First Comes Love(13)

By: Emily Goodwin

She slows, tipping her head as she tries to make sense of what I said. I stop next to my bike.

“Oh hell no!” she exclaims. “I can’t ride that! I’m in a dress!”

I give her a crooked grin. “That’s never stopped anyone before. Hop on, baby.”

She arches an eyebrow. “Don’t call me baby. And you said nothing about riding that thing when you said you’d take me home. I’m in a dress and heels and it’s cold.”

“Then go back inside and wait for a ride, princess.” I don’t start the bike, don’t make a move to get on. I’m not going to leave her here, no way. Not dressed like that, and not drunk. Not ever. Because I never want to do anything that doesn’t make Lauren happy.

“Maybe I will,” she says. “And I’ll find someone with a car to take me home.”

“Really? Be my guest then,” I say flatly with a shake of my head. She might be drunk, but she’s not shit-faced enough to think that’s actually a good idea.

She lets out a breath. “Just take me home.”

I fire up the engine and laugh. “You know,” I say and turn back to Lauren. “I’ve never had an issue getting a chick on the bike before.”

“Sure,” she says and rolls her eyes.

“Really. They dig it.”

She slowly runs her gaze over me and then looks at the bike. “I suppose some people might find getting on the back of a motorcycle with a leather-clad tattooed man sexy.”

Was that a compliment? Does she find me sexy? Fuck, I need to distance myself. “Of course they do. Have you seen me?” I smile so she’s knows I’m joking, though really, this works.

“Try it on me.”

“On you … on … what?”

“Your lines. That these women supposedly ‘can’t resist’ and go home with you.” She even adds air quotes when she’s talking.

“I can’t just say it. It has to happen naturally.”

“Mhh-hmm. So pretend you already put the moves on me. We’re out in the parking lot after all.”

I shrug. “Then I’d say something like get on, come home with me, then I’ll get you off.” I lower my voice as I speak and give Lauren the best eye fuck I can.

It always works.

But not this time, and she doubles over laughing. “Sorry,” she says, gasping for air. She straightens up, wipes her eyes, and laughs again. “That actually works?”

My jaw is set. “Every time.”

“If you say so.”

I swing my leg over the bike. “Get on.”

She comes up behind me and puts her hands on my waist. I can’t think about it. I can’t acknowledge her gentle touch. “Then you can get me off,” she says in a deep voice, imitating me. And now she’s laughing again. Maybe she’s drunker than I thought.

We’re halfway to her house when it starts to rain. We are both soaked and freezing by the time we get there. Lauren opens the garage door and there is just enough room to squeeze the bike in. I hate when my baby gets rained on.

“Come in,” she says through chattering teeth. “You can hang out until the rain stops.”

For as long as I’ve known Lauren, walking into her house doesn’t feel strange. What feels strange is taking someone home from the bar and not getting any.

She’s Colin’s baby sister. I can’t do this.

Her dogs bark at me, and I almost run back into the rain when a large German Shepherd lunges for me. I’ve actually met the dog before, having gone to a few family get-togethers at the Winters’ house.

“Hey, Vader,” I say to him.

He barks and flashes his teeth. “It’s okay,” Lauren says, holding him back. How the hell is she not falling over? That dog has to weigh close to what she does. It takes several minutes of talking to the dog to get him to let me in the house.

When Lauren lets him go and stands, she closes her eyes and shakes her head. “I’m a bit dizzy.”

I reach out, steadying her. “How about you take those heels off?”

“Good idea.” She kicks them off and disappears into her room, returning in a minute in her pajamas. “I don’t have any guy clothes for you to wear.”

I take off my jacket and peel my wet black T-shirt over my head. “Do you have a dryer?”

Her eyes widen when I undo my belt and pull down the zipper of my jeans. “I … uhh … I.” She blinks a few times. “Yes. I do.” She holds out her hand for my wet clothes, shaking her head as she walks away. I smirk, somewhat surprised I got that kind of reaction out of her.

Fuck. Stop it. I can’t. She’s off-limits. My best friend’s sister.

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