Oh, God. Yes, I do.
I bolted out of that room and ran downstairs as fast as my legs could take me, which wasn’t fast at all considering how restricting the dress was.
Ellie stood in the kitchen still trying to clean the spilt drink from her clothes. My face burning red. I reached over and handed the top I managed to quickly snatch before leaving that extremely sexy---but almost naked, and dripping went man.
Ellie looked down and narrowed her eyes before she glanced back up at me, confused. “Um, Summer. What’s this?”
“Your top,” I replied.
“No, it’s not,” she chuckled. “Did you actually look at what you got me?”
I glanced at the item of clothing now in her grasp and shook my head.
Trying to quickly escape, I picked out a pair of shorts from the tallboy instead.
“Shit. Sorry. I’ll go back up as soon as that guy gets out of you room.”
“Which guy?” Ellie asked.
“The half-naked guy you didn’t warn me would be in there.”
“Oh, that’s Tyler. He’s our neighbour. Don’t know much about him except that he’s hot and he lives next door. His plumbing is getting fixed now and he asked if he could use the shower,” Ellie explained. “He was supposed to use the guest bathroom.”
Tyler. That name ignited something in me, and my mind couldn’t stop thinking about him. How perfect his eyes were. How even though his hair was wet, it fell perfectly in the right place, and his plump lips were so kissable.
And fuck, I wanted to kiss him.
“Summer!” Ellie yelled, pulling me from my dirty and perverted thoughts.
“Sorry. I don’t think he knew where the guest bedroom was.”
Adrian chimed in. “That would be my fault. Someone was in the guest bathroom when he went up and I told him to use ours instead.”
Footsteps pattered the stairs, at the same rate as I had just flown down. Tyler’s eyes locked with mine again and held my gaze for longer than he should have. My breath hitched in the back of my throat when he smiled and winked, leaving me as nothing more than a puddle on the kitchen floor.
Fuck, he’s got a nice smile.
“Hey,” Tyler greeted, with his eyes still penetrating mine.
Penetrating. I kinda love that word right now.
“Hi,” I replied shyly.
Shit. I can’t stay here with him.
Just the sight of the gorgeous guy made me want to do unspeakable things, and it had been too long between unspeakable moments. I knew I couldn’t trust myself around someone as damn fine as him.
Clearing my throat, I turned to Ellie. “I’m gonna get that top for you, babe.”
Snatching the shorts back, I bolted and made my way to her room again. The first thing I noticed was the lingering scent of coconut body wash Tyler obviously used. After finding something for my friend, I ran back down where Adrian was in deep conversation with Tyler.
Throwing my top at Ellie I smiled. “Head’s up. I’m heading outside for a drink.”
“Thanks,” Ellie replied, as she caught the blue shirt with ease.
Desperate to get out, I pushed my way through the glass doors into the backyard, finding myself at the bar where I noticed a familiar face.
“Hey, Summer,” Travis greeted. He was the bartender Ellie and Adrian had used a few times for their previous functions. “What can I get you?”
“Hey, Trav. I’ll grab a beer, thanks.”
“A beer, huh?” A guy interjected.
God, what’s with all these sexy voices around here?
I spun around and noticed a second gorgeous guy waiting to be served. He smiled, and I reciprocated with the curve of my lip. His blonde hair was messy, yet perfect, and his eyes were the colour of the shallow ocean on a hot Summer’s day.
“What can I say? I love my beer,” I admitted.
“I don’t know. You seem like a wine person to me.”
My face scrunched and I stretched my lips, sucking the air between by teeth. “Wine, not so much. I hate the taste of wine.”
“I’m Liam,” he greeted, and reached out his hand before I accepted to introduce myself.
“I’m Summer,” I replied.
“Well, Summer. Are you here for Adrian or Ellie?”
“Both. They’re my best friends.”
He clicked his fingers. “Oh, you’re the best friend. Ellie mentioned something about you before. I think she wanted us to meet,” he grinned.
Oh, Ellie, you bitch. I knew you were up to something.
“That sounds about right.”
“I can see why. You seem sweet and---you’re stunning,” he complimented.
“Thank you,” I blushed. It’s not like I hadn’t gotten compliments before, but it had been far too long in between.
Liam’s eyes travelled up and down my body, but only slightly that I almost didn’t catch it.
“Your beer, Summer.” Travis placed my bottle down, before I picked it up and brought the cold glass to my lips.
Liam turned to Travis and ordered his own Whiskey, which surprised me. He looked like the type who enjoyed the same thing I was into. Beer. Iced cold.
I couldn’t help but stare at Liam’s jaw while he spoke, and my eyes couldn’t pry away from his muscular physique, which naughty me wanted to reach over and touch.
Though Tyler’s dripping wet body was-
“Summer?” Liam coaxed me from my thoughts---which for some reason had been a little dirty that evening---who am I kidding. A lot dirty, and I had only just arrived at the party.
God help me.
“I asked if you’d like to sit down?”
“Oh, um sure. Thanks.”
We both walked over to the outdoor seating area with our crisp drinks in hand. A large crackling firepit sat in the middle and surrounding the burning heat, were light grey lounge chairs with different coloured cushions placed neatly down.
Liam casually sat next to me, though I didn’t mind his proximity considering he seemed nice.
“So, how long have you known Ellie for?”
“We grew up together. Friends since Kindergarten. Our moms are besties. How do you know them?
Liam brought the whiskey glass up to his parted lips before he took a slow sip. “I met Adrian only a couple of months ago. I fixed his car when it broke down,” Liam explained.
“Oh, you’re the mechanic? Adrian mentioning his car broke down on the freeway and someone had to tow it,” I recalled.
“Yeah, I have been for eight years,” Liam beamed, and I could tell his work was something he was passionate about. “What do you do?”
“There you are,” Ellie exclaimed.
I turned to my bestie and immediately noticed the hot neighbour behind them, who was walking side by side with a beautiful short haired brunette girl.
Tyler winked again, causing me to blush, but I had to avert my gaze because I knew if I kept staring at him, something would have to give, and I wasn’t in a giving mood that night.
Maybe just a little.
“I see you two met.” Ellie grinned, pointing between Liam and me, clearly pleased with herself that her matchmaking skills were somewhat intact.
“You were right, Ellie. She is gorgeous,” smiled Liam.
Another sip of my beer before I tipped my neck back to scull the rest. This was going to be a long fucking night.
My body swayed the moment I stood from the lounge. After straightening my crinkled dress, I cleared my throat. “Would anyone like another drink?”
Suddenly, both Tyler and Liam stood. “I’ll go with you,” they said in unison.
Yeah, this shit never happens.
Ellie smirked while her eyes transferred between the three of us.
“It’s okay. I can manage,” I replied to the both of them. Unsure which one I’d actually pick if I needed to make a choice. Was it wrong to want them both?
God, I need some space right now.
Liam sat down, respecting my decision while Tyler remained standing. “I’ll go with you.”
My eyes darted towards the girl he was with, but she wasn’t too phased about Tyler’s action.
I hope to God she’s not a date.
“Sure,” I replied. My heart thumped in my chest, and I felt slightly dizzy, but I knew it wasn’t from the beer, but because there were two incredibly sexy guys who I just couldn’t stop gawking at.
“Would you like another Whiskey?” I asked Liam, focusing on the curve of his lips.
“No, thanks. Still on the first one,” he said, raising his glass.
Tyler and I strolled towards the bar and waited in line for service. He took the free opportunity to introduce himself. “I’m Tyler. I don’t think we met properly before. I live next door.” He flashed me a smile and reached out his willing hand. “Nice to meet you.”
Damn. What the fuck is up with that sexy voice?
“I’m Summer. I’m Ellie and Adrian’s best friend.”
The line progressed quickly and I took a seat down on a stool and shifted my attention to the bartender. He smiled, knowing exactly what I wanted.
“So, you have someone fixing your house right now? Is that why you were upstairs?”
Tyler’s lips were mischievous. “I’m surprised you recognized me with my clothes on.”
Oh, the nerve.
“Ellie told me who you were,” I said, darting my eyes towards my heels. “I didn’t actually get a good look at you.”
That was a complete lie.
“No, you wouldn’t have with your eyes on my crotch the entire time,” he teased.
Shit. He noticed.
“My eyes were not on your crotch!” I exclaimed, but it was total bullshit, because I clearly recalled wondering what it was beneath the white fluffy towel. “Besides, you didn’t have to stand so close to me wearing nothing!”
“You didn’t seem to mind.”
I swallowed. Tyler gazed up and down my figure and paused at the curve of my breasts and hips. Like Liam, he did it briefly, but I was able to catch glimpses.
And I loved it.
“You didn’t notice I couldn’t get out of that room fast enough?”
If I did stay, I knew exactly what I would have done to him. Try to replicate the dream which left me completely unsatisfied.
“I noticed you blushing,” Tyler smiled and continued. “Kind of like you are right now. Are you thinking about my naked body?”
God, how cocky is this guy?
I shifted in my seat. “Are you serious, right now?”
“Very,” he whispered, subtly coating his lips with his wet tongue.
“No, Tyler. I’m definitely not thinking about your naked body.”
I’m lying. It’s all I’ve been thinking about since I saw you in that damn bedroom.
Tyler smiled, knowing somehow, he had gotten beneath my fiery skin. Needing to cool down, I took my bottle and brought it to my mouth---seductively as I knew Tyler’s gaze was on me the entire time the glass was pressed to my parted lips. His eyes focused on my throat, and the way it moved with each swallow.
After finishing it off, I slammed it back down on the bar and wiped the corners of my mouth, hoping he would get the hint with my not-so-subtle tease. “Damn that tasted good.”
I fixed my dress and smirked before turning and giving Tyler a good view of my ass, before I walked away from him. After grabbing his whiskey, he caught up and followed me back to the firepit.
“You don’t have to feel embarrassed you know?”
“Yes, you are. I can tell.”
I raised my brows, curious at what he thought. “And what am I’m embarrassed about?”
“Being sexually attracted to someone.”
Stopping, our heated bodies turned towards each other. “And who do you think I’m sexually attracted to?”
There was another smirk of his lips, and a few times tonight I had witnessed that smile, which clearly affected me in more ways than I wanted to admit.
“Me,” he whispered, leaning in and I felt his hot breath rising against my skin, igniting every inch.
“Really?” I said, swallowing the flames. “You’ve got some balls on you.”
“You have no idea,” Tyler winked.
He had a response to everything, and every response was cocky, yet there was something sexy about it.
When we arrived at the firepit, I sat back down next to safe Liam. Tyler was back with his date---or not date, and I watched him lean in and whisper something in her ear. She giggled and glanced towards her feet, and I wondered what he said to make her laugh like that.
“Are you okay?”
Grateful Liam distracted me from someone I knew would be trouble. “Yeah, I’m good.
“You looked a little uncomfortable with that other guy.”
Uncomfortable wouldn’t be the right word I would have used.
“No, not uncomfortable,” I replied. Just extremely wet, unsatisfied, and soaked to my very core.
From my peripheral vision, I noticed Tyler’s hand on the girl’s knee. He leaned in and pressed his lips on her cheek, and I felt a sudden knot in my stomach, not liking the jealousy which rose in my throat.
Why the hell would he flirt with me if he was taken?
“I don’t mean to be forward, but I was wondering if I could grab your number? Maybe we could go out for a coffee sometime.”
“Oh, yeah. That would be nice,” I smiled, replying to Liam.
“Great.” He reached around to the back of his jeans and I snuck a view of the bare skin between his white shirt and denim.
“Exchanging numbers, Summer?” Ellie whispered, not so subtly.
“Don’t make a big deal about it, babe.”
“I would never.” She raised her hand in defence, but I knew her better than anyone.
Tyler stopped paying attention to the brunette bombshell, who was clearly his date for the evening.
“What happened with Tommy, Summer?” Adrian asked.
No. Please, no.
“Oh, we don’t talk about Tommy, baby,” Ellie laughed. “Don’t bring him up.”
“Oh, no. Definitely don’t want to talk about Tommy,” I agreed.
“Who’s Tommy?” Tyler asked.
“Summer’s ex, though I don’t know why they broke up. He seemed alright.”
I shuffled in my seat, knowing the conversation was going to turn uncomfortable. Tommy was not a polite topic of discussion between friends---or sexy strangers.
“We weren’t together long,” I clarified.
“Thank God for that,” Ellie snickered.
“Was it that bad?” Tyler asked.
I nodded. “Whatever you’re thinking---it’s worse.” I drifted to Ellie. “I’m actually surprised you didn’t tell Adrian.”
“I didn’t want to give him any ideas,” Ellie laughed, then patted her husband on the leg. “Trust me, you don’t want to know.”
“Well, now you’ve got me curious,” Tyler interjected.
My head shook. “Not gonna happen.”
“Bill was nice,” Adrian smiled.
Ugh. Bill. My asshole ex.
“Bill cheated on Summer. He was an ass!” Ellie sneered.
She despised Bill as much as I did. Thankfully, like Tommy, we weren’t together for long, but we did talk about being exclusive, so when he cheated it did sting, but I did get over it pretty quick.
“Wait. What? You guys never tell me anything!”
Ellie rolled her eyes. “I already told you, babe.”
“Okay, fine. What happened with Jax?”
“Are you really going to sit here and ask me about all the guys I’ve dated?”
I hoped not. I mean it wasn’t like I had a lot of long term boyfriend’s to talk about---not that I wanted to talk about my exes at all, especially with present company. One night stands on the other hand---yeah. That was another thing.
Adrian dipped his head. “I’ll stop.”
“The only guy I ever liked you with was Drake,” Ellie groaned. “But even then, after what he did, he deserves a good kick in the nuts.”
Drake. The one guy I had allowed myself to fall in love with, because the friendship with him was set from when we were kids, that part of me already loved him to begin with. The guy left me, and I still thought about him from time to time. Who am I kidding? All the time. He was the one who got away.
“How long were you with him for?” Liam asked.
“Almost two years,” I replied.
Two fucking years gone down the drain. Drake had an opportunity to go overseas, which he took without even considering our relationship, or whether it was strong enough to last long distance.
I thought it would.
He thought differently.
Made the decision without even talking about it to me first, which killed me the most.
“That’s a long time,” Liam muttered.
“What happened with him?” Tyler asked, though I wasn’t sure why he was so interested.
“He got a job offer and moved overseas.”
The asshole broke up with me a week before he went overseas. Left me alone, sobbing and without any guilt from his part.
Why the hell am I still thinking about him?
“He left you?” Liam’s eyes widened.
“Yeah, pretty much.” The lump in my throat made it that much harder to swallow. I hated thinking about Drake, but I would catch myself a few times---maybe more.
“Is he fucking crazy?” Liam exclaimed with a frustrated laugh. “He’s got to be fucking mad.”
“That’s what I said!” Ellie agreed.
“This is why I hate dating,” Tyler’s girl cut in, and I was surprised by her remark considering she was here on a date.
Um, what now? Am I missing something?
“But aren’t the two of you together?” I pointed between her and Tyler.
“Oh, God no. I just use him for sex,” she confessed. “Which is incredible by the way.” Tyler’s date flicked his hand up and down. “Hot, actually.”
Great. Now I have an image in my head of Tyler and I fucking. Good job, Summer.
Ellie was right. I need to get laid.
Tyler noticed me biting my lip and smiled. I was grateful he was not in proximity to feel the heat flourishing out from my body.
“Summer’s not the one-night stand type,” Ellie chimed in.
“Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it,” Tyler mumbled beneath his breath.
“Who said I haven’t tried it?”
“You’ve had no strings attached sex?” Tyler’s brow’s arched.
“Yes, I have.”
Plenty in fact, but I had changed. One thing I came to hate was not knowing who the person was that I slept with. Some kind of emotional connected needed to be there before I ever gave myself to anyone again.
“More than once?” Tyler asked, while his hand moved down his dates leg, and I wondered if he did that to tease me, because it was clearly working.
“Yep,” I nodded, unsure why I discussed my sex life with that guy.
“You prefer dating by the sounds of it,” Liam said.
“Yeah, I prefer dating and getting to know someone.”
“Me too,” he smiled softly.
“You prefer the one-night stands then?” I directed the question to Tyler.
“Less complications, though it doesn’t have to be with a different girl each time.”
“Wouldn’t you classify that as dating?”
“No. Just sex.”
How the hell does that work? Same girl, over and over screamed dating to me.
“How do you stop yourself from catching feelings?” I asked.
It was clear Tyler was the playboy type, but I wondered if any girl had ever swayed him to change who he was. Was he ever tempted by a girl?
“Because that’s not who I am.”
I was acutely aware of how physically I was attracted to Tyler. My body betrayed me in every way possible when it came to him, and we’d only just met.
There’s something seriously fucking wrong with me.
“So, you’ve never had feelings for a girl before?” Ellie asked.
“It’s not what I want.” Tyler turned to his date who nodded, agreeing with him.
“You didn’t actually answer my question, Tyler, or Ellie’s for that matter.”
“You seem to be interested in my love life.”
I wasn’t the one asking all the questions pal.
Suddenly, my phone vibrated against my hip. I unzipped my bag and pulled out my cell when I noticed the caller I.D.
“Excuse me please.” I stood from the chair and walked away from the firepit to answer my brother’s call, grateful it came at a time when the talk about my exes was the topic of conversation.
“How’s my favourite sister doing?”
I laughed, and sat down on the barstool motioning the bartender for another drink. “I’m your only sister, and I’m doing great. How’s everything in Paris.”
“Good,” he replied, just before his voice trailed off. “You’ll never guess who I bumped into.”
“Drake,” he whispered.
Silence fell between us while my thoughts raced about the ex who left me. Last I had heard, he was somewhere else in Europe.
“Did you hear me?” Alex said.
“I heard you,” I replied as soon as I found my voice. “So, in all of Paris, you happened to bump into him?” My head fell into my hand. I knew Alex was lying to me about something.
“He found out I was coming and called me up. I’m sorry,” Alex apologised, and it was genuine. He knew how much Drake hurt me.
Silence fell over the call while my thoughts raced about the ex that left me. Last I had heard, he was somewhere else in Europe.
Did you hear me? Alex pulled me from my thoughts.
“You don’t have to be sorry for wanting to see your best friend, Alex. Just don’t lie to me about it.”
“I know, but after what he did.” Alex took a deep breath, guilt resounding in his croaky voice.
Alex and Drake were the closest of friends since primary school. When things started to develop between us, Alex did the brotherly thing and warned Drake not to hurt me. He was always so protective of his big sister.
“I’m over it, Alex. “Really.”
That was somewhat a lie I tried to say convincingly but failed miserably. The truth was, I wasn’t sure if I was over yet, because it still stung when I thought about him
Alex and Drake were the closest of friends. When things started to develop between us, Alex warned Drake about hurting me. He was always so protective.
I’m over it, Alex. Really. I tried to sound convincing, but I failed miserably. The truth was, I wasn’t sure if I was over it yet, because it still stung when I thought about him.
“I need to tell you something,” Alex hesitated. “He’s met someone here, and they’re getting married.”
The only thing Alex heard over the phone was the deep shaky breath my mouth released. It had only been a year since he went overseas and broke my heart. I knew he wouldn’t stay single, but one year? Engaged after one year? What the fuck?
“I’m happy for him,” I lied again.
“Really, Summer? You don’t sound too happy.”
“I really am.”
After a brief conversation about our family, and what else he had gotten up to in Paris, making me completely jealous that I was stuck at work in the U.S., I ended the call with my brother, and turned to Travis, snatching the beer from his grasp, and ordering something stronger.
“Vodka. Make it a double.”
“Double shot, huh?” Tyler interrupted.
I turned around, expecting to see him with his date, but was surprised when he was all alone.
“Yep,” I replied.
“It must have been some phone call,” Tyler whispered.
“It was.” I blinked the tears away from my eyes, taking a deep breath, hoping Tyler couldn’t see the change of emotion in me. I really didn’t want to break down in front of him.
I kicked back the drink and allowed the clear liquid to chomp away the lump in my throat.
“So, are you into that Liam guy?”
The hell is he asking me about Liam?
“Yeah, he seems nice.”
Tyler invited himself to sit down on the empty stool next to me. “Into nice guys, are you?”
A sudden confidence filled my veins, wanting desperately to tease him a little. “No,” I replied. “I like my guys dirty. Really. Really dirty.”
Tyler’s lips parted and I could have sworn a little drool settled against the corner of his mouth.
Sure, Liam was sweet, but sometimes the sweetest guys could make my body quiver beneath them
“Summer!” Ellie screamed, and ran up to me. “Adrian asked me to go with him on his work trip!”
“Can you house sit for us?” Ellie asked, batting her eyelids. “Normally we’d check with his sister, but she has a work thing herself.”
“How long for?”
“A couple of weeks.”
“That’s a long time,” I groaned.
Two whole fucking weeks living next door to Tyler? I didn’t know how I felt about that.
“Pleaseeeeeee.” Ellie stretched the word as she begged, knowing how to get her way with me.
“Fine,” I rolled my eyes.
“If you need anything, I’m sure Tyler can help you out.” Ellie clapped him on the shoulder. “Right Ty?”
“I’m sure I could find a way to help.”
Yeah, I doubt that.
“You won’t need to. I’ll be fine.”
Ellie turned away when one of the caterers needed her assistance, leaving me alone again with Tyler. The slow curve of his lip reached places that hadn’t been touched for a very long time. Not even in my dreams.
I shifted my focus to my drink to drown out my sorrows, deciding another shot of Vodka would do the trick.
“Are you trying to get blind drunk tonight?” He rested his elbow against the bar.
“Ha! No, I can handle my drinks.”
His voice growled, with a hint of seduction passing between his lips. “Can you handle me?”