of my drink when he spoke again.

“To help her come during sex.”

If he’d phrased his answer any other way, my wine wouldn’t have ended up on the ledge of the bar, on my hand, or on my best friend’s forearm.

“Damn, woman.” She grabbed a napkin and wiped off what I’d spit on her. But she wasn’t angry. In fact, when I glanced over at her, she wiggled her brows and had the biggest smile plastered on her face. “I think that’s a great idea.”

“I don’t.”

“Why?”

“Before Ollie answers, let me plead my case, if you will.”

He was talking to Brooke, of course, because he wasn’t going to get anywhere with me. Tactics. It was all tactics. If he could get my best friend to come over to his side, he’d have an ally to help him.

“I can’t wait to hear this,” she said, rubbing her hands together in eagerness.

I was going to say “me too” but decided against it at the last second.

“I overheard—”

“Eavesdropped,” I corrected, crossing my arms over my chest. Which wasn’t the best move because I ended up pushing my breasts higher, the slight cleavage I was already sporting now amplified. His gaze veered to my chest before he turned his attention back to Brooke.

“As I was saying.” He paused for effect. “I overheard her tell you she wants someone who isn’t a psycho. Check. Someone who’s attractive, which I believe I am. I mean, people aren’t running away scared when they see me, so I think I fit the bill there. Check.” He was fully aware of how good-looking he was, and if he didn’t, the table of women staring at him was a telltale sign. “She also wants someone to know how to use what they have.” He talked like I wasn’t sitting right next to him. “I’m not bragging but I have an above-average penis, and I know what to do with it.” His use of the word penis and the way he spoke was purposefully clinical like. He either mocked me or placated Brooke. Or perhaps he was just being funny. Whatever it was he was doing, I wasn’t amused. “So, check for that one. And as for the last item on the list—”

“That was it. You already covered the requirements,” I rushed to say. I didn’t want him to mention the last one because I would be bombarded with memories of the two of us in his bedroom, doing what it was he was going to list as the last item.

“No, there was one more,” Brooke said. “Go ahead, Luke.” She had the audacity to smirk at me when she caught my eye.

“Last requirement,” he said, looking at his hand as if he was reading off a piece of paper. “She wants said man to be a good kisser.” I couldn’t believe he remembered everything I’d told her, listing them in the same order too. “She can already attest that I am.” Luke finally turned his head to look at me, but I refused to meet his eyes. “Can’t you?”

“You guys kissed? When?” Brooke never waited for an answer when she fired more questions at me. “Why didn’t you tell me? You tell me everything else, right?” I hated the suspicion in her voice, but I wasn’t about to sit here, in front of him, and dive into why I never told her about the one time we made out.

“Because I wanted to forget it ever happened.” Finally lifting my eyes to his, I said, “Besides, I’ve had better.”

“Liar.” His response was immediate, arrogant, and right on the money.

“I think you should do it, Liv. Take Luke home and put him to the test. If you want, I can oversee it. Make sure he’s doing what he needs to.”

“I think I’m capable of handling my business, but thanks for the offer,” Luke said.

“If you change your mind, I’m here.”

“I assure you—”

“STOP! Enough already. I’m not having sex with Luke.”

“Why?” she asked

“Yeah, why?” he parroted.

I placed my feet on the ground and straightened my dress, fiddling with the belt cinched around my waist. “Because I don’t like him.” My focus was on my friend before I swung my attention to the man beside me, to reiterate my statement. “I don’t like you. In fact, I can’t stand you.”

An indescribable emotion flashed behind his eyes. “That’s a strong sentiment.”

“I’m aware,” I responded, fidgeting where I stood. This conversation was going nowhere fast, and the longer he looked at me, the more I wanted to disappear.

He licked his lips and swallowed, his eyes narrowing slightly before he tossed up what I could only describe as a mask. “There you go. That’s perfect. Angry sex or can’t-stand-you sex is sometimes the best kind. I’m sure it’s exactly what will do the trick. No attachments. No expectations. Other than me making you come so hard you’ll forget your name.” The intensity in his voice made my stomach flip. “But you won’t forget mine.”

“Goddamn, Luke.” Brooke fanned herself. “You almost make me want to switch teams.”

“We do have a good team.”

She nudged my arm. “This is what you said you wanted. Time to step up and make it happen. You’re not going to find anyone better. And he’s absolutely right, angry sex can be really fun.”

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